The [Monday] Papers
A lot to catch up on today.
With each finger the media points at the public for political apathy and ignorance, there are four fingers pointing back.
Breaking Civic News!
"Spokesmen for the mayor and the merging futures trading center said there was no connection between the campaign cash and Daley's promise earlier this week to provide unspecified financial subsidies to assist the Merc's $12 billion buyout of the CBOT."
Okay, first, why even ask that question?
"Why yes, there is a connection," a spokesperson for the exchange said. "In exchange for the campaign contribution, the mayor agreed to provide even more money in return in tax increment financing. It's a win-win."
Instead, the question you ask is this: Why did the your organization donate significantly more money to the mayor this year than in previous years?
Follow-up: But someone must know. There had to be a meeting or two before the check was written. What was talked about in that meeting?
Follow-up: But this was a year in which the mayor had no real competition. He didn't need your money to win.
Follow-up: If there is no connection, then are you saying you just threw that money away? You got nothing for it? If you aren't getting anything for your money, why give it?
"The $107,000 from the Merc and $101,000 from the CBOT were Daley's largest donations during the reporting period."
Proposed policy: We will not report any comments from spokespeople on stories that demand the elected official be heard from. So unless Daley and the exchange bosses tell us in their own words that there was never any intent for this money to infliuence the mayor's actions, we will not print a rote denial. We want their denial on the record, so if there are people who know this not to be true, they will know who is lying.
Meanwhile, the governor is playing games too.
"A campaign official would not say whether any of the money the governor is spending on lawyers is related to the federal investigations of his administration.
"Beyond reporting it as required, we don't detail it," said Doug Scofield, campaign spokesman. "We just haven't broken that down. We haven't commented beyond that."
Why? Are you embarrassed?
Follow-up: Just to be clear, you're saying that the campaign has no internal records breaking down where its legal fees have been spent? How is that even possible? Isn't that lousy accounting?
Headline: Guv's Campaign Hiding/Unaware of Legal Bills.
Welcome to Chicago, Jason! Glad to have your .221 average and awesome attitude here!
Then again, Pat is the father of one of Sneed's son's best friend, and once helped clean up her North Shore backyard after a prom photo shoot, and that's good enough for Sneed.
Drug Abusers, Illinois:
Chicago Way University
Political Hymn Book
Presidential Pick 'Em
Obama is JFK.
READER COMMENT: re Obama is JFK, etc: Instead, how about: They're all McKinley.
Editor Ann Marie Lipinski, for example, may want to spell out exactly why she doesn't think front page ads serve readers well, what she did to stop them, and the financials she is privy to that are being used to justify them. Just for starters.
In fact, in light of what's going on in the corporate suite, a full-scale investigation into the Trib's financials seems in order.
Memo to Jennifer Hunter
War Against Teens
"DeAndre Monroe, 17, a student at Chicago's ACE Tech Charter High School said he friends who have dropped out would not be swayed by the law. Monroe said he expects they will probably drive illegally until they can get a license at 18."
Says Riley Ertel, 17, of Payton High School: "If they passed the test and everything to get the licenses, then they're probably not a terribly reckless driver. I think a truant should have the same rights to drive as I do."
"[The cop] told me his story. But these facts are also in court documents and Judge Ackley's written ruling," Kass wrote in "This Officer's Sentence is Hogwash."
"It's unfair to lump Mette in with those other brutality cases, as another newspaper in town did a few days ago," he wrote in "Finally, Wronged Cop Gets Some Support."
But is Kass telling you the whole story?
"[Prosecutor Tim] Gallagher argues that Kass and Mette's defenders skip some key facts.
"The prosecution argues that Mette and his friends helped fuel the problem.
"Mette, his younger brother Marc Mette, a former UD student, and some of their friends showed up at Gothard's residence at 1130 Race St. after hearing about a party there, court documents say.
"When Mette and friends opted to leave the downstairs party after a short time (without paying the $5 cover charge) Gothard, the 'kegger host,' became enraged and started calling them 'ignorant and offensive names,' the judge wrote in her ruling.
"Gothard reportedly said he was going to call the police, and someone in Mette's party took the cell phone from the college student. Gothard and Boyd pursued the group, and Gothard ran up to Mette and pushed him at least twice, according to court documents.
"That's when Mette punched Gothard, knocking him unconscious. Kass and others argue Mette is the real victim.
"Gallagher says the evidence overwhelmingly disputes that notion, most critically the claim that Mette only punched Gothard once.
"'He suffered numerous injuries to the face and head,' the prosecutor said. 'Additionally, (Gothard) had defensive wounds to his arms and torso, as if he were being kicked and attempting to cover up.'
"Gothard suffered a broken nose, broken jaw, a laceration on the back of his head and a hematoma on his brain, according to court documents. He was first transported to The Finley Hospital and then airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.
"Gallagher said it was difficult to get the real story from the beginning. He said the off-duty Chicago cop told three separate stories to Dubuque police.
"At first, Mette, who had blood on his shirt and hands, said Gothard fell down and bumped his head, according to the criminal complaint. He then told officers that Gothard had pushed his brother, Marc, and he was defending him, Gallagher said. Mette admitted to 'striking Gothard and that he had intent to do so,' a police report stated.
"'Here you have a sworn police officer who has lied to police on the scene regarding how this individual was injured. Perhaps that flies in Chicago but that doesn't fly before a judge here in Dubuque,' Gallagher said.
"The prosecutor said court information included testimony indicating Mette ripped off his shirt after knocking out Gothard and stormed after Boyd. He said Marc Mette told Boyd to leave because he couldn't control his brother when he gets angry.
"Kass, who did not return a TH request for an interview, also seems to suggest Gothard's father, Curt Gothard has some kind of pull in Dubuque County District Court.
"'Mette has no clout in Dubuque. But Dubuque is a small town, and the intoxicated man's daddy is a boss in a giant Iowa trucking company,' Kass wrote.
"Curt Gothard, an information technology director at Dubuque's Truck Country is no trucking baron, Gallagher said. Gothard also lives in Bellevue, Iowa, in Jackson County.
"'That has no bearing whatsoever that Mr. Mette committed a criminal act on that evening,' the prosecutor said.
"What the defense, prosecution and the judge all seem to agree on is that the penalty does not fit the crime."
According to the judge's findings of fact, Mette and his pals decided at first to tell the police that the victim - whose brain was bleeding - was drunk and fell to the ground. The investigating officer did not buy it; there was blood on Meete's hand and shirt.
The victim, by the way, had a blood alcohol level of .270. By the looks of a video at lineofduty.com, Mette looks pretty beefy. And he had his buddies with him for backup.
And as the judge's findings showed, just because he was not the aggressor when the "fight" actually occurred, Mette and his friends certainly provoked the situation.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Show your hand.
Posted on July 23, 2007
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