WBEZ | politics http://www.wbez.org/tags/politics Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: What other cities can learn from a Detroit success story http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-04-03/morning-shift-what-other-cities-can-learn-detroit <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Shinolas Detroit Flickr Sean Davis.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a look at a new Detroit company that is making a bet on local manufacturing and is counting on traditions of a Chicago factory to get there. Plus, why so many Illinoisans view political corruption as the norm.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-what-other-cities-can-learn-from-a-d/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-what-other-cities-can-learn-from-a-d.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-what-other-cities-can-learn-from-a-d" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: What other cities can learn from a Detroit success story" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 08:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-04-03/morning-shift-what-other-cities-can-learn-detroit Quinn predicts radical budget cuts without revenue http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-predicts-radical-budget-cuts-without-revenue-109918 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/quinn_budget.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn wants to make the state&#39;s temporary income tax increase permanent to prevent &quot;extreme and &quot;radical&quot; budget cuts.</p><p>The Chicago Democrat also said during his annual budget speech Wednesday he wants to give homeowners a $500 annual property tax refund.</p><p>The speech comes as the state faces dire financial problems and Quinn embarks on what&#39;s anticipated to be a difficult re-election bid against Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.</p><p>Quinn proposed maintaining the state&#39;s income tax increase, saying that it&#39;ll be a &quot;real challenge.&quot; The increase rolls back next year, leaving a $1.6 billion revenue dip.</p><p>Quinn says extending the increase is a better long-term solution.</p><p>Illinois has billions in unpaid bills, a low credit rating and uncertainty with its pension debt.</p></p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 12:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-predicts-radical-budget-cuts-without-revenue-109918 Tio Hardiman considers write-in campaign for Illinois governor http://www.wbez.org/news/tio-hardiman-considers-write-campaign-illinois-governor-109891 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Tio H from campaign.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Updated 2:02 PM 3/20/2014</strong></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-fce19a07-dc93-a968-c822-beb681c1e481">Anti-violence activist <a href="http://www.hardimanforillinois.com/">Tio Hardiman</a> says he actually feels pretty good about his loss to incumbent Pat Quinn in Hardiman&rsquo;s first try to become the governor of Illinois.</p><p dir="ltr">Quinn was the expected winner in the primary race Tuesday, but Hardiman says he&rsquo;s proud that he was able to pull in more than 28 percent of the vote.</p><p dir="ltr">But that doesn&rsquo;t mean he was comfortable with the results.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Bottom line - the Democratic machine once again has failed the state,&rdquo; Hardiman said, moments after the results rolled in Tuesday night. &ldquo;And the machine continues to go with failed policies under Governor Quinn.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">And that&rsquo;s why Hardiman is going after a write-in campaign.</p><p dir="ltr">Hardiman says venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, the GOP nominee for governor, is not a good choice for the people of Illinois, and Governor Quinn &ldquo;has too many issues.&rdquo;</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-rauner-set-clash-illinois-governor-race-109885" target="_blank">Quinn, Rauner set to clash in Illinois governor race</a></strong></p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">So that lead me to ask - how does one become a write-in candidate in Illinois?</p><p dir="ltr">According to Jim Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, the laws have evolved to make sure people don&rsquo;t waste their votes on silly candidates.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have to count ballots cast for screwball names or made up candidate names,&rdquo; Allen said. &ldquo;And there has to be a declaration of intent by the write-in candidate filed with each jurisdiction where they want their ballots counted.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">So that means Daffy Duck or Derrick Rose wouldn&rsquo;t be counted, unless of course they filed ahead of time. But for those who really want to be a write-in, say, for the governor&rsquo;s race in Illinois, Allen says potential candidates would have to notify 109 election authorities - or however many that the candidate expects to get write-in votes for.</p><p dir="ltr">Turns out, people are willing to put in the time for the big national or statewide races.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;They never want to start at alderman, or ward committeeman, or school board member in the suburbs,&rdquo; Allen said. &ldquo;They seem to like to file for the higher profile offices.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Election lawyer Richard K. Means says the election laws are also meant to keep the ballot a reasonable length. But he says in a case like Tio Hardiman&rsquo;s, there&rsquo;s another regulation to be wary of: the &ldquo;Sore Loser&rdquo; law.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Means, <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=001000050K7-43">Section 7-43</a> of the Illinois Election Code basically says you only get one chance to present yourself to the electorate.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You can&rsquo;t do what people used to do in Illinois before this law was passed, and that&rsquo;s take a second bite of the apple and run as a member of a third party,&rdquo; Means said.</p><p dir="ltr">Means says that section also means you can&rsquo;t run again as a write-in in the general election after you lost in the primary.</p><p dir="ltr">And turns out, there&#39;s an even more specific <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=001000050K17-16.1">statute</a> that explicitly states write-in candidacy is a no-go for anyone who already ran and lost in a primary. The law states: &quot;A candidate for whom a nomination paper has been filed as a partisan candidate at a primary election, and who is defeated for his or her nomination at the primary election is ineligible to file a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for election in that general or consolidated election.&quot;</p><p>When I took this information to Hardiman, he says his people will continue digging into the details. And if a write-in run doesn&rsquo;t work, he says he&rsquo;s got other plans to stay in the game and represent his supporters: Plans like requesting meetings with Rauner and Quinn to talk state policy, and running someone against Rahm Emanuel in the Chicago mayoral election in 2015.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda"> </a><a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p></p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 17:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/tio-hardiman-considers-write-campaign-illinois-governor-109891 Compare: Illinois governor candidates' views on concealed carry http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/compare-illinois-governor-candidates-views-concealed-carry-109845 <p><p><em>Editor&rsquo;s note: This episode of the Curious City podcast includes a story about what the candidates for Illinois governor think about the state&rsquo;s new concealed-carry law. It starts 6 minutes, 30 seconds into the program. (Subscribe via <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/curious-city/id568409161">iTunes </a>or <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CuriousCityPodcast">Feedburner</a>!) This topic was also <a href="https://soundcloud.com/afternoonshiftwbez/curious-city-gay-marriage-and" target="_blank">discussed on WBEZ&#39;s The Afternoon Shift</a>.&nbsp;</em></p><p>Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford of Elgin, Ill., had a perception about guns and violence that made her curious about the crop of primary candidates vying to be the state&rsquo;s governor. Her suspicion? The more that people carry guns in public, the higher the likelihood of gun violence.</p><p>With this highly-debated viewpoint in hand, she sent Curious City this question, just in time for the March 18 primary:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>What would the candidates for Illinois governor do to prevent gun violence once thousands of residents are granted concealed carry permits?</em></p><p>There&rsquo;s a lot to unpack here, including some basic information about the state&rsquo;s concealed carry law.</p><p>First, Illinois was the last state in the country to adopt concealed carry and, even then, the lawmakers didn&rsquo;t act on their own; they were forced to pass a bill &mdash; any bill &mdash; by a federal judge who had ruled it&rsquo;s unconstitutional to not allow people to carry concealed guns in public. The legislature approved such a bill in May 2013.</p><p>The timing&rsquo;s not lost on Cheryl, who tells us she once appreciated that Illinois had not allowed concealed carry, and she feels the policy was foisted on the state.</p><p>But now, she said, &ldquo;The way our elected officials respond is going to be crucial.&rdquo;</p><p>Cheryl&rsquo;s onto something here. The first few thousand applicants have just begun receiving their concealed carry permits from the Illinois State Police. That means that &mdash; between the primary and November&rsquo;s general election &mdash; state residents will have a better idea of what living in a state with concealed carry really feels like.</p><p>And there may be pressure, one way or another, to rework the policy.</p><p>So how would the candidates respond?</p><p>To the best of our ability, we let the<a href="#views"> candidates themselves speak to this</a>. But since several of them cite studies about the relationship between violence, crime and concealed carry policy, we also compared their statements to what&rsquo;s being said about concealed carry by academics. While answering Cheryl&#39;s question, we found the bottom line is that the lack of consensus among the candidates is pretty much reflected by a lack of consensus in the research.</p><p><strong>Good guy gun ownership, bad guy gun ownership</strong></p><p>So what effect do concealed carry laws have on violence? It&rsquo;s important to tease out because politicians often cite research to back their positions. And &mdash; as you&rsquo;ll read and hear below &mdash; the academic findings run the gamut..</p><p>(A clarification: Cheryl asked about positions related to concealed carry and violence. Researchers we reached out to look at violent crime, but other types of crime, as well.)</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Tio%20H%20from%20campaign.jpg" style="margin: 5px; height: 190px; width: 285px; float: right;" title="Tio Hardiman is challenging Governor Quinn in the Democratic Primary. (Photo courtesy of the Tio Hardiman campaign)" /><a href="http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/493636.html" target="_blank">John Lott</a> has studied the effects of concealed carry laws on crime rates. He wrote a book called More Guns, Less Crime, which pretty much sums up where he stands.</p><p>&ldquo;The fact that a would-be victim might be able to defend themselves also deters crime,&rdquo; Lott said in a phone interview with WBEZ.</p><p>Lott&rsquo;s research of municipal crime data from across the country suggests crime drops after concealed carry laws take effect, and the more concealed carry permits that are issued, the more it drops.</p><p>&ldquo;You know, all sorts of claims about &lsquo;Bad things are gonna happen, you know, blood in the streets?&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;A year from now, everybody&rsquo;s gonna say, &lsquo;What was this debate all about?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>That&rsquo;s particularly true for Illinois, Lott said, because strict requirements on obtaining a concealed carry permit may limit the number of people who get them.</p><p>But here&rsquo;s where things get a little complex, if not outright confusing.</p><p><a href="http://www.law.stanford.edu/profile/john-j-donohue-iii" target="_blank">John Donohue</a>, a professor at Stanford, has also studied the effects of concealed carry laws on crime rates, and his research suggests the exact opposite of what Lott found.</p><p>&ldquo;If I had to bet my house, I&rsquo;d say more likely that they have adverse impacts than that they have a beneficial impact,&rdquo; Donohue said, adding the caveat that the current available research models aren&rsquo;t perfect.</p><p>Still, Donohue said he&rsquo;s doing preliminary work with a new research model that suggests right-to-carry laws lead to more aggravated assaults.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4655925819_1f5bc72c99_o.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: left; height: 183px; width: 275px;" title="Incumbent Pat Quinn advocates for firmer restrictions on concealed carry. (Flickr/Chris Eaves)" /></p><p>And then there&rsquo;s a third position held by other researchers about what happens to crime rates in right-to-carry states, as expressed by Prof. <a href="http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/p/faculty-gary-kleck.php" target="_blank">Gary Kleck</a> from Florida State University.</p><p>&ldquo;Other things being equal, nothing happens,&rdquo; Kleck said. &ldquo;Good guy gun ownership has crime-reducing effects and bad guy gun ownership has crime-elevating effects.&rdquo;</p><p>The reason there are so many contradictory opinions is that none of these folks can agree on what data they should be looking at or how they should be looking at it. Kleck said this gets into differences over the minutiae of crime research models.</p><p>&ldquo;There may be only one right way to do it, but there&rsquo;s like a million different wrong ways to do it. And yeah, if you&rsquo;re a layperson, you&rsquo;re just &lsquo;Joe Regular Guy&rsquo; trying to figure it out, you&rsquo;re doomed,&rdquo; Kleck said. &ldquo;I mean, there&rsquo;s nothing I can say to help you out because you&rsquo;re not gonna be qualified to see those ... flaws in the research.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP463233027879.jpg" style="margin: 5px; height: 303px; width: 450px;" title="The GOP candidates, from left to right, state Sen. Bill Brady, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, state Sen. Kirk Dillard, and businessman Bruce Rauner prepare to debate. (AP Photo/Chicago Tribune, Terrence Antonio James, Pool)" /></div><p><strong>Where the candidates stand</strong></p><p>All this is to show that concealed carry is a complicated, controversial issue. But we wanted to illustrate that even among the experts &mdash; the folks whom politicians are citing &mdash; there&rsquo;s not a consensus.</p><p>We posed Cheryl&rsquo;s question to all six major party campaigns, but we had to track down responses in very different ways. In three cases we were able to ask candidates directly, either at press conferences or via phone calls. For the others, we had to search for answers through other avenues. In some cases, we extrapolated a position based on the candidate&rsquo;s previous statements on concealed carry, crime, violence and guns.</p><p><strong>Democrat Tio Hardiman</strong></p><p>He is the only candidate who acknowledged the conflicting research that we encountered.</p><p>&ldquo;I cannot penalize, not with a good conscience, penalize legal gun owners for the violence problem in Illinois. There&rsquo;s no data to back it up. So if people would like to exercise their right to the Second Amendment, they should be able to do so.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Republican State Sen. Bill Brady</strong></p><p>&ldquo;We also have to understand that this is about public safety and driving down crime. We know that in every state where concealed carry took place, crime went down. And we need to give our citizens the opportunity to protect themselves and watch crime go down.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Republican State Sen. Kirk Dillard</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Illinois is the last state in America to allow people to protect themselves. It took the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to force the state of Illinois to allow people to have the same right they had in all 49 other states, let alone keep the criminals guessing. I take a wait and see approach. I think we ought to wait and see how this law unfurls for a while before we make any changes, pro or con, to it.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Republican businessman Bruce Rauner</strong></p><p>We didn&rsquo;t get a direct response from Bruce Rauner, but he addressed themes in Cheryl&rsquo;s question during a debate.</p><p>&ldquo;I think concealed carry was long overdue. Gun ownership is an important constitutional right. We should end the approach that many politicians take in Illinois and that is to blame our crime problems on gun ownership. Our crime problems are one of, crimes about inadequate police staffing, high unemployment and horrible schools, not about gun ownership.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Republican State Treasurer Dan Rutherford</strong></p><p>In previous statements, including this one from a debate in northwest suburban Hoffman Estates, he&rsquo;s said he wants the Illinois State Police to oversee gun licenses efficiently.</p><p>&ldquo;If I was king of the forest or if I was the governor and I was able to help influence it, it would be a different bill than what it was. I think what we need to be very, very sensitive to, though, is the evolution of this. The evolution could be, as you suggested, perhaps making it better and more enhancing. But as well an evolution could also put us backwards if we don&rsquo;t have the right people in the governor&rsquo;s office, we don&rsquo;t have the right people in the General Assembly. One of the performance reviews that I will be doing is with regards to State Police. Why does it take so long to process a FOID card? Why does it take so long to process the application for your concealed carry? Those are unacceptable.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn</strong></p><p>The governor didn&rsquo;t seem to like any part of the process of negotiating the concealed carry bill last year, and he <a href="http://www3.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=2&amp;RecNum=11323" target="_blank">vetoed parts of it </a>in the name of safety. Those changes were overridden by the General Assembly.</p><p>&ldquo;This is about public safety. I think that public safety should never be compromised, never be negotiated away. The governor, that&rsquo;s me, my job is to protect public safety and I think that&rsquo;s what I&rsquo;m doing here with these common sense changes. I think we need to repeat that over and over again. The things I&rsquo;ve outlined today that have changed this bill are all about common sense and public safety and I think the General Assembly and the members should put aside politics and focus on people and their safety.&rdquo;<a name="views"></a></p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="400" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/26501739&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/akeefe">Alex Keefe</a> is a political reporter at WBEZ. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZpolitics">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://plus.google.com/102759794640397640028">Google+</a>.</em></p><p><em>This report received additional support through <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center">Front &amp; Center</a>, an occasional WBEZ series funded by The Joyce Foundation.</em></p></p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 19:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/compare-illinois-governor-candidates-views-concealed-carry-109845 Could Illinois' next governor undo same-sex marriage? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/could-illinois-next-governor-undo-same-sex-marriage-109844 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/thumb_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicagoan Christie Pettitt-Schieber has spent a lot of time thinking about the future of same-sex marriage in Illinois. Apparently, so has her girlfriend of two years.</p><p>As Pettitt-Scheiber tells it: &ldquo;She goes on Etsy all the time, and she will, pull up, like, hundreds and hundreds of engagement rings, and then force me to look at the website and go, &lsquo;Do you like this one? Do you like this one? What do you think about this one?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>But before they take the plunge, Pettitt-Schieber, 26, asked Curious City a more fundamental question about Illinois&rsquo; gay marriage law, which was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-says-he-will-sign-marriage-equality-bill-month-109084" target="_blank">approved by the legislature</a> late last year and is set to take effect statewide on June 1st.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>Could the next governor reverse the same-sex marriage legislation that just passed?</em></p><p>Gay marriage has been a hot-button political issue in Illinois for a few years, and the allegiances and beliefs involved don&rsquo;t always break along party lines. After months of furious lobbying and nose-counting by both backers and opponents, the bill to legalize same-sex marriages passed by a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-says-he-will-sign-marriage-equality-bill-month-109084" target="_blank">narrow margin</a> in the state House in early November.</p><p>But the foundation of Christie&rsquo;s question gets to an apolitical issue: the relationship between the branches of Illinois government.</p><p><strong>Illinois Civics: 101</strong></p><p>To find out whether an Illinois governor could unilaterally undo the state&rsquo;s same-sex marriage law &mdash; or any law, for that matter &mdash; we called up Charles Wheeler, director of the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield and an expert on the state constitution.</p><p>Wheeler&rsquo;s answer is pretty straightforward: &ldquo;No.&rdquo;</p><p>But there&rsquo;s a civics lesson behind that &ldquo;no.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;The Illinois governor has no ability to unilaterally rewrite the statutes,&rdquo; Wheeler said. The only way a governor could undo a state law was by the same way it was done in the first place: with the approval of a majority of state Senators and Representatives.</p><p>The closest an Illinois governor can get to ruling by fiat is an executive order, Wheeler said. But the <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con5.htm" target="_blank">Illinois Constitution</a> only lets governors use that power to reorganize parts of state government, not to magic away laws they dislike. And even then, the legislature can overturn an order.</p><p>But that doesn&rsquo;t mean governors haven&rsquo;t tried.</p><p>When former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois House in 2009, the charges against him weren&rsquo;t limited to the corruption that would later send him to prison. Buried in the <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/95/HR/09500HR1671.htm" target="_blank">laundry list</a> of Blagojevich&rsquo;s misdeeds was Article 9, which accused him of &ldquo;utter disregard of the doctrine of separation of powers&rdquo; when he unilaterally expanded a state healthcare program that the legislature rejected.</p><p>Complicating matters more recently is a ruling <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/judge-allows-same-sex-couples-marry-cook-county-starting-now-109751" target="_blank">last month</a> by Chicago Federal Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, ordering that gay couples in Cook County must be issued marriage licenses immediately, rather than waiting for the new law&rsquo;s original June 1 start date. Coleman <a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/140221%20Federal%20gay%20marriage%20ruling%20Cook%20County.pdf" target="_blank">wrote</a> that the state&rsquo;s current prohibition of same-sex marriages (which is still in effect until June) violates the U.S. Constitution. That ruling <a href="http://www.senatormccarter.com/index.cfm?sectionid=22&amp;parentid=21&amp;sectiontree=21,22&amp;itemid=532" target="_blank">put an end</a> to one downstate Illinois Senator&rsquo;s move to repeal the gay marriage law.</p><p>For Wheeler, all of this adds up to one conclusion: &ldquo;I would be willing to bet any amount of money that Illinois will not repeal same-sex marriage.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Answers from the candidates</strong></p><p>Given that any repeal of the gay marriage law would take an act of political will (versus executive decree), Curious City asked the two Democrats and six Republicans running in the March 18th gubernatorial primary whether they would work to overturn same-sex marriage.</p><p>Some answers required some tooth-pulling (as you&rsquo;ll hear in the <a href="#playlist">audio excerpts</a>&nbsp;below), but here&rsquo;s what they had to say.</p><p><strong>Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn:</strong> &ldquo;The Governor led the charge to make Illinois the 16th state to embrace full marriage equality, and he is proud to have gotten the job done,&rdquo; spokeswoman Brooke Anderson wrote in an email. &ldquo;This was a major step forward for Illinois. As long as he&rsquo;s Governor, he will defend this law and make sure all couples have equal rights in Illinois.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Democrat Tio Hardiman, anti-violence advocate:</strong> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the law. If somebody was to bring some legislation to my desk, we would look at it. But ... I plan to enforce that law. People need to be happy in their lives. I&rsquo;m not here to, you know, try to play God with people&rsquo;s lives.&rdquo;</p><p>The four candidates running for the Republican Party&rsquo;s nomination <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/videogallery/79102861/Live-Republican-candidates-for-Illinois-governor" target="_blank">were asked a similar question recently</a> by the Chicago Tribune editorial board.</p><p><strong>Republican Illinois State Sen. Bill Brady:</strong> &ldquo;I&rsquo;d be consistent with my position,&rdquo; Brady said. He clarified that he would sign a repeal &ldquo;if it came to me,&rdquo; but added &ldquo;it&rsquo;s unrealistic to even address the issue.&rdquo; Brady <a href="http://ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/98/senate/09800SB0010_11052013_001000C.pdf" target="_blank">voted against the bill</a> in the legislature.</p><p><strong>Republican businessman Bruce Rauner: </strong>&ldquo;I would not sign it if there hasn&rsquo;t been a referendum on it. I wanna see what the voters want on that issue. I won&rsquo;t take any action on that issue unless I see what the voters want.&rdquo; Rauner has repeatedly refused to reveal how he feels about gay marriage.</p><p><strong>Republican Illinois State Sen. Kirk Dillard:</strong> &ldquo;If [a repeal] got to my desk [I would sign it], but that&rsquo;s not gonna happen. Let&rsquo;s focus on things like the economy and how we&rsquo;re gonna fix the state&rsquo;s finances.&rdquo; Dillard <a href="http://ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/98/senate/09800SB0010_11052013_001000C.pdf" target="_blank">voted against the bill</a> in the legislature.</p><p><strong>Republican Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford: </strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not gonna get to the desk. It&rsquo;s not gonna pass. It&rsquo;s not gonna get there. It is the law. ... I did not support the bill from the religious standpoint of it.&rdquo; Rutherford was out of the legislature when the same-sex marriage bill was passed, though he previously <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/96/senate/09600SB1716_12012010_006000C.pdf" target="_blank">voted in favor</a> of same-sex civil unions when he was a state senator.<a name="playlist"></a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="400" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/26498163&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>It&rsquo;s all politics</strong></p><p>If the unilateral repeal of gay marriage by an Illinois governor is legally impossible, it&rsquo;s also politically improbable, said Gregg Durham, an Illinois pollster who has worked with many Republican candidates (though he said he is not currently working for any gubernatorial campaign.)</p><p>Durham said the Republican candidates&rsquo; hesitation to talk about repealing gay marriage &mdash; even if they believe it should be repealed &mdash; is because it&rsquo;s a losing issue for the Illinois GOP.</p><p>&ldquo;I would tell them to run away as fast as they could from the question,&rdquo; Durham said.</p><p>Why?</p><p>Public opinion, for one: Durham&rsquo;s polling reflects growing approval of same-sex marriage in Illinois, and more resignation from people who are still opposed to it.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re starting to hear less and less about changing it, and more about, &lsquo;Fine, can we get onto more important issues now?&rsquo;&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Durham also cites the political math in Springfield. Democrats enjoy large majorities in both houses of the General Assembly, and the party has two powerful leaders &mdash; House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. Both exercise broad control over which bills are actually called up for a vote.</p><p>And even with those hefty majorities, and the support of some heavy-hitting Democratic pols, the gay marriage vote was still a tough one for rank-and-file lawmakers. And the difficulty wasn&rsquo;t just for Republicans, whose party platform defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.</p><p>Durham&rsquo;s own polling also showed opposition from some Democrats in Chicago and southern Illinois.</p><p>&ldquo;No one likes to pay for real estate twice,&rdquo; Durham said. &ldquo;The passage of that bill took a long time and a lot of effort by a lot of people. Now they don&rsquo;t wanna go back and have a second vote on it &mdash; anybody, probably on either side of the issue.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/akeefe">Alex Keefe</a> is a political reporter at WBEZ. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZpolitics">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://plus.google.com/102759794640397640028">Google+</a>.</em></p><p><em>Note: This report received additional support through <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center">Front &amp; Center</a>, an occasional WBEZ series funded by The Joyce Foundation. </em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 15:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/could-illinois-next-governor-undo-same-sex-marriage-109844 A fresh look at Freedom Wall http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/fresh-look-freedom-wall-109771 <p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/136868066&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>(Editor&#39;s note: The current episode of Curious City&#39;s podcast includes the interview portion of this story about Freedom Wall. That interview begins at 4 minutes, 55 seconds. Also, we&#39;re <a href="#form">taking your suggestions</a> about who should be included in a contemporary, digital Freedom Wall.)</em></p><p>If you ride the Brown Line or the Purple Line through Chicago&rsquo;s River North neighborhood, you&rsquo;ve probably seen this <a href="#list">list of names</a>. It&rsquo;s on the side of a brick building on Huron Street, where the Nacional 27 restaurant is located. The black banner stretches 72 feet high. Martin Luther King is at the top. Farther down, you&rsquo;ll see Harriet Tubman, the Dalai Lama, Frank Zappa, Ayn Rand and more.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/question%20asker%20and%20artist%20FOR%20WEB.jpg" style="height: 180px; width: 250px; float: right;" title="Dominique Lewis asked about the large banner of names on the city's Near North Side. Artist Adam Brooks, right, explained what's behind the piece called Freedom Wall. (WBEZ/Shawn Allee)" />Dominique Lewis caught glimpses of those 69 names in white letters &mdash; as well as one mysterious blank line &mdash; as she rode the Purple Line to work every day. &ldquo;I thought, &lsquo;That&rsquo;s weird. Why is Rush Limbaugh on a list with Martin Luther King Jr.?&rsquo;&rdquo; she says. So <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/questions/1189" target="_blank">she asked Curious City to investigate</a> the list&#39;s history and whether there&#39;s a common theme that connects those names.</p><p>Well, it&rsquo;s called <em>Freedom Wall</em>, and all of the names represent freedom ... or someone&rsquo;s idea of freedom, anyway. The artist who created it &nbsp;&mdash; Adam Brooks, a <a href="http://www.colum.edu/Academics/Art_and_Design/Faculty_Staff/FT_Faculty/Adam_Brook.php">Columbia College professor</a> who grew up in London &mdash; says he didn&rsquo;t have a partisan political agenda when he put up the list 20 years ago this August. In fact, he went out of his way to include conservative as well as liberal opinions about who represents freedom. And he avoided spelling out the word &ldquo;freedom&rdquo; on the banner because he wanted to make people think. He certainly got Lewis thinking.</p><p>Brooks acknowledges that <em>Freedom Wall</em> prompts some people to ask, &ldquo;Wait, that&rsquo;s supposed to be art?&rdquo; But he appears to have very little ego about his artwork, not even bothering to sign it. Brooks is trying to engage the public with his public art, not to dazzle people with his artistic prowess.</p><p>We invited Brooks to the WBEZ studios to discuss <em>Freedom Wall</em>. Lewis joined us for the conversation and added some questions of her own. Here&rsquo;s an edited transcript of our discussion.</p><p><strong>Why did you create <em>Freedom Wall</em>?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks:</strong> In 1992 and the lead-up to the presidential election that year, I heard the candidates really ramping up the idea of freedom. Of course, who&rsquo;s going to be against freedom? America is the land of the free. I was interested in exploring that word a little bit further.</p><p><strong>Why did you seek other people&rsquo;s opinions?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>It would&rsquo;ve been very easy for me to sit down and draw up a list of names of people that I felt embodied the idea of freedom, but that would&rsquo;ve been rather boring. And so what I did was essentially ask the question, &ldquo;Give me the names of up to three people that you feel embody the concept of freedom, whatever that means to you.&rdquo;</p><p>The Internet was really in its infancy then as a communicative medium. I posted this question on America Online, and in relatively short order, people started responding &mdash; particularly teachers, who were early adopters of the technology in their classrooms. The rank of the names on the list is essentially reflective of the frequency of nomination of those names. So Martin Luther King received the most votes.</p><p><strong>Lewis: </strong>Did you have favorite names on the list, people who stood out for you for exemplifying freedom?</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/freedom%20wall%20vertical%20for%20WEB%20cred%20robert%20loerzel.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: left; height: 330px; width: 220px;" title="The names listed on Freedom Wall were hand-lettered by a single craftsman from northern Indiana. (WBEZ/Robert Loerzel)" /><strong>Brooks:</strong> As far as I&rsquo;m concerned, that question is not pertinent to the project. Undoubtedly, personally I do, but because of the way that I work I don&rsquo;t take an ideological or other particular stance. I&rsquo;m interested in asking questions, and not posing answers. That, to me, is what art making is about &mdash; is to ask questions. And so, while certainly there are some people that I feel affinity with on the list more than others, I don&rsquo;t feel that it&rsquo;s really important for me to give you a specific answer.</p><p>I consciously did a search for conservatives and sent out hundreds of email requests to those people that themselves identified as conservatives. Because one of the things that I didn&rsquo;t want to end up happening was for someone like Rush Limbaugh to look at a project like this, and say, &ldquo;Oh, it&rsquo;s just another piece of liberal claptrap.&rdquo;</p><p>It was very important to me that there was no alteration, omission or any other kind of tampering with the results on my part. The only thing that I had to make decisions about was when specific names got the same number of nominations &mdash; how to rank them next to each other. So putting Anita Hill and Rush Limbaugh together, because they did get the same number of nominations, was quite delicious to me. Other than that, it&rsquo;s completely straight.</p><p><strong>Lewis: </strong>Did any of the names you received shape or change your ideas of freedom?</p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>There was one set of answers from a German artist who was living in Chicago at that point in time, who was always a bit of a jokester. His three names were Stalin, Louis XIV and Hitler. And his rationale was that those three individuals created worlds in which they had absolute freedom to do whatever they wanted to do. And while that&rsquo;s an extreme response, I think that it&rsquo;s just as valid as any of the other responses that I received.<a name="list"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="http://cf.datawrapper.de/VaCQr/1/" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="200"></iframe><br /><a href="https://docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ai7E2pZ6aCZtdF9xNXo4RlNZbFZuV3JTbDNWWUNkX1E&amp;usp=drive_web#gid=0" target="_blank">(view / download list)</a></p><p><strong>Why is there a blank line under Frank Zappa?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>I think six people responded saying that they really didn&rsquo;t feel that one name could sufficiently embody the idea of freedom. And in fact, one respondent actually said she didn&rsquo;t know what freedom was and seriously doubted that it existed. And so it was important to me to recognize the fact that actually some people refuse to participate. In hindsight, it also functioned as a space into which passersby could potentially, mentally, insert their own choice.</p><p><strong>How did <em>Freedom Wall</em> end up at this location on Huron Street?</strong></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/wide%20shot%20FOR%20WEB%20cred%20mickey%20capper.jpg" style="height: 213px; width: 320px; margin: 5px; float: right;" title="Adam Brooks' Freedom Wall is set against a building that's the home of the Nacional 27 restaurant. (WBEZ/Mickey Capper)" /><strong>Brooks:</strong> The building at that time was owned by Buzz Ruttenberg, who has been a longtime supporter of the arts in Chicago. And the gallery that I was affiliated with at that time, the Rhona Hoffman Gallery, was actually in that building. Rhona and Buzz and I sat down and talked about the project, and without any hesitation, Buzz said, &ldquo;Yeah, it&rsquo;s fine, just make sure that it doesn&rsquo;t deteriorate.&rdquo; And I assured him that the technology had reached a point where it would not be peeling off &mdash; and indeed, it still looks pristine 20 years later, which is kind of amazing to me.</p><p>This was the second mooted location for the project. The original location, not too far away, was all set to go. The landlord of the building took a look at the long list, and saw Hitler on it, and said, &ldquo;There&rsquo;s gonna be crowds of people throwing bricks through my window if Hitler makes it onto the list. So unfortunately, I can&rsquo;t work with you on this project.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Lewis: Did the train [The CTA Brown Line] pass by the original site?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>No. So in the end, it worked out very well for everyone concerned. Because being able to see it from the train is a huge advantage in its visibility, and I&rsquo;ve always liked the idea that it&rsquo;s a fleeting experience.</p><p><strong>How did you choose the font?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>The font is Helvetica, which is one of the most common sans-serif fonts. Helvetica is probably the most ordinary font there is. I want people to look at the information and not think about the font at all.</p><p><strong>Why did you put this list of names up without any explanation on the wall? You don&rsquo;t have the word &ldquo;freedom&rdquo; anywhere to explain what this is all about.</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>I believe that art should not be a spoon-feeding process &mdash; that people should do some work, at least, to gain access to the kind of work that I make. Neither do I want it to be purposefully opaque or obscure, but asking passersby and viewers to do a bit of work to make connections between all of the names on that list is one of the essential components of the project for me.</p><p><strong>Lewis:</strong> I think it stood out more because it didn&rsquo;t have a title on it. I couldn&rsquo;t just Google what it was. I&rsquo;m on the train every morning, kind of staring out the window, so I have the time to think about it. There are some names I wasn&rsquo;t familiar with, so I went and looked some people up. There were some names that I thought, you know, &ldquo;These are kind of incongruent. I don&rsquo;t know what they have to do with each other.&rdquo; I&rsquo;ve talked to people about it, too. I&rsquo;ve talked to my friends, like: &ldquo;Hey, you&rsquo;ve seen that sign, right? What&rsquo;s the deal with that? What&rsquo;s going on?&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>And that&rsquo;s all I can really ask for. And if in some small way, I can lodge a question in people&rsquo;s heads and make them think a little bit, that&rsquo;s quite sufficient for me.</p><p><strong>Lewis: </strong>I don&rsquo;t see your name anywhere on there. Was that on purpose &mdash; is it somewhere hidden?</p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>It&rsquo;s not hidden. It&rsquo;s not there. The idea of signing one&rsquo;s work is a modernist conceit, and I&rsquo;ve never signed my work &mdash; except maybe when I was in college 30-plus years ago, because that&rsquo;s what I was told I needed to do. But in pretty short order, I realized that that wasn&rsquo;t important, that the work itself was the signature. And if people are interested enough, they will find out who made the work.</p><p><strong>Lewis: </strong>That&rsquo;s what I did.</p><p><strong>Brooks:</strong> For me, one of the most fascinating things about this whole project was going to northern Indiana, into a huge sign-painting warehouse and spending a day watching the one late-middle-aged man hand-letter each one of these names with a 3-inch-wide brush. Because he had been making these letters on billboards for 30 years, it was amazing watching him do it &mdash; absolutely precise and really fast. He did six names an hour. This painter&rsquo;s name was Bob Morales.</p><p><strong>How does <em>Freedom Wall</em> relate to the art you&rsquo;ve done recently with <a href="http://www.industryoftheordinary.com">Industry of the Ordinary</a>, your collaboration with Mathew Wilson?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks:</strong><em> Freedom Wall</em> was the first open acknowledgement that I&rsquo;m interested in reaching as wide an audience as possible &mdash; and presenting work that often does not even appear to be art. Asking questions about what art is &mdash; and whether it can function outside of the confines of the white-walled gallery.</p><p><em>Who represents freedom to you? Which names would you put on a new version of Freedom Wall? Suggest names here.<a name="form"></a>&nbsp;</em></p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><div id="wufoo-rhfbmej1nd9yf0">Fill out my <a href="https://thecuriouscity.wufoo.com/forms/rhfbmej1nd9yf0">online form</a>.</div><script type="text/javascript">var rhfbmej1nd9yf0;(function(d, t) { var s = d.createElement(t), options = { 'userName':'thecuriouscity', 'formHash':'rhfbmej1nd9yf0', 'autoResize':true, 'height':'617', 'async':true, 'host':'wufoo.com', 'header':'show', 'ssl':true}; s.src = ('https:' == d.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + 'wufoo.com/scripts/embed/form.js'; s.onload = s.onreadystatechange = function() { var rs = this.readyState; if (rs) if (rs != 'complete') if (rs != 'loaded') return; try { rhfbmej1nd9yf0 = new WufooForm();rhfbmej1nd9yf0.initialize(options);rhfbmej1nd9yf0.display(); } catch (e) {}}; var scr = d.getElementsByTagName(t)[0], par = scr.parentNode; par.insertBefore(s, scr); })(document, 'script');</script><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><br /><p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/209578749/Freedom-Wall-A-project-by-Chicago-artist-Adam-Brooks" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Freedom Wall: A project by Chicago artist Adam Brooks on Scribd">Freedom Wall: A project by Chicago artist Adam Brooks</a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><a name="pdf"></a><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_53845" scrolling="no" src="//www.scribd.com/embeds/209578749/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Robert Loerzel is a freelance journalist. You can follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/robertloerzel">@robertloerzel</a></em></p><p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Adam Brooks&#39; collaborator. The correct spelling is Mathew Wilson.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Additional editor&#39;s note: After reporting this story, Curious City was informed that the current owner of the building that Freedom wall is installed upon is the Conant family. That family is the backer of the&nbsp;Doris and Howard Conant Fund for Journalism, which supports Curious City through contributions to WBEZ.</em>&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>&nbsp;</em></p></p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 19:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/fresh-look-freedom-wall-109771 Ex-Cook County commissioner sentenced to 11 years http://www.wbez.org/news/ex-cook-county-commissioner-sentenced-11-years-109736 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/moreno_AP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former Cook County Commissioner Joseph Moreno has been sentenced to 11 years in prison in a federal extortion case.</p><p>Federal Judge Gary Feinerman sentenced Moreno on Wednesday in Chicago. The 61-year-old Moreno was charged in June 2012 along with former Chicago Alderman Ambrosio Medrano. Medrano was sentenced last month to 10 1/2 years in prison.</p><p>The judge also ordered Moreno to forfeit $100,000 and pay more than $138,000 in restitution. Moreno is to begin serving his sentence April 21.</p><p>The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the judge told Moreno that his conduct was &quot;brazen&quot; and &quot;standard operating procedure.&quot; Moreno was a commissioner for 16 years, until 2010.</p><p>Moreno agreed to a plea deal last July that had him confess to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion.</p></p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 16:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/ex-cook-county-commissioner-sentenced-11-years-109736 Former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley hospitalized http://www.wbez.org/news/former-chicago-mayor-richard-daley-hospitalized-109621 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Daley.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is undergoing tests in the intensive care unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital this weekend, after feeling ill on his way home from a business trip Friday night, according to a spokeswoman.</p><p>Daley, 71, was taken to the hospital by ambulance Friday night after returning to Chicago from a legal conference in Arizona, said Jackie Heard, a spokeswoman for Katten Muchin Roseman, LLP,&nbsp; the law firm where the former mayor now works.</p><p>Heard said that Daley is awake and alert, but did not offer specifics as to his symptoms or his current condition.</p><p>&ldquo;Mayor Daley&rsquo;s not one to not feel well often, so just as a precaution the ambulance was there,&rdquo; Heard told WBEZ Saturday afternoon. &ldquo;He did walk from the plane to the ambulance.&rdquo;</p><p>Daley spent Friday night at the hospital and is currently undergoing monitoring and evaluation at NMH. His family has been visiting in between tests, according to a statement released to reporters.</p><p>Daley has kept a busy schedule since stepping down in 2011 after 22 years as Chicago&#39;s mayor, Heard said.&nbsp;</p><p>His illness came the same day that his nephew, Richard J. Vanecko, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaugther for the death of another man in a fight outside a bar in Chicago&#39;s Gold Coast neighborhood in 2004.</p></p> Sat, 01 Feb 2014 15:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/former-chicago-mayor-richard-daley-hospitalized-109621 Hey (future) governor! Here's what you should talk about! http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/hey-future-governor-heres-what-you-should-talk-about-109594 <p><p><em>Editor&#39;s note: WBEZ&#39;s Tony Arnold and Alex Keefe would still LOVE to have your politics-related questions (and others), but their focused campaign to solicit questions about the 2014 race for Illinois governor has ended. What came of it? Many <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/questions/archive/race-for-illinois-governor">great questions </a>about the political process, the state&#39;s future governor and much more! Tony and Alex will be taking on several of those questions, but they also placed three into a <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/voting_rounds/50">Curious City voting round</a>, to let people like you decide which should be the highest priority.&nbsp;</em></p><p>Illinois voters head to the polls March 18 to select their party&rsquo;s candidate for Illinois governor.</p><p>How&rsquo;s this involve you? WBEZ&rsquo;s Curious City is looking for the questions you feel are important but the candidates for governor may not be talking about. We suspect some issues will get a lot of coverage: tax policy, pensions, guns and same-sex marriage. But what more do you want to know? The candidates&rsquo; positions on Illinois&rsquo; nuclear power industry? Animal rights? Or, maybe you&rsquo;ve always wondered what goes on inside a campaign.</p><p><a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/">Write your question </a>about Illinois&rsquo; 2014 governor&rsquo;s race right now, and &mdash; if you&#39;re using a PC or Mac &mdash; it helps to&nbsp;select the category &quot;Race for Illinois governor.&quot; Here&#39;s what to look for at the top of the page:</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org " target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CC%20screenshot%20for%20Al_Tony%20story.png" style="height: 64px; width: 600px;" title="" /></a></div><p>WBEZ&rsquo;s political reporters Alex Keefe and Tony Arnold will pore over the questions, looking out for ones that can broaden &mdash; and maybe even shake up &mdash; this election.</p><p>If you have to sort out who&rsquo;s running in the March 18 primary, the Illinois State Board of Elections keeps an updated <a href="http://www.elections.state.il.us/ElectionInformation/CandList.aspx?SearchType=office&amp;ListType=RESULTS+OF+SEARCH+BY+OFFICE&amp;ElectionID=41&amp;ElectionType=GP&amp;ElectionDate=3%2f18%2f2014&amp;ElectionYear=2014&amp;QueryType=CANDIDATE&amp;OfficeIDSearchType=Matches&amp;OfficeID=6746&amp;StatusSearchType=Matches&amp;Status=AP&amp;OrderBy=ORDER+BY+OfficeBallotGroup%2c+OfficeSequence%2c+PartySequence%2cFileDateTime%2cvwCandidates.Sequence%2cvwCandidates.ID%2cLotteryLastName%2cLotteryFirstName">list of candidates</a>.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him on <a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">Twitter</a>.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/akeefe">Alex Keefe</a>&nbsp;is a political reporter at WBEZ. You can follow him on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZpolitics" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://plus.google.com/102759794640397640028" target="_blank">Google+</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 18:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/hey-future-governor-heres-what-you-should-talk-about-109594 'Art and Appetite' looks at 250 years of American bellies and politics http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/art-and-appetite-looks-250-years-american-bellies-and-politics-109163 <p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Norman-Rockwell_Freedom-from-Want (2).jpg" style="float: left; height: 322px; width: 250px;" title="Norman Rockwell. Freedom from Want, 1942. Lent by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Norman Rockwell Art Collection Trust. " />Earlier this week the Art Institute of Chicago lifted the silver dome on its latest treat, an exhibit called &ldquo;Art and Appetite.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Featuring 100 paintings, sculptures and pieces of decorative arts, it offers a delicious romp through the victuals of 18th, 19th and 20th Century America. &nbsp;On a timely note, &ldquo;Art and Appetite&rdquo; kicks off with a &ldquo;Thanksgiving&rdquo; gallery featuring a pop art turkey by Roy Lichtenstein and Norman Rockwell&rsquo;s 1943 &nbsp;&ldquo;Freedom From Want,&rdquo; a painting that, for better or for worse, has come to define what the modern American Thanksgiving is supposed to look like.</p><p dir="ltr">And while sometimes a painted apple is just an apple, curator Judith Barter says food depictions are often served with a side of biting commentary on politics, social mores, national eating patterns and cultural decline.</p><p dir="ltr">Take, for instance, Francis Edmond&rsquo;s 1838 painting called &ldquo;The Epicure,&rdquo; depicting a gentleman eyeing a suckling pig for sale.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Francis-Edmonds_Epicure%20%281%29.jpg" title="Francis W. Edmonds. The Epicure, 1838. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund." /></div></div></div><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s loosely based on a previous Dutch picture from the 17th Century,&rdquo; Barter says. &ldquo;But it&rsquo;s also a political cartoon. When Andrew Jackson is president there is a large debate over sectionalism in the country: Northern banking interests versus the Jeffersonian ideal of Southern small farmers. And so the wealthy gourmand here with his snuff box and big side of beef and Madeira represents the North. He has stopped at a country inn and he is being presented with a suckling pig, which represents the prevalent meat of the South, by a simple farmer and his wife. So there are political overtones to this as well.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The exhibit also features an entire gallery of still life paintings &mdash; mostly by 19th Century &nbsp;painter Raphaelle Peale &mdash; that can be appreciated as dazzling food porn or biting commentaries on the social, economic and agricultural issues of his era.</p><p dir="ltr">This one, Barter notes, illuminates the era&rsquo;s seasonal produce as well as the kinds of glass and porcelain goods that were being exported from China at the time.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Raphaelle-Peale_Still-Life-Strawberries-Nuts%20%281%29.jpg" title="Raphaelle Peale. Still Life - Strawberries, Nuts, &amp;c., 1822. Art Institute of Chicago. Gift of Jamee J. and Marshall Field." />&nbsp;Another Peale painting from the 1820&rsquo;s depicts cabbage, squash, okra, &nbsp;squash blossoms and tomatoes, which Barter notes Americans considered &ldquo;nasty smelling&rdquo; and didn&rsquo;t generally eat raw. &nbsp;</div><p dir="ltr">But the painting also features a warty, cucumber-like fruit filled with red poisonous seeds and a pointed message. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s called a balsam pear,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;At this period of time in the 1820s there is already lots of discussion about Americans&rsquo; use of their land and preserving it. Former President James Madison, in 1819, is addressing Congress and other groups about how Americans need to plow under their spent crops and rotate their crops and better take care of their land. So, to me, this [poisonous fruit among late summer crops] is a little trouble introduced into the Garden of Eden.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Art and Appetite&rdquo; also features galleries devoted to trompe l&rsquo;oeil paintings of single ingredients, others devoted to restaurant (Edward Hopper&#39;s &ldquo;Nighthawks&rdquo;) and cocktail culture, and another to simple rustic, home recipes. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">While some folks may love &ldquo;Art and Appetite&rdquo; for its window into the bellies of 18th and 19th Americans (at least among a certain class of bellies), others may appreciate the more conceptual 20th Century pop art of Andy Warhol and sculptor Claes Oldenburg, whose works include a giant fried egg and pile of green beans.</p><p dir="ltr">And for those who want to take some of this back to their homes and kitchens, there is a lovely companion book ($30-$50) with fascinating analysis and historical recipes for things like &ldquo;sheepes tongue pie,&rdquo; potted pigeons and molasses cake. Some of these recipes and more contemporary American dishes from top Chicago chefs are also featured on the <a href="http://extras.artic.edu/artandappetite">exhibit&rsquo;s website</a>, which launched this week. Bon appetit!</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Monica Eng is a producer for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter @monicaeng.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/art-and-appetite-looks-250-years-american-bellies-and-politics-109163