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The [Monday] Papers

Anita Alvarez is unraveling faster than the Bears.

If you watched 60 Minutes last night, you know what I mean.

I hope to have more on this later - I got sidetracked this morning - but here's the video and transcript from Rich Miller and Eric Zorn.

Sandi Occupying?
Is Sandi Jackson running for her husband's old congressional seat after all?

Astonishingly, she told Mark Konkol of DNAinfo Chicago that she's still considering.

That possibility seemed to have fallen off the table in the last month or so, so what's up?

1. We'd know more if Konkol told readers how his "exclusive" interview came about. Did Sandi's PR people call him? Or did he catch her unawares?

2. We'd also know more if Konkol described her tenor - did she seem cagey? And how does she square having talks with Steny Hoyer even as she says she has "more pressing priorities" right now?

3. Is the possibility of her running leverage in her husband's plea bargain negotiations? Or any she herself might be having?

4. Is she trying to leverage influence among the current candidates?

In other words, the real story is the story behind the story. And we don't know what that story is yet.


The Beachwood Bookmaking Bureau has the chances of Sandi replacing Junior at just 1 percent. That's sure to change when the Political Odds are updated later today.

Judge Dread
"Richard J. 'R.J.' Vanecko, a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, made his first court appearance Monday since being indicted on an involuntary manslaughter charge in the 2004 death of David Koschman, and his case was assigned to a judge who once worked for Daley in the Cook County state's attorney's office," the Sun-Times reports.

That's what happens when the Democratic Party of Cook County Central Committee shapes the bench - you can use a randomizer machine all you want but the arrow's still gonna stop at Daley.

"Associate Cook County Judge Arthur F. Hill Jr. also was a top deputy to Daley's successor as state's attorney, Richard Devine, whose handling of the Koschman case remains under investigation by a special prosecutor."

I have to admit that Michael Toomin, the judge who ordered the special prosecutor in this case, had some ties of conflict too, and look what he did. But still.


"Hill - who was randomly chosen to hear the case - is a former juvenile court judge who was a high-ranking prosecutor when Daley was state's attorney. He held positions under Daley including chief of the juvenile section, and later Daley appointed him to the CTA board.

"Before being appointed as a judge in 2003, Hill also was first assistant state's attorney under Devine."


Here's the Sun-Times ABC7 Chicago video of Vanecko appearing in court (the Sun-Times video was a runaway train showing various other stories as well):


Bar Scar
"Charges have been filed against a man who allegedly jumped out of a bathroom stall at a Wrigleyville bar and stabbed a man in the neck early Sunday morning, police said," the Tribune reports.

The assailant must not be related to Daley.

Freddie's Ocean
"Fred Eychaner was first invited to President Barack Obama's White House in June 2009. He was back in June 2010 for a meeting with senior adviser David Axelrod and in March of this year as a guest at a state dinner honoring U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron," Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

"In the past four years, Eychaner visited the White House seven times, and the president named him a trustee for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, a reflection of his interest in and philanthropy for the arts, especially ballet.

"It's a lot of attention for a man who backed then-Senator Hillary Clinton over Obama in the 2008 primary campaign, and it paid off this year when the reclusive Chicago printer, radio station owner and investor became the top individual Democratic campaign donor - including $4.5 million given to a pro-Obama super political action committee. There's also potential for future dividends if he continues to write large checks to Democratic super-PACs in the 2014 midterm elections and beyond."

It's okay when Democrats do it.


"Rarely interviewed or photographed, Eychaner lives an apparently frugal life, with the notable exception of his multimillion-dollar home. In the mid-2000s, he was driving a Ford Escort and has since upgraded to a Ford Escape."

A few photos exist, though none of his car.


From Forbes in 2002:

Low-profile? Not Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner. He has given away millions of dollars to the Democratic Party and to the Joffrey Ballet. But just try to snap his picture. In 1997, when his alma mater, Northwestern University, honored him along with 75 other graduates, Eychaner was the only one of the group who didn't contribute a photograph. "We put out an all-points bulletin for a picture," says Associate Dean Richard Roth. "There wasn't one. We assume he exists."


Donor profile.

Wild Bill's Hiccup
"Christie Hefner, former chief executive officer of Playboy Enterprises Inc., said she was shocked as her husband of 15 years, William Marovitz, confessed to her that he was being investigated for suspicious trading in Playboy shares. They were in their apartment atop a 42-story Lincoln Park tower overlooking the glittering Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan on a March evening in 2010," Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

"He told me he had been contacted by the SEC," Hefner said later in testimony before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which didn't accuse her of any wrongdoing.

"And when did you learn your husband owned shares of Playboy?" she was asked.

"In that conversation," she replied.

Bus Jihad
"Conservative blogger Pamela Geller has purchased more ad space at New York City subway stops and Metro North stations displaying anti-Islam messages," CBS2 New York reports.

Those ads are here too, as the Sun-Times (and others) reported last month.

My friend Tracy Siska of the Chicago Justice Project took this pic last week and sent it to me.



The Best Damn Thing The CTA Does
The totally awesome holiday train.

Obama's America
* The Senate's Secret Report On CIA Torture.
* Primer: Indefinite Detention And The NDAA.

The Pope vs. Justin Bieber
And the Mayans. In QT.

Heather's Last Country Calendar Show
We are sad.

Here's the video.

Happiness Is Like A Slippery Football . . .
. . . And Chris Ware Is Awesome.

The Bears Aren't Very Good Anymore
What the hell happened?


The Beachwood Tip Line: The best damn thing.


Posted on December 10, 2012

MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Coming Soon: Bad Yung Club Chicago.
POLITICS - Chicago's Election Day Blues.
SPORTS - Kool-Aid Report: To The Bearmobile!

BOOKS - American Colonial Hangover, Grandma Gatewood & Chris Chelios.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Exclusive Severe Weather Tips!

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