Lip Service

“Oak Lawn trustees voted Tuesday night to employ the services of a lobbyist firm to help seek federal funding for village projects,” according to the suburban Reporter.

Why should you care if you don’t live in Oak Lawn?

Because this is also a story about U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, the controversial lllinois congressman from the Southwest Side. Or more to the point, Lipinski’s chief of staff. “Jerry Hurckes is his name,” Carol Marin wrote recently. “Chicago-style politics is his game.”

And, as Marin explained, Hurckes – an aspiring mayoral candidate – likes to be thought of as Oak Lawn’s go-to guy. Which explains the rest of the story:

“Trustees voted 5 to 1 to follow the recommendation of Oak Lawn village manager Larry Deetjen to hire Arlington, Va.-based Alcalde and Fay to represent the village in Washington, D.C. Trustee Jerry Hurckes (District 1) cast the lone dissenting vote.

“Hurckes insisted that U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3, Western Springs) is working hard to bring Oak Lawn federal funds. Lobbyists are a waste of money when the village is already looking at a possible $600,000 deficit in this year’s budget, he added.”

Which may be true. But you shouldn’t just take Hurckes’ word for it.

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