The [Thursday] Papers
By Steve Rhodes
I have to admit that when Andy Shaw was named to replace Jay Stewart - who joined the Quinn administration - as the executive director of the Better Government Association, I was skeptical.
Just another blow-dried TV guy, I thought.
Sure, he was a political reporter, but he never made much of a mark on me.
I have to admit now that so far Shaw is terrific.
I saw him earlier this morning on Good Day Chicago explaining the BGA's newly filed lawsuit against the Todd Stroger administration with aplomb, and I've just read his Op-Ed in the Tribune today about the state's sudden legalization of video poker and it's a perfectly executed argument.
A few weeks ago I saw Shaw interviewed on, I think, Chicago Tonight, and he seemed to spell out a vision for the BGA that included a website chock full of investigative reporting; if I understood correctly, he sees the BGA as a news source in and of itself. He didn't mention ProPublica, but it sounded like - and again, I could be wrong - he was describing a local version as such.
In any case, I've been turned around. He's off to an impressive start.
I just hope he's as aggressive with Daley as I'm sure he will be with Stroger.
Question, though, for the Tribune editorial board: So you'll be okay changing the name of the Tribune Tower to the Willis Tower if Plumeri moves in there too?
* Yes, the difference is that Sears no longer occupies the Sears Tower. But shouldn't Tribune Tower always retain its name - just like the Wrigley Building and the Chicago River?
* Can we stop with the Big Willie stuff now? A world-class city doesn't call its tallest tower Big Willie.
* "[W]e've got a feeling that Willis Tower is going to work its way into Chicago's lexicon - and its heart," the Tribune editorial board avers.
Really? A feeling? And not just into our lexicon, but our hearts?
I think that's the feeling of Plumeri's oily salesmanship dripping on your conference room table.
* Willis is donating $100,000 to Chicago 2016 today. So no, not working its way into my heart. But the mayor's heart, yes.
* "The Olympic assistance will please Mayor Daley, whose administration already has pledged a $3.8 million subsidy for Willis' estimated $17 million move to Sears Tower," the Sun-Times reports.
So taxpayers give Willis $3.8 million and Plumeri diverts $100,000 to the Olympic committee - and most assuredly a campaign contribution to the mayor to come. Who comes out worst in the deal?
* "Shakespeare was wrong: A rose by any other name would not smell as sweet. Sometimes a name becomes inextricably linked with the pleasure of the thing."
Earning His Pay
I've read The Informant, by the way, and I highly recommend it. See how high-level corporate insiders really act behind closed doors.
(On the other hand, it's just how you would imagine . . . with malice.)
"I carefully reviewed the proposed ordinance and noticed it did not require a review of the Olympic-loss insurance policy, so I offered that as a friendly amendment.
"Hoots and calls came from several other aldermen on the floor.
"'No, that's already included!' they yelled out.
"But it wasn't."
Clout Cafe Wins Again
The Beachwood Tip Line: Use before you die.
Posted on July 16, 2009
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