Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ A vicious battle for the black vote in governor race ]]> Lead story image

The battle for the black vote in Illinois in the 2014 gubernatorial election may be the most animated and vicious ever. Last Tuesday the contretemps came to a head as Gov. Pat Quinn and businessman Bruce Rauner debated at the DuSable Museum of African American History on Chicago’s South Side. An apt location. Republican Rauner is counting on making history by seeding doubts about Quinn, depressing black turnout in this excruciatingly close race. Quinn and his Democratic Party desperately need a big black vote on Nov. 4. The televised debate was not pretty. Quinn and Rauner aspire to the state’s … ]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:01:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Feeling OK about 100K new voters ]]> Lead story image

Politics is a numbers game, and the digits are getting bigger all the time. The contenders in Illinois’ gubernatorial race may spend $50 million-plus by Nov. 6, a state record. There’s Gov. Pat Quinn’s controversial, $54.5 million anti-violence program. A ballot referendum is calling for a $10 an hour minimum wage in Illinois. Some activists want $15. There is one number that could trump all those bucks. 100K. Every Vote Counts signed 100,000 new voters in just four months. The Chicago movement-based coalition of 50 civic and community-based organizations announced the feat last week, on the eve of the Oct. … ]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 02:19:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fat cats, banjo players and mud slingers go at it on Nov. 4 ]]> Lead story image

It’s less than a month to the November elections and a tasty time to nosh on pre-election tidbits: On the Nov. 4 marquee is the governor’s race, which has devolved into a morass of mud-slinging and character assassination. Few offerings about how to address Illinois’ policy and financial nightmares. So far, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has held his own, batting off a barrage of negative ads from private equity guru Bruce Rauner. Quinn pegs his opponent as a fat-cat, out-of-touch businessman with ties to scandals from bribery to nursing home abuses. Rauner hammers at the multiple investigations of Quinn’s administration, … ]]> Mon, 06 Oct 2014 03:11:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ No black agenda on election table ]]> Lead story image

“There’s no strength left in the world of men. They’re scattered, divided, leaderless.” So pronounced Elrond, on the state of the Middle World, in “The Lord of the Rings” epic film trilogy. Scattered, divided, leaderless. Also an apt capsulation of the state of the African-American policy agenda in the run-up to the Nov. 4 statewide elections. Just five weeks out, the state of the black community is downright medieval. There is no unified, specified black agenda on the political table. The election is generating scarce energy, enthusiasm or engagement. What do “we” want? Indeed, the top of the ticket wants … ]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 02:15:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Look for a Fioretti & Lewis tango ]]> Lead story image

We’re off! But we need more horses in the race. Second Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti’s Sept. 13 announcement of his candidacy marked the unofficial kickoff of the 2015 mayoral campaign. So far, Fioretti is the only boldface name with the hutzpah to take on Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the Feb. 24 mayoral election. Fioretti, a two-term alderman whose ward takes in parts of the South and Near West sides, is a consistent and fierce Emanuel critic. That’s why he was redistricted right out of his ward in 2011. He has nowhere to go but up, but he can’t take City … ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:13:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ Michelle for Senate? Talk about fun ]]> Lead story image

Psst! Did you hear the one about Hillary Clinton? She is moving back to Chicago to run for the U.S. Senate? Oops — I mean Michelle Obama. It has a familiar ring. That tasty bit of political gossip was revived last week when Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet reported that Illinois U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is taking the first lady’s name in vain in a campaign fundraising pitch. Sweet quoted from Kirk’s Sept. 5 letter to supporters: “I’m not one to believe rumors or engage in political gossip, but when it comes to defending the Illinois Senate seat that … ]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:08:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ I saw no chubbies on JRW’s team ]]> Lead story image

They did it. The players of Jackie Robinson West accomplished what the press conferences, White House promises, dueling statistics and police reinforcements could not. The winning Little League sluggers knocked Chicago out of the grip of violence and death and into the embrace of joy and hope. The South Side 13 claimed some big love here and worldwide, when they competed in the Little League World Series last month. The world celebrated the JRW winners for their sportsmanship, poise and competitive spirit. Their hits, homers and slides pushed the images of a war-zone “Chiraq” out of the headlines, curbed the … ]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 06:09:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ 11th Ward’s no shoo-in for a Daley ]]> Lead story image

Does a contentious Chicago City Council really want another Big Foot in City Hall? Is the 11th still your grandfather’s ward? Can progressives spoil the decades-long Daley party? Last week brought those questions, along with the first volley of the 2015 aldermanic sweepstakes, as Patrick Daley Thompson revealed he will run for 11th Ward alderman. The news is rattling Chicago’s contentious political teacup. Thompson, the nephew of Richard M. and grandson of Richard J., could reboot the family legacy and bring it back home to Bridgeport. Thompson is a real estate lawyer and Metropolitan Sanitary District Commissioner. He resides in … ]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 09:49:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Ferguson voters can throw the bums out ]]> Lead story image

Throw the bums out. That should be the mission of the people of Ferguson, Missouri, as they examine and mourn the police shooting of Michael Brown. The noxious tear gas, righteous protests and heartbreaking loss of Michael will inevitably fade into history. There will be investigations, charges, trials to come as the St. Louis suburb seeks justice. There is no shortage of anguished and heartfelt suggestions to remedy what happened in Ferguson. The U.S. Justice Department is contemplating a civil rights lawsuit, potentially against the Ferguson police department. The FBI is investigating. Others are calling for reforms in police hiring … ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:18:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ Karen Lewis faces a ‘triple threat’ ]]> Lead story image

LAURA WASHINGTON: ‘Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis has three steep hills to climb — a triple threat to her potential mayoral run: her looks, her style and her resume. ]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 06:13:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dick Durbin takes a victory lap ]]> Lead story image

He rolled up on a bicycle, dressed in a rumpled shirt and jeans. He locked the bike to a light pole on the North Halsted Street corner, plucked a blue blazer from a shopping bag, donned it, and stepped into the restaurant. That’s all there was to the grand entrance of the assistant majority leader of the United States Senate. No black SUVs. No body men. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin greeted an overflow crowd Wednesday night at Yoshi’s Cafe in Lake View. I invited him to the neighborhood restaurant for one of my political salons. The bike ride was a … ]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 06:15:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Preckwinkle freed to push reform ]]> Lead story image

‘Imeant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful 100 percent!” It’s a line from a Toni Preckwinkle favorite: Dr. Seuss’ “Horton Hatches the Egg.” And it’s her answer to the persistent drumbeat: Will the Cook County Board president change her mind? I hear it from the movers and shakers. She hears it on the street. Critics of Mayor Rahm Emanuel hope Preckwinkle may yet take him on in the 2015 mayoral race. “No,” she said as we caught up at Petro’s, the proudly retro Greek diner she favors. She is happily free, she says, from … ]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 06:17:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ Standing up to the People of the Gun ]]> Lead story image

It’s a picture-perfect summer day, bright sun, sparkling skies. And here I am, stuck waiting for another press conference in another stuffy meeting room. Up front stood a bundle of boys and girls, 25 or so, preschoolers in pigtails, strapping youths sporting football jerseys, assembled at the podium, to pose with the politicians and preachers. What’s wrong with this picture? These kids should be in play lots, parks and backyards. They should not be props at a photo op at a West Side church, waiting for the boring adults to make boring their speeches. Perversely, this is the best place … ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:13:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ Will progressives flop again? ]]> Lead story image

‘The Left Blows its Big Chance,” read the February 2011 headline. My column predicted that Chicago’s so-called progressives would fail in their crusade to win the 5th Floor of City Hall. Three weeks later, Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago. Will they blow it again? The last time progressives took City Hall was in 1987, when Harold Washington, the only progressive mayor in the city’s history, was re-elected to a second term. His coalition of blacks, Latinos and white liberals never recovered from Washington’s sudden death that November. They can’t seem to manage the fundamental arithmetic of winning politics: … ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:14:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ An architectural biennial for a South Side girl ]]> Lead story image

In my day, there were no architectural biennials. “Going to Grandmother’s” loomed large in my childhood. Visiting her gorgeous apartment building at 4304 S. Forestville, in Bronzeville. Playing in the flowering courtyard, swinging on the huge iron gate garnished with elaborate, overlapping geometric circles and Celtic crosses. I called them “curlicues.” Up to the apartment, little fingers tip-toeing across the carved ebony fireplace. I was well into adulthood when I learned that “Grandmother’s” was the Francis Apartments, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and built in 1895 for white, middle class families. Later came racial change, then disinvestment and disrepair. The … ]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 06:15:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ So much for Obama R-E-S-P-E-C-T ]]> Lead story image

It seems to me that the attacks on this president come more often from people of high status and power. It should be beneath them. And do two wrongs make a right? ]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 06:14:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Black voters darn smart in Mississippi ]]> Lead story image

LAURA WASHINGTON: For the first time in nearly two generations, African-American voters in the South helped swing a GOP election, nominating a white, old-line Republican pol to the U.S. Senate. In Mississippi. No wonder Limbaugh’s knickers are in a knot. ]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 06:11:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Disparaging the president is uncalled for ]]> Lead story image

‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” the song goes. It is easy enough to spell, but for some vocal critics of President Barack Obama, it seems exceedingly hard to do. As the president moves toward the land of the lame ducks, his political enemies are calling for blood. That’s no shocker at this stage of a presidency. In this case, the cuts go deeper. For some, it is not enough to disagree. Some high-status public figures seem determined to demean, denigrate and ridicule the president of the United States. On June 12 the Speaker of the U.S. House stepped to a podium and insulted Obama … ]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:13:03 -0500