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Ben Joravsky Interviews by Dave Glowacz: 2009

12/31/09 “Who Deserves to Be Disqualified?”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why the Chicago Board of Elections considers the nominating process fair; the nature of political influence on the Board of Elections; and whether the nominating process holds challengers to a higher standard. Length 8 minutes.

12/17/09 “It Doesn't Take Much to Be a Maverick”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How to access the City Council's live video stream; what made Ald. Allen an outspoken critic; and the illusion of Mayor Daley's power over aldermen. Length 9 minutes.

12/10/09 “Shedding Light on the Shadow Budget”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: When logic fails in figuring how the city apportions TIF revenues; the three factors blinding South- and West-Side aldermen; and how City Council members get the bum's rush on fiscal votes. Length 9.3 minutes.

12/3/09 “The Passenger with a Gun”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why Ben doesn't cover the police; the remarkable accessibility for the press of the Independent Police Review Authority; and why the state's attorney might delay prosecution. Length 8.4 minutes.

11/26/09 “The Insider”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Michael Scott as divine intervention; Chicago's unique obstacles to kids getting into neighborhood schools; and, politically, the most important institution for blacks on the West and South Sides. Length 8 minutes.

11/19/09 “Transparency in Action”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why Oak Park Senator Harmon might carry water for Mayor Daley; when well-meaning public advocates go over to the TIF dark side; and why the county treasurer can't implement the county clerk's TIF-o-meter. Length 6 minutes.

11/5/09 “October Surprise”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Unpacking a sample property-tax bill; how Cook County overtaxes its suburban residents to pay Chicago; and Chicago newspapers start reporting the tax-increase aspect of tax-increment financing. Length 7.3 minutes. • For a sample Cook County property-tax bill click here.

10/29/09 “Clout on the Calumet River”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: A profile of the Southeast Side; whether taxes should fund property buy-outs; and helping communities economically by closing businesses. Length 8.6 minutes. • For a map of the Calumet River TIF area click here (courtesy City of Chicago).

10/22/09 “The Shadow Budget”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: What the "TIF sunshine" ordinance leaves in the dark; how Chicago might (or not) make money on its United Airlines subsidy; and the tax benefits of property negligence. Length 10.2 minutes.

10/15/09 “Who’ll Decide How Much You Pay?”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether Cook County property-taxpayers need the Board of Review; how many signatures you need to get on a ballot; and how, if the Greens become viable in Illinois, the Dems and Reps will react. Length 9.2 minutes.

10/8/09 “Lessons From the Olympic Bid”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The average Joe leading the leaders; how Michelle Malkin showed up; and, corporations: great job, Mayor Daley! Length 8 minutes.

10/1/09 “Dear International Olympic Committee”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Ben's alienation by institutional Chicago; the macho thing that aldermen have goin' on; and when Chicagoans will wake up to the fact of one-man rule. Length 6.7 minutes.

9/17/09 “Ben Joravsky, Tool of the Man”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The glue that holds patronage together; the Jose Conseco story; and Rod Blagojevich: the next Jerry Springer. Length 7.1 minutes.

9/10/09 “Funds and Games: Chicago 2016's 'Stewardship Report'”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why you didn't see or hear in-depth coverage of the Stewardship Report; how civic leaders criticize Mayor Daley; and to what financial disclosure standards we should hold Chicago 2016. Length 9.5 minutes.

9/3/09 “Ready, Set, Hike”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why city officials constantly restate the effects of tax-increment financing; calculating the impact of Block 37 development; and what Reader staff learned from their new owners. Length 7.3 minutes.

8/20/09 “The Real Estate King of the Chicago City Council”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Behind the gerrymandering of the 26th Ward; how committeemen used to run the wards; and how zoning committees can protect democracy. Length 8.2 minutes.

8/13/09 “Who'll Be the Bad Guy Now?”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether all U.S. taxpayers want to pay for Olympics in Chicago; aldermen's mass hysteria in supporting caps on Olympics costs; and how aldermen want it both ways when taking a stand on the Olympics. Length 8.2 minutes. • For a list of the organizations funding the Civic Federation's review of Chicago's Olympics financials, click here.

8/6/09 “Mr. Big Spender”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Mayor Washington's wisdom in creating the Central Loop TIF district; the difference in TIF tactics between Mayors Washington and Daley; and two big payouts to United Airlines. Length 6.3 minutes.

7/30/09 “Michael Reese Hospital: The First Sacrificial Lamb”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The absurd position of preservationists; the inevitability of a public handout to Olympic Village developers; and how total demolition of Michael Reese Hospital limits development options. Length 7.1 minutes.

7/23/09 “Wanna Buy an Olympics?”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: North Siders as powerless as South Siders; how the Olympics movement resembles the blizzard of '79; and Olympics planning: an exercise in cynicism? Length 7.5 minutes.

7/16/09 “Still No Property Tax Bill for the Park Grill”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The kinds of deals that the Chicago Park District has with on-premises restaurants; whether Cook County judges weigh clout in their decisions; and how much the mob influences city government. Length 9.2 minutes.

7/9/09 “Unsolved Mysteries”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How to get ordinary humans to read about complicated issues; whether citizens should trust the city to spend a billion dollars; and why 14th-Ward residents don't deserve an alderman. Length 7.4 minutes.

7/2/09 “On the Hook”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: From where, exactly, Olympics revenues would come; why an independent civic organization shouldn't analyze Chicago's Olympics budget; and the deafening silence from civic Chicago. Length 6.2 minutes.

6/25/09 “The Grand Old Party’s Last Stand”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: What Republicans used to stand for; why anyone would bother to run as a Republican; and the mystery of Ald. Brian Doherty. Length 5.4 minutes.

6/18/09 “The Insiders”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Who enforces the city's procurement rules; parking meters on steroids; and privatization by cocktail party. Length 9.8 minutes.

6/4/09 “What TIFs Giveth, the Olympics Taketh Away”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why it's not hard to fight the Olympics; what you should never forget about the Olympics; and Chicago's pre-existing Olympic aquatic center. Length 5.3 minutes.

5/28/09 “University Village: The Story's Not Finished”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: An aspect of tax-increment financing that might rouse the citizenry from its slumber; why Chicago's newspapers don't report on TIF districts; and why renters should care about property taxes. Length 7.8 minutes. • To read the Sun-Times expose' into development in University Village: Part 1; Part 2.

5/21/09 “One Billion Dollars”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether privatization in the abstract has any merit; deconstructing the ways to value parking meters; and giving meter-poor neighborhoods their share. Length 8.3 minutes.

5/7/09 “Taking Advantage of TIF Ignorance”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether panic peddling typically occurs in TIF districts; the fundamentals of eminent domain; and how the city will ruin the North Pullman TIF district. Length 8.3 minutes.

4/30/09 “Midterm Examination”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why Jesse Jackson Jr. Photoshopped his wife; why Ben loves Alderman Bob Fioretti; and the roll call of somewhat-independent aldermen. Length 8.6 minutes.

4/16/09 “Ben Javorsky for Mayor!”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How the Reader of olden times handled letter writers; whether the Reader came late to the story; and when Chicagoans have epiphanies about their government. Length 7.2 minutes.

4/9/09 “Fail: How Daley and his crew hid their process from the public, ignored their own rules, railroaded the City Council, and screwed the taxpayers on the parking meter lease deal”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: What percentage of revenue the city should spend on parking operations; what info the city should disclose about bidders for city concessions; and how aldermen have lost an urban-planning tool. Length 8.2 minutes.

4/2/09 “An Open Letter to the IOC”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How the Tribune and Sun-Times ignore their own reporting; what upsets the sheep; and making an honest assessment of the city's finances. Length 9.4 minutes.

3/26/09 “Stimulus, Chicago-Style”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The three ways to end corporate relocation subsidies; Ben's favorite way; and start-up jobs instead of stolen jobs. Length 9.9 minutes. • For annual job-creation reports from corporations receiving state subsidies click here

3/19/09 “Show Us the Money”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: A tax increment financing refresher; cities caught up in the notion of "the deal;" and Chicago's mini-version of the federal bailout. Length 9.3 minutes. • For a map of the LaSalle/Central TIF district click here • For a photo (from Google Maps) of 250 S. Wacker Dr. click here

3/12/09 “Money for Nothing”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Winning the quinella of revenue loss; how one becomes a "chosen" developer; and when yelling at the Community Development Commission works. Length 8.6 minutes. • For a map of the Jefferson Park TIF district click here • For photos (from Google Maps) of the 5200 block of West Lawrence Ave. click here

3/5/09 “The Straw Man”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: If Todd Stroger led the push for the Olympics; whether Mayor Daley controls the county's share of federal stimulus dollars; and the price of peace: patronage. Length 7.8 minutes.

2/26/09 “The $10.5 Million Mascot”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The one good thing in the city's Olympics bid; whether real-estate development drives the desire for Olympics; and how the city might secretly subsidize the Olympic Village. Length 8.3 minutes.

2/19/09 “The Race to Replace Rahm”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Earmarks: copious or corrupting; pros and cons of minority districts; and the 5th congressional district as an evolutionary indicator. Length 9.6 minutes.

2/5/09 “MVP or Mope?”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Defining progressive vs. independent officials; whether aldermen should both legislate and provide constituent services; and the mayor loses his mind. Length 9.2 minutes.

1/29/09 “The Hack Who Pissed Off Harold”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The definition of patronage (abused and not); how the Hispanic Democratic Organization annihilated Hispanic independence; and Chicagoans: held under psychological bondage? Length 8.2 minutes.

1/22/09 “City for Sale”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How much police and firefighters at Midway will really cost; why the city has tried to get rid of debt; and, Mayor Daley: privatization leader? Length 7.6 minutes.

1/15/09 “Taking the Fifth”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How slatemaking works; Ben's ideal Congressperson; and why Chicago Congresspersons stay out of Chicago's governmental problems. Length 9.3 minutes.

1/8/09 “Would You Vote for Roland Burris?”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: What prosecutions the Illinois attorney general could do but doesn't; how Burris might have paid to play; and when ethics trump laws. Length 9.1 minutes. • To read Thomas Geoghegan's article arguing that the Constitution requires a special election for senator, click here.