Category Archives: Daley

>REACT: Obama a reformer? Puhleeeez

>In a recent Chicago Sun-Times column, Carol Marin advised Barack Obama to start naming his Cabinet as a means to get past the lipstick level journalism of the day. She suggested naming U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as Attorney General. A splendid choice, but the usually insightful columnist seems to have forgotten where she resides. So, I thought I should send her this letter.

Dear Carol,

I am a great fan of you and your professional work. However, your recent Obama column shocked me for your lack of realization of the world in which you live. Apparently you got suckered into believing that Obama IS a reformer. Oh sure, he is selling that image nationally where people do not know Chicago and Illinois politics. But, you should know better.

Obama is the product of arguably the most corrupt political operation in America. For Mayor Daley to sanctimoniously deny the existence of “the Machine” is as absurd as his father once denying the presence of “the Mob” in Chicago.

(I have to interject here. LMAO The photo on the right of Obama and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is the first photo that pops up on google images when you search for “Chicago political corruption.” And you think life ain’t full of funnyironies? Actually, under that search there are quite a few photos of Obama and nefarious characters. Okay, back to the letter.)

Obama was first elected to office by knocking all the competition off the ballot in the good old Chicago tradition. He was the benefactor of the patronage of some of the sleaziest influence peddlers and inside wheeler-dealers – one of whom, Tony Rezko (left), is now a convicted criminal.

Obama endorsed all the machine candidates, and in doing so he endorsed flagrant cronyism, nepotism and illegal patronage. His political god-father is Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, who supported legislative pay raises while opposing every bit of reform legislation. His chief political consultant, David Axelrod has been the flack for the machine for years. And on and on.

And what about Obama, himself? He has never … not once … produced or supported any reform legislation. He has never voiced criticism of the corrupt practices of the Machine. Most recently, he was asked to encourage Jones to pass ethics legislation. He demurred. Never once has he pointed a reform finger at the corruption within his own political base. He never challenged the establishment. He never voiced his support for whistle blowers and investigators. He never promoted “change” in Illinois – believable or otherwise.

On the other hand, as a state senator, he played Chicago-style politics by doling out taxpayer money to friends and supporters without much oversight and accountability. Several of his community improvement projects failed and the money “vanished.” He left his district not much better than he found it.

On the matter of Fitzgerald (right), Carol, you completely missed the mark. As President, Obama will do what the Machine demands – fire Fitzgerald. The most serious problem the machine has is a truly honest, independent REFORM U.S. Attorney. Whatever promises or lip service you may hear to the contrary, Obama will serve the Machine, not the public interest, in this matter. He owes the Machine bosses that much. He will deliver in the good old Chicago way.

>SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORT!! Skullduggery in Chicago Olympic bid.

>Rumors abound that not only is Chicago Mayor Richard Daley attempting to bamboozle the International Olympic Committee to award the 2016 games to Chicago to save his political posterior in the wake of the unending string of scandals, but he is secretly attempting to introduce new events to the IOC which are designed to ensure that Chicagoans and Illinoisans win a disproportionate share of gold, silver and bronze medals. Other Illinois officials have joined in the effort to lobby the IOC

They have secretly proposed the introduction of a series of Olympic “civic” events. Due to my dogged sleuthing (even out doing The Drudge Report), I am now able to reveal the details of this plot. Here are the events they have proposed.

Job Placement I (cronyism): This event is simply judged on the number of political pals placed on the public payroll. Contestants are judged on not only the number, but also the rank and pay scale of the placed employees. Yet to be settled is the inclusion or exclusion of lucrative contract holders. Some argue that this is already incorporated in the Public Trough Feeding event (see below). With its long and colorful history of raw politics, Chicago has obvious advantages over other contenders. Several of the strongest players were previous winners of the World Shakman Cup.

Job Placement II (nepotism): This event is similar to Job Placement I except it deals only with the number of family members placed on the public payroll. With major politicians claiming so many “cousins,” qualification verification is expected to be difficult. Cook County President Todd Stroger is already in training and could be a strong contender. However, he will be hard pressed to challenge the long established Irish politicos, who literally invented the sport. The Mayor is pushing to have his brothers judge this event.

Under the Table Kick-Back: Government employees, in performing their civil duties are judged on how much money they can secure from citizens in need of services, permits, etc. Volunteered bribery, while quite lucrative, is excluded from the competition. The stack-o-cash qualifying event requires participants to secure the greatest amount of cash in the shortest amount of time – and no bill more than $100.

Official Corruption Marathon: This is the big kahuna of the proposed new events, with all-star competitors. Winners will be judged on the number of scandals that occur directly under their administrative rule. Indictments and convictions will be especially useful. Mayor Daley, himself, would have been a run-away favorite for the gold in this category, but Governor Rod Blagojevich is making a serious effort for the top medal. Many thought this event would be a Democrat sweep. However, Republican jail-bound Governor George Ryan looks like a potential medal winner. The Nobel Prize nomination is not expected to hurt his chances for a corruption award. He is also the only contender actually convicted of corruption. This could put him in contention for a gold medal. However, it is no small irony that the gold medal in this event will not be won according to the rules, but will most likely be stolen by the person most adroit at breaking the rules.

The Featherbed Beer Run: Government workers are judged on the most unproductive hours on payroll. Extra points can be gained by being totally away from the work environment while being paid. Back room card games, sports events and motel trysts are among the more popular work day escapes. The event gets its name for the propensity of government to employ needless workers, and the ubiquitous beer guzzling that takes on shift. There is a major loss of points for being the subject of the semi annual newspaper expose on malingering public workers. Instead of the traditional Olympic medal, the winner of this event will receive a gold brick.

Education Dodge Ball: The winner of this event will be determined by the number of public school children who will go uneducated. While drop-out rates are significant, the big point gainer is actually graduating an uneducated student in the “social promotion.” Overall winners will have to do well in the “phony truant report” event. The medals in this event are almost certain to fall to the major American cities. Look for Chicago, once declared to be the worst school system in America, to be a top contender for the gold.

Public Trough Feeding Frenzy: This is one of the few proposed events where well-connected private citizens will compete. Contestants will be judged on both the number of contracts and the total cumulative value. Extra points will be given as part of the ‘Inferior Work Rip-Off” event. Inferior work resulting in permanent injury or death of innocent people can boost the point score significantly. Look for Tony Rezko and Bill Cellini to duke it out for the gold in this one, with Bill Kjellander picking up the bronze.

Airport Demolition Smack Down: This is likely to be a relatively exclusive event. Spectacular as it can be, there are very few contenders – especially if military bombings are eliminated from the event, as Mayor Daley demands. He is arguably the world’s leading civilian airport destroyer, and would mostly likely pick up the gold.

Taxpayer Raping: Always popular with the political contestants. Here public officials are judged not only on the sheer level of taxation, but on creativity as well. Hidden taxes, in the form of mandates, will garner extra points. Misuse of taxpayer money also can produce additional points. More points for tax increases which do not improve services, and even more if services are reduced in the face of the tax increase. Many consider higher taxes for fewer services to be the Holy Grail in this event. For those anticipating a salacious contest please be aware that the name is only symbolic.

Jailhouse Torture Tournament: In this event, contestants will be judged both on the number of people they can torture in the shortest time and the effective use of torture devices. Special emphasis is on creativity and effectiveness. Yet to be decided is whether contestants will be allowed to use any device, as an indication of creativity (the City Hall preference), or be limited to such devices as electric generators, billy clubs (a long Chicago sports tradition), rubber hoses, brass knuckles. Maximum pain with minimum physical evidence is important. There is some controversy over anal penetration events. It is more a matter of esthetics than effectiveness. John Burge is a local favorite for the gold, but some say there are many more currently unknown contenders.

Minority Profiling Relay: Another of the so-called “law enforcement events,” it will require contestants to carry innocent minority individuals through the judicial system – from driving tickets to false imprisonment. Special points are given for false arrests and advancing cases that have no merit whatsoever. Sub-events, such as “evidence planting” and “prosecutorial abuse,” will be key to victory. Contestants with racial profiling experience are expected to dominate this event.

Cops as Robbers on the Run: This law enforcement event is strictly for police officers. Winners are determined by the amount of cash and the cash value of merchandise stolen from the public. Additional points are given for pocketing evidence form the scene of a crime, and even more for stealing evidence out of the police lock up. While accepting bribes for not issuing tickets is included, such low level corruption will not take a medal.

Mafia Marksmanship: Though the Mob has been out of practice in recent years, it was felt that, with Chicago’s Capone reputation, there should be a least one event honoring so many great Chicago personalities. Only “made” mobsters, with funny nicknames, are eligible. There are two major events. The first requires the accumulation of “intimidation money.” Extra points for money extracted as a result of severe beatings, with permanent injury good for bonus points. However, killing the victim is a disqualifier. Rules forbid accidental killing, and planned killing falls into the second major Majia event – and will be much more exciting for the audience. It measures the number of hits. Wounding does not qualify. The Whack Job event is judged on the importance of the decedent, the method of extermination and creative body disposal. Team Hoffa could be real contenders. Flawless from hit to disposal. On the other hand, Team Spilotro lacks Olympic stature. Nice hit, but botched burial. Didn’t they know that every two-bit amateur killer buries the bodies in Indiana? The names of the judges in this event are being withheld since the first three named are now missing – perhaps to Olympic training.

Rejected Events: A number of City Hall’s recommended events did not make it past first review by the IOC. The proposed Friend Shedding event was to judge contestants by the number of friends cut off in the face of scandal. The rapidity of such excommunications was to be a major consideration. However, this event was vetoed by the Committee because it appeared to have been proposed solely to insure Mayor Daley a gold medal. The same fate befell the proposed Official Public Temper Tantrum event — for the same reason.

In a similar vein, the Nutty Official event, proposed by Governor Blagojevich, will not be considered due to his pre-emption of the field. The Governor tried to convince the Committee that being recognized as a gold medal nut would be good for his career. To draw a comparison, the Governor explained how having almost every member of the legislature vote against his tax package was his greatest legislative victory. However, the IOC determined that the very idea to be a bit nutty.

The IOC also rejected Todd Stoger’s suggestion of a medal for Not So Bright Offspring of Powerful Politicians. They did not feel it was a very bright idea. In fact, they were not ever sure what the event would be. On the same basis, the OIC summarily rejected former Governor Ryan’s proposal for an event designed for Nobel Prize Nominees Currently in Jail.

State and city officials are lobbying hard against the proposed Convicted Public Official event. In this event, contestants would be judged on the number of public officials they have indicted and convicted. More points for higher-ranking officials. Though his would undoubtedly bring the gold to Illinois, city and state official believe the competition would generate too much enthusiasm among prosecutors, and could deplete the state and local governments of most of the current public officials. Mayor Daley argues that this event would be a set up for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who, according to the Mayor, is not even his cousin.

Finally, the IOC rejected City Hall’s suggestion for a Snow Removal Race noting that this was the summer Olympics. The Mayor countered that he has several cousins with snow making equipment who would cover the course in several feet of snow. “Nobody knows how to do a snow job better then we do,” the Mayor argued.

>REACT: Better place for Chicago Children’s Museum

>Mayor Daley and Gigi Pritzker have done a great disservice to Chicago by falsely accusing opponents to their proposed Grant Park site for the Chicago Children’s Museum of being motivated by racism. Using concocted racism as a straw man, they have promoted what they feign to oppose. The location they have selected is simply a bad idea. It places the kids in the most congested location in Chicago, and is a significant intrusion into the limited open space at the north end of Grant Park. The Daley-Pritzker site already serves the children (of all ethnicities) through the Richard J. Daley park house. The wrongness of the site and the accusations are evident in the overwhelming indignant public response.

Now having cursed the darkness, let us light a candle. I have an idea.

Why not put the Museum in the area around Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road? This would bring it closer to the “museum campus,” and to an area targeted for substantial development in the coming years. It already has a significant residential community (and more to come), and has excellent transportation routes – surface, el and train. This would bring the venue closer to three significant minority populations, Black Hispanic and Asian – and take it out of the center of the Loop congestion.

In this south-end location, the Museum also would function like a second park house, serving the children of the south and southwest sides, just as the Daley facility serves the north side. Even the modest use of Grant Park land would be less intrusive. That corner of Grant Park is currently under utilized.

How about two campuses? Actually, the Navy Pier location is a good one. The south Loop site can be a second location. After all, we are a very big city, with lots of kids — and Gigi’s family has a lot of money.

One of the mayor’s strengths is to fix problems, not create them. It is very possible that the Daley-Pritzker combo can force their will on the City Council. However, they cannot win the approval or respect of the good citizens of Chicago, who know a bad idea when they see one. On the other hand, the mayor can teach the children of Chciago a great lesson – that public opinion does matter. So far, the mayor has only tripped. Let’s hope he does not totally fall down on this one.

>REACT: Gigi Pritzker follows Daley into the racism muck

>Well, first it was Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley calling his constituents racists for not supporting the move of the Chicago Children’s Museum to one of the most congested parts of the city, and violate the open space covenant of Grant Park.

Now wading in the same muck is billionairess Jean “Gigi” Pritzker, president of the Museum. According to news reports, she is heartsick over the alleged intolerance of the common people of Chicago. Well, in the case of this particular neighborhood, the more affluent common people – but still below Pritzker’s Lincoln Park crowd.

The reason Gigi and the Hizzoner have chosen racism as their excuse for the public ourcry is very simple. To consider the more valid reasons would suggest that their noblise oblige scheme is nothing more than a very bad idea. – and you know, the rich and powerful just do not get bad ideas. Just ask them.

In raising the race issue, the Daley-Pritzker team have provided a rallying point for racists and pandered to the paranoia to those who see racism in every event. They have made this a racial issue by nothing less than irresponsible rhetoric.

You know, Daley is a pretty savvy mayor in many ways. Gigi Pritzker is quite a nice lady, I have been told. The Chicago Children’s Museum is a great institution. So, how is it that these good elements can produce such a bad outcome.

>REACT: Daley plays the race card … and it’s a joker

>

In his attempt to bully support for a new Grant Park location for the Children’s Museum, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley deals the race card from the bottom of the deck. He accuses the citizens living in the highrises adjacent to the proposed location of being racists, who do not want “black or brown” kiddies to be drawn to their Loop neighborhood.

How low can the mayor go?

He blatantly calls tens of thousands of his citizens “racists,” when in fact that region of the city is populated by some of the most tolerant individuals in Chicago, including a bunch of “black and brown” parents. I would remind the mayor that this is the 42nd ward, not the old 11th.

The Mayor fails to note that the new Museum site is adjacent to the Chicago Park District field house named after his father. It is a field house, which hosts summer camp and other events for thousands of children – including many of those black and brown youngsters. Far from protesting the interracial kids’ programs and events, the neighbors include their own children among the enrollees.

If Chicago is a racially confrontational city, it is largely due to the historic race baiting tactics of the political machine. Using concocted racism as a straw man, the mayor actually promotes what he feigns to oppose.

This baseless accusation comes from a man whose family has presided over the most racially divided city in America, whose early elections were advanced by engendering racial fears over the possibility of a second black mayor, and who has successfully driven the low economic black and brown people out of the city to be displaced by suburban yuppies.

This shameless effort is designed to divert public attention away from the very legitimate reasons to deny the Children’s Museum the proposed site. It is the long-standing Grant Park covenant of keeping the lakefront as open space for the benefit of all the people, and to resist the eroding imposition of commercial venues.

Ironically, it is the mayor who has sold out to the mostly white upper crust of Chicago society. The overly costly Millennium Park was an elitist concept that gave more than ample opportunity to provide “naming rights” to the hoi polloi. It is a “park” that maintains 24 hour security guards to make sure the common folk do not bicycle, skate, run, walk dogs or trod on the sod – pleasures usually associated with urban parks.

Under the civic delirium of Millennium Park, the mayor provided space for a commercial restaurant — and yet another opportunity for the politically favored. The Harris Theatre was then allowed to intrude into the people’s commons – again for the glory and entertainment of the Windy City elite.

Another issue is traffic and parking. The mayor flips off this legitimate concern over congestion with “this is a city” — what every the hell that means. Development in that section of town is already overtaxing the transportation infrastructure. Perhaps his motive in jamming more people-attractions in that small area is to help the Grant Park garage fulfill its failed mission to finance the park.

The Children’s Museum is a wonderful thing. My family has enjoyed it over many years. There are innumerable sites where it can serve the public. How about on the south edge of Grant Park, for example? Or, to the west of the McCormack complex? Or hey! How about on underused Northerly Island (see Meigs Field).

The new 42nd ward alderman, Brendan Reilly, opposes the site, and as tradition would have it, professional courtesy should prevail in the City Council. However, it appears that the mayor is willing to throw out that tradition along with the long-standing covenants and traditions protecting the lakefront. Reilly may get his toes stomped on by the compliant City Council, but in the long run, he will have been the voice in the wilderness.