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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Turns out Ald. Jason Ervin and some members of the Black Caucus may not be the only ones supporting a delay in selling recreational marijuana in Chicago. Lobbyists for two white-owned cannabis companies would benefit if Chicago held off on selling cannabis," Shia Kapos reports for her Politico Illinois Playbook.

Click through for the depressing details.

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Ervin supported Toni Preckwinkle in the mayoral campaign, which I note because the larger story behind so much of what's going on in the city, including the recent CTU strike, is the war going on against Lori Lightfoot's administration. It's akin to the Vrdolyak 29's war against Harold Washington, albeit much less effective and coming from a much stranger place on the political spectrum: a place where self-righteous progressives intersect with The Machine, including not just Preckwinkle and her allies, such as Joe Berrios and Robert Martwick, but Michael Madigan and his troops. Assignment Desk, activate!

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The goal is to cripple Lightfoot early - and every day to the extent possible - and make her a one-term mayor. The CTU reportedly hopes to then install Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, or even CTU vice president Stacy Davis Gates on the Fifth Floor.

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A question for the media his how they will handle this. Legitimate oppo research is and will continue to flow their way, and of course they should investigate and report their findings to the extent they are true. But they shouldn't allow an asymmetry to develop by failing to duly scrutinize those providing the tips. Tipsters should not be granted immunity.

And sometimes the bigger story is who is behind the tips and what they are trying to accomplish. I'm reminded of an incident involving the Minneapolis Star Tribune many years ago. A reporter accepted a tip and granted the tipster anonymity. An editor broke that contract upon deciding that the larger story was the attempt of the tipster to smear a political opponent. I don't agree with the editor's actions, but I understand it. In the aftermath, some news organizations decreed that reporters alone could not enter into anonymous source relationships without their editors becoming part of them. I'm not fond of that practice, but the point is that sometimes who is doing the tipping and why is at least as big of a story - if not bigger - than what the tip is about. Some might suggest Hillary Clinton's e-mails were an example of this writ large.

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None of this is to defend Lightfoot in any way. That's not my job. But the never-ending campaign is a real thing, and by far the most interesting and important aspect of city politics right now, and missing that background is a dereliction of duty on the part of reporters.

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To wit, from last March:

"Preckwinkle has three endorsements, from Aldermen Walter Burnett (27th Ward), Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward) and Jason Ervin (28th Ward). The aldermen are strong key allies of outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel."

Ahem.

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To the issue at hand, from a Twitter conversation I had with a knowledgeable person last night, just to check myself:

"Hey, on this pot thing - isn't the idea that the white legacy dispensaries will generate tax dollars that will go into a fund to subsidize people of color coming into the business? Do I have that right, basically?"

"That's exactly it. They need to build up the 'social equity' fund."

Getting the money flowing ASAP is best for everyone involved, including those the Black Caucus purport to represent.

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It reminds me of the way progressive Chicago legislators in Springfield, led by Preckwinkle support Will Guzzardi, killed Lightfoot's proposed real estate transfer tax over the percentage of the proceeds that would go to homeless programs. Really? Get the money flowing and you can tinker with the percentages later one way or another, including an annual review or a sunset provision.

It's no coincidence, though, that opposition to Lightfoot keeps coming from the same quarters, who got all of 25% of the vote to Lightfoot's 75% last April.

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That's not say I don't have criticisms of Lightfoot. I do. I understand but don't agree with how she handled the Lincoln Yards box the outgoing mayor and his city council allies put her in. I'm confused about her stance on bail reform. I didn't like some of her rhetoric about crime over the summer. And I definitely think she's wrong in wanting to site a Chicago casino on the South or West Side instead of downtown. That, in my view, is absolutely nuts.

ADDING: Her Eddie Johnson celebratory press conference was gross.

But I'm in the uncomfortable position of finding her opponents far, far, far more objectionable. After all, it's one thing to have honest policy differences with someone. It's another when an officeholder is a cynical, dishonest, heartless piece of shit.

As far as the media goes, if some of them are butt-hurt because Rahm's PR team is no longer around to hold their hands, so be it. But be aware, too, that some folks are counterprogramming the mayor every day.

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To today's pot developments, I wish this piece of information (if true), too. was included in all the stories about the delay:

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P.S.:

Lightfoot denying that corporation counsel Mark Flessner did not claim dual homestead exemptions was not a good look. Did Flessner lie to her? What happened to, "You lie, you die?" Or was it an honest mistake? I'd still like to know.

Nonetheless, she wasn't at all wrong dressing down media folks stanning for their buddy Billy McCaffrey.

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P.P.S.:

We need a mayor who won't conduct business as usual!

Hey, what's wrong with her, she's not conducting business as usual!

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P.P.P.S.:

Rahm bullied everyone around him with an inch of their lives. Somehow the media found that charming and praised his toughness.

Lightfoot is one tough cookie, moreso than folks probably realized during the campaign, but her toughness isn't praised but characterized as petty and quick to look for a fight.

Keep a close eye on the language and the narratives being created - and by whom.

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P.P.P.P.S.:

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Bojangles' Coming To Illinois
Southern chicken 'n' biscuits chain not named after the song, which is not named after Bill Robinson. This is how we Beachwood.

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ChicagoReddit

Kroger Ruined Marianos from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Chicago Footwork In India.

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: There really is no far side of the moon. In fact, it's all far.



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Posted on December 18, 2019


MUSIC - Pandemophenia.
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SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Unless Someone Dies.

BOOKS - The Legacy Of Racism For Children.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - On Boredom.


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