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August 30, 2007

Mayor Daley's "Batman Picture"

Mayor Daley picture.jpg
Please enjoy this picture from the Chicago Sun-Times photographer Brian Jackson. If you remember the old television show in syndication "Batman", funny angles were used by the producers to show the "Evil" side of the "Joker" during fight scenes. In fact, most of the scenes with the criminal element turned the camera at weird angles to expose criminal activity. I have seen this technique to make Daley look taller, but now it might be used to show his evil criminal side. Patrick McDonough.

More genius insight into Daley Blago by Fran Spielman

Make sure to read into the fine lines of this article. Mayor Daley wants to deal with criminals and gang-bangers with taxpayer's money. I would not be surprised if Mayor Daley would continue to reward these goons with membership to H.D.O. and give them good paying city jobs. Remember Daley wants to hire convicts back on the City Payroll, remember? Well, his convicted pals might want to return to work. Thanks Chicago Sun-Times. Read below. Patrick McDonough.

Daley rips gov for cutting gang-negotiation funds

August 30, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter fspielman@suntimes.com
Mayor Daley blasted Gov. Blagojevich again Wednesday -- this time for vetoing $6.2 million for an inner-city program aimed at defusing gang conflicts and the shootings they trigger.
Daley stepped up his criticism of the embattled Democratic governor on the eve of a rally aimed at pressuring the governor to restore CeaseFire funding.
"If they save one life, it's worth it. And they do save a lot of lives," Daley said.
Daley said he's "very disappointed" the governor abused his veto power to salvage his failed health-care initiative.
"These programs can be substantiated how important they are to a school, to a park, to a library, to CeaseFire. ... This is not just wasted money. A lot of programs, you may talk about wasted money. These are not wasted programs."
CeaseFire workers negotiate conflicts between gang members in high-crime neighborhoods and claim a remarkable success rate. In neighborhoods where its "streetwise" workers are active, shootings and killings have dropped by 45 percent.

Mayor Daley, Dennis Gannon suffer defeat by Chicago Teamsters 726

Chicago Teamsters Local 726 is a Union that did not deliver for Mayor Daley. Richard M. Daley made many Union Members mad by the lousy treatment during his last term a Mayor. At the Last Teamster Meeting, Wednesday, August 29, 2007, the vote to ratify the 10 year Union contract was shot down by members. The final vote was 172 yes and 279 against. The revolt was led by Bruce Randazzo, a Chicago Department of Water Management Driver. Bruce and many others were cheated for years on grievances and the members remembered membership allowed Chicago Laborers Union 1092 to take away their jobs driving pick-ups. Most Unions like Journeyman Plumbers Local 130 march lockstep with Daley and his corrupt team of Management. More on this later. At work in Chicago today, many of the Union's gravy train boyz were very upset as this is a major loss. The existing leadership of Teamsters Union 726 are facing a strong challenge by Angelo Fato and the "Members Only Slate". Mr. Fato said, "We are attempting to bring back dignity to the Union". I guess the Teamsters are showing their Clout. Patrick McDonough.

August 29, 2007

Jay Stewart on Fighting Corruption

Good Read, click below...

Fighting corruption

August 26, 2007
What a difference an election can make. Back in 2005 and 2006, Mayor Daley's administration was besieged with federal indictments, convictions and scandals. In a belated attempt to appear to care about stopping public corruption in Chicago, Daley appointed a qualified outsider to be Chicago's inspector general, David Hoffman.
Daley promised to provide the resources to make sure Hoffman could do his job to prevent and root out misconduct and corruption. Then in February 2007 Mayor Daley was re-elected. No longer constrained by the political need to convince voters he cares about good government ethics, Daley has stopped his support of Hoffman.

Earlier this year, Hoffman asked for more staff to handle the responsibilities of monitoring City Hall's notoriously corrupt hiring process. Daley refused to provide the additional necessary resources, a cynical attempt to make Hoffman choose between fulfilling his traditional inspector general duties or his new hiring monitoring duties flowing from the settlement of the Shakman litigation.

Despite such budgetary restraint when it comes to funding a legitimate watchdog, Daley recently has showered new money and resources on a newly created lapdog, the Office of Compliance. City Hall says its purpose is to detect hiring issues before they become problems. Practically it will act as an early warning system for City Hall because they can't rely on Hoffman to leak them information of his investigations, and it will undermine Hoffman by performing parallel functions.

It is one thing for the Daley administration to insult our intelligence by asking us to believe that it can be trusted to voluntarily clean up its hiring practices. It is another to spend our tax dollars on a sham organization built to undercut one of the few independent checks on Daley's sweeping authority.

Jay Stewart,

August 26, 2007

Daley's Goons arrested in Suburbs

Read and learn about Daley's politics infiltrating the suburbs. It is all about the Chicago's O'Hare expansion billions, not about obeying the Judge or the law. Click below. Patrick McDonough

O'Hare expansion official arrested in Bensenville
August 24, 2007 - Bensenville Police arrested two people Friday as crews from Chicago tried to board up properties in Bensenville.
The general council on the O'Hare Modernization Project, Jamie Rhee, and a foreman from the board up company face public nuisance charges.
The city purchased properties in Bensenville for the O'Hare expansion project. A judge ruled last month that the city can't do anything to those properties while tests are done to determine the impact demolition would have on the neighborhood.

City officials tell ABC7 they have the right to maintain and board up their properties and they plan on trying again on Monday.

Read more of Fran Spielman's wisdom Chicago City Workers.

Daley wants to get rid of the two laborers behind the filthy Chicago Garbage Trucks. Would goons like Daley would want illegal aliens to perform the task? Maybe if Mayor Daley looks into the way his pals run their phony scam trucking companies, he will find some real short-cuts. Tell mayor Daley to ask his friends about the millions of dollars they make with phony minority companies, not paying prevailing wages. Remember, companies that scam the workers make millions of dollars. You just need unions to go along with it, and political leadership cut into the "Deal". Read below and learn. Patrick McDonough

Building a lean waste-fighting machine
GOVERNMENT | Panel aims to help city accomplish more with less

August 24, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter/fspielman@suntimes.com
If Chicago ever makes radical changes in the way basic city services are delivered -- like privatizing garbage collection and water filtration plants or eliminating three employees on a garbage truck -- Mayor Daley will need political cover.
He got it Thursday from the 21st Century Commission.

It's a new group of two dozen business, academic and civic leaders appointed by the mayor to take a fresh look at the "scope and structure" of local government with an eye toward re-ordering priorities, consolidating services and doing more with less.

Co-chaired by newly appointed Budget Director Bennett Johnson and by Daley's former deputy chief of staff turned-insurance company executive Sarah Pang, the commission will search for overlapping services at all government agencies, including City Hall, the CTA, Park District, Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges.

A final report will be due back in one year, with pro-bono support from the Civic Consulting Alliance, formerly known as the Financial Research Advisory and Committee. Short-term ideas could be incorporated into Daley's 2008 budget.

"Do we really need each separate city department to do our work or can they be consolidated, reorganized or redefined? . . . Are all the services government provides today services people really need? Do we need to provide new services?" the mayor asked. "You have to look at it. If you don't, then government just gets stale."

Daley steered clear of what his chief-of-staff called "the P word"--privatization--that's long been a sore point with organized labor and its City Council allies.

But, privatization of basic city services is clearly on the agenda on the heels of the $2.4 billion city windfall generated by leasing the Chicago Skyway and downtown parking garages, said Civic Federation President Laurence Msall, a commission member.

"There are other opportunities out there, including garbage collection and recycling, to -- potentially -- the city's water filtration plants." Msall said.

Des Plaines Alderman relaxes during Midwest Major Flood

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During a major dirty Des Plaines election, two candidates promised a lady candidate, if she won, to make her life hell. Please enjoy the Des Plaines Alderman enjoying a can of "Refreshment" while the Des Plaines 6th Ward tries to survive a major Midwest flood. Many resident called him to find out about the lack of electricity. He told them, "Do not call unless your house is on fire". Some residents said he is not answering his phone. This is a photo of Walsten yucking it up with a Des Plaines resident at 1812 Orchard. Some politicians know how to ride a storm out and some do not. Photo taken August 25, 2007 during power outage. Photo by Patrick McDonough

Two Major Political Idiots walk in Filthy Water

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U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Des Plaines Mayor Tony (Discount TIF Condo) Arredia walk in filthy river water after the major storm that hit the Midwest. While it made good video, enjoy click here: http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=nation_world&id=5601258, you would never get a even an fool like Mayor Daley to remove his shoes to walk in waste water. At least Mayor Daley would get some 11th Ward lackey to walk in the filthy water. Remember, do not walk into dirty water, wear rubber boots. If you get a cut, you can get an infection and die. Please enjoy this picture of Mayor Arredia's future "River Walk", looks like you will need a canoe to walk down this river. Well, thank God it is Taxpayer money. Thank you Channel 7 News for exposing more stupid politicians. Photo by Patrick McDonough.

Sarah McDonough Looks Like her Father, Thank God.

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This week, I unloaded this very beautiful clone of mine, Sarah McDonough. Sarah was accepted as an ambassador of Saint Mary's University. In McDonough style, she attended early to assist new freshman get acquainted with this fine institution. A Chicago Fire-fighter's daughter was also chosen as Ambassador. Don't you wish you had children this good looking, this intelligent, brilliant,,, ect? Patrick McDonough

Chicago Police demand $3,000.00 Residency Stipend

Read below for more of Fran Spieman's brilliant writing. Chicago Police in many cases need a second job just to make ends meet. Chicago Police know what kind of riff-raff attend Mayor Daley's public schools. Chicago's Catholic schools cost thousands of dollars. Also, in the papers, Illinois State law allows people to ship school kids to the suburbs for free quality education. More on this later. I agree with the Chicago Police to get extra pay for living in Chicago, lets face it, this Residency law is for political reasons only. Patrick McDonough.

Daley takes vacation-day plea to unions
BUDGET WOES | City gets cold shoulder on unpaid day off

August 23, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Mayor Daley wants rank-and-file city employees to make the same sacrifice he's asked of their bosses to help close a $217 million budget gap: Unpaid furlough days. The request appears to be going nowhere.
One day after Daley ordered 2,000 city managers earning more than $75,000 a year to take a second unpaid vacation day, union leaders acknowledged they, too, have been approached. There was no mention of a specific number of unpaid vacation days. Nor was there any threat of layoffs if they fail to agree. They were simply told City Hall wants to open a dialogue with labor on the subject.
"If they want to talk about it, we'd be more than happy to talk. But as far as an accommodation on furlough days from the unionized work force, I don't believe it'll happen," said Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon.
Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue said it sounded like Intergovernmental Affairs Chief John Dunn was "going through the motions" when Dunn approached the FOP about furlough days.
"He said, 'I know what your response is going to be' and he was right. We will not accept furlough days for our members," said Donahue, who is demanding a 24 percent pay raise over four years and a $3,000-a-year residency stipend.
Henry Bayer, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, slammed the door before being approached. "Our members don't make that much money that they can afford to lose pay."
Five years ago, Daley asked unions representing all city employees except police and fire to take five unpaid vacation days, put off pay raises for six months or face 425 layoffs.
When the ultimatum was ignored, Daley proceeded with layoffs, his first in a decade, to erase a $115 million shortfall. The city ended up laying off 659 workers.

August 22, 2007

Gary Washburn weighs in on Shakman Scams by Daley

Read, Read more, and learn. see below

Daley defends city's hiring plan
He says decision on legality up to judge
By Gary Washburn | Tribune staff reporter
August 22, 2007
Mayor Richard Daley said Tuesday that a federal judge will decide whether a city hiring plan submitted last week passes legal muster, and he denied contentions that his administration is seeking to undercut the authority of the city's inspector general.

The hiring blueprint, drafted with a settlement of a long-running court fight over politics in city hiring, violates terms of the settlement, said attorney Michael Shakman, the plaintiff in the case.

The submission came despite the inability of Daley administration officials to agree with Shakman and Noelle Brennan -- whom the court appointed to monitor hiring after federal investigators uncovered a fraudulent scheme designed to reward people for political work -- on some of the plan's provisions.
"If the parties cannot agree, the judge will make a decision, simple as that," Daley said.

Shakman and Brennan have been at odds with the city over whether city Inspector General David Hoffman would oversee compliance with hiring procedures. Shakman charged last week that a new office of compliance, recently proposed by Daley, would usurp Hoffman's rightful role.

"We anticipate the two departments working together," Daley said Tuesday, adding that their functions would be as different as "night and day."

The compliance office would seek to prevent wrongdoing, Daley said.

It would "proactively identify all types of risk ... and find ways to mitigate that risk" to ensure compliance with local, state and federal laws and regulations, he said. The inspector general, by contrast, investigates allegations of misconduct.

"We are doing the same thing the federal government does [with the proposed office], and they have inspector generals the same way," Daley said.

But among other powers, the ordinance that would establish the office of compliance provides the authority to "receive and register complaints and information concerning non-compliance" and "investigate the performance of governmental officers, employees, functions and programs."

The city on Monday rejected a request by Shakman to withdraw the plan. Shakman said Tuesday that he plans to ask U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen to allow Brennan to submit her own recommendations to the court.

Ines Monte, a lawyer for Brennan, has said that Brennan agrees that the inspector general should be in charge of hiring compliance.

Touching on another subject, Daley skirted questions about the possibility of a teachers strike and called on negotiators to hammer out terms of a new contract.

"Everybody has to sacrifice," he said. "Everybody has to come together. ... I hope all the teachers understand this is a commitment by all of us ... to make the system work. Everyone has to roll up their sleeves."

Labor and City Hall sources have voiced concern about the possibility of a walk-out as negotiations between the Board of Education and Chicago Teachers Union drag on and the first day of the new school year approaches.

"People are pointing to Chicago, how well we are doing [in the classroom] compared to the rest of the country," Daley said. "We have to have confidence, and we have to make sure the schools open Sept. 4."

But Daley gave no indication that school board negotiators would back off a proposal for a longer school day.

Students receive only 25 hours of classroom instruction a week and "we have to do something about that," he said. Teachers "have to face reality, and we have to face reality."

Daley's comments came at a City Hall news conference at which he announced a second unpaid furlough day for senior city employees, the third belt-tightening effort since May

More of Mayor Daley's Goons in trouble with Hiring Fraud

Read, Learn, and be smart. Read below

Ex-political worker admits lying about city hiring
Tribune staff report
7:15 PM CDT, August 22, 2007
A former member of the Hispanic Democratic Organization pleaded guilty Wednesday to lying to a federal grand jury about his role in helping other members of the political group get jobs in Mayor Richard Daley's administration.
John Resa, a worker in the city's Water Management Department, admitted that he sought and often received jobs and promotions for HDO members from high-ranking city officials between 1994 and 2005. Last fall Resa told a grand jury investigating hiring fraud at City Hall that he never passed on job requests.
For more than a decade, HDO was a powerful force in Daley's political organization, dispatching members across the Chicago area to campaign for the mayor and candidates backed by Daley. Resa, 49, helped coordinate HDO's activities on the Southeast Side, commanding 70 HDO workers, according to the plea agreement.
Former Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez, who led HDO's operations on the Southeast Side, was charged earlier this year with nine counts of mail fraud and accused of rigging hiring decisions to reward HDO members. Sanchez has denied any wrongdoing.
Nothing in Resa's plea agreement requires him to cooperate with the government's ongoing investigation. Resa, who is scheduled to be sentenced in November, faces up to 16 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, Assistant U.S. Atty. Manish Shah said.

Mayor Daley's Shakman Reform a Joke, Scams City Again

Do you want honest reform in Chicago? Mayor Daley want to tie the hands of the Inspector General. Mayor Daley, Alexander V. was a farce and a joke, are you getting scared? Read on honest Chicago Taxpayers, and read between the lines. Click below. Patrick McDonough

Mayor to inspector: Deal with it
CITY HALL | But alderman calls new office a 'smoke screen' to control hiring

August 22, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Mayor Daley on Tuesday flatly denied he's trying to undermine his corruption-fighting inspector general by creating an Office of Compliance to police city hiring.
"They investigate wrongdoing. This is compliance. It's day and night. You have to comply first. First you have to get everybody educated about it. You have to work with people. You have to make sure there's checks and balances in the compliance," Daley said.
City attorneys filed a hiring plan in federal court sharply limiting the inspector general's role because they were unable to reach an agreement with federal hiring monitor Noelle Brennan about who should pick up where Brennan leaves off, the mayor said.
"If the parties cannot agree, the judge will make a decision. Simple as that," Daley said, referring to U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen.
The Sun-Times reported last month that Daley wants to create a new Office of Compliance -- with powers strikingly similar to those of Inspector General David Hoffman -- to police city hiring after Brennan leaves.
Hoffman reacted angrily, warning that the new office could "undermine the effectiveness and independence" of the inspector general's office.
'City has no credibility'
Attorney Michael Shakman, whose landmark lawsuit was supposed to end political hiring but never did, sided with the inspector general and urged Andersen to do the same.
On Tuesday, Ald. Joe Moore (49th) emerged from a closed-door aldermanic briefing on the new department equally skeptical of the city's motives.
"They tried to gussy it up and make it about compliance over all sorts of procedures and employee conduct. But this office is merely a smoke screen to allow the city to retain control over hiring," the alderman said.
Moore noted that City Hall created a $12 million fund to compensate victims of the city's rigged hiring process after the conviction last summer of Daley's former patronage chief.
"The city has no credibility on this issue. They've shown an inability to comply with the Shakman decree. In the short term, they are well-intentioned. But in a few years when the heat is off, there's no protection to prevent political hiring from starting to seep into the process again," he said.
Shakman rips decision
Shakman agreed that the Daley administration "has not proven itself trustworthy" in administering a hiring system free of politics.
"For years, they said they were doing it on the up and up, and we now know that was not correct," he said.
Shakman noted that Hoffman was "brought in when there was a big cloud over City Hall" created by the Hired Truck, city hiring and minority contracting scandals.
"It's not appropriate -- now that they've reached a settlement [in the Shakman case] -- to say, 'We no longer want to use the independent inspector general we brought in. We want to shift the responsibility to some newly created office,' " he said.

Frank Spielman writes the truth Daley's Taxes Up Again

Property tax hike may be Daley's only option
BUDGET GAP | Sure to anger some, but must plug $217 mil. hole
August 21, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter fspielman@suntimes.com
Mayor Daley hates raising property taxes about as much as Chicago homeowners despise paying those increases.
Part of it is fear of political backlash. The other is a pragmatic desire to leave the door open for Chicago Public Schools to tax to the max, as it has in 10 of the 13 years since Daley's school takeover.
But with a $217 million budget gap and the next election four years away, it looks like the mayor may have no choice but to bite the bullet this time. That's even after crusading for property tax relief to soften the blow of reassessment increases.
Mayor Daley, seen last week, has called raising property taxes a “last resort” but won’t rule it out.
He can either raise property taxes by the $30 million maximum allowed by the city's self-imposed cap or lift the ceiling altogether.
Chicago property owners also face higher water and sewer rates to finance the costly switch to automatic meter readers. An array of other tax and fee increases are in the cards as well.

"I think he'll go to the cap. It'd be foolish not to," said a City Hall source, who asked to remain anonymous. "They need every nickel they can find. He should have done it a long time ago. The more you wait, the worse it gets."

Another source argued that Daley would have been far better off raising property taxes by $10 million or $15 million a year all along to keep pace with rising personnel costs.

Instead, he has cut property taxes twice -- in 1990 and 1999 -- and raised the city's overall levy by just $92.7 million in 18 years. That's less than 1 percent a year.

None of the city's $713.4 million property tax levy is available for day-to-day operations. It's largely eaten up by pension obligations.
"How do you go on like that while giving police and fire pay raises every year and with pensions and health care going off the charts? They're all afraid of the headlines. But, take the polls and stuff 'em. You need to govern," the source said.
In a recent interview, Daley repeated his mantra that raising property taxes is a "last resort." But, he also said, "You can't rule anything in or out. If you do, then basically you're kidding yourself. You leave all options open."
Last month, Daley followed two rounds of mid-year budget cuts with an alarming announcement: the city's $5.6 billion preliminary 2008 budget has a $217.7 million hole, the second-largest in a decade.
Some aldermen reacted with a promise to steer clear of the dreaded property tax.
Sources said the aldermanic door-slamming angered Daley, prompting some to conclude the mayor intends to raise the tax everyone loves to hate.
"Does that mean everybody will go for it? No way. The Tom Allens, Brian Dohertys and the rest of the Northwest Side [bloc] won't go for it. But, they'll have 26 votes," a City Hall source said.

August 19, 2007

Read this wisdom my fellow Chicago Residents

Please see attached wisdom. I first read about it at http://capitalfax.blogspot.com/ This is a great website if you wish to know what is going on in Illinois Politics. Click on the entry below. It will open your eyes. Patrick McDonough

8/15/2007 10:00:00 PM Email this article • Print this article
Here's your annual chance to talk to the mayor
Arlene Jones

Every year by law, the City of Chicago has to host a Budget Hearing Meeting. By law, the mayor must attend and he must also stay until the last person speaks. For the past few years around this time, I have written about the hearings. And this year won't be an exception.

I've been going to these hearings for years. Do they work? For the most part, yes. My block was one of the first in the city to get a cul-de-sac because of one of those meetings. Now I know a lot of people don't like them, but my block is happy with ours. Prior to the cul-de-sac, we would have heavy trucks rumble down our street and many of us had cracks in our foundations in part due to those heavy trucks.

Now there are a lot of things people are unhappy about when it comes to the city, and here's your chance to mention your displeasure to the mayor and his staff. Like why is it that the mayor is supposed to be such a powerful politician and yet the 7-percent property tax freeze hasn't been re-authorized? So when your next bill comes through, be prepared for an increase of 50 percent and more!

We got those reassessment postcards late last year. When they came in the mail, and they showed your house has a new assessed value of $36,000 you didn't pay much heed. You knew your house could sell for $200,000, so the assessed value seemed real cheap. But let me give you an example of how it works. Let's say your current assessed value is $24,000 and you're paying $2,000 dollars a year in taxes. So you're basically paying about $1,000 for every $12,000 in assessed value. If the value of your house goes to $36,000, you would expect your taxes to increase by $1,000 for the increase in value.

But the sneaky part is that the multipliers sometimes change. At tax time, they can decide your taxes are now $1,500 for each $12,000 in assessed value. So when you get your bill, you expect it to be $3,000 but it turns out to be $4,500 dollars. If they make the multiplier $2,000, then your new tax bill becomes $6,000.

I've given you a simplistic version of your property tax bill. In truth, because they have to take in what the county taxes you, what the Board of Ed taxes you, and what every other governing body wants as their percentage of taxes, city officials can never state what your new tax bill will be until it actually comes out.

Here are a few other things you might want to mention to the mayor and his staff: drug dealing, CTA, Chicago Public Schools, potholes, 9 percent sales tax, city stickers, people putting illegal apartments in basements and attics, parking tickets, jobs for teens, booting of cars, police response time, hired trucking program, affordable housing, loud car stereos, police cameras, public urination, job training programs, privatizing of city jobs, CHA, stores selling loose cigarettes, storefront churches, garbage, businesses with ties to slavery getting city business, predatory lending, racial profiling, programs for seniors, people running stop signs, stores selling alcohol to underage kids, sexual predators being housed predominantly in the black community, traffic lights and why they can't be timed to allow traffic to flow, bicycle lanes, winter parking restrictions, encouraging businesses to locate in Chicago, the Kedzie and Chicago Service Center, speeding of cars on residential streets, redevelopment of the West Side business districts, illegal immigrants who are charged with felonies not getting reported to immigration officials, what to do with the old 15th District station on Chicago Avenue, police patrols, allowing Chicagoans to again register handguns, missing asphalt, Meigs Field, dog-fighting, the $40 million trucking scandal, white-owned businesses pretending to be minority-owned, city contracts to vend at the airport; city employees who now feel they should be able to live in the suburbs and work for the city, police taserings, forcing children to cross gang territories as locals schools are closed, and on and on.

The meetings are as follows:

• Aug. 23 - South Shore Cultural Center, 71st and South Shore Drive

• Aug. 28 - Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, 2102 W. Ogden

• Aug. 30 - Falconer School 3020 N. Lamon.

If you have the time, go to all three meetings. Don't be discouraged by the lack of parking; they designed it that way. So get there early-because it will become even clearer that the city that works ... ain't working!

Last week I forgot to give the contact person for Shorebank. You can call either Lucy Trayler Haynes at 773/420-5173 or Tom Bosley at 773/420-5162.

CONTACT: westside2day@yahoo.com

Frank Avila Jr. We pray for You.

Amazing Sunset.jpg
Chicago's most vocal leader for the Chicago City Worker is not feeling well at this time. I ask everyone to please say a prayer for him in this time of need. Remember, Frank Avila Jr. has taken on the most difficult cases in a most unselfish manner. I consider Frank Avila Jr. a true friend and warrior for all those downtrodden. I hope God will have mercy and have compassion during these troubling times. Photo by Patrick McDonough

In Chicago, In Foreclosure

Mayor Daley is really outdoing himself when he is asked about the foreclosure rate in Chicago. In the big city of New York, 1 in 305 homes are in foreclosure. Chicago has 1 in 88. Mayor Daley, that is a massive failure for you and your administration of political hacks. Mayor Daley blamed everyone but himself. He said the Feds need to address the issue and the mortgage companies are at fault. Most people that are in foreclosure, took out to large of a loan, lost a job, had a spouse lose a job. Many time it is from gambling, drugs, and booze. Many times it is from a divorce, and we know divorce is directly linked to finances. Daley and his cronies are trying to pass more taxes on bottled water, why in the hell would Daley and his administration be drinking bottled water in public, this is an insult. (We covered that topic here over a year ago) Daley is as guilty of screwing up finances as anyone, but remember, most homeowners cannot sell a bridge or a parking lot to bail out of mismanagement. Most homeowners do not have a private police force to go out and increase revenue by ticketing drivers (customers) for revenue shortfalls. I hope Chicago takes a closer look to the high amount of foreclosures, Daley is anti-labor, pro-big business. I hope when you think about taking out a second mortgage to pay Chicago's high taxes, you think twice about your Mare Daley and his wild spending that YOU are paying for. Patrick McDonough.

August 17, 2007

Chicago Inspector General gets the ointment applied by Daley

Read this important article by Todd Lighty and Laurie Cohen of the Chicago Tribune, If you are busy, let me explain, Daley cannot control Hoffman of the Chicago Inspector General and now wants an agency that will rat out what David Hoffman is trying to accomplish with limited funds. Mayor Daley wants to control everything, just like he controls the 11th Ward newspapers that hide all the crime, drugs, and prostitution in Chicago's 11th Ward. Enjoy this masterpiece.
City hiring plan blasted
Critics say sudden court filing skirts earlier settlement

By Todd Lighty and Laurie Cohen | Tribune staff reporters
August 17, 2007
Just months after agreeing to settle a long-running court battle over politics in city hiring, Mayor Richard Daley's administration submitted a plan Thursday that critics say violates the agreement and would limit the role of the city's inspector general in policing hiring.
City Hall abruptly filed in federal court its new plan to keep politics out of city jobs, despite failing to resolve a dispute over how the city would monitor hiring.
Under the agreement signed this year, the city was not supposed to file the plan if any disputes remained, said Michael Shakman, the attorney who for decades has tangled in court with the city over hiring. Shakman said he was taken aback by the city's filing, which he said violates that agreement.
"The city should withdraw the plan and do what the court order says," he said.
Jodi Kawada, a spokeswoman for Daley, said the city had not broken its agreement with Shakman. Kawada said the federal judge who oversees the case in court would settle any outstanding disputes.
Daley's administration reached its agreement with Shakman in March as a way to end a federal consent decree that bans politics from most city hiring decisions. City Hall agreed to the settlement after federal authorities won convictions last year against Daley aides for operating a massive hiring-fraud scheme that rewarded the mayor's political allies with jobs and promotions.
As part of the agreement, which was approved by the City Council, the mayor issued an executive order against political hiring. The city also created a $12 million fund for people who have been discriminated against because they lacked political clout to get a job or promotion.
The agreement called for a new hiring plan, covering nearly all facets of city hiring procedures, to be filed with U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen as early as April 30. Noelle Brennan, previously appointed by Andersen to monitor city hiring, was supposed to report to the court any "impasse" regarding the proposed plan, and the judge would mediate the disputes.
For months, Shakman, Brennan and the city have been unable to agree on a hiring plan. The main sticking point has been whether Inspector General David Hoffman would oversee city compliance with hiring procedures. But Daley has proposed creating a new office of compliance to oversee the hiring system.
Under the agreement, Hoffman is in charge of investigating complaints from job applicants and city workers. Shakman and Brennan also want Hoffman to be in charge of overall compliance, including auditing personnel practices of City Hall departments and absorbing some of the duties now handled by Brennan.
Daley appointed Hoffman, a former federal prosecutor, in 2005 in the midst of the hiring scandal to beef up an office long regarded as ineffective. Unlike other top mayoral aides, Hoffman has no political ties to Daley and serves a fixed, four-year term.
Although Hoffman was appointed by the mayor, Andersen has said that Hoffman has shown independence from "the normal chain of command" in the Daley administration.
Shakman said Hoffman should oversee compliance because "the city has not proven itself to be trustworthy to administer its own employment policy." Shakman said he would ask the city to withdraw the hiring plan.
Brennan's lawyer, Ines Monte, said the monitor agrees that "oversight of the new plan needs to rest with the most independent part of city government. That's the inspector general's office." Monte said she will respond to the city's plan in court.
Kawada said the proposed compliance office would not weaken the role of the inspector general in investigating wrongdoing. "The compliance department will complement the existing functions" of the inspector general, Kawada said. "We anticipate the two departments working together."
Hoffman declined to comment on the dispute. But Daley's decision to create an office with similar powers to those of the inspector general is the latest in a series of setbacks for Hoffman.
Daley this year rejected Hoffman's request for additional investigators to probe allegations of hiring abuses. Daley's aides also turned down Hoffman's recommendation to fire Christopher Kozicki, a senior city official with political connections to the mayor, for his role in rigging the hiring of an unqualified teenage building inspector.

Talk is cheap unless under oath, Mayor Daley

Enjoy this great article by Laurie Cohen and Todd Lighty, a great pair of Chicago journalists
Officials will testify on zoning
Bridgeport dispute must be told under oath, judge rules
By Laurie Cohen and Todd Lighty | Tribune staff writers
August 17, 2007 City Hall officials will have to testify under oath about allegations that the city blocked zoning changes to punish a controversial real estate developer.

A federal judge on Thursday agreed with developer Thomas Snitzer that the testimony was needed to find out whether city officials have held up the rezoning to force Snitzer to drop a lawsuit against the city and several of Mayor Richard Daley's political allies.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jacqueline Cox said she was concerned about the claim that the city might improperly be linking the zoning changes to Snitzer's lawsuit. The allegation of a linkage "does trouble me," Cox said at a court hearing on Thursday.
Even though a city lawyer denied the charge and objected to the request for sworn testimony, Cox said that "a denial under oath would be more convincing."
After the hearing, Edward Feldman, Snitzer's lawyer, said he would probably get a sworn statement from Ald. James Balcer, whose 11th Ward is the site of the Bridgeport Village housing development built by Snitzer and two partners. Balcer could not be reached for comment.
Feldman said he plans to obtain depositions from a couple of other city officials, but he has not yet decided which ones.

Bridgeport Village, a 115-home luxury development on the South Side along the Chicago River, filed for bankruptcy protection in March. The developers are trying to sell the project's key asset, 25 acres of nearby industrial property, which is expected to bring millions of dollars more if it were rezoned for residential use.

In a Bankruptcy Court filing last week, Snitzer charged that the Daley administration might be blocking the lucrative zoning change to pressure him to drop his federal lawsuit against the city.

That suit alleges that Snitzer was forced out as manager of Bridgeport Village in 2005 because he refused to give favors and take orders from 11th Ward operatives, including former top Daley aide Timothy Degnan and Degnan business associate Thomas DiPiazza.

City officials have said that they helped persuade a state court to oust Snitzer because of building-code violations at the project.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, who is overseeing Snitzer's federal suit, dismissed Degnan and DiPiazza as defendants, but left standing two civil-right charges against the city and former Building Commissioner Stan Kaderbek.

Snitzer's main evidence that the city might be holding up the zoning change is a sworn statement by Feldman. In the statement, Feldman said that Steven Towbin, a lawyer for Snitzer's partners, said in a phone conversation on July 19 that city lawyers had told Towbin that Snitzer's lawsuit was "not helpful" to the city's consideration of rezoning.
At the bankruptcy hearing on Thursday, Towbin denied that he told Feldman that city lawyers linked the zoning changes to Snitzer's suit. Instead, Towbin said city lawyers "made it very clear to me that there is no linkage."
Towbin acknowledged, however, that he had told Feldman that his own opinion was that the lawsuit would hinder the chances for City Hall approval of rezoning. "When you sue somebody and call them a criminal, it's not helpful," Towbin said.
Towbin also said Balcer has recently met with one of Snitzer's partners, John Kinsella, and has promised to meet with potential buyers of the industrial property.

I hope the 11th Ward knows what happens to those that lie. John Daley would be a great help also, right Rich?

August 16, 2007

Tony Peraica Cook County State's Attorney?

Please enjoy this picture of Russ Stewart, Mrs. Stewart, and Tony Peraica. Tony Peraica is running for Cook County State's Attorney. This is a powerful office that could start to remove the corruption in Illinois. I would support Tony Peraica for any office he would choose to run for, but he will face a full blown assault from the Chicago Democrats. Dick Devine was nothing to write home about, and failed miserably to prosecute political clout and corruption in Chicago. Tony will face the most corrupt election he has ever faced in this race. Good luck Tony, the 11th Ward will put all resources against you. Photo by Patrick McDonough.

August 12, 2007

Chicago Fire Hydrants Destroyed

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The level of destruction to Chicago Fire Hydrants has increased considerably lately. Now the Fire Hydrants are chopped up with large gas powered saws. After the hydrant is wrecked this bad, it cannot be used to put out fires. The City of Chicago Department of Water Management and Chicago Police need to put a stop to this before someone dies in a fire. This is a felony act and costs Taxpayers millions. Photo by Patrick McDonough.

August 10, 2007

John Kass, Where is my coffee? Great Read.

You scratch our backs, we'll stab yours
John Kass
August 10, 2007
How hot is 11th Ward developer Tommy DiPiazza after Thursday's news out of federal court?
As hot as the meatballs at Cafe Bionda? As hot as that spicy Bojo sauce I've heard about at Tavern on Rush? They're hot.
But I think Tommy D. is even hotter.
Tommy D., the Tavern on Rush landlord, friend and alleged lieutenant to mayoral brain Tim Degnan, has been a frequent guest in my column lately. He's been heated up as one of the guys accused by Tavern partner and famed restaurateur Phil Stefani of trying to squeeze Stefani out of his own place.
Yet the new development puts even more scrutiny on DiPiazza and Degnan and Mayor Richard Daley. In a motion filed in federal bankruptcy court, developer Thomas Snitzer, who created the controversial Bridgeport Village residential project, alleged that City Hall is extorting him.
Snitzer claimed Thursday the Daley administration invited him to drop a damaging civil lawsuit against Degnan and DiPiazza in exchange for favorable zoning for Snitzer properties in the Bridgeport area.
The message?

Back off our guys, and we'll back off your real estate, the zoning will be changed from industrial to residential, the buyers will come and you can dig yourself out of a financial hole. Don't back off, and see what happens.

Daley administration officials didn't return my calls. Snitzer did.

"We've filed a motion to investigate these allegations of the city attempting to illegally link my properties with dismissal of my federal lawsuit, i.e., extortion," Snitzer said.

The Bridgeport Village debacle has been reported thoroughly by Tribune investigative reporters Todd Lighty and Laurie Cohen.

In January, Snitzer filed a lawsuit alleging that Degnan and DiPiazza used their City Hall clout to squeeze $1.3 million in consulting fees for DiPiazza and more in kickbacks, in exchange for City Hall's blessings to develop in Bridgeport, the ancestral home of the Daleys.

Once he stopped paying DiPiazza, Snitzer says, the Department of Buildings crashed down on him. According to his original lawsuit: "In a statement one might expect to see in a Hollywood gangster movie, DiPiazza told Snitzer that by not doling out these special favors, Snitzer was not showing them proper respect."

Surely Snitzer didn't have to kiss Degnan's hand. Maybe DiPiazza's, but not Degnan's. Tim doesn't roll that way.

The Daley administration's response was that Snitzer's development had to be stopped because of building code violations in his pricey residential homes along the South Branch of the Chicago River.

The city should protect the residents of defective buildings. That's their job, to protect young people in crowded nightclubs so they won't get crushed to death in a stampede, to make sure porches won't collapse and kill more young people.

But Snitzer thrived in Daley's 11th Ward, a stranger in a strange land for years -- during the time he allegedly paid off DiPiazza -- and the Daley administration didn't stop him. He was stopped only when he says he stopped paying off, he insists.

"To see the project suffer serious economic damage and my reputation slandered because some people in the 11th Ward felt they weren't getting a share of the pie is one miserable feeling," Snitzer offered later in a carefully worded statement.

"The City should promote development for properties' highest and best use, and not line ward leaders' pockets or discriminate against anyone or any ethnic group. This type of extortion should not be tolerated in the 11th Ward or anywhere else."

Snitzer is no angel. There definitely are problems with his developments, according to the stories I've read. But if the Daley administration was so concerned, why didn't they just stop him?

Who protected Snitzer for all that time before he fell out of favor? It's just the thing a federal grand jury might want to know.

Perhaps the answer is in the Department of Buildings, a department of paper and clipboards and pens. It's the department that has made all the development in Chicago possible.

You can't develop homes without the department. And you can't open a successful high-end nightclub without it, either. That's where you get occupancy permits, to open fancy clubs, like Reserve and Crescendo and RiNo and Manor.

I heard there's an expert in the department called Bojo who can tell me all about occupancy permits and other stuff. His full name is Anthony Boggia.
So I called the department, and asked for an interview, offering to take Bojo and a department public relations person to Cafe Bionda or Tavern on Rush, where we can eat and I could learn how things really work, at least about the nightclub scene.
I'm sure Bionda boss Joe Farina and Tavern partner Marty Gutilla would love to see Bojo breaking bread with me. How about it, guys? I'll buy.
In the meantime, Degnan and Daley have a hot Tommy D. on their hands.

August 9, 2007

Funny U-Tube Jesse Jackson Video


Did you like that video?

August 7, 2007

Barack Obama you lose today, Senator Clinton's wins Chicago

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Enjoy this picture. Senator Clinton from Park Ridge Illinois 60068, proving she is the Union Choice, Black, White, Hispanic. Photo by Patrick McDonough.

Proud Union Workers in Chicago

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This is a real Union Worker. She is a Chicago Union Gem. All Union, All Faith. Photo by Patrick McDonough.

AFL-CIO Presidential Forum Vote 2008 Chicago

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I must admit, I was very happy tonight, I saw many of my fellow Chicago City Union Workers at the AFL-CIO Presidential Forum. Working Families Vote 2008. August 7, 2007. It was at Soldier Field in Chicago. I had a large amount of my family and friends attend. All of us had our Journeyman Plumber Local 130 hats. Senator Clinton has a large amount of momentum in her favor. Mayor Daley's Boy is getting his butt kicked by the real inside players. It is about time the Unions get their act together. Photo by Patrick McDonough.

August 6, 2007

Mayor Daley's Safe Bridges?

Chicago Bridges 3.jpg
Many years ago, Mayor Daley was trusted with the management of the taxpayer's money to make sure we have better roads, better schools, safe schools. Mayor Daley was trusted to put the taxpayers first, not to make his friends millionaires. I as sorry to report, much money in Chicago went to Mayor Daley's pet projects, public property was sold to raise millions more to pay debt. Mayor Daley is raising taxes and look at his idea of great infrastructure improvements. Many of Chicago's steel bridges have the steel rotten to the core from salt and weather. Many repairs include encasing the bridge bases with concrete to delay important repairs. I must confess, I get very scared when I hear a train rumbling overhead and I am stuck in traffic. many bridges sway to much when I am waiting in busy traffic. This bridges is rusting and the concrete is falling off. This bridge in at the intersection of Pershing (39th) and Ashland. Too much money was spent downtown, we need to fix the roads and bridges. I hope Mayor Daley does not blame this problem on the Federal Government. Photos by Patrick McDonough.

Mayor Daley's Safe Bridges 2

Chicago Bridges 2.jpg

Mayor Daley's Safe Bridges 1

Chicago Bridges 1.jpg

August 1, 2007

Watch and learn


More Shakman Violations at City of Chicago

City of Chicago Department of Water Management's handling of a bid was downright unprofessional. The Shakman Shuffle reminds me of a Chicago Election, the end justifies the means. Example, the City of Chicago posted for a Job opportunity on July 11, 2007. The Shakman Monitor was notified, the Plumber's Union was notified and the Water Department was notified. All on the up and up, right? Well the insiders were alerted long ago. Problem, the Department of Water Management Distribution held the bid for an additional week, and hid the post. Blank forms were not available for the workers. Steven Schell told me people tear the bids down, (Steve lets have a beer some time) If that is the case put the thief in jail and put the bids in a locked case( which are on site for the O.T.). Somehow the bids manage to stay up for weeks after the bid date submission date expires. Works good for Pension Officer Elections also, wink, wink. I filed complaints to all responsible Shakman Officers and requested a formal meeting to present the evidence. Job advantage Chambers and Tucker. Patrick McDonough.

William "Bill" Dugan at Chicago's Central Water District

It was brought to my attention this morning, officers of Operating Engineers Local 130 were out to the City of Chicago Department of Water Management. I saw three men in a black jeep with a James Dugan sticker. They were on site to remind workers of an upcoming election. Local 150 was the only Union to get it's members back pay from the "Hired Truck Scandal" and save a member that attacked another, smashing his face open, kept his job. They did not do much for a black member Steven Collier. This Local is located in the suburb of Countryside, which might make it more difficult for blacks apprentices in the inner city. Black youth need skilled trades to improve their lives and neighborhoods. At this point, I would vote Dugan in again, but I hope he sets up shop in Chicago. Patrick McDonough