Dan Klefstad

Morning Edition Host & Book Series Editor

Good morning, Early Riser! Since 1997 I've been waking WNIJ listeners with the latest news, weather and other information, with the goal of seamlessly weaving this content into NPR's Morning Edition.

What do I do after the show ends at 9:00? I read. I'm especially interested in literature from the WNIJ listening area, which led me to adopt the "Book Beat" in 2012. Throughout the year, I immerse myself in works written by authors from northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Then I interview these writers for Morning Edition and record them reading excerpts. Interviews and excerpts are available as podcasts in our Book Series archive.

If you're a writer from this area, or have a personal connection to this place, send your book to me at 801 N. 1st St., DeKalb, IL 60115. You can also email a .doc or .pdf to dklefstad@niu.edu. I'm looking for novels, poems, short fiction, memoirs and creative nonfiction. While most of the books I feature come from established presses, I do accept self-published works. Just make sure your manuscript is well edited.

Thanks,

@danklefstad

#WNIJReadWithME

Ways To Connect

This Autumn, WNIJ again invites northern Illinois authors to read, and discuss, their stories. Recently, a trio of writers published shorter works that add to the growing body of quality literature from this area. To showcase these quick reads, we created our first-ever "Fall Book Bites" series. We'll welcome back Susan Azar Porterfield and Molly McNett during the next two days. Today, we'll meet G.K. Wuori, author of Infidelity, a novella.

Wikipedia | www.twitter.com/brucerauner

Democrat Pat Quinn is among nearly a dozen governors at risk of losing their jobs this election. Reasons vary from state to state, but Quinn continues to be dogged by persistent unemployment, low credit ratings, and the worst-funded pension system in the nation. His Republican opponent, Bruce Rauner, began attacking Quinn on these issues before the March primary.

www.billfoster.com

Many political scientists sign up for candidate email alerts, which can reveal clues about a campaign's confidence level. NIU's Matt Streb doesn't sign up for these emails, but Bill Foster's campaign sent him one anyway -- right after his 2012 victory in Illinois' 11th Congressional District.

UPDATE, 10/30/14

The man behind the recording that sparked the resignation of Congresswoman Cheri Bustos' top staffer has been identified. He's Austin Quick, a seminary student who worked for Bustos' opponent Bobby Schilling during his 2010 campaign. Quick is also a Northern Illinois University graduate who served as a Student Association Senator. He had a hand in several Republican candidates' campaigns, including State Representative Tom Demmer and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk. 

www.cheribustos.com

In 2012, Democrat Cheri Bustos unseated incumbent Bobby Schilling in Illinois' 17th Congressional District. Schilling, a Republican, won two years earlier during a national wave of Tea Party-backed upsets.

http://kinzinger.house.gov/

Illinois' 16th Congressional District resembles the 14th in a couple of ways, according to Matt Streb. The political scientist notes Democratic map-makers packed IL-16 with Republican voters in order to increase the number of Democrats in neighboring districts.

www.randyhultgren.com

The race in Illinois' 14th Congressional District is a do-over between Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren and Democratic challenger Dennis Anderson. In 2012, Anderson got 41% of the vote, a margin that surprised NIU political scientist Matt Streb.

www.dickdurbin.com

This election, (#WNIJ2014Election) WNIJ is focusing on U.S. House races, the contest for Governor, and the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Dick Durbin. This is Durbin's fourth campaign for the office. The Democrat won each race easily, but Durbin's behavior suggests the race is closer with state Senator Jim Oberweis.

Dan Libman

It's almost closing time for our `Politics on Tap' series.  Throughout the summer, author Dan Libman interviewed voters in their neighborhood bars, asking about their political concerns ahead of the election.  After a beer or two they opened up about Obamacare, the economy and redistricting.  Now, with `last call' looming -- at the bars and the polls -- Dan asked the regulars what issues they want the candidates to address.  Read the peoples' opinions in Dan's essay below. 

Dan Libman

This November, citizens will vote on a number of issues. Many of them will also participate in the next open enrollment period under The Affordable Care Act. The ACA, or Obamacare, remains a hot topic for political pundits. But will it motivate voters? For the third time this summer, WNIJ asked author Dan Libman to learn the mood of the electorate. Dan has been interviewing voters in the places they feel most comfortable: their neighborhood bars.

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