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Sun-Times story on Daley's Shakman Violations right on the money.

Chicago Department of Human Resources1.jpg If you check the latest bids for the City of Chicago you will not find a group of 14 jobs as Construction Laborers. Many people in Chicago are out of a job. Unskilled jobs like Construction Laborer are prized for those that are not educated. This is an entry for political connected for sons and daughters of those who oiled the Daley political machine. The current bid is bid announcement No. 0880900011 It is an internal bid to give these jobs to a few chosen so they can keep their jobs that might be eliminated soon. These jobs pay $35.20 an hour for anyone that can pick up a bag of dirt. A physical test to determine the eligibility needs to independently overseen. Why would I say that? Just a few years back a lady with several children was hired for the job and then tested after a few weeks on the job. She injured herself in the test area behind 39th and Ashland and thus the City of Chicago was on the hook for a nice workman's compensation claim. The idiots at the department never used my photos for evidence of a false claim. The last bunch of laborer hires was directed towards minority and women. The result was several hires that cannot do the job and are placed in cozy arrangements. It is unfair to place laborers in desk jobs when they should earn taxpayer's money digging hole and unloading trucks outside. It is time to hire clerks to work inside the office at reduced pay, Chicago is broke. If you want a nice City of Chicago job making $70,000.00 a year you have until tomorrow. If you were not made aware of this posting, get all your unemployed friends together and I will help you file another lawsuit against Mayor Daley and the City of Chicago. Click the underlined below for the Sun-Times Story. Picture by Patrick McDonough Pictured is Charles Walker.
City Hall hit again for delays in reporting hiring violations December 6, 2009 BY LISA DONOVAN Staff Reporter ldonovan@suntimes.com The court-appointed monitor tapped to clean up hiring practices at City Hall has issued another stinging report detailing "the most significant instance" yet of city foot-dragging when reporting apparent violations of federal rules. In her report filed Friday in federal court, Noelle Brennan criticizes Mayor Daley's Office of Compliance for many delays in filing a final report detailing a 2008 investigation into a deputy human resources commissioner's alleged violations of hiring rules. The commissioner was later fired for a different hiring violation, Brennan said. "The problem is simple -- the Hiring Plan requires that hiring violations and irregularities get reported -- [the Office of Compliance] failed, repeatedly, to do so,'' Brennan wrote. "This is not the first time our office has received misinformation from the City; however, it is the most significant instance.'' Brennan is charged with monitoring the city's compliance with the federal Shakman decree barring using political considerations to determine who gets hired or promoted for many city jobs. She said a final report on the commissioner's case was necessary to provide a "record of the violation ... create a precedent for future corrective actions, [and] prevent the employee from being rehired at some later date.'' The monitor singled out compliance executive director Tony Boswell and another compliance manager for criticism. City officials said Boswell was not available for comment Saturday, but Mark Meaney, first deputy director of the office, said a clerical error may have touched off this criticism. The word "draft" appeared on a report submitted to the monitor and others, but the label should have been removed because it was actually the final report, Meaney said. "We have enjoyed a close working relationship with the monitor, and we have a lot to learn from her, and we accept her constructive criticism," Meaney said. "We know we have made mistakes along the way, for which Executive Director Boswell has apologized."

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THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
Posted Dec 06, 2009 @ 12:02 AM

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.When Illinois needs courageous, forthright leaders more than ever, we will enter this crucial election year courted by pandering Pinocchios.

Democrats, who have steered the state to the precipice of insolvency in their seven years at the helm, want us to believe they can rescue it from their own shameful stewardship. They offer platefuls of tax dollars to politically beefy interest groups while promising to spare most of us a reflux-inducing tab.

Meanwhile, Republicans vow to erase a deficit expected to reach nearly $12 billion next year simply by stimulating employment in the private sector and downsizing state government — a proposed remedy that may entice voters but affronts reality. Not allowing facts to intrude upon fetching phrases, a couple of the GOP gubernatorial candidates tout tax cuts to help spur the economic surge they contend would stabilize finances and allow our government to pay its bills on time.

Appealing? You bet. Doable? Let’s crunch some numbers.

Assume we freeze tax rates and a robust recovery produces revenue growth of 7.79 percent from the sales tax, 13.2 percent from the personal income tax and 41 percent from the corporate income tax — all of which would match spikes over the last quarter century. The yield would be $2.4 billion, only 20 percent of the deficit.

Illinois revenue experts consider even that scenario wildly optimistic. None of those categorical high points occurred in the same year. Moreover, the generally prosperous 1990s produced annual growth of 6.3 percent from the sales tax, 8.1 percent from the personal income tax and 11.1 percent from corporate and business taxes.

“If we would see revenue growth from the existing sales and income tax bases of $1 billion in a single year, that would represent a significant improvement in the economy,” says J. Thomas Johnson, president of the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois.

Clearly, a vigorous economic comeback cannot eradicate the red ink even if we also send political hacks and unneeded bureaucrats packing and cut the pay of legislators to minimum wage. Again, the numbers provide valuable context. We could wipe out the entire state government work force and reap $3 billion. We could level the legislature and dent the $12-billion deficit by some $70 million.

That does not mean we should abide the spend-and-borrow mania that brought Illinois to its knees. We can save hundreds of millions — perhaps more — by retooling government. We must reform unaffordable pension systems and corral health-care costs. We must spend tax dollars wisely before seeking more from taxpayers. But we also must raise taxes. Indeed, the failure to act resolutely will further sour the job creation climate that Republicans claim they want to enrich.

“Illinois has no budget any more. It is appropriating money it does not have. Huge pension obligations aren’t being addressed. It is avoiding the pain of hard decisions now, which will make them even more painful to deal with in the future. Business cares about the level of taxation, but it is even more concerned about the inability to predict what its tax obligations are going to be five, 10 or 15 years down the road,” says Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, whose members include Illinois-based corporate giants.

It is difficult to envision the man we elect as governor next November having the guts and the moral authority to make those “hard decisions” and sell them to lawmakers if he has misled us to win. Unfortunately, given the malarkey up to this point, it is much easier to foresee the state printing its own currency with Pinocchio replacing Honest Abe on the $5 bill.

Mike Lawrence retired in 2008 as director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University. He previously served as press secretary to Gov. Jim Edgar and as a statehouse
journalist for many years.

Are they also taking applications for unskilled calkers or lampmen? I figured, while they were hiring, they might as well fill some other fictious positions.

I finally a place apply for the job and get this:

This site is ONLY for CITY OF CHICAGO employees who are represented by a Union and have the right to bid on jobs pursuant to a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Your bid application will not be considered unless your "CBA" grants you the right to submit bid applications for specific positions. Please check with your Union/"CBA" if you have questions regarding these rights.

https://chicago.taleo.net/careersection/103/jobsearch.ftl

(Response) Thank you for a job well done. Pat.

A federal investigation of mob-backed video poker machines is now under way in the Bridgeport neighborhood, sources have told the Chicago Sun-Times and NBC5 News.

» Click to enlarge image

A source says the Redwood Lounge, 3200 S. Wallace, was raided by FBI agents investigating video poker. The bar is now closed.
(Al Podgorski/Sun-Times)


And tavern owners, in whose bars the poker machines were located, have been called to testify before a federal grand jury.

The raids, according to law enforcement sources, began over the summer.

“They hit several taverns, 10 or 12 of them maybe,” confirmed attorney Joseph Lopez, who said the FBI took all the circuit boards out of the machines.

One such raid, according to a knowledgeable source, took place at the Redwood Lounge at 3200 S. Wallace. Reached at home, the bar’s owner, Nick Spazio, declined to comment when asked if his tavern was the object of an FBI raid.

“Sweetheart, I can’t really talk to you on the advice of my lawyer . . . we better leave it alone,” he told a reporter.

The bar is now closed.

Authorities believe the video poker machines, which produce illegal payouts, tie back to the operation of the late Joseph “Shorty” LaMantia, a top lieutenant in the 26th Street Crew.

LaMantia, in turn, worked under Frank Calabrese Sr., who was convicted in 2007 in the historic Family Secrets trial, involving 18 unsolved mob murders. Calabrese, Joseph Lombardo and three others were found guilty on racketeering and conspiracy charges.

A jury ruled that Calabrese, 72, took part in seven outfit hits and ran an illegal gambling operation. He was sentenced to life in prison.

At the end of the trial, Robert Grant, special agent in charge of the Chicago FBI office, said his agents’ work was not done.

“It’s not the end of the Outfit,” he said. “I would declare to you right now we are actively investigating the Chicago Outfit.”

Video poker machines have long been a staple of Chicago taverns and a rich source of revenue for the Chicago mob.

Currently, it is the state that is desperate for revenue. And so in July, Gov. Quinn signed a bill to legalize video poker as a way to fund state construction projects. But those machines won’t be able to legally make payouts until the Illinois Gaming Board can hire sufficient staff to license them and enforce their operation. A Gaming Board official said the goal is to be up and running by the end of 2010.

The plans call for an estimated 45,000 to 60,000 legal video poker machines in bars and taverns statewide. So far, about 49 cities, town and counties, including Cook and DuPage, have opted to ban them. (The county bans apply only to unincorporated areas.)

The Legislature, according to the Gaming Board, allocated $3.3 million to the board in fiscal year 2009 and $4.7 million in fiscal year 2010, allowing it to double its existing staff. Half of the new hires will be dedicated to monitoring video poker machines.

Critics argue that even with additional personnel it will be a daunting, if not impossible, challenge to wire all the machines to a central location and ensure no criminal influence.

Then there is the question of what will the mob do?

Jim Wagner, a former FBI supervisor and past head of the Chicago Crime Commission, believes video poker remains too lucrative for the Outfit to cede its profits to the state.

There’s “too much money to be made with those machines to turn their backs on it,” Wagner said. “They have their own equipment out there and that won’t change.”

The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment for this story.

Be nice, Daley is a very kind, honest and compassionate man. He has a very honorable son too. Shame on you for putting such a caring man down. He is the best. shame on you.

Daley: Internet feeds media's snowstorm hysteria
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December 8, 2009

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Media hysteria about Chicago snowstorms dates back to long before the Blizzard of ’79 that buried then-Mayor Michael Bilandic. But, Mayor Daley believes the internet has taken it to a whole new level.

“People know about the weather in Japan coming here, Europe — you name it. We know everything,” the mayor said.

» Click to enlarge image

Mayor Daley believes the Internet has taken media hysteria about Chicago snowstorms to a whole new level.

(Jean Lachat/Sun-Times)


“I know we have 24-hour weather stations. But, every year we get snowstorms. It snows in Chicago during the winter. It gets icy and we get cold weather. We’ve all lived here.”

With the first major snowstorm of the season on the way — along with the first test for newly-appointed Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Tom Byrne — Daley was asked whether it’s time the media chill out about the winter weather.

“No. I could never tell you to chill out about anything,” Daley said, with a hearty laugh.

“Then you’ll say, ‘Mayor Daley is criticizing the press. Mayor Daley is telling the press what to do.’ No, I don’t. You’re gonna do what you’re gonna do. I understand that.”

Last winter, Daley raised the roof after then- Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Michael Picardi spent $490,000 on snow removal during a relatively minor, first-of-the-season snowstorm.

Picardi wore the jacket — and was ultimately replaced by Byrne — even though a City Council rebellion subsequently forced Daley to reverse a cost-cutting policy that saw City Hall plow side streets during normal working hours to reduce overtime and skip side streets altogether after minor snowstorms.

This year, the mayor plans to put GPS, high-tech sensors and the city’s vast network of surveillance cameras to work to speed snow removal with 20 fewer supervisors on the street.

But, he also made it clear that there will be overtime.

“You’re always concerned about overtime. But, when it comes down to health and safety, you always allow it to happen — any overtime that is necessary,” he said.

Testifying last month at City Council budget hearings, Byrne assured aldermen that the city’s third-largest department “learned some lessons in trying to cut back” on side-street snow removal.

“Obviously, that didn’t work,” he said.

This winter, Byrne said, “We will be looking at trying to get off arterials sooner if we can to get into the side-streets, especially around schools, firehouses and different places that are critical facilities. It’s not a whole different plan from last year. But, we have some different objectives we want to try to accomplish by doing that. And we will be doing that as the snow comes down.”