Tag Archives: mary ann ahern

Campaign Staffers Sue Pritzker, Claiming Discrimination

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray cover the  with Mary Ann Ahern from NBC Chicago, who broke the story Wednesday.

CHICAGO (Illinois News Network) — A group of African-American and Latino campaign staffers have filed federal discrimination charges against billionaire J.B. Pritzker, Democratic hopeful for Illinois governor.

The suit alleges Pritzker’s campaign routinely marginalizes minority workers.

“Although they hire African Americans and Latinos as campaign workers, the vast majority are herded into race-specific positions where they are expected to interact with the public, offered no meaningful chance for advancement, and receive less favourable treatment than their white counterparts who engage with, as the campaign sees it, a more desirable constituency,” the complaint says.

The lawsuit comes just weeks before Pritzker will face Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner in one of the most expensive state elections in national history.

The complaint also alleges that the campaign placed minority staffers in “unsafe locations,” placing them in danger.

The lawsuit says that the campaign workers asked when Pritzker would visit their office. They say the campaign responded, “He’ll visit when they stop shooting.”

Pritzker’s campaign was not immediately available for comment, but Pritzker’s Lt. Gov. candidate, Juliana Stratton, said in a statement that “we had a letter delivered to us asking for $7.5 million dollars in 24 hours or they threatened legal action and to go to press. That’s not a good faith effort.”

Shay Allen, a Chicago-based civil rights attorney who represents the plaintiffs, says Stratton’s statement is false, adding that Stratton has never reached out to any of his clients despite their complaints to the campaign.

“I have no idea how the person who made that statement could make those claims,” he said. “I’m positive that she’s never spoken to my plaintiffs.”

Allen said his clients were treated poorly.

“There were instances where they were spoken to very unprofessionally,” he said. “There were instances of physical intimidation.”

Allen said his clients are asking for more effort on behalf of Pritzker’s campaign to include minorities in positions of consequence, something he claims has almost exclusively gone to white staffers.

“Almost all of them have prior [campaign] experience,” he said. “A couple have come from other states to help with the campaign.”

Illinois Republican Party Executive Director Travis Sterling said Pritzker must answer for his actions.

“Here, we have his own staffers – seasoned political operatives – alleging racial discrimination and harassment,” Sterling said. “We have heard from Pritzker’s own mouth referring to black elected officials as ‘offensive’ on an FBI wiretap with Rod Blagojevich. It’s finally time for J.B. Pritzker to answer for his actions.”

The suit was filed Tuesday in the northern federal district of Illinois. The plaintiffs, Maxwell Little, Jason Benton, Jelani Coleman, Celia Colon, Kasmine Calhoun, Erica Kimble, Nathaniel Madison, Tiffany Madison, James Tinsley, and Mark Walker, are represented by Shay T. Walker. The Chicago defence attorney’s firm represented one of the three officers that were fired for beating a man in 2015.

“17 folks think they wanna be Mayor? There’s no way you can poll at this point”

Big John and NBC5’s Mary Anne Ahern recap last night’s debate with Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker, and a look into Chicago’s mayoral race.

Check out Mary Anne Ahern on NBC 5 with the latest on Illinois’ governor’s race and Chicago’s mayoral race.


“Between the bad polling and the Van Dyke trial, I believe those are the two political reasons why he didn’t run.”


Big John and Ramblin’ Ray have NBC Chicago’s, Mary Ann Ahern, join the show to talk about Major Emanuel as they break down and understand the various reasons as to why Emanuel won’t be running again. Plus Mary Ann Ahern points out the signs that showed he wasn’t gonna run again before he publicly said he won’t be.

Connected to Chicago (02-11-2018)

John Dempsey sits down with former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Paul Vallas, who is considering running for Mayor of Chicago. They discuss what Vallas has done in his career, as well as why he is considering running for Mayor. They discuss the state of the state of Illinois, unions, and Chicago Public Schools.

In this week’s round table segment, John Dempsey is joined by Ray Long of the Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times, and Mary Ann Ahern, of NBC 5. Topics include the recent release of conversations between J.B. Pritzker, and Rod Blagojevich, during the FBI wire tapping of Blagojevich. They also discuss the current Gubernatorial race, as well as the controversial commercial released by Jeanne Ives.

This week’s community spotlight segment with Jennifer Keiper is about the Chicago Auto Show and what attendees can look forward to this year. Show organizer, Mark Bilek, also talks about industry trends, safety technology, and sales. We also take a look at how the industry has changed since the Great Recession.

WLS-AM 890 Town Hall: Garry McCarthy

In this half-hour special pulled from the live John & Ray Morning Show on Friday, April 7, 2017, McCarthy talks about everything from his current home life to the prospect of running for mayor of Chicago.

John Howell and Ray Stevens are joined by Mary Ann Ahern of NBC 5 Chicago and WLS-AM News Director John Dempsey.

Video Courtesy of NBC 5 Chicago

Hosted By: John Howell, Ray Stevens
Contributors: John Dempsey, Mary Ann Ahern
Guest: Garry McCarthy
Camera: William Jennings, NBC Chicago
Editing: Jen DeSalvo
Operations Manager: Michael Garay
Executive Producer: Bryan Biggs


By John Dempsey, WLS-AM News

(CHICAGO) Former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, referring to whether he might run for Mayor of Chicago in 2019, said “maybe I’m going to do it,” during an appearance on WLS Friday morning.

McCarthy appeared in studio for an entire hour on “The Big John and Ray Show” to expand on comments he made on the program Wednesday morning in which he said “a lot of people” are encouraging him to run for Mayor. If McCarthy ran he would be facing off against Rahm Emanuel, the man who fired McCarthy as top cop in December of 2015, following the court-ordered release of a video that showed white officer Jason Van Dyke pumping 16 shots into the body of black teenager LaQuan McDonald.

McCarthy says while he is thinking about getting into politics, he is still not sure, saying he first must make sure his wife Kristin Barnette approves of the idea.

 “I just don’t know. I’m not planning what’s going to happen in the next few months. I’m just trying to have an impact in some fashion by talking about what’s going on, and if that means getting involved in politics then maybe I’m going to do it. I can tell you this, the first person I have to convince is Kristin. She would much rather I have a low profile and people leave us alone.”

McCarthy did say he is upset at the way his relationship with Emanuel is now non-existent.

“I am disappointed in the way that this entire scenario played out. I’m disappointed at the fact that, you know, I haven’t heard from the guy in 15 months. He didn’t check in to see if I was OK, he didn’t say ‘congratulations on the birth of your son,’ you know, that’s not the way it’s supposed to work. If he needed to make a decision that he thought was a good decision, doesn’t mean the relationship is over, but apparently it is.”

The former Superintendent also said there is no question that Emanuel is the most political of all the mayors he has worked for, including Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg in New York, and Corey Booker in Newark, New Jersey.

“I think he’s much more political. You asked who’s the most political animal, I would say that Rahm Emanuel is. He functions on that level.”

On Wednesday Emanuel refused to comment when asked about McCarthy.

© WLS-AM 890

NBC5’s Mary Ann Ahern talks about the scene in Washington D.C.

NBC’s Mary Ann Ahern joins the show to talk about what is happening in Washington D.C. as the Inauguration is impending.