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The Weekend Desk Report

"St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay turned down the traditional friendly bet on the playoff series between the Cubs and Cardinals, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office," the Tribune reports.

"Emanuel proffered the usual assortment of Chicago beers, deep-dish pizza and Eli's cheesecake, plus tickets to Chicago tours and a donation to charity as the city's offering if the Cubs lose to their hated rivals from Missouri in the National League Division Series. But Emanuel spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said Slay declined to reciprocate."

Maybe that's because:

A) Rahm can't name three current Cubs and obviously isn't sincere.

B) That's the same package Rahm offers every mayor whom he bets sports with. Try, dammit! His aides probably put it together without him. It's become so perfunctory a piece of political theater we all know the package of goods by heart. We're in an age of personalized marketing. St. Louis Cards Against Humanity was just waiting there for you.

C) The Cardinals are in the playoffs every year, they don't need to bet with mayors of their opponents' cities. That's for newbies.


Or perhaps there was an incident:

"Mayors and police chiefs of 20 cities, including St. Louis, met Wednesday [in Washington, D.C.] for an anti-crime summit and to confront an unpleasant reality: Crime is rising for many, but stark budget realities are limiting the options in fighting it," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

"Police Chief Sam Dotson . . . with Slay, sat a row behind Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of violence-stricken Chicago."


Also, enough with the cheesecakes already, Rahm.


Chicago's House Mouse
A North Carolina congresswoman thanked fellow Republicans for their support Friday after many received incendiary e-mails alleging an affair between her and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, according to two Republicans in the closed-door meeting," the Charlotte Observer reports.

"On Thursday the rumors were repeated in e-mails to GOP lawmakers from Steve Baer, a conservative donor from Chicago who once promised to 'dine on RINO flesh,' using the disparaging acronym for Republicans in Name Only."


"In the hours before House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) abruptly withdrew his candidacy to be the next speaker of the House, he received an e-mail from a conservative activist threatening to expose an alleged affair with a colleague. The subject line: 'Kevin, why not resign like Bob Livingston?'" the Huffington Post reports.

"The e-mail, sent just after 8 a.m. on Thursday, came from Steve Baer, a Chicago-based GOP donor known for mass-emailing conservative figures and Republican lawmakers. It was addressed to McCarthy and numerous others, including the personal account of Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), whom conservative media sites have suggested is tied romantically to McCarthy."


See also: How The Media Is Handling Kevin McCarthy's Rumored Affair. (Hint: badly.)


Who is Steve Baer?

"A Riverside resident has played a significant but little noticed role in the rise of Rick Santorum from afterthought to serious contender in the race for the Republican presidential nomination," the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark reported in 2012.

"Steve Baer, who has lived in Riverside since 1989, played a key role in uniting Christian conservatives and others in Iowa behind Santorum, which led to his strong showing and ultimate 34 vote victory in January's caucuses."


(Also, I hate when someone who lives in the suburbs is identified as a Chicagoan. Is it so heard to delineate?)

(FYI: It appears he used to live in Chicago's 44th Ward.)


"Baer ran for Illinois governor in 1990 as a conservative challenger to Jim Edgar. He lost but received 256,889 votes, or 33 percent of the total."


"Baer's support for Santorum goes far beyond a press release. Baer; his wife, Donna; and daughter, Salem - one of his 10 children - met with Santorum at a private dinner at a downtown Des Moines hotel on Nov. 18 . . .

"Baer, who has home schooled his children, has broad connections with home schoolers, social conservatives, economic conservatives and Tea Party leaders . . . "

Click through for the rest; it's worth it.


Let's go to the archives.

"Grudgingly or not, the right-wing United Republican Fund of Illinois has been recognized by its mainstream GOP counterparts as a force to be dealt with in state party politics," the Tribune reported in 1987 under the headline "GOP Making Peace With Its Right Wing."

Ha. At least Baer's being consistent - except for that "making peace" thing.


Before sparring with Edgar, Baer sparred with Jim Thompson.


Reported in 1988 by now-editorial page editor Bruce Dold:

"This amounts to an effort to excommunicate people from the Republican Party," said Steve Baer, a 28-year-old Brown University graduate who is executive director of the United Republican Fund and is affectionately known to the group`s supporters as "The Kid."

"The end of all politics is policy, and the object is to get the Republican Party back in policy positions so it can be a winning party from now on," Baer said. "The model of capitulating and imitating the Democrats to see if we can give away more than they can is not a good strategy."


In 1989, Baer called Edgar "decidedly more liberal" than Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Hartigan.


And then, of course, devil stuff, from 1990:

"GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Baer gave a rather hellfire and brimstone speech to worshipers at Springfield`s Calvary Temple on Jan. 28, according to a tape recently obtained by the Springfield State Journal-Register. After Baer noted that he and his wife spend time counseling women to avoid abortions, he went on to say that he has concluded 'that government so often is the instrument for Satan to do evil.' And he wants to be guv, Baer said, to work to 'restrain evil.'"


Gives Edgar a "dogfight:"

"Edgar has been bruised almost daily by the rampaging campaign of challenger Steven Baer, the conservative ideologue who has made the race for the Republican nomination a referendum on Edgar`s moderate positions . . .

"One reason Baer is contesting Edgar for the nomination is what he and other ultra-conservatives view as Edgar`s cavalier attitude toward their philosophy.

"When the Pro-Family Taxpayers Network, an anti-abortion and anti-tax group, was beating the bushes for a gubernatorial contender last summer, Edgar dismissed them as a 'fringe' element of the GOP . . .

"An Arizona native, Baer has lived in Illinois since 1984. Until December he was executive director of the United Republican Fund, a conservative organization that feuded with the party hierarchy while pursuing an anti-tax, anti-abortion agenda.

"In his only other bid for office, Baer was defeated by a 2-1 ratio in a 1984 challenge to state Rep. John Cullerton (D-Chicago)."


Return engagement, 1994:

"Conservative Repub Steve Baer will begin circulating petitions Monday to run for governor on the Term Limits & Tax Limits Party's ticket. Baer, who ran in the GOP primary against Jim Edgar in 1990, is the front man for a group of anti-tax, anti-abortion conservative Repubs who want Edgar to lose. Then, according to their scenario, they'll lead the Republican Party out of the wilderness after four years of Dawn Clark Netsch."


How did that go? Not so well, according to this fire and brimstone from Tom Hardy, now the longtime chief spokesdude for the University of Illinois:

"Baer fancies himself as a foot soldier of the Republican Right. But his self-satisfied smirk and preoccupation with political pranks and hijinks are irrepressible. He lambastes Edgar as having lied to voters and broken a campaign pledge to hold the line on taxes, then laughs off serious allegations of election fraud concerning his party's nominating petitions.

"Baer's few remaining friends in the right wing of the Republican Party would have you believe that he is some incorruptible ideologue, persecuted by the compromisers and centrists (or 'hacks') of the GOP.

"To conservative commentator Tom Roeser's way of thinking, Baer is merely 'an artless, somewhat impractical young conservative' who is being punished for having the 'temerity to challenge the existing Republican structure' . . .

"Baer was fond of staging news conferences featuring a stooge dressed as a porcine lawmaker or as a bloodsucking 'Count Tax-a-Lot.'"


P.S.: Contraindicated! From the Sun-Times, 1987:

Nicaraguan contra leader Adolfo Calero said Tuesday he expects Congress to vote continued - and perhaps increased - U.S. aid for the rebel cause in the wake of the Iran-contra testimony of his "good friend, Ollie North."

Campaigning in Chicago for public support of his cause, Calero said North "did a wonderful job" of educating the American public about the contras and put the rebels in a "much better situation" . . .

Calero was picketed by some 150 people outside the Palmer House, where he made a luncheon speech to the Executives Club. Two protesters were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

Some of the same protesters - part of an umbrella group called Pledge of Resistance - later showed up in a crowd of about 100 that protested Calero's arrival at Navy Pier for a fund-raising cruise on the Chicago Princess.

The cruise, sponsored by the United Republican Fund of Illinois, attracted 248 people who paid $35 each, said Steve Baer, executive director of the group. Baer said the proceeds would be used to support Congressional candidates who favor support for the contras.


The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "As a keyboardist in the legendary recording studios of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Spooner Oldham wrote and played on dozens of classic hits from Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, and more. He joins Jim and Greg for a conversation. Then they review the new album from Janet Jackson."


Weekend TweetWood

Alternate: "Unlike Everyone Else, Cubs Aim To Sustain Success."




The Weekend Tip Line: Contraindicated.


Posted on October 10, 2015

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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