November 14, 2012

John Quincy Adams

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.

November 07, 2012

Post-Election Analysis

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.

October 09, 2012

Parallels Between Current and Past Presidential Elections

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.

September 25, 2012

Political Corruption in Illinois: Reality and Perception

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.

September 18, 2012

Talk To The Candidate - John Hartman (I), 13th Illinois Congressional District

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.

September 06, 2012

The Affordable Care Act: What Is In Effect, What Is Yet To Come

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.

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