Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Hillary, beware the word ‘invincible’ ]]> Lead story image

Even those of us who are rooting for a woman president realize Clinton needs a serious scrimmage to take on the road to Iowa, New Hampshire and all the way to California in the first week of June. ]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 02:32:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Oh, when Obama ties up the town ]]> Lead story image

When the president comes to town, it’s a big deal. As it should be. Air Force One touches down, the president greets dignitaries, choppers downtown and a really big motorcade carries him around. People along the route wave, take photos and tell their friends, “I just saw the president.” Everybody’s happy. Eh, not everybody: jesslevins @jesslevins Worst traffic ever in Lincoln Park due to all street closures- ugh. Thanks for coming to dinner #Obama #Chicago On this particular trip, thousands were stuck along Lake Shore Drive and in Lincoln Park Wednesday night as an entire neighborhood was shut down so … ]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 02:29:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Quinn, Rauner fail as cartoonists ]]> Lead story image

Cartooning is an art. The work of Sun-Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Jack Higgins and the creators of “The Simpsons” come to mind. They can cut through the clutter of complicated issues to make a serious point with cutting humor. But it’s a rare talent. So here’s hoping Gov. Pat Quinn and his Republican challenger, Bruce Rauner, figure that out sooner rather than later. Quinn, we are forced to remember, launched Squeezy the Pension Python in 2012. The diabolical orange creature was the governor’s way of showing how critics of his pension overhaul would squeeze state programs like education. It … ]]> Sun, 30 Mar 2014 02:30:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bob Shaw jumps in to fill a vacuum ]]> Lead story image

Damn. I wasn’t at Bob Shaw’s press conference on Thursday announcing he’s running against Rahm Emanuel for mayor in 2015. There are moments in Chicago politics you never want to miss. Friday I tried to track him down, but it wasn’t easy. Shaw’s voicemail was filled. His campaign aide’s voicemail was as well. What’s a reporter to do? I dialed the most reliable number I could think of. “Wallace’s Catfish Corner, can I help you?” said the voice on the other end of the phone. There are those who might dismiss Wallace Davis, the former 27th ward alderman who went … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:37:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carol Marin: On gay bashing — and my mistake ]]> Lead story image

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this column, posted online and in the early edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, contained inaccurate information. The Sun-Times regrets and apologizes for the error. I made a serious mistake in an earlier version of this column. It is a mistake that is mine and mine alone and for which I apologize to Dan Proft, political operative and WLS radio talk show host. What I said in that earlier column was that Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC had issued a homophobic attack mailer showing two men kissing with the line, “You can kiss the GOP goodbye … ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 06:44:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ Marin: Dem powers stoop to smear tactics ]]> Lead story image

It might surprise you to learn that Carol Burnett, the legendary comedian and actress, is interested in the March 18 Illinois primary. It surprised me, anyway. Trolling through the state board of elections records of campaign contributors, there was Burnette listed as giving $1,000 to Will Guzzardi, a candidate for state representative. What’s that all about? Turns out, as DNAinfo first reported, Guzzardi’s father, Peter, is a book editor who worked on “Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story,” Burnett’s memoir of her late daughter who died of cancer. A few months ago, Guzzardi’s dad emailed friends and family to … ]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 06:49:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Emanuel’s re-election nightmare: Carol Marin ]]> Lead story image

‘You want Harold?” the voice boomed from the podium back in 1983. “You got Harold!” Harold Washington became Chicago’s first African-American mayor. But his entry into that seminal election was a slow dance. What Washington, a just-re-elected Congressman in a safe seat, demanded before he’d toss his hat in the ring, was a big bump in voter registration. He needed a movement. The race for Chicago City Hall is just one year away, and whether this will be Rahm Emanuel’s first and only term or the start of a succession is rooted in the Harold Washington story. One year out, … ]]> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 06:39:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ Unions threaten GOP crossover vote ]]> Lead story image

‘I’m doing what I’ve never done,” said a lifelong Democrat and friend of mine, “and pulling a Republican ballot” in next month’s Illinois primary. Voters and we media types jabber about this kind of crossover every primary election cycle, especially when the stakes are higher on one side of the ballot than the other. It sounds rational, plausible, even logical. But it almost never happens. For the most part, each of us sticks to the political camp with which we’ve traditionally identified when we go to pull a primary ballot. Could this election be an exception? Consider the landscape of … ]]> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 11:39:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carol Marin: Vanecko grand juror ‘frustrated’ about no charges against police, prosecutors ]]> Lead story image

A grand juror in the David Koschman case tells columnist Carol Marin the experience “makes me question my faith on how justice is meted out.” ]]> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 06:43:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carol Marin: Where were the Daleys when R.J. Vanecko pleaded guilty? ]]> Lead story image

As he pleaded guilty Friday, R.J. Vanecko was alone again in court — as he has always been throughout this case. ]]> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 17:51:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Marin: Reason to smile in Washington, Ill. ]]> Lead story image

It’s not too corny to say that Gary Manier is feelin’ stronger every day. Manier is the mayor of downstate Washington, Ill., the tiny town struck hard by an EF4 tornado Nov. 17. The town is slowly rebuilding. I’ll tell you more about that in a moment. Next week will be a whirlwind, no pun intended, for Manier. On Monday, the mayor of Washington is going to travel to the other Washington to watch the president. It’s his first trip ever to the nation’s capital and he’ll be the special guest of Sen. Mark Kirk for the State of the … ]]> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 06:43:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Marin: Five unknowns in race for governor ]]> Lead story image

Bruce Rauner, the mega-rich venture capitalist, is widely assumed by many politicos to be the front-runner in the upcoming four-way Republican primary for governor. And there are reasons for that. Money is the main one. He has more than any candidate we’ve ever seen run for the office, vastly more than all of his opponents combined, and he’s spending it like mad on television advertising, consultants and staff. A We Ask America automated poll of likely Republican primary voters showed him gaining points. . . . Rauner now with 34 percent over his nearest rival, Sen. Bill Brady with 17 … ]]> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 06:43:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blago, Mell and legacy elections ]]> Lead story image

Politics is like a virus. Just ask Aaron Goldstein. “I have the political bug, always followed it,” he said when I called this week, adding, “Policy has always interested me.” Remember him? Maybe not. But you’ll never forget the defendant Goldstein represented in two corruption trials that garnered national attention. Rod Blagojevich. Goldstein, 38, was one of the former governor’s attorneys in two harrowing trials that ultimately resulted in Blago being sentenced to the federal slammer for a staggering 14 and a half years. Now, in one of the many ironies of Chicago politics, Goldstein is running for state representative … ]]> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 06:49:28 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carol Marin: On verge of justice for Koschman ]]> Lead story image

It has been three years since Sun-Times reporter Tim Novak asked a question that rocked cops, prosecutors and this city’s royal family, the Daleys. The third anniversary is Saturday, Jan. 4. On that day in 2011, Novak filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking Chicago police about a supposedly settled case. Could he see the 2004 file of the homicide investigation of David Koschman? The answer stunned Novak, colleague Chris Fusco and the team of reporters they would lead. CPD, amazingly, declared it was still “under investigation.” If you’ve seen our Sun-Times/NBC5 stories, then you know the Koschman case … ]]> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 06:33:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Marin: Paging Rauner in the Rose Garden ]]> Lead story image

I can’t get Bruce Rauner on the phone. Apparently, I’m not alone. The Republican Rauner operates from his own Rose Garden. Though he’s never run for elective office, he’s rich enough to plant a garden of his own. And decide who will enter. It’s not that we haven’t seen this movie before. There is a litany of gazillionaires who decided it was their time, after making tons of money, to govern. Ron Gidwitz, Blair Hull, Jack Ryan, Jim Oberweis, Andy McKenna and Al Hofeld come to mind. Rauner may be the most interesting of the bunch, having created a steadily … ]]> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 06:41:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Marin: Christmas on old Death Row ]]> Lead story image

Every December I put up my Death Row Christmas village. I know that sounds crazy. Horrifying even. But to me it’s a reminder that in the darkest places you can find a little light. The village is a collection of 17 elaborate miniature houses and steepled churches. Each tiny building is stitched together with craft store plastic webbing and white yarn. Since prisons don’t allow inmates to have needles, the wire from a garbage bag tie pulls the yarn through the holes in the sheets of plastic. And since inmates are not allowed to have scissors, the yarn and webbing … ]]> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 06:35:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Feel-good meeting leaves bad taste ]]> Lead story image

Even the most jaded citizens would have been uplifted by the grace notes at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. There was the minister whose invocation was a full-throated song that began, “Oh God, fix me. . . . Fix us to be trusted . . .” He wasn’t commenting on the darker side of Chicago’s politics. Quite the opposite. He was calling for all of us to find our better angels. It was lovely. Then came a series of resolutions commending the valor of an off-duty police officer. The bravery of a World War II veteran. The compassion of a doctor … ]]> Thu, 16 Jan 2014 06:45:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ Marin: Getting to ‘yes’ meant compromise ]]> Lead story image

Kwame Raoul didn’t hold back on his anger or his angst. We were sitting on the set of WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” on Wednesday. It was near the end of a 14-minute interview with four lawmakers — two from each party — who crafted and voted for very painful public employee pension cutbacks. They were explaining their “yes” votes. And Raoul, the Democratic state senator from Hyde Park, in a quiet way let it rip. “There was some rhetoric that was unnecessary . . . coming from outside the chamber by so-called political leaders from both parties.” Like who? “Elected officials … ]]> Thu, 09 Jan 2014 06:41:46 -0500