The [Thursday] Papers
"Warner Bros. will hold casting calls Saturday and next week in Chicago, Plano and Naperville for paid extras to appear in its Superman sequel, which is being filmed in the area later this summer," Crain's reports.
Beachwood field trip?
"Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe gave a long dissection of the gambling package at the start of Tuesday's Illinois Gaming Board meeting, highlighting what he considered to be a series of serious constitutional flaws.
"'There are a million things they have to do that they haven't considered. I'm going to be very polite now and not say what I think,' Jaffe said. 'You can't make perfume out of a pile of garbage.""
"I realize that the state is in financial trouble, if gaming is the way that our leaders want to go, so be it. But they should do it in a fashion other than the way they did this particular bill," he added. "It's chock-full of items, that in my opinion, would never pass on their own."
"The bill lawmakers approved would create a Chicago casino and four others in Danville, Rockford, Lake County and southern Cook County." the Tribune notes. "Slots would be allowed at Midway and O'Hare airports and the state's six licensed horse tracks. A 'racino' would be added at the state fairgrounds in Springfield, and existing riverboats could add more gambling spots and move to land.
"Jaffe wondered why those cities and towns were picked for casinos when historically that's a choice the Gaming Board makes after months of deliberations and a lengthy vetting process. He expressed concern that the city of Chicago would oversee slots at the airports, and said changes buried deep within the 400-page bill would eliminate needed oversight measures.
"One such provision would get rid of the requirement that those seeking to operate slots at tracks undergo fingerprinting, which Jaffe said is necessary for criminal background checks.
"'If this happens at the track, we can be sure that casino gaming, video gaming and all other gaming will not be far behind,' Jaffe said. 'Good regulation breeds confidence, bad regulation breeds mistrust.'"
"Jaffe also warned that without the proper staffing and funding, there would be no way for the board to get the casinos and slots up-and-running in a timely manner."
"I have grave concerns about his comments," bill sponsor Lou Lang (D-Skokie) says in the Sun-Times account. "It's clear he's gone way beyond the borders of his job as a regulator. If he wants to go back and be a legislator, he ought to run for the Legislature. If he wants to postulate on the constitutionality of a bill, he ought to go back to being a judge. But he's neither of those things."
Well, Lou, you'd think the state's chief gaming regulator might be consulted to offer his expertise - especially considering this state's history as well as the fact that he's both a former legislator and a former Cook County judge.
"Here's my suggestion to them, which I don't expect that anybody will follow," Jaffe said. "Have the governor and mayor of the city of Chicago meet with legislative leaders and other civic leaders before a bill is proposed and not afterward. You're just going to make a worse mess than it actually is already."
"Jaffe said the 400-page bill was not given an adequate public airing before it was passed over two days in late May and filled with provisions buried deep within it that would not pass on their own," the Sun-Times reports.
"'I would suggest to you this bill has taken a legislative journey which would just confound the founders of our country. It's very, very bad constitutionally, and the Legislature doesn't follow the Constitution anyway,' he said."
Aaron Jaffe, you are Today's Best Person In Chicago.
Now, it has been suggested in some corners that the worst parts of the bill were necessary in order to gain enough votes to pass the best part - which is, supposedly, a casino for Chicago.
But if you have to turn a (questionably) good bill into a bad bill to get it passed, it's almost always better to just not have any bill. I mean, where does it end? "I'm sorry, we're going to have to put slots in your kitchen in order to get this thing passed. And you will be required to play them for three hours a day."
Various news accounts have noted that gambling is actually on the wane at the moment. So this AP report caught my eye this morning:
"Majestic Star Casinos has cut 50 full-time jobs and is closing a gambling floor on one of its boats in Gary . . .
"The Majestic Star company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009 and is looking to exit bankruptcy by the end of this year.
"Casino workers union representative Tim Barnes says union officials were told about half the hotel rooms at Majestic Star would be closed. Buck says the hotel is never fully booked."
The [Trade Show] Papers
Seriously, Cubs . . .
Astonishingly Truthful Report About Chicago
Visiting journalists from other cities, states and countries eager to buy the packaged narrative could learn a lesson from this too. Regular people quoted!
The Beachwood Tip Line: We're all Russians now.
Posted on June 16, 2011
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