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The [Tuesday] Papers

"The national beverage industry is gearing up to donate to - or help fundraise for - Cook County Commissioners who backed the repeal of the soda tax, replenishing its political war chest in recent weeks and co-hosting an event on Wednesday in River North," the Sun-Times reports.

"The PAC will be endorsing candidates," said Tarrah Cooper, a spokesman for the beverage industry 'Citizens for a More Affordable Cook County' political action committee.

First, can we at least call Tarrah a "spokeswoman?" Even better, "spokesperson." Why genderize?

Second, where do I know that name from?

Oh yeah.

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See also: The Questions That Emanuel's Press Secretary Won't Answer. It's a doozy.

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"From a very young age, my parents challenged me to channel my optimism and empathy to change the world," Cooper once told Jet.

I deceive, mislead and outright lie in order to proudly achieve that goal - or the goal of whatever client is paying me!

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"Then there is the e-mail flattery," the BGA once reported. "In August 2011, just months after Emanuel took office, he marched in the annual Bud Billiken parade, a development that had one of his press spokesman gushing.

"She informed Emanuel in an e-mail that police and others in the crowd had been heard praising Emanuel's endurance. 'He's so in shape - Daley could never do this,' Tarrah Cooper e-mailed her boss."

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Cooper was also involved in the making of Chicagoland because, as the Tribune reported, the mayor's office was essentially a co-producer. (Another producer: Pulitzer-Prize winning Mark Konkol.)

What I don't get about Cooper is that she told Jet her No. 1 rule is to be "competent, committed and authentic." Emphasis mine.

I guess we have different ideas about what that word means. And I guess she's being authentically herself.

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Speaking of authenticity, back to the Sun-Times:

"The beverage industry created 'Citizens for a More Affordable Cook County' in August. One purpose of the PAC: It was an unsubtle political threat hanging over the commissioners who did not support the repeal.

"The grassroots-sounding name was designed to deliberately obfuscate the fact that the PAC, spawned with the help of the American Beverage Association, gets almost all of its funding from companies related to the beverage industry.

"The PAC treasurer is lawyer/lobbyist Michael Kasper, who also does work for Illinois House Speaker/Democratic Party of Illinois chair Michael Madigan."

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Tarrah Cooper, if it wasn't for Konkol and Michael Madigan, you'd be Today's Worst Person In Chicago.

But I'm not dealing with Konkol and Madigan today, so let's just say you are Today's Worstish Person In Chicago.

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"The Chicago Sun-Times has obtained a copy of an invitation for a Wednesday fundraiser to benefit four commissioners fighting off challengers in the March 20 primary and a contender for a board seat left open because Cook County Commissioner Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia is running for Congress.

"The beneficiaries of the event at Old Crow North, 149 W. Kinzie St., are Commissioners Dennis Deer; John Fritchey; Richard Boykin - all Democrats; Republican Sean Morrison, and Democrat Angie Sandoval, running for the Garcia spot.

"The co-hosts listed on the invitation are 'Citizens for a More Affordable Cook County,' the Illinois Restaurant Association; the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce; the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Illinois Manufacturers' Association."

If those organizations are really interested in a more affordable Cook County, I've got plenty of ideas for them, starting with restaurant prices, retail wages and tax evasion.

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"The PAC . . . took in $110,800 this month. According to records at the Illinois State Board of Elections, the donations are: on Feb. 6, $22,200 from Pepsico, Inc., in New York; on Feb. 8, $44,400 from two Coca-Cola companies in Atlanta and Rosemont; on Feb. 14, $22,000 from the D.C. based American Beverage Association and $22,200 from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group PAC in Texas."

Nice of folks so far away to be so concerned with an affordable Cook County! I look forward to seeing their reps at board meetings working on a variety of economic issues!

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The culture of deceit is normalized - and quite rewarding to those who play along.

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Fran's Ford Folly
"The City Council's Finance Committee will jump head-first into the 'Me, Too' movement on Tuesday - by taking testimony about sexual harassment in the workplace from employees at Ford Motor Co.'s two Chicago plants," Fran Spielman writes for the Sun-Times in an "analysis."

"Aldermen will be joined by several elephants in the room, making the hearing a bit of a risky business."

Uh-oh.

"At a time when Chicago has offered a $2.25 billion incentive package to lure Amazon's second North American headquarters, what kind of message would the public shaming of another major corporation send to Amazon about the way Chicago politicians do business?"

The answer is the message that sexual harassment will not be tolerated here. But here's a better question: What kind of message is Spielman - and the Sun-Times, which is strenuously marketing itself as a paper for working folk - sending by asking such a thing?

Fran Spielman's personal #MeToo backlash has arrived.

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"If aldermen don't like how the company has treated female employees, why is the city purchasing all its police vehicles from Ford?"

Another hard-to-believe - although less egregious - question. First, there's probably a contract in place. Second, the city appears to favor the vehicles Ford produces and would only be punishing itself to stop buying them - unless, of course, the situation was beyond tenable, like, say, the parts were made by Third World child labor (Assignment Desk: check on that) or the company wasn't taking steps (as far as we know) to fix the (horrible) situation.

And, as Ald. Margaret Laurino points out, maybe the city will cancel the contract - after it learns more at its hearings!

(Tip: The city is not going to cancel the contract.)

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"Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke (14th), who introduced the resolution demanding the hearing, hung up on a Chicago Sun-Times reporter attempting to raise those questions."

That's your lead - and the basis of your analysis. Are these hearings for real, or just the usual Burke grandstanding/distraction? What might actually get accomplished? What could council members learn that they don't already know? Why don't they hold similar hearings to grill various city officials theoretically under their oversight - and I don't mean the occasional puffball plays they sometimes put on?

But also: Why do newspaper reporters insist on referring to themselves in the third-person? It's a trope that drives me nuts. Yes, I know it's a throwback to the days when reporters, for some reason, were not allowed to use "I" in stories; you were supposed to pretend you didn't exist! An omniscient being wrote the stories, despite the bylines! But look, it's 2018 and we've grown a lot. Just tell the truth! It's not as if Burke hung up on some other Sun-Times reporter. Just write "Burke hung up on me." It's okay, I promise!

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"[W]hy not threaten to cancel Ford's police car contract?

"'You're putting the cart before the horse,' Laurino said. 'Let's bring `em in and see what they're doing to address decades of allegations of sexual harassment.'

"If aldermen are not satisfied with Ford's response or if Ford executives boycott the hearing, Laurino said, 'We'll make some decisions based on that.'

Guess what? Ford's executives are "boycotting" the meeting.

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"Sources said top mayoral aides are not exactly thrilled about the hearing. But they apparently made no effort to discourage Burke from holding a hearing that could change the subject from political controversies swirling around the powerful Finance chairman because of the property tax appeals work he does on behalf of President Donald Trump and other clout-heavy clients."

Like I said, there's your lead and analysis. Instead, elephants and fears of publicly shaming badly behaving corporations.

Fran Spielman, you too are Today's Worstish Person In Chicago.

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New on today's Beachwood and since Thursday . . .

Chicagoetry: Mother
Major market blues.

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The Beachwood Radio Hour #188: "No Competent Society Allows This To Happen"
A shitty week grinds Coach Coffman's gears. Plus: Cubs Win Winter; White Sox Battery & Assault; The Winter Olympics Are Disordered; Big If True; Ramblers On A Roll; Blackhawks Bad To Worse; and Marginal Bulls News.

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Behind Sinclair's 'Project Baltimore'
Hidden agendas coming to a town near you.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Mac Sabbath, Galactic Empire, John 5 & the Creatures, Wintersleep, Frightened Rabbit, Brockhampton, Sons of Apollo, The Blue Water Highway Band, Rebelution, and Midland.

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'Shady Bosses' Stealing $15 Billion In Wages From Low-Income Workers
A new investigation by Politico found that low-wage employees in the United States are contending with wage theft on a massive scale.

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Black Chicago Blackhawk Reacts To Racist Blackhawks Fans
"We have some fans who think a certain way."

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Chicago's Hijab Campaign
A symbol of empowerment for some.

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When Oshkosh Was Sin City
Drinking, dancing, sex, boxing, and burlesque.

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Writing's Power To Deceive
Did George Washington really become president?

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The Last 100 Days Of FDR
"FDR had an amazing ability to maintain a Herculean schedule, as a self-described juggler who could handle domestic pressures as well as, later, a two-front world war that would have taxed the abilities of mere political mortals."

But in the end, it was a death watch.

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SportsMonday: Radio Days
Spring training is here.

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Chicago In The Rockies
Magical shows at the magical Caribou Ranch, where more than 150 artists recorded some very well-known albums. Chicago recorded five there.

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Last Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Whitney, Mike Broers, Brandy Clark, Kamikazee Vigilante, The Wilkof Project, and Here Come the Mummies.

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ChicagoGram

The Vibe.

#LA #chucktaylors #shoestelephonewire

A post shared by Katie Garrett (@sallylvjack) on

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On This Day In . . .
A sampling. (I don't know why the images don't always show up, it bums me out, because some are really good. They come and go. Facebook, harrumph.)

2011: Chicagoans Had A Choice.

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2013: Obama Denied Real Reporters While Endlessly Showing Up On Shows Like The View.

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2016: The Accomplice.

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2011: CPD And Sex Crimes.

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2012: Rahm's First Amendment Tightrope.

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2014: Obama, Snowden & Chicago's Mayer Brown.

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2016: Rauner In Wonderland: A Second Budget Address Before Passing The First.

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2012: The Links Are Gold, People.

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2012: Walter Jacobson's Weird Whitney Wailing.

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2012: Is Obama Lincoln Yet?

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ChicagoTube

Chicago's Best Rock, 1976.

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BeachBook
A sampling.

The Case For Impeaching Clarence Thomas.

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USA Swimming Ignored Or Covered Up Hundreds Of Cases Of Sexual Abuse.

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Konkol Got Konkoled.

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The Final, Terrible Voyage Of The Nautilus; Death Of A Reporter.

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The Twilight Zone, From A to Z.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: They're everywhere.



Permalink

Posted on February 20, 2018


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Sinclair-Tribune On Life Support.
POLITICS - Border Infants Called To Testify.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Jabari Parker Grinds Our Gears.

BOOKS - Green Books Are Back.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Pilcher Park Now A Nature Reserve.


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