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The [Friday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

1. Gaming board chief says video poker would be a big threat to problem gamblers.

Lawmaker are counting on it!

2. The view from CNET: "How would pot legalization affect Google?"

3. Most incriminating part of the Jesse Jackson Jr. story:

"Jesse Jackson's FEC reports list payments as being made to Donatella & Associates, which Bryant described as 'Sandi's sole proprietorship' for her consulting work. The couple's oldest child is 9-year-old Jessica Donatella Jackson.

"From 2003 through mid-2005, the recipient is shown on Jackson's reports as 'Lee Stevens' or 'Lee Steven' at the J. Donatella firm. Sandi Jackson's middle name is Lee. Her maiden name is Stevens."

4. "Bonuses at U of I Questioned: President defends payments to Global Campus employees."

Maybe the employees were getting offers from other failed Global Campuses.

5. Cook County Democratic Party chairman Joseph Berrios, who is also a member of the Cook County Board of Review and a lobbyist, says the video poker industry pays him "only" $25,000 to $30,000 a year.

Good point. He makes much more than that hearing tax appeals from Michael Madigan.

6. Giggity.

7. "A small, woman-owned trucking company in the middle of the most recent federal contracting fraud case at City Hall supposedly was paid hundreds of thousands of Chicago taxpayer dollars - with the payments continuing to come even after the company lost approval to do business in the state," the Tribune reports.

"At least four companies with millions of dollars in city contracts reported hiring Veronica Contracting Inc., a St. Charles-based firm owned by Suzanne Caruso, as a subcontractor to meet requirements that they share the work with minority- and women-owned businesses.

"Federal prosecutors alleged last month that one of those four city contractors in fact did not pay Veronica Contracting nearly as much as it had told officials in Mayor Richard Daley's administration. But the federal prosecutors do not portray Veronica Contracting as a victim. Rather, they allege that the defendants in the case submitted a sham bid in the name of Veronica Contracting as part of a bid-rigging scheme to ensure that another business would get the city deal."

Leading by example!

8. Came across this from a 2004 Sun-Times article while looking up the previous item:

"Ald. Edward Burke's top political aide was running a trucking company in the name of his wife and another woman to get work as a woman-owned firm under the city's scandal-ridden Hired Truck Program, Mayor Daley's inspector general has concluded."

9. Another flashback courtesy of Newsalert: "When Anne Burke's Files Were Subpoeanaed."

10. "A very big IWPA thank you to Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke who was the featured speaker at [the Illinois Women's Press Association's] Annual Mate E. Palmer Communications Contest Awards Luncheon that was held on Saturday, May 16th. Justice Burke's message provided warmth, a smile or two and a large degree of inspiration . . . "

11. Thank You, Jesus: Novelty Lighters Saved.

12. "Some Newspapers Booking Local Ads Online Thanks To Yahoo."

Imagine that.

13. Burris Could Be Less Popular.

14. Daley Tax Sacks Bears Fans.

15. The difference between Chicago and Nashville?

"We have Kenny Chesney and you have Jon Langford," Bobby Bare Jr. says. "That defines it perfectly."

In Bloodshot Briefing.

16. "Rachel Alexandra is a special filly, Mine That Bird is for real, Kentucky Derby buzz horses can fall from grace mighty quickly, and I still don't like the way Gabriel Saez rides Friesan Fire," our man on the rail Thomas Chambers writes in his look at the Belmont. In TrackNotes.

18. The Five Dumbest Ideas of the Week. And the people who had them. See who made the list.

19. Jones Big Ass Truck Rental Storage.

20. The Chicago Burndown


The Beachwood Tip Line: Memorial.


Posted on May 22, 2009

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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