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The [Friday] Papers

"Starting in 2015, tens of thousands of Chicagoans will find themselves in new wards with a different alderman under a remap adopted by a 41-8 vote and no public hearing," the Tribune reports.

In other words: The City Council Just Secretly Redrew Your Ward.

"Once there were five candidates for Cook County judge in a Southwest Side district dominated by Democratic boss Mike Madigan," John Kass writes in the Tribune.

"There was the incumbent judge, who had been a criminal attorney for 20 years before his appointment last year. There was also an attorney for the city of Chicago, a public defender and an assistant Illinois attorney general. And there was that fifth candidate, who suffered from an acute shortage of legal experience.

"But what does experience matter when it comes time to don the black robes and dance along The Chicago Way?

"Though short on courtroom time, the fifth candidate did have something more valuable: oodles of political chops. And he had the Mount Olympus of political hack jobs, executive director of the Cook County employee pension fund. But his most outstanding qualification was that his father was the political brain (and fist) of former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

"So guess how many candidates are left on the ballot now? If you said 'just one,' meaning the political guy with the father with the clout, you'd be right.


"The Democratic Party of Illinois is proud to work with Illinoisans in every region of the state to elect our candidates to federal, state and local offices in the November 6, 2012 election. At this time of tremendous challenge for our state and nation, we believe Democrats offer the best vision, programs and policies to set the course for a brighter future."

- Michael J. Madigan, Democratic Party of Illinois Chairman


"Political bank accounts controlled by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan received more than $1.5 million in campaign contributions in the final three months of 2011, records filed with state elections officials showed Tuesday," the Tribune reports.

"The donations gave Madigan, the state Democratic chairman and longest-serving leader of the House, more than $2.27 million in campaign cash to start 2012 - an election year in which all 118 House seats are up for election.

"Among the top donors to the Friends of Michael J. Madigan and Democratic Majority political funds were various political action committees tied to the Laborers' union with at least $147,000 in contributions. The Associated Firefighters of Illinois PAC donated at least $95,000, while the Health Care Council of Illinois PAC gave at least $85,000, campaign records showed."

Hull Mull
"The need for its services is as strong as ever, but after years of rising costs and dwindling income from fundraising the Jane Addams Hull House Association will close and file for bankruptcy, the agency said today," the Tribune reports.

Unlike the chairman of the state political party that advocates for the poor, Hull House's cupboard is bare.

Bummer, dude!
"Aon Corp.'s headquarters move to London from Chicago is supposed to benefit shareholders by lightening the company's tax burden and raising its earnings," Crain's reports.

"But the maneuver appears as if it will have precisely the opposite effect on one of Aon's largest shareholders, company founder and retired Chairman Patrick Ryan. If shareholders approve the move, Mr. Ryan is expected to get a tax bill in the tens of millions, based on a reading of the company's registration statement, filed Jan. 13 with the Securities and Exchange Commission."


"Mr. Ryan and his spokeswoman didn't respond to repeated requests for comment."

Maybe they were having soup down at Hull House.

Ghost Of Lawsuits Future
"The city of Chicago is in talks to settle a case with almost 900 people who were arrested and detained in 2003 during a protest at the beginning of the Iraq war," WBEZ reports. "The demonstration was a spontaneous response to the outbreak of the war so there was no set route. Police escorted the large crowd up Lake Shore Drive, but the march ended in confusion

"Attorney Joey Mogul says some protestors got caught between two lines of police with no way to disperse and almost everyone was arrested."

See also: The Constitutional Substitute For Revolution.

Dixie Kicks
"Bulldozers soon may finish what Jake and Elwood started more than 30 years ago: the destruction of the Dixie Square Mall," the Tribune reports.

"The mall has been vacant since John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd raced through it with police cars in hot pursuit, scattering extras and laying waste to much of the 600,000 square feet of retail space in an iconic chase scene from the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.

"In the decades since, vandals and the elements nearly finished the job, while officials in south suburban Harvey have tried - at least a dozen times - to find someone to redevelop a site that has become both the city's bleakest eyesore and most famous landmark."


I'll never forget the time I was with Jesse Jackson Jr. in his SUV and he just drove on through the ravaged remains of that place. Here was the scene from my 2005 Jackson profile in Chicago magazine:

"This is the Dixie Square Mall," he announces, pulling into a parking lot in Harvey, the next stop on his district tour. "This mall has not been the same since Jake and Elwood Blues drove through it on a mission from God to get to an orphanage in downtown Chicago. That was the last time anything ever happened here."

The mall looks as if it had been struck by a tornado - multiple times. "I don't think we should drive in there," [aide Rick] Bryant says, as Jackson maneuvers the SUV down the mall's onetime concourse, debris crackling under his tires. There is still a patchwork roof overhead. "This mall didn't die because the roof collapsed," Jackson says. "It died for want of someone shopping in it. This mall has collapsed and failed because the service-based economy has not made it to Harvey yet."

That's why, for Jackson, the mall is really about the airport. "People [won't be] flying to the Abraham Lincoln airport because they want to get to Peotone," he says. "People [will be] flying into Abraham Lincoln because they can't get into [O'Hare]. I want them to fly into this airport to get them to drive through Harvey to get to Chicago. And when it comes to Harvey, I want to shake them down at my mall," he says with a laugh. And for Jackson, the only way to make that particular dream a reality is to land the airport.

JBTV Bad, Nationwide
Will now hit 14 markets across the country.

The Week in Chicago Rock
Young Distractions, Billy Joe Shaver, Robbie Fulks, Advance Base, Surfer Blood, Two Gallants, The Dance Party.

Cabrini Greens
The Chicago Lights Urban Farm.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Remap your brain.


Posted on January 20, 2012

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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