WBEZ | Alderman Joe Moreno http://www.wbez.org/tags/alderman-joe-moreno Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Shadowy lobbyists influence rideshare debate http://www.wbez.org/news/shadowy-lobbyists-influence-rideshare-debate-109770 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Rideshare lawsuit_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The fight over the future of ridesharing in Chicago is increasingly being waged through shadowy lobbyists. This has some aldermen concerned about how that could influence the current regulatory debate.</p><p>At a hearing at City Council&rsquo;s Joint Committee on Transportation and Finance on Monday, some noted that the lobbying activity on the issue appeared different from the usual at City Hall. They said they were disturbed by the apparent emergence of advocates for ride-sharing companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, who have not identified their interests upfront.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m concerned with the amount of lobbyists on this that we won&rsquo;t hear from today,&rdquo; said Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), after noting that he had been handed an unmarked packet of information on his way into the hearing, with no information about its source. &ldquo;I&rsquo;d like to see all the lobbyists come up and forward on who we&rsquo;re dealing with and what&rsquo;s happening in this controversy here.&rdquo;</p><p>Ridesharing services offer smartphone apps to connect people with cars to people who need rides. Drivers do not have public chauffeur licenses, and they use their personal vehicles. Lately, several cities in the country, including Chicago, have been considering whether, and how, to regulate these services to ensure public safety.</p><p>Earlier this month, city officials offered <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/city-moves-regulate-rideshare-companies-109639" target="_blank">competing proposals</a> on rules for ridesharing. Almost immediately, media outlets (including WBEZ) began receiving phone calls and emails about the issue from a public relations firm that did not immediately identify its ties to the ridesharing industry.</p><p>A Chicago-based communications firm called Resolute Consulting has offered to connect reporters with community-based organizations in neighborhoods such as Little Village, Belmont-Cragin and Pilsen, who support ridesharing services. It did not initially disclose that its client is Uber, one of the technology companies behind a ridesharing app.</p><p>The consulting firm similarly publicized a press conference led by Alderman Joe Moreno (1st) just minutes before Monday&rsquo;s committee hearing on ridesharing rules. Moreno was joined by drivers and passengers of ridesharing services to voice support of &ldquo;reasonable regulations&rdquo; for the technologies.</p><p>&ldquo;Today is, I think, the difference between the Flintstones and the Jetsons,&rdquo; said Moreno. &ldquo;And we&rsquo;re here today to support the Jetsons.&rdquo;</p><p>Moreno said regulating ridesharing services under taxi rules, as proposed in a resolution by Aldermen Anthony Beale (9th) and Ed Burke (14th), would stifle innovation in Chicago. Other supporters at the press conference said they feel safe using ridesharing services, and that driving for these services helps them supplement low incomes.</p><p>They denied that a company had lobbied them to be at the press conference, with Moreno adding that riders, drivers and the industry are organizing on their own around the issue. But reporters were handed unlabeled, white folders containing reports about Uber, copies of letters written to the city on behalf of Uber, and other information highlighting troubles within the city&rsquo;s taxi industry. Resolute Consulting&rsquo;s name is nowhere cited in the packet, though a listed contact&rsquo;s name and number are associated with the company.</p><p>Additionally, all the riders and drivers present at the press conference disclosed, upon being asked, that they were only affiliated with Uber, rather than other ridesharing companies. Afterward, a consultant for Resolute told WBEZ that Uber had put out a request to its members to organize on behalf of limiting city regulations. Alderman Moreno admitted that he had met with an Uber lobbyist, whose name, he said, he could not recall. But he maintained that his advocacy on the issue was motivated by concerns he had heard from constituents who use the service.</p><p>&ldquo;There are lobbyists on both sides of this issue,&rdquo; Moreno offered at the committee hearing, in response to Fioretti&rsquo;s suggestion that ridesharing companies have been surreptitious in their lobbying effort. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not just lobbyists that are on the rideshare side,&rdquo; he added, &ldquo;There&rsquo;s lobbyists that we all know that are on the taxi side of this, as well.&rdquo;</p><p>Interests aligned with the taxi industry have also mounted their own public campaign. In recent weeks, public relations firm Edelman has reached out to the media on behalf of client Taxi Magic, which produces an alternative transportation app. Taxi Magic partners with nine metro area cab companies, including Yellow Cab and Checker. Yellow is among several plaintiffs who recently filed a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cab-livery-companies-sue-city-over-rideshare-companies-109655" target="_blank">federal lawsuit</a> against the City of Chicago, demanding that the city regulate ridesharing apps as it does their industry.</p><p>The coalition of companies behind the lawsuit have also hired former Daley administration lawyer, and City Hall insider, Mara Georges to represent their interests to aldermen in this debate. At Monday&rsquo;s committee hearing, Georges started off testimony by offering evidence to bolster Aldermen Burke and Beale&rsquo;s resolution to treat ridesharing companies the same as taxis.</p><p>In 2014, city data show the industry has four registered lobbyists at City Hall. Among ridesharing companies, Uber has three and Lyft has one. A single lobbyist represents taxi drivers&rsquo; interests.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/shadowy-lobbyists-influence-rideshare-debate-109770 At midterm, Emanuel still cozy with City Council http://www.wbez.org/news/midterm-emanuel-still-cozy-city-council-107199 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS760_114218744-scr (1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hits his midterm Thursday in office, the city&rsquo;s 50-member City Council is also marking a milestone: two years under a new mayor.</p><p dir="ltr">At his May 2011 inauguration, Emanuel promised a new dynamic between Chicago&rsquo;s famously powerful mayor and the city&rsquo;s famously compliant City Council.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t a rubber stamp City Council, we don&rsquo;t want (a) Council War,&rdquo; then-mayor-elect Emanuel said in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/aldermen/rahm-emanuel-explains-why-hes-forming-new-political-action-committee">March 2011</a>. &ldquo;I want a council that will be part of the reform agenda and be a partner in that effort.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Emanuel has enjoyed near-unanimous support from aldermen on his key agenda issues. But some aldermen criticize his style of dealing with some especially controversial issues, such as a recent <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/legal-fight-settled-over-chicago-parking-meters-106877">amendment </a>to the oft-maligned parking meter privatization contract, and his plan to embark upon the largest round of public school <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-proposes-closing-53-elementary-schools-firing-staff-another-6-106202">closings </a>in U.S. history.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, a recent <a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/pols/ChicagoPolitics/City_Council_Report_April2013.pdf">study </a>from the University of Illinois at Chicago shows the average alderman sided with Emanuel 93 percent of the time on divided roll call votes through February 2013. That&rsquo;s compared to 88 percent during former Mayor Richard Daley&rsquo;s last years in office.</p><p dir="ltr">And when you ask aldermen what they like about Emanuel&rsquo;s style, a lot of them point to his regular calls or text messages, whether to chat or discuss policy, as one marked departure from the Daley years that has made dialogue on hot-button issues easier.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You know, he speaks strongly and carries a big stick,&rdquo; joked 12th Ward Ald. George Cardenas.</p><p dir="ltr">The face of Emanuel&rsquo;s agenda in the council chamber is longtime North Side Ald. Pat O&rsquo;Connor (40th). He is Emanuel&rsquo;s unofficial floor leader &ndash; that is, his aldermanic temperature-taker, nose-counter and - when need be - arm-twister.</p><p dir="ltr">O&rsquo;Connor held the same post under Daley, but says his job has been a lot busier since Emanuel took office two years ago.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We are more engaged with the City Council on a number of fronts than we were previously, in terms of my role,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Connor said.</p><p dir="ltr">Daley rarely called aldermen directly, but &nbsp;Emanuel&rsquo;s hands-on style makes rounding up votes easier, O&rsquo;Connor said.</p><p dir="ltr">Consider a recent City Council <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/churches-take-%E2%80%98leap-faith%E2%80%99-emanuel-water-deal-107089">meeting</a>, when aldermen took up a controversial plan to change the way the city charges nonprofits and churches for city water. When his proposal looked to be in danger, Emanuel himself huddled with aldermen and religious leaders near the City Council restrooms, seconds before the vote.</p><p dir="ltr">In the end, the churches got their reassurance, and every alderman voted yes &ndash; even O&rsquo;Connor, who vocally disagreed with the mayor&rsquo;s plan.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, O&rsquo;Connor bristles at the phrase &ldquo;rubber stamp.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s much better, in my opinion, to find areas where we can agree, and exploit them, and use those areas and try and limit the areas where we don&rsquo;t agree,&rdquo; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">But University of Illinois at Chicago political scientist Dick Simpson, a former independent alderman who now researches the city government, says the result is a City Council that is even more compliant than it was at the zenith of the Democratic Machine&rsquo;s power.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Well, what we ended up with is still a rubber stamp City Council,&rdquo; Simpson said.</p><p dir="ltr">But Simpson says that could change in the second half of Emanuel&rsquo;s term, as the city faces tough issues.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Aldermen are being caught between pressures of their communities, and going along with the mayor and having a nice chummy time at City Hall,&rdquo; Simpson said. &ldquo;At some point, over some issue, that may fracture the council.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Heading into his second term, the mayor is already facing several issues that could peel away some of his City Council support.</p><p dir="ltr">He&rsquo;s pushing an amendment to the wildly unpopular parking meter contract, trying to anticipate summer gun violence, and facing the Chicago Public Schools board vote on closing 54 schools next week.</p><p dir="ltr">Even some of the mayor&rsquo;s City Council allies, like 27th Ward Ald. Walter Burnett, say they sometimes don&rsquo;t feel listened to, especially over school closings.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Sometimes when you go toward that target, and you just focusing, you miss all of the things on the side and in the back of you,&rdquo; Burnett said, referring to Emanuel&rsquo;s pursuit of school closings despite community opposition.</p><p dir="ltr">Simpson says the mayor will tweak his agenda if aldermen make enough noise, as they did about his initial proposal to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-backs-some-unpopular-budget-ideas-93778">cut library hours</a> and his changes to protest ordinances leading up to last year&rsquo;s NATO summit.</p><p dir="ltr">But Emanuel rarely changes direction entirely on big issues. And when it comes to opposition from everyday Chicagoans, Simpson says don&rsquo;t expect a phone call.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;He&rsquo;s not very good at actual democracy,&rdquo; Simpson said. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s not good at asking people what should happen, and building a consensus. He&rsquo;s good at saying, &lsquo;This is what I did for you this week.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Alex Keefe is a political reporter for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/akeefe">@akeefe</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 16 May 2013 07:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/midterm-emanuel-still-cozy-city-council-107199 Aldermanic panel outlines priorities for Chicago's 2012 budget http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-11/aldermanic-panel-outlines-priorities-chicagos-2012-budget-93035 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-11/AP110504047421.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Emanuel was expected to unveil his much-anticipated, much-vetted 2012 budget Wednesday. The new mayor did not tackle his first budget alone as the city faced a projected shortfall of over $635 million dollars next year. Over the summer, the city launched an online suggestion box: People submitted and discussed thousands of ideas for cutting spending or increasing revenues. The mayor also asked aldermen for their budget ideas. In that spirit, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> invited a few members of City Council to join the show to share some of their ideas and priorities for next year's budget. Former federal prosecutor <a href="http://www.ward43.org/" target="_blank">Michele Smith</a> represents the 43rd ward in Lincoln Park, <a href="http://aldermanmoreno.com/" target="_blank">Joe Moreno</a> is a former school council member and businessman currently serving in the 1st Ward which includes Chicago’s Wicker Park and Logan Square neighborhoods. And veteran council member<a href="http://www.aldermanlaurino.com/" target="_blank"> Margaret Laurino</a> serves the 39th ward, which includes Sauganash and Albany Park, on the city’s far Northwest Side.</p><p><em>Music Button: Midwest Product, "Reminder", from the CD Specifics, (Ghostly International)</em></p></p> Tue, 11 Oct 2011 13:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-11/aldermanic-panel-outlines-priorities-chicagos-2012-budget-93035 The First 100: Looking at the future of arts under Mayor Emanuel http://www.wbez.org/content/first-100-looking-future-arts-under-mayor-emanuel <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-09/Art Rahm Flickr Paul Riismandel.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-09/rahm-620a.jpg" title="" height="228" width="620"></p><p style="text-align: right;">(Flickr/Paul Riismandel)</p><p>Over the next few months, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> will be examining Mayor Emanuel’s first 100 days in office. <em>The First 100</em> will look at new policy emerging under the administration and how it might affect residents. To assess, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> will invite some of the connectors between the city’s neighborhoods and members of City Council.</p><table align="left" width="282"><tbody><tr><td><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-09/first100.jpg" title="" align="left" height="60" width="280"></td></tr></tbody></table><p>In the first installment, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> took a look at potential actions for arts and culture policy.</p><p><a href="http://aldermanmoreno.com/about/" target="_blank">Alderman Joe Moreno</a> from the 1st Ward discussed what he expects from chamber talks. And <a href="http://www.hydeparkart.org/4833/2008/06/get_to_know_the_hpac_crew_kate.php" target="_blank">Kate Lorenz</a>, Executive Director of the Hyde Park Arts Center, spoke about what organizations like hers are expecting from the new administration.</p><p><em>Music Button: Andreas Kapsalis Trio, "Ethnic Cleansing", from the CD Original Scores, (Hinos Publishing)</em></p></p> Thu, 09 Jun 2011 14:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/first-100-looking-future-arts-under-mayor-emanuel All praise for Mayor Daley in final council meeting http://www.wbez.org/story/all-praise-mayor-daley-final-council-meeting-86076 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-04/Daley Last Council Meeting_M Spencer Green.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago aldermen have said goodbye to their longtime leader. Retiring Mayor Richard Daley Wednesday presided over his final city council meeting.</p><p>Nearly all the aldermen gave speeches. And, as if they were signing Daley's high school yearbook, they remembered the good times and ignored the rough.</p><p>DALEY: Council, come to order. Clerk, call the roll, please.</p><p>When the meeting started Wednesday morning, some of the aldermen were certainly more stuffed that usual. They'd been hanging out in the back room of the chamber with Mayor Daley, and a long buffet of sausages, quiche, bagels and fruit.</p><p>The shout-outs to the mayor began quickly, with the invocation by Monsignor Daniel Mayall of Holy Name Cathedral.</p><p>MAYALL: In a special way, Great God in Heaven, bless Mayor Richard M. Daley. I'm certain he believes in you. And although he may have governed from that chair behind me longer than anyone else, he knows that never was he alone. You were with him.</p><p>The mayor crossed himself, and the council moved on, to honor police officers who shot a man who had a semiautomatic gun, and firefighters who saved a hundred-year-old woman from a burning building.</p><p>Then, a resolution.</p><p>MIGUEL DEL VALLE, CITY CLERK: Be it resolved, that we, the members of the city council of the city of Chicago, do hereby extend to Mayor Richard M. Daley, our deepest thanks and appreciation for his many years of exemplary service to the residents of Chicago.</p><p>BURKE: We were talking this morning, the mayor and I, about the fact that history reveals that very few occupants of the fifth floor of this century-old building leave voluntarily.<br> <br> Ald. Ed Burke, who's been in the council nearly twice as long as Daley's been mayor, noted that when past mayors left, their final meetings weren't so festive.</p><p>BURKE: As Jane Byrne sat through her last city council meeting, stoically and silently, it was the outgoing alderman, Richard Clewis, who summed things up when he said, 'This sounds like a wake to me.'</p><p>Crediting Daley with Millennium Park, education reform and even championships in recent years by the White Sox and the Blackhawks, Burke said Daley has made Chicago...</p><p>BURKE: ...the most livable city in the nation.</p><p>The two are not close - a political rivalry dating back decades. Daley walloped Burke in the 1980 Democratic primary for Cook County State's Attorney. But this was a day for a certain saccharine rhetoric, as alderman after alderman thanked Daley for his leadership, advice - and even for giving them a job.</p><p>AUSTIN: I'm not going to stay here long, because I can feel myself going to cry.</p><p>Ald. Carrie Austin was appointed by Daley to fill the seat left vacant by her deceased husband. The mayor later picked her to lead the budget committee.</p><p>AUSTIN: That will always be the greatest and the dearest thing to my heart.</p><p>Similar sentiments from recently appointed Ald. Joe Moreno:</p><p>MORENO: Your wisdom. Your fine wisdom when this seat opened. You appointed me. I thank you for that.<br> DALEY: Great decision. That one's one of the best.</p><p>Austin and Moreno are two of more than 20 sitting aldermen who were first appointed by Daley. It's the mayor's ability to fill vacancies that's furthered his grip on the council over the years. He got his way, with few exceptions, and few opponents.</p><p>But even those opponents, with the battles behind them, had mayoral praise at the ready. Daley once refused to let Ald. Joe Moore speak before a vote on repealing an ordinance he championed. On Wednesday, though, Moore called Daley a "transformational leader" who picked the hard fights and was "very fair."<br> <br> MOORE: Very fair, not only to the residents who live in or around downtown, but through the outer reaches of the city of Chicago, neighborhoods such as Rogers Park and Edgewater and West Ridge - the neighborhoods that I represent.</p><p>There were no snide comments about the botched parking meter lease deal. No talk of corruption or hiring fraud in city government. When aldermen did acknowledge Daley's more controversial moves, they did so in defense of the mayor. Like when Ald. Rey Colon made this reference the Daley's overnight destruction of Meigs Field.</p><p>COLON: There's a time to listen and to work things through the community, and there's a time to scrape those Xs on the runway. And you've managed to teach us when those times, when it's appropriate to do those times.</p><p>The aldermen chipped in and bought Daley a crystal bowl, engraved with the names of the more than 100 aldermen he's worked with. And Daley insists he has worked with them, rather than just ordering them around - a point he tried to drive home with reporters at a press conference later.</p><p>DALEY: You have to sit down, listen to them, and what they want and...how we can compromise. That's what you have to do. That's what leadership is all about. No one says, 'Go and do this.' They just pass it. It doesn't happen. It doesn't happen in life. I don't know how you figured this out. it doesn't.</p><p>The mayor was joined at the council meeting by two of his children, but not his wife. Maggie Daley is hospitalized. Recuperating, the mayor says, undergoing tests unrelated to her recent surgery.</p><p>Daley didn't want to talk about his future - what he'll do after he leaves office. He repeatedly reminded reporters he'll be a private citizen then. A private citizen who, Daley joked to the council, will soon have to get out of the habit of writing lots of notes to his staff.</p><p>DALEY: And all those blue notes I would send to you. I don't know what I'm going to do with all my blue notes when I - maybe I'll send them all to the alderman or something. But all my notes that I gather in my trips around the city or my trips around the world, and reading articles and magazines and everything else that I get a hold of. And just think, how can we adopt this to the city? And that was to me - this is the greatest job in America.</p><p>And with that, the aldermen stood and applauded. Daley thanked them a few times.<br> <br> DALEY: Thank you very much. Thank you.</p><p>And softly banged his gavel for a final time.</p><p>Wednesday's city council meeting was also the last for 13 aldermen. Their replacements - along with the new mayor, Rahm Emanuel - will be sworn in on May 16th.</p></p> Thu, 05 May 2011 14:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/all-praise-mayor-daley-final-council-meeting-86076 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 No runs, no hits, two errors: The Sun-Times photo department miffs...again http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/no-runs-no-hits-two-errors-sun-times-photo-department-miffsagain <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/suntimes.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In my role as the official replacement of Robert Feder, I&nbsp;need to find some media stories.Yes, I&nbsp;took over in November when Feder left and I still haven't yet written about media. Not because I don't know the beat, but more that I want the stories to develop. Patience is needed when covering the daily media beat.</p><p>Well, I&nbsp;start today, thanks to the Chicago Sun-Times. It seems they are having a nasty rash of accuracy issues. The once ironclad photo department, which celebrated Pulitzer calibur photography on a yearly basis, is now making mistakes on a weekly basis. Maybe they are leaving daily decisions to the interns. <br /><br />Last week, it was much publicized that the huge full page photo on the back sports section featuring Matt Garza was, well, not Matt Garza. It was another Latino pitcher on Tampa Bay. Maybe the editor wasn't into sports.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="667" width="500" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-14/notmattgarza-suntimes.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p><p>We'll give them a pass on that one. It was the weekend and Matt Garza isn't a household name. They sure wouldn't make that mistake during the week with their bread and butter, politics, right? Today, the Sun-Times made another mistake with a prominent Latino politician. This one is a little more complicated, because the subjects share the same name. Alderman Moreno is the subject of today's article, but the photo is of former Cook County Commissioner Moreno. You can tell by a) his face, b) the high-backed chair with the Cook County seal and, c) he's talking to Cook County Commissioner Bill Beavers.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="433" width="500" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-14/Moreno-suntimes.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p><p>Hey, I&nbsp;make a <strike>ton of mistakes</strike>. But I&nbsp;have this great tool that puts a line through my errors. There's no line in print. I'm giving them a hard time. But if there is a mistake next week featuring Latino newsmakers, well, then we might have another story on our hands.</p></p> Fri, 14 Jan 2011 15:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/no-runs-no-hits-two-errors-sun-times-photo-department-miffsagain