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The [Friday] Papers

Posts on the CPS budget, Wrigley Field, and Alfonso Soriano still to come. Plus, rumor has it the Beachwood Bookmaking Bureau will be updating its Political Odds later today.


More Mell
Please see the updated The [Deb Mell] Papers now with material from the Beachwood vault and a comment from one of the other candidates whose last name was not Mell.


Torture City, USA
"It was almost 30 years ago when five Chicago police detectives working under disgraced former Cmdr. Jon Burge burst into Jerry Mahaffey's South Side apartment to question him in the home invasion, rape and slaying of a Rogers Park couple and near-fatal beating of their son," Jason Meisner reports for the Tribune.

"When Mahaffey denied knowledge of the attack, one detective punched him in the nose and another threw him into a wall and put a gun to his head, according to a court records. The detectives allegedly pummeled Mahaffey, nearly suffocated him with a plastic garbage bag and threatened to put his children in an orphanage. Mahaffey eventually confessed, was convicted and is serving life in prison.

"On Thursday, the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission found credible evidence that Chicago detectives had tortured Mahaffey - as well as four others sentenced to lengthy prison terms - into confessing to murder. Each of the five cases will now be assigned to a Cook County Criminal Court judge to decide whether a new trial is warranted.

"The commission has found 17 credible instances of torture since it began inquiries in 2011, and investigations into more than 100 additional claims continue, said David Thomas, the commission's executive director. New claims continue to come in 'at a fairly steady trickle,' he said Thursday.

"Four of the five cases filed Thursday involved Burge or detectives who worked on his infamous 'midnight crew.'"


"So far, the commission has ruled on 17 Burge cases, but Thomas said there are 100 pending claims," the Sun-Times reports.


In related news . . .

"Attorney General Eric Holder has assured Russia's justice minister that NSA leaker Edward Snowden, currently living at a Moscow airport, won't be tortured or face the death penalty if turned over to the U.S. Holder's pledge - aimed at persuading Russia to reject Snowden's application for asylum - came in a letter sent July 23 and released on Friday," Yahoo News reports.

"Mr. Snowden will not be tortured. Torture is unlawful in the United States," Holder wrote.

It says a helluva lot that such an assurance had to be made - especially under the presidency of Barack Obama.

Then again, Obama exchanged warm endorsements with Richard M. Daley, who was the Cook County State's Attorney while Burge committed his crimes and the mayor while the city denied those crimes took place and shelled out taxpayer money to defend Burge.



Oh, but it is.


Six Ways Congress May Reform NSA Snooping
The debate made possible by Edward Snowden, not the president.

RT Special Coverage: The Gitmo Hunger Strike
From the prison that just can't be closed.


Ward Heeler
"Nearly $110,000 a year wasn't enough for Patrick Ward - the Mike Madigan campaign worker at the center of Metra's patronage scandal," the Sun-Times reports.

"When Ward complained to the powerful state House speaker last year that he wanted a raise on top of his annual Metra salary of $57,000, Ward was already drawing at least $52,700 a year from a taxpayer-subsidized city pension, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.

"Pension and payroll records show Ward, now 57, began collecting retirement benefits in 2009 after 30 years of government service. He made $84,000 his final year of employment with the city and got an initial pension of $52,700. As he began collecting his pension, he also started working for Metra.

"The Sun-Times has also learned that when Ward then took a state job last May after leaving Metra he earned a 'special salary adjustment' guaranteeing him a double-digit pay hike to work in Gov. Pat Quinn's administration. The newspaper discovered the special salary adjustment despite the governor's assertion that 'no special treatment' was used to get Ward on the state payroll."


Well, to be fair, Ward didn't receive "special treatment" as such, just the usual treatment accorded to those of his species.

Oh, Sheila
Sheila Simon keeps name in news.

I just don't get why she would challenge the ever-popular Judy Baar Topinka for state comptroller instead of running for state treasurer, which is an open seat with Dan Rutherford running for governor. Not that I get why she ought to be either, but help me out, peeps, what am I missing?

Open Airport Secret
"I was surprised to hear [Crete Mayor Michael] Einhorn express a conspiracy theory similar to one espoused by former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who had first conceived of a private-public partnership to build the airport," Phil Kadner writes for the SouthtownStar.

"Jackson and Einhorn were far from being friends.

"But Jackson once told me that when his south suburban airport commission was soliciting bids from private developers, one of the largest construction firms in the world pulled out, telling him that the city of Chicago had threatened to never give them any business if they got involved in the airport."

That's just one way Richard M. Daley put the brick on the best economic development proposal for the South Side and its suburbs in decades. Here's another - which suddenly becomes all-the-more relevant:

"Jackson claimed it was Bill Daley who - as U.S. secretary of commerce under President Bill Clinton - got the FAA to put the third airport proposal in the deep freeze."


See also: Bill Daley Says Creating Jobs Will Be No. 1 Issue For Him.

To replace all those jobs that NAFTA cost us, or just the jobs you helped destroy during your time at JP Morgan?

Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
Egg, no slots.

The Chicago Personality According To . . .
. . . The Insufferable James Atlas.

The Week In Chicago Rock


The Beachwood Tip Line: Killer.


Posted on July 26, 2013

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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