Carol Felsenthal
On Politics

3 years
ago

Tim Johnson on the Redistricting Map, the Debt Ceiling, Ron Paul, and More

The issue of redistricting congressional maps is back in the news, with the League of Women Voters of Illinois filing a lawsuit on Tuesday claiming that the new maps are unconstitutional. In July, 11 of 12 members of Illinois’s GOP delegation filed a federal suit challenging the new map. Congressman Tim Johnson, of the 15th District, was the sole Republican lawmaker not to join in the lawsuit. “I’m too busy serving my constituents…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

Post Office Closings in Chicago—Will Low-Income Neighborhoods Bear the Brunt?

With the United States Postal Service losing $8.5 billion last year, some 3,653 post offices nationwide (out of 31,871) are being reviewed for possible closing. Illinois carries the dubious distinction of having the most potential closures—176. Chicago gets whacked with the possible closing of 12 stations, and all of them sit in the congressional districts of either Danny Davis or Bobby Rush…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

Quinn Appoints Ed Burke’s Daughter to $117,000 Post—What’s the Difference Between Him and Blago?

With one Illinois governor in prison and another waiting to go, the current gov, Pat Quinn, seems remarkably tone deaf to charges that he is rewarding his political benefactors with cushy board jobs. His appointment on Wednesday of 41-year-old attorney Jennifer Burke—daughter of Alderman Ed Burke, next to Rahm the biggest foot in city politics—to the Illinois Pollution Control Board seems utterly over the top, even reckless…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

Les Coney, Top Obama Bundler and Networker Extraordinaire

When President Obama’s re-election team released the list of his top campaign fundraisers last week—about 20 were from the Chicago area—I noticed that Mesirow Financial Vice President Les Coney was back on this year’s roster of big bundlers. Here, an edited transcript of our conversation, where he talks about meeting Obama, fundraising for the president…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

Fred Karger—Gay, Jewish, Republican, and Running for President

Fred Karger, 61, has lived in and around Los Angeles since 1972—mostly now in Laguna Beach—but he grew up in Glencoe and graduated from New Trier. He’s about as likely to become president as I am—his campaign slogan is “Fred Who?”—but the pundits are beginning to notice the first openly gay candidate to run on a major party ticket, especially as the issue of gay marriage heats up…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

Rahm Emanuel Wanted to Be First Jewish House Speaker—Will the Honor Go to Eric Cantor?

Center stage in the debt limit/government default drama now playing in Washington is House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Here in Chicago, Rahm Emanuel may be busy with the latest weekend tragedy of street gangs’ bullets missing their targets and hitting children, but he is surely keeping his eye on Capitol Hill, his old stomping ground. Were he still there, he’d be playing the Cantor role on the other side of the aisle…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

Mitt Romney’s Chicago Connection

Willard Mitt Romney—most recently in the news for out-fundraising his fellow GOP presidential hopefuls candidates in the second quarter—was named after J. Willard Marriott, the famous hotelier (and fellow Mormon) who was also best friends with Mitt’s father, George. But the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president owes his middle name to George’s cousin, Milton “Mitt” Romney, who was a quarterback for…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

Blago’s Brother Robert: Patrick Fitzgerald ‘Poisoned’ Jury Pool

On Monday, after jurors in the Blagojevich retrial delivered a nearly sweeping guilty verdict, I called the gov’s brother, Robert. Below is an edited transcript of our conversation, in which he accuses U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of “[poisoning] the jury pool and the media,” and says that the feds used him as a pawn…

Carol Felsenthal