Fran Spielman Show

Veteran City Hall reporter Fran Spielman’s interviews with Chicago’s movers and shakers.

Tunney, chairman of the Council’s Zoning Committee, came close to joining the race after his longtime friend and political ally, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., took a pass.
Neither the city’s longtime negotiator, Jim Franczek, nor Mayor Lori Lightfoot commented on the situation.
The Fran Spielman Show
Jim Franczek described Vallas as a “pretty independent guy” while he’s wary of Johnson’s ties to the Chicago Teachers Union.
Johnson’s campaign manager said Johnson and Garcia have had “several good conversations.” More meetings with a “broader group” of Garcia supporters are scheduled for next week, in hoipes of securing Garcia’s endorsement.
David Axelrod has helped to elect mayors, senators and the nation’s first Black president. While not ready to “write the epitaph” of incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot, he said: “She definitely has a very, very steep uphill climb.”
Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson is a paid organizer for the Chicago Teachers Union who helped lead it in two strikes and two job actions since 2012.
“I’m the frontrunner. That’s the reason. They know I’ve got momentum. They know I’m rising in the polls. They know that I’m a threat. And this time, they’re gonna try to attack me personally as opposed to challenge me on the issues,” mayoral challenger Paul Vallas told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Bob Bartlett, a veteran CPD detective, is trying to unseat union president John Catanzara. Like Catanzara, Bartlett is no fan of Mayor Lori Lightfoot or CPD Supt. David Brown — but he disagrees with Catanzara’s scorched-earth rhetoric.
King, who represents the 4th Ward on the Chicago City Council, was a chemistry teacher at the Latin School of Chicago and helped found Ariel Community Academy in North Kenwood-Oakland.
Mayoral challenger Brandon Johnson, the Cook County commissioner and Chicago Teachers Union organizer, came out swinging during a free-wheeling interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.
“The only mayor who fully-funded the developments that were stagnated under [Rahm] Emanuel and the new ones that I came up with was Lori Lightfoot. She has been the only one who has talked the talk and walked the walk when it comes to affordable housing,” Maldonado told the Chicago Sun-Times.
His plan takes aim at causes of crime in an effort to stop the exodus of businesses and residents from the city and Chicago police officers from the department.
“Folks know me,” the 66-year-old Garcia told the Sun-Times. “They know what I’ve done.” In 2015, Garcia, now a Democratic congressman, forced then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel into Chicago’s first mayoral runoff election.
In a soul-searching interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, former Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st) talked about going into his own tailspin after failing to talk a beloved friend out of committing suicide.
The Cook County commissioner said he is running because incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot has failed progressives. “The hopes and desires of working families have been ignored,” Johnson told the Sun-Times.
A $500,000 donation from prominent GOP donor and golf course magnate Michael Keiser has left an opening for some opponents, including the Chicago Teachers Union, to attack Vallas, a former CPS CEO, as a closet Republican.
Last month, the 47th Ward Council member introduced a resolution calling for making himself chair of the Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight, replacing retired chair Michele Smith.
State laws created the police, fire, laborers and municipal employees pension funds, and state lawmakers have a responsibility to consolidate, reform and fund local pension plans, says Civic Federation President Laurence Msall.
The name was part of an emotional and potentially high-risk coming out for Timmy Knudsen after he graduated law school and joined a buttoned-down Chicago firm he was not at all certain would welcome an openly-gay attorney.
Lewis’ son, the Rev. Bobby Lewis, and Welz Kauffman, former president and CEO of the Ravinia Festival, talk about the life and legacy of the performer.
Retiring Bears president Ted Phillips said the Bears have hired Goldman Sachs to “explore every possible option” and develop a “specific ask” of the village and state.
Maurice Cox said a dome over Soldier Field will remain “one of the options that extends its use for 365 days a year.” The possibility of the Bears leaving for Arlington Heights, he added, “really forced the city to look at utilization of that amazing event venue.”
Since arriving from Detroit three years ago, Planning and Development Commissioner Maurice Cox has focused on delivering Lightfoot’s mayor’s signature plan to leverage $750 million in public money already in the pipeline” to lure private investment to areas neglected for decades.
A former teacher and an organizer for the Chicago Teachers Union, the county commissioner told the Sun-Times he is “grateful for the vote of confidence” from working people urging him to run. He promised a final decision in the next few weeks.
A University of Chicago Crime Lab model offered a way to assign officers, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Supt. David Brown chose a more timid approach. Ald. Sophia King said if elected mayor, she’ll act more boldly.
Ald. Jason Ervin said with so many Black candidates, the community risks “losing it all.” But the newest mayoral challenger, Ald. Sophia King, called it “shortsighted” to think “Black candidates will only get Black votes.”