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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Billionaire hedge fund CEO Ken Griffin, who has given tens of millions to former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and supported Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is donating $1 million to Bill Daley's mayoral campaign," the Tribune reports.

Griffin is Illinois' richest person - by far.

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Griffin famously believes that the wealthy have an "insufficient influence" on the political process.

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"In the second half of October 2018, folks in California, Massachusetts, Vermont and New York saw ads directed against Democrats courtesy of a super PAC called Future45," Open Secrets notes.

"Future45 played its role in electing Donald Trump as the 45th president, but it did not immediately embrace Trump when he won the nomination. After Trump's last primary opponent dropped out of the race, the super PAC went dormant for months.

"That all changed when Todd Ricketts assumed control of the organization, revamping it into a vehicle to elect Trump to the presidency. In spring of that year, Ron Weiser, previously Future45's finance chair, left to work for Trump as the vice chair of a fundraising committee. Ricketts himself became Republican committee finance chair in January 2018."

Guess who else is a Future45 donor? Ken Griffin.

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Back to today's Trib:

"State records show Griffin, Citadel's CEO, donated $36 million to Rauner's political committee, including a $20 million contribution that's believed to be the largest contribution ever given to a campaign by a noncandidate in the state."

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Meanwhile, as it is wont to do, the Tribune editorial page just spent another four years moralizing to voters about their duty to throw the bums out (as well as panning dynasty politics) and then turned around and endorsed the most dynastic status quo candidate imaginable (amidst its bushelful of endorsements of incumbent aldermen) in Bill Daley. Don't worry, the day after Election Day they'll go back to telling you how awful the city council is. Then they'll cheerlead Daley for a couple years, then pretend to be angry about his lack of progress on pensions and the city's finances before endorsing him again in 2023. Trust me, I've seen this movie too many times.

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The Tribune is impressed with Bill Daley's resume. Read this thread and tell me if you are:

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Even this Chicago magazine piece makes clear that Bill Daley's entire career is based on connections - those he had despite being a mediocre student and cheater, and more importantly, those he could deliver to his patrons even as he failed to actually educate himself on the issues he delivered for them.

His crowning achievement at the time (and perhaps still) was getting NAFTA passed - though even Daley's friends say they doubt he even knew what was in the bill. That wasn't the point.

The return to LaSalle Street was brief. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, whom Daley had first met on the Mondale campaign, called to ask, "If President Clinton asks you to lead the charge for NAFTA, will you say yes?" Organized labor opposed the trade agreement for fear that the United States would lose low-wage manufacturing jobs to Mexico. As Mickey Kantor, another friend from the Mondale campaign and then Clinton's United States trade representative, points out, Daley was the perfect fit. "You needed someone who could work with Democrats particularly, because [they] were the biggest problem," Kantor says. Daley's friendship with Dan Rostenkowski, alone among the Democratic leadership in supporting the agreement, was also a plus. Still, even Rostenkowski thought NAFTA looked like a loser. "Why the hell you doing this for?" Rostenkowski asked Daley.

John Daley remembers asking his brother, "Does the President really like you?"

Daley attacked the project with his full organizational skills. He regularly gave Clinton lists of names of congressmen to call, each accompanied by information on their districts, notes on what their problems were, and how the Administration could help. "We would get back the sheets the next morning," Daley recalls. "'Talked to this senator, that senator, that congressman.'" The battle invigorated the President, and Daley finally had to tell him that he was calling too much. "People were like, 'Tell him to stop calling, to stop inviting me down to the White House. Just leave me alone; get the focus off of me.'"

"They called me the czar," Daley says, smiling at the memory.

They also called him the dealmaker. "We had it won until the last week and a half," says David Bonior, who claims the Administration passed out some $20 billion in goodies for the districts of legislators on the fence. Don Rose, the Chicago writer and political strategist, says that Daley won NAFTA because of his "ability to find everybody's price."

Truthfully, that's not such a great skill. How hard is it to find someone's price?

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And then this:

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Guess who is behind this? Your next mayor, Bill Daley.

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Finally, this reminder from December:

"Chicago mayoral candidate Bill Daley responded to criticism that he's not being transparent about his finances Friday by releasing two pages from his 2017 tax return, showing he made more than $2.5 million last year," the Tribune reported.

"Daley's limited disclosure comes after the Chicago Tribune asked 16 declared mayoral candidates on Nov. 1 to release four years of full tax returns, including all attachments and schedules. Six candidates obliged while a seventh, Gery Chico, released the top two pages of his tax returns for the four years."

Maybe Democrats on the city council will subpoeana his tax returns the way they want to subpoeana Donald Trump's. Ha ha.

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"Providing tax returns is a routine act of public disclosure for many candidates who have run for major elected office. Releasing the documents not only tells the public how much the candidate has made in income, but where their financial interests reside, how they have made their money and what potential conflicts of interest could arise if they are elected.

"In Daley's case, the conflict-of-interest question is particularly acute, given that he served as a confidant of sorts for his brother while he ran the city for 22 years from 1989 until he stepped down in 2011. The administration of former Mayor Richard M. Daley was clouded by scandals and federal investigations, some of which sent top aides to prison but never touched the mayor himself.

Asked why Bill Daley only released two pages of one year's tax return, campaign spokesman Peter Cunningham replied, "We feel this is enough. It's important to get it out and move on."

Welcome back to a Daley administration.

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"Daley released the information on the Friday before Christmas, when many Chicagoans are pre-occupied with last-minute shopping and travel plans. He also made the two pages public in the same hour that he put out a news release calling for the Dan Ryan Expressway to be renamed for former President Barack Obama."

Well done.

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"Most of Daley's money - more than $1.8 million - was tied to Schedule E income, a broad category that covers gains and losses tied to areas such as rental real estate, trusts, estates, S corporations, royalties and partnerships. Cunningham declined to describe the nature of that income."

Here's a bunch of stuff that is impossible to decipher. Well, we've done our job, let's move on!

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"Daley released the two pages of tax information the day after fellow candidate Paul Vallas ripped him and other candidates for not being transparent, noting the complete release of financial information is 'absolutely expected by the voters.'

"I just think it's political science 101: release your financials. Let us see how you made your money," said Vallas, who released four years worth of full returns. "Let us see who you contributed to, let us see who you donated to, what charities you funded or you helped subsidize."

I actually thought the Trib would endorse Vallas, but it's clear they want another "superstar" mayor who can prance around the globe "selling" the city instead of a green-visored budget expert or someone who truly cares about the neighborhoods and the people who live there more than the never-gleaming-enough downtown the Trib's editorial page editor (and editor-in-chief) work in each day after commuting in together from the suburbs.

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"Vallas, who served as Chicago Public Schools CEO under former Mayor Daley, made it a point to note that Bill Daley was involved in many of the financial decisions during his brother's administration that left the city in trouble.

"He's been his brother's closest adviser for decades, so who are we trying to kid?" Vallas asked. "I don't think there have been any major decisions made in the city that Bill hasn't had some influence on."

"Vallas, former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, state comptroller Susana Mendoza, state Rep. LaShawn Ford and Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown all have released their full tax returns for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 as requested by the Tribune. Daley and Chico are the only two who chose to disclose partial information.

"The candidates who have refused to release their tax returns: Businessman Willie Wilson, former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, tech entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin, activist Ja'Mal Green, public policy consultant Amara Enyia, former Ald. Bob Fioretti and attorneys John Kozlar and Jerry Joyce, Jr."

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It's all hands on deck, people. A bad moon is on the rise.

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The Beachwood McRibTipLine: Nasty weather.



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Posted on February 13, 2019


MUSIC - Did Academia Kill Jazz?
TV - Hugely Profitable Netflix Pays $0 In Taxes.
POLITICS - The Political Odds.
SPORTS - Go Brew Crew!

BOOKS - Close Knit.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: Courtyard Still Life.


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