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Ben Joravsky Interviews by Dave Glowacz: 2010

12/16/10 “How Did We Get to 12,500?”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How the Chicago Board of Elections originally determined the number of nominating signatures needed; what nominating-signature system Ben favors; and whether Rahm Emanuel has "machine" backing. Length 8.2 minutes.

12/2/10 “The Merc's Manual”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Tax-increment financing's cloak of invisibility; how developers justify public subsidies; and how a proposed affordable-housing ordinance could rob funding from public schools. Length 8.9 minutes.

11/25/10 “Do the Math”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How Cook County's property tax system pacifies the public; who or what should carry the cost of government; and which Illinois party has the right idea about taxes. Length 6.1 minutes.

11/18/10 “The Poor Pay Again”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How TIF subsidies attract development investors; whether a neighborhood's regular infrastructure upkeep depends on its inclusion in a TIF district; and a teaser for next week. Length 7.8 minutes. • To see a map of the Englewood TIF District click here

11/11/10 “Whittier: What Fanned the Flames”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How local school councils came about; why Mayor Daley eviscerated local school control; and what happens when public schools lack clout. Length 9 minutes.

10/28/10 “The Practical Party”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The effect of polls on voter behavior; how we might finally get good elected officials; and those who find elections too odious or corrupt to vote. Length 8.7 minutes.

10/21/10 “Post-Stroger Politics”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How Chicagoans use county government; how formerly obscure county commissioners became visible; and how county reformers helped distract from the real power abusers. Length 9.9 minutes.

10/14/10 “No White Knight, No Silver Bullet”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How to remedy the over-reliance on property taxes; an intriguing proposal for term limits; and votes as personal statements about the system. Length 8.5 minutes.

10/7/10 “Mayoral Mayhem”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether Mayor Daley ever appeared in the Gay Pride parade; what will really determine whether Rahm Emanuel can run for mayor; and what the Rahm haters want. Length 8.7 minutes.• To see the Illinois law that requires mayoral candidates to live in their city for one year click here

9/30/10 “The Hot New Issue”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How Mike Quigley opened the floodgates to scrutiny of tax-increment financing; how Quigley turned mayoral irritation into electoral success; and Mayor Daley's final gift to Chicago. Length 5.8 minutes. • To see former Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley's report on tax-increment financing click here

9/23/10 “Filed Away” • This summer Chicago Public Schools laid off over 1,300 teachers. When some applied for new teaching positions within CPS, they found that someone had secretly changed their personnel records—preventing them from ever teaching again in Chicago public schools, and maybe elsewhere. Read the article by co-written by Ben Joravsky and Dave Glowacz that appeared in the Chicago Reader on 9/23/10, and hear interviews from the article by clicking here. • Click here to listen to Dave and Ben discuss the article.

9/16/10 “Me and My Mayor”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why Ben's not afraid of mayoral retribution; which candidate has the most similarity to Daley; and when Ben will write about the Daley legacy. Length 9 minutes.

9/2/10 “Define "Redefinition"”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why the Chicago Public Schools administration would authorize a contract violation; how charter schools might circumvent anti-patronage protections; and who actually makes decisions to dismiss teachers. Length 8.1 minutes. • To see the Chicago Teachers Union 8/2/10 lawsuit against the Chicago Board of Education click here

8/19/10 “Go On, Smash It”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether the Daley administration's really lied about tax-increment financing; why state Rep. John Fritchey really wants the city to give up TIF reserves; and the limits of cynicism. Length 7.4 minutes.

8/12/10 “The Vanishing Beat Cop”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The effects of crime cameras on policing; whether police officers should beat up bad guys; and respect versus fear of the police. Length 7 minutes.

7/29/10 “The Picture Police”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: What fundamental rights private operators of public land can deny the public; appropriate uses of park space versus leased space; and restrictions that a reasonable person might expect. Length 5.6 minutes.

7/22/10 “The Head Cheerleaders”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: What Mick Dumke brought to the Reader and Joravsky's articles; the future of government reporting at the Reader post-Dumke; and a look at the Chicago News Cooperative's reporting. Length 7.9 minutes.

7/15/10 “A TIF Under the Microscope”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why the inspector general audited tax-increment financing; the fact of Millennium Park's non-budget development; and why aldermen think the IG shouldn't investigate TIF. Length 8.5 minutes.• To read the Inspector General's audit of the Central Loop TIF District click here

7/8/10 “Huberman's Miracle”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether teachers and students should sacrifice for administrative largesse; how Mayor Daley helps private firms compete with public schools for public dollars; and what it takes to get the public's attention. Length 8.1 minutes.

7/1/10 “Chicago Reader Fires Long-Time Editor Alison True”Click here to listen • Description: Ben Joravsky reflects on the tenure and departure of Alison True, the recently-fired editor of the Chicago Reader. Length 8.7 minutes. • For Michael Miner's report on Alison True's firing click here

6/17/10 “The Armies Are Gathering”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The father of tax-increment financing activism; the myth of TIF complexity; and the financial penalty for a school system that doesn't divert money to TIF districts. Length 7.1 minutes.

6/10/10 “The Battle Before the War”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether unions should focus on company policy, worker benefits, or both; the Chicago Teachers Union's ignorance of how the city raises and spends public dollars; and a fledgling movement to get the Chicago Public Schools to withdraw from tax-increment financing. Length 8.4 minutes.

6/3/10 “Learning to Say No”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: When schools lower property values; the capitalization of new schools--then vs. now; and why schools have ended up in parks. Length 6.7 minutes. • For a map of wards 3 and 12 click here

5/27/10 “Less Is More at CPS”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How to get the city to publish public information; the myth of the super-hero teacher; and teachers as whistleblowers. Length 6.9 minutes.

5/20/10 “Who Wins in Daley's TIF Game”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Tax-increment financing's fundamental flaw, and how to fix it; Block 37--the poster child for the original TIF model; and the Board of Ed's legacy of stealing from schoolchildren. Length 8.5 minutes.

5/6/10 “Check the Thermostat in Hell”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The typical Chicagoan's phases of TIF understanding; Ben outlines an unlikely TIF debate; and city officials who believe that Chicagoans don't want to know the true cost of government. Length 8.6 minutes.

4/29/10 “He Doesn’t Have to Outrun the Bear”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether candidates who don't run in a primary should have a harder time running in the general election; the limited focus of the liberal wing of Mayor Daley's party; and whether Forrest Claypool and his ilk really intend reform. Length 7.5 minutes.

4/15/10 “A Raise by Any Other Name”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The tenuous connection between Chicago Public School positions, titles, and business cards; putting words into the CPS spokeperson's mouth; and how the CPS budget resembles the city's reporting on TIF districts. Length 8.3 minutes. • Click here to watch the "Chicago Tonight" interview

4/1/10 “Do as We Say, Not as We Do”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether Chicago Public Schools staff cuts appear in its budget; the importance of honesty in budget-making; and what Chicago leaders respond to. Length 6.7 minutes.

3/18/10 “The Untouchables”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How state Rep. Debra Mell resembles former Pres. Reagan; how the Incumbent Alderman Protection Act could lock up all the nominators in a district; and why the state eliminated Chicago mayoral primaries. Length 6.9 minutes.

3/11/10 “Taking the New Yorker for a Ride”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Willfull ignorance of entrenched poverty--worse than misleading; corruption without salvation; and other mayors' Daley-envy. Length 6.4 minutes.

3/4/10 “An Island in the Swamp”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How the University of Chicago inadvertently created smart political tacticians; Loyola's preposterous development proposals; and the natural relationship between developers and universities. Length 7.8 minutes.

2/25/10 “Off Track”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The Board of Education's tradition of getting back to reporters; where to bury patronage workers at Chicago Public Schools; and the need for a central-office administration. Length 6.7 minutes.

2/18/10 “It Pays To Have An Alderman In Your Pocket”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How much tax revenue the city expects the Galewood/Armitage TIF District to take in; the future solvency of the city's entire TIF program; and Ald. Carothers: just one more rubber stamp? Length 7.1 minutes. • To see a map of the Galewood/Armitage TIF District click here

2/4/10 “Harold and the Hyneses”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The fears whites had about Harold Washington's mayoralty; the recent primary's county-board candidates "unthinkable" in the '80s and '90s; and Quinn the maverick versus Hynes the mob-runner. Length 9.6 minutes. • To see Dan Hynes's ad (featuring Mayor Harold Washington) attacking Pat Quinn click here

1/28/10 “Election Follies”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: When office-holders become reformers; how reading about government operations resembles eating your veggies; and the kind of outsider that can take on Daley and Madigan. Length 7.3 minutes.

1/21/10 “Cook County Needs Cojones”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The scripting of Joint Board of Review meetings; one the greatest public-policy debacles of the decade; and how Ben swallowed his objections to Toni Preckwinkle. Length 8.8 minutes.

1/14/10 “Who'll Keep Your Rent Down Now? ”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How County Assessor Houlihan orchestrated the homeowners' exemption to property taxes; the city's "drain argument" to justify tax-increment financing; and why city officials won't debate Ben on the radio. Length 9.4 minutes. (Michael Jasso audio courtesy of WBEZ radio.)

1/7/10 “Independent of What?”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How the Independent Voters of Illinois organization gets its message out; the influence of candidate endorsements; and how the Democratic Party could take over Green Party candidacies. Length 7.1 minutes.