Illinois Rising en-us © 2018 Illinois Rising Your weekend home for insight, analysis and policy solutions. Illinois Rising Dan Proft and experts from the Illinois Policy Institute break down the pressing political and policy issues affecting our state, and bring you the truth you need. no Illinois Rising is your weekend home for insight, analysis and policy solutions you won’t hear anywhere else. AM 560’s Dan Proft and experts from the Illinois Policy Institute break down the pressing political and policy issues affecting our state, and bring you the truth you need. If you’re tired of the spin from the political class, you’ll want to tune in to AM560 every Sunday at 3 p.m. to hear Dan and the Illinois Policy Institute provide the most honest commentary anywhere on state politics and policy. Illinois Rising What Illinois needs in a budget | Episode 81 Dan Proft and Michael Lucci discuss Illinois’ budget stalemate with state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, and former state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger, R-Elgin.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Michael Lucci

Guests: Jeanne Ives, Steve Rauschenberger

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What manufacturers need to compete | Episode 74 Dan Proft and Eric Kohn, marketing manager for the Illinois Policy Institute, talk to the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging food truck regulations in Chicago, days after a Cook County Circuit Court judge sided with the city. They also talk to the president of a manufacturing business that left Illinois for Indiana, and is urging the soon-to-be president and vice president-elect to make needed reforms for manufacturers in the country.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Eric Kohn

Guests: Laura Pekarik, Vincent Flaska

]]> Thu, 15 Dec 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:16
Ending 2016 in the General Assembly | Episode 73 Dan Proft and Kristen McQueary, Chicago Tribune editorial board member, recap the General Assembly’s veto session, which ended Dec. 1. They also talk to a suburban Chicago manufacturer about why Illinois’ uncompetitive workers compensation system urgently needs reform, and they discuss charter schools struggling to expand in Chicago.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Kristen McQueary

Guests: Zach Mottl​

]]> Tue, 6 Dec 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:37:46
Illinois’ Medicaid crisis | Episode 72 Dan Proft and Hilary Gowins discuss Illinois’ prospects for adopting Right-to-Work policies. They also talk to an expert from the Foundation for Government Accountability about Obamacare’s negative financial – and tragically fatal – impact on Illinois.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Hilary Gowins

Guests: Jacob Huebert, Nic Horton

]]> Sun, 27 Nov 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:37
At impasse with AFSCME | Episode 71 AFSCME, lame-duck tax hikes and the vote for Illinois' House Speaker. Dan Proft and Austin Berg talk to a labor law expert about the state’s impasse with AFSCME, its largest public sector union. They also talk to a constitutional scholar on ways taxpayers can restrict government from hiking taxes. And they discuss the new General Assembly’s upcoming vote for House Speaker.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Austin Berg

Guests: Mailee Smith, Rob Natelson

]]> Sun, 20 Nov 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:27
The new General Assembly’s challenges | Episode 70 Dan Proft and Michael Lucci talk about the statehouse election results with Illinois News Network Reporter Greg Bishop. They also talk to a Will County manufacturer who describes the biggest challenges manufacturers in Illinois face, and why so many of them choose to leave for neighboring states. And Proft and Lucci discuss Illinois’ shrinking labor force, which includes many millenials fleeing the state for greener pastures. 

Hosts: Dan Proft & Michael Lucci
Guests: Greg Bishop, Al Popovich​

]]> Sun, 13 Nov 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:15
Election 2016 | Episode 69 Dan Proft and Pat Hughes, co-founder of the Illinois Opportunity Project, talk about how New York’s new restrictive laws against Airbnb compare to Chicago’s and other major cities. They also preview the upcoming legislative elections with longtime ABC Political Reporter Charles Thomas.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Pat Hughes

Guests: Jared Meyer, Charles Thomas

]]> Sun, 30 Oct 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:37:31
Illinois ranking last | Episode 68 Dan Proft and Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, talk to former Mike Madigan primary opponent Jason Gonzales about the tactics Madigan employed against him during his run. They also talk to a Tax Foundation policy analyst about Illinois’ competitiveness – or lack thereof – in tax policy in the region. And they talk to a pension expert about how each state pension fund across the country is underfunded.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Ted Dabrowski

Guests: Jason Gonzales, Jared Walczak, Bob Williams​

]]> Sun, 23 Oct 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:38:38
Fleeing Illinois | Episode 67 Dan Proft and Michael Lucci, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, react to the deal between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union that includes a limit on charter schools. They also break down new out-migration data that shows how much income is fleeing Illinois, and how nearly half of Illinoisans remaining would like to leave, too.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Michael Lucci

Guests: Jelani McEwen, Scott Moody, Mark Dobson

]]> Tue, 18 Oct 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:38:02
Understanding Illinois’ terrible credit rating | Episode 66 Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to the author of a new study showing that higher-paid lawmakers are more focused on fundraising than legislating. They also talk to Jim Iuorio, managing director of TJM Institutional Services and CNBC contributor, about Illinois’ recent credit downgrade and the state’s suspension of Wells Fargo.

Hosts: Dan Proft and Pat Hughes

Guests: Mitchell Hoffman, Jim Iuorio

]]> Sun, 9 Oct 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:38:36
Madigan: Power. Privilege. Politics. | Episode 65 Dan Proft and Austin Berg preview the upcoming documentary “Madigan: Power. Privilege. Politics” with one of the film’s producers, Teryn Fogel. They also talk to Rob Blagojevich, brother of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, about the toxic political culture Madigan leads in Illinois. 

]]> Tue, 4 Oct 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:37:57
Chicago’s ban on innovation | Episode 64 Dan Proft and Jacob Huebert, senior attorney for the Liberty Justice Center, talk to a child care worker leading a nationwide fight against unionization of home child care providers. They also talk to Ron Bailey, science correspondent at Reason magazine and, about Chicago’s driverless car ban and the city’s hostility toward entrepreneurs. And while Chicago’s restrictive Airbnb ordinance is still new, an attorney with the Beacon Center discusses how he is fighting a similar ordinance in Nashville.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Jacob Huebert

Guests: Jennifer Parrish, Ron Bailey, Braden Boucek​

]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:43
Illinois Manufacturing Crisis | Episode 63 Dan Proft and Michael Lucci, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, talk to Illinois Manufacturers’ Association President Greg Baise about how to improve the state’s poor manufacturing climate. They also talk to economist Walter Williams about Illinois’ record-high black unemployment rate, its root causes and solutions, and they talk to a leader from a Chicago-based nonprofit trying to provide opportunity to those in the city and state without it.

Guests: Greg Baise, Walter Williams, Fred Long

Hosts: Dan Proft & Michael Lucci

]]> Sun, 18 Sep 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:39:03
Chicago Teachers Union prepares for another showdown with Rahm | Episode 62 Dan Proft and Ted Dabrowski discuss the looming threat of a Chicago Teachers Union strike. Illinois faces more than $110 billion in pension debt and flawed pension math is to blame. A new reform eliminates pensions for future county board members statewide, and tuition costs in Illinois have doubled over the last decade largely due to bloated administrations.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Ted Dabrowski
Guests: Dan DiSalvo, Mark Glennon, David Welter

]]> Thu, 8 Sep 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:14
Food Fight in Chicago | Episode 61 Dan Proft and Austin Berg break down what comes next in the state’s partial impasse with AFSCME. They also talk to a Chicago food truck owner who is fighting back against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s promise to “crack down” on the food truck industry. And they discuss the lack of opportunity – and the national headlines about violence – in the city under Emanuel’s leadership, as well as potential further exodus from Chicago to Northwest Indiana.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Austin Berg

Guests: Mailee Smith, Gabe Wiesen, Leah Konrady

]]> Tue, 6 Sep 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:40
Madigan tries to buy the next mayor of Aurora | Episode 60 Dan Proft and Jacob Huebert, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, discuss reports of widespread food-stamp trafficking in Illinois and elsewhere, as well alternatives to failing welfare programs, with policy experts from the Foundation for Government Accountability and the Cato Institute. While everyone is talking about the Chicago White Sox stadium name change, Dan and Jacob tackle another issue with the ballpark: its taxpayer funding. And they also explore Mike Madigan’s involvement in Aurora’s mayoral race.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Jacob Huebert

Guests: Josh Archambault, Michael Tanner, Rick Guzman

]]> Wed, 31 Aug 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:22
The town that outsourced everything | Episode 59 Dan Proft and Pat Hughes, co-founder of the Illinois Opportunity Project, talk to the mayor of a Georgia town that successfully relies on the private sector for most of its services. They also break down how Chicago Public Schools’ finances affect both the city and state, and they discuss the politics of criminal-justice reform with Bryant Jackson-Green, criminal-justice policy analyst at the Illinois Policy Institute.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Pat Hughes

Guests: Rusty Paul, Brian Battle, Bryant Jackson-Green

]]> Sun, 21 Aug 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:34:57
Speaker Madigan’s spokesman one-on-one with Dan Proft | Episode 58 Dan Proft and Steve Brown, press secretary for House Speaker Michael Madigan, debate a series of issues ranging from K-12 education to pensions, the budget debate, electoral politics and more, in an exclusive, rare conversation.

Listen to the full episode and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here.

Hosts: Dan Proft

Guests: Steve Brown

]]> Sun, 14 Aug 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:58:49
Term limits | Episode 57 Dan Proft and Austin Berg, writer for the Illinois Policy Institute and columnist for the Illinois News Network, discuss the state’s decision to decriminalize marijuana with defense attorney David Camic. They also discuss the state’s need for term limits with Dick Simpson, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor and former Chicago alderman, and compare and contrast Illinois’ political culture with one of the first states to actually have term limits, Oklahoma.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Austin Berg

Guests: David Camic, Dick Simpson, Jonathan Small​

]]> Sun, 7 Aug 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:26
Pokemon GO | Episode 56 Dan Proft and Jacob Huebert, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, talk to a Chicago-based attorney who is fighting the city’s new Airbnb regulations. They also talk to Jeffrey Tucker from the Foundation for Economic Education about the impact of Pokemon GO, and political discourse in 2016.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Jacob Huebert

Guests: Shorge Sato, Jeffrey Tucker

]]> Sun, 31 Jul 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:13
Illinois government workers’ sweetheart deal | Episode 55 Pat Hughes, co-founder of the Illinois Opportunity Project, and Jacob Huebert, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center go in detail on AFSCME’s demands in contract negotiations. Diana Rickert, vice president of communications for the Illinois Policy Institute, joins to discuss her Chicago Tribune column on the subject. Hughes and Huebert also talk to a Chicago entrepreneur who faced obstacles from government in starting her business. They also discuss how and why the political establishment won’t give up its ability to gerrymander political maps.

Hosts: Pat Hughes & Jacob Huebert

Guests: Diana Rickert, Rebecca Mueller

]]> Sun, 24 Jul 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:06
The $68,000 part-time job | Episode 54 Dan Proft and Pat Hughes, co-founder of the Illinois Opportunity Project, break down how much Illinois taxpayers are really paying for their lawmakers. Faisal Khan, former legislative inspector general for Chicago and current CEO of Project Six, talks to Proft and Hughes about the widespread corruption in Chicago. Proft and Hughes also talk to a former Illinois resident who tried to fight his high property tax bill – before moving out of the state for better options.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Pat Hughes
Guests: Ted Dabrowski, Faisal Khan, Paul Kaup
]]> Sun, 17 Jul 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:39
AFSCME vs. reality | Episode 53  Pat Hughes, co-founder of the Illinois Opportunity Project, and Austin Berg, writer for the Illinois Policy Institute and columnist for the Illinois News Network, break down what the state’s largest government-sector union is asking for in its new contract negotiations. Hughes and Berg talk to state Rep. Randy Frese, R-Paloma, about what the next budget debate might look like after the passage of the stopgap budget. They also discuss comments made by a Chicago state senator who says politicians deserve their paychecks.
Hosts: Pat Hughes & Austin Berg
Guests: Vinnie Vernuccio, Randy Frese
]]> Sun, 10 Jul 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:39:29
Stopgap | Episode 52 Dan Proft and Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, talk to state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, about the stopgap budget discussions in Springfield. Dabrowski also shares some original research detailing the state’s decades-long spending problems. And Proft and Dabrowski talk to a fireworks business owner in Hammond, Ind. about the influx of business he receives from Illinoisans.
Hosts: Dan Proft & Ted Dabrowski
Guests: Jeanne Ives, Kris Zambo
]]> Sun, 3 Jul 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:39:59
Crisis in Mt. Sterling | Episode 51 Dan Proft and John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, talked to an Uber driver frustrated with Chicago’s regulations. They also talked about the water crisis in Mt. Sterling, and AFSCME’s push to leverage the situation into applying pressure on Gov. Rauner. They are also joined by a McHenry County man who paid his property tax bill in single dollar bills. 

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman 
Guests: Jim Evans, Dan Alyward
]]> Sun, 26 Jun 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:39:45
Illinois’ budget battle | Episode 50

Dan Proft and Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute, talk to state Comptroller Leslie Munger about the state failing to pay several bills as it approaches one-full year without a budget. They also talk to an Illinois manufacturer who describes how burdensome the state’s workers compensation costs are, and they discuss the state’s continuing impasse with its largest public-employee union.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Kristina Rasmussen
Guests: Leslie Munger, Zach Mottl, Mailee Smith
]]> Sun, 19 Jun 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:39:42
Mike Madigan’s Game of Thrones | Episode 49 Chicago Tribune's John Kass cohosts

Dan Proft and Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass talk to state Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, about his objections to House Speaker Mike Madigan’s $7 billion out-of-balance budget. Dan and John also talk to the Belleville City Clerk about how Belleville was able to dissolve its townships and fold services into the city. And John lists some comparison’s of Mike Madigan’s kingdom to the hit-TV series “Game of Thrones.”

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Kass
Guests: Dwight Kay, Dallas Cook
]]> Sun, 12 Jun 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:39:13
Madigan’s rules: How one man controls Springfield | Episode 48 Former state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger, R-Elgin, gives his take on the budget impasse, and gives an in-depth look on how legislation is crafted in the General Assembly. Mark Glennon, founder of, breaks down the Chicago pension mess. An ex-offender who successfully lobbied for criminal justice reform legislation – that would provide opportunity for thousands of Illinoisans – tells her story.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Cole Lauterbach

Guests: Steve Rauschenberger, Mark Glennon, Lisa Creason
]]> Sun, 5 Jun 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:22
Madigan’s unbalanced budget | Episode 47 Chicago Tribune's Kristen McQueary cohosts Kristen McQueary from the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board breaks down the $7 billion out-of-balance budget proposed by House Democrats. Vincent Flaska and Dan Kossow from Hoist Liftruck – a manufacturing company that left Illinois for greener pastures in Indiana last year – explain to Dan Proft and Cole Lauterbach why business is better in the Hoosier state. State Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, discusses the defeat of House Bill 580, which would have taken away Gov. Rauner’s ability to negotiate with AFSCME.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Cole Lauterbach
Guests: Kristen McQueary, Vincent Flaska, Dan Kossow, Terri Bryant
]]> Sun, 29 May 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:09
CTU’s revenue grab | Episode 46 Dan Proft and Cole Lauterbach talk to Tanya Triche from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association about how the Chicago Teachers Union’s new revenue proposals would hurt retails in the city. They also talk to Lauren Krisai from the Reason Foundation and Gerard Robinson from the American Enterprise Institute about criminal justice reform proposals that could be enacted in Illinois and elsewhere.
Hosts: Dan Proft & Cole Lauterbach
Guests: Tanya Triche, Lauren Krisai, Gerard Robinson
]]> Sun, 22 May 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:53:52
Episode 45: AFSCME’s negotiations with itself Dan Proft and John Tillman talk to state Rep. Dwight Kay about another effort to remove Gov. Bruce Rauner from the negotiating table with AFSCME. A home caregiver shares his story about her fight against SEIU. A former Palatine school board president explains how the new school board reached a ridiculous, 10-year contract with the teachers’ union.

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman
Guests: Dwight Kay, Joanne Kocourek, Tim Millar
]]> Sun, 15 May 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:54:52
Episode 44: Defeating the progressive tax State Rep. Joe Sosnowski talks to Dan Proft and John Tillman about how the progressive income tax proposal was defeated once again, as well as a small business owner about how relieved he is to see the tax dead. Dan and John also talk about new taxes proposed by the Chicago Teachers Union, and how the treasurer’s office is sitting on billions of unused cash.

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman
Guests: Joe Sosnowski, Pete Paulin, Mark Glennon, Jeff Schwab
]]> Sun, 8 May 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 43: Lisa Madigan’s shutdown State Rep. David McSweeney talks about the progressive tax fight with Dan Proft and Cole Lauterbach. A suburban Chicago manufacturer drops by the studio to discuss his struggles doing business in the state. Jacob Huebert from the Liberty Justice Center explains why and how Lisa Madigan could potentially shut down the government. State Rep. Mark Batinik shares insight on his efforts to consolidate local government.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Cole Lauterbach
Guests: David McSweeney, Al Panico, Jacob Huebert, Mark Batinik
]]> Sun, 1 May 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 42: Stopping the buck for lawmakers State Comptroller Leslie Munger tells Dan Proft and Cole Lauterbach why she decided to delay lawmakers’ paychecks. Kim Clarke Maisch, Illinois state director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, explains why a progressive income tax would be terrible for Illinois businesses. Reihan Salam, executive editor of National Review, discusses messaging free-market ideas. Dan and Cole talk to Chris Redlitz, founder of an organization called The Last Mile, about innovative solutions to reduce recidivism rates.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Cole Lauterbach
Guests: Leslie Munger, Kim Clarke Maisch, Reihan Salam, Chris Redlitz
]]> Sun, 24 Apr 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 41: UCAN Dan Proft and Hilary Gowins talk to Jared Meyer from the Manhattan Institute about the misguided “fight for $15.” They also chat in-studio with representatives from UCAN, a Chicago based non-profit, that is helping the North Lawndale community in ways the city has neglected.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Hilary Gowins
Guests: Jared Meyer, Fred Long, Brian Walker
]]> Sun, 17 Apr 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 40: Downgraded again Chuck DeVore from the Texas Public Policy Foundation talks to Pat Hughes and Michael Lucci about California’s minimum wage hike. They also discuss Chicago’s most recent credit downgrade with an analyst from Fitch Ratings, and break down why Chicago Teacher Union’s one-day walkout was illegal.

Hosts: Pat Hughes & Michael Lucci
Guests: Chuck DeVore, Arlene Bohner, Jeff Schwab
]]> Sun, 10 Apr 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 39: The road to Detroit Dan Proft and Ted Dabrowski talk to James Hohman from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy about the eerie similarities between Chicago now and Detroit as it fell to bankruptcy. They also discuss the recent one-day walkout by the Chicago Teachers Union, and the crisis with state higher education funding. The former mayor of Prospect Heights also joins to talk about local government consolidation.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Ted Dabrowski
Guests: James Hohman, Rodney Pace
]]> Sun, 3 Apr 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 38: Chewed out​ Dan Proft and John Tillman talk to C.J. Nitkowski, former MLB pitcher and current Fox Sports analyst, about Chicago and other cities moving to ban smokeless tobacco at ballparks. They also talk to State Rep. Margo McDermed for an update on the budget stalemate in Springfield. U.S. News and World Report education reporter Lauren Camera joins the show to discuss school pension crises in big cities.

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman
Guests: C.J. Nitkowski, Margo McDermed, Lauren Camera
]]> Sun, 27 Mar 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 37: Proxy fights Illinois' election results and Chicago's skyrocketing gas prices Dan Proft and Pat Hughes break down election results with Cole Lauterbach from the Illinois News Network and discuss the proxy fights in statehouse races between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Speaker Mike Madigan.

They also talk to Patrick DeHaan, senior analyst at, about why Illinois – and in particular Chicago – has gas prices well above the national average.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Pat Hughes

Guests: Cole Lauterbach, Patrick DeHaan

]]> Sun, 20 Mar 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 36: The Illinois Primary Illinois' presidential primary, education funding, right-to-work legislation and political truth. Dan Proft and John Tillman preview Tuesday’s Illinois primary by talking to Phillip Bump from the Washington Post on the Republican delegate math. They also break down some of the biggest state rep races in advance of a high stakes Election Day.

The Chicago Tribune’s Diane Rado joins the show too to discuss potential changes to the state’s education funding formula and the politics of education spending.

Also, Dan and John analyze the results of a new survey showing a majority of Illinois union employees in favor of right-to-work laws. What could this mean for worker freedom in Illinois?

Listen to Illinois Rising on iTunes and every Sunday at 3 p.m. on AM 560 in the Chicago area.

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman

Guests: Phillip Bump, Diane Rado
]]> Sun, 13 Mar 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 35: Crisis in higher ed MAP grants, criminal-justice reform, the legality of the Chicago Teachers' Union's strike threats, Madigan and Rauner's rhetoric battle On this week’s episode of Illinois Rising, host Dan Proft and Hilary Gowins, managing editor of the Illinois Policy Institute, broke down the numbers surrounding Monetary Award Program, or MAP, grants for higher education with the Illinois Policy Institute’s vice president of policy, Ted Dabrowski. Dan, Hilary and Ted discussed the startling statistics behind Illinois’ higher-education funding crisis, including bloated administrative costs at public universities.

Dan and Hilary also talked with Lisa Creason, a Decatur woman who was arrested for attempted robbery 20 years ago and has since turned around her life and become an advocate for criminal-justice reform in Illinois. Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow joined the show to talk about the reforms he’s made in his county, which both save money and help nonviolent offenders get their lives back on track.

And Dan and Hilary discussed the Chicago Teachers’ Union’s, or CTU’s strike plans. How does CTU plan to strike on April 1 if the strike is technically illegal?

Finally, who is winning the rhetoric battle between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan over the budget stalemate? Are Illinoisans seeing Madigan as a “dictator,” as Rauner suggested last week?

]]> Sun, 6 Mar 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 34: Trumped Presidential politics in Illinois, charter schools in Chicago, Madigan's primary. Republican strategist Chris Robling talks to Dan Proft and John Tillman about the state of the presidential race as the Illinois primary nears. Rep. Barb Wheeler and Jelani McEwen from the Illinois Network of Charter Schools discuss expanding charter schools in Chicago. A new Gallup survey finds 74 percent of Illinois residents are not confident in state government, the worst mark in the country. Is Mike Madigan worried about his primary challenge?

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman

Guests: Chris Robling, Barb Wheeler, Jelani McEwen, Todd Davidson

]]> Sun, 28 Feb 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 33: In the Loop Lauren Cohn, out-migration, Rahm's hush money. Guest cohost Lauren Cohn, host of WYCC’s “In the Loop,” joins Dan Proft to react to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget address. Scott Moody, CEO of Federalism in Action, talks about a recent poll that found 42 percent of Illinoisans itching to flee the state. Rep. Keith Wheeler joins to discuss why lawmakers are continuing to receive salaries during the budget impasse. Democrats try again to take away Rauner’s negotiating power with AFSCME.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Lauren Cohn

Guests: Scott Moody, Keith Wheeler

]]> Sun, 21 Feb 2016 20:00:00 GMT 0:53:52
Episode 32: “Please Stop Helping Us” WSJ's Jason Riley, Illinois vs. Texas, Obama visits Springfield. Wall Street Journal Columnist and author Jason Riley weighs in on the local controversy surrounding an Elgin School Board member quoting his book, “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed.” Chuck DeVore from the Texas Public Policy Foundation responds to Illinois Sen. Daniel Biss criticizing Texas’ economic climate. Dan Proft and John Tillman react to President Barack Obama’s speech in Springfield.

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman

Guests: Donna Arduin, Jason Riley, Chuck DeVore

]]> Sun, 14 Feb 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 31: Obama’s return to Springfield Congressman Peter Roskam, Chicago Teachers Union/CPS standoff, West Virginia set to become right to work. Congressman Peter Roskam previews President Barack Obama’s visit to Springfield. CPS ended pension pickups for Chicago teachers, which the union called “an act of war.” Vinnie Vernuccio, director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, talks about how West Virginia took steps to become the 26th right-to-work state.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Michael Lucci

Guests: Peter Roskam, Kyle Olson, Vinnie Vernuccio

]]> Sun, 7 Feb 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:53:52
Episode 30: State of the State Reactions to the State of the State address, eminent domain abuse, Illinois’ unfair campaign finance laws. Daily Herald columnist and veteran statehouse reporter Kerry Lester breaks down Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State. A Chicagoan shares his story of how Northeastern Illinois University abused eminent domain to build dorms on his family’s property. Dan Proft and Jacob Huebert discuss the legal challenge to Illinois’ biased campaign finance laws.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Jacob Huebert

Guests: Kerry Lester, Bill Tong, James Hohman

]]> Sun, 31 Jan 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:28
Episode 29: Answers on education State takeover of CPS, skyrocketing tuition costs, Rauner/AFSCME impasse. Pat Hughes and Ted Dabrowski analyze the move by Republicans in the state legislature to potentially take control of Chicago Public Schools. Richard Vedder, economics professor and senior fellow at The Independent Institute, breaks down the reasons by dramatic increases in college tuition. Nicole Keading from the Tax Foundation discusses Illinois’ high state and local tax burden

Hosts: Pat Hughes & Ted Dabrowski

Guests: Richard Vedder, Nicole Keading

]]> Sun, 24 Jan 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:21
Episode 28: The cost of doing business in Illinois Rep. David McSweeney, business start-up costs, Chicago cigarette taxes. State Rep. David McSweeney talks about ways to keep manufacturers in the state of Illinois. A suburban Chicago business owner closing up shop to head out of state explains the high cost of doing business in Illinois. Rahm Emanuel wants to make purchasing cigarettes more difficult in Chicago – a policy that hurts the poor and creates a dangerous, underground market.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Pat Hughes

Guests: David McSweeney, Mario Olivi, Todd Nesbit

]]> Sun, 17 Jan 2016 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:20
Episode 25: The property tax scheme Robby Soave, Illinois’ rising property taxes, Rahm’s failures. Aaron Renn from the City Journal joins the show to analyze Rahm Emanuel’s inevitable struggles as Chicago mayor.’s Robby Soave talks about the protest culture on college campuses that amplified in 2015. Illinois Policy’s Austin Berg shares his stories talking to Illinois families faced with crushing property tax bills, and the power structure set in place to keep raising property taxes

Hosts: Joe Kaiser & Hilary Gowins

Guests: Aaron Renn, Robby Soave, Austin Berg

]]> Sun, 27 Dec 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:23
Episode 24: Right to work in Illinois Mike Flannery, Lincolnshire right to work, Madigan’s push for a tax increase. Fox Chicago Political Editor Mike Flannery, Dan Proft and Ted Dabrowski get in a heated debate over what to do with the Chicago Teacher’s Union. Lincolnshire becomes the first municipality in Illinois to become a right-to-work zone, but already faces a legal challenge. A group of Republican legislative candidates are calling for Rahm Emanuel to resign, and one of them, Mel Thillens, joins the show to explain why. Mike Madigan wants the state income tax rate to climb back to 5 percent, but the stats show that Illinoisans are taxed enough already.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Ted Dabrowski

Guests: Jacob Huebert, Mike Flannery, Mel Thillens

]]> Sun, 20 Dec 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:18
Episode 23: The African-American community against Rahm Emanuel Laquan McDonald shooting reaction, solutions to a CTU strike, Illinois’ permission policies. Rev. Gregory Livingston Seal, who leads the Coalition for a New Chicago, and WVON political commentator Maze Jackson, both strong voices in Chicago’s African-American community, react to the Laquan McDonald shooting fallout. Dan Proft has an idea of how to deal with striking Chicago teachers, and he got it from Ronald Reagan. Len Gilroy from the Reason Foundation contrasts Illinois’ tough business permission policies with more business-friendly states.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Michael Lucci

Guests: Gregory Livingston Seal, Maze Jackson, Len Gilroy

]]> Sun, 13 Dec 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:49
Episode 22: A free-market mayor in Chicago? Rep. Randy Freese, chances for a center-right mayor in Chicago, the looming Chicago teacher strike Rep. Randy Freese discusses the closed-door meeting between Gov. Rauner and legislative leaders. Dan Proft & Pat Hughes explore the possibility of a seismic policy shift in the city of Chicago with a more fiscally conservative mayor. Truth In Accounting CEO Shelia Weinberg gives an exclusive look on her organization’s report on Chicago’s fiscal health. What should we make of an impending Chicago teachers strike?

Hosts: Dan Proft & Pat Hughes

Guests: Randy Freese, Shelia Weinberg

]]> Sun, 6 Dec 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:37:09
Episode 21: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association Rebecca Friedrichs, Mark Glennon, Kentucky right to work. Rebecca Friedrichs, the plantiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association that could end forced unionization across the country, gives a rare interview to Dan Proft and John Tillman about her fight. Mark Glennon, founder of, offers a deep analysis of the devastatingly high property taxes in Chicago’s south suburbs. Jim Waters, president of the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, gives an inside look at Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s likely implementation of right to work.

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman

Guests: Rebecca Friedrichs, Mark Glennon, Jim Waters

]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:29
Episode 20: America’s corruption capital Heather Wilhelm, flaws with Chicago speeding cameras, Fasial Khan’s exit. Heather Wilhelm, columnist at and senior contributor at The Federalist, talks to Dan Proft and John Tillman about how the rhetoric in the Syrian refugee debate got out of hand on both sides. Chicago Tribune investigative political reporter David Kidwell shares his insights on his ongoing investigation into improper ticketing from Chicago speeding cameras. Dan and John talk about corruption in the city and Legislative Inspector General Fasial Khan’s term ending with no successor. Steve Malanga from the City Journal joins to discuss how Gov. Rauner “holds the cards” in his standoff with Mike Madigan.

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman

Guests: Heather Wilhelm, David Kidwell, Steve Malanga

]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:25
Episode 19: The unionization of home daycare workers Mark Mix, GOP presidential candidates tax plans, Metra fare hikes. Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, talks about the lawsuit his organization and the Liberty Justice Center filed on behalf of six Illinois home-care and day care providers seeking to remove SEIU as their official representation. Kyle Pomerleau, director of federal projects for the Tax Foundation, breaks down each of the GOP presidential candidates’ tax plans with Dan Proft and Ted Dabrowski. The Chicago Tribune’s Richard Wronski explains why Metra fares are always increasing.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Ted Dabrowski

Guests: Mark Mix, Kyle Pomerleau, Richard Wronski

]]> Sun, 15 Nov 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:32
Episode 17: Downgraded Illinois’ credit downgrade, potential property taxes freeze for the state and Chicago’s massive property tax hike Fitch and Moody’s downgraded Illinois’ credit rating to Baa1 from A3, which is the state’s 13th downgrade since 2009. Scott Martin, president & CEO of Accent Asset Management and Fox News Contributor, explains what that exactly means. Gov. Rauner has been pushing for a property tax freeze, but legislative Democrats are reluctant. Washington state, though, passed its own property tax freeze more than a decade ago with Democrat support, and it’s working well for the state. Paul Guppy, vice president of research for the Washington Policy Center, explains what makes the policy work.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Pat Hughes

Guests: Scott Martin, Paul Guppy

]]> Sun, 1 Nov 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:40
Episode 16: Rauner vs. Edgar and Thompson Chicago property tax vote, past governors criticize Rauner. In advance of Chicago City Council passing the largest recorded property tax increase in the city’s history, Dan Proft, John Tillman, and Jeff Carter, angel investor and independent trader who runs, break down the numbers and the potential effects. Scott Reeder, executive editor of the Illinois News Network, gives his take on former Republican governors Jim Edgar and Jim Thompson criticizing Gov. Rauner in the budget impasse. Chicago Tribune education reporter Diane Rado rejoins the show to discuss her investigation on pension spiking.

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman

Guests: Jeff Carter, Scott Reeder

]]> Sun, 25 Oct 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:59
Episode 15: Being Catholic: No union dues required Peter Breen, Charles Thomas, state delays pension payments. Rep. Peter Breen talks to Pat Hughes and Diana Rickert about the left politicizing the Catholic Church’s teachings. ABC-7 political reporter Charles Thomas joins to talk about Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle expanding the county’s amusement tax. The budget impasse continues, forcing the state to make tough decisions, like delay pension payments.

Hosts: Pat Hughes & Diana Rickert

Guests: Peter Breen, Charles Thomas, Nick Novak

]]> Sun, 18 Oct 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:38:11
Episode 14: Ride sharing vs. the status quo Chicago taxi strike, daycare workers vs. SEIU, McHenry High School District strike. Chicago taxi drivers staged a one-day strike to show their displeasure with ride-sharing services being able to pick up at airports. associate editor Scott Shackford talks about the pushback ride-sharing services continue to face. A home daycare worker in downstate Illinois shares her story fighting against forced unionization. McHenry High School District teachers are out on strike, but it turns out their salaries and benefits are nothing to complain about.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Jacob Huebert

Guests: Scott Shackford, Laura Baston, Andrew Gasser

]]> Sun, 11 Oct 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:27
Episode 13: Opposite day: A business comes to Illinois Rep. Jeanne Ives, ConAgra Foods relocates to Illinois, McHenry teachers walk out. ConAgra Foods announced its leaving its headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska and is relocating to Chicago. Adam Weinberg, communications and outreach director at the Platte Institute for Economic Research, explains why. McHenry School Board Vice President Gary Kinshofer gives his reaction to teachers in his district going on strike. State Rep. Jeanne Ives speaks up about taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood in the ongoing debate.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Diana Rickert

Guests: Adam Weinberg, Gary Kinshofer, Jeanne Ives

]]> Sun, 4 Oct 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:31
Episode 12: Rahm’s broken tax promise Rahm’s broken tax promise, the left quoting the pope, Chicago legalizes food carts. Rahm Emanuel’s property tax hike isn’t only the highest in Chicago’s history, it goes against his own rhetoric from 2011 when he said he did not want to burden “Chicago families with more taxes they can not afford.” Connor Wolf from The Daily Caller talks about his reporting on SEIU and AFL-CIO’s constant citing on Pope Francis. Chicago Alderman Roberto Maldonado talks to Dan Proft & John Tillman about his bill that legalized food carts in the city.

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman

Guests: Connor Wolf, Roberto Maldonado

]]> Sun, 27 Sep 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:33
Episode 11: Regressive taxes and unintended consequences Chicago introduces an e-cigarette tax, Prospect Heights teachers go on strike, Missouri right to work fails. Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno introduced a citywide tax on electronic cigarettes, but Scott Drenkard, director of state projects at the Tax Foundation, explains why that’s not a good idea. Prospect Heights Board of Education President Mari-Lynn Peters makes her side’s case in the Prospect Heights teachers’ strike. Missouri legislators failed to overturn a veto from Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon on a right-to-work bill, but reporter Eric Boehm explains why it might end up being good politics for Republicans.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Pat Hughes

Guests: Scott Drenkard, Mari-Lynn Peters, Eric Boehm

]]> Sun, 20 Sep 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:35
Episode 10: Illinois’ unpaid bills Illinois’ unpaid bills hit $8.5 billion, wasteful local governments, Chicago’s “Netflix tax”. Comptroller Leslie Munger said she expects Illinois’ unpaid bills to hit $8.5 billion by December, and Mish Shedlock, who runs the blog Mish’s Global Economic Tend Analysis, joins the show to explain why that number got so high. A Daily Herald analysis of 45 townships found administrative costs outpacing actual assistance funding. What does this tell us about the numerous local governments in the state? Chicago passed a 9-percent tax on Internet-streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify and Xbox Live, but is it even legal?

Hosts: Dan Proft & Ted Dabrowski

Guests: Mish Shedlock, Jami Lund, Jeff Schwab

]]> Sun, 13 Sep 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:41
Episode 9: Mike Madigan’s major defeat SB 1229 failed, previewing Rahm’s tax hikes, no parodies in Peoria. Chicago Tribune’s Kristen McQueary guest cohosts. House Democrats failed to override Gov. Rauner’s veto on a bill that would have stripped him of his ability to negotiate with AFSCME. John Tillman, Kristen and State Rep. Ron Sandack discuss the governor’s big victory. Mark Glennon of joins the show to discuss how destructive Rahm’s property tax increases will be for the city. Ed Yohnka from the ACLU discusses a freedom of speech case in Peoria.

Hosts: John Tillman & Kristen McQueary

Guests: Ron Sandack, Mark Glennon, Ed Yohnka

]]> Sun, 6 Sep 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:26
Episode 8: Local governments in crisis Pensions crisis in Dixon, CPS’ unbalanced budget, Steve Brown controversy, Cairo public housing disaster. Dixon Mayor Liandro Arellano discusses the pension crisis hurting his town. Bob Bowdon, executive director of ChoiceMedia.TV, talks about CPS’ unbalanced budget. Mike Madigan spokesman Steve Brown might be in some trouble for conflicts of interest. A reporter at The Southern Illinoisan tells Dan Proft and John Tillman how public housing in Cairo, Illinois is struggling.

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman

Guests: Liandro Arellano, Bob Bowden, Scott Reeder, Molly Parker

]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:32
Episode 7: State fair week SB 1229, the mood from the state fair, another regressive tax in Chicago. The senate overrides Gov. Rauer on SB 1229, moving it to the house. State Sen. Matt Murphy explains the fight ahead. Illinois News Network reporter and WMAY talk show host Greg Bishop recaps the state fair. Brian Jordan from Illinois Food Retailers Association slams Chicago Alderman George Cardenas for proposing a soft drink tax.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Ted Dabrowski

Guests: Matt Murphy, Greg Bishop, Brian Jordan

]]> Sun, 23 Aug 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:29
Episode 6: The red-light scam Controversy over suburban red-light cameras, Chicago Public Schools in deep financial trouble. Daily Herald Assistant Managing Editor Jake Griffin talks about his investigation on suburban red-light cameras, and State Rep. David McSweeney discusses his legislation to end them all together. Ted Dabrowski offers a deeper look on the terrible financial condition of CPS. Victor Joecks, executive vice president at the National Policy Research Institute, previews “National Employee Freedom Week.”

Hosts: Dan Proft & Pat Hughes

Guests: Jake Griffin, David McSweeney, Victor Joecks

]]> Sun, 16 Aug 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:29
Episode 5: Reforming criminal justice Criminal justice reform, out-migration, gambling expansion. Bryant Jackson-Green, criminal justice policy analyst at the Illinois Policy Institute, and Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran discuss potential criminal justice reforms with Dan Proft and John Tillman. Dan and John discuss a bill that would remove the taxpayers’ voice from union negotiations, and the state’s effort to expand gambling to cover up financial woes. Michael Lucci, vice president of policy for the Illinois Policy Institute, talks about the state’s out-migration crisis.

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman

]]> Sun, 9 Aug 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:06
Episode 4: The John Doe Investigation A suburban business owner shares his struggles, Eric O’Keefe, Chicago taxes Netflix. The controversial John Doe Investigation ends in Wisconsin, and Eric O’Keefe of the Wisconsin Club for Growth shares the story of how he was targeted for his political views. An Elk Grove bakery owner discusses how state government has made it harder for him to do business. Chicago enacts a tax on Internet streaming services, and the city’s progressive caucus is proposing several more taxes.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Jacob Huebert

Guests: Ken Jarosch, Eric O’Keefe

]]> Sun, 2 Aug 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:17
Episode 3: Pension spiking Judge rules on Chicago pension reform, teachers find a loophole in pension spiking, John Cullerton raises his voice on budget impasse. While a Cook County judge is expected to declare a Chicago pension reform law unconstitutional, teachers across the state are finding loopholes in their own pension system. City Journal Senior Editor Steve Malanga

Steve Malanga and Chicago Tribune education reporter Diane Rado tell both stories. Illinois News Network reporter Mark Fitton breaks down John Cullerton’s press conference, and Michael C. Carnuccio, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, joins to respond to Cullerton’s dig at his state.

Hosts: Dan & John

Guests: Steve Malanga, Diane Rado, Mark Fitton, Michael Carnuccio

]]> Sun, 26 Jul 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:17
Episode 2: Chicago going broke Chicago pensions systems on pace to go broke, the push to legalize food carts in the city. Mish Shedlock, who runs the website Mish’s Global Economic Analysis, discusses how a couple Chicago pension systems could be broke within 13 years. Vicky Lugo, president of The Street Vendors Association and part of the Street Vendors Justice Coalition, talks about her efforts to legalize food carts in the city of Chicago. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is going back on campaign pledges and is pushing a sales tax increase.

Hosts: Dan Proft & Jacob Huebert

Guests: Mish Shedlock, Vicky Lugo

]]> Sun, 19 Jul 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:41:34
Episode 1: The budget impasse begins Rep. Keith Wheeler, worker freedom heading to the Supreme Court, debunking the myth that Illinois is a “low tax” state. State Rep. Keith Wheeler gives an inside the chamber perspective on the budget gridlock. Vinnie Vernuccio from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy explains the significance of the Friedrichs v California Teachers Association case going to the Supreme Court. Dan Proft and John Tillman respond to a labor lawyer’s Chicago Tribune op-ed headline “Tax me, please, so Illinois can compete.”

Hosts: Dan Proft & John Tillman

Guests: Keith Wheeler, Vinnie Vernuccio

]]> Sun, 12 Jul 2015 20:00:00 GMT 00:39:15