Category Archives: Evil Rich People

The [Friday] Papers


* I think everyone’s missing the point about Mayor Richard M. Daley speaking at Northwestern’s commencement. Does NU president Henry Bienen believe that Daley is a good role model for ethical public service?

* Tony Rezko’s Las Vegas gambling debts.

* Children’s Museum parody songs.

Over at today’s Beachwood Reporter.

Please visit, and then return here for more political blogging throughout the weekend, after I duck out for some coffee that sadly won’t be from Dunkin’ Donuts.

War Council

“‘I don’t think we should preclude an attack on Iran if it’s necessary,’ Ald. Bernie Stone (50th) grumbled to John Mearsheimer, a University of Chicago political science professor,” the Tribune reports.

“‘When would it be necessary?’ asked Mearsheimer, an expert on international security policy.

“‘That I don’t know,’ said Stone, an expert on zoning policy.”

“We’ve always taken up issues besides collecting the garbage,” said Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th).

Like approving animal torture for entertainment purposes.

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Friends of Stroger

The Sun-Times reported in a brief last week that Todd Stroger is holding a $125-a-person fundraiser this Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. I’m going to totally steal the list of names on Stroger’s fundraising committee from the S-T’s fine Cook County reporter, Steve Patterson, so we can start pointing fingers for Stroger’s coming re-election campaign and possible victory. The comments are mine.

* Former county assessor Tom Hynes. Still making up for running against Harold Washington; will also look for payback when his son, Tom, runs for whatever he runs for next.

* Investment banker John Rogers. Also a big Obama benefactor.

* Emil Jones, natch.

* Michael Madigan. Will call in favors when Lisa runs for governor

* Alds. Carrie Austin, Bill Banks, Anthony Beale, Howard Brookins, Walter Burnett, Willie Cochran, Toni Foulkes, Leslie Hairston, Michelle Harris, Lona Lane, Freddrenna Lyle, Toni Preckwinkle, Gene Schulter, Latasha Thomas, and JoAnn Thompson. Every one of them should be punished at the ballot box for putting personal loyalties and myopic political calculation above the public interest.

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Our little corner of the world is a less joyous place today than when the weekend started. The Spindle is dead.

* “Grassroots activism lost to corporate America [Friday] night when the 50-foot Berwyn ‘Spindle,’ an eight-car kabob, was dismantled under cover of darkness. Cermak Plaza’s pop icon was taken down with a crane to make room for a proposed Walgreens.”

* “Artist Says He Was ‘Heartbroken’ To Learn of Demolition.”

* All that’s left is the base.

* The Spindle by Flickr.

* State senate resolution to save the Spindle.

* I wonder if the pending pay raise for state officeholders would have been enough to save the Spindle. Somebody do the math.

* Isn’t this the sort of thing that earmarks were designed for?

Take It From Dick

If you mess with the bull, you get the horns.

Especially if the bull is U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Carol Marin will lead a panel on today’s bombshell – and we’re still absorbing yesterday’s bombshell! – from the Tony Rezko trial on Chicago Tonight tonight.

Who Is Ali Ata?

Right now, he’s the governor’s worst nightmare.

Some quick background:

“Recently, Ali Ata, the former president of the Chicago Chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and a close associate of Othman, also came under scrutiny, this time by Chicago’s other newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times,” Ray Hanania wrote in 2005.

“Ata was a major contributor to the candidacy of Blagojevich, who served as a congressman before becoming governor. Ata reportedly donated more than $60,000 to Blagojevich. Ata has been active in supporting Arab American causes and was instrumental in helping to make ADC active in Chicago.

“But Ata’s ties to the state date back to Edgar and Ryan. He and three partners received more than $3.2 million when they convinced the state to lease a building they owned at 3500 W. Grand Avenue on Chicago’s poverty-stricken West Side in the early 1990s.”

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Pundit Patrol

Mark Brown: “Fresh from defending the use of town firefighters to demolish his pool house, a south suburban mayor has some more explaining to do about his home rehab project.

“The State Board of Elections is questioning about $40,000 in campaign expenditures by Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch, most of which Welch originally reported spending to remodel his campaign headquarters.

“It turns out the headquarters in question is inside Welch’s three-car garage, which he is in the process of expanding and equipping with a new kitchen and bathroom to better serve as a party and meeting room.”

John Kass: “The saga of King Rudolph the Great and his quest to build an 8-foot stone wall surrounding his gigantic castle traveled to Chicago’s City Hall on Friday.

“Chicago was once a land of bungalows. But now, more castles are cropping up, and King Rudolph’s is a doozy.”

Steve Chapman: “It’s hard to imagine he would be so indulgent if we learned that John McCain had a long association with a former Klansman who used to terrorize African-Americans. Obama’s conduct exposes a moral blind spot about these onetime terrorists, who get a pass because they a) fall on the left end of the spectrum and b) haven’t planted any bombs lately.”

Dale’s Mailbag: (near bottom) “The larger issue is the loss of faith in the system . . . We will return to documenting Gov. Blagojevich’s attack on Illinois’s outdoors in coming Sundays.”

Obama’s Auchie Owie

New York Times: “A government witness testified on Monday at the trial of the Chicago businessman Antoin Rezko that Senator Barack Obama attended a party in 2004 that Mr. Rezko held to court a controversial Iraqi-born investor for a large real estate project.”

Chicago Tribune: “Just weeks after winning the Democratic U.S. Senate primary in 2004, Barack Obama was the guest of developer Antoin “Tony” Rezko at a party for a controversial British billionaire whom Rezko was trying to lure into an investment, a witness testified Monday at Rezko’s corruption trial.”

Sun-Times: “Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama was again drawn into Tony Rezko’s corruption trial on Monday, when the prosecution’s star witness placed Obama at a party for an Iraqi-born billionaire who was later barred entry to the United States.”

Associated Press: “A mysterious billionaire with his hands on a major chunk of Chicago real estate and at least passing familiarity with some of Illinois’ top politicians has surfaced in the federal fraud trial of political fundraiser Antoin ‘Tony’ Rezko.”

Beachwood Reporter: “Contrary to Obama’s persistent claims, he indeed did favors for Tony Rezko.”

Party Crasher

So it turns out he was at that party! Looks like Barack Obama picked a bad week to try to quit smoking. Rezko Watch has a lot of the background and there’ll be plenty more to chew on as this develops . . .

Drinking With Dean

Where will DNC Chairman Howard Dean be the day after the Pennsylvania primary?

Right here in Chicago at a cocktail reception hosted by Manny and Pat Pulido Sanchez in their home at The Heritage at Millennium Park.

And those cocktails better be good and strong – the entry fee is $500 per guest on the low end, $2,500 to be an Event Host, and $5,000 for entry into the Chairman’s Circle, which I’m guessing means drinking with Howard Dean himself in a spare bedroom.

Day: Wednesday, April 23
Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Co-sponsors: the DNC Hispanic Leadership Council and Chicago Finance Council
RSVP: Call the DNC.
Source: Chicago Latino Network.