The [Monday] Papers
By Steve Rhodes
2. Connect the dots, people.
Did it ever occur to anyone that China is taking over the world by poisoning the children of its enemies?
3. "At a Democratic debate last Thursday, embattled incumbent Todd Stroger boasted he hadn't raised taxes during his first term, apparently forgetting the unpopular penny-on-the-dollar sales tax hike he championed - a pivotal issue that could cost him his job," the Sun-Times reports.
"Pressed about it after the debate, Stroger said his opponents have been behind tax and fee hikes."
There's nothing I could write that would be funnier than that.
A faithful Beachwood reader responds: "Wait, how many PR professionals has Todd Stroger hired? So many that it shouldn't be up to him to be any good at it."
Or this: "The exclusive invitation-only meeting was to 'give his three-year report' and 'talk about his upcoming election,' his camp explained.
"As reporters waited for the board president to arrive, they grilled Williams about such things as Stroger barely using social media as part of his campaign, and why he wanted to turn to the Black Press seemingly only after he felt he'd gotten a whipping from other local media outlets. Reporters also asked how much money Stroger, who quit his job as 8th Ward alderman to run for the county board presidency after his father, John H. Stroger Jr., suffered a debilitating stroke, has in his campaign coffers.
"Most questions could not be answered, though Williams was able to tell which city wards and Chicagoland areas Stroger is expected to win in the Feb. 2 primary and where the campaign needed to pick up steam."
Also: "During a candidate forum in northwest suburban Palatine last week, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger boasted about how he worked to keep politics out of hiring," the Sun-Times reports.
"'We are not under any investigations,' Stroger said, drawing scattered laughter from the crowd. 'No one - there's been no person under my watch who has been given a subpoena'."
"But last summer, the Cook County state's attorney's office subpoenaed the Stroger administration's finance records for 2008 - when Stroger's cousin, Chief Financial Officer Donna Dunnings, was running the show - for a grand jury investigation. It was unclear late last week whether the probe was ongoing.
"But months before the subpoenas were issued, Stroger fired Dunnings amid questions about her dealings with county patronage worker and onetime busboy Tony Cole."
I saw Stroger PR creature Chinta Strausberg interviewing Stroger campaign manager Vince Williams on a public-access cable-TV show the other night (ostensibly called The Strausberg Report). Williams once again questioned the validity of the Tribune's polling. If Stroger has 98 percent name recognition, Wiliams mused, how could he only have a 10 percent approval rating? That, Williams said, was evidence that the Trib had slanted its poll against Stroger.
At 98 percent name recognition, Williams said, Stroger's approval rating should be more like 20 or 30 or 40 percent.
Williams also claimed that the Trib pollster has a history of helping Republicans. Among the candidates he cited: Mel Reynolds, Jane Byrne and Patrick O'Connor. All Democrats.
Strausberg on Todd: "He's carrying on Papa Stroger's legacy."
4. "Terry O'Brien, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District president, is vowing to repeal the remaining half cent of the county's 2008 sales tax hike and an end to the county's tax-and-spend attitude. But after the Thursday debate, he acknowledged the MWRD levy went up by $9 million last year."
5. "Goldner, who declined requests for an interview, is heading the effort to bring video gambling to Chicago under the name Back to Work Illinois, a company he created in late November," the Sun-Times reports.
"He ran Daley's re-election campaign in 2003 and was once a top aide to Victor Reyes, when Reyes ran Daley's patronage office and the now-defunct Hispanic Democratic Organization political army."
6. "Emanuel, a longtime Daley ally, was elected to Congress with the help of political workers loyal to the mayor and who got city jobs and promotions after campaigning for Daley and politicians he supported, according to guilty pleas in a federal probe of illegal hiring at City Hall," the Tribune reports. "Emanuel said he did not know who ordered the patronage workers into the field on his behalf."
Old Chicago Way axiom: We don't want nobody nobody sent.
New Chicago Way axiom: We don't want to know who nobody sent.
7. "Mayor Richard Daley on Saturday suspended his fleet commissioner after the city awarded vehicle repair work to a man convicted nearly 30 years ago of falsifying work orders on Chicago Police Department vehicles and giving kickbacks to city workers," the Tribune reports.
"Someone should have had knowledge of this event that took place in the '70s or '80s," Daley said.
That presumes "someone" was unaware of the man's past.
"Daley said he 'definitely' will change city forms that ask contractors about convictions only within the last five years," the Sun-Times reports.
8. "Mayor Richard Daley opened the new Fullerton 'L' station on the Brown and Red lines Saturday and said the United States should follow China's example on modernizing infrastructure," the Sun-Times reports.
"'If you travel to China, they do these things continually, on a daily basis,' Daley said. 'They get the full cooperation at the federal, state, and local levels and their infrastructure projects are amazing. It doesn't take them 10 or 20 or 30 years. It takes about four or five years.'
"Reminded that China's political system allows the central government to dictate infrastructure plans with little opportunity for local leaders to dissent, Daley said, 'The form of government has nothing to do with it. . . . How did they figure that 25-year infrastructure plan is important for them and we only do one year? It isn't government - it's the people thinking 25 years ahead'."
Refer back to item No. 2, people. I'm telling you . . .
9. The Hawks and Bulls go sour. In SportsMonday.
10. "One night at the beginning of the holiday season, a group of five came in. One of the women was obviously not in shape to drink more alcohol. The server was told by the manager on duty to tell her she could not order an alcoholic drink from us. This did not go over well. The group threatened to leave and the manager told them they could go ahead. The conversation went something like this. You may want to skip over this if you're not a fan of profanity."
12. Darling Neko. The videos are tremendous.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Manchurian.
Posted on January 11, 2010
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