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The [Tuesday] Papers

"The race for the governor's seat is heating up; this time over controversial investments," WCIA-TV reports.

Economic interest reports filed by each candidate in November reveal Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic candidates, J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy, each have financial ties with big oil and gas companies.

It's no surprise candidates with deep pockets and family inheritances have an extensive and elaborate list of investments but Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) says ties with "dirty oil companies" are a red flag. He's calling on his opponents to divest.

Reports show Pritzker and Kennedy each have investments in companies like Exxon Mobile, Exelon and Chevron. Kennedy also listed the largest tobacco company in the country.

Paperwork filed also reveals both Rauner and Pritzker have money invested in a company responsible for constructing the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

This is a legitimate line of inquiry; these investments are one way these candidates build upon their wealth, in some cases profiting off harm to others. None of them, apparently, have had the social conscience to weed out bad actors from their portfolios, or, conversely, don't consider the likes of Exxon as problematic.

See also: Confirmed: Exxon Knew.


Embattled Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios has attacked challenger Fritz Kaegi for allegedly managing a fund that has invested nearly $30 million in private prisons. PolitiFact Illinois found that charge "Mostly False."

Fun thought: Will Berrios call out Pritzker and Kennedy for investments they own, and not just manage?


As far as the Kaegi charge the Berrios campaign has made, it seems they got sloppy. (See the PolitiFact piece to see how.) But the room for doubt that leaves the charge's rating as "Mostly False" instead of wholly false is odd:

Berrios said his primary challenger "managed a fund that invested nearly $30 million in private prisons."

Columbia Acorn Fund, of which Fritz Kaegi was one of three managers, reported $29.1 million in stock of the private prison operator CoreCivic on its March 31, 2017, quarterly report.

But Kaegi's active management of the fund ended March 13, as documented in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Kaegi said the CoreCivic investment came after he was gone, and points to two years of quarterly reports and a Feb. 28 holdings summary to back his point.

We were unable to confirm from Kaegi's co-managers, but a scenario in which Kaegi during his final two weeks as a fund manager decides to invest in a controversial private prison stock as a last act before challenging an opponent in a Democratic primary in Cook County borders on absurd.

Now, you should never dismiss something because it seems "absurd." Absurdities happen all the time, especially in politics.

Instead, the Berrios charge falls apart when looking at the timing of Kaegi's involvement in the fund. (Again, see PolitiFact for details.)

But why won't Kaegi's co-managers confirm that timing? That leaves a sliver of a shadow of a doubt on Kaegi.


Here's something else that is, um, curious about the PolitiFact report:

Our first call was to the Berrios campaign to find out the basis for the ad's allegation. Campaign spokeswoman Monica Trevino provided a quarterly Securities and Exchange Commission filing from March 31 that showed the Columbia Acorn Fund contained 926,513 shares in CoreCivic, a Nashville-based company that manages 91 prisons and related facilities across the country. The shares are valued at $29,111,038, according to the filing.

Trevino also sent an amendment to the Columbia Acorn prospectus dated March 13 that showed Kaegi's oversight of the fund would end on March 14. Because the quarterly report includes time when Kaegi was one of three managers of the fund, he's connected to the CoreCivic investment, Trevino said.

"Kaegi has not (provided) any definitive evidence that when the investment was made he wasn't there," Trevino said in an e-mail.

First, I wouldn't accept an e-mail response. This habit among journalists continues to drive me crazy. An e-mail cannot be questioned. Put it down as a refusal to comment instead.

Second, though, and to the point I'm here to make, Monica Trevino is the spokesperson for Joe Berrios?

Here's why that's odd: Joe Berrios is the grand epitome of the old-school, nepotistic, Soviet-like Democratic Machine. Monica Trevino was, until recently apparently, the chief of staff to democratic socialist, progressive, reform-minded Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa. (And previously a journalist.)

I don't know how someone can go from repping Ramirez-Rosa to Berrios - or, more like, we see it all the time, so I do know - but it's not particularly honorable, no matter how often the full-throated voices of principle chase the dollar and/or the career ladder in the end. And that goes for the candidates at the top of this post, too.


New on today's Beachwood . . .

Blues Jam Memorial For Chicago Great Arthur "Sambo" Irby
"This will be a historic event to tell your grandchildren about. There will be many old Maxwell Street old-timer musicians there. Bring your cameras and video recorders."


At The Chicago History Museum | Remembering Dr. King
"King's work in Chicago illustrated that racism and racialized discrimination were not just southern problems but American ones."


The World's Greatest College Football Report's Championship Game Preview
Third-place game to determine runners-up to Central Florida!

You might have missed this entertaining late post yesterday, but it's still worth the read even though Alabama beat Georgia last night.





Chicago-Based Artist Protests Against The Selfie.

Personally, I have nothing against selfies per se, though particular kinds of selfies are beyond irritating. Perhaps that's what she's getting at.


A sampling.

Tell President Obama To Stop Deporting Refugees.

See also: Sorry, Obama's Still Deporter-In-Chief.


Secret Evidence Erodes Fair Trial Rights.


Among 20 Wealthy Nations, U.S. Child Mortality Ranks Worst.


A sampling.

The New York Times never even corrected its false, front-page reporting (nor its editorial). This was the era when political operatives truly learned - as Rahm Emanuel has articulated - that the media is driven by "narratives" (mostly that confirm their preconceived notions.)



Assignment Desk, activate!




The Beachwood Tronc Line: Llline up!


Posted on January 9, 2018

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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