The [Wednesday] Papers
1. "[A] computer scan of 140 years of Chicago's official precipitation records indicates that rainfall is blind to the days of the week," Tom Skilling reports.
At this point in the first trial, deliberating jurors were still three days away from finding the verdict form and the indictment in their cart of paperwork.
That's not a joke, as those who followed the case - or this column - closely can attest.
3. "Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle ran for the job as a reformer, but on Tuesday she found herself defending a decision to put two former southwest suburban state lawmakers on the county payroll," Erika Slife reports for the Tribune.
Huh? I didn't know "reform," if that's what Preckwinkle ran on (I'd say more that she ran on "competence"), meant that you couldn't hire anyone who had ever worked (however briefly) as a state legislator.
"Former County Board President Todd Stroger was criticized during his term for hiring the politically-connected. On election night last November, a victorious Preckwinkle told supporters she planned to 'clean up county government by ending patronage.'"
Right. So how is this patronage? Stroger's problem was that he hired friends, family members and a steakhouse bus boy whose loyalties would be to him and not the taxpayer; if only he had hired qualified folks with integrity.
Now, if Preckwinkle's hires are political rewards, or come with untoward expectations of future political support, fine. Then say it. Otherwise, it's hard to see the issue here - unlike Preckwinkle's baffling support of Joe Berrios
4. It would be far more productive to read all of Rod Blagojevich's e-mails instead of Sarah Palin's, except for the pesky fact that Blago never "learned" to e-mail. Pity.
5. "For one night, fans of the Peoria Chiefs can have their own replica of LeBron James' first championship ring," ESPNChicago reports.
"Call it the cheapest promotion in sports history because, like James' ring, the handout doesn't exist.
"The Chiefs, a Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs in the Midwest League, will hold a LeBron James NBA Championship Replica Giveaway night on Thursday, poking fun at the Miami Heat star's loss in the NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks.
"'Replica rings' - also known as air - will be handed out by stadium workers as fans enter the park, according to Chiefs spokesman Nathan Baliva."
6. "Illinois Senate President John Cullerton met Tuesday with the head of CME Group Inc. and came out saying he's willing to consider changes in state income taxes that would benefit the exchange," Greg Hinz reports for Crain's.
"But any cut would have to be 'revenue neutral,' offset by revenue from closing corporate 'tax loopholes,' Mr. Cullerton said."
So in other words, Illinois corporations wouldn't come out any better than where they're at now - except, I suppose, those that don't benefit from said loopholes. I find it hard to believe the CME isn't one of them.
"Or, [Cullerton] added, the rate could be cut if revenue from the recent hike exceed expectations."
And then what if revenue the next year doesn't meet expectations - will it go up again?
"Chicago has given some $32 million to the CME," the Chicago Teachers Union says (see Traders Sneer At Bake Sale).
"That includes $15 million in TIF money (although the CME is hardly 'blighted' as TIF districts are supposed to be). An estimated $7.6 million of that TIF money comes from Chicago Public Schools. In receiving this TIF subsidy, CME promised they would stay until 2017, not only keeping the current level of employees, but adding 638 more positions.
"Chicago also gave CME a special Property Tax break of $17 million in 2004. That year the City Council lowered CBOT's property taxes 'by a total of approximately $17 million over 12 years beginning in 2006.'
"Chairman of CME Group, Terrence Duffy, made a profit of $4.6 million and says that CME is considering a move, completely disregarding the subsidies and tax breaks that we, The People of Chicago, gave to them. According to the CME's annual report, last year they made a profit of $951 million dollars, a 15% increase above the previous year."
7. The Seinfeld Economy: It dipped, and then it dipped again!
Look for Jeans R Us Bars in all stores soon.
Get it? Yeah, maybe that one's a stretch. At least I didn't suggest Penney's would soon be selling the iBlouse.
9. From a PR e-mail I got yesterday:
"If there's any way we could work with you on spreading the word about this event, we would love to offer you a free drink ticket at the show in exchange for a blog post!
That would have to be one very, very, very big drink.
10. It's Raining Rookies.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Precipitous.
Posted on June 15, 2011
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