WBEZ | Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins http://www.wbez.org/tags/patricia-van-pelt-watkins-0 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago's Mayoral Election http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-chicago-mayor-race/chicagos-mayoral-election <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Rahm mayoral win - AP Charles Rex Arbogast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been elected mayor of Chicago and will succeed the retiring Richard Daley.</p><p>Emanuel called his victory &quot;humbling&quot; and &quot;most gratifying.&quot; He also thanked Daley for his lifetime of service to the city.<br /> <br />Emanuel said he is ready to meet the challenges head-on to &quot;make a great city even greater.&quot; He also said he had just talked to President Barack Obama, who sent affection for his hometown.<br /> <br />It was the city's first mayoral race in more than 60 years without an incumbent on the ballot and the first in more than two decades without Daley among the candidates.<br /> <br />With 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Emanuel was trouncing five opponents Tuesday with 55 percent of the vote to avoid an April runoff. Emanuel needed more than 50 percent of the vote to win.<br /> <br />The other major candidates - former Chicago schools president Gery Chico, former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and City Clerk Miguel del Valle - had hoped to force a runoff but were no match for Emanuel.<br /> <br />Chico had 24 percent of the vote compared to 9 percent for both del Valle and Braun. Two other lesser-known candidates got about 1 to 2 percent of the vote.<br /> <br />Emanuel's win caps off a campaign that included an unsuccessful legal challenge to try to keep him off the ballot.</p><p>Chico told supporters tonight that he and Emanuel spoke on the phone and he pledged to help the new mayor any way he could.</p><p>2,522 of 2,570 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>x-Rahm Emanuel, 317,329 - 55 percent</p><p>Gery Chico, 138,864 - 24 percent</p><p>Miguel del Valle, 53,717 - 9 percent</p><p>Carol Moseley Braun, 50,974 - 9 percent</p><p>Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, 9,358 - 2 percent</p><p>William Walls, 5,142 - 1 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 22:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-chicago-mayor-race/chicagos-mayoral-election The Weekly Political Roundup: February 14th – February 18th http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-18/weekly-political-roundup-february-14th-%E2%80%93-february-18th-82524 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/0217debate.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="267" width="400" alt="" class="'caption'" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-18/0217debate.jpg" title="(Getty Images/Scott Olson)" /></p><p>Missed anything this week in Chicago politics? We have you covered with our weekly digest of the best game in town.</p><p>We&rsquo;re in the final stretch to the municipal race of the century (thus far). So read up and get ready to vote on Tuesday, if you haven&rsquo;t already. Federal officials <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20110215/NEWS02/110219930/feds-to-monitor-mayoral-election#axzz1E2g6K6bD">will be watching</a> to make sure nothing untoward goes down. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-final-early-voting-count-73251-20110218,0,1159623.story">Over 73,000</a> have voted already --Thursday was the last day to vote early. The intensity of the mayoral race could be one reason the early turnout was over double what it was in 2007. The Obamas say <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-obama-casts-absentee-vote-in-mayor-race-20110217,0,6049295.story">they&rsquo;ve cast</a> their absentee ballots, but they&rsquo;re not saying for whom. Of course, President Obama&rsquo;s been saying nice things about Rahm Emanuel, without formally endorsing him. On that note, Obama says his <a href="http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/02/15/obama-less-chicago-mayors-race-working-just-fine-says-obama">help isn&rsquo;t necessary</a>, so he&rsquo;s staying out of it. <br /><br />A couple of new&mdash;and conflicting&mdash;polls came out this week. First, <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/state-a-local-politics/143813-chicago-mayors-race--new-poll-puts-carol-moseley-braun-in-second-place-really">one that found</a> Carol Moseley Braun with 22.5 percent and in second place. The poll&mdash;notably paid for by Braun herself&mdash;contrasts other recent polls, including <a href="http://irma.org/2011/02/14/chicago-retail-merchants-association-poll-finds-emanuel-surpassing-50-margin-one-week-before-election/ ">another this week</a> from the Chicago Retail Merchants Association, which has Emanuel &ldquo;surpassing the 50% mark&rdquo; and Gery Chico in second place with 24%. It also puts Miguel Del Valle at 10 % and Braun at 6%. The low number for del Valle isn&rsquo;t deterring the candidate, who&rsquo;s out with a <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Del-Valle-Is-Back-On-The-Air-116317314.html ">new TV ad</a> saying it&rsquo;s time for reform. Chico also has <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZBGFHXMSA0&amp;feature=player_embedded ">a new ad</a>, hitting Emanuel for growing up &ldquo;in suburban safety and privilege,&rdquo; and calling Emanuel out for his tax plan. <br /><br />Emanuel says the plan will increase city revenue while saving &ldquo;working families&rdquo; hundreds of dollars a year; Chico says it really amounts to higher taxes for those same working families. Earlier this week, the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/elections/ct-met-chicago-mayor-race-taxes-0217-20110216,0,5478357.story">fact-checked</a> both claims and determined both candidates are exaggerating. Another point of contention between the two&mdash;pension reform&mdash;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/3859977-417/city-workers-not-happy-to-get-letter-from-rahm-emanuel.html">raised the pique</a> of some city workers who received a letter from Emanuel explaining his position on pensions. The workers want to know how he got their information to send the letter; the Emanuel camp says the letter was sent all over the city, not just to city workers. Braun called for <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/metro/rahm-emanuel-letter-city-workers-carol-moseley-braun-investigation-20110217">a federal investigation</a> into the matter. <br />Emanuel this week also reached out to his comedic foul-mouthed impersonator, <a href="http://twitter.com/mayoremanuel ">@MayorEmanuel</a>, offering a<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-talk-mayoremanuel-bounty-0217-20110216,0,5582026.story"> personal donation</a> to charity in exchange for revealing his or her identity. The Twitter sensation didn&rsquo;t bite and remains anonymous.<br /><br />Emanuel is also hoping to lure Latino voters to his side&mdash;in that effort, his campaign is <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-02-16/news/ct-met-chicago-mayor-race-sidebar-02120110216_1_tea-party-gery-chico-dirty-trick">putting out robocalls</a> recorded in Spanish that link Chico to an &ldquo;anti-immigrant&rdquo; tea party group that endorsed Chico. The Chico campaign calls it a &ldquo;dirty trick&rdquo; and says he&rsquo;s rejected the endorsement. On the flip side, the Emanuel campaign says <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Emanuel-Accuses-Chico-of-Supporting-Anti-Semetic-Comments-116355774.html">a pejorative</a> made by a Chico supporter has &ldquo;ugliness behind it&rdquo;; a union leader called Emanuel a &ldquo;Wall Street Judas.&rdquo; Chico&rsquo;s not denouncing the comment&mdash;his spokeswoman says the Judas reference only has to do with being a traitor, not being Jewish. Mayor Daley <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/daley-slams-chico-not-denouncing-judas-comment">criticized Chico</a> for standing behind the comment, and <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/116445469.html ">Chico responded</a> with disappointment.&nbsp; All this came after a <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/braun-producers-gaffe-another-setback/">failed joke</a> on Sunday by Braun, in which she seemed to liken Emanuel to Hitler. She says that&rsquo;s not what she meant. Emanuel says he takes her at her word. Meanwhile, some <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Anti-Semitic-Fliers-Attack-Emanuel.html">anonymous fliers</a> attacking Emanuel were undoubtedly anti-Semitic; Emanuel shrugged them off.<br /><br />Also this week, the University of Illinois at Chicago put out <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2011/0214/On-eve-of-Chicago-election-a-call-to-confront-city-s-legacy-of-corruption">a report</a> calling for Chicago&rsquo;s next mayor to rid the city of corruption. Chico and Bill &ldquo;Dock&rdquo; Walls have officially signed on. When it comes to street crime, Emanuel says <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/elections/3820391-418/emanuel-endorses-supt.-weis-meeting-with-gang-leaders-bashes-chico-over-tea-party">he&rsquo;s down </a>with Police Superintendent Jody Weis&rsquo; gang tactics, despite having previously said he&rsquo;d replace Weis if elected. Emanuel also suggested he might replace the powerful Alderman Ed Burke as chairman of the City Council&rsquo;s Finance Committee&mdash;that has <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/3839401-418/emanuel-burke-battle-brewing.html ">the ink</a> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/elections/ct-met-chicago-mayor-race-0216-20110215,0,589715.story">flowing</a> over the potential of Council Wars Redux. <br /><br />That little poke came within Monday&rsquo;s candidate forum on WTTW, in which the other leading candidates also had their say on how the Council might change. You can watch the debate in full <a href="http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=42,8,80,32&amp;pid=d7VnX17bqUG5L53jUnjUct8DHz9HVbvH">here</a>. Thursday night was the last debate in the primary contest&mdash;the <em>Tribune</em> <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/02/live-blogging-the-final-chicago-mayors-debate.html">live-blogged</a> it, and you can watch the <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/politics&amp;id=7965893">whole thing</a> from ABC7. If you&rsquo;re hungry for more from the candidates, check out <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>&rsquo;s interviews from this week from <br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-17/mayoral-candidate-gery-chico-touts-past-chicago-service-82461">Chico</a>, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-16/chicago-mayoral-candidate-william-dock-walls-iii-takes-another-run-offic">Walls</a>, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-15/chicago-mayoral-candidate-rahm-emanuel-82353 ">Emanuel</a>, and <a href="http://ttp://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-14/chicago-mayoral-candidate-patricia-van-pelt-watkins-82296">Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins</a> (they had <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-08/chicago-mayoral-candidate-miguel-del-valle-campaigns-reformer-81970">del Valle</a> and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-10/chicago-mayoral-candidate-carol-moseley-braun-82097">Braun</a> on last week). Oh, and don&rsquo;t forget 53rd ward alderman and mayoral candidate <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-18/weekly-guide-mayoral-candidate-and-53rd-ward-alderman-ed-bus-82513">Ed Bus</a>. <br /><br />On the aldermanic front, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform filed a <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/new-pro-business-pac-sued-to-reveal-donors/">state elections complaint</a> against For a Better Chicago. The watchdog group says the PAC, which is supporting several aldermanic candidates, should have to reveal its donor list. The chairman of For a Better Chicago says that&rsquo;s not true. If you&rsquo;re looking for some good reads on individual aldermanic races, start with the <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/chicago-politics-election-aldermania-wards/Content?oid=3263589 "><em>Chicago Reader</em> story</a> on the 27th, 47th and 32nd wards. <br />The <em>Sun-Times</em> profiled a <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/3545354-417/several-candidates-look-to-keep-political-power-in-family.html ">handful of candidates</a> who are hoping to follow family members into the City Council. The <em>Tribune</em> has a piece on the <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-02-16/news/ct-x-c-46th-ward-race-20110216_1_wilson-yard-vacant-storefronts-uptown">46th ward</a> race--where 11 candidates are running to succeed outgoing alderman Helen Shiller. ABC7 has a <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/politics&amp;id=7965347 ">brief story</a> on the 18 candidates in the 24th ward. The Chicago News Cooperative wrote up the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/18/us/18cncward.html?_r=1&amp;partner=rssnyt&amp;emc=rss ">15th ward</a>. And Progress Illinois covered the issues in the race for the <a href="http://progressillinois.com/posts/content/2011/02/15/checking-aldermanic-races-3rd-ward">3rd ward</a>. <br /><br />Also up for City Council consideration is a proposed Clean Power Ordinance, though it doesn&rsquo;t seem to be going anywhere fast; frustration over that fact was evident in <a href="http://progressillinois.com/posts/content/2011/02/14/ad-hoc-hearing-clean-power-ordinance?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">an unofficial hearing</a> on the issue. The Civic Federation, meanwhile, said they would like future city leaders to consider privatizing <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/elections/3807051-505/group-next-mayor-should-consider-privatizing-everything.html ">all city services</a>. In his way out, Mayor Daley hopes to <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/02/daley-launches-final-gun-control-push.html">tighten gun control </a>for the city and beyond. And don&rsquo;t expect him to fade into oblivion when he&rsquo;s gone&mdash;he&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-il-daley-speakingcir,0,4604996.story">signed up</a> with an agent to launch a new public speaking career. If he&rsquo;s talking to Chicagoans, note that there are considerably fewer of them than there were ten years ago, according to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/us/16illinois.html?_r=1&amp;src=mv ">new Census data</a>, which also reveals a declining African-American population.<br /><br />Another declining population is that of Cook County employees; the Circuit Court Clerk this week issued <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/3820198-417/court-clerk-lays-off-170-county-workers.html ">170 layoffs</a>. On Tuesday, county workers <a href="http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/news/local/chibrknews-cook-county-workers-decry-budget-cuts-20110215,0,4844780.story">spoke out</a> publicly against the ongoing cuts.<br /><br />Governor Pat Quinn is proposing <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a8fe4ddf1-40e8-4fbb-8795-8dc4b6b9fc36&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1EEwhePzG">deep cuts</a> in the budget he introduced this week for his State of the State address. Still, spending would increase by almost $2 billion. As the governor begins work on getting his budget passed, advocates for a ban on the death penalty are <a href="http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2011/02/15/full-court-press-death-penalty-abolition-heats?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">pushing hard</a> to get him to sign a bill that passed 2 months ago. And in news of a former governor, federal prosecutors this week <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/blagojevich-missing-phone-record-116194659.html">refuted</a> Rod Blagojevich&rsquo;s claims that any phone tap tapes were missing&mdash;they say if there&rsquo;s a conversation that&rsquo;s not there, it wasn&rsquo;t recorded. <br /><br />Meanwhile: House Speaker Mike Madigan, who recently went on the record saying he would consider pension changes for current state employees despite claims that it would be unconstitutional, said <a href="http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x1992209634/Pension-changes-likely-to-be-decided-by-state-Supreme-Court">it&rsquo;ll be up to</a> the Illinois Supreme Court to decide that. Another cost-saving measure up for consideration in the General Assembly is a proposal to merge the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer&mdash;that <a href="http://www.sj-r.com/breaking/x2097056262/Comptroller-treasurer-merger-advances-to-Senate">passed out</a> of Senate committee this week. <br /><br />Okie-doke, that&rsquo;s it for this week in review. Let me know if you think we missed anything, and have a great weekend.</p><p><em>Photo by Scott Olson (Getty Images)</em></p></p> Fri, 18 Feb 2011 17:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-18/weekly-political-roundup-february-14th-%E2%80%93-february-18th-82524 The Weekly Political Roundup: February 7th – February 11th http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-11/weekly-political-roundup-february-7th-%E2%80%93-february-11th-82182 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Gery Chico Debate_Getty_Scott Olson.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="328" align="middle" width="456" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-11/Gery Chico Debate_Getty_Scott Olson.JPG" /></p><p style="text-align: left;"><br />Whew. We&rsquo;re just over a week from the municipal elections, and things are getting hot in the race for Chicago mayor - even if it&rsquo;s cold outside.&nbsp; According to the latest <a href="http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/news/local/ct-met-chicago-mayor-race-0211-20110210,0,5959045.story?track=rss&amp;utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ChicagoBreakingNews+%28Chicago+Breaking+News%29"><em>Chicago Tribune</em> poll</a>, Gery Chico is cutting away a bit at Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s lead, raising Chico&rsquo;s hope of forcing a runoff. Emanuel is at 49%, Chico at 19%. Meanwhile, Carol Moseley Braun&rsquo;s support has dropped to 10% and Miguel del Valle&rsquo;s at 8%.</p><p>In response to an earlier <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/3728938-418/tv-mayor-poll-emanuel-in-lead-chico-a-distant-second.html">ABC7 poll</a>, Braun says: <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Moseley-Braun-Accuses-Pollster-of-Lining-Rahms-Pockets-115753604.html">don&rsquo;t believe &lsquo;em</a>. The polling heightens the drama between Chico and Emanuel; this week both revealed their <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/emanuel-chico-unveil-plans-to-slash-spending/">plans to cut spending</a>. For starters, Emanuel says he&rsquo;d cut $75 million within 2 months of taking office. He declined to say what he&rsquo;d do about the city&rsquo;s underfunded pensions. Still, Chico&rsquo;s plan was less specific; though he&rsquo;s indicated in the past that he&rsquo;d favor a 2-tiered pension system, where Emanuel is more likely to cut pensions across the board.<br /><br />That split has city unions supporting Chico; labor is thought to be behind this <a href="http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/11089542/?listtype=ALL">xtranormal video</a> (swear warning!). More officially, public employee union leaders are <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/labor-seeks-money-for-emanuel-rebuttal-ad/">hoping to create</a> an ad rebutting Emanuel&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.chicagoforrahm.com/rahmtv/">new commercial</a> (called &ldquo;Service&rdquo;) that says &ldquo;city government is not an employment agency.&rdquo; Chico also picked up a slew of <a href="http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2011/02/07/endorsements-citizens-actions-slew-skilled-trades-unions?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">trade union endorsements</a> this week, including one from <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/wire/chi-ap-il-chicagomayor-chic,0,2821968.story">firefighters</a>. Emanuel picked up endorsements from the <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-20110204-mayoral-endorsement,0,6092899.story"><em>Tribune</em></a> and the <em>Sun-Times</em> (both late last week), along with Illinois secretary of state <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/02/jesse-white-endorses-rahm-emanuel-for-chicago-mayor.html">Jesse White</a>, and former city inspector general <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/hoffman-endorses-emanuel-for-mayor/">David Hoffman</a>. <br /><br />And we continue to learn more about the candidates: for one, all say they <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/3731413-417/soldier-field-safe-under-next-mayor.html">wouldn&rsquo;t sell</a> naming rights to Soldier Field. But in more serious matters, the LGBT <em>Windy City Times</em> is out with an <a href="http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=30420">election guide</a>, including answers from the candidates to their own questionnaire.</p><p>Also this week, the WCT hosted <a href="http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=30508">a forum</a>&mdash;but only half the candidates (Emanuel, Braun, del Valle) attended due to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-defender/after-blizzard-induced-scheduling-conflict-mayoral-candidates-scramble">a conflict</a> with a <a href="http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2011/02/10/all-mayoral-candidates-share-stage-first-time?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">C<em>hicago Defender</em> forum</a>. All six candidates made it there, sharing the stage in total for the first time during this campaign. All also agreed that African-Americans deserve reparations for slavery, though Emanuel&rsquo;s suggestion that the funds be used for economic development drew a testy response from Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins. Then, on Thursday, Fox Chicago held another forum with all six candidates&mdash;you can watch it in total <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/elections/emanuel-chico-moseley-braun-del-valle-watkins-walls-chicago-mayor-forum-20110211">on their site</a>. <br /><br />In other mayoral campaign news, former Governor Rod Blagojevich made <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/3345611-418/blagojevich-emanuel-staff-trial-gov.html">a cameo</a> when his attorneys <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-us-blagojevichtrial-,0,2339978.story">filed a motion</a> claiming a conversation between him and Emanuel was missing from prosecutors&rsquo; evidence. <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/blago/2011/02/rahm_responds_to_missing_blago.html ">Emanuel said</a> no worries&mdash;he didn&rsquo;t do anything improper in any conversations with Blago. Finally, be sure to check out <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>&rsquo;s one-on-one interviews with the mayoral candidates. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-08/chicago-mayoral-candidate-miguel-del-valle-campaigns-reformer-81970">Del Valle</a> and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-10/chicago-mayoral-candidate-carol-moseley-braun-82097">Braun</a> were both on this week; the rest of the candidates are expected to be on next week. <br /><br />As for the aldermanic races, several are getting attention in the media this week. The open race for the <a href="http://progressillinois.com/posts/content/2011/02/08/checking-aldermanic-races-29th-ward?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">29th ward</a> (formerly Isaac Carothers&rsquo; domain) got a write-up from Progress Illinois, as did <a href="http://progressillinois.com/posts/content/2011/02/10/checking-aldermanic-races-35th-ward?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">the 35th</a>.&nbsp; The <em>Tribune</em> had <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/ct-x-c-43rd-ward-race-0209-20110209,0,2929340.story ">a story</a> on the race to replace Vi Daley in Lincoln Park&rsquo;s 43rd ward. The <em>Sun-Times</em>&rsquo; <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/marin/3722368-452/50th-ward-last-not-least-in-drama.html">Carol Marin says</a> this may be the toughest race incumbent 50th ward alderman Bernie Stone has ever faced. And Greg Hinz has <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a0d640dc5-7c93-4c5b-8a9a-98952ed845ea&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1DfvrzQh9">a wrap-up</a> of a forum he moderated in Uptown&rsquo;s 46th ward. Meanwhile, the <a href="http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2011/02/08/ctu-announces-endorsements-city-council?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">Chicago Teachers Union</a> and <a href="http://progressillinois.com/news/content/2011/02/09/sierra-club-announces-endorsements-city-council-races?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">Sierra Club</a> endorsed candidates for City Council. <br /><br />Meanwhile, the current City Council <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/02/city-council-approves-chicago-firefighter-contract-with-2-percent-raises.html">voted for</a> a 2 percent raise for city firefighters. Airport concession workers are also hoping for a raise&mdash;and a <a href="http://progressillinois.com/posts/content/2011/02/09/concession-workers-chicagos-airports-want-keep-jobs-earn-living-wage?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">proposed city ordinanc</a>e would provide a boost.</p><p>Speaking of airports, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood this week <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-feds-no-ohare-pact-yet-in-airlinescity-talks-20110209,0,749809.story">mediated a meeting</a> between Mayor Daley and the heads of United and American Airlines, with no apparent breakthrough on the issue of O&rsquo;Hare expansion.</p><p>And speaking of concessions, the Taste of Chicago will be <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a00ffaf18-bf0e-4c97-bc1a-664b187fadc5&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1DfvrzQh9">scaled back</a> this year, as Daley hands control of the festival to the Park District.</p><p>Also this week, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/3719623-418/daley-defends-surveillance-cameras-wants-more.html">Daley defended</a> the city&rsquo;s use of surveillance cameras after the ACLU <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/02/08/133600852/in-report-aclu-questions-chicagos-vast-network-of-surveillance-cameras">issued a report </a>saying they violate citizens&rsquo; privacy.</p><p>And <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3aa13bc66b-b062-4bfe-8bf4-64ac2f9ce17c&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1DfvrzQh9">another report</a> this week reviewed the city&rsquo;s pension funds and found them underfunded by $5.1 billion in the past decade.</p><p>Going beyond the city, Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/3738014-417/more-than-100-in-states-attorneys-office-to-get-pink-slips.html">began the process</a> of laying off more than 100 staff members, a day after <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/3721274-418/preckwinkle-alvarez-wrangle-over-10-percent-cuts.html ">pushing back</a> on Board President Toni Preckwinkle&rsquo;s request to make cuts.</p><p>In state business, meanwhile, House Speaker <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/3725598-417/madigan-open-to-discussing-cuts-in-state-pensions.html">Michael Madigan said</a> he might consider cuts to state pensions. And the Senate <a href="http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x167307357/Senate-moves-to-eliminate-loophole-in-state-officials-appointment-process">approved a bill</a> eliminating a loophole that allowed the Governor to indefinitely appoint &ldquo;acting&rdquo; heads of state agencies without getting Senate approval. <br /><br />For Illinois politics in the national realm, Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk are asking for <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/weather/stories/lake-shore-drive-lake-michigan--115527719.html">a federal review</a> of Lake Shore Drive after last week&rsquo;s blizzard caused major problems there (though, for the record, <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/weather/stories/lake-shore-drive-lake-michigan--115527719.html">a poll</a> found that Chicago residents were happy with the city&rsquo;s blizzard response).</p><p>Finally, <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a2924e4af-1da5-4ced-bab6-d61b6d958194&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1DfvrzQh9">Greg Hinz says</a> it looks like several congressmen are already gearing up for the next election&mdash;look out.<br /><br />That&rsquo;s it for this week in review&mdash;let us know if you think we missed anything, and have a great weekend.</p></p> Fri, 11 Feb 2011 18:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-11/weekly-political-roundup-february-7th-%E2%80%93-february-11th-82182 Best Game in Town #23: Snowball politics http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-04/best-game-town-23-snowball-politics-81820 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/BGIT_Getty_Tim Boyle.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 501px; height: 344px;" title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-04/BGIT_Getty_Tim Boyle.JPG" /></p><p>On this week's episode of the WBEZ&nbsp;podcast The Best Game in Town, we reflect on the politics of white stuff--and, no, we're not just talking snow. From a crack controversy early in the week to snow on LSD&nbsp;and dibs, we cover all the angles with the <a href="http://illinoispolicy.org/blog/blog.asp?ArticleSource=3813">Illinois Policy Institute</a>'s Daniel Anthony and 53rd ward <a href="http://53rdward.com">Alderman Ed Bus</a>.</p><p><em>Photo credit: </em><em>Tim Boyle (Getty)</em></p></p> Fri, 04 Feb 2011 21:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-04/best-game-town-23-snowball-politics-81820 The Political Roundup: January 31st – February 4th http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-04/political-roundup-january-31st-%E2%80%93-february-4th-81796 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Snow removal_Getty_Scott Olson.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-04/Snow removal_Getty_Scott Olson.JPG" style="width: 488px; height: 325px;" />&nbsp;</p><p>Missed anything this week in Chicago politics? We have you covered with our weekly digest of the best game in town.</p><p><strong>In the beginning, there was crack</strong></p><p>The blizzard may have hit Chicago on Tuesday, but white stuff started swirling early this week: at a candidate&rsquo;s forum on Sunday, mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/01/31/133374209/carol-moseley-braun-attacks-rival-as-past-crack-user">accused</a> the lesser-known Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins of being a former crack addict. Watkins, who admits to using drugs in the past, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-chicago-mayor-race0201-20110131,0,4129836.story">responded later</a> that Moseley Braun&rsquo;s comments were unbecoming of a mayoral candidate and, by the way, she&rsquo;s never even seen crack. Watkins called for an apology, Moseley Braun initially declined to do so (though eventually did), and Watkins ultimately <a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/02/moseley-braun-urged-to-leave-chicago-mayor%E2%80%99s-race-after-%E2%80%9Cstrung-out-on-crack%E2%80%9D-comment/?iref=obinsite">called for</a> Moseley Braun to leave the race. <br /><br /><strong>Early voting: in like a lamb</strong></p><p>In the meantime, early voting began Monday, with <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Emanuel_Casts_His_Ballot_Chicago-114963974.html">Rahm Emanuel </a>and <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Del_Valle_Casts_His_Ballot_Chicago-114965939.html ">Miguel del Valle</a> getting their ballots in with plenty of time to spare. They weren&rsquo;t the only ones&mdash;plenty of regular folk <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Early-Voting-An-Early-Success-115007164.html">also voted early</a> on Monday&mdash;good move, perhaps, as voting ended up shut down for a few days due to the storm. It&rsquo;s supposed to be <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/business/chicagos-early-voting-sites-expected-reopen-friday">back in swing</a> as of Friday.<br /><br /><strong>Candidates shovel, too</strong></p><p>Oh, and about that storm: it prompted <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a068de7c3-8b72-4d94-b954-6ab29549016c&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com">varied reactions</a> from the mayoral candidates&mdash;from a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE5sVi8MRBk">video</a> of Gery Chico shoveling snow to statements of <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/politics/carol-moseley-braun-rahm-emanuel-gery-chico-miguel-del-valle-chicago-mayor-blizzard-20110202#">some disapproval</a> from other leading candidates over the city&rsquo;s handling of the blizzard, especially on Lake Shore Drive. But when it comes to dibs, <a href="http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2011/02/02/Chicago-mayor-hopefuls-support-spot-saving/UPI-55961296682555/">no probs</a>, say the candidates, aside from Bill &ldquo;Dock&rdquo; Walls.</p><p><strong>Public service announcements</strong><br /><br />But maybe, just maybe, you want to know how the candidates feel about the issues unrelated to snow (or crack). Good news for you: the Chicago News Cooperative has <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/mayoral-candidates-sound-off-on-citys-budget-woes/">in-depth answers</a> from candidates on a questionnaire regarding city budget woes. Equality Illinois has <a href="http://eqil.org/nextmayor.html">answers</a> to a questionnaire on LGBT issues; Greg Hinz <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3adeeac237-b47e-4af3-8766-2250a33ed5df&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1D0h9re9Q">summarized</a> the responses. And NBC Chicago&rsquo;s Ward Room has a nice, quick <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/How-To-Make-Chicago-Less-Congested-114926474.html">roundup</a> of how candidates would improve the city&rsquo;s transportation infrastructure.<br />&nbsp;<br />The <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> put out the word early this week that the paper <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/3568392-474/emanuel-mayor-chicago-candidate-chico.html">endorses Emanuel</a>. Del Valle, natch, disagreed with that editorial board, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/3641950-418/emanuel-del-valle-hdo-chico.html">linking</a> both Emanuel and Chico to convicted former Streets and Sanitation chief Al Sanchez. Sanchez was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/al-sanchez/former-streets-and-sans-head-sentenced-30-months">sentenced</a> this week to 30 months in prison for political corruption.</p><p><strong>More blizzard woes</strong><br /><br />Mayor Daley has largely avoided fallout from his association with Sanchez; this week, he also <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-snow-politics-20110203,0,7314817.story">deflected criticism</a> for his administration&rsquo;s handling of the blizzard. That hasn&rsquo;t stopped some aldermen from dishing some, with some incumbent candidates <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/aldermen-fret-political-fallout-from-blizzard/">worried</a> that they&rsquo;ll bear the political brunt in elections if neighborhood snow removal isn&rsquo;t deemed adequate.</p><p>On the other hand, some of those same aldermen are among the candidates perhaps <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/well-funded-new-political-group-makes-picks/">getting a boost</a> from the group For A Better Chicago. The business-backed PAC issued endorsements earlier this week, and has some money to throw around.<br /><br />Meanwhile, an American Airlines spokeswoman says the blizzard is to blame for the <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-airlines-cancel-meeting-with-daley-20110203,0,6570355.story">cancellation</a> of a meeting with Daley and United Airlines. They were scheduled to talk on Thursday about the troubled plan for O&rsquo;Hare expansion; the Daley administration accused the airlines of stalling.</p><p>And talk of privatizing the Taste of Chicago has officially <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/02/city-hall-rejects-taste-of-chicago-private-takeover.html">stalled</a>, as the administration rejected the lone bid to take it over.</p><p><strong>County cuts coming</strong><br /><br />As for Cook County government, it seems to be <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3aadffc0e0-0fcb-4dff-98b4-05a053e1cfdc&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1D0h9re9Q">full steam ahead</a> for budget cuts&mdash;Board President Toni Preckwinkle put out a proposal on Tuesday calling for some 2,000 layoffs, and County Sherriff Tom Dart seemed to be on board.</p><p>On the Board of Review for Cook County, meanwhile, is Michael Cabonargi. The SEC attorney was <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a859ff0c8-ffa9-4b8c-b05a-67c80288357a&amp;sid=#axzz1D0h9re9Q">appointed</a> to replace Joe Berrios on the board that hears property tax appeals&mdash;47th ward alderman Gene Schulter famously quit his bid for re-election in an effort to snag this position for himself.</p><p><strong>State snow</strong><strong>ed out</strong></p><p>Not too much happened this week in the realm of state politics&mdash;the legislative session and committee meetings were all <a href="http://progressillinois.com/news/content/2011/01/31/general-assembly-cancels-work-week-because-snow?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">cancelled</a> due to the blizzard.</p><p>On Monday, though, Governor Pat Quinn <a href="http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/illinois-governor-signs-civil-union-law/?partner=rssnyt&amp;emc=rss ">signed a bill</a> legalizing civil unions in the state. The law goes into effect June 1st. Last Friday, State Rep. Deb Mell said <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/%5Bfield_program_ref-title-raw%5D/civil-unions-law-state-rep-deb-mell-pushes-gay-marria">now&rsquo;s the time</a> to push for gay marriage.<br /><br /><strong>Some D.C. bits</strong></p><p>And in Washington, a repeal of last year&rsquo;s health care legislation was <a href="http://progressillinois.com/news/content/2011/02/03/effort-repeal-health-care-reform-dies-senate?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">killed</a> in the Senate. Sen. Mark Kirk was among those voting for the repeal.</p><p>Also this week, 8th district Congressman Joe Walsh (who unseated Melissa Bean) <a href="http://progressillinois.com/news/content/2011/02/03/effort-repeal-health-care-reform-dies-senate?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">scored</a> a House subcommittee chairmanship&mdash;a significant get for a freshman. <br /><br />That&rsquo;s it for the political week in review&mdash;let me know if we missed anything, and get some rest from shoveling this weekend!</p></p> Fri, 04 Feb 2011 18:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-04/political-roundup-january-31st-%E2%80%93-february-4th-81796 Watkins: 'I've never used crack in my life. I've never even seen crack.' http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/watkins-ive-never-used-crack-my-life-ive-never-even-seen-crack <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/PWatkins_lowerres.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe height="349" frameborder="0" width="425" allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OlZ-XH53_A8" type="text/html" class="youtube-player" title="YouTube video player"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: left;"><b><i><br /></i></b>Patricia Van Pelt Watkins can laugh about it now, but you can still hear the astonishment in her voice. &ldquo;I was amazed that she would say something like that,&rdquo; Watkins said. She was referring, of course, to Carol Moseley Braun&rsquo;s accusation Sunday night at a mayoral forum at Trinity United Church on the far South Side that Watkins was too &ldquo;strung out on crack&rdquo; to know about her accomplishments in the last few years.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve never used crack in my life, never even seen crack,&rdquo; Watkins said, though she&rsquo;s never denied that from the time she was 11 to 21 she was deeply involved with liquor, marijuana and, in the latter years, cocaine. &ldquo;But I&rsquo;ve been clean for 32 years,&rdquo; said Watkins, who&rsquo;s 53. &ldquo;I think she&rsquo;s out of control, that&rsquo;s what&rsquo;s happening. I asked for an apology, but I don&rsquo;t think she&rsquo;s going to apologize to me cuz she&rsquo;s going around saying she&rsquo;s not apologizing for telling the truth.&rdquo;</p> <p>The outburst occurred because Watkins had questioned Braun&rsquo;s commitment to the community &ndash; a perfectly legitimate issue at a mayoral forum in which candidates position themselves against each other and in the best light. Watkins said Braun had been &ldquo;missing in action and lost somewhere.&rdquo; Watkins&rsquo; point was that Braun was disconnected.</p> <p>And Braun, perhaps furious because Watkins &ndash; another black woman &ndash; has dared to challenge her status as the &ldquo;consensus&rdquo; black candidate and, in fact, beat her in fundraising since the start of the year, $500,000 to $446,000, did exactly what she&rsquo;d said she wanted Chicagoans to see Rahm Emanuel do: she blew her top.</p> <p>&ldquo;Patricia, the reason you didn&rsquo;t know who I was for the last 20 years is because you were strung out on crack,&rdquo; Braun said.</p> <p>Before Braun&rsquo;s outburst, I&rsquo;d reached out to the Watkins campaign because readers had been consistently asking that I include her in observations about the mayoral race. And I do want to give Watkins her due, as a real and legitimate candidate for mayor and not just in reaction to Braun.</p> <p>Watkins has earned her stripes: She&rsquo;s a high school drop out who earned a PhD, a former public housing resident who grew up to work hand in hand with the likes of former Governor Jim Edgar and current White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley on projects all over the city but particularly in the poorest and most neglected neighborhoods.</p> <p>&ldquo;If Carol thinks I could do all that on crack, well &hellip;&rdquo; she says, then laughs again, but it&rsquo;s still with a kind of amazement at what happened.</p> <p>Right now, though, I just want to address this simple point to Braun: On West 95th Street, at a church renowned for its outreach to the most damaged of souls, where the drug and alcohol ministry is celebrated for its success in turning people&rsquo;s lives around, calling a successful and recovered drug user a crackhead actually makes Watkins&rsquo; point.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ll have more of my conversation with Patricia Van Pelt Watkins Thursday.</p><p><strong>UPDATE</strong>: Carol Moseley Braun issued an apology late this afternoon to Patricia Van Pelt Watkins. It's reproduced below in its entirety. For me, the most significant part is what's not in the text: After the press conference in which she issued her statement, Braun was asked if she'd called Watkins personally. Again, a perfectly reasonable question, as apologies are generally a personal matter, especially when the offense is so personal. Braun's response? &quot;I think my words speak for themselves.&quot; And again I say: They certainly do.</p><p>Here's Braun's text:</p><p><em><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial;">Patricia Van Pelt Watkins said she does not expect an apology from me. She is wrong. &nbsp;I want to apologize to her, to the congregations and members of Trinity United Church and of New Pilgrim Missionary Baptist church and to all of the families and friends of those who are, or who have been caught up in the tragedy of drug use.&nbsp; I meant no disrespect of the sanctuaries in which campaign tensions spilled over, nor to the pastors of those churches, nor to the people for whom those safe havens of hope are so important.&nbsp; Both of those congregations were performing an important civic duty in providing their communities an opportunity to examine the candidates, and I regret any intemperance in remarks made there.&nbsp; </span></font> <font face="Arial" style="font-size: 12px;"> </font> </em></p><p><em><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial;">I also want to sincerely extend my support to those families who are suffering or have suffered from the trauma of drug use and abuse.&nbsp; I know what it is to feel powerless, and conflicted, and grief about the choices of a loved one who resorts to drug use.&nbsp; Just recently, a student questioned me at the WTTW forum about what could the city do about the flood of drugs in our communities, and she bravely revealed that she had a brother who was caught up in drug use.&nbsp; </span></font></em><em> <font face="Arial" style="font-size: 12px;"> </font> </em></p><p><em>I </em><em><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial;">tried to help her understand that it was not her fault, or her parents, or her community, even, and that I hoped her brother would find another way,</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial;"> and restore himself to the family. I shared with her my own experience, having lost </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial;">a dear brother to a drug overdose. I </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial;">know the pain she must have.&nbsp; Illegal drug use can hit anyone &ndash; my entire family was and is in law enforcement, and yet one of us became and died a drug addict.&nbsp; </span></font></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em><p><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial;">That is why as Mayor of Chicago, I promise to do all I can to rid our communities of the scourge of drugs, and the violence and despair they bring. You can read more about my proposal on my website. </span></font></p> </em></p><p><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial;">Thank you again for your understanding, patience and continued support.</span></font></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em><br /></em><em> <font face="Arial" style="font-size: 12px;"> </font> </em><em><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial;">Carol Moseley Braun</span></font></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 01 Feb 2011 12:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/watkins-ive-never-used-crack-my-life-ive-never-even-seen-crack The Long Weekender: A January 10th-17th political roundup http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/long-weekender-january-10th-17th-political-roundup <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Quinn.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 465px; height: 316px;" alt="" title="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-17/Quinn.jpg" /></p><p>Who knew Fridays could be so short? Better late than never, we&rsquo;re here on a holiday with your weekly digest of the best game in town. <br /><br /><strong>Mayoral race shapes up</strong></p><p>We start, as usual, at the top of the ticket: Early on last week, the race for Chicago mayor was whittled down to <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/01/its-down-to-six-candidates-on-chicago-mayoral-ballot.html">six candidates</a> as James Meeks and Danny Davis were officially dropped from the <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/dm/general/document_3259.pdf">Board of Election Commissioners list</a> (pdf) and a few lesser-known candidates were knocked off. A <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2011/01/rahm_emanuel_grows_lead_in_tea.html">new poll</a>, conducted January 4-6 and released last week, shows Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s lead growing to 42 percent. Carol Moseley Braun is coming in second at 26 percent, followed by Gery Chico at 10 percent and Miguel del Valle at 7 percent, with a margin of error of 4 points. Despite their trailing positions, Chico and del Valle remained adamant that neither plans to drop out for the purposes of presenting a Latino <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/african-american/mayoral-candidates-could-split-chicago-vote to voters">consensus candidate</a>. Chico may have gained an extra edge with <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/3228983-417/gutierrez-chico-chicago-gery-candidate.html">an endorsement</a> early in the week from Congressman Luis Gutierrez, and then there&rsquo;s the matter of campaign cash&mdash;Chico flexed his money muscle with his first <a href="http://www.gerychicoformayor.com/gery_media.aspx">television ad</a> buy. <br /><br />Now, if polls and TV ads don&rsquo;t satisfy your desire for information on the candidates, never fear! We learned more on the issues last week as well. The Chicago News Cooperative got <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/emanuel-says-he-favors-reduced-pensions-for-current-city-workers-not-just-new-hires/">a scoop</a>, finding out that Emanuel, unlike the other major candidates in the race, favors a reduction in pension benefits for existing city employees. In contrast, del Valle, Braun, and Chico all say they would go for a two-tiered pension system, with existing employees keeping their full benefits and new employees starting with reduced retirement plans. <br /><br />Emanuel also let us in on his <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/01/emanuel-wants-more-cops-but-opposes-shifting-district-resources.html">anti-crime plans</a>: he says he&rsquo;d add 1000 new police officers, for starters. He wasn&rsquo;t the only one talking crime&mdash;Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/metro/patricia-van-pelt-watkins-fewer-shootings-mayors-race-20110110">promised</a> a 20 percent drop in shootings if elected mayor.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Editorial board season</strong></p><p>Braun, meanwhile, got <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a3a31a72b-b07c-4304-8dc4-32e07f6c7d4b&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1B9WXn4Tk">down to business</a> with the<em> Crain&rsquo;s</em> editorial board. She told them she&rsquo;s more interested in a third airport than O&rsquo;Hare expansion, and suggested she might re-do the city parking meter lease deal once she un-does the current one. Braun also visited the <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/3265248-418/braun-doing-race-mayor-chicago.html"><em>Sun-Times</em> editorial board</a>, telling them it&rsquo;s not so important to elect a black mayor as it is to elect the best mayor.<br /><br />And then there was the <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/elections/ct-met-chicago-mayor-race-0115-20110114,0,6885768.story"><em>Tribune</em> editorial board</a> meeting Friday (<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/chi-ed-board-video-mmg,0,7490509.gallery">video here</a>)&nbsp;with not just Braun, but Chico, del Valle and Emanuel as well. The headline from the unofficial debate held there was &ldquo;Emanuel&rsquo;s rivals gang up on him.&rdquo; The quote of the day came from Braun, who at one point insisted, &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s talk about tampons&rdquo; in reference to a comment Emanuel allegedly made while working in the White House as President Obama&rsquo;s Chief of Staff. Also Friday, Emanuel was a hot topic at a forum held by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee rights, where panelists questioned his commitment to immigrants. The <em>Christian Science Monitor</em> <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/2011/0115/Chicago-s-Latinos-get-an-earful-on-Rahm-Emanuel-s-immigration-record">explored both sides</a> of that debate.</p><p><strong>PAC-ing City Council</strong></p><p>Another question for Emanuel last week: how connected is he to a new <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/new-pac-may-counter-union-push-in-election/">political action committee</a> that claims to have $1 million in the bank? Not very, <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/emanuel-not-tied-to-new-political-group-aide/">says an aide</a>, though Emanuel&rsquo;s former congressional campaign manager is leading the group, called <em>For a Better Chicago</em>. According to the Chicago News Cooperative, the business-backed group seems poised to counter an <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/labor-laying-ground-for-gains-in-council-races/">upcoming union push</a> for aldermanic votes. The brewing battle should be interesting to watch in the weeks ahead.</p><p>Regardless of who is backed by either camp, two candidates scored some political points last week when Mayor Daley <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-daley-interim-aldermen-20110112,0,1175143.story">appointed them</a> to occupy vacant seats in the council. Timothy Cullerton is in the 38th ward; Jason Ervin in the 28th. Shirley Newsome was appointed to the 4th but she&rsquo;s not running for election. The new appointees are subject to Council approval.<br /><br />Also in City Council business last week, a proposed ordinance to use TIF funds for affordable housing <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/open-meeting-act-thwarts-affordable-housing-ordinance">was delayed</a>; the measure has been in play for over a year. Meanwhile, Alderman Joe Moreno (1st) introduced a <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/3295396-417/convicted-appeal-moreno-chicago-corruption.html">new ordinance</a> to prevent city employees who are convicted of corruption from receiving a paycheck while awaiting sentencing. Earlier in the week, the <em>Sun-Times</em> r<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/3154022-417/convicted-employees-john-resa-says.html">eported</a> that nine former city employees had been paid even after being convicted of corruption. <br /><br />In other city news, Mayor Daley <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/criminal-justice/daley-keep-weis-after-contract-expires">announced</a> that Chicago Police chief Jody Weis would stay on the job after his contract expires in March, at least until Daley&rsquo;s term ends in May. No longer overseeing the City Council Police Committee is Alderman Anthony Beale (9th)&mdash;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/3297585-418/police-committee-beale-ald-council.html">word is</a> that he angered rank-and-file police officers with a number of measures, including a plan to reallocate police resources. Alderman Michelle Harris (8th) is the new Police Committee chairman; Ald. Beale now heads the powerful Transportation Committee.</p><p><strong>Lame duck business</strong></p><p>Easily rivaling the mayoral race beat this week was news from Springfield. Governor Pat Quinn was sworn in to a full 4-year term and not long after, he <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-13/news/ct-met-quinn-signs-tax-hike-20110113_1_tax-hike-tax-rate-income-tax">signed a bill</a> to raise the state's personal income tax rate by 67 percent. The problem is, it&rsquo;s not enough&mdash;both <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/analysis-why-67-tax-increase-doesnt-end-illinois-budget-problem">outside analysts</a> and the governor&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a55245237-f111-4569-8fae-3505609a3feb&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1B9WXn4Tk">budget director</a> warn that a pretty substantial hole remains. At least for now, an <a href="http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110111/news/701129731/">expansion of gambling</a> won&rsquo;t help to fill it.&nbsp; That proposal never made it to the House floor. The tax hike has some folks upset enough to <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/governor-quinn-recall-tax-hike-113536369.html">try for a recall</a> of the governor. Most of the <a href="http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2011/01/13/save-del-valle-and-watkins-mayoral-wannabes-dont-tax-deal?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">mayoral candidates</a>, by the way, are also not too happy about the hike. <br /><br />Whether Quinn signs or vetoes a bill repealing the death penalty, he&rsquo;ll be sure to ignite passions on one side of the controversial issue. The Senate <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/3261946-418/death-state-illinois-penalty-senate.html">passed that legislation</a> early last week. The lame-duck legislature also sent the governor a bill to <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/01/lawmakers-vote-to-roll-back-free-transit-rides-for-seniors.html">scale back</a> the program that provides free transit rides to seniors&mdash;if Quinn signs it, only lower-income riders will now get that perk.</p><p><strong>Look ahead</strong><br /><br />That&rsquo;s the past week in political news&mdash;let us know if you think we missed something. And get ready for another week full of action: tonight&rsquo;s the first televised <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2011/01/wttws_chicago_tonight_hosts_fi.html">mayoral debate</a>&mdash;on WTTW Channel 11&mdash;and the first debate where Emanuel will participate. Tomorrow, <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/bill-clinton-chicago-campaign-rahm-emanuel-113495764.html">Bill Clinton is in town</a> to campaign for Emanuel. And later in the week, Chinese President <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-china-visit-0113-20110112,0,5599198.story">Hu Jintao</a> will be in Chicago.</p></p> Mon, 17 Jan 2011 17:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/long-weekender-january-10th-17th-political-roundup Mayoral education questionnaires http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-mayoral-election/mayoral-education-questionnaires <p><p><img width="600" height="44" title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Partner-Logos-email.jpg" /></p><p>WBEZ&nbsp;teamed up with <audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1328070153-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-january/2011-01-17/20110117-c.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>&nbsp;</p><table cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="0" align="left" style="width: 600px; height: 1269px;"><tbody><tr><td width="285" bordercolor="#ffffff"><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-questionnaire-gery-chico"><img width="200" height="200" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/GERYCHICOedit.jpg" alt="" title="" /></a></p></td><td width="302"><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-questionnaire-gery-chico"><strong>Gery Chico</strong></a></p><p><em>This isn&rsquo;t about politics, it&rsquo;s about doing the best job we can for our kids.&nbsp; </em></p></td></tr><tr><td width="285" bordercolor="#ffffff"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-questionnaire-miguel-del-valle"><img width="200" height="200" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/MIGUELDELVALLEedit.jpg" alt="" title="" /></a></td><td width="302"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-questionnaire-miguel-del-valle"><strong>Miguel Del Valle</strong></a><p><em>We need to invest public resources in a way that ensures that every neighborhood school is a quality school.</em></p></td></tr><tr><td width="285" bordercolor="#ffffff"><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-questionnaire-rahm-emanuel"><img width="200" height="200" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/RAHMARRIVES2edit.jpg" alt="" title="" /></a></p></td><td width="302"><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-questionnaire-rahm-emanuel"><strong>R</strong><strong>ahm Emanuel</strong></a></p><p><em>I approach every education decision with one question: how do we better educate our children. </em></p></td></tr><tr><td width="285">&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-questionnaire-carol-moseley-braun"><img width="200" height="200" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Braun2_by_Chip_Mitchelledit.jpg" alt="" title="" /></a></td><td width="302"><p><em>&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-questionnaire-carol-moseley-braun"><strong>Carol Moseley Braun</strong></a></p><p><em>I support having somebody with a proven track record in education to lead the school system.<br /></em></p></td></tr><tr><td width="285">&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-questionnaire-patricia-van-pelt-watkins"><img width="200" height="200" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Watkins1_by_Chip_Mitchelledit.jpg" alt="" title="" /></a></td><td width="302"><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-questionnaire-patricia-van-pelt-watkins"><strong>Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins</strong></a></p><p><em>I believe in creating as many opportunities as possible for our students to have access to a quality public education.&nbsp; </em></p></td></tr><tr><td width="285">&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-questionnaire-william-doc-walls-iii"><img width="200" height="200" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/WILLIAMWALLSedit.jpg" alt="" title="" /></a></td><td width="302"><p>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-questionnaire-william-doc-walls-iii"><strong>William &quot;Doc&quot; Walls, III</strong></a></p><p><em>Our objective is provide a superior public school education for each and every individual child. </em></p></td></tr></tbody></table><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>The Questions:</strong><br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-question-1">Do you want control of the Chicago Public Schools? If so, how should Board of Education members be selected? Should some of them be elected?</a><br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-question-2">Do you believe the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools should be an educator? Why or why not? What are the main qualities you would look for?</a><br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-question-3">Should the School Board conduct a national search for a new schools chief?</a><br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-question-4">Chicago has the shortest school day among large, urban districts. What would you do about that?</a><br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-question-5">CPS is looking at another enormous deficit for the 2011-2012 school year &ndash; under the teachers&rsquo; union contract, salaries are scheduled to rise another 4 percent, and federal stimulus money will be gone. How do you get out of that mess?</a> <br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-question-6">Would you support the closing of low-performing and under-enrolled schools? Why or why not?</a><br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-question-7">Would you support the continued expansion of charter schools in Chicago? Why or why not?</a> <br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-question-8">Do think it is it too hard to fire bad teachers who have tenure? If so, what do you think should be done about that?</a> <br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-question-9">Should seniority govern teacher layoffs? If not, how would you recommend that future layoffs be handled?</a><br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-question-10">In New York and Los Angeles, controversy has erupted over whether teacher evaluations should be made public or shared with parents. Is that a good idea? Would you push to share evaluations with parents in Chicago?</a><br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-question-11">Do schools have a role in stopping youth violence?&nbsp; If so, what should schools do, and how would you support their efforts?</a><br /><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/page/education-question-12">What would success with your education agenda look like at the end of your first term?</a></p></p> Mon, 17 Jan 2011 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-mayoral-election/mayoral-education-questionnaires The Friday Political Roundup: January 3rd-7th http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/friday-political-roundup-january-3rd-7th <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/braun_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Mayoral money, tax talk, and a new Congress commences.</em></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em><img style="width: 462px; height: 347px;" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-07/braun.jpg" alt="" title="" /></em></p><p>Missed anything this week in Chicago politics? We&rsquo;re back after a holiday hiatus with your weekly digest of the best game in town. <br /><br /><strong>Money on the mind</strong><br />This was the first full week of a 2011 mayor&rsquo;s race sans Danny Davis, with Carol Moseley Braun as the anointed African-American &ldquo;consensus candidate.&rdquo; That leaves Chicago with four frontrunners, based on polling data (check out the <a href="http://www.chicagomayoralscorecard.com/">Chicago Mayoral Scorecard</a> for the latest data): Braun, Gery Chico, Miguel Del Valle, and Rahm Emanuel. And the focus this week has been on money, in the bank and on the issues.<br /><br />In the horse race for cash, Gery Chico announced that he&rsquo;s raised over $2.5 million. Braun&rsquo;s not revealing her numbers yet; Del Valle wants voters to know he is and will be the &ldquo;<a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/01/del-valle-says-hell-be-poorest-chicago-mayoral-fundraiser.html">poorest candidate</a>&rdquo; with roundabouts $150,000 in the campaign coffers. Meanwhile, assumptions are that Emanuel&rsquo;s squarely in the lead, with <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;uid=1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35c&amp;plckPostId=Blog:1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost:2a4d9ccc-c1d6-4d90-b081-03f778fc2975&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest#axzz1ABHHBPyS">speculation</a> that he may have raised as much as $10 million &ndash; a guess with evidence on your television screen. The Chicago News Cooperative has some great <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/flush-emanuel-campaign-making-big-tv-push/">analysis</a> of the costs involved. But Emanuel&rsquo;s not the only one with a TV ad. Long shot candidate Patricia Van Pelt Watkins is generating <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/05/patricia-watkins-tv-ad-is_n_804939.html">some buzz</a> with a cable spot. NBC Chicago&rsquo;s Ward Room has <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Patricia-Watkins-QA-113076634.html">an interview</a> with the candidate.</p><p><strong>Taxing talk</strong><br />Personal finances have also been an issue this week, with Braun the latest to release her tax returns&mdash;we&rsquo;ve got <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/moseley-brauns-tax-returns-reflect-money-woes">the details</a> now for each of the four major candidates. The release has caused a little bit of trouble for Braun, with some bristly <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/elections/ct-met-chicago-mayor-race-0106-20110105,0,6754696.story">reaction</a> to media questions about the losses she reported. The <em>Chicago </em><em>Tribune</em> also <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-chicago-mayor-race-0107-20110106,0,4644874.story">reported</a> that she&rsquo;s had some difficulty paying property taxes on time. But, as the <em>Sun-Times</em> <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/elections/3175726-505/braun-income-meeks-carol-mayor.html">reports</a>, Braun&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/carol-moseley-braun-tax-returns-show-financial-woe/">money woes</a> aren&rsquo;t fazing some of her biggest supporters.</p><p>Speaking of taxes, Braun says she won&rsquo;t raise any in a <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-04/braun-chico-hit-chicago-s-parking-meter-deal.html">plan</a> to rid Chicago of the much maligned meter lease deal. Gery Chico agreed that it was a raw deal, but said that the billion-dollar transaction couldn&rsquo;t be undone, certainly not without raising taxes. Greg Hinz has some <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3ad13758f6-a244-4f6d-9b3f-ed692c762f3c&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com">analysis</a> on the likelihood of ditching the lease: don&rsquo;t hold your breath.</p><p>But if it&rsquo;s revenue we&rsquo;re looking for, Emanuel has an idea: put ads on city stickers. Maybe you didn&rsquo;t notice the announcement, but city clerk candidate Susana Mendoza did &mdash;<a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/emanuel-plan-familiar-to-clerk-candidate/">she says</a> she had the idea first. When it comes to raising money for his campaign, Emanuel&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2011/01/06/Emanuel-opens-online-store/UPI-39891294344590/">opened</a> an online store to sell &ldquo;Chicago for Rahm&rdquo; swag. But if you&rsquo;re more concerned about the money in your own pocket, Chico is out this week with a <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/3157092-420/chico-jobs-business-chicago-mayor.html">jobs plan</a>: he says he&rsquo;ll create a deputy mayor position to focus on cultivating business and jobs. <a href="http://www.delvalleformayor.com/2010/12/good-jobs-and-economic-development_13.html ">Del Valle</a> and <a href="http://carolforchicago.com/issues/jobs/ ">Braun</a> also have job creation platforms.</p><p><strong>More on the mayor&rsquo;s race</strong><br />This week, we also learned that all four major candidates have a crime platform that includes <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-us-chicago-mayor-police-chief,0,6181381.story">firing</a> police superintendent Jody Weis. He&rsquo;s fighting back, with an unusually high media availability: he spoke at length with both the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-05/ap-interview-chicago-s-top-cop-defends-leadership.html">AP</a> and the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/03/jody-weis-speaks-out-i-pr_n_803584.html">Huffington Post</a>. <br /><br />Also not going quietly is attorney Burt Odelson, who&rsquo;s still leading the charge to get Emanuel knocked off the ballot. A Cook County Circuit Court judge <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/3154288-418/emanuel-odelson-court-residency-run.html">ruled</a> that Emanuel could stay in the race, but Odelson said he&rsquo;ll appeal. Provided Emanuel stays on the ballot, he&rsquo;ll be on camera on January 27th for the first <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2011/01/four_major_chicago_mayoral_can.html">mayoral debate</a>, along with Braun, Chico, and Del Valle.<br /><br />And don&rsquo;t forget about the aldermanic candidates&mdash;you can check out their websites on the new supersite <a href="http://www.aldermanicwebsites.com/">Aldermanic Websites</a>.</p><p><strong>It&rsquo;s called Taste of Food!</strong><br />Finally, we&rsquo;d be remiss to let Friday go by without the Mayor Daley quote of the week. Responding to a suggestion that the Taste of Chicago might end up with a $20 admittance fee, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/economy/daley-says-taste-admission-should-be-free">he said</a> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s called Taste of Food. We&rsquo;re not in it for the music.&rdquo; Well, that, of course, depends on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/privatizing-taste-what-changed-daley-november">who you ask</a>.<br /><br /><strong>Veto session gets busy</strong><br />Leading Illinois state political news is the <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a8ecbf0b3-326b-4888-86dd-1b72873caaa8&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1ANjLr7wo">apparent deal</a> among Democratic leadership to hike corporate and individual state taxes by 75%. Keeping in mind that they&rsquo;re SEIU-funded, you may want to check out Progress Illinois&rsquo;s <a href="http://progressillinois.com/posts/content/2011/01/07/breaking-down-illinois-proposed-tax-deal?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">detailed breakdown</a> of the plan. And keep an eye out early next week to see how it all comes out. <br /><br />Keep an eye out, also, to see how the Senate votes on a plan to abolish the death penalty in Illinois. The House <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-illinois-house-death-penalty-v20110106,0,6165035.story">voted</a> &ldquo;yay&rdquo; earlier this week. <br /><br /><strong>Chicago in the capital</strong><br />And the big story nationally: Mayor Daley&rsquo;s brother Bill Daley is headed to the White House to serve as President Obama&rsquo;s Chief of Staff. The buzz on that news is that it may <a href="http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/01/would-bill-daley-signal-a-move-to-the-center.html">signal a shift</a> to the right/center for Obama. <em>Fortune</em> <a href="http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/01/06/finance-types-praise-daley/">reports</a> that finance types are jazzed about the appointment, and Republican Senator <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/05/mark-kirk-supports-bill-d_n_804729.html">Mark Kirk</a> is, too. <br /><br />As the 112th Congress got underway this week, the right was in the spotlight: Illinois&rsquo; 5 new GOP congressmen were <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-05/news/ct-met-illinois-delegation-0106-20110105_1_schilling-family-phil-hare-adam-kinzinger">sworn in</a>. And Kirk was also sworn in for his first full term. The Ward Room has his 15-point anti-spending <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Mark-Kirks-15-Point-Plan-to-Cut-Spending-113014624.html">plan</a>, while Greg Hinz <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a5f4656c5-e24c-4ff9-a8a4-3a1db8139b9b&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1ANjLr7wo">teases out</a> a possible caveat.&nbsp; <br /><br />That&rsquo;s the Friday political roundup&mdash;let me know if you think I missed anything, and have a great weekend.</p></p> Fri, 07 Jan 2011 21:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/friday-political-roundup-january-3rd-7th Mayoral hopefuls face off at activist forum http://www.wbez.org/story/big-box/mayoral-hopefuls-face-activist-forum <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/DelValle3.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago mayoral candidates are facing each other in three forums this week. But former White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel isn&rsquo;t participating in any of them.<br /><br />At a community activist forum Tuesday night, several of Emanuel&rsquo;s competitors slammed him as they pointed to an empty seat with his name on it. <br /><br />City Clerk Miguel del Valle accused Emanuel of stalling efforts to overhaul the nation&rsquo;s immigration laws. &ldquo;The individual who was supposed to sit in this chair is the individual most responsible for blocking immigration reform in the United States as a congressman [and] as the chief of staff to the president,&rdquo; del Valle said. &ldquo;How are we to expect him to protect the rights of immigrants in this city? It won&rsquo;t happen.&rdquo;<br /><br />The only other candidate hit with criticism was lobbyist Gery Chico. Former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun answered a question about Chicago school closings by pointing to Chico&rsquo;s years as school board president. &ldquo;Quite frankly, Mr. Chico, you need to be responsible for some of the things that went on with the Chicago public schools,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;We can do better. Our future depends on it.&rdquo;<br /><br />Chico responded. &ldquo;In 1995, the Illinois General Assembly said our schools were in crisis, long before I got there. And by the time I left in 2001, we were on the upswing,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t close schools. We built them.&rdquo;<br /><br />About 2,000 people attended the forum, sponsored by New Chicago 2011, a coalition of more than two-dozen groups. It took place at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Besides education, topics included violence prevention, human rights, jobs and housing.<br /><br /><strong>To hear the entire 74-minute forum, select &ldquo;Listen to this Story&rdquo; (above). Note that forum organizers turned off the microphone whenever a candidate exceeded a time limit.</strong></p></p> Wed, 15 Dec 2010 06:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/big-box/mayoral-hopefuls-face-activist-forum