Archive | October, 2010

It’s not debatable: Conaty’s 10 tips for keeping score

31 Oct

To debate or not debate? That is the question. Front-runners never like to debate, or at least not on TV or in front a large audience. Make a mistake and—swoosh—there goes the lead. On the other hand, the underdog sees an opportunity to make up lost ground in a hurry.

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Notes from a political debate: Kirk, Giannoulias and Jaws

31 Oct

By Christine Hurley and Courtney Sturgeon

Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias answer questions from Phil Ponce during the Oct. 28 debate in Chicago. (Photo by Courtney Sturgeon)

Political debates. Love ’em or leave ’em, they can be equal parts information and entertainment.

Last week’s third and final U.S. Senate debate between Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias, sponsored by the City Club of Chicago, scored in both categories. And, if you had total access, there was a lot more that didn’t meet the public eye.

Here some random notes, observations from two who did have access:

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Cook County Assessor’s race: not for faint-hearted

30 Oct

The Race:

Cook County Assessor

The Job:

The Cook County Assessor’s Office is not just the final destination of Jake and Elwood to pay back taxes (The Blues Brothers). The office is responsible for assessing the values of each parcel of property in the county (the job of the Assessor) and hearing appeals to the values they’ve assessed the Board of Review), usually done with the aid of specialized appeals lawyers. The property taxes paid depend on the assessed value. The office is notoriously corrupt, officials often accused of accepting money and other bribes in exchange for lowered assessments and granting appeals.

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27 Oct

Eric Zorn

Zorn, a graduate of the University of Michigan, has worked at the Chicago Tribune since 1980. After five years as a feature writer and radio columnist in the Tempo section he moved to the metropolitan news staff, where in late 1986, he became a news-feature columnist. In August of 2003, Zorn started the Tribune’s first Web log, which appears five days a week.

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Simon armed with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, lucky charm

25 Oct

Sheila Simon—wearing her "lucky charm"—speaks to a DePaul University journalism class about her campaign as Lt. Governor of Illinois on Monday, October 18, 2010. (Photo by Kevin Sherman)

By Megan Ashley

They say everybody’s got a good luck charm and Sheila Simon, the Democratic candidate for Illinois Lt. Governor, wore hers around her neck when she spoke to students at DePaul University.

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25 Oct

Mary Laney

Laney is an award winning journalist and columnist. Over the last three decades, she has reported in radio, television and print sectors of journalism for several national and local networks as well as the Chicago Sun-Times. She was also a Midwest Correspondent for CNN and Editorial Director of NBC, WMAQ-TV in Chicago.

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La Raza publisher says Latinos treated like “Martians” in upcoming election

23 Oct

Ruben Keoseyan, publisher of La Raza, Chicago's largest Spanish-language newspaper, speaks during a DePaul University journalism course on Monday, October 18, 2010. (Photo by Kevin Sherman)

By Courtney Sturgeon

Will the brewing midterm elections spark a surge of Latino voters as it did in the 2008 election of Barack Obama for the White House?

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