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The [Wednesday] Papers

Tom Tunney wasn't talking on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, the North Side alderman only dug his hole deeper in his little cell phone scandal.

In a prepared statement - apparently afraid to face live reporters - Tunney "said":

"When I arrived at my office, I did call the 23rd district commander to question why, in an understaffed police district where we have serious crimes unsolved, officers are assigned to pull people over solely for cell phone violations," according to the Sun-Times.

1. If a police officer sees it happen right in front of him or her, isn't the officer duty-bound to make the traffic stop?

2. Would Tunney have made a similar call had a constituent come to his office to register the same complaint?

"Although I did not ask him to, following our conversation, the commander had my driver's license returned to me at my office. I must emphasize that, at no time did I ask for any special treatment. I have sent my payment in and will use my hands-free device while driving in the future."

Tunney may not have asked for a favor, but he accepted one. Same thing.

"Tunney refused to elaborate on his statement one day after the special treatment he received landed him on Page One of the Chicago Sun-Times under the headline, 'Special delivery for Alderman Tunney.'"

He's learned that the media will forget about the whole thing in a few days and move on. Who hired Angelo Torres?

"The alderman would only say that his call to [Cmdr. Gary] Yamashiroya was not an implied request for a favor.

"'We talk every day actually. That's nothing unusual,' he said."

Yes. They always talk about the alderman's traffic tickets.

"Yamashiroya was on furlough and could not be reached for comment."

I received a couple of e-mails yesterday from residents of the area showering praise on Yamashiroya's work. But it appears he made a bonehead play on this one. I wonder what made him think he should do a favor for an alderman.

Time Tunney
Remember when Tunney first ran for the city council and promised to sell his Ann Sather's restaurants if he won so there wouldn't be any conflicts between his duties as alderman and the business he had in his ward? I do. I also remember that after he was elected, he reneged on that promise.

The Daley Tax
"Attention taxpayers: Chicago isn't broke," Jesse Jackson Jr. writes on the Tribune Op-Ed page this morning. Jackson's piece is notable for cogent reasoning rarely displayed by the mayor - or the city council.

Not only does Jackson calculate the cost of corruption, he suggests several interesting revenue-raising proposals. It's almost like an actual real public policy debate! Like the kind you might see in a campaign!

But Chicagoans have only themselves to blame.

"When I was exploring a possible run for mayor," Jackson writes,"many people defended Mayor Daley. Almost universally, residents expressed to me how beautiful the flowers were downtown.

"At the same time, local newspapers reported more corruption and scandal.

"The flower boxes are nice. But now the mayor wants you to ante up for all the dirt."


Who knew a city could be bought for some measly flowers? But it's true. I sometimes wonder if those flowers are like the spores in that Star Trek episode that sedated the residents on that planet. Planting those flowers was the best thing this mayor did, it seems, to ensure his reign.

"One of the most outstanding African American filmmakers working today is Charles Burnett. His name is barely a blip in the minds of movie-goers of all races and ethnicities, and that's a real crime. Burnett has created some of the most original portrayals of the lives and culture of the African American community available today. However, like most independent filmmakers, he is chronically short of funding and distribution options. Therefore, it was a great service for the [Chicago International Film Festival] to revive one of his earlier films, a thoroughly independent affair populated with amateur actors and family members called My Brother's Wedding," writes Marilyn Ferdinand at The Beachwood Media Company's very own Ferdy on Films.

And the film sounds like a winner. Catch up with the entire festival and Ferdy's world of off-road films at Ferdy on Films.

"Stroger In No Hurry on Health System," the Sun-Times says.

Um, the sick people kind of are, though.


Stroger heard experts from a panel convened at the behest of Sen. Dick Durbin (maybe he's the Illinois senator who should be running for president) on Tuesday to turn over the county's health system to an independent medical board.

"The panel concluded that there's too much bureaucracy [in the county's health system] and that politics often drives spending decisions instead of what's best for hospital patients," the Sun-Times reports.

In other words, Cook County politics is a killer.

Brutality Tax
"The Chicago Police Department has agreed to pay $4 million to a 23-year-old man who says police shoved a screwdriver into his behind," the Sun-Times reports.

Yup. A world-class city, alright. Maybe they used a world-class screwdriver.

"[The victim's] attorney, Jon Loevy, said he is not optimistic the department will ever hold its own accountable," the Sun-Times says.

"Loevy . . . noted that in all six-million dollar-plus verdicts he has won against the department in recent years, [the Office of Professional Standards] had exonerated the officers in every case."

Boy, kind of a depressing column today.

(As if most of them aren't.)

Plus, Mrs. Carlson died.

Bright Spot
Posting has been relatively light elsewhere on the site this week and I've been running late in the mornings, both due to trying to conduct some business and put our budding empire on sound financial footing. As opposed to the footing we are on now.

But we have an exceptional piece today by our latest newest writer, Courey Gruszauskas. Her Leaving Champaign mixtape is worth a read - and a listen.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Anger beats the spores, people!


Posted on October 17, 2007

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - IRS Lax On Tax Cheats.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Bears' Real Goat.

BOOKS - Frederick Douglass: Prophet Of Freedom.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Persuading Midwestern Climate Change Skeptics.

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