The [Monday] Papers
"If you think you've seen the real Grease, think again," the Sun-Times reports this morning. "The familiar film and stage version millions fell in love with is the cleaned-up version of the musical written by Chicagoans Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.
"That earlier R-rated version, which debuted at the old Kingston Mines in 1971, was set on Chicago's Northwest Side (Rydell High is a stand-in for Taft High School) and dealt more realistically with the teenagers' working-class and ethnic backgrounds."
Maybe it's because I'm not from here - I moved to Chicago in 1992 - but I did not know that. And I find it very interesting.
"This is the story of a Hispanic woman who found she could make millions by selling goods to government agencies eager to do business with women and minorities - and did so with the help of some of Chicago's most well-connected Hispanic leaders, including a former chief of staff to Mayor Daley."
That would be Gery Chico.
Chico doesn't just represent anybody. He's one of the mayor's guys.
But I'm sure his involvement in this sorry saga is just a Chicago Coincidence. He didn't know nuttin'. Nobody ever knows nuttin'. In no other city is ignorance so richly rewarded.
"Chico - whose law firm has been paid $10,000 by Azteca since 2004, according to lobbyist reports he filed - doesn't want to talk about the company."
But oh what a company it is!
"Azteca doesn't make anything. Nor does it keep much in stock, federal authorities say.
"But it still has managed to get government contracts to provide everything from chemicals to treat Chicago's drinking water, to concrete pipes for O'Hare Airport's new runway. It has done work on the CTA Blue Line, Stroger Hospital and the Dan Ryan Expy. It has also gotten $638,000 to supply and dispose of feminine-hygiene products at O'Hare restrooms."
Is there nothing Azteca can't do?
"Over the last three years, city records show, Azteca and its seven employees have done a total of more than $30 million in business with City Hall."
Truthfully, that ten grand Chico's law firm has gotten from Azteca in the last three years ain't much. An insurance policy, perhaps. Or perhaps just the tip of a Chicago iceberg.
The Daley Show
The mayor never knows nuttin' - until he's forced to know sumptin'.
Planting Pritzker Park
Health Care Hogwash
"An equitable distribution of the spoils be damned."
* Beachwood Brackets '10! Updated round-by-round.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Rounded up.
Posted on March 22, 2010
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