WBEZ | Politics http://www.wbez.org/news/politics Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en After spending scandals, Rep. Aaron Schock says goodbye http://www.wbez.org/news/after-spending-scandals-rep-aaron-schock-says-goodbye-111780 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/aaronshocklast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Once a fast-rising star in the Republican Party, Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock gave his final speech on the House floor Thursday.</p><p>Schock, who was elected to Congress in 2008, will resign his House seat at the end of the month. His resignation comes after weeks of questions about his judgment, lavish lifestyle and spending.</p><p>Little of the scandal that plagued Schock&#39;s final weeks on Capitol Hill was evident Thursday though, as his farewell speech focused less on his quick fall and more on his rise.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;ve done my best to contribute constructively to the process and to serve the people of my district and my country,&quot; Schock said. &quot;My guiding principle has always been rooted in the belief that Washington should only do what people cannot do for themselves.&quot;</p><p>Over the last few weeks, a series of reports by Politico, the The Washington Post, and other news organizations raised questions about Schock&#39;s financial practices. Reports indicate that Schock spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on office renovations, used both taxpayer and campaign funds on private jets and concerts and did not report lavish gifts on financial disclosure funds as required by House ethics guidelines. His resignation ultimately came on March 17 as Politico raised questions about tens of thousands of dollars in mileage reimbursements Schock claimed for his personal vehicle.</p><p>Schock, 33, was elected to Congress as a 27-year-old. He said he was never more excited than the day he stepped onto Capitol Hill for the first time. He was a youthful face in the chamber who posted shirtless photos of himself on Instagram and posed for a photo showing his abs on the cover of the fitness magazine Men&#39;s Health.</p><p>&quot;I leave here with sadness and humility,&quot; he said. &quot;For those whom I&#39;ve let down, I will work tirelessly to make it up to you.&quot;</p><p>Even in his final floor speech, Schock seemed to leave the door open for a future &mdash; though he didn&#39;t specify what kind &mdash; comparing himself to former President Abraham Lincoln, who Shock has a bust of in his office.</p><p>&quot;Abraham Lincoln held this seat in Congress for one term but few faced as many defeats in his personal, business and public life as he did,&quot; Schock said. &quot;His continual perseverance in the face of these trials, never giving up is something all of us Americans should be inspired by, especially when going through a valley in life.&quot;</p><p>Only the two situations aren&#39;t exactly parallel. Lincoln did, as Schock noted, serve just one term in Congress. In fact, he promised while campaigning in 1846 that he would serve just one term if elected. He won, did just that, and declined to run for re-election in 1848.</p><p>Schock&#39;s troubles on Capitol Hill began after The Washington Post published an article last month about his lavish office renovations, which were inspired by the popular PBS drama &quot;Downton Abbey.&quot;</p><p>In an unrelated coincidence, PBS announced today that the show&#39;s upcoming sixth season will be its last.</p><p>&mdash; <em>via <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2015/03/26/395580527/after-spending-scandals-rep-aaron-schock-says-goodbye">NPR&#39;s It&#39;s All Politics</a></em></p></p> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 09:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/after-spending-scandals-rep-aaron-schock-says-goodbye-111780 Rauner signs into law compromise plan to fix budget hole http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-signs-law-compromise-plan-fix-budget-hole-111779 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/raunerpresser.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>SPRINGFIELD, Ill. &mdash; Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a compromise plan to plug a $1.6 billion hole in this year&#39;s budget and avert shutdowns of state programs and services.</p><p>Rauner signed the legislation Thursday evening, hours after the Democratic-led Senate approved it 32-26, with all 20 Republicans voting for it. Two days earlier, the House also approved the bills with full GOP support.</p><p>Following weeks of negotiation, Rauner reached the deal with Democratic legislative leaders, even though the majority of Democrats in both chambers voted against the compromise.</p><p>The plan authorizes him to transfer $1.3 billion from other purposes, including parks and conservation. The rest comes from a 2.25 percent across-the-board budget cut. It also gives Rauner authority over $97 million to distribute to needy schools.</p></p> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 08:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-signs-law-compromise-plan-fix-budget-hole-111779 Indiana Gov. Pence signs religious objections bill http://www.wbez.org/sections/religion/indiana-gov-pence-signs-religious-objections-bill-111772 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/mikepence.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>INDIANAPOLIS &mdash; Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday signed into law a religious objections bill that some convention organizers and business leaders have opposed amid concern it could allow discrimination against gay people.</p><p>Indiana is the first state to enact such a change this year among about a dozen where such proposals have been introduced. The measure would prohibit state and local laws that &quot;substantially burden&quot; the ability of people &mdash; including businesses and associations &mdash; to follow their religious beliefs.</p><p>Pence, a Republican, backed the bill as it moved through the Legislature and spoke at a Statehouse rally last month that drew hundreds of supporters of the proposal. The governor signed the bill in a private ceremony.</p><p>Pence said in a statement Thursday that the bill ensures &quot;religious liberty is fully protected under Indiana law.&quot;</p><p>&quot;The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,&quot; he said.</p><p>In a letter to Pence sent Wednesday, leaders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) warned that the legislation was causing them to reconsider plans to hold their 6,000-person General Assembly in Indianapolis in 2017. The CEO of a gathering of gamers considered to be the city&#39;s largest annual convention also expressed concern about the bill, which the state Senate passed Tuesday.</p><p>The bill signing comes just more than a week before NCAA men&#39;s Final Four games at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis, but the college sports organization hasn&#39;t taken a position on the issue.</p><p>&quot;We are examining the details of this bill, however, the NCAA national office is committed to an inclusive environment where all individuals enjoy equal access to events,&quot; the Indianapolis-based group said in a statement.</p><blockquote><p><strong>WBEZ reporter Mike Puente discusses reaction to the law on the Morning Shift</strong></p></blockquote><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/197816089&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Supporters say discrimination concerns are overblown because the bill is modeled after a federal religious freedom law Congress passed in 1993 and similar laws are on the books in 19 states. However, the current political climate is far different than it was when most of those were approved because the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this year on whether gay marriage bans violate the Constitution.</p><p>Conservative groups say the Indiana measure merely seeks to prevent the government from compelling people to provide such things as catering or photography for same-sex weddings or other activities they find objectionable on religious grounds.</p><p>&quot;I think you will find that, if you do your homework in it, this law is not going to allow you to discriminate against anyone else or anyone&#39;s rights in this country,&quot; GOP Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long said.</p><p>But the Republican mayor of Indianapolis said he believed the proposal would send the &quot;wrong signal&quot; for the city, and its tourism and convention agency raised concerns that it could lead some convention planners to regard Indiana as an unwelcoming place.</p><p>The Indianapolis chamber of commerce and Columbus-based engine maker Cummins Inc. are among business groups which have opposed the bill on the grounds that it could make it more difficult to attract top companies and employees.</p><p>Adrian Swartout, the CEO of the 50,000-person Gen Con gamers&#39; convention, said the legislation could affect the group&#39;s decision to hold the major event in Indianapolis past 2020. He said it would have &quot;a direct negative impact on the state&#39;s economy.&quot;</p><p>Similar bills have been advancing this year in the Arkansas and Georgia legislatures. Last year, Mississippi enacted a religious objection law just weeks after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, vetoed a similar effort there amid criticism from major corporations.</p><p>Pence denied that the bill will allow discrimination.</p><p>&quot;This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it,&quot; he said. &quot;For more than 20 years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation&#39;s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana.&quot;</p></p> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 10:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/religion/indiana-gov-pence-signs-religious-objections-bill-111772 Unions and Garcia push for $15-an-hour minimum wage http://www.wbez.org/news/unions-and-garcia-push-15-hour-minimum-wage-111768 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/chuy15.PNG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Mayoral candidate Jesus &quot;Chuy&quot; Garcia and the Chicago Teachers Union are pushing for a $15 per hour minimum wage.</p><p dir="ltr">Garcia, members of the CTU, and activists with the national movement &ldquo;Fight for 15&rdquo; rallied outside the Chicago Board of Education Wednesday. They want all companies who do business with Chicago Public Schools to agree to a wage increase.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Parents who cannot get regular hours at their job, who cannot make a living wage, have a difficult time providing their children, who are our students, with the kind of environment necessary for real learning,&rdquo; said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey.</p><p dir="ltr">All CTU-represented employees and most others at CPS are already above the minimum wage, but Sharkey said subcontracted employees, like Safe Passage workers and recess monitors, are not.</p><p dir="ltr">Mayor Rahm Emanuel has already <a href="http://www.wbez.org/mayor-emanuel-backs-chicago-minimum-wage-hike-13-110462">promised to increase the minimum wage</a> to $13 an hour by 2018. The wage hike applies to all companies who do business with the city and its sister agencies, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-chief-backs-mayors-13-hour-minimum-wage-111138">including CPS</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">Garcia said he&rsquo;d find the money for a wage hike by closing tax loopholes for wealthy corporations and rerouting money given to &ldquo;cronies of the mayor.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If there&rsquo;s enough money to make them happy, there ought to be enough money to pay for frontline workers within Chicago Public Schools,&rdquo; Garcia said. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">School janitors also rallied outside the Board Wednesday to argue against the layoffs that took place after <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/custodial-contract-causing-problems-start-school-year-110767">CPS outsourced custodial management</a> to Aramark and SodexoMAGIC.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Since Aramark has taken over, I currently have to clean 72,000 square feet of hallway,&rdquo; said Ina Davis, a janitor at University of Chicago - Donoghue Charter School. &nbsp;&ldquo;I have 17 classrooms, 23 bathrooms and I&rsquo;m the only janitor that has to clean this at night. I&rsquo;m just asking for CPS to help us.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Last week, principals asked CPS to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/principals-cps-end-custodial-contract-now-111735">end the contracts</a> with Aramark and SodexoMAGIC, saying the schools were still dirty. District officials say after hiccups early in the year, a recent audit of school cleanliness showed most schools are cleaner.</p><p dir="ltr">Tom Balanoff, president of the Service Employees International United - Local 1, said even though Aramark <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/aramark-cps-change-plan-cut-school-janitors-110870">compromised by not following through</a> with about half of the planned layoffs, the company still made more than 200 janitors part-time, which is a problem.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;There&rsquo;s just not enough hours in the day for the janitors to do all the work,&rdquo; Balanoff said.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Becky Vevea is an education reporter for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/unions-and-garcia-push-15-hour-minimum-wage-111768 More than 21K early votes cast in Chicago runoff election http://www.wbez.org/news/more-21k-early-votes-cast-chicago-runoff-election-111766 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/earlyvoting_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>More than 21,000 people have taken advantage of early voting in Chicago over the first two days.</p><p>A spokesman with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners says 7,914 early voting ballots were cast Monday, and nearly 13,100 were cast Tuesday. He says that data brings the board&#39;s unofficial two-day total to 21,012 votes.</p><p>The board says it&#39;s the largest number of ballots cast during the first two days of early voting for any municipal election in Chicago.</p><p>The first municipal election to offer early voting in February 2007 drew more than 1,440 votes in the first two days. Early voting for the February 2011 election saw over 8,550 votes in the first two days.</p><p>Almost 11,640 votes were cast in the first two days of early voting ahead of the February 2015 election.</p></p> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 08:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/more-21k-early-votes-cast-chicago-runoff-election-111766 With GOP votes, Indiana House approves religious objection bill http://www.wbez.org/news/gop-votes-indiana-house-approves-religious-objection-bill-111758 <p><p>INDIANAPOLIS &mdash; The Indiana House approved by a wide margin Monday a proposal strengthening protections for religious objections in state law that opponents say could provide legal cover for discrimination against gay people.</p><p>Republicans cast all the &quot;yes&quot; votes as House members voted 63-31 to support the bill that would prohibit any state laws that &quot;substantially burden&quot; a person&#39;s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs and has a definition of a &quot;person&quot; that includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.</p><p>Groups supporting the measure say it would prevent the government from compelling people to provide services such as catering or photography for same-sex weddings or other activities they find objectionable.</p><p>House Majority Leader Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, said the bill would give courts guidance on how to decide cases involving competing constitutional rights pertaining to religious freedom and discrimination.</p><p>&quot;No one in this General Assembly is advocating a bill that would allow people to discriminate,&quot; he said. &quot;Everybody wants the opportunity for people to practice the rights they&#39;re supposed to have in this country.&quot;</p><p>National gay-rights consider the Indiana bill among the most sweeping of several similar proposals introduced this year in more than a dozen states as conservatives brace for a possible U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.</p><p>&quot;What these politicians are peddling as &#39;religious liberty&#39; is not real religious liberty,&quot; said Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund. &quot;This law is an outright recipe for discrimination and persecution.&quot;</p><p>Five Republican House members joined Democrats in voting against the proposal. The Senate approved a similar version last month in a 40-10 party-line vote. Once agreement on a version is reached, the bill would go to Republican Gov. Mike Pence, who supports the proposal.</p><p>&quot;It is a restraint on what government can do,&quot; Pence said last week. &quot;It essentially gives courts guidance going forward.&quot;</p><p>Scott Spychala, an Air Force veteran from Indianapolis, wore a sticker opposing the bill on his military fatigues as he sat in the House gallery for the debate.</p><p>&quot;I just think there&#39;s going to be opportunities down the road where people can use their religion to discriminate,&quot; he said after the vote. &quot;It&#39;s taking us back in history.&quot;</p><p>Sponsors of the bill say it is closely modeled on a federal religious freedom law passed in 1993 and that 19 other states already have similar laws.</p><p>Gay marriage opponents in Indiana were angered last year when the Legislature failed to advance a proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. Federal courts later legalized same-sex marriage in the state.</p><p>Democratic Rep. Matt Pierce of Bloomington said the proposal wasn&#39;t needed to protect religious liberties in that state and was nothing but a &quot;consolation prize&quot; for those against legalizing gay marriages.</p><p>Other Democrats said the bill could be used to challenge local civil rights ordinances that go further than state law to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination or challenge state regulations on church day cares.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re going to cost our state a lot of money,&quot; said Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond. &quot;We are meddling with the lives of people that we have no business meddling with.&quot;</p><p>Rallies in support of and against the bill have drawn hundreds of people to the Statehouse in recent weeks, and Christian and Jewish clergy members have testified on each side.</p><p>About a dozen people against the bill were on hand Monday as members of Freedom Indiana, which campaigned against the state gay marriage ban last year, delivered what it said were nearly 10,000 petitions opposing the measure to the office of Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma.</p><p>Republican Rep. Bruce Borders of Jasonville said he believed the bill would protect people trying to live out their religious faith beyond church.</p><p>&quot;I can see very easily where someone with their business is asked to do something that according what they&#39;ve read in God&#39;s word they simply cannot do it in good conscience,&quot; Borders said.</p></p> Tue, 24 Mar 2015 09:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/gop-votes-indiana-house-approves-religious-objection-bill-111758 Legislature to consider Madigan plan to fill state budget gap http://www.wbez.org/news/legislature-consider-madigan-plan-fill-state-budget-gap-111757 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/madigan_sots.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>SPRINGFIELD, Ill. &mdash; Lawmakers are scheduled to consider a new plan introduced by House Speaker Michael Madigan to end weeks of negotiations over plugging a $1.6 billion gap in this year&#39;s state budget.</p><p>The Legislature faces a fast-approaching deadline to act as money runs out for subsidized childcare programs, prisons and court reporters.</p><p>The Chicago Democrat introduced the plan late Monday. It would authorize Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to transfer $1.3 billion from other purposes, including parks and conservation. The rest would come from a 2.25 percent across-the-board budget cut.</p><p>Rauner has said for weeks that lawmakers were close to agreeing on a solution.</p><p>Senate Democrats advanced their own plan earlier this month, but it has so far failed to clear the chamber.</p><p>Madigan&#39;s plan will be presented in committee hearings Tuesday morning.</p></p> Tue, 24 Mar 2015 08:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/legislature-consider-madigan-plan-fill-state-budget-gap-111757 Where can a politician wield more influence? Chicago's City Council vs. Illinois' Statehouse http://www.wbez.org/news/where-can-politician-wield-more-influence-chicagos-city-council-vs-illinois-statehouse-111754 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/6753527391_fa007cb235_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In politics, local government, like city wards, can be seen as the &ldquo;minor leagues.&rdquo; This is where candidates are scouted and get recruited to run for higher office.</p><p>But time and again, state legislators from Chicago do the opposite. They leave behind jobs in the Statehouse to serve on the City Council.</p><p>So that begs the question: What&rsquo;s more important? Making sure potholes are filled, garbage is picked up on time and what the neighborhood watch group is up to?</p><p>Or is it more important to make rules about carrying weapons, the legality of shark fin soup and how much income is going toward taxes?</p><p>Tony Arnold and Amanda Vinicky went on a quest to figure out where an Illinois politician has the most influence.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics (from Chicago) for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">@tonyjarnold</a>. Amanda Vinicky covers Illinois politics (from Springfield) for Illinois Public Radio. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/amandavinicky">@amandavinicky</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/where-can-politician-wield-more-influence-chicagos-city-council-vs-illinois-statehouse-111754 Under Emanuel, more unsolved murders, fewer detectives http://www.wbez.org/news/under-emanuel-more-unsolved-murders-fewer-detectives-111750 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/rahmmccarthy_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>▲ <strong>Listen to the full story</strong></p><p>In his reelection campaign, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking credit for a <a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/gradingrahm/#public_safety">slight decline in the city&rsquo;s homicide rate</a>. But a WBEZ investigation raises a question about the murders that are still happening: Is the city doing enough to put the killers behind bars?</p><p>Emanuel has allowed detective ranks to decline during his term even as internal police records show some of the lowest murder clearance rates in decades. Our story (listen above) explores those rates through the eyes of city detectives and a mother who lost her 18-year-old daughter in an unsolved case last October.</p><p>A few notes about the data (charted below): Regarding the detectives, the number on the payroll is down by about 19 percent since Emanuel took office, according to records obtained by WBEZ under the state Freedom of Information Act. The ranks of evidence technicians and forensic investigators have thinned by even larger proportions.</p><p>Detectives say the drops owe to regular attrition such as retirements and promotions. A police spokesman says the city is planning to add 150 new detectives this year. But they won&rsquo;t make up for the attrition during the mayor&rsquo;s term.</p><p>About the murder clearances, the department calculates the rate two ways. The simple way accounts only for cases closed in the same calendar year in which the murder took place. By that gauge, the police cleared 28.7 percent of last year&rsquo;s murders. The other calculation &mdash; the one preferred by the city &mdash; includes clearances of murders committed in previous years, leading to a 2014 rate of 51.8 percent. By either measure, the city&rsquo;s clearance rate is near its lowest level in decades. Chicago&rsquo;s also doing poorly compared to other big cities, according to <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-25/table_25_percent_of-offenses_cleared_by_arrest_by_population_group_2013.xls">FBI clearance figures for 2013</a>, the most recent year available.</p><p>Zooming in further, the term &ldquo;cleared&rdquo; means <em>closed</em> but not necessarily <em>solved</em>. In some cleared cases, the killer was not charged or even arrested. During Emanuel&rsquo;s term, roughly a quarter of the murder cases the police have closed were &ldquo;exceptional clearances&rdquo; because, for example, the suspect had died or fled the country or because prosecutors had declined to bring charges for various reasons, including a refusal by witnesses to testify. Last year, 42 of 213 clearances were &ldquo;exceptional.&rdquo;</p><div id="responsive-embed-clearance-absolute">&nbsp;</div><script src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/clearance-absolute/js/lib/pym.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script type="text/javascript"> jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var pymParent = new pym.Parent( 'responsive-embed-clearance-absolute', 'http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/clearance-absolute/child.html', {} ); }); </script><div id="responsive-embed-clearance-rate">&nbsp;</div><script type="text/javascript"> jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var pymParent = new pym.Parent( 'responsive-embed-clearance-rate', 'http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/clearance-rate/child.html', {} ); }); </script><div id="responsive-embed-investigators-line">&nbsp;</div><script type="text/javascript"> jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var pymParent = new pym.Parent( 'responsive-embed-investigators-line', 'http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/investigators-line/child.html', {} ); }); </script><div id="responsive-embed-investigators-table">&nbsp;</div><script type="text/javascript"> jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var pymParent = new pym.Parent( 'responsive-embed-investigators-table', 'http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/investigators-table/child.html', {} ); }); </script></p> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 08:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/under-emanuel-more-unsolved-murders-fewer-detectives-111750 Forget basketball: Chicago politics is the real March Madness http://www.wbez.org/news/forget-basketball-chicago-politics-real-march-madness-111748 <p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-03-21%20at%207.34.39%20AM.png" style="float: right; height: 462px; width: 350px;" title="Some of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Hall allies piled audit documents on two dollies as part of a campaign stunt this week. (WBEZ/Lauren Chooljian)" />March Madness is a title usually reserved for basketball brackets.</p><p dir="ltr">But in this town, it could easily be applied to Chicago&rsquo;s mayoral election.</p><p dir="ltr">Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Commissioner Jesus &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; Garcia are in a sprint toward the runoff&nbsp;April 7.</p><p>Just this week, voters got their first chance to see Emanuel and Garcia go one on one in a live televised <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/296573281.html">debate</a>, and Garcia aired his first <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkt41HbqmIE">commercial</a>&nbsp;since the runoff started.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">WBEZ&rsquo;s Tony Arnold</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">Lauren Chooljian</a> joined host Greta Johnsen to talk about politically unpalatable property taxes that made headlines all week, and to explain what a 2-wheeled dolly full of binders has to do with the mayor&rsquo;s race.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Sat, 21 Mar 2015 07:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/forget-basketball-chicago-politics-real-march-madness-111748