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Alex Keefe

Alex Keefe

Senior Editor, Government and Politics

Alex rejoined WBEZ in February 2017 to coordinate the station’s coverage of local, state and federal government and politics. 

He first started at WBEZ in 2010 as a producer on Morning Edition, and later worked his way up to the politics beat. As a reporter, he had a particular interest in covering municipal finance, the state and city pension crises, and the debates over LGBT rights and gun rights. His 2014 series on the “Dark Arts of Politics” was recognized with awards from the Press Club of Atlantic City, the Society of Professional Journalists, PRNDI, the RTNDA and the Illinois Associated Press. He’s also twice been named Best Newswriter by the Illinois AP, in 2011 and 2013.

Starting in late 2014, Alex was the local All Things Considered host at Vermont Public Radio, where he also launched a people-powered journalism podcast called Brave Little State, modeled on WBEZ’s Curious City. 

Alex is the proud son of the late Chicago radio newsman Barry Keefe, who taught him everything he knows about the family business.

Recent Stories

WBEZ News

Rep. Bobby Rush: Trump Will Visit Chicago's Most Violent Neighborhoods

A Chicago Congressman says President Donald Trump has accepted his invitation to visit especially violent parts of the city.

WBEZ News

Emanuel budget avoids pension woes

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2015 budget includes some tax hikes, silence on pension crisis.

WBEZ News

Polling: How campaigns get the message

We’re not talking about the head-to-head horse race polls you hear about on the news. Campaigns collect data that often never sees the light of day, though it helps decide what politicians tell you. Here’s how it works.

WBEZ News

Meet the voices behind Illinois political ads

It’s not all leathery, ominous voices and poll-tested attacks. Learn how election-year media is designed to play on your emotions — and influence your vote.

WBEZ News

Meet the folks who dig political dirt

The deluge of attacks and spin about Illinois political candidates this election year isn’t just made up by campaigns. There’s a whole underground industry of political professionals whose job it is to dig up dirt on the other candidate. Here’s how they do it.

WBEZ News

Hey Gov: An Illinois politics road trip

WBEZ political reporters Alex Keefe and Tony Arnold took off from Chicago and drove along the Illinois River until the hit the State Fair. All along the way, they stopped to ask people what they want from the next governor. 

WBEZ News

Emanuel, aldermen expected to introduce telephone tax increase

Chicagoans would see their telephone taxes jump this fall to help ease the city’s massive public worker pension crisis under a proposal expected to be introduced to the City Council on Wednesday.

WBEZ News

Quinn supporter links Republicans to KKK

With Illinois’ Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn silently at his side, an outspoken Chicago clergyman connected the GOP to the Ku Klux Klan on Thursday and suggested Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner stands for “evil.”

WBEZ News

Emanuel ribs Clinton over 'dead broke' comment at book tour stop

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked foreign policy and growing up in the Chicagoland area during a book tour stop here on Wednesday. But she didn’t address speculation about a possible 2016 presidential run.

WBEZ News

Quinn signs Chicago pension bill as Emanuel backs off tax hike

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a controversial overhaul of two Chicago pension systems into law on Monday, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed he wouldn't raise property taxes for at least a year to pay for the pension changes. 

WBEZ News

Ferguson to stay on as City Hall watchdog

Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson will not leave his post at the end of the summer, despite a history of public clashes with Emanuel’s administration.

WBEZ News

Mayors blast pension fix for cops, firefighters

A coalition of mayors and municipal groups says proposals to fix underfunded pensions for cops and firefighters outside of Chicago is “merely window dressing,” casting doubt on whether a deal can get done before state lawmakers adjourn next week.

WBEZ News

Pension deal nears for suburban cops, firefighters

After weeks of talks, a plan is emerging to stabilize the underfunded pensions for hundreds of cops and firefighters in the suburbs and downstate. 

WBEZ News

Stroger defends City Hall gig

Former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger - a self-described political “lightning rod” - is defending his latest gig: working as a consultant to an influential aldermen at Chicago’s City Hall.

WBEZ News

Chicago seeks end to federal hiring oversight

A crusading lawyer who fought for decades against Chicago’s entrenched political patronage system is finally calling for an end to federal oversight of City Hall’s hiring practices.

WBEZ News

Pensions - and potholes - in Chicago's suburbs

Suburbs and towns across the state have been struggling with ever-rising costs for police and firefighter pensions. Now Springfield is considering a fix.

WBEZ News

Emanuel skeptical of teachers union pension plan

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration is voicing skepticism about some key aspects of the Chicago Teachers Union’s plans for shoring up the under-funded pensions for city teachers.

WBEZ News

Plastic bags, pedicabs, pet coke to get Chicago crackdown

Chicago aldermen Wednesday approved a flurry of new regulations at a busy City Council meeting. The new laws will affect everyone from grocery shoppers to pedicab drivers.

WBEZ News

Feds seek arrest of former Emanuel aide

U.S. Marshals in Ohio say Amer Ahmad, a former top aide to Mayor Rahm Emanuel who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges, violated terms of his bail.

WBEZ News

City Council panel passes plastic bag ban

A Chicago City Council committee passed an ordinance to partially ban plastic grocery bags.

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