Gerrymandering & “Fair Representation Voting”: Rob Richie, Exec. Dir., FairVote, Nick Stephanopoulos, Univ. of Chicago Law Professor

On the eve of Supreme Court oral arguments in the Wisconsin gerrymandering case of Gill v. Whitford, two national experts join the “Mean” to break it all down. FairVote Executive Director Rob Richie explains why over 90% of U.S. House incumbents win re-election – and what can be done to unrig our congressional races. Then Univ. of Chicago legal scholar Nick Stephanopoulos talks about how his “Efficiency Gap” measurement could be the key to the Supreme Court making a historic decision on gerrymandering.

Daniel Biss: Illinois State Senator and Candidate for Governor

State Senator Daniel Biss takes on the “machine” in his bid for Illinois Governor. Biss talks about poverty, the outrageous costs of college, historic government gridlock and the reasons for it: “Our system of elections is just not designed for the public, it’s designed for politicians.”

Champion for Reforming American Democracy: Lawrence Lessig, Founder, EqualCitizens.US

“To deny the equal right to vote is to recreate the system of slavery.” This stark quote from author/activist Lawrence Lessig offers a hint of his passion for reforming a defective democracy – and making every vote actually count equally. Larry joins the show to talk about his new platform and the national organization he’s founded to make it happen: EQUALCITIZENS.US.

“Cards Against Humanity” Cofounder: Max Temkin

If you like playing “Cards Against Humanity,” listen to one its creators let loose on everything from the dangers of Trump to “Secret Hitler.” Max Temkin makes the case for why people disgusted with our politics should lighten up on the social media – and start hittin’ the bricks!

The “Dean” of Illinois Politics: Rick Pearson, Chief Political Reporter, Chicago Tribune

One of the foremost political reporters in the country, the Chicago Tribune’s Rick Pearson, joins the show to talk raw politics. Pearson describes how the old Chicago political machine has changed – and how it hasn’t. Why politicians’ words still matter – and how getting to the “why” is still the old school key to reporting the real meaning of a story. Take a listen to “the Dean” as he talks about his three decades on the Illinois political scene!

Spiritual Teacher: Wendy Falcon, Author of “Turn Your Life Insight Out”

Wendy Falcon is a spiritual teacher and the author of “Turn Your Life Insight Out.” Wendy also hosts a radio show on the same subject, and her express goal is to continually share transformational and inspired messages with the world! In this episode of the Mean, Wendy and Michael talk about her book, spiritual awareness, the cues to inner peace – and the true meaning of the film “Groundhog Day!”

Chris Kennedy: The Son of R.F.K. Talks About His Campaign for Illinois Governor

“We need to get that dirty money out of politics and then we’ll get those politicians out of government. That’s the big issue in our state.” The words of Chris Kennedy, son of the late R.F.K., who’s now waging a campaign for governor of Illinois. In this episode of the Mean, Kennedy talks about his plans to increase the minimum wage, decrease gun violence, and restore American confidence in the ability of the government to improve people’s lives.

2020 Presidential Candidate: Congressman John Delaney

John Delaney is running for president in 2020 – and folks might just want to take him seriously. Congressman Delaney (D-MD) grew up in a working class household and became a successful entrepreneur before he was elected in 2012 to represent Maryland’s 6th District. Delaney says he’s going to run a “future focused” campaign, and on this episode of “The Mean,” he talks about his bipartisan bonafides: “You need a villain in politics. My villain is partisan politics. It’s destroying our ability to govern.”

“I’ve always been curious about and attracted to innovative ideas and the people who turn them into realities. That intrigue was the genesis of ‘The Golden Mean.’ I hope you'll tune in here for fascinating one-on-one interviews with a diverse spectrum of captivating personalities and interesting thinkers. Please give us a listen!”