The 21st Show

How Conservatism Won In Wisconsin; Illinois Election Security; Special Olympics 50th Anniversary


Dan Kaufman

On the 21st: How Wisconsin went from a progressive bastion to a state dominated by Republican politics. Plus, Matt Dietrich from the State Board of Elections joins us to talk about how Russian intelligence stole some voters' information in July of 2016. And, the story of how the Special Olympics began in Chicago, 50 years ago.

Think back to November 2016. You probably remember where you were during that presidential election, but were you focused on Wisconsin? A lot of political observers overlooked the state, and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was confident she’d win it. Wisconsin hadn’t gone for any Republican candidate since 1984. But in a night of surprises, Wisconsin was called for Donald Trump — and as went Wisconsin, so went the nation.

So what happened to this once Democratic stronghold? Liberal icon and former Senator Russ Feingold lost, twice, while conservative Congressman Paul Ryan rose to be Speaker of the House. What lessons can the rest of us learn from our neighbor to the north? Those are questions journalist and Wisconsin native Dan Kaufman tackles in his new book, “The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest Of A Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics.”


Election Day is still about three and a half months away, but elections have been in the news this week. This time, it's not so much the politics as it is the mechanics of elections themselves.

Last week, a grand jury in Washington, D.C. indicted 12 Russian military officers on charges relating to the 2016 elections.

Then, on Tuesday, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation that would have prohibited Illinois from participating in the controversial Interstate Crosscheck Program.

In one way or another, both of these stories involve the Illinois State Board of Elections. So we asked board spokesman Matt Dietrich to walk us through.


In 1968, Eunice Kennedy Shriver spoke to a crowd of more than a thousand athletes and spectators at Soldier Field. They were awaiting the start of the first ever Special Olympics.

Just a few years earlier, when a Chicago Park District PE teacher started working with kids, there was no special education for kids with disabilities. At that time, the 23 year old teacher, named Anne Burke, had an idea to create a sporting event devoted to kids with intellectual disabilities.

With the help of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Anne Burke planned and launched the Special Olympics, which is now celebrating its 50th anniversary this week in Chicago.

Of course, now you may know that Anne Burke has been an Illinois Supreme Court Justice since 2006. Before that, she served on the Illinois Appellate Court. Justice Burke joined us to talk about the history of the Special Olympics and some of the events that they’re having this week to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Story source: WILL