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Hilary Gowins

Will judge strike down Chicago's food truck rules?

Hilary Gowins | October 25, 2016 | Chicago
For the past four years, Chicago has forced food trucks to live under ridiculous rules. But depending on the outcome of a case now before Cook County Circuit Court Judge Anna Helen Demacopoulos, the Chicago Way may have to change. The anticipated Dec. 5 court ruling - and...
Matt Farmer

Tic Tac Trump

Matt Farmer | October 24, 2016 | Politics
With Donald Trump still unwilling to say that he'll leave the political stage gracefully after voters send him packing on November 8, I decided to write him some exit music.
Matthew Dietrich

How Downstate GOP Lawmakers Are Dealing With The 'Trump Effect'

Matthew Dietrich | October 21, 2016 | Chicago
For downstate Republicans, the subjects of voting for and supporting Donald Trump are a minefield. They know that their districts gave Trump heavy support in the primary and the voters they need may be Trump loyalists. If they say they're not voting for Trump or that they don't support him as their party's nominee, they risk being branded as turncoats or "establishment" Republicans. But Trump throughout the presidential race has issued ever more controversial statements that have turned many moderate Republicans against him. Republicans who too vociferously support Trump risk alienating these voters and, worse, risk becoming the subject of attack ads that link them directly to Trump's most outrageous episodes. It's already happened to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who never has endorsed Trump by name. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, had signed on to be Trump's agricultural adviser in August, but withdrew his support for Trump after video emerged of Trump speaking in crude and offensive terms about women. Davis announced his disavowal of Trump in a Facebook post, then incurred the wrath of hundreds of commenters who accused him of being a traitor and worse. At a candidate forum hosted by The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Republican state Reps. Avery Bourne and Sara Wojcicki Jiminez both gave careful answers when asked if they would vote for Trump. Bourne said she would but did not mention Trump by name. Jiminez gave a very tactful answer that ended with her statement that she would decide Nov. 8. Whether Trump's presence at the top of the ticket helps downstate Republicans or hurts them is something we won't know until after Election Day. But the "Trump effect" is a strange phenomenon and it's our topic on this week's "Only in Illinois." Recommended: Was UIC Trump rally canceled because of Democrat-hired agitators?...
Reboot Illinois

Voters, Don't Fall For These Over-the-Top Attack Ads

Reboot Illinois | October 21, 2016 | Chicago
How to cut through all this campaign attack ad silliness   MATT DIETRICH: Madeleine, I am in a quandary. I can't decide whether my vote for state representative should go to the candidate who wants to end Social Security and Medicare or the one who is part of a...
David Ormsby

Poll: Clinton Thumping Trump in Illinois by 19-points, Leading in DuPage Too

David Ormsby | October 20, 2016 | Chicago
Hillary Clinton holds not only a commanding 19-point lead over Donald Trump in Illinois according to a new poll, but also she has grabbed a solid lead over the reality TV star in a suburban DuPage battleground. An October 13, 2016 poll conducted by Illinois Public Opinion Strategies...
Peter Cunningham

Sunshine in Chicago: Don't Write Mayor Emanuel's Political Obituary Yet

Peter Cunningham | October 17, 2016 | Chicago
According to local legend, Richard J. Daley, the Mayor of Chicago from 1955 to 1976, was once told that a group of experts had concluded that American cities had become ungovernable. Daley allegedly replied, "What the hell do the experts know?" The conventional narrative about...
Matthew Dietrich

New Mike Madigan Documentary Interesting, But Not Authoritative

Matthew Dietrich | October 14, 2016 | Chicago
Opinion The Illinois Policy Institute's new Michael Madigan documentary,"Madigan: Power, Privilege, Politics," will serve as a significant historical artifact for generations to come for a couple of reasons. First, the content of"Madigan: Power, Privilege, Politics" -- while often propagandistic in tone (more on that shortly) -- at...
Reboot Illinois

Reboot Illinois/BGA Comptroller Questionnaire

Reboot Illinois | October 14, 2016 | Chicago
With Illinois mired in a budget crisis, who should get paid by the state, when, and how should that be prioritized? Should citizens be able to see who's waiting to be paid? What other kinds of government finance information should citizens be able to access? To help voters make their...
Reboot Illinois

Duckworth, Kirk Reveal Stark Differences in Reboot Illinois/BGA Questionnaire

Reboot Illinois | October 12, 2016 | Chicago
How will our U.S. Senate candidates work to end gridlock in Congress? What is their view of campaign finance and voter ID laws? How will they tackle gun violence and our heroin epidemic? In order to help voters with their decisions, Reboot Illinois and the Better Government Association asked our...
Matthew Dietrich

Nearly Half of Illinoisans Want to Leave, Poll Finds

Matthew Dietrich | October 12, 2016 | Chicago
If you're a young Illinoisan, it's likely you want to get out of the state. If you're an Illinoisan of any age, it's even more likely that you think your home state is headed in the wrong direction. The third installment of the...
The Conversation US

Columbus Day: Black Legend Meets White City

The Conversation US | October 10, 2016 | Chicago
The story of Christopher Columbus, as with all legends, involves a series of great successes and horrible failures.
Peter Cunningham

Will a Teacher Strike Accomplish Anything?

Peter Cunningham | October 9, 2016 | Chicago
On Tuesday, October 11, public school teachers in Chicago may go on strike, suspending the education of nearly 400,000 children and forcing parents to find safe havens for their kids in a city crippled by gang violence. Given the price, what will a strike accomplish?...
Reboot Illinois

Here Are 15 Of The Best Spots In Illinois For Fall Foliage

Reboot Illinois | October 7, 2016 | Chicago
As the deep green colors of summer change into the vibrant red, orange and yellow hues of fall, there are certain places in Illinois where witnessing this transformation is unparalleled.
Matthew Dietrich

Campaign Contribution Limit Law Backfiring on Democrats

Matthew Dietrich | October 7, 2016 | Chicago
When the Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly approved the state's first-ever campaign contribution limit law in 2009, they made sure it was designed to allow party leaders to freely pass campaign money to their own members in the state House and Senate. But they clearly did not anticipate that a candidate as wealthy as Gov. Bruce Rauner would easily use their "limit" law to bring unprecedented amounts of campaign money into the system. Now this system is backfiring on them and one statewide candidate who helped pass the law complains she is a victim of it. The easy work-around for subverting campaign contribution limits is our topic on this week's "Only in...
Dave Stieber

Rahm's Choices Have Given Teachers No Choice But To Make The Strike A Necessity

Dave Stieber | October 9, 2016 | Education
Recently Mayor Rahm Emanuel made the statement that, "Teachers are striking out of choice, not necessity." Mind you that this is the same tired language that he said during our last strike in 2012. There is nothing more I would rather do than...
Reboot Illinois

Follow Politifact's Live Fact-Check of Vice-Presidential Debate

Reboot Illinois | October 4, 2016 | Chicago
The Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website PolitiFact will provide live fact checks throughout the vice-presidential  debate on Tuesday. The 90-minute debate, which begins at 8 p.m. central time at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., will be fact-checked by 18 PolitiFact staffers in real time. PolitiFact, with which Reboot Illinois has partnered to create PolitiFact Illinois, won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2008 election. Follow their work on this Twitter feed. Also, PolitiFact staffers will annotate the debate transcript in real time on the PolitiFact Medium page. Follow that activity here. Live fact-checking the vice presidential
Barack Obama

Republican Obstruction Is Undermining The Supreme Court, Enough Is Enough

Barack Obama | October 5, 2016 | Politics
This week, the Supreme Court returns to work. The Justices will hear important cases on issues ranging from the separation of church and state to intellectual property to Congressional redistricting to the death penalty. Many of the cases address questions that are fundamental to our democracy: the...
Matthew Dietrich

Finally, Issues That Matter Arise in Illinois' U.S. Senate Race

Matthew Dietrich | October 4, 2016 | Chicago
Opinion by Reboot Illinois' Madeleine Doubek Finally some substance from Illinois' U.S. Senate contenders. After months of bottom-feeding attacks on each other that did little to enlighten voters, Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and his challenger, Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy...
Roger Wright

A Tree Dies in Chicago

Roger Wright | October 2, 2016 | Chicago
This is Chicago. Where the cold grey October rain pounds streets soaked in blood. We kill people here. And we do it a lot. Giggling babies in their beds snuffed out by stray bullets pinging through the walls. Tired old working men on...
Matthew Dietrich

AFSCME Ad Accuses Rauner of 'Waging War' on Illinois Workers

Matthew Dietrich | September 29, 2016 | Chicago
Opinion You don't have a seat at the bargaining table as Gov. Bruce Rauner and AFSCME Council 31 attempt to create a contract for the 38,000 state employees the union represents. Nor is Rauner on the ballot this year. But AFSCME wants to make sure, as Election Day nears, that you have an opinion on the protracted and contentious negotiations to replace a contract that expired 15 months ago. A new, 30-second video and TV ad titled "Negotiate" uses the headline of a Feb. 13, 2015, New York Times editorial -- "A war on workers in Illinois" -- in introducing three state workers who make their cases against the governor. "Gov. Rauner is so far disconnected from how real people live," says one. A few seconds later, she adds that Rauner "refuses to negotiate. He gets up and walks away whenever he doesn't get his way." "Public service workers in state government protect kids, care for veterans, keep us safe and more," AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said in a press release announcing the ad. "State workers have always been willing to do their part. We're prepared to compromise. But we can only do that if Governor Rauner puts the public good ahead of his personal demands and returns to bargaining ready to negotiate." Though it doesn't mention any candidates or the Nov. 8 election, the ad's election implications can't be ignored. At the moment, Democrats -- and their union supporters -- are doing everything they can to link their Republican opponents to Rauner. They believe this will negatively affect Republican candidates in legislative races by linking them to an agenda that Democrats have portrayed as anti-union and extreme. This ad, which portrays Rauner as out of touch with average workers and intent on busting the union, plays into that narrative. (Conversely, Republicans are doing the same to Democratic candidates, whom they are linking to House Speaker Michael Madigan at every opportunity.) The negotiations between the Rauner administration and AFSCME Council 31, whose last contract expired June 30, 2015, have brought incremental victories to both sides over the past year even as each accused the other of sandbagging talks. A year ago, Democrats passed a bill that would have curtailed sharply Rauner's power in negotiations. He vetoed it, and the failure of an override effort in the House was a major victory for Rauner. In January, the administration said negotiations were at an impasse and filed an unfair labor practices complaint against AFSCME with the Illinois Labor Relations Board. AFSCME filed a complaint accusing the administration of bargaining in bad faith. The Labor Relations Board, whose members are appointed by the governor, heard the case from April to June, and the matter then was turned over to Administrative Law Judge Sarah Kerley, who will issue a recommendation to the board. Rauner in June asked that the judicial review process be skipped so the case could go directly to the board, but the board denied that request. Kerley said at the time she hoped to forward a recommendation in time for the board to discuss the case at its November meeting. The board does not have to accept Kerley's recommendation, and its decision could be the most significant event in Rauner's term to date. A ruling in the union's favor would send the two sides back into negotiations. A decision for Rauner would allow the administration to impose its own terms. That would force the union to choose between accepting Rauner's contract, going on strike or suing to force continued negotiations. Illinois never has had a state employee strike, nor has it ever had a governor who has taken on AFSCME with such ferocity. You may not have a seat at the bargaining table, and you can't cast a ballot for/against Rauner on Nov. 8, but AFSCME in this ad is making sure that the suspended negotiations don't get shoved to the back burner as election season hits its boiling point. Recommended: "Hamilton" hit Chicago and everyone freaked out...
All posts from 10.25.2016 < 10.24.2016