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The [Friday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

1. You can win free tickets to Ha Ha Tonka's record-release show at Schubas this Monday. How? You'll have to read to the bottom of this story to find out!

2. Here's the way I wrote it up for NBCChicago.com:

"Mayor Richard M. Daley emerged from hiding on Thursday to insist he knew nothing about the partnership his nephew formed with one of the city's leading developers to win the right to invest $68 million in city pension funds with a guarantee of $8 million in management fees to the duo until he read about it in the paper like everyone else."

And instead of "one of the city's leading developers" I should have said "noted political ally."

See, that's the problem with Fran Spielman's stenography today: if the family is as close-knit as she wrings her hands over, how could this deal have gone down without the mayor knowing about it?

Add in Daley's microscopic knowledge of city business and it's just plain unfathomable.

Of course, the mayor could have cleared all that up but he refused to take questions on the matter.

Nobody else is talking either.

Consider:

"For Daley to have been unaware of the deal until that point required aides he appointed to the pension fund boards not to have told him that they considered and voted for the DV Urban deal," Dan Mihalopoulos reports in the Tribune this morning.

"Daley said 'no' when asked Thursday if he had any conversations about his nephew's firm with those appointees.

"When the police pension trustees voted 7-1 in April 2006 to approve a $15 million infusion for DV Urban, three high-ranking city officials at the time were present and supported the investment. Those officials were Lux, then-Treasurer Judith Rice and Daley's then-chief financial officer Dana Levenson.

"Rice also voted for the laborers' and municipal employees' pension funds to put their money in DV Urban, and Lux supported the municipal employees' investment in the firm.

"Rice and Levenson have since left the city for jobs in the private sector. Rice declined to comment through a spokeswoman for her current employer, Harris Bank. Levenson did not return calls.

"Lux, who is still the city's comptroller and remains a pension fund trustee, did not return calls."

They could all do Daley - and Vanecko - a big favor by telling us all just how clean this deal was. Unless it wasn't.

"Lux made a motion at a police fund board meeting last year to destroy recordings 'older than 18 months relating to investment committee meetings and executive sessions.' The motion was approved 6-0 at the Oct. 21, 2008 meeting."

3. Trib Creditors Dig For Colonel's Cash. Looking at Cantigny, McCormick Foundation.

*

How soon can they get there?

4. "Unless either Don Shula or Chuck Noll wants to weigh in, let's wait at least a day before hearing from another Super Bowl-winning head coach interested in questioning Jay Cutler's character publicly, OK?" David Haugh wrote in the Tribune on Thursday.

And he's absolutely right.

"With due respect to Mike Ditka and Tony Dungy, has anybody around the league considered the Broncos' role in Cutler's clumsy exit out of Denver and whether Cutler still would be a Bronco if Mike Shanahan were in charge?

"Or that increasingly out-of-touch owner Pat Bowlen and newbie coach Josh McDaniels might have been as impulsive trading their franchise quarterback as Cutler is accused of being immature?"

5. Don't forget the Chicago Media Future Conference on Saturday.

6. "It's amusing that the university continues to withhold the information, even as President B. Joseph White appeared Monday on WTTW's Chicago Tonight alongside reporter Jodi S. Cohen, whose work he praised," the Tribune said in an editorial on Thursday. 'She has shone a light on an area that needs to be examined,' he said. Really.

"At the same time, White took umbrage at this page's characterization of the university as 'Rezko U,' calling it 'a tremendous insult to one of the world's great universities and its hundreds of thousands of alumni.'

"'And by the way, it's not true, he added.

"Not true? As Cohen and her colleagues reported, a relative of Antoin 'Tony" Rezko - convicted influence peddler for ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich - was admitted after White sent an e-mail to the university chancellor. White's message advised that Blagojevich 'has expressed his support and would like to see [Rezko's relative] admitted'."

*

From the show:

WHITE: I'm extremely concerned about the assertions that have been made in the stories . . .

CAROL MARIN: Assertions or facts?

WHITE: They are assertions. The Tribune editorial page has asserted that I clouted a relative of [Tony] Rezko into the Univeristy of Illinois. And it's not true, period.

*

He just wanted admissions officers to know that the governor had "expressed his support and would like to see [Rezko's relative] admitted."

But make the decision on merit.

*

This story was a bit odd though in that it didn't acknowledge that the reporter who wrote it - Cohen - appeared on the panel she was writing about.

7. "It was a weird Belmont Stakes Day, from a horseplaying point of view as InterTrack Partners announced to patrons that it is closing the Jackson Street OTB, effective after this weekend," our man on the rail Thomas Chambers writes in TrackNotes. "I called it a few weeks ago, what with the declining level of service and all. I passed on the $35 buffet for Derby Day. Believe me, it's never worth $35, and that's a steep price these days."

8. The Five Dumbest Ideas of the Week.

9. The Rod & Patti Show.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Transparent.




Permalink

Posted on June 12, 2009


MUSIC - Roger Waters In Chicago.
TV - 24 Hours With Velocity.
POLITICS - Chicago's Unwelcoming Ordinance.
SPORTS - TrackNotes: Lazy Hazy Crazy Dog Days.

BOOKS - The Origins Of Environmental Bullshit.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Daisies.


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