The [Friday] Papers
Wyma wore a wire.
[UPDATE 12/8: Or did he?]
No wonder Rod Blagojevich is already laying the groundwork for a pardon. It's almost a foregone conclusion that he's going to jail.
"Federal investigators recently made covert tape recordings of Gov. Rod Blagojevich in the most dramatic step yet in their corruption investigation of him and his administration," the Tribune is reporting in an exclusive.
"As part of this undercover effort, one of the governor's closest confidants and former aides cooperated with investigators, and that assistance helped lead to recordings of the governor and others, sources said.
"The cooperation of John Wyma, 42, one of the state's most influential lobbyists, is the most stunning evidence yet that Blagojevich's once-tight inner circle appears to be collapsing under the pressure of myriad pay-to-play inquiries.
"Wyma, Blagojevich's chief of staff when he was in Congress, has long been one of the few advisers trusted by Blagojevich and kept in the loop on matters of policy and politics."
Can we just start the transition now?
The Mayor's Meter Management
And after you read what Mick politely describes as "a few other points worth reiterating," please try to curb your instinct to run outside and take a sledgehammer to the parking meter nearest you.
Or, on the other hand, go for it.
* "Preckwinkle and Hairston said they did not have enough time to consider the measure, which Daley aides presented to aldermen Tuesday. Giving such quick approval makes aldermen 'partners in our own marginalization,' Preckwinkle said."
* Dick Mell called the deal "a once-in-a-lifetime shot to grab this pool of money."
Really? I wasn't aware that the offer expired at midnight Thursday.
* Brendan Reilly "said many drivers abuse low rates by feeding meters four times to cover their entire workday."
So now they'll have to "abuse" high rates?
* Reilly also said "For those people who chose to drive downtown and avail themselves of these metered parking spaces, we're happy to have you, but you need to pay a fair-market rate."
Agreed. What's the fair-market rate for a downtown meter on Sunday when you've got dozens of available spots to choose from?
"John is hoping the Mayor of Chicago will sell the Michigan Avenue planters next."
Bless Hamernik's heart. She's fighting the Toll Authority over 30 cents. It is the principle. And she's doing it for all of us.
CORRECTION 4:19 P.M.: It wasn't Diane Hamernik, the subject of Kass's column, who said "The politicians are crooks . . . ", it was Kass's mother. Apologies to everyone involved!
Thanks, Consumer World!
I was recently waiting for AAA to come help me with a car problem when I ducked into Lucia's on North and Honore to get a soda. I grabbed a 12-oz. Diet Coke out of the refrigerator, went to the counter, and the lady said "$1.10."
For a can of Coke?
"How do you sleep at night?" I asked.
"This is a restaurant, not a liquor store," she said.
"Okay, I'll just go down to the liquor store then," I said, as I put the can back.
The liquor store is on the same block, and they charged me $1.19 for a 16-oz. Diet Coke. I was happy to pay it.
Even an economy - as we are now seeing for the umpteenth time - has to have principles.
Small businesses in particular should learn the value of the lifetime customer.
I was also recently at the Lavazza Cafe on Ohio Street downtown and watched the entire staff chat in front of me for about 10 minutes before I asked, "Um, am I gonna get my coffee any time soon?"
They weren't even apologetic.
Be consumers, people. It's just like being a citizen.
Hamernik is right. It's not about the money. It's about dignity and humanity.
I'd like to say good riddance to Bennett Johnson III, but what's the difference? He'll just be replaced by another tool. Here's what I mean.
"Johnson made headlines in February when he installed a $5,400 shower in his City Hall office just weeks after pushing through a budget that raised taxes fines and fees by $293 million, including the largest property tax increase in Chicago history."
Said Johnson: "People just don't get where I come from. In the private sector, you get private showers and private gym memberships. It's just what I'm used to. That's why I didn't think it was such a big deal."
Big 3 B.S.
Inside the Bailout: A Beachwood Exclusive.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Worth every penny.
Posted on December 5, 2008
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