The [Tuesday] Papers
A somewhat abbreviated column today as I attend to other business.
Mystery Sanchez Theater
SANCHEZ: I just did my job the way I was supposed to.
RHODES: Yes, illegally, just like the mayor's people told you to!
SANCHEZ: I made recommendations to make sure we had a workforce that represents the city.
RHODES: And who better to represent the city than unqualified workers who helped elect the mayor!
SANCHEZ: I guess that's a federal crime.
RHODES: Guess so!
PATRICK FITZGERALD: He should have understood that recommending [HDO] people was a crime. It was made clear that Al Sanchez was in charge. He wasn't the first person convicted in this series of cases . . . people want to talk about a fall guy, but when you're running the Department of Streets and Sanitation . . . it's on your watch.
RHODES: C'mon, Fitzy! He was running an affirmative action program! Er, wait, he had nothing to do with hiring . . . er, he had nothing to do with hiring except trying to reflect the city . . . er, wait . . .
SANCHEZ LAWYER THOMAS BREEN: He got caught up in something where the rules changed.
RHODES: Yes. Thirty years ago.
BREEN: Why should Al Sanchez be the fall guy?
RHODES: Because that's how the Daley administration operates?
BREEN: I don't understand why Al Sanchez was singled out.
RHODES: I know. You'd think they'd go after Robert Sorich or something.
BREEN: This was done every day in every department.
RHODES: Are you turning state's evidence?
BREEN: Why does someone have to wear the jacket?
BREEN: Why is the federal government Johnny-come-lately on this?
RHODES: I know! What has Patrick Fitzgerald been doing all this time?
DALEY STATEMENT: I have never supported any illegal activity.
DALEY: We now have an inspector general.
RHODES: Whom I keep cutting off at the knees.
DALEY: These are things that happened years ago.
RHODES: When I was still consolidating power.
DALEY: Things are different now.
RHODES: We've changed in these last few weeks.
DALEY: I feel for Al Sanchez and his family.
RHODES: On the other hand, I feel nothing for the people who merited city jobs but didn't get 'em. If they refused to play ball, that's their problem. Wait, did I say that out loud or just think it?
FITZGERALD: Maybe the most qualified person should get the job. It's not crazy.
RHODES: It's just not the Chicago Way. Plus, this way we know that our garbage will be picked up and our potholes filled . . . er, wait a minute . . .
ELIZABETH BRACKETT: It's an ongoing case.
RHODES: It only has one way to go - up.
Train in Vain
Where is Chicago's authentic model railroad, complete with slow zones, outdated rolling stock, 110 year-old Elevated, where derailed trains hang from the structure, black smoke billowing from the Blue Line Subway, trains to Midway that stop running at 11 p.m., a Congress Line with more than 50 percent of the stations closed and abandoned, etc. etc.?
Does anyone remember that the world's first electric mass transit using a third rail power source was displayed by the intramural rail system inside the World's Fair in 1893? The train that brought visitors to the Fair was pulled by a black smoke-belching Locomotive. The future was displayed at the Fair. But in that city, 114 years later, we have not moved a micron forward in transit technology.
What the Helen?
Just a reminder that the Journalism Town Hall will be cablecast in Chicago this Sunday, March 29 at 10:30 a.m. on cable channel CAN TV21. Replay dates and times are:
* Monday, March 30th at 8:00 a.m. on cable channel CAN TV19
* Friday, April 3rd at 12:00 p.m. on cable channel CAN TV21
The Beachwood Tip Line: Rules-changing.
Posted on March 24, 2009
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