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Machine politics
Quick Hit
by Anthony Burke Boylan
Thu May 22

Meet Ed Bus: Improv Group Takes Friendly Jab At Chicago Machine Politics In Upcoming Show

Ald. Ed Bus (53rd) thinks things really started to go wrong with the city when voters began worrying about reform, corruption, nepotism and cronyism.

Things worked best when The Machine was in charge, and if he has his way it will be again — soon. Bus won’t say he’s running for mayor in 2015, but you could say he’s showing all the signs.

“Ed Bus exposes a lot of the feelings people have about Chicago government — what has changed and what hasn’t,’’ says Ald. Scott Waguespack, a colleague and frequent foil of Bus. “I love his motto: ‘Keep it like it was.’"

Bus, of the 53rd Ward, is a fictional character, the creation of veteran Chicago improv group Schadenfreude and played by Justin Kaufman, a founding member of the group and a long-time producer and sometime on-air personality at WBEZ radio. Bus is part and parcel of the Chicago Machine: an insider, a nepotist, a backroom deal maker and a ward heeler.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Mar 18

SEIU Members Help Nancy Schiavone Get Voters To The Polls In Illinois' 40th District (VIDEO)

Nancy Schiavone, who is running in the hotly contested Democratic primary race in Illinois' 40th representative district, saw support Tuesday morning from SEIU* Local 1 members who hit the streets on Chicago's Northwest Side to canvas on behalf of the candidate.

"We've identified folks, and we're hoping that we get them to the polls," Schiavone told Progress Illinois at her campaign office ahead of the canvas. "We have a really terrific field program, and we're just going to keep at it until 7 o'clock tonight," which is when the polls close. 

Schiavone is one of four Democratic candidates vying to unseat incumbent State Rep. Jaime Andrade (D-Chicago), a former top aide to the now retired Chicago Ald. Dick Mell (33rd). Andrade has represented the 40th District since August after being appointed to fill the vacancy left by Deb Mell, who succeeded her father as alderman of Chicago's 33rd Ward. 

The other Democratic candidates in Tuesday's 40th District Democratic primary battle include attorney Aaron Goldstein, community development organizer Wendy Jo Harmston and electrical engineer Mark Pasieka. There are no Republicans running in the 40th district, which includes parts of the Logan Square, Albany Park, Avondale and Irving Park communities in Chicago.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Mar 17

Election Preview: Tensions Boil Over In The 26th District Legislative Race

Jhatayn “Jay” Travis, who is challenging incumbent State Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) in the 26th District Democratic race, blasted her opponent Monday for "questionable election tactics." Mitchell's campaign called Travis' comments "desperate and superfluous." Progress Illinois details the latest scuffle kicking up dirt in the race on the eve of the primary election.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Mar 17

Election Preview: The Democratic Battle In Illinois' 40th District

The five-person race in Illinois' 40th legislative district on Chicago's Northwest Side is one of the key Democratic battles to watch in Tuesday's primary election. Progress Illinois takes a look at the contest.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Mar 12

Election Preview: A Look At The 39th District State Representative Race

With less than a week until the March primary election, eyes are peeled on the 39th District state representative race that pits politically-connected incumbent State Rep. Maria "Toni" Berrios (D-Chicago) against community organizer and former Huffington Post reporter Will Guzzardi. Progress Illinois takes a look at the contest, which has been called possibly the "most important state legislative race in Illinois in the primary."