The [Monday] Papers
2. Sassy Snowmen.
4. If it's Monday, that means it's almost time for Beachwood Monday Night! Once again I'll be behind the bar at the venerable Beachwood Inn slinging ice cold Old Styles and shaving a buck off your bottom shelf selections. The jukebox is already warming up.
5. "Two professors of finance are giving a sharp rap on the knuckles to Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and other major cities," ABC News reports. "Their warning: Better fix your pension problems fast."
6. The Chicago French Market: Neither Chicago, French or Marketable. Discuss.
8. "When Carol Moseley Braun needed money for her new business, the onetime U.S. senator and ambassador - now one of the big names in the race for Chicago mayor - turned to a former campaign contributor for help," the Sun-Times reports.
"Joseph Stroud, a millionaire TV station owner from Oak Brook, came through in August 2006 with a $250,000 loan for her company, Ambassador Organics, a line of coffees, teas and spices.
"That was about nine months after Stroud - the owner of WJYS-Channel 62, a station that fills its airtime with paid religious programming, health shows and infomercials - was found liable of harassing a former employee in a racially charged court case that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld last month."
"The case stemmed from Stroud's firing of a woman named Jerri Blount in October 2000. Blount - who, like Stroud, is black - had taken the side of a white woman, fired by Stroud's company, who then filed a federal discrimination lawsuit.
"After being fired herself, Blount sued Stroud. She testified that he got mad at her for backing her co-worker, called her an 'ignorant n-----' and told her she shouldn't 'side with' the other woman because 'white people' have 'done nothing for her.'
"Blount also testified that, another time, Stroud 'started screaming at her and told her that she needed to know who she was 'up against,' asserting that he was 'one of the richest n-----s in the world," and that she did not know who she was 'f---ing with,'' according to an appeals court ruling. 'Stroud also stated that he could cause her to cease to exist."
Now where have I heard Joseph Stroud's name before?
Aha, here it is, from Roland Burris's appearance before state legislators to explain his appointment to the U.S. Senate:
DURKIN: Do you know a man named Joseph Stroud?
REP. JIM DURKIN: Mr. Stroud made a $1.2 million contribution to the Burris campaign [in 2002] under Telephone USA Investments. It is the single largest campaign contribution in state history. The only other person to receive a campaign contribution from Telephone USA ever was Rod Blagojevich in 2006 for $100,000.
BURRIS' ATTORNEY: Are you suggesting the senator is part of a telephone company?
DURKIN: I want to understand who Joseph Stroud is.
BURRIS: Mr. Stroud made a loan to the Burris for Governor campaign. That loan is still outstanding. That's all I know about that situation.
DURKIN: Has Mr. Stroud forgiven the loan?
BURRIS: The campaign committee no longer exists. I have no way of repaying the money, and I have not heard from Mr. Stroud.
REP. JILL TRACY: What kind of business is Mr. Stroud in?
BURRIS: He owns TV stations.
ME: Hence the name of his company, Telephone USA Investments.
TRACY: Does he have any contracts with the state of Illinois?
BURRIS: I have no idea.
TRACY: Are you in contact with him?
BURRIS: I see him socially.
TRACY: Have you talked about the loan?
BURRIS: It has never come up.
ME: What's $1.2 million between friends?
Also, about Moseley-Braun's organic coffee company, from the Sun-Times:
"In March, she put her house up for sale, later explaining she didn't need such a big home after her grown son had decided not to go ahead with plans to move in with her. Asking price: $1.9 million - $200,000 more than she bought it for in December 2006.
"Now, Braun acknowledges that the recession has hurt her company, which she launched in 2005. She says, 'I began my small organic coffee and tea company at the beginning of the recession and have fought, like many other small-business owners, to hold on.'"
That would be Good Food Organics, which includes the brand Ambassador Organics.
Apparently the self-described "recovering politician" has relapsed.
From her first and only blog entry, February 2009: "I am going to try to update my blog on a weekly basis."
I will say I think Moseley-Braun actually has a decent chance in this campaign and is being underestimated by folks like one of our resident geniuses who recently wrote "[T]o my surprise, I saw media outlets conveying Moseley Braun's opinions, as if they were significant news," and "I feel terrible subjecting Moseley Braun to this - it'll be far easier when the field is narrowed down to electable candidates."
CMB is likely to be the sole woman on the ballot (apparently Patricia Van Pelt Watkins hasn't been bounced yet) and possibly the only liberal African American, given that Rev. James Meeks is a conservative and Danny Davis may be out soon. She's smart and a great speaker. I'm not endorsing her; in fact, I think she'd be a disaster. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have a better chance than she's being given.
She's also got some Daley henchmen by her side - as several candidates seem to have - and campaign manager Mike Noonan is a real piece of work.
Then again, maybe she's just a decoy.
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Posted on December 13, 2010
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