On today's show, we turn our attention to the history of and issues surrounding Illinois’ pension debt. We’ll talk about how our state found its way into such a massive debt obligation, some of the issues lawmakers are working through right now in Springfield, and what might ultimately be the best way forward to meet that debt and sustain the state’s public pension system.
Since the beginning of his career in journalism eight years ago, Jose Vargas has written hundreds of stories — including covering the 2008 presidential campaign for The Washington Post; profiling Al Gore for Rolling Stone and Mark Zuckerberg for The New Yorker; writing and producing a documentary on the AIDS epidemic in the nation's capital; and winning a Pulitzer Prize for helping cover the Virginia Tech massacre. A little over a year ago, Vargas wrote a groundbreaking essay in the New York Times Sunday Magazine revealing his "undocumented immigrant" status. Since then, he founded Define American and has worked to facilitate dialogue about the DREAM Act and immigration issues.
This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, October 26, 2012, 10 am
Our show will be dedicated to the subject of gun violence after Friday’s shocking Connecticut school shooting. We’ll look at how the shooting may impact America’s conversations about guns and safety. We'll also discuss the recent court ruling striking down Illinois’ concealed carry ban, and what it means for the future of gun laws in Illinois. And we'll welcome your thoughts - about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, about what it says about our society, and about what, if anything, it tells us about our feelings towards guns. Guests will include Richard Pearson, director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, and Jerry Belair of Stop Handgun Violence, an organization promoting gun safety.
The sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams fought for George Washington, served with Abraham Lincoln in Congress, witnessed Bunker Hill, and as a staunch opponent of slavery, foresaw that slavery would lead to civil war between the North and South. He is, in fact, the only major figure in American history who knew both the founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln. He negotiated an end to the War of 1812, engineered the annexation of Florida, and won the Supreme Court decision that freed the African captives of The Amistad. He served his nation as minister to six countries, secretary of state, senator, congressman, and president. His opposition to slavery inspired John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage. Yet he remains one of the least-known presidents in our nation's history. We'll talk with biographer Harlow Giles Unger about John Qunicy Adams.
We'll discuss the outcome and ramifications of the 2012 election, from the President to local races. Our guests are John S. Jackson, Visiting Professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University; and Brian Gaines, professor in the department of Political Science and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois.
Allan Lichtman, Distinguished Professor of History, College of Arts and Sciences, American University
John S. Jackson, Visiting Professor, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University
Host: Craig Cohen
It's a natural tendency, each Presidential election year, to compare how the campaign is playing out to what happened during previous elections. How is 2012 like 2008? 2004? While every election brings its own issues, and conditions, and the electorate itself changes, there may well be some lessons to be learned from recent history, that can tell us why this year’s campaign is playing out as it is. We’ll explore parallels between the 2012 Presidential election and elections from the past 50+ years.
Dick Simpson, Professor and Department Head, Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Former Chicago Alderman
James D. Nowlan, Senior Fellow in the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois
Richard F. Winters, William Clinton Story Remsen 1943 Professor of Government at Dartmouth and former Co-Editor of State Politics and Policy Quarterly
Host: Craig Cohen
In recent years, Illinoisans have seen two governors imprisoned and their state become the punchline of national jokes. How much of the perception of Illinois is based in reality? Is Illinois more corrupt than other states? We'll talk with two veterans of Illinois politics and a professor from Dartmouth who are taking part in the Ethics and Reform Symposium on Illinois Government in Chicago September 27 and 28.
John Hartman, Independent Candidate for the 13th Illinois Congressional District
Host: Craig Cohen
This election season, Focus is providing you with the opportunity to speak directly with the candidates in two key races – those running for Illinois’ newly-drawn 13th Congressional District seat, and the candidates seeking to represent you in Illinois’ 52nd State Senate District. We continue today with the Independent candidate running for Congress in Illinois’ 13th district, John Hartman. He faces Democrat David Gill and Republican Rodney Davis – all three candidates are vying to replace retiring Congressman Tim Johnson. This is the first election taking place in the 13th District since it was re-drawn, and it now covers a lot of territory, stretching from Champaign/Urbana all the way to communities like Collinsville and Edwardsville in the Metro East of St. Louis. Along its winding path, It also includes the central Illinois cities of Bloomington/Normal, Decatur, and Springfield.
Claudia Lennhoff, Executive Director, Champaign County Health Care Consumers
John Katsinas, Manager, Barham Benefit Group, Champaign
Host: Craig Cohen
Perhaps no single issue has been more politicized the last four years than health care. After more than a year of especially rancorous debate and discussion in Congress, and in town halls across America, this country’s health care system began an overhaul through passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. That law has set a number of changes in motion – not the least of which is a requirement for most Americans to have health insurance, or pay what the Supreme Court ruled this summer amounts to a tax. The Affordable Care Act has also addressed everything from providing relief to seniors who faced a Medicare prescription drug “donut hole,” to providing Americans under 26 with a chance to remain on their parents’ health insurance, to new regulations ensuring patients aren’t dropped from coverage due to pre-existing conditions. The Affordable Care Act is designed do more in the coming years, including funding for state Medicaid programs geared towards preventive care, and the establishment of insurance exchanges, state to state, in 2014.
We thought it would be helpful to provide an hour in which we walk through what is and is not in the legislation, what is and is not already in place, and what it all means for your personal health care. We welcome any questions you have about the health care system, as we seek to take the politics out of it, and focus instead, on how the system works, and what you, as a health care consumer, ought to know about it.
Mark Tushnet, J.D., William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Harvard University
Host: David Inge
This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, July 30, 2010, 10 am