Local

32 articles
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Crimetown, U.S.A.

The corruption of Congressman James Traficant.

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Life on Matinicus Island

How modernity – and an eruption of violence – changed “the most remote inhabited island on the Atlantic seaboard.”

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Postville, Iowa, Is Up for Grabs

Inside a small town revived by an influx of immigrants and then destroyed by a Homeland Security raid.

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The Last Tower

The decline and fall of Cabrini-Green, Chicago’s infamous public housing development.

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The House that Christian Ponder Built

The political fight over a new football stadium in Minnesota.

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Is Lindsay Too Tall to Be Mayor?

The author reflects on his mayoral run with Norman Mailer against John Lindsay.

At the bar one night a couple of weeks after the primary, I looked up from a drink and saw my face and Norman's face floating across the screen on the NBC First Tuesday show. It is a network thing, and they did a 20-minute look at our campaign. The show reinforced my opinion that Norman and I had some of the most terrific lows in the history of anything that ever took place in this city. And, perhaps, a couple of highs that could be recognized as time passes a bit. Like maybe colleges for years will be using the things Norman Mailer was saying out in the streets.

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Between the Lines

On the science of parking spaces.

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Now That the Factories Are Closed, It’s Tee Time in Benton Harbor, Mich.

After decades of failed revitalization strategies, a town of 10,000 tries another.

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Pssst...Wanna Buy a Law?

On the American Legislative Exchange Council, a D.C. nonprofit with a library of more than 800 pieces of fill-in-the-blank legislation ready for state legislatures across the country.

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The Turnaround Men

A charismatic entrepreneur, an ex-con turned devout Christian, and the politicians who championed them.

The story of a $36 billion Ponzi scheme in Minnesota.

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State for Sale

On the politics of North Carolina.

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California and Bust

From Vallejo to San Jose, a tour of local government despair:

The relationship between the people and their money in California is such that you can pluck almost any city at random and enter a crisis.
More Lewis: the complete financial disaster tourism series to date.

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The Great Wisconsin Solidarity Experiment

It’s 11 p.m. when Larson at last agrees to meet me in the lobby of the Hampton Inn, next door to the Gurnee Grand. He’s just come out of a marathon closed-door meeting with his fellow exiled senators. Tall, gap-toothed, and handsome, but with a squished, broad nose, Larson appears in a fitted black overcoat, a sedate suit with a Wisconsin flag lapel pin, and an athletic backpack. He looks shockingly young, younger than his thirty years, and seems to be relieved that I am even a few years younger myself. We jump in my Chevy and head for the town’s late-night diner: Denny’s. By the time we settle into a booth, Larson has dropped the routine political affectations—the measured language, the approved talking points, the inauthentic humor. We’re cracking up comparing Republicans to evildoers on South Park and shit-talking mutual acquaintances in Milwaukee. And then, just as Larson is about to take a bite of his veggie burger, I ask the freshman senator if he is scared. “What would I be scared about?” he replies.
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The Chosen One

The first profile of Michele Bachmann.

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Wisconsin, Inc.: New Republican Politics in the Age of the Recall

This new strain of Republican is not one Wisconsin, nor the United States, has ever seen...The new Republicans are corporate wrecking crews, given a sledgehammer, a piece of legislation and a command to "make it fit."
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Broke Town, U.S.A.

On who will bear the burden of the financial crisis facing cities across America. “Will it be articulated in terms of bond defaults or larger kindergarten classes—or no kindergarten classes at all?”

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Welcome to Tony's Kansas City

Kansas City’s most powerful political journalist is a 36-year-old blogger who resides in a porn lair in his mother’s basement, posting rants on local government and bikini shots 24-hours-a-day.

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Revealing the Man Behind @MayorEmanuel

How a journalism professor named Dan Sinker became the most entertaining part of the Chicago mayoral race.

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"I Heard the Shots and Ran Toward the Sound"

The Gabrielle Giffords shooting, from the vantage point of three central figures: Daniel Hernandez helped save the congresswoman’s life; Patricia Maisch stopped the shooter from reloading; Bill Badger tackled him.

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How Chris Christie Did His Homework

On the evolution of New Jersey’s governor.

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Separate, Unequal, and Ignored

On the enduring racial segregation in Chicago and why it’s an issue no mayoral candidate is willing to touch.

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The Idealist

How a young state rep from Missouri, seemingly guaranteed political greatness, ended up behind bars.

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Tea Party in the Sonora

On the political climate in Arizona.

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A Time Against Race

A profile of Mitch Landrieu, the first white mayor of New Orleans in nearly 30 years–part of a larger post-Katrina trend in the city’s politics. “The elected leadership looks almost like a photo negative of the pre-Katrina government.”

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The Unrepentant Whore

A profile of Canadian politician Jamie Lee Hamilton.

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All Politics Are Loco!!!

Notes from the California recount.

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Give ’Em What They Want

A profile of Rahm Emanuel, written during his first congressional campaign in Illinois. Emanuel was running to fill the seat vacated by Rod Blagojevich.

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Candidate With A Diff’rence

In 2003, Gary Coleman ran for governor of California. But what he really wanted was to have never come to Hollywood in the first place.

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What Makes Barack Obama Run?

In 1995, the Chicago Reader profiled a little-known professor (and lawyer and philanthropist and author) who had decided to run for office to get back to his true passion: community organizing.