The Chairman: A Novel of Big City Politics

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The Inside Edge Political success is never simple. But it seems the new governors who are making a mark are the ones who've paid their dues in state politics. February 1, Taking Stock Recalling 22 years of assessing the ebb and flow of states and localities. January 1, The Rise of the Megaregion The idea of "megaregions" is getting a bit too much mega-hype. That is no tragedy; many schools have never even September 30, Statewide Zoning: a Pipe Dream?

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Gregory Bialecki wants something for Massachusetts that no other state has: a comprehensive statewide zoning code. He thinks that's needed to break down the longstanding We all learned in school about the Battle of New Orleans, the glorious American military victory in the War of that took place weeks after A couple of weeks August 23, In the Zone A short article in the Chicago Sun-Times last week got me thinking again about a local politics issue that's more interesting than it may seem: the rules for zoned residential parking.

August 21, Countering Crime's Comeback In a conversation last week with Michael Nutter, who is all but certain to become mayor of Philadelphia in a few months, I was struck by a couple of things: the dramatic return of the crime issue in urban politics right now, and the dilemma an incoming mayor such as Nutter faces in trying to deal with it. July 1, The Veto Gambit Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that may be something more than a routine veto year. RIvals on The Right What we're seeing is moderate Republicans being picked off by organized conservative opposition.

I talked with Defying Proverbial Wisdom California governors have a penchant for reinventing themselves in an election year. And voters seem to admire the audacity of a chameleon. The Albany Triopoly In New York, it's the governor, the Assembly speaker and the Senate president who decide all the state's crucial policy questions. September 1, How Rail Impacts Retail A successful transit line means a more intense commercial life around the stations, and that means higher property values, higher rents and the invasion of chain stores.

Wandering around the NCSL website the other day, I stumbled on some interesting figures on the gender makeup of legislatures. Women comprise about 23 percent of For the past 20 years they've been saying that raw partisan gerrymandering is potentially unconstitutional The Bungalow Bind Middle-aged suburbs with a disproportionate number of houses from the s and '60s are in trouble. The Unconstitutional Governor Woodrow Wilson's term as governor of New Jersey had a major impact on the future of state government in America.

The Grocery Gap Supermarkets are slowly returning to the inner city. Some governments are clearing roadblocks to help build stores. March 23, Naming Wrongs It's been amusing to watch the Minnesota university system and state legislature squabble over what to call the new stadium that will be built on March 1, Theory of Partisan Reality The past decade has brought a marked increase in partisan unpleasantness in legislative bodies almost everywhere in the country. February 1, The "Bill Mckay Effect" We have a weakness for anointing eager young sons with modest credentials, solely on the strength of their connection to fathers we wouldn't take back if they begged us.

February 1, Rewriting the Formula Does an unconventional coalition in Colorado offer a model for Democrats around the country? January 29, Colorado Cooperation Having written a story for Governing's February issue on coalition politics in Colorado -- and having touted Colorado all year as a state that offers January 1, Uniquely Unicameral Nebraska's single-house legislative body is unlike any that has existed in any state before or since.

December 15, Patronage Trap Flap I never know what the reaction is going to be to my Assessments column in Governing when it is published each month. Some months there The Patronage Trap Patronage and hiring violations are facts of life in almost all governments. I ran into Tom Cronin, the political scientist, the other day, and he raised a really interesting question that I couldn't answer.

The question was November 1, The Return of The Grid After centuries of abuse, gridded streets are finally getting some respect. October 28, Two Takes on Urban Revival I find myself pondering a lunchtime talk I heard yesterday by Chris Leinberger, the developer and New Urbanist thinker who's currently involved in recreating downtown October 24, Mike and Arnold: Big Spender and Panhandler I haven't looked at any financial statements from Arnold Schwarzenegger or Michael Bloomberg lately, so I don't know just how rich either of them is.

October 17, A Term Limits Odyssey Fifteen years ago or so, around the time legislatures were first passing term limits laws, we ran an article in this magazine pondering what life October 1, A New View of Sprawl The conventional wisdom about suburbs and sprawl can change dramatically over time.

September 6, An Honest Federalist I've been arguing for years that nobody in national politics really believes in federalism--not as an end in itself. Federalism and devolution are just ideological Big Bucks to Buckle Up Seat-Belt mandates are no panacea, no matter how much money is thrown at them. Last Call for Taverns Chicago's mayor is encouraging citizens to exercise control over seedy bars in their neighborhoods. Fixing a Sagging Wage Floor A surprising number of Republicans are joining with liberals to enact new state minimum wage laws.

Some of it was just my own contrarianism, I June 1, Curbing Parking Local zoning laws mandate parking spaces as if empty lots were a virtue. Sacredness in the City There are three basic elements to a superior urban experience, declares Author Joel Kotkin: economic power, personal security and sacredness. Clockwork Blues It can be a nuisance changing every clock in your house twice a year.

But Daylight Savings Time is not a subject of public controversy-- except in Indiana. States' Not-So-Dire Straits This is a season of lamentation for believers in the American federal system, or at least for those who believe state governments ought to occupy a position of honor and respect within it. States and their advocates complain that they are being bullied and pushed around by every branch of government in Washington: preempted, mandated, zeroed out, lectured to and generally dissed.

Loyalty Everlasting Decades ago, on a long car ride home from college, a friend of mine and I were talking about whether the liberal arts education we were getting had any practical use. He said he thought his might.

He was majoring in medieval history, and in the event of a new Dark Age-- post-nuclear chaos or the aftermath of a huge natural catastrophe--he would know exactly what to do. December 1, The Magic Word: Affordable "My fellow citizens, I rise today to speak in opposition to affordable housing, quality day care and the Baptist Church. November 1, Ballpark Dreaming Economists have a reputation for being cool and dispassionate, but a few phrases or concepts have the capacity to turn even the meekest of them into hectoring ideologues, exasperated with the inability of others to exercise simple common sense.

November 1, In Search of the Ideal Legislature You and I might not agree on the best American governors of recent years, but we would probably agree on what makes a governor effective. Mostly, it's a matter of having a coherent program and finding ways to get it enacted. When the state university campus was built there, in the s, the local leaders chose Bhutanese architecture, based on an obscure style used in the Himalayas in medieval times. July 1, Tinkering With History Books The Minnesota House and Senate went home for the summer a few weeks ago, having concluded a legislative session that left just about everyone disappointed.

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June 1, Optional Illusions There are some who say that direct democracy is the wave of the future in American government. If I may be excused for paraphrasing John F.

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Kennedy, let them come to Denver. May 1, Jurors' Prudence I used to think that, for some reason, the American judicial system was avoiding me. Over more than three decades of adult life, as a citizen of three different jurisdictions, I had never once served on a jury. April 1, Spreading Out the Clout It's difficult to notice dogs that don't bark, as Sherlock Holmes demonstrated more than a century ago. It's also difficult to notice phones that don't ring. April 1, Return to Center Twenty-five years ago, a mayor of Chicago was defeated for renomination because of an insult rendered by his public transit system.

The city was digging out from a blizzard, and there weren't enough trains to carry all the passengers who needed service. March 1, Lives of the Politicians Early in the Nixon administration, when supporters of civil rights worried that the new president was about to follow up on the racially divisive rhetoric of his campaign, Attorney General John Mitchell sought to reassure them with a few simple words: "Don't watch what we say--watch what we do. January 1, Frankfurter's Curse Fifty-eight years ago, Justice Felix Frankfurter told his brethren to stay out of the business of drawing political maps.

I don't know if it's true or not. It may be. The book most often cited as a candidate, "Democracy," by Henry Adams, was written years ago; in recent times, more critics probably have praised it than have read it.

November 1, Machine Politics There was a small news item in last month's issue of this magazine. The Business of Government section reported on a new online program in Missouri that gathers disease data from 50 labs and hospitals and tells the Health Department almost instantly if something resembling an epidemic is loose in the state. River North development has accelerated, too. The development community and affordable housing advocates are at odds over changing City incentives and whether they will drive or dampen infill development.

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No one has identified where funds will be found to invest in mass transit improvements under study by ConnectSA. Wolff, in contrast, has always found a way to think big and line up his votes on the Commissioners Court.

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His new book is a portrait of an elected official who seems indifferent to political risk in pursuit of transformative public works projects. The jury is still out on San Pedro Creek , for example, which is over budget, behind schedule, and with Phase One completed, not proving to be a place yet where locals gather in any numbers. That is in contrast to Yanaguana Garden in Hemisfair, a magnet for families from across the city. Phase Two funding has been approved, and with the completion next year of the new Frost Tower and anticipated bond spending on the Zona Cultural, San Pedro Creek should come to life in time.

No one can write an authoritative account of their time in elected office. Credible third party assessments must be left to historians and journalists, but first-person accounts have their place.

The Chairman: A Novel of Big City Politics
The Chairman: A Novel of Big City Politics
The Chairman: A Novel of Big City Politics
The Chairman: A Novel of Big City Politics
The Chairman: A Novel of Big City Politics
The Chairman: A Novel of Big City Politics
The Chairman: A Novel of Big City Politics
The Chairman: A Novel of Big City Politics
The Chairman: A Novel of Big City Politics

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