The Mayor

  • Cortland/Chicago River and Lincoln Yards TIF: final rules, duels, and reveals

    12 April 2019

    In an interview by Ben Joravsky with Dave Glowacz on the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky Show, Dave and Ben discuss the Cortland/Chicago River TIF district drama in the City Council's finance committee.

  • Finance committee set for April 8 vote on Cortland/Chicago River TIF district supporting Lincoln Yards

    3 April 2019

    The city of Chicago says that the City Council's finance committee will consider the Cortland and Chicago River TIF district at its April 8 meeting.

  • Proposed law changes county board president succession

    1 April 2019

    A state bill changes how the Cook County Board of Commissioners fills a vacancy in the president's office—if, say, Toni Preckwinkle had become Chicago's next mayor

  • Flipping TIF myths with Mayor-elect Lightfoot and her former rivals

    23 February 2019

    Interview with the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky on the 2019 mayoral candidates' responses to the Chicago Sun-Times question, "As mayor, what would you do about TIFs?", and more.

  • Why and how wealthy Dem donor fired Joravsky from WCPT radio

    21 January 2019

    Interview with the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky: In the midst of a hotly contested mayoral race, did WCPT radio's owner eject Joravsky due to Ben's scrutiny of mainstream Chicago Democrats?.

  • A reporter's view of the Cortland TIF and Lincoln Yards

    18 December 2018

    In an interview by Ben Joravsky with Dave Glowacz on WCPT-AM's Ben Joravsky Show, Ben explores Dave's recent reporting on the Cortland/Chicago River TIF district and the proposed Lincoln Yards real estate development, and more.

  • Lincoln Yards TIF district's Amazon past and fast-track future

    30 November 2018

    The proposed Lincoln Yards development and the Cortland/Chicago River TIF district have a past rooted in the city's Amazon bid, and a future linked to a mayor's departure.

  • Mr Bike: Mayoral candidates transportation challenge

    6 November 2018

    In an interview by Ben Joravsky with Dave Glowacz on WCPT-AM's Ben Joravsky Show, Mr Bike reveals how local planners have challenged mayoral candidates to adopt a bold Chicago transportation vision, and more.

  • Ballot salad: Too many Chicago elections?

    22 October 2018

    Interview with the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky on the many candidates, issues, and referenda facing Chicago voters in the 2018 statewide general election and 2019 Chicago municipal election.

  • Latest TIF take: opaque, no brake

    29 August 2018

    Interview with the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky on the huge sum stockpiled in Chicago's tax-increment financing accounts during 2017, and more.

  • Public input on city budget is no oversight

    20 June 2018

    Interview with the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky on the history and creation of Chicago city budgets—and public versus mayoral control.

  • Liberal and progressive: How do they differ?

    1 May 2018

    Interview with the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky on what distinguishes someone who calls themself a liberal from someone who calls themself a progressive.

  • Dave and Ben dissect voting, transit, and development

    21 March 2018

    In an interview by Ben Joravsky with Dave Glowacz on WCPT-AM's Ben Joravsky Show, Ben and Dave reflect on their respective primary-election voting experiences, and more.

  • Voters' options for media and movements

    16 March 2018

    Interview with the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky about the challenges and tendencies of today's primary-election voters, and more.

  • Audiobook: Joravsky on public schools

    22 February 2018

    This audiobook (part of a series) features years of in-depth discussions by Chicago Reader columnist Ben Joravsky and journalist Dave Glowacz about public schools in Chicago.

  • Mr Bike: winter tips, and Emanuel's "cocktail train"

    26 December 2017

    In an interview by Ben Joravsky with Dave "Mr Bike" Glowacz on WCPT-AM's Ben Joravsky Show, Dave and Ben discuss Mayor Emanuel's plan for an O'Hare express "cocktail train," winter cycling tips, and more.

  • FBI's Blago wiretap shows Claypool in Rahm's bro-zone

    13 December 2017

    After the recent resignation of Forrest Claypool as head of Chicago Public Schools, one might ask: Why was he hired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the first place?

    One insight into the Claypool-Emanuel relationship comes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    In late 2008, an FBI wiretap recorded then-Congressman Emanuel mentioning Claypool in a telephone call with then-Governor Rod Blagojevich. The FBI had wiretapped Blagojevich's telephones to gather evidence for the subsequent prosecution of Blagojevich.

    Although a detailed transcript of the phone call didn't surface until Blagojevich's 2011 corruption trial, the conversation was first revealed by Blagojevich himself.

    In his 2009 memoir The Governor (Phoenix Books), Blagojevich describes how Emanuel, who in November, 2008 had just been appointed chief of staff by the newly-elected Barack Obama, wanted the governor's help to "appoint a congressman who was going to keep the [5th Congressional district] seat warm" for Emanuel.

    The "purpose of [Emanuel's] call," Blagojevich writes, "was to see whether or not l would be willing to work with him and appoint a successor to his congressional seat who he would have designated to be a placeholder and hold the seat for him when he sought to return to Congress in two years." When Blagojevich questioned the legality of such a move, Emanuel said "that his lawyers thought there was a way where the governor might be able to make an appointment."

    Blagojevich was reluctant to help Emanuel, he says, because "if I helped appoint a congressman who was going to keep the seat warm for him, then I was going to make a lot of people who wanted to be congressman unhappy with me."

    The fact that it was Claypool whom Emanuel wanted as his seat-warmer didn't come to light until two years later, in June, 2011—in a federal-court filing by Blagojevich's lawyers during the legal proceeding against him.

    The filing contained the FBI's transcript of the phone conversation between Emanuel and Blagojevich.

    In the call, Emanuel says that "all of a sudden, all the aldermen and committeemen" wanted to take Emanuel's congressional seat as he left for the White House.

    "Forrest Claypool, bizarrely," Emanuel says, "would like to be considered, and he says he only wants to do it for, like, one term or two max."

    Claypool didn't make it to Congress. But Emanuel, after becoming mayor, appointed him to successive positions as Chicago Transit Authority president, mayoral chief of staff, and finally CEO of Chicago Public Schools.

    The federal government never released an audio version of Emanuel's phone call with Blagojevich. However, Inside Chicago Government has created an exclusive audio reenactment: Find it in the premium version of the interview titled "Rahm fired up about—but wouldn't fire—Forrest Claypool."

  • Rahm fired up about--but wouldn't fire--Forrest Claypool

    8 December 2017

    Just before the resignation of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Forrest Claypool, Dave Glowacz and the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky examined how Claypool got to be the CPS chief—and why Mayor Emanuel protects him.

  • Ben Joravsky's guide to asking tough questions

    5 November 2017

    Dave Glowacz interviews the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky about Ben's recent radio experience. Ben and Dave explore how journalists develop trust with the people they interview—including how and when to call bullshit.

    Dave and Ben discuss Ben's technique for interviewees who duck the question; Ben's growing reluctance to write direct quotes; and whether Ben gives former Gov. Pat Quinn a pass on Quinn's actions—compared to those of Gov. Bruce Rauner. Length 6.1 minutes standard, 24 minutes premium.

    Music: "Outta Tune" by Poly Action

    Standard audio:

    Premium audio:

    Article: "How Bruce Rauner is trying to cripple the Democratic Party" (Chicago Reader)

  • The Reader's new owners: well-heeled, hands-off

    16 October 2017

    Dave Glowacz interviews the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky about conditions at the Reader after its acquisition by a group of investors.

    Dave and Ben discuss the history of Reader ownership; whether the Reader's new owners have figured out how to turn a profit; and how wealthy and powerful owners have affected Reader journalism. Length 5.7 minutes standard, 10 minutes premium.

    Music: "Machine" by Mercury and the Architects

    Standard audio:

    Premium audio:

    Article: "And now, in local news . . ." (Chicago Reader)