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The [Friday] Papers

"Weis has four cops who confronted Ardelean after he'd been drinking at a bar and miraculously didn't detect any alcohol or notice anything else," the Tribune says today. "He needs to call them in, one by one, and decide for himself what really happened. And then he needs to make his findings public."

Agreed. But Weis doesn't seem so inclined.

"On Wednesday, Weis reacted to the Ardelean ruling. 'I mean, courts rule,' he said. 'I may not agree with it, but it really doesn't matter what I think about it.'

"Yes, it does matter what you think, Superintendent Weis. More than that, it matters what you do. The issue isn't so much what happened in court. The issue is what happened on the street at Damen and Oakdale."

* The Curious Case of Chicago Cop John Ardelean.

Walmart Whitewash
In its latest sop job to one of the nastiest retailers in the world, the Tribune repeated the frequent assertion that only the munificent Walmart was willing to build in Pullman Park.

"The project's backers weren't eager to take on the political headaches that come from aligning with Wal-Mart in Chicago," the Trib says. "They approached other retailers to anchor Pullman Park - Jewel, Dominick's, Costco, Target, Ikea. 'They all said no thanks,' [Daley guy David] Doig said."

Ald. Anthony Beale says the same thing, but Hunter Clauss reports in the Reader that "not everyone is buying his version of events - starting with the very retailers who supposedly spurned him."

Clauss took the extraordinary step - after all these years of debate - of actually asking other retailers if this was true. Guess what?

''[R]epresentatives for several of those retailers told me they were never approached by Beale, the site's developer, or anyone else about opening a new store in Pullman."

Jewel? Nope.

Target? Nope.

Ikea? Nope.

Costco? Nope.

Doig insisted to Clauss that he worked through a broker who provided him with reports of contacts with retailers other than Walmart. Then he refused to show Clauss the reports.

Beale accused the retailers of "playing games" with Clauss and insisted he worked with union leaders to find an alternative to Walmart. Union leaders say they worked with Beale on a different project, not Pullman Park.

The first mistake many reporters make is in presuming the premise presented to them is true; then they spend their time getting "reaction" and writing within the frame of that premise. But the premise is the first thing that should be questioned.

Our Todd
The Chicago Reporter comes along at just the right time with a campaign video it dug out of the archives of a long succession of Illinois pols and wonks predicting what a great Cook County president Todd Stroger would be.

It's true nearly every person on it looks incredibly grim while making their endorsement, but it's still gotta be embarrassing for folks like Larry Suffredin, Tom Dart and John Fritchey, who were the most immediately recognizable to me. (Not on this particular video: Barack Obama endorsing Stroger as "a good, progressive Democrat.")

That's Desiree!
"'Clearly, Washington had never seen anything like you before,' moderator Gloria Scoby, senior vice president of Crain Communications, told Rogers."


In all of Washington, D.C.'s history, no one like Desiree Rogers had breezed into town!

"That's for sure," Rogers said.

Oh, whatever town can hold her?!

Deja Bush
"The Obama administration is seeking to compel a writer to testify about his confidential sources for a 2006 book about the Central Intelligence Agency, a rare step that was authorized by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.," the New York Times reports.

Brady's Bunch
"Republican governor candidate Sen. Bill Brady today said he will not revisit the issue of the way he released income-tax information to the public last week and defended his decision not to release copies of his tax returns," the Tribune reports.

"'I think we've often criticized governors for not living in Springfield, not being in the state capital,' Brady said, referring to complaints raised about disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's avoidance of Springfield. 'We picked a location - the state of Illinois' capital.'"

The Brady campaign also announced that from now on, all of its campaign e-mails and website postings must be viewed in Springfield too.

FOIA Rollback
"Another exemption to the state's new Freedom of Information Act is headed to the governor," AP reports.

"House Bill 5154, approved by a 45-9 vote in the Senate today, would prohibit the release of employee performance evaluations. The bill already cleared the House and now gets Gov. Pat Quinn's review."

Or, to put it another way:

"Less then five months after Gov. Pat Quinn signed what he called a major new law to open up government, lawmakers are moving to keep information about public employees secret," an Illinois Statehouse News report says.

"Melissa Hahn, president of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association . . . said performance evaluations can be used to protect favored workers or punish workers who toe the line. And Hahn said by keeping those evaluations secret, taxpayers will never know the difference.

"This is usually used as a way to root out corruption, and it's a way for journalists and the public to try to find some sort of evidence of that," Hahn said.


"HB 5154 is not the first roll back of the new FOIA law. Lawmakers approved a similar carve-out for teachers and principals as part of a deal with teachers unions for the federal Race to the Top education funding program. Illinois never received any Race to the Top money, but lawmakers made the FOIA change anyway."

Hunger Strike
"I know anything off a Wendy's dollar menu is cheaper and tastier than a whole head of lettuce, and takes no prep time; I also know that's why so many of us have become lard-assed Type II diabetics," our very own Scott Buckner writes in What I Watched Last Night: Food, Inc.

Derby Tout
"This race borders on, or has already become, what they call inscrutable. There's no rhyme, reason, form, trends, tendencies or strengths to depend on," our man on the rail Thomas Chambers writes in TrackNotes. He builds a betting plan nonetheless.

Bleacher Bum B.S.
There are no bleacher bums anymore; let's get that straight.


The Beachwood Tip Line: A good bet.


Posted on April 30, 2010

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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