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The [Friday] Papers

As I ask in Go Cohen! today, is Scott Lee Cohen really more of a disgrace on the Dem ticket than Alexi Giannoulias? At least Cohen earned his millions.


"In 2002, [infamous Chicago madam Rose] Laws was sentenced to 22 months in federal prison," John Kass writes today. "The circuit's Outfit protector, Michael 'Jaws' Giorango, was convicted of promoting a nationwide prostitution ring and sentenced to six months federal time.

"Even before his last prison stay, Giorango had reinvented himself as a real estate investor.

"He'd already been purchasing office buildings and renting space to politicians. His tenants included U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.; now-retired state Sen. Carol Ronen, D-Chicago, and state Rep. Harry Osterman, D-Chicago. He also received $11 million in loans from the Giannoulias family's Broadway Bank. The loans to Jaws were approved by Alexi Giannoulias."

The Green Line Panhandler
"Clarence Ervin had panhandled on CTA trains all night, and he looked like it," Jon Hilkevitch writes in the Tribune today.

"Cold and bleary-eyed, he said he was afraid of getting caught - a surprising sentiment for a man who has been arrested 178 times, according to police and court records.

"Ervin, 52, has amassed charges ranging from panhandling on trains and disorderly conduct to drug possession and assault and battery, the records show.

"He is a source of widespread fear among riders on the Green Line between the Loop and Oak Park."

I don't want to diminish Ervin's problems or the safety concerns of Green Line passengers, but you have to admire his pluck.


To those who say the unemployed are lazy, consider Ervin. It's hard work doing what he does every day.

Only In Chicago
"WHO was indicted? To sign up for breaking headlines text NEWS to 20101. TEXT ALERTS."

Facebook Feed
Matt Farmer is trying to broker a new sponsorship deal for Tiger Woods: Tiger Woods and Toyota -- "We're doing our best to learn how to stop."

Farmer's Dream
"Tonight, my friends, nearly 12% of the registered Democrats in the great State of Illinois have spoken with a strong and united voice. And so I stand before you this evening as the Democratic nominee to fill the U.S. Senate seat once held by my old basketball buddy, President Barack Obama," Matt Farmer writes in "Twelve Percent of the People Have Spoken" at Huffington Post.

"Despite their Herculean efforts, my two previously unknown opponents were only able to capture 54% of the vote from the roughly 30% of registered Democrats who actually made it to the polls. I, on the other hand, captured 39% of that slim turnout, which means that nearly 12% of registered Democrats in this state cared enough about me and my message to make me the party's nominee."

Daley's World I
"The largest female-owned subcontractor on Mayor Daley's multibillion-dollar O'Hare Modernization Project was hit with federal charges Thursday that accuse the company of illegally collecting more than $9.5 million in public contracts," the Sun-Times reports.

It's a good thing he's just the mayor, because with all his baggage Daley isn't even remotely qualified to run for lieutenant governor.

Daley's World II
"Mayor Daley made a last-ditch plea Thursday for CTA unions to make concessions to save 1,100 jobs and avert drastic service cuts set to take effect Sunday," the Sun-Times reports.

"'The people of Chicago are struggling to make ends meet,' Daley said. 'They need to get to work. They don't need service cuts. It's time for the CTA's unions to be a part of the solution.'"

Huh. That's funny, because . . .

"Robert Kelly, president of the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union Local 308, representing motormen, said he's been trying for weeks to schedule a meeting with Daley.

"'I find it awfully odd, 40 hours before the deadline, that he's reaching out to us, when I've been trying to reach out to him,' Kelly said."

And . . .

"'As late as last Wednesday, we made a very viable offer to give the CTA work-rule changes and concessions totaling between $50 million and $80 million,' Kelly said. 'They flat-out rejected it.'"

And . . .

"Last week, CTA unions said they'd offered concessions, only to have agency officials walk away, accusing them of lying. Sources said the deferred pay raises and furlough days the unions offered would have applied only to the 1,100 CTA employees targeted for layoffs, not to the entire unionized workforce, and that that wouldn't have provided enough savings."

I smell a rat. And I think you know who the rat is.

People's Dispatch
From the Beachwood mailbag:

"It's funny, a year after hope and change, I see an electorate with fewer energized members than ever. Except for the crazy right, which is always amped up on meth or something."

Bloodshot February
Andre Williams' cologne and a Robbie Fulks residency.

Yeah, He Said It!
Dis and dat, dem and dose. By George Ofman.

Teamwork, My Friend


The Beachwood Tip Line: Pwned.


Posted on February 5, 2010

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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