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The [Monday] Papers

"The fine print in a contract between Illinois and Motorola Mobility indicates that the smartphone company can maintain a smaller workforce than the one it employs today and still qualify for more than $110 million in financial incentives designed to keep the company's workers in the state," the Tribune reports.

Wait, what?

"In May, Gov. Pat Quinn announced that the state put up the incentives to persuade Motorola Mobility to keep its corporate headquarters in Libertyville and retain about 3,000 jobs.

"What was not disclosed at the time is that the agreement specifically requires Motorola Mobility to retain a workforce here of 2,500 workers. The company disclosed in the contract that it employs 3,290 people at its locations in Libertyville and Chicago, which therefore allows it to reduce the size of its workforce and still get the credits."

Wait, what?

"That detail was contained in the state's contract with Motorola Mobility, one of 10 tax incentive contracts the state provided to the Chicago Tribune as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request. Motorola Mobility's contract represents about half of the $217 million in tax credit deals the state has made this year.

"The governor says the state has an 'oral' agreement with the company to keep 3,000 jobs in Illinois."

Oh lord. You might as well have an oral agreement to hire a million people and give them all lollipops. Doesn't the state employ lawyers anymore?

*

I was always proud of my nickname for the last governor: Governor Baloneyvich. Now I'm particularly proud of my moniker for the current governor: Patsy Quinn. (For awhile, I was using Governor Gumby.)

An even bigger disappointment than Barack Obama, whom I had figured from the get-go.

*

"The contract also includes a clause that Motorola Mobility is not required to hire any workers to qualify for the incentives. But if it does, the company could keep 100 percent of the taxes the new employees would have paid the state."

The contract also includes a clause requiring Quinn to wash the cars in Motorola Mobility's parking lot every Friday so they look shiny for the weekend.

*

"Since taking office, Quinn has pledged $547 million in tax credits over 10 years to more than 120 projects."

Good thing we didn't elect Bill Brady!

*

"He said the programs are needed as the state battles an 8.9 percent unemployment rate and fends off other states hoping to lure away companies."

Quinn praised Motorola Mobility for orally agreeing to only add 790 people to the unemployment rolls in exchange for $110 million.

*

Quinn must not be paying attention to what's going on with Chicago Public Schools, which just rescinded teacher raises promised in a signed contract.

*

Memo to Groupon: Pat Quinn's Daily Deal!

Quinn's Candy Store
"Sears Holdings Corp., owner of the Sears and Kmart retail chains, is considering the Washington area as a place to relocate its corporate headquarters, according to two people familiar with the company's plans," the Washington Post reports (via Capitol Fax)

"The company is one of more than 100 in Illinois with tax breaks that are scheduled to expire and last month suggested that it would considering leaving. It has reportedly been considering several states including Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina and Texas."

Why wouldn't every company in Illinois line up at Quinn's candy store?

*

"When Sears Holdings Corp. rattled Illinois last month by saying it was considering moving its headquarters out of state, Gov. Pat Quinn promised he would find a way to keep the retailer around," AP reported last week.

"It's a potentially costly scenario that could be repeated more than 100 times over the next three years.

"Tax-break deals with 107 companies will expire in 2012, 2013 and 2014, according to records obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information request. Those deals, worth more than $100 million, run out at a time when other states view Illinois as a prime target for poaching after this year's tax increases stirred unhappiness in the state's business community."

*

Hey, for $100 million I'll create twice as many jobs as any other company in the state. Promise.

*

And by the way, let's not let the companies themselves off the hook. How can they complain about budget deficits (and crappy public schools) when they're looting the store?

The Flip Side
Also from Cap Fax: Quinn Again Tries To Strip Workers Of Their Union Cards.

Good thing we didn't elect Bill Brady!

Health Wealth
"The parent of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois raked in $1.1 billion in profit last year, a doubling of 2009's results that is likely to stoke the controversy over skyrocketing health insurance costs," Crain's reports.

This is personally heartwarming to read given that I had to drop my bare-bones Blue Cross plan last year after a price hike that was just a bridge too far for my budget.

"The robust financial performance comes amid nationwide criticism of the health insurance industry, which is basking in record profits thanks to double-digit premium increases and reduced claims, as budget-minded consumers put off going to the doctor."

Can't wait 'til the federal government forces me to buy a policy.

*

By the way, I've always been in favor of mandatory health care. But you have to pair that with a single-payer system or at least a public option. Obamacare is the worst of all worlds.

Moreno's Morals
"Felice 'Phil' Vanaria is a convicted felon and political operative, ordered to get treatment for a sex addiction after he demanded a young woman perform a sex act for a non-existent county job he promised," the Sun-Times reports.

"After his conviction, a judge banned him from doing political work.

"But that didn't stop him from getting hired as a fundraiser for Cook County Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno before the February primary last year."

Here's the best part:

"Moreno hired Vanaria for the 2010 election campaign, even though Vanaria had been prohibited by a judge from doing political work during his probation.

"Moreno said he had not known about the prohibition then but would have hired him anyway to fundraise because it's not political work.

"'Political work I consider [as] working precincts, knocking on doors, getting out the votes,' Moreno said in the deposition. 'Fundraising is fundraising.'"

Right. Is there any work that is more political than fundraising?

*

"Over the decades, Vanaria has had several county jobs, including as an aide to Moreno in his county office - and a trail of allegations against him that he has pressured women for sex in exchange for jobs or favors . . .

"As for Moreno, he said he did not look at Vanaria's resume or check his background or even see his application when he initially hired him as an assistant in his government office. Moreno didn't care if the county did a background check on him because Vanaria was a loyal, honest political worker."

But he wasn't hired to do political work.

*

"'I wanted the person hired, I really didn't care,' Moreno said in the deposition, although he later added he wouldn't have hired Vanaria in his government office if he had known about the history of allegations against him. Moreno, though, did later hire him for fundraising work."

Rahm's War on Teachers
Who's really getting the shaft?

What Rahm Wants You To Read
The Beachwood has learned of his first One Book, One Chicago picks.

Alsip's Blind Mechanic
He also owns the joint.

No Baseball, Daddy
Even Marty's three-year-old knew the Cubs were playing some other game.

Station Identification
World's Greatest Newspaper TV.

As In Wreck
Where have you gone, Bill Veeck? A lonely baseball nation turns its eyes to you.

The Weekend in Chicago Rock
Chock-full, people.

Programming Note
If it's Monday, I'm back behind the bar at the venerable Beachwood Inn. And it is, so I am. Please join us for a rousing night of jukebox favorites, cold beer, and witty banter. Doors open at 5 p.m., close at 2 a.m.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Like good chuck.




Permalink

Posted on June 20, 2011


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Vizio Settles Spying Complaints.
POLITICS - WikiLeaks Reveals Staggering Breadth Of CIA Hacking.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Butt Fumbles.

BOOKS - Bannon, The Best And The Brightest.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.


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