Alex Keefe | WBEZ
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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


Best Stories of 2019: The Crazy Year In Illinois Politics

There were wiretaps, alleged bribery and pleas for Viagra. And that’s just for one of Chicago’s big political stories of 2019.


Richard Hatcher, First Black Mayor of Gary, Dies At 86

Richard Gordon Hatcher was one of the first African Americans elected to lead a major U.S. city. His family says he died Friday.


Illinois Senate President Cullerton Stuns Springfield With Retirement Announcement

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton had a “deal” with his wife to leave power after a decade as the No. 1 Senate Dem, his aide says.


Cook County Board’s Tobolski Quits Committees Amid Federal Corruption Probe

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle asked Tobolski to resign for missing meetings. He blames health issues for his absence.


‘I Am Better Than This’: Ex-Chicago Ald. Cochran Gets 1 Year In Corruption Case

“My human frailties have brought me shame,” Cochran said before being sentenced. He had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.


Lori Lightfoot Sworn In As Chicago’s First Black Woman Mayor, Signs Executive Order

Chicago has inaugurated the city’s first-ever black woman mayor. And Lightfoot will have her work cut out for her.


Chicago’s Elections Are Feb. 26. Here’s Your Crib Sheet

In addition to the mayoral race, all city-wide officials and 50 aldermanic seats will be on the ballot. These are the races to watch.


Viagra, Massage Parlors, And An FBI Mole In City Hall

Here are four takeaways from bombshell reports into the FBI’s investigation into corruption in the City Council.


Dorothy Brown Poised To Be Kicked Off Chicago Mayoral Ballot

A Chicago elections board officer recommended Brown’s removal Friday because she doesn’t have enough valid ballot petition signatures.


Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker Orders Review Of All State Veterans’ Homes

The review of health and safety practices follows a WBEZ investigation into repeated Legionnaires’ outbreaks at a state-run veterans’ home.


Burke Indictment Prompts Committee Resignation, Possible Reforms

Mayor Emanuel said Burke will resign from his position as chairman of the Finance Committee after being charged with attempted extortion.

On Background: WBEZ's Politics Podcast

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Chicago Pensions?

We explain 1) what pensions are, 2) how Chicago’s got so messed up, 3) why solutions are so difficult, and 4) why you should care.


For Pension Fix, Emanuel Says Borrow, Legalize Weed, Open Chicago Casino

Chicago’s mayor wants to change the state constitution, legalize weed and allow a Chicago casino to help the city’s struggling pensions.

Curious City

What Do Aldermen Really Do?

Sure, they pass laws and vote on city budgets. But there’s so much more. Think: Pregnancy tests and pigeon poo.


Your Crib Sheet For Illinois’ March 20 Primary Elections

Still deciding on who to vote for in the March 20 primary? Here’s the skinny on the most important races in the Chicago area.


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.


Emanuel budget avoids pension woes

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


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.


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.


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.

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