The Champaign County Republican Party’s annual Fall Festival included a straw poll for each of the candidates seeking the GOP nomination for governor of Illinois.
(Sean Powers/WILL)
September 26, 2013

Illinois Politics Roundtable

Are Illinois lawmakers making progress on pension reform? Why do all the lively races for statewide office next year only involve republicans?


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AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center, AMC
September 06, 2013

Should the US Intervene in Syria?

Do you agree with President Obama that the US should intervene in the conflict in Syria? How do you want your lawmakers to vote? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the debate and what US action would mean for people in Syria.


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fireworks
Wikimedia Commons
July 04, 2013

Capitol Steps: Politics Takes A Holiday

The Gang of 8 has announced that in order to be a citizen of the United States, you have to listen to The Capitol Steps 4th of July special, “Politics Takes a Holiday!” Also, statistics show that many people who have not listened to past specials have been audited by the IRS. Coincidence? Probably! This episode is not for the faint of heart….or those considering running for office.

Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday is a holiday special. We apologize that we are not able to provide a podcast for this hour.


Photo Courtesy of the Center for Budget and Tax Accountability
May 06, 2013

Tax Policies and Illinois’ Fiscal Crisis

Are you tired of hearing how broke the state is? Do you have a suggestion for solving the problem? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the state’s deficit and tax policy.


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Hugo Chavez
Wikimedia Commons
March 12, 2013

Changing Politics in Latin American

This hour on Focus, we talked with Venezuelan native and Political Science Associate Professor Damarys Canache about Hugo Chavez’s death. Then for the second half of the hour, Theodore Piccone, Deputy Director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution joins the show to talk about what changes in Venezuela mean for Cuba.


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Jeffrey Hays in the WILL studio
Photo by Lisa Bralts
January 31, 2013

Immigration Reform

The move to overhaul the nation’s immigration system is gaining momentum in Washington, and President Obama has called that “good news.” Today on Focus: the current path to citizenship and the challenges and barriers it presents to immigrants.


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Ben and Timmy McClelland
January 22, 2013

International Adoption in Illinois

The Russian government recently instituted a controversial ban on adoptions to the United States. Outcry from both families in the middle of the adoption process with Russia and families who have previously adopted from the country has been harsh.


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January 08, 2013

The Pension Situation in Illinois

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.


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January 07, 2013

Political Discourse in America

January 7 is the 14th anniversary of the beginning of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in the U-S Senate. He was the first president to be impeached by the House since Andrew Johnson in 1868. It was a major political development dissected, moment by moment, by 24 hour news channels and talk radio. Politicians and pundits alike spoke in ever coarser tones about the issues surrounding the trial. And our political discourse hasn’t exactly improved since then. In fact, we saw moments when the major players in the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations, just over the last week or two, struggled to communicate effectively with one another. We’ll consider what it might take to raise the level of discourse in our politics – and whether major issues and ideas can be debated thoughtfully and respectfully by people with wildly divergent views. We’ll also explore what led to the coarsening of our political discourse particularly in the last 20 years, and whether our perception that it was more respectful in the past is really true.


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December 27, 2012

Interview with Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas

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


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