Chicago - Nov. 23, 2017
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The [Wednesday] Papers

Today in the Paradise Papers: Just how much money is held offshore?

Dear Steve,

Today our stories offer a window into two different sections of offshore secrecy. First, we take a look at how donors from both sides of politics in the U.S. are using offshore accounts.

Our reporter Spencer Woodman also investigates the secret, confusing and extremely intertwined world of offshore trusts.

Next up, our investigation reaches far beyond North America. Our reporter Will Fitzgibbon reveals how Mauritius - once known for its sugarcane production - has become a hotbed for companies wanting to get into Africa. But at what expense?

We've also had huge reaction around the world. There has been outrage at Queen Elizabeth being found in the documents. Now, our partners in the UK reveal Prince Charles' private estate has also invested offshore.

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who also featured in our Day One story, has promised an investigation into his fellow citizen named in the Paradise Papers.

Until tomorrow!

The ICIJ team.

Previously: 'Paradise Papers' Reveal Tax Avoidance, Shady Dealings Of World's Rich And Powerful.

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Burke, Trump & Pawar
"One of the problems with being around Chicago politics too long is that a person can become numb to its ethical shortcomings," Mark Brown writes for the Sun-Times.

"You start thinking that just because something has been done a certain way for so long that it can't be changed, even if you think it's wrong."

The same could be said for Chicago media.

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But I digress. Brown:

"Case in point: the longstanding practice of Chicago elected officials who are lawyers doing real estate tax appeal work, which inherently puts them in conflict with the interests of their constituents."

Does anyone really think this dynamic can't be changed? Has it been tried?

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"Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) rattled that status quo on Monday with a shot across the bow of Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke for filing another tax appeal lawsuit on behalf of President Donald Trump and his namesake Chicago skyscraper.

"In an interview with Sun-Times' City Hall reporter Fran Spielman, Pawar said it was a 'disgrace' that Burke filed his sixth lawsuit in eight years seeking a property tax refund for Trump's riverfront hotel.

"Pawar's comments appeared aimed mainly at Trump, who he called 'a racist and a bigot.'"

Pawar seems to be angry mostly that Burke is representing Trump, not that Burke has gotten fat appealing property taxes for monied clients - though he later addressed the latter issue with Brown.

Trump is not the problem here. Recognizing that and moving on the real issue - Burke's law practice and similar conflicts of interest among councilmembers - is the way forward if you want change. Perhaps introduce an ordinance, Ald. Pawar?

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Outcome Bias
"Investors in Outcome Health, including a fund co-founded by J.B. Pritzker and units of Goldman Sachs and Google, have sued the Chicago health information and advertising startup and two of its founders, alleging they committed fraud to secure almost $500 million in funding earlier this year," the Tribune reports.

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Every time I read about Outcome Health I can't help but flash back to this deliciousness:

"Outcome Health laid off employees at its Chicago headquarters this week, on the heels of an announcement with Mayor Rahm Emanuel Tuesday that it plans to add 2,000 jobs over the next five years."

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Was It Harassment?
"Tribune columnist Eric Zorn examines sexual harassment allegations that victim rights advocate Denise Rotheimer leveled against state Sen. Ira Silverstein, quoting heavily from the hundreds of pages of Facebook messages between the two," Natasha Korecki notes in her Illinois Playbook.

"Three gubernatorial candidates - Daniel Biss, Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker - called for Silverstein to resign. The state senator already lost his leadership post and gained a primary challenger in the wake of these allegations.

"But Zorn said after reviewing messages Rotheimer released, the exchange seemed more like 'a sad, middle-aged crush, an unwholesome obsession that she was happy to encourage as long as she thought it would advantage her.'"

Yikes. That's dangerous territory to tread.

Click through to Korecki's item for related links for a fuller discussion of the matter.

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Liartown

Background: "Sean Tejaratchi is the absolute master of photoshopped cultural effluvia, God of an alternative world where the classic trash you remember warps into a mythopoeia of weird, hilarious insanity."

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BeachBook

Brenda Tracy Fights College Football's Rape Culture.

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Here's How Much The iPhoneX Costs To Make.

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America Is Running Out Of Cassette Tape.

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David Boies' Career Killing Stories For The Powerful.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

The people have spoken. Forward me some names.

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We once took for granted that someone would bring a gun to church just in case a mass shooter showed up.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: I've had a few.



Permalink

Posted on November 8, 2017


MUSIC - Fan Note: Malcolm Young's AC/DC.
TV - FCC Wraps New Gift For Sinclair.
POLITICS - FCC About To Ruin The Internet.
SPORTS - The Connor Barf Game.

BOOKS - Inside The Book Of The Dead.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Safe Stuffing.


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