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The [Wednesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

"You're kidding me, right?" Mark Brown writes today. "The Chicago Police Department is going to reopen its investigation of a 70-year-old gangland murder because a powerful alderman thinks the victim, crooked lawyer Edward J. O'Hare, didn't get enough credit for his role in helping bring down Al Capone?

"We're going to do this at a time when Chicago Police are crying out for more manpower to deal with the daily crush of crime, not to mention a backlog of hundreds and hundreds of other unsolved murders from the department's cold case files in which the perpetrators might actually still be alive and walking the streets?

"Incredible as it seems, that's exactly what emerged Tuesday from a meeting of the city's Police and Fire Committee, orchestrated to that end by the only guy who could pull it off, Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th)."

Read my mind.


Meanwhile . . .

"Are these 'dirty tricks?'" Abdon Pallasch writes. "'Vote-buying'?"

"Pumpkin pies.


"Prescription discount cards.

"State Rep. Dan Burke (D-Chicago) is passing all of that out to Southwest Side voters to win votes and hearts as he faces his first challenge in 19 years as a state legislator."

And previously:

"Hundreds of Mexican parents and students recently streamed into the United Neighborhood Organization charter school on West 47th Street to await a ruddy man bearing gifts," the Tribune reported. "Not St. Nick.

"They were told that Burke helped supply the candy canes but that his greatest contribution was securing nearly $100 million in state money for eight additional UNO-run charter schools.

"Said Burke: 'Santa has been very, very good to UNO this year'."


"But Burke is taking Lozano's challenge seriously and is - for the first time - personally knocking on doors in his bid for re-election, he said. Madigan has even gotten involved, enlisting his own team to run the campaign, Burke said."


"Burke is, for the first time, out knocking on doors and shaking hands. "At the last count, 1,787 hands," he said, adding he's never 'had to run a campaign. We take this very seriously. And Speaker Madigan [recommended] that he get involved. I trust and defer to the experts.'


"Yeah, there is a machine," Burke said. "A machine is created to do a job more efficiently."


The brothers Burke are real pieces of work.

And So Is Madigan
"Last year (April 2009) I Googled the party's Web site only to find it hadn't been updated since 2006," Carol Marin writes today.

Michael Madigan is the chairman of the state Democratic party.

"Yesterday, just for fun, I returned to the state party Web site to look around and see what might have changed.

"It was a relief to find that Blagojevich's picture had been taken down. And the 2006 candidate roster was gone.

"Then again, if you click on the 'Candidates' tab today, you won't find any candidates at all. None. Instead, you'll find a statement: 'This section is under development. Please check back again soon.'

"Soon? The polls close in 17 days."

The whole site is a joke.

Perhaps the state attorney general should investigate.


"Late Tuesday, Madigan spokesman Steve Brown argued that, given the ethics battle that took place in the General Assembly this last session, the real reason no candidates are listed is an attempt to remain neutral in all of these races."

Steve Brown, you are Today's Worst Person in Illinois.

Madigan's Running Mate
Illinois Republicans are pleased that Michael Madigan has a challenger. They can't wait to meet him.


Perhaps the attorney general should investigate.

Don't Hassle The Hoff
"David Hoffman is in third place," Alexi Giannoulias said at last night's debate. "He's based his whole campaign on attacking me. I understand that. It's politics. He talks about corruption and Blagojevich and Daley, but what he doesn't talk about is jobs."

Au contraire.

"The insider candidate Alexi Giannoulias has held two jobs for short periods of time, one as a banker for his family's bank where he made high-risk loans to mobsters and (convicted influence peddler) Tony Rezko, and as the state treasurer where he failed to protect the people's money."

Gutter Snipe
Gator Bradley translates for the kids.


In either a stunning lack of judgement or an amazingly cynical calculation, Terry O'Brien declined to comment on Gator Bradley's noxious flier.

That's Todd!
"With three weeks left until the Feb. 2 primary, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger announced a plan Tuesday to improve county services and generate $300 million in savings over three years - some that may require staff reductions," the Sun-Times reports.

"Taxpayers are paying $1 million to the Chicago-based business technology consulting firm EKI to help on the [county's] cost-cutting plan."

Can we just elect EKI then?

"[Stroger campaign manager Vince] Williams pooh-poohed the notion that the plan is an admission that county government is inefficient. Stroger, standing next to his CFO in the county's administrative offices, 69 W. Washington, dismissed the timing of the announcement just weeks before the election.

"'This is when we were able to do it, so we did it now,' Stroger said."

We didn't get around to figuring out how to most efficiently organize our office until three years and 50 weeks into a four-year term.


But I didn't know that "improvement" and "transformation" and "productivity" were "buzzwords" otherwise unfamiliar to reporters.

Likewise, the Tribune is impressed that Cheryle Jackson knows what mezzanine financing is.

Can EKI give our newsrooms a refresher course?

Daley Drops Ball
"The home city of the United States Soccer Federation, the nation's third largest city, the city that recently bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, the city that played host to the opening game in the 1994 World Cup, a city with a storied soccer history and a richly diverse soccer culture, my sweet home Chicago, is not on the list of cities for the United States' 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid, the Federation announced today," Pitch Invasion reports.

"Pitch Invasion has learned from multiple sources that Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who led the failed Olympic Games bid and provided only limited support to attempts by the Chicago Fire to build a soccer stadium within city limits (their current home, Toyota Park, lies a couple of blocks outside city limits in the Village of Bridgeview), has done soccer in this city another disservice by putting very little behind the city's proposal to host World Cup games. The city's proposal, I'm told, was extremely weak."

By the estimation of many, including economists, the World Cup is a bigger international event than the Olympics. The biggest.

"There can be little doubt that the US Soccer Federation would have wanted Chicago to be part of the bid, as almost everyone expected to be a matter of course. And Daley was on the Chicago Host Committee for the 1994 World Cup, a successful event for the city used in Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid effort. Perhaps Daley is still too bitter about that dismally failed bid to have gotten behind the United States' bid for the other major global sporting event, the World Cup. We contacted the Mayor's Office for comment, but have not received a reply at the time of writing."

And by the time the 2018 and 2022 World Cups roll around, you still won't have received a reply.

Beachwood Mind Meld
At 1 p.m. today, everyone send as much bad karma as you can to Christine M.J. Oliver.


The Beachwood Tip Line: A meritocracy.


Posted on January 13, 2010

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