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The [Thanksgiving] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

1. "State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has made millions of dollars from his family's community bank since his election in 2006, much of it from payouts related to his father's death, according to four years of tax returns he released Wednesday," the Tribune reports.

"Giannoulias, a Democrat running in the primary for U.S. Senate, released his tax returns the day before Thanksgiving, when fewer people are likely to notice the news. The treasurer has been criticized by Democratic Senate opponent David Hoffman for large Broadway Bank payouts to him and his family."

Because Giannoulias - a purported progressive committed to transparency and accountability - released his tax returns on the day before Thanksgiving, he will be punished here.

All Giannoulias has done is promise Illinoisans the same old way of doing business, using a media strategy to deceive voters by playing hide-and-seek.

Alexi Giannoulias, you are this year's Turkey Day Turkey of the Day.

2. Second place: Mayor Daley, for choosing Wednesday to name three new cabinet members.

3. Third place: Daley and the City Council Finance Committee. It's not only irresponsible to dole out $35 million in "property tax relief grants" of $25 to $200, it's politically transparent to use parking meter reserve funds to do so. Only Alds. Joe Moore (49th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd), Toni Foulkes (15th), JoAnn Thompson (16th) and Scott Waguespack (32nd) had the guts to vote no.

4. "Back on February 13, state rep Kevin Joyce introduced a bill to expand the kinds of materials open to the public under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act," Ben Joravsky reports. "On April 3 that bill passed the house and was sent to the senate, where it sat in committee for weeks. Legislators tell me that during that time city lobbyists got in touch with their allies in the senate, and on May 18 Senator Don Harmon gutted the bill, removing the language about the FOIA and adding an amendment that extended the life of the four Chicago TIF districts: Madden/Wells, Roosevelt/Racine, Stony Island/Burnside, and Englewood Mall. None of these fall into Harmon's legislative district.

"Harmon - who didn't return calls for this story - is from Oak Park, whose TIF policies seem to be almost as nutty as Chicago's, hard as that is to believe. (Hardly a week goes by without some Oak Parker calling and asking me to write about one TIF debacle or another.)"

Alexi Giannoulias may be the Turkey Day Turkey of the Day, but Don Harmon, you are this week's Worst Person In Illinois. You advance to the annual tournament with the wind at your back.

5. Beachwood Thanksgiving Classics: Vol 1.

6. Beachwood Thanksgiving Classics: Vol 2.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Better than Butterball's.


Posted on November 26, 2009

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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