The [Friday] Papers
"Sheila Simon, daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, is Gov. Quinn's choice for a running mate, a top source told the Sun-Times."
A more accurate report would go something like this:
"In an effort to bend the state party's central committee to its will, the Quinn administration began telling reporters on Thursday that its top choice for lieutenant governor was Shiela Simon. The media strategy illustrates the tricky political problem of a sitting governor who does not have control over the selection of his running mate. With compliant reporters executing their portion of the machinations, party leaders - namely House Speaker Michael Madigan - now risk embarrassing Quinn (and themselves) by overruling his choice for the ticket."
Has anyone asked Quinn point-blank why he doesn't want to run with Art Turner?
And I don't mean asking why Quinn doesn't think the runner-up to Scott Lee Cohen should get automatically get the nod. I mean asking specifically why Art Turner is not the best choice.
Hell, Turner's more qualified than Quinn to be governor.
From the Sun-Times:
"Simon's not a complete newcomer to politics. She waged an unsuccessful bid for mayor of Carbondale in 2007 after serving on the college town's City Council."
"And President Obama featured her prominently in television commercials during his successful 2004 U.S. Senate run."
I guess that gives her the edge over Turner!
If Sheila Simon's name was Sheila Johnson . . .
Nothing new in Illinois politics, of course; just another example where a name associated with integrity is used cynically. Shame on not only Pat Quinn, but on Sheila Simon.
Sheila Simon's band. (Seriously.)
As The Clout List Turns
"Ald. Walter Burnett Jr., 27th, intervened in at least two cases involving his relatives in 2006. In one instance, the logs state he lobbied on behalf of a distant relative who, by her parents' own description, was 'highly intelligent but has lacked motivation until now.' The student's request to transfer to Morgan Park High School was granted without 'assistance' from the CPS central office, the logs note."
Message to kids: Don't worry about doing well now, just make sure you discover motivation when it's time to talk to our relative the alderman."
"In 2006, the logs indicate then-Ald. Isaac Carothers asked Duncan's office to consider an admissions request involving a political worker in a West Side group once led by Carothers. The political worker, a city employee, wanted his child transferred from Fenger Academy High School to Morgan Park.
"The child's father had contributed nearly $5,000 to the ward organization in the five years before the request, including a $375 donation about two weeks before Carothers intervened on the case, according to state records."
Just another Chicago Coincidence.
"Ald. Patrick O'Connor, 40th, wrote a letter on behalf of a Jones College Preparatory applicant who did not live in his ward and whose score was significantly below the average, according to the logs.
"Records show O'Connor sent his request through then-School Board President Michael Scott. The student was admitted to Jones.
"O'Connor said he didn't know the student or her family, so he assumes someone else asked him to intervene, as he occasionally did."
Huh, that's weird. O'Connor didn't know the student or the family, which didn't live in his ward. Does he write letters for just anyone?
"The student has a close relative who works for Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, records show."
Just another Chicago Coincidence!
"None of these letters said: 'Put her in this school,'" O'Connor said.
No, they said "Please admit her. I'll vouch for her."
"In 2008, Ald. Joe Moore, 49th, asked Duncan's office to reconsider an admissions case involving the relative of one of President Barack Obama's campaign advisers."
Which one? Names, please.
"The student's application to a prestigious public prep school was rejected, and the family said it was because he had missed too much school after falling ill with mononucleosis.
"CPS previously factored attendance into students' application score, but stopped doing so this year.
"The student's family did not live in 49th Ward, but the alderman said their families are old friends."
So instead of going to the alderman in their ward, the family went to the alderman who is an old friend. Get it?
"He did the responsible thing and stayed home as his doctor ordered," Moore said. "If he hadn't been sick he would have been admitted without a problem."
According to Joe Moore, member of the CPS ad hoc admissions panel.
"The student was admitted after Moore said he made three or four calls to Duncan's office."
"Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th, said that in 2008 he tried unsuccessfully to help the doorman of a condominium building in his ward get his daughter into Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy.
"The man, who does not live in the 44th Ward, was one of Tunney's employees in the early 1980s."
Sitting alderman who refused to comment: Burke.
Convicted ex-alderman who refused to comment: Carothers.
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Posted on March 26, 2010
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