Quick Hits – Pride truly doth goeth before the fall!

Simple extortion? Carried out on a cellphone? And it was Burger King? It would seem like it’s my Cook County political brethren’s turn to hang their head in shame. Machine bosses like Ed Burke don’t make these kinds of embarrassing mistakes!

C’mon! When the Feds butcher papered his Ward and City Hall office windows, I was willing to bet my bottom dollar they’d come up with something even juicier than Ed Vrdolyak playing loose and fast with all that tobacco settlement money.

But simple extortion – against Burger King – captured on a series of cellphone calls and emails? That’s even sloppier, and far more damning, than Blago’s infamous “it’s fuckin’ golden” reference. Either Chicago Alderman Burke is slipping, or his vast arrogance finally got the best of him.

And make no mistake, Ed Burke is the most arrogant man I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a lot of arrogant men.

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Back when I still harbored hopes of breaking it big as columnist, former NPR host, Chris Robling, invited me down to the City Club for lunch to discuss my prospects. It was as we were leaving that a tall white-haired man wearing an impeccable charcoal gray pinstripe suit with a bright blue pocket square walked through the front door.

I immediately recognized the Alderman, who called Chris over to set up a meeting on an issue I’ve long since forgotten. When Chris kindly introduced me as “an up and coming suburban Sun-Times columnist,” Burke quickly sized me up, determined there was absolutely nothing I could do for him, and without saying a word to me, went right back to his conversation with Chris.

As the Alderman moved towards the elevator, I told him I was sorry that he and his wife lost the custody battle over his adopted daughter. Without skipping a beat, and barely acknowledging my presence, Burke said “It was our son” as he pushed the close door button and was gone.

Now, I’ve been dismissed by the best – former Kane County Chairman Karen McConnaughay and her royal flick of the wrist for example – but I’ve never been put in my all-too-obvious place quite like Ed Burke did that day.

I still laugh when I consider that encounter, but that’s Burke in a nutshell. If you could do something for him, you were golden, and if you couldn’t, you were gone! And I believe that vast arrogance finally caught up with him.

Given my longwinded propensities, I’m not going to go into all the indictment details when they’re already all over the Net. And I’m not going to put “alleged” in front of the term “attempted extortion,” either, because there’s absolutely no doubt as to what really happened.

When the Feds have you saying, “And, um, we were going to talk about the real estate tax representation and you were going to get somebody to get in touch with me so we can expedite your permits” on tape, there isn’t a whole lot left to the imagination.

And this is exactly how the FBI operates. Develop an airtight case on one count to use as leverage to get much more information. So, here’s what’s happening as we speak.

Facing 20 years in the pokey at the ripe old age of 75, those prosecutors will offer Burke a five-year deal if he sings like a canary. Burke will have to serve 80 percent, or four years of that sentence, but if he fully cooperates, he’ll be out in time to celebrate his 80th birthday.

All I can say is, I would avoid unnecessarily startling a number of very nervous Chicago politicians right now. Just ask Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

But what really gets me is Burke didn’t need to do this. Not counting the annual haul his law firm brings in, Burke and his Illinois Supreme Court Justice wife pull down almost a-half-a-million a year. The man is worth millions, he has a stranglehold over the Chicago City Council, and he’s second in Second City power only to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

He’s skated on this kind of thing for 50 long years. So, why risk it all on the likes of one Burger King restaurant?

But he did, and now he’s going to jail.

This morning, I asked a savvy political friend why septuagenarian politicians like Burke and Mike Madigan hang on for dear life. Why don’t they simply walk away and enjoy their ill-gotten gains in peace? In turn, my friend asked me how many real friends – not just lackeys – do these Machine bosses really have. I answered perhaps two or three.

So, not only does the game become an addiction, but without that clout and political power, their lives are generally meaningless. That means they can’t let go, and after you’ve gotten away with it for as long as Burke has, the kind of inevitable entitlement mentality that makes you get sloppy takes over.

It’s a truly tragic ending for an almost mythical figure.

Quick Hits – Why does death absolve us?

I was having a fascinating New Year’s Day conversation with a political friend when I asked him this semi-rhetorical philosophical question,“Why does death seem to absolve us of all our sins?”

It’s certainly a long way to go to rehabilitate your image, but it is amazing just how well it works. Even the most reviled politician suddenly swims in a sea of virtue upon their passing whether the accolades are from the press or their former detractors.

It’s as if we have a collective superstition about what the dead might do if we dared to speak ill of them. Or perhaps it’s our fervent wish to enjoy the same kind of moral reconstruction upon our own expiration that makes us willing to rewrite history.

Take George Herbert Walker Bush. From all the laurel wreaths, you’d have thought Mother Theresa managed to perish again. But the truth is, our 41st President was such an unmitigated  disaster that his own party abandoned him. He will forever sit among the failed one-term presidential likes of Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and Herbert Hoover.

And we have a similar scenario playing out here with the passing of former Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner. From the vast praise and immense acclaim from the press and local politicians, you’d think he was a candidate for Catholic canonization, not simply a mayor who fell far short of the ideal.

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Before we continue, let me be clear that Tom wasn’t a bad guy, he certainly was no worse than many of the local politicians I’ve covered, and I truly feel for those folks who are mourning the loss of a husband, father and friend.

This isn’t something personal, either. Even at the Aurora Beacon-News, I barely wrote about the man and most of it was positive or incidental. We had no more than ten conversations in 11 years and those abruptly ended when I became part of Richard Irvin’s 2017 mayoral campaign team.

The truth is, Weisner was a mediocre mayor whose “accomplishments” were greatly magnified by Aurora’s descent into that 90’s abyss. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve some credit for pulling the City of Light back from that precipice, but there was nowhere to go but up.

Weisner most often gets credit for Aurora’s descending crime rate, and while his leadership played a role, that decline boils down adopting the community policing standards that had already succeeded in a slew of other medium-sized cities, hiring police chiefs who could pull it off, and an effective partnership between the Aurora Police Department and Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.

While Cook County was errantly prosecuting gang leaders, the APD and KCSAO were smart enough to go after the rank and file sending violent crimes plummeting. But not only has this violent crime decline been a national trend, but Naperville’s crime index is 2.3 times lower than Aurora’s.

Before you cite the obvious demographical differences, with its identical ethnic breakdown, Elgin boasts a 17 percent lower crime index than Aurora. Give APD Chief Kristan Ziman a little more time and Aurora will be more than competitive in this regard and Weisner deserves credit is for getting behind that atypical chief choice.

The former mayor did do a great job with the arts. The Paramount is a gem, the downtown summer concerts are a lot of fun, and he was the moving force behind River Edge Park, which will do even better with reserved seating.

Weisner liked to say his favorite accomplishment was improving Aurora’s decaying infrastructure, and there is something to be said for that. But the Paramount, River Edge and those internal improvements never translated into the kind of economic growth the former Mayor thought they would, and that was his biggest failure.

Given Aurora’s location, diversity and tumbling crime rate, there’s no reason that city shouldn’t have become something along the lines of what Naperville’s become. But unlike the late Naperville Mayor George Pradel, Weisner didn’t have the vision, foresight, or capacity to play well with others necessary to make that kind of thing happen.

Again, comparing a drive through Aurora’s depressed downtown to a cruise through Elgin’s resurgent business district is no comparison. I hope Mayor Richard Irvin is up to that challenge because, as I’ve previously contended, if Elgin can do it…

Not only has Aurora been inexplicably unable to attract the big employers, but they lost their Caterpillar crown jewel to Decatur. That means that city’s biggest businesses now are:

  1. Rush Copley
  2. West Aurora School District
  3. East Aurora School District
  4. Provena Mercy
  5. City of Aurora
  6. Advocate/Dreyer
  7. Indian Prairie School district

With all Aurora has to offer, there’s no excuse for four government entities and three medical concerns leading that list.

A great part of that problem is, Weisner didn’t just love being mayor, he was in love with being mayor. Add no private sector job experience to that kind of entitlement mentality and it’s always a dangerous proposition.

When I say that’s “dangerous,” I mean it was incredibly easy to get on the former Mayor’s naughty list. And once you were on his bad side, there was no form of rehabilitation that could bring you back. Either you were 100 percent for Tom, or you were against him – end of story. Even a 99.5 percent fealty rate wasn’t enough, and that kind of dismissive quality never bodes well for any mayor anywhere.

Weisner’s public housing “experiment” was also a complete disaster and Aurora’s poverty rate still sits at 14 percent compared to Elgin’s 11.6 percent. There’s certainly room for improvement there.

The press also lauded Weisner for his “public service,” but he was paid very well as an Aurora staffer as well as mayor. Compare his 140 grand salary with a Cadillac benefits package to the $20,000 a year Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain makes.

But what truly tarnished his legacy, or perhaps even destroyed it, was the bizarre letter he authored excoriating Alderman Richard Irvin at the end of the contentious 2017 mayoral race. I’m not going to cover all of his inexcusable accusations in that missive made public by the Rick Guzman campaign (a huge mistake) because they don’t bear repeating.

But going after Irvin for being a defense attorney to the point of accusing him of “plying the trade of plea-bargaining to put gangbangers and other violent offenders back on our streets as quickly as possible,” was way beyond the pale and downright racist.

You know I don’t play the race card very often, but I’ve never witnessed that kind of uncalled for attack from a politician of Weisner’s stature. But that’s exactly who Tom Weisner was, and that’s why he never really succeeded as mayor. Irvin wasn’t his handpicked heir and that infuriated him to the point where he finally let us see the person behind all those smiles and handshakes.

Please don’t get me wrong! I have and will continue to harbor a vast affinity for Illinois’ second largest city. It’s just that you can’t rise to a challenge unless you first understand that challenge. So, go ahead and call me a cad, a reprobate, or whatever else you manage to come up with, but I refuse to rewrite history, and I expect the same – or likely worse – when my time comes.

In the end, Tom Weisner wasn’t the worst mayor, but he wasn’t nearly the best, either.

Quick Hit’s – T’was the night before Christmas

On Friday, I forgot to mention that Quick Hits will be taking our traditional Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day break. I always offer the caveat that if something inspires me, I may go ahead and write anyway, and something always seems to inspire me.

But this year, between trying to get one book published, writing another, and writing Quick Hits three days a week, I’m really looking forward to some time off! But before I temporarily vanish, I wanted to cover one more thing!

Upon making the ten mile journey west to Elburn’s Ream’s Market yesterday (12/23) at around 10:50 a.m. We were stunned to see virtually every inch of the store occupied by an eager customer. You literally could not move very far in any direction.

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So, while my wife dutifully waited for the prime rib roast, I grabbed a couple of bottles of Glogg and got in the line, which wrapped around the store four times. It was not unlike winding your way through a mythical Greek maze – without the Minotaur, of course!

And I gotta tell ya, not only did that crack Ream’s staff keep everything moving at a record pace, but it was kinda fun talking with our fellow queue mates. It was a far cry from Meijer having just two deli workers at 11 on Sunday morning.

Now, I know grocery stores are somewhat immune to that Internet interference, but that doesn’t mean that Reams isn’t an island in a sea of food offering megastores. Those competitors include:

  • Target
  • Jewel
  • Meijer
  • Caputo‘s
  • Mariano’s
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Whole Foods
  • Fresh Markek
  • Aldi
  • Woodman’s
  • Sam’s Club
  • Costco
  • Walmart

And others! So, while crowds are certainly not my thing, it was kinda cool being in a four-checkout-counter line with at least 99 of my favorite holiday meal shopping compatriots. It’s the kind of phenomenon those more massive competitors can only dream of.

The bottom line? Ream’s does it right. They sell a fantastic product at reasonable prices topped by great customer service with nary a hint of an entitlement mentality.

That’s how you do it small business folks.

Quick Hits – December 21, 2018

Let me be perfectly clear about school board candidates

On Wednesday we covered exactly which Geneva school board candidates were backed by the Geneva Education Association. For the uninitiated, that’s the D304 teachers’ union. To repeat, those candidates are:

  • Jill Johnson
  • Katherine Frye
  • Kim Edwards
  • Alicia Saxton
  • Prerak Patel

But when I posted that story, a couple of commenters referred to that slate in some rather unfortunate terms. And I say “unfortunate” because, while I completely disagree with their cause, anyone who has the cojones to run for school board deserves a boatload of credit for doing so.

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First, this race covers all of Geneva Township and a bit more, so it’s bigger than a mayoral run. Second you don’t get paid for serving on a school board and, if done right, it can be a very time-consuming proposition.

And third, it’s an utterly thankless job because you regularly have to deal with folks’ two most precious commodities – their children and their bank accounts. To make matters worse, the only time the voters give you any consideration whatsoever is when the press believes you’ve done something wrong.

I have a number of friends on school boards and when they displease me my favorite comment is, “Don’t make me help you get reelected!

So, while I certainly don’t want to see any tax and spend candidate get elected anywhere, you have to give this group credit for giving it a shot. Their lives will not be their own from January 2 through April 1. Campaigning, done right, is an incredible amount of hard work.

Will I reasonably and civilly work against them? You bet I will! But isn’t that the American way?

 

This board was more than respectful to the teachers

I’m not being bombarded with this contention, but I am starting to hear it on a semi-regular basis. “The D304 School Board needs to treat the teachers with more respect.” In fact, it’s the main reason one of the pro-union candidates is running.

The irony is these well-intentioned folks have it completely backwards.

I’d say five percent annual raises for five years shows a whole heck of a lot of respect. And unlike GEA President Kevin Gannon and too many of the teachers, this Board bent over backwards to keep the animosity to a minimum.

Geneva 304 Board of Education Members

I know these board members far better than most local politicians and it isn’t in this group’s nature to be disrespectful to anyone, much less the educators they will continue to work with.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gannon

  • Knew a strike was unnecessary
  • Incited an absurd level of hostilities just because he could
  • Consistently and blatantly lied
  • Consistently resorted to intimidation
  • Enjoyed every bit of his 15 minutes of fame
  • Created a consistently moving negotiation target
  • Consistently negotiated in bad faith
  • Was behind sending that absurd text to D304 students

But here’s the real kicker. Sure, that errant text destroyed the union’s public position, which meant they had to settle quickly. But the federal mediator was also greatly responsible for the settlement that fateful Sunday.

At one point during those intense negotiations, he went to the white board, drew a line down the middle, and wrote “Board Concessions” and “Union Concessions” atop the two columns. It took him awhile to list all of the board’s compromises. But when it came to the Union listing theirs, they couldn’t come up with a single word.

Their side of the white board was pure as the driven snow. And that’s really something when you consider strike mediators almost always favor labor. When faced with the text fallout and the fact they clearly weren’t negotiating in good faith, the GEA finally made an effort to resolve the issue.

Furthermore, I have received no reports of any teacher’s child being harassed on social media, but that certainly wasn’t the case for board members who still have children in the Geneva school system. The threats and harassment got so bad that a couple of them are considering sending their children to private schools.

So, it’s the union and some of the teachers who have a lot to learn about respect – not the board! And if you’re running on that basis, you might want to reconsider your candidacy!

 

Ahoj mým českým přátelům!

For those of you who don’t speak Czech – and that’s probably all of you – that roughly translates to, “Hello to my Czech friends!” And I offer this greeting because I may not be “big in Japan,” but The First Ward seems to have developed a growing Czech readership.

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You see, one of the fun things about WordPress blogs is they tell you where your hits come from. And I’ll generally get a smattering from Canada, the UK, Costa Rica (Hi Stephanie!), Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Hong Kong and China. But I’ve been getting up to 60 hits a day from my friends in the Czech Republic.

I suppose if David Hasslehoff can be big in Germany, I can be Czech hit, too!

When I mentioned this to my lovely wife, she suggested I reach out to my Czech readers to ascertain exactly what draws them to The First Ward and I’m going to do just that!

Takže, moji čeští přátelé! Co vás přivede na svůj blog? Dejte nám prosím vědět v sekci komentáře.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Quick Hits – December 19, 2018

The Geneva Education Association strikes back!

Apparently unhappy with their 4.9 percent raises over each of the next five years, the Geneva Education Association is planning a coup d’état! Yes sir! They are running a slate of pro-union board members who’d like nothing more than to hand out 10 percent annual raises which would send your property taxes straight through the roof.

And those April 2nd hopefuls are:

  • Jill Johnson
  • Katherine Frye
  • Kim Edwards
  • Alicia Saxton
  • Prerak Patel

How do I know these fine folks are fronted by the Union? I have sources. But if you doubt them, take a look at their nominating paperwork on the County Clerk’s website. All of their signature sheet autographs came from Geneva teachers – a wonderful group of educators who abandoned their students and believe five percent raises aren’t nearly enough.

GEA

So what if they force senior citizens out of their homes! That’s what they get for having the temerity to retire. Apparently those six-figure salaries aren’t nearly enough.

And by the way, when was the last time you got a five percent raise?

But not all is lost my Geneva compatriots! There are some good guys and gals in the mix! The following candidates believe they are equally responsible to the taxpayer:

  • Jessica Breugelmans
  • Robert Cabeen
  • And, of course, incumbent Mike McCormick

Fear not, dear reader! We all know Mr. McCormick, and our new duo have no intention of dismantling the district. They’re neither Tea Partiers nor wacky conservatives. They were compelled to run by the series of rather unhappy events that led to Geneva’s first teachers’ strike, and they only want to bring balance to the force.

Alan Gaston has also thrown his hat into the ring, and though I haven’t reached out to him yet, his signatures came from regular folks too, not teachers.

All I can say is, if you don’t want your already ridiculous property taxes to get even more ridiculous, you already know what to do!

 

The Geneva Police are at it again!

I don’t know if I’m more insulted that they keep pulling this shit, or that they think they can keep it from me. Regardless, here’s the latest tale of corruption from the most corrupt police force in the collar counties.

These are the preliminary details pending their FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) response.

Apparently, instead of citing an attractive young woman for DUI, a patrol officer drove her home and proceeded to have his way with her. And if that ain’t a MeToo moment I don’t what is. What could possibly go wrong with a police officer boinking a potential defendant who’d had too much to drink?

That scenario continued for three to four weeks, but then the young woman wanted something more out of the relationship. Apparently, there’s no accounting for taste. And when our intrepid office declined her overtures, she went to the City Manager and Police Chief to complain, and either a lawsuit has been filed or it’s about to be filed.

The GPD attempted to cover this story up by quietly forcing the officer to resign and, of course, they’d just as soon silently settle the suit.

Not on my watch!

What I can promise you is there will be many more details to come! And this ain’t the only story I have on the GPD, either!

 

It’s déjà vu all over again!

No sooner had Lauren Underwood assumed that Illinois 14th District Congressional seat when Republican challengers started coming out of the woodwork! And two of those prospective contenders are the kind of perennial candidates we’ve all come to know and not quite love.

The first is none other than 25th District State Senator, Jim Oberweis, who clearly can’t be happy that he finally won a couple of local elections. Jim has aimed at the 14the before, only to lose to Democrat Bill Foster.

It doesn’t matter who the opposing candidates are, Jim couldn’t win this seat if he poured the same $6 million he did into all his previous losing causes.

But just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger, one of my spies noted the old “Cunningham for Congress” truck borne sign was making the rounds.

While Jack has always harbored Congressional aspirations, he’s 79, he’s in terrible physical health, and he’s suffering from dementia. Jack is lucky he won his original County Clerk’s race, and the last time he ran for Congress he got thrown off the ballot for errant nominating paperwork.

Considering the 14th, Underwood is eminently vulnerable to a good Republican challenger – in 2022. But no old white man is gonna beat Ms. Underwood in 2020, when President Trump will finally get his comeuppance.

It really is true! The more things change, the more they do stay the same!

Quick Hits – Ms. McConnaughay! How can we miss you if you won’t go away?

I want to thank all of my readers who insisted I cover this more than fascinating story, though I get the feeling I wouldn’t have survived had I chosen poorly in this regard. But the truth is, I really didn’t need any “encouragement” at all.

I’m sure you already know the score, but in deference to all those former Sun-Times editors who claimed my tragic flaw was failing to provide enough background information, let’s review!

Shortly after squeaking by the conspicuously loony Jeanne Ives in the GOP gubernatorial primary, seeing the electoral handwriting on the wall, Governor Bruce Rauner did his damndest to recruit a pinch hitter to take on J. B. Pritzker in the finals.

He propositioned former State Senator Karen McConnaughay, Attorney General candidate Erika Harold, Cubs co-owner Tom Ricketts, and a player to be named later, explaining, “I’ll step aside, I’ll give you huge financial resources, you run for governor, I’ll support you. You have as good or better chance to get elected than me.”

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Karen McConnaughay

And all of Illinois Republicandom’s heads summarily exploded upon hearing this revelation. “Why the scurrilous cad,” they cursed, “He tricked us! He was never in it to win it! And to think he thought he could simply anoint his successor? The nerve of that man!”

As far as the GOP rabble goes, I have absolutely no sympathy. They got exactly the governor for whom they voted. I’m far more concerned with Rauner’s poor choice of stand ins. McConnaughay’s vast union ties would’ve doomed her, Harold never has, and never will, win an election, and though Ricketts certainly had a better shot than Rauner did, he still would’ve lost by 8 points.

Sensing the impending anti-Trump backlash, each potential proxy quickly shot him down, and to absolutely no one’s surprise, Pritzker breezed to a 16-point victory.

But despite all that Republican shrieking and howling, it really wasn’t a bad idea. I can count the number of politicians who understand the concept of cutting their losses on one hand. Had Rauner regularly resorted to that kind of prudent prognostication during his Springfield tenure, he might still be Governor.

So, I have absolutely no problem with Rauner’s attempt to abandon his sinking campaign ship.  What frosts my cookies is yet another Daily Herald attempt to make former Kane County Chairman, Karen McConnaughay out to be the hero.

“It was not the kind of conversation you could take seriously, because he had not contemplated the process of how any of that would work,” McConnaughay said, “To replace a sitting person on the ballot is the work of the party, not a hand-picked choice. I was flattered that he thought of me, but there’s a whole process to this, and I told him to do careful consideration to all of that before you have conversations with people about replacing him on the ballot.”

Doesn’t that woman ever get tired of being wrong?

If the Governor had gone to the State Central Republican Committee with this proposition, they would’ve leapt at it. They knew he couldn’t win, and they knew he’d torpedo he rest of the ticket, too. The offer to throw millions at his hand-picked replacement would’ve had ’em dancing around the block naked.

And Ms. McConnaughay damn well knows it, and so does the Daily Herald, but they’ve always treated the former Chairman with kid gloves because she consistently batted her eyelashes at and played nice with those eminently fragile editors.

In 12.5 years of journalistic effort, I have never directly covered a more corrupt politician. Never! With then Beacon-New reporter, Dan Campana, doing most of the digging, we discovered she “cajoled” campaign contributions from 80 percent of county vendors amassing an almost $400,000 campaign war chest before Chris Lauzen and I chased her out of Kane County.

She may not have invented pay-to-play, but she certainly perfected it.

Need proof? Let’s go back to that fateful conversation with those Grand Victoria riverboat folks who were trying to secure state funding for a permanent Elgin concert venue. Our former State Senator basically said that kind of assistance required at least a $100,000 contribution.

Even Kane County Board member, McConnaughay lackey, and general bleep, Mike Kenyon, who was sitting right next to her, winced when he heard her utter those words. I could go on, but we don’t have nearly enough time to cover it all.

Meanwhile, Chairman Chris Lauzen is one of the least corrupt politicians I’ve ever covered, but the Daily Herald’s simmering animosity toward him is so great, they endorsed Delnor tragedy progenitor Don Kramer over Ron Hain for Sheriff, because they incorrectly believed Lauzen was behind Hain’s candidacy.

I’d ask that paper if they have any shame whatsoever, but we both know the answer to that question, don’t we?

McConnaughay told ABC news that “Rauner’s tactic was similar to his style of governing:”

“He tried to end his career as governor the same way he got into it – always this idea he would strong-arm it,” she said. “He never respected the fact that there’s a process to governing. Never accepted responsibility for mistakes he made, it was always Madigan’s or someone else’s fault.”

This from the woman who turned beet red as she regularly screamed at recalcitrant board members, has never admitted she’s been wrong about anything, and installed a state-of-the-art Building A camera system that allowed her to observe which staffers had the temerity to talk to other staffers.

If Ms. McConnaughay thought she had any gubernatorial shot, she would’ve jumped in Rauner’s lap faster that Kim Kardashian could snatch a dollar bill from your hand. Then she would’ve extolled Rauner’s vast virtue in stepping aside to anyone who would listen. And the Central Committee would’ve nominated her, too!

The only bright spot in this sad tale of political incompetence was watching the Sun-Times get her last name right, and then misspell it a number of times in the same column.

And Illinois Republicans have the nerve to wonder why they can’t get elected.

 

Quick Hits – A Sunday Laugh!

Please understand that I meant NONE of this. It’s just that it’s kinda easy to get Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg going. After no correspondence between us for a couple of years, this was an actual Friday email conversation with Neil:

Jeff: Neil this is the column you shoulda wrote! I just keep getting better!

Neil: I believe it was Cervantes who wrote, “Self-praise is self-condemnation.” Thanks for writing. (Cervantes actually wrote, “Self-praise is self-debasement,” but who’s counting?)

Jeff: I believe it was Muhammad Ali who said, “I am the greatest!” Thanks for replying.

Neil: But he WAS the greatest!

Jeff: And so am I!

And that was it. Y’all oughtta try a middle-school mentality every now and then. They really are a lot of fun!

NeilSteinberg

The great Neil Steinberg!