Stories by Hunter Clauss

Dorothy Brown Won't Back Down Despite Losing Democratic Endorsement

Dorothy Brown

Cook County Court Clerk Dorothy Brown joins "Chicago Tonight" to discuss losing her endorsement from the county's Democratic Party and an apparent federal investigation into her office. 

Chicago City Council Approves Emanuel's Budget

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's record $588 million property tax hike sailed through the City Council today with only 15 aldermen voting against it. The hike is the centerpiece of Emanuel's bad news budget that imposes additional taxes and fees. We speak with a panel of aldermen about the budget and how they voted.

Deconstructing the Headlines Around the Lucas Museum, More

While a monthslong architecture celebration underway in Chicago, there are some big changes in store for the city’s architectural landscape. We discuss the planned and potential changes to the city’s skyline with Lee Bey, host of Rivet Radio’s Architecture360; and architect and author Edward Keegan. 

Cook County Commissioners React to Preckwinkle's 2016 Budget Plan

Will they support expanding the amusement tax?

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed 2016 budget plan–which includes expanding the amusement tax–could be a tough sell to a county board that narrowly approved a controversial sales tax hike to help the county tackle its $6.5 billion pension fund shortfall. We talk with three Cook County commissioners about the plan.

Craigslist Ads Citing ‘No Section 8’ Found Among Chicago Listings

Odette Yousef

Some landlords in the Chicago area are illegally discriminating against Section 8 voucher holders, according to WBEZ. Does this highlight problems with the program itself or is it blatant racism?

Preckwinkle County Budget Aims to Expand Amusement Tax

Toni Preckwinkle

Watching FX’s "American Horror Story" and hitting the golf course could become more expensive under a budget proposal unveiled by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle last week. She joins us to discuss her proposal and how it will help plug a projected $198.9 million budget hole. 

Discussing the Politics of the City and County Budgets

Living in the Chicago area is about to get even more expensive. Not only is Mayor Rahm Emanuel seeking a record high property tax increase to help shore up police and firefighter pensions. But today Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is asking for a county tax on recreational activities like golfing and cable TV to help plug the county's budget deficit. 

Dispelling the Myths of Email Privacy, Security

Heavily cited throughout the federal indictment against former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett are emails outlining the alleged kickback scheme tied to the controversial $20.5 million no-bid contract awarded to SUPES Academy. Tonight we’ll talk about the misconceptions and myths of email with Jeffrey Cramer, a former federal prosecutor who now heads the Chicago office of security firm Kroll. 

Watching the Watchmen: Aldermen Expected to Grill Top Cop

Chicago’s top cop is expected to be in the hot seat today as the City Council holds a hearing on the police department’s proposed 2016 budget. We'll hear from some aldermen about what they think of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy’s testimony at City Hall, what they want to see in the police department’s budget, and how crime has affected their wards.

Chicago Ideas Week Brings Books to CTA, Notable Speakers to City

Martha Stewart, David Petraeus, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards and many more notable speakers will be in town this month for Chicago Ideas Week. Tonight we’ll talk with the founder of the annual cultural event about what to expect this year.

'Rebel' Lawmakers on State's Political Impasse

As summer turns to fall, time seems to be at a standstill in Springfield. With the House not scheduled to meet anytime soon, is now the time for state lawmakers to break ranks and come up with a plan B? And if so, what practical options do they have? We talk with a group of so-called rebel lawmakers.

Home Run in Attendance for Playoff-Bound Cubs? Crain’s Roundup with Ann Dwyer

As the Cubs head into the playoffs for the first time since 2008, the team is seeing an almost 12 percent increase in attendance. What effect might this have on future ticket prices? Crain’s Chicago Business deputy managing editor Ann Dwyer sheds light on this story and others with Eddie Arruza.

Unpacking the Rise of Hoarding in Chicago

Photo by Patty Wolf

Some city officials, landlords and service providers say they are seeing an uptick in reported cases of hoarding in the Chicago area. We unpack what's behind this perceived increase, and the challenges of addressing what in some cases could be considered a mental illness.

Let’s Talk About Sex … with 3-D Animation

The days might be numbered for yesterday's sex ed classes. That’s because Northwestern University unveiled Monday a new, online sex education course that incorporates 3-D animation. It's being compared by organizers to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmos” TV show – only it’s about inner space instead of outer space.

Jeannie Morris Unravels Life 'Behind the Smile' of Carol Moseley Braun

Jeannie Morris might be better known for her groundbreaking career as one of the first female sports journalists, but in her new book "Behind the Smile: A Story of Carol Moseley Braun's Historic Senate Campaign," she tackles national politics and unveils the ups and downs of Moseley Braun’s life and career. Morris joins us tonight to discuss the book.

Behind the Front Lines of ‘Ashley's War’: A Battle for Women in the Military

Author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon recounts the experiences of one group of female soldiers in a New York Times bestseller. She discusses her book and what’s ahead for the military.

State's Medical Marijuana Program Faces New Crop of Challenges

The seeds of Illinois’ medical marijuana industry are expected to bloom this fall as more pot dispensaries could get the final green light to open. But some industry observers say there are a couple of major buzzkills facing the state’s program. Tonight we’ll talk about those challenges with the chairman of the trade group Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois and a partner at a law firm representing two dispensaries. 

Chicago Teachers Union on Contract Negotiations, Likelihood of Strike

Class is in session for what could be a hectic year at Chicago Public Schools, which may face layoffs in the middle of the school year if state lawmakers don’t come through with $480 million. On top of that, district officials are negotiating a new contract with the Chicago Teachers Union. CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey gives us an update on contract negotiations and the likelihood of a teachers strike. 

Aldermen Sound Off on Potential Property Tax Hike, Other Fees

Since news leaked last week that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is considering a record high property tax increase of $500 million, the mayor says he’s confident the City Council will stand with him and his plan to overcome the city’s massive financial hurdles. Tonight we’ll ask aldermen to sound off on the property tax increase and other tax proposals.

Emanuel Eyes $500 Million Property Tax Increase, Sources Say

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reportedly considering a $500 million property tax hike—one of the largest in the city’s history—to help pay police and fire pensions and construction projects for Chicago Public Schools. The tax increase is expected to be included in the mayor’s 2016 budget. We examine what’s reportedly in Emanuel’s budget and what it means for city residents.

Taste Test on the Proposed Chicago Soda Tax

A proposed penny-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages is meant primarily as a way to address skyrocketing obesity and diabetes rates. But some of that revenue could go toward funding the city’s big cash crunch.

Human Rights Group Calls for Legalization of Prostitution

Amnesty International is calling for the legalization of prostitution, a move some advocacy groups say is short-sighted. We'll hear from both sides.

Lessons Learned from Nieman Fellow Dawn Turner

Dawn Turner

Awarding-winning Chicago Tribune columnist Dawn Turner is back in town after spending a year at Harvard University for the prestigious Nieman Fellowship. Turner joins Chicago Tonight on Thursday to discuss what she learned during her time away.

Put A Ring On It? What Ashley Madison Says About Modern Love

Ashley Madison homepage screen

The radioactive mushroom cloud of marital unhappiness set off by the hacking of adultery website Ashley Madison keeps growing. But what does the website and its popularity say about modern marriages? And how do Ashley Madison, dating websites, and smartphone apps affect how we build relationships? Tonight, we’ll hear from Eli Finkel, a professor of social psychology at Northwestern University.

Performance Review: Amazon's Peculiar Tactics Under the Microscope

Let’s be honest: At the end of the day, who doesn’t like complaining about work? That’s probably one reason a recent New York Times story on the intense workplace culture at online retailer Amazon is so fascinating. Tonight, we’ll discuss Amazon’s performance review methods with Howard Tullman, CEO of tech incubator 1871; and John Challenger, CEO of outplacement and career transitioning firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas.