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Fran Spielman Show

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

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Civic Federation president Laurence Msall

As the head of Chicago’s foremost taxpayer watchdog group, Laurence Msall might be expected to urge fiscal caution. But Msall said losing the Bears would be a blow the city should try hard to avoid.

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Storied career of Chicago’s ‘cultural historian emeritus’ continues, even in ‘retirement’

Tim Samuelson said his dad took him aside as a kid and said, "This history stuff is well and good. But what are you going to do for REAL job?" More than three decades later, his "real job" worked out pretty well.

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SC Johnson steps forward to fund Beale’s $250,000 Roseland ‘cop house’

"This is a great tool that they fund elsewhere. They wanted to bring it to my community," Ald. Anthony Beale told the Sun-Times. "To have a Fortune 100 company step up to the plate in my ward is really a tribute to what we’ve been able to do out here."

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Union: CPD suspended 17 officers, supervisors who lounged in congressman’s burglarized office

Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said the union is challenging all the suspensions, ranging from one day to 20 days, arguing that the officers did nothing wrong. The department declined to comment, and has not disclosed what, if any, penalties were handed out.

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Defiant FOP president won’t resign for defending mob that stormed Capitol

John Catanzara said his sympathetic remarks to WBEZ-FM were made after he had watched television coverage of the Capitol siege for only 30 minutes — before the damage, destruction and deaths had been revealed.

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Plenty of blame to go around for Capitol chaos: Emanuel

"People in the establishment ... made a Faustian bargain with an authoritarian figure. Nothing he is doing today he didn’t tell you about four-and-a-half years ago. Nothing," the former Chicago mayor told the Sun-Times.

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‘The Fran Spielman Show’ — 2020 in review

Sun-Times investigative reporter Tim Novak and columnist Mark Brown join Fran Spielman to reflect on an extraordinary year.

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Fran Spielman interviews Dr. Allison Arwady

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Fran Spielman interviews City Clerk Anna Valencia

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CPS will reopen next month even if only a fraction of students opt in — and most teachers will be required to return, CEO says

Schools CEO Janice Jackson said officials are so convinced that reopening schools is safe, they’re working on a plan to bring back at least some high schools during the second semester in addition to elementary schools and special education programs.

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Lightfoot’s $12.8 billion budget sails through committee

A day after the Finance Committee approved the mayor’s $195.7 million revenue package, the Budget Committee approved the spending plan 26-to-8.

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Standing by their man: Chicago Federation of Labor president still has Madigan’s back

"The people that you’ve worked with to help make everyday peoples’ lives better — you can’t just walk away from that situation," said Bob Reiter, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor.

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Lightfoot needs to compromise to get pandemic budget passed, powerful ally says

One day after gaveling two weeks of virtual budget hearings to a close by telling her colleagues, "Let’s go make sausage," Budget Committee Chairman Pat Dowell (3rd) essentially said: "Let the negotiations begin."

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Rahm on Trump: A ‘desperate loser’

"Donald Trump’s kind of posture his whole life has been, `Either I win or it’s been stolen. It’s his grievance politics. This is who he is," former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the Sun-Times. "It’s all about him and nothing to do with the country."

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Foxx acknowledges ‘angst and fear’ triggered by homicides, looting, but denies her ‘social agenda’ is responsible

What happened in Chicago also occurred in places "in which I wasn’t the state’s attorney ... in L.A., in New York," Foxx told the Sun-Times. "I understand the angst and fear. But we owe it to the public to not overly simplify what has happened in our streets over the last several months."

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Fran Spielman interviews Michael Fassnacht, City of Chicago’s chief marketing officer

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Don’t raise property taxes, Lightfoot told, tackle firefighter staffing, garbage fees and other sacred cows instead

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall argued Chicago taxpayers and business owners ravaged by the pandemic can’t take more punishment. Instead, he’s urging the mayor to wield the budget ax and make some tough choices.

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Fran Spielman interviews Civic Federation President Laurence Msall

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Fran Spielman interviews Sun-Times executive editor Chris Fusco

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Downtown workforce will return to a ‘new normal,’ top mayoral aide says

Samir Mayekar, Chicago’s deputy mayor for economic and neighborhood development, said a new "workplace eco-system" will have a "hub campus," more "local community hubs" and "on-demand event space," plus more people working from home.

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Fran Spielman interviews Deputy Mayor for Economic and Neighborhood Development Samir Mayekar

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Carol Marin knows when it’s time to leave (unlike plenty of politicians)

‘I’ve seen people stay too long at the dance . . .. I want to leave at a time when I still feel the work is solid and that I know that I still love what I do and where I do it.’

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Fran Spielman interviews award-winning journalist Carol Marin

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Retiring Ravinia CEO talks about how concerts might resume

Days away from retirement, Welz Kauffman says Ravinia can watch and learn from the "experiments" going on in Europe.

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Fran Spielman interviews retiring Ravinia Festival president and CEO Welz Kauffman

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Fran Spielman interviews Chicago City Budget Director Susie Park & Chief Financial Officer Jennie Huang Bennett

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City’s proposed 2021 budget will erase $1.2 billion shortfall — and without more federal help, top mayoral aides say

Chief Financial Officer Jennie Huang Bennett and Budget Director Susie Park said a property tax increase is "last on our list" but must remain on the table because it is the most broad-based and reliable source of revenue.

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Fran Spielman interviews Mayor Lori Lightfoot about her role in the 2020 Democratic National Convention

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Fran Spielman interviews Sydney Roberts, chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability

Of nearly 1,000 complaints filed against Chicago Police officers since the death of George Floyd, roughly 170 had enough supporting evidence to warrant full-blown investigations by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, COPA’s chief administrator said Thursday.

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Fran Spielman interviews Northwestern University Senior Associate Vice President and Chief Risk and Compliance Officer Luke Figora

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Alderman has plan to combat police suicides

Ald. Chris Taliaferro, chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee and a former police officer, said CPD should have at least one licensed clinical psychologist in each of its 22 districts and five areas.

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Fran Spielman interviews Committee on Public Safety chairman Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th)

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Fran Spielman interviews Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney