WBEZ | Tom McDermott http://www.wbez.org/tags/tom-mcdermott Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Republican challenger gets day in Indiana Court http://www.wbez.org/story/cordell-funk/republican-challenger-gets-day-indiana-court-84226 <p><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.48907773357390727" style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">April 1st will be no laughing matter for George Janiec: That is when he will likely find out whether he&rsquo;ll be back in the race for mayor of Hammond, Indiana.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Janiec is challenging a March 7 decision by the Lake County Elections and Voter Registration Board to remove him as a candidate in the Republican primary, which occurs May 3. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">After more than an hour of testimony Thursday in Hammond, Lake County Superior Court Judge Jesse Villalpando said he will make a ruling Friday, April 1&mdash;just three days before early voting is start.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Janiec attended the hearing with his attorneys, including Cordell Funk.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Funk argued that the election board&rsquo;s decision is not based on an Indiana law.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">&ldquo;The statutory qualifications are that you have to be a registered voter and a Hammond resident. He meets both of those and there&rsquo;s no grounds to take him off,&rdquo; Funk said. &ldquo;Unless there&rsquo;s a statute that states you can take him off, he should stay on there and the voters should have a right to decide.&rdquo;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Election board attorney Jim Wieser pressed to keep Janiec off the primary ballot. He contends Indiana law aims to keep politics from interfering with school board business, and running in a partisan race jeopardizes that. The election board used similar reasoning in its March 7 ruling. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a legitimate disqualifying factor,&rdquo; Wieser said. &ldquo;[Janiec] is a nonpartisan person that wants to be allowed to run for partisan office. That&rsquo;s not the spirit of the law.&rdquo;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Some speculate that Janiec was removed from the primary because he came within 500 votes of upsetting incumbent Mayor Tom McDermott, Jr. during 2007&rsquo;s mayoral election. McDermott heads the Lake County Democratic Party.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">The election board&rsquo;s original decision was approved along party lines, 3 to 2.</span></p></p> Fri, 25 Mar 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cordell-funk/republican-challenger-gets-day-indiana-court-84226 Hammond mayoral candidate gets booted from GOP primary ballot http://www.wbez.org/story/george-janiec/hammond-mayoral-candidate-gets-booted-gop-primary-ballot <p><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.01580413871288422" style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">George Janiec ran for mayor four years ago as a Republican in Democratic-leaning Hammond, Indiana.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">He lost by less than 500 votes to the current mayor, Tom McDermott, a Democrat.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Janiec wants to run against McDermott once again. But to do that he needs to win the GOP&rsquo;s primary, which will be held in May. </span><br /><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">But Janiec may not be able to go up against McDermott after all. Lake County&rsquo;s election board Monday voted in favor of removing Janiec&rsquo;s name from the GOP primary&rsquo;s ballot.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">The partisan board&rsquo;s Democratic majority said Janiec shouldn&rsquo;t be allowed to run because he already serves on the city&rsquo;s non-partisan school board. The Democrats said if Janiec wants to be included on the ballot, he must first resign from the school board.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Janiec contends he shouldn&rsquo;t have to do that. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">&ldquo;Why should I have to when there is no state statute that I&rsquo;ve violated or any laws that I&rsquo;ve broken,&rdquo; Janiec says. &ldquo;Obviously I&rsquo;m a significant threat to the incumbent mayor.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Janiec says he plans to hire an attorney to help him fight the election board&rsquo;s decision. He also wants the U.S. Attorney&rsquo;s office in Hammond to investigate.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Janiec says McDermott has too much influence on the election board since he is also the Democratic party chair for Lake County. The party chair can appoint members to the elections board.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">McDermott has appointed one member since taking over as chairman two years ago. He told the Times of Northwest Indiana he supports the board&rsquo;s decision.</span></p></p> Wed, 09 Mar 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/george-janiec/hammond-mayoral-candidate-gets-booted-gop-primary-ballot Hammond now Northwest Indiana's largest city http://www.wbez.org/story/census/hammond-now-nwi%E2%80%99s-largest-city <p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->In 1960 the population of Gary, Indiana, stood at 178,000. But after that zenith, the count was on the downslide. It started out as a trickle, but with each ten-year census, it was clear the number of people leaving the city was mounting.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Over the next five decades, Gary, the city once known as &ldquo;The City of The Century,&rdquo; took its knocks. It experienced racial strife, industrial layoffs and, at times, rampant crime. But even through all that, Gary had remained the largest city in Northwest Indiana.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Now, it&rsquo;s lost that claim to fame.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">U.S. Census Bureau data released Thursday show Gary lost more than 21 percent of its population during the last 10 years. The official count now stands at 80,294, less than half of the city&rsquo;s population in 1960.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Gary&rsquo;s neighbor to the West, Hammond, couldn&rsquo;t help but notice the latest census numbers.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Despite the fact that Hammond saw a two percent decline in its own population, Gary lost population much more quickly between 2000 and today. So, Hammond can now boast being Lake County&rsquo;s largest city, having edged out Gary by a mere 536 residents.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It&rsquo;s the first time Hammond has recorded more residents than Gary since the 1910 census. Back then, Hammond had 20,000 residents to Gary&rsquo;s 15,000. But Gary was a fledgling town; after all, it had only been established as a city in 1906. Hammond, meanwhile, had a running start; it was founded in 1884.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But none of this <span style="">&nbsp;</span>history matters to Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott, Jr.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">He&rsquo;s only concerned that Hammond has claimed the top spot in 2010.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;As mayor, I am thrilled beyond words,&rdquo; McDermott said Thursday. &ldquo;I have always felt that Hammond was going to be bigger than Gary by the 2020 census. But the fact that it came out bigger now, I was flabbergasted to be honest with you.&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">McDermott said some predicted Hammond would lose far more than the 2,000 residents indicated in census data.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">He said the attrition could be attributed to the city&rsquo;s removal of a troublesome housing development on the city&rsquo;s south side off the Borman Expressway.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Meanwhile, Rudy Clay, the mayor of Gary, was livid over the census data, and stated he believes the numbers are inaccurate.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;Gary has thousands of more residents than what&rsquo;s on paper,&rdquo; Clay said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Clay said some residents simply refused to fill out census forms, with the consequence that Gary could lose eligibility for some federal funds.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Clay said the city plans to appeal the census bureau figures, all in the hope they do another count. He says Gary had such a recount 10 years ago, and that effort boosted the city&rsquo;s official population figure by thousands.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 11 Feb 2011 02:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/census/hammond-now-nwi%E2%80%99s-largest-city