Chicago - Dec. 10, 2018
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
Must-See TV
Army Of Darkness
5 p.m.
A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (
Weather Derby
Tribune: 51/37
Sun-Times: Ferro/McKinney
Weather Channel: 44/41
Ntl Weather Service: 54/43
BWM*: 82/12
Beachwood Bookmarks
K-Tel Classics
WKRP in Cincinnati
So You've Decided To Be Evil
St. Paul Saints
Nye's Polonaise Room
The Arcata Eye
Roadside USA
This Day In . . .
Onion History
Weird Al History
Baseball History
Beachwood History
History History
Spy Magazine History
#OnThisDate History
Under Suspicion
Find Your Towed Car
Cable TV Complaints
Freedom of Information
The Expired Meter
The Mob & Friends
Stolen Bike Registry
O'Hare Music Tracker
Report Corruption (city)
Report Corruption (state)
Scoundrels, State
Scoundrels, Federal
The Odds
Random Flight Tracker
Casting Calls
Cosmic Log
Buy Stamps
Beachwood Blogroll
A Handy List
Beachwood Ethics Statement
How We Roll
Today's Horoscope
Liberties will be taken.
Do We Sudoku?
No, but we do do moose stuff, and that can be anything you want it to be. Except Sudoku.
Losing Lottery Numbers
8, 25, 39
Daily Affirmation
I am open and receptive to new avenues of income. (
Knowing that a person may be unwittingly in danger of an assault imposes a moral duty to warn them.
Now Playing
Psychodrama/Marshall Law
Letters to the Editors
Tip Line
"The Papers" archive
Beachwood Link Buttons
Media Kit/Advertising

The [Tuesday] Papers

Political scandals in Chicago, which in my mind includes state government, come with an unerring ability to add to the already-rich vernacular of fixers and operators scheming in any manner of way to get a little on the side. Who can forget such timeless classics as former Chicago treasurer Miriam Santos's FBI-recorded squeeze on a contractor/contributor, "Now it's time for people to belly up," followed by "I am human and probably the first woman to go to jail for PMS-ing"? And sometimes the phrase-making comes from prosecutors, as in U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's description of Tony Rezko's dealings as pay-to-play on steroids.

We can now add Ald. Arenda Troutman's instant classic, recorded by the FBI, "Well, the thing is, most politicians are hos."

Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

Let's take a look at some of the other highlights from the Troutman follies.

Troutman apparently refused to answer agents knocking on her door, but could be seen peering outside from a window.

"The agents also asked a nanny, who spoke through another window, to let them inside and called the home several times with no response," the AP reported. After 20 to 30 minutes, the agents broke a window to open a door and enter."

By the way, that AP story, sent 'round the globe, started this way:

"CHICAGO - FBI agents had to break a window at a city alderman's home to get inside Monday to arrest her on a federal bribery charge, authorities said."


Morning Papers
"When they entered the alderman's South Side home, her document shredder was warm," the Sun-Times reports.

Which would explain the 20- to 30-minute delay. She had a lot of shredding to do. But shouldn't agents have gone in right away?

Historical Illusion
"Arenda Troutman is a throwback to a bygone era when politicians paraded around in fur coats, drove fancy cars, packed the city payroll with relatives and allowed other family members to cash in on government contracts," Fran Spielman writes.

A) As opposed to today, when they wear faux-fur.
B) As opposed to today, when they are chauffered.
C) Just like the mayor.

Troutman's Wikipedia entry.

Women's Caucus
"I know women who've been tricked by men before," said Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) said of her relationship with fugitive Black Disciples kingpin Donnell "Scandalous" Jehan.

Yes, women are vulnerable like that.

Past Predictors
* In 1978, Troutman admitted to shoplifting.

* In 1990, Daley appointed her alderman.

* In 2004, the FBI questioned Troutman about her relationship with Jehan.

* In 2004, she also had police officers assigned to guard her home 24/7. "Deserve it? Damn right," she said. "I should receive the protection I am receiving. I am an elected official."

* In 2004, the Sun-Times editorial page said that Troutman had "accepted $4,800 from an Englewood church even though churches aren't allowed to make political donations. And she managed to get the property tax reduced on her home when her neighbors were hit with higher bills."

* In 2005, a Sun-Times investigation found that "Ald. Arenda Troutman's family created and ran a trucking company that took in more than $1.1 million from the city's scandalous Hired Truck Program."

* Spielman reports "that Troutman's sister and mother serve on her aldermanic staff. Another sister who has since died was the 20th Ward sanitation superintendent. Other family members hold other government jobs."

Tale of Two Trucks
Just a couple months ago, Troutman unloaded on the mayor.

"The Duffs stole $100 million earmarked for blacks and other minorities. . . . White men [used] their mothers, sisters and daughters to steal $40 million. They abused the Hired Truck Program designed to help blacks and other minorities pull themselves up by their bootstraps. These people were getting contracts because they lived in a white city. They were greedy and wanted the minority share," she said. "My constituents want a fair shot at jobs and contracts."

From Spielman's account at the time: "When Troutman said she was 'speaking truth to power,' Daley replied, 'It doesn't bother me.' When she ended her speech, he mockingly applauded."

From Spielman today: "Daley blamed Troutman's tale of two cities remark on a 'complex' ward with Hispanics on one end and blacks on the other that pulls the alderman in opposite directions."

Daley, in Springfield for Gov. Rod Blagojevich's inauguration, had no comment on Troutman's arrest. He was seen mockingly applauding, though.

More Efficient Bribery
Troutman recently told the Tribune's Rick Kogan that " I never understand why so many people want to challenge us for our jobs think there are a lot of people who simply don't understand that the longer aldermen are in their jobs the more effective they can be."

She also complained that the press didn't treat her fairly in the Jehan and Hired Truck matters.

Cynicism Writ Large
The Sun-Times editorial page, which endorsed Todd Stroger, says Troutman's arrest "just adds to city cynicism."

The Sun-Times editorial page also says "Since her appointment to the City Council in 1990, troutman has distinguished herself mostly for her lack of good judgement."

Gee, is that why the paper has endorsed her in each of her four campaigns? Let's review.

* In 1991, the Sun-Times endorsed Troutman despite board member Vernon Jarrett writing this: "And in the all-black 20th Ward, a scurrilous, sick campaign is in high gear against Dino McNeal, 32, an independent who is challenging Daley appointee Ald. Arenda Troutman. McNeal is a native of this troubled ward who stayed and earned a college degree in psychology and is employed by the Salvation Army. He came back home to work the streets against crime and voter apathy. Yet, he is being smeared as a 'dope pusher with a long criminal record.'

"His police record shows nothing but one traffic violation. Such sick tactics will continue into the next century unless decent people decide to reject them and make a determined effort to deny office to all who rely on public gullibility."

* In 1995, the Sun-Times endorsed Troutman saying this: "Arenda Troutman is an outstanding public official."

* In 1999, the Sun-Times endorsed Troutman saying this: "Ald. Arenda Troutman managed to bring significant economic development projects to her ward."

* And in 2003, the Sun-Times endorsed Troutman in an editorial titled "8 Great Choices for City Council."

So I'm guessing she still has a chance to get the paper's endorsement this year.

For comparison, let's look at the Tribune editorial page's history with Troutman.

* In 1991, the Trib edit page said this: "The death of Ald. Ernest Jones has led to the largest field in any ward: 20 candidates. They include his widow, Georgia Jones; his former chief of staff, John Lewis; and Ald. Arenda Troutman, picked by the Democratic organization to succeed Jones. A better choice than all of them is Mary Ann Broy, a city Department of Human Services supervisor."

The paper then skeptically endorsed Troutman in a runoff against Dino McNeal.

* In 1995, the Trib edit page said this: "Ald. Arenda Troutman has made some headway on housing, but her tenure has generally been a disappointment. She would merit re-election against lackluster opponents. But this field includes an excellent challenger: Dino McNeal, founder and director of a successful social service agency. He would bring a sharper focus to servicing the ward."

* In 1999, the Trib edit page said this: "Ald. Arenda Troutman has had a go-along, get-along four years, and her ward has precious little to show for her mediocre performance. The ward would see more effective leadership from Julius Polk, a national account executive with a shipping firm and president of the Woodlawn Development Association. A lifelong resident of the area, Polk would bring a more professional approach to managing the ward."

* In 2003, the Trib edit page said this: "Ald. Arenda Troutman has been an engaged and vocal advocate for her ward."

She had four opponents that year, including a former state representative and an Operation Push executive.

Naked Play
Memo to the Chicago Obama-Times: Give it a rest.

Number One
Boise State.

The True Story . . .
. . . of the O'Hare UFO.

The Beachwood Tip Line: It's time to belly up, hos!


Posted on January 9, 2007

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - Harold vs. the Haters.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Go Ahead, Eat Raw Cookie Dough!

Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter

Beachwood Radio!