The [Friday] Papers
My Blago column isn't quite ready; mostly it's a roundup of the best morsels I didn't get to this week, but I also address what's become a popular media meme at this juncture. I won't give away that one here; I do hope to finish that column today but I may not post it until Monday. We'll see, today is a fluxy day.
Meanwhile, plenty of other items.
Next: Tattoos not just for sailors anymore.
The MSM: Yesterday's trends tomorrow.
2. "[Michael] Tillman was freed from prison in January after spending more than 23 years in prison for the 1986 rape and murder of Betty Howard after special prosecutors declined to retry him, saying there was little evidence he committed the crime and ample evidence that his confession was coerced," the Tribune reports on page 9.
"Now it is Burge who faces prison following his federal conviction last month on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying in a lawsuit about ever knowing about or using torture to obtain confessions from criminal suspects.
"Tillman's lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court, repeated long-held claims against Detectives John Byrne, Peter Dignan, Ronald Boffo, Jack Hines, George Patton and the estate of the late Detective John Yucaitis as well as a host of police officials, prosecutors and city officials.
"The suit alleges that after his arrest on July 21, 1986, Tillman was beaten with a telephone book, smothered with a plastic bag and nearly suffocated by detectives who forced his head back and poured 7UP down his nose. He was also burned with a cigarette lighter and taken into a room where a detective pointed a gun at him and threatened to kill him 'like you killed that woman,' the suit said.
"Tillman allegedly confessed out of fear that he might die in police custody. He was sentenced to life in prison and remained there even though another man was convicted for the same murder two years later.
"The suit also singled out Daley - then the Cook County state's attorney - for his decision to seek the death penalty against Tillman despite having allegedly been made aware of allegations of torture against Burge and his crew years earlier."
3. "Love him or hate him, you have to give Mayor Daley credit: he doesn't hide from the public," Dane Placko reported this week for Fox Chicago News. "He usually makes a half-dozen appearances a week throughout the city.
"But what the mayor sees, and what people who live in those neighborhoods see is often quite different.
"A Fox Chicago News investigation found a small army of city workers from various departments swarming the places where the Mayor was planning a press conference. They were making the locations shiny and clean, picking up trash, slapping on fresh coats of paint, mowing the grass, trimming the hedges, and blowing leaves."
My favorite part is when Daley pulls out his scribbles to show off his famous attention to detail.
"The mayor is notorious for keeping notes when he sees something he doesn't like," Placko notes. "He whipped them out when we asked about all the cleaning up before he arrives.
"'I look at parks, trees down in Jackson Park, I look at abandoned cars,' he said. 'I question this, the graffiti over here. I do all this.'"
But when it comes to the details of something as trivial as city hiring, well, then Daley gets what John Kass likes to call Fedheimer's.
The man who once referred to his twice-convicted Streets and San boss as "my Al Sanchez" simply had no idea what his buddy was up to on his behalf!
And what was he up to?
In case you missed it:
"A federal jury on Wednesday found former Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez guilty of mail fraud in connection with a scheme to rig hiring for city jobs to favor politically connected applicants," the Tribune reported.
"Sanchez, who was de facto head of the HDO and led the city's largest department, was among the most powerful figures charged in the patronage hiring indictments."
Hardly a rogue figure.
But don't you always know the details, Mr. Mayor? And don't your men always follow orders, Mr. Mayor? I could have it read back to you . . .
4. "For at least a year, the Homeland Security Department detoured hundreds of requests for federal records to senior political advisers for highly unusual scrutiny, probing for information about the requesters and delaying disclosures deemed too politically sensitive, according to nearly 1,000 pages of internal e-mails obtained by The Associated Press."
Speaking of eerily familiar; an Axelrod-Heard special right out of Chicago City Hall.
5. "The minute you walk into the two-story building at 4407 W. Madison St., hundreds of thousands of records surround you from the floor to the ceiling," Nicholas Myers writes at AustinTalks. "You have entered West Garfield Park's Out of the Past Records. Since 1986, owners Marie and Charlie Henderson have been amassing one of the area's largest collections of records. But their music history goes much deeper."
7. Facebook Feed: John Kuczaj is thinking about using his $100 city property tax rebate to buy a gun.
8. The Week in WTF: Blago, Channel 2, the Cubs.
10. "Chicago sports fans have - or think they have - stood on the precipice of extinction with their teams through the years," our man on the rail Thomas Chambers writes.
"After George Halas banished the Chicago Cardinals, generations of Daleys said and meant 'fine' when the Bears used to threaten to leave in order to get a better stadium deal or a stadium itself. Jerry Reinsdorf made the same threat, at least publicly, and maybe he was Tonto doing the dirty work so Jim Thompson could mount Silver with his Lone Ranger bit, all a part of the power-brokers' mating ritual. The Cubs, in a moment of pure 'Cubbie,' threatened to move to the suburbs.
"But what if you walk into a sporting venue under the real cloud that it very well may cease to operate in the foreseeable future?
"How do you reconcile the magnificence of Arlington Park with the ills the Thoroughbred game suffers?
"Even with Saratoga and Belmont in the same boat, there is no greater imbalance in the relationship between the high quality of the environment versus the low quality of the product than Arlington. There is worse Thoroughbred racing between our shores, but that's how nice and comfortable the AP plant really is. It soars."
11. Final Postcards From Pitchfork: This is what it's all about, people.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Buffered.
Posted on July 23, 2010
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