The [Wednesday] Papers
Fireworks flew on Chicago Tonight last night as Todd Stroger's flak-in-chief tried to defend adding an outside public relations consultant to the roster of propagandists already working on our dime to convince us that Cook County is the bestest government anywhere, despite what the mean media tells us.
Let's pick it up with where the voices of BGA chief Jay Stewart, Stroger hack Gene Mullins, and Commissioner Larry Suffredin really started to rise - when talk shifted to the new independent hospital board now forming.
STEWART: My concern is not really with the details of the [new independent] board's work, it's that it has a sunset provision after three years. What happens in 2011?
MULLINS: This is not a new idea. President Stroger introduced this almost eight months ago.
SUFFREDIN: He fought against this!
MULLINS: In the 2007 campaign he mentioned this. It was his idea.
SUFFREDIN: Then why did he resist it?
MULLINS: He didn't resist it!
SUFFREDIN: He resisted it completely!
MULLINS: We didn't have any money.
SUFFREDIN: President Stroger opposed my proposal all the way to the end.
MULLINS: It was his idea.
ME AT HOME WATCHING: Maybe that's why he resisted it; even he knows his ideas are terrible.
For the whole thing, go see my post at Division Street.
Here's an idea: Let's put 'em in Grant Park! What, you're afraid to put children at the center of the city?
But I thought Obama brought health care to everyone here!
Enter and exit at the new Children's Museum in Grant Park.
A headline that matches trying to find the logic in this column.
Tax Irony Financing
"On Tuesday, the City Council's Finance Committee signed off on the idea. But not before aldermen unleashed their anger about the mayor's plan to raid their neighborhoods' TIFs.
"'Helping the handicapped . . . is great. [But] every time I turn around, I see more TIF dollars being used for education,' said Ald. Ray Suarez (31st).
"Two years ago, aldermen complained about Daley's plan to divert $600 million away from their neighborhood TIFs and toward a citywide program to build nine new high schools and 15 elementary schools."
Okay, isn't one of the chief problems with TIFs that they take money away from the schools? So who is being more, um, ironic, the aldermen or the mayor?
"If this were challenged, it would be illegal," said Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th).
And then she voted for it.
Actually, I don't know if she voted for it; the paper doesn't tell us. But I think that's the correct assumption to make until learning otherwise, don't you?
Hairston is actually a lawyer. Before becoming an alderman, she worked as assistant attorney general in Springfield, according to her Wikipedia bio. "She also handled litigation for the office of the Illinois Attorney's Appellate Prosecutor's Office, where she argued before the Illinois Supreme Court."
The mayor also has a law degree. Just sayin'.
"'This is about cronyism and corruption and stopping it,' said Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock), who spearheaded the plan.'How many of our governors have to go to jail before we wake up?'"
At least three, by my count.
Why even go through the motions of public meetings and presentations? The deal is done.
"The shot across Stroger's bow came a day before retired Cook County Judge Julia Nowicki is set to appear before the County Board to defend a similarly critical assessment she has filed in court."
Gee that sounds familiar. Is there any level of government in Illinois that works right?
"Nowicki notes that it has been 17 months since she was appointed to monitor county hiring. She said Stroger's administration has failed to hire a new human resources chief, provide a list of administrative positions exempt from the prohibition on patronage hiring and develop a 'plan to inform itself of current illegal patronage practices.'"
Hey, I've got an idea: Why doesn't Stroger hire a new public relations executive to take care of that?
The Beachwood Tip Line: Prioritizing.
Posted on April 9, 2008
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