Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pigs Feeding At The Taxpayer-Financed Trough

We asked below: What's Going On With Wilson Yard? Well, a reader made some calls and found out the ugly, ugly answer.

"Regarding the Finance Committee Meeting and the amendment re. Wilson Yard.

"I left messages for Helen Shiller and Peter Holsten and got no reply today ... we'll see about tomorrow. Then I called Vi Daley, who is on the Finance Committee. She called me back personally about 2 hours later and told me that whatever it was passed. She said that she didn't really know what it was about, but Helen Shiller told the committee to pass it and they did.

"She said the meeting was really long and even had to be held over to this afternoon and basically through my questions admitted that she didn't even know what she agreed to. She said usually when an alderman asks for something, the committee just passes it. Nice! No wonder the city is $420 million over budget.

"Then she suggested I call Shiller's office. Instead, I called Tom Tunney's office and they put me in touch with Alderman Burke's office, who chairs the finance committee. I spoke to a lovely woman named Judy who said the actual document was about 40-50 pages long, but the amendment she had in front of her said that 'the developer has additional challenges necessitating changes of financing of the redevelopment agreement.'

"Basically, it sounds like Holsten might be getting more money from the taxpayers. I asked if I could get a copy of the document and she asked if I worked downtown and could pick it up. She said that she doesn't receive electronic versions and therefore couldn't e-mail it to me. She said that eventually they go online in minutes or journals if I wanted to wait. So, if someone wants to get a copy of the actual document to review, please call Burke's office and ask for Judy. She also said that the measure would probably pass tomorrow at the City Council meeting.

"When I spoke to Vi Daley, I said that it was really frustrating to hear that the committee would vote for something that they didn't even hear about, and that it hardly seemed like government operating transparently. Why have a Finance Committee if they don't listen to the proposals? She seemed a little uncomfortable, then reiterated that whatever she voted for, Shiller seemed really excited about it."

Readers, if you're unhappy about this classic -- and illegally orchestrated -- Machine-style political maneuver, let the mainstream media know. The list of media contacts is here.

Update: A reminder... if you're as sick of this project and its back-room politics as many of your neighbors, the next "Fix Wilson Yard" presentation is tonight (Wednesday, October 8), 7pm @ Buena Pointe, 4350 N Broadway.


  1. May I say, I have NEVER received a straight answer, or have gotten a call back from Shiller's office, on any issue.

    I did however, get a call from her 'people' at election time, upon which I said 'no, no...she has ruined my neighborhood'

  2. All the while, Helen Shiller's chief of staff, Denise Davis is flooding the downtown board of elections everyday with new voter registration forms.

  3. Shiller's office is perversely self-serving.

    Riddled with irony.....existing on a Twi-Light Zone like plane.

  4. I just keep thinking, we only have to thwart her evil plans another two years... two years.... two years....

    I'd love to see Helen do something so politically embarrassing to Daley that he drops her like a hot potato. Because that's his history. When/if that happens, buh-bye, Wilson Yard.

    This latest scam makes me physically ill. She really has no ethics at all, does she? It's always surprising, for some reason, to see how low she can go.

  5. It's sad, and very telling, that she's more concerned about having a neighbor's car towed (see an earlier post) than solving the issues in Uptown.

    I do think she honestly thinks of herself as a modern day Mother Theresa, but the fact is, she's a tow-the-line Daley stooge.

    She needs to 'get real', in a major way.

  6. Really now, let's dispense with all these pretend committees since they only rubberstamp whatever the aldermen want. It would be so much more honest. There is really no checks and balances in place at all. Where's the ethics in all of this? Silly me, Helen serves on the Ethics Committee.

  7. many thanks to whoever worked the phones on this

  8. This is a new low, Helen, and the ends do not justify the means.

    Words cannot even express how disgusted I am by how due process has been so summarily abandoned in this country. Helen and the Shillerites have been with me in condemning injustice on the national and international stage but then are content to join in with everyone else as they rampantly abuse democratic protections closer to home. ???!!! Disgusting.

    It must be great for her to have such a highly attuned moral compass to know that she is always right no matter what. Or, maybe after all of these years she simply doesn't care anymore because thinking about it just gets in the way of achieving her goals.

    Well, Helen, I am here to remind you that when you operate this way, you make a mockery of yourself. And although you may win the battle you will lose the war. I think you know that. That is why you are rushing headlong this one last time...stumbling over yourself...trampling over nearly everyone and everything...scorching the earth behind you so that it will be nearly impossible for the people behind you to take up what is left of your former ideals and keep them alive here in the years to come. It is so sad to watch and even harder to try to live through.

  9. Listen, as Ms. Davis tells us what she does before an election.

  10. This is how Chicago government works. Everyone robs the taxpayers blind while turning a blind eye to everything else going on in government.

    The fact that these same people get voted into office time and again proves that either

    A) People don't really care about corruption


    B) People are stupid.

    I'm going with B.

  11. That may be true, but not all Chicago Government destroys the credibility of Social Services to the point that Helen does and has been lately. The damage Helen is doing to their reputations right now will harm them for years and years to come.

  12. Helen and Peter Holsten already have $52 million of OUR money for Wilson Yard, and all they've created is a big hole in the ground that's not been worked on for weeks now. Oh, and lots of promises - but no proof - that Target is on the way.

    Now they have the nerve to sneak through a measure giving Holsten EVEN MORE of OUR money.

    In the meantime, just a couple blocks north, you can see all the good that TIF money has gone for in the 48th Ward (the rehab of the Borders building, the rehab of the Uptown Broadway Building, the Bryn Mawr Historical district coming back to life, etc.)

    For what we've gotten for our $52 million, the Uptown Theatre could have been rehabbed, and there would still be $12 million left over.

    And now Helen and Peter are pressuring the Finance Committee for MORE MONEY for Wilson Yard.





    P.S. Sorry for yelling, this may have been my breaking point (if I hadn't already hit it).

  14. Did Vi Daley know her comments were going to be made part of the public record?

    If these quotes are accurate this makes this story RADIOACTIVE.

    Whomever spoke to Vi Daley should contact the ABC News I-Team. These are quotes that spark investigations by the press.

  15. I second that Eagle.

    Politics in this country have become toxic. Bush, Obama, McCain, GRod, Daley, Shiller all want to over tax and over govern.

    The best question from the debate last night was from the lady who asked how we are supposed to trust the government when both parties created this current financial mess.

    Maybe now we won't be so distracted by imigration, gay marraige & abortion while they pick pocket our wallets at the same time.

    Helen does the same thing but she does it with the poor and unfortunate, then picks our pockets, then for good measure kicks us in the balls and calls us racist.

  16. All I can say is I am glad Uptown has the Uptown Update.


    Most of us were so dumb to how the Machine really operated until now.

    Send money to Fix Wilson Yard.

  17. Ugh... not only am I beyond elated to get out of Uptown and away from this mess, I'm even more happier to get out of Chicago corruption. Enough is enough. The main reason why my vote wont' be for Obama is he was forged from wool of Chicago politics... I don't trust him farther than I can throw him.

  18. I understand but McCain is worse he has strong ties to Charles Keating.

    God people don't run for public office.

  19. I have to commend all of you and in particular the person who made all of the calls on their vigiliance on this matter. I haven't seen this kind of activism on a neighborhood level in a long time. Amazing. Good job.

  20. How 'bout posting the contact information of polititions as well? Both those directly representing this area and the ones responsible for neighboring Wards. Corruption is high on the minds of voters these days considering the current climate. If any of this is illegal, how 'bout putting it in front of the FBI?

  21. Remember what binds us together; questions about Wilson Yard.

    Know what distracts us from this unity; dividing us based on the presidential candidates.

    Our politics are local.

  22. Members of Fix Wilson Yard are going to Ald. Burke's office today to get a copy of the amendment. We will have 60 days to file a complaint under the Open Meetings Act. Will have updates.

  23. it passed

    here's the debate:

    Burke: Item 34, Your Honor, is a redevelopment agreement with Wilson Yard Development LLC, located in the 46th Ward, a project that's very near and dear to the ambitious hopes that the aldermen of the 46th ward has for her neighborhood and unless there's objection, I move to concur on the recommendation of the committee by the same roll call which applied to Item 1 on the agenda with the same motion to reconsider with the exception that the clerk be instructed to show me as abstaining on provisions of rule 14.

    Suarez: Hearing no objections so ordered.

  24. interesting that Burke recused himself, presumable he is working for or has worked for Holsten, does anyone know the connection?

  25. Since "The Mole" will not address the community, I think we should organize some simple yet effective protests. She can still ignore us but at least she will see us whether she wants to or not. We need to get in her face and let her know we are NOT going to "lower the temperature".

  26. "ambitious hopes that the alderman of the 46th ward has for her neighborhood"

    To spend more! more! more! taxpayer money on a hole in the ground and to continue lying about it. (How many years has she been promising Target now?)

  27. Well, at least that pig eats eating at the trough is hilarious! You should send that to Higgins!

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. All politicians are crooks it's the legal mafia so between McCain and Obama it's Obama at least he is smart enough to do his crookedness to help the middle class unlike McCain and his Keating pals.

    btw this is not about the Presidential election or Daley this is about one Alderman name Shiller.

  30. Reminder:
    Fix Wilson Yard presentation tonight - Wednesday, October 8th, 7pm, at Buena Pointe Tower (4350 N. Broadway) on the 2nd Floor. Space and chairs are limited, so come early and bring your own chair if possible (as well as your checkbooks!).

  31. I have never...ever...voted for Daley... not when he ran for States Attorney...not for any of his mayoral "races". I remember his father.

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Hello All,

    There have been some questions regarding the latest amendment to the funding for the Wilson Yard Redevelopment Plan. This issue was improperly added to the City’s Finance Committee’s agenda and Fix Wilson Yard will take the proper actions to resolve the situation pursuant to the Open Meetings Act.

    Fix Wilson Yard asked both Ald. Helen Shiller and Ald. Edward Burke for a copy of the ordinance and amendment. Ald. Burke’s office advised us that their copy was filed with the City Clerk’s Office today during the City Council Meeting and should be available next week through the City Clerk’s Office. No response has come from Ald. Shiller’s office.

    No information was provided in regards to the issues addressed in the amendment other than there were some “problems with financing issues” for the development. Until we are able to review the ordinance and amendment, Fix Wilson Yard is not initiating contacts with the media regarding this issue. Still, we are appalled by the belligerent abuse of the government process and lack of transparency available in regards to the project.

    Funny how this needed amendment was not mentioned in the Crain’s article.

    Fix Wilson Yard is fighting to stop this abuse. If you have not done so already, please 1) register at www.fixwilsonyard.org, 2) DONATE and 3) Pass this information along to everyone! This is an Uptown issue as well as a Chicago issue!

    Thank you for all of your ongoing support!


    Molly Phelan
    Fix Wilson Yard

  34. I don't mean corrupt I mean they are what most people would consider unethical.

    It's fine line between against the law and unethical.

    Politicians aren't held to too high of ethical standards.

    I can't control the rest of Chicago Alderman so I am not going waste my time but I can vote Shiller out and work to get her out of office.

    McCain is just 4 mores years of George Bush failed policies.

  35. This is a local issue. It doesn't matter to me that the McCainiac believes that a good economic plan is to dump your injured first wife, shack up with a rich heiress 19 years younger, and then get married. Later use her daddy's money and connections to get elected to Congress.

    Nope, I wouldn't want to bring that up.

    So take your Fox News talking points and move to Alaska. Where Caribou Barbie and her husband have ties to a secessionist group.

    Would you like to see the video?

    Nope, I didn't think so.

  36. Can we stick to the subject? Trading barbs about your political opinions for the presidential race serves no purpose. This is about local government.

  37. Ray's right.

    We should stick to local issues.

    The devil made me do it.

  38. Thank you boys. Go have a pint together at your local bar (Wooden Nickle?) and hug it out. =]

  39. A heartfelt thank you to the Uptown neighbor who invested an afternoon in calling the powers that be to find all this out.

    I sincerely appreciate your effort, and the great info you managed to uncover.

    I'm writing to the press right now.

    Everyone might want to drop Thomas Corfman of Crain's a line too. Corfman wrote the recent "Target is coming" coverage on Sept 26, and may feel like some follow-up investigation is in order.

    tcorfman [at] crain [dot] com

  40. ACORN, Helen Shiller buying everyone lunch on election day, it's all the same people.

    Can't wait for America to experience Chicago politics and "ethics" via the Obama wagon.

    ACORN's doing a great job in Gary, Indiana, Nevada (that's where the raid took place recently) and gee, guess where else OH, as they bus'em in from KY!

    Is it possible Helen recv'd her training from ACORN? LOL

    It's all related people - keep drinkin your Kool Aid when you vote for the Messiah in Nov. You will see NOTHING come from it....

    Just like you see nothing coming from this Ward and Miz Shiller - a staunch supporter of Obama.

  41. Jimo,

    calm down. Relax. Go get yourself a hooker. I saw a particularly ugly one around just north of Wilson on Broadway earlier.

    Tell her I said hello.

  42. Since the media is reading this thread, it would be great to stay on topic.

  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. nobody cares about you two dill-holes arguing about Obama-McCain. You're not going to change the opinion of the other, so give it a rest. Lets stick to Helen.

  46. The great thing about America is we are all free to have and opinion and disagree.

    But I think we can all agree Wilson Yard is a nightmare!

  47. And we wonder why there's no money to run this city?

    Utterly amazing...from todays Tribune

  48. Hey Pirate, I'm GAY! YES a GAY Republican...

    We don't "do" hookers - we only use the best escort services...

  49. Gay Republicans?

    Isn't that like a pro hunting moose?

    Kinda against your own interests.

    That's ok though. You have a right to be wrong. Just like Sarah Palin has a right to believe that evolution is wrong and the bible is literal truthiness.

    At least you aren't a wide stance republican.

    I saw a funny quote the other day: "drinking the kool aid from the toilet bowl of wide stance conservatism."

    What this country needs is an enema. Starting in the 46th ward and moving on to City Hall.

  50. In the other thread on the Finance committee agenda, we noted the Finance committee's violations of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

    Well today's passage of the 3rd revised subsidy package for Holsten demonstrates further violations.

    We think the proposal was recommended by Finance at a 10 AM Monday committee meeting.

    Sorry, that's too late for a 10 AM Wed full Council meeting.

    The agenda for a Wed 10 AM public meeting is due, posted in City Hall AND on the the City website, by 10 AM Mon, 48 hours/2 business days prior by law.

    This legal requirement for internet posting is a relatively recent amendment to the OMA sponsored by Illinois State Senator John Cullerton of Chicago.

    So how did a proposal that was in committee until mid-day Monday make it on to an agenda for a Wed morning meeting due by 10 Mon? It's a puzzlement.

    The purpose of this law is to foster citizen participation in local government and allow time for interested citizens to contact their elected officials and petition their government.

    Chicago is acting like they are not in Illinois.

  51. I just wish the Feds would clean out City Hall and the City Council.

    I love how they can do anything they want and only the Feds can intervene but they never do.

  52. Uptown Updater is out of town, but he texted me and asked me to stop the Obama/McCain discussion here. Please take it to the UU Forum or continue here on topic. Lots of media have been contacted and are reading Uptown Update today, and this is an important enough issue that he wants discussion to remain on topic: Helen Shiller, TIF money, improper procedure and Wilson Yard.


  53. WhyVoteDemocrat did you take your happy pill today? Remember what the social worker said.

    If you want to see the video I spoke of check out "the google" and search "uptown avenger" for my website.

    Otherwise this is a local thread. I mean I do enjoy taking candy from children, but at some point the fun evaporates.

  54. makes me want to go to fixwilsonyard.org and donate some $$$$

  55. Finally something we can agree on.

    I donated money to FixWilsonYard.

    If more of us do it we'll make the powers that be sweat. Those powers being Helen Shiller and Richard M Daley. Hit him where he loves it....TIFS.

  56. [Is it possible Helen recv'd her training from ACORN?]

    That's unlikely. What is more plausible is that Helen Shiller was an apprentice to a follower of Saul Alinksy. Alinsky's school of social change is a complete study in modern urban politics. Alinksy's school of thought was born and bred in the city of Chicago. ACORN is the largest and most well known organization created by followers of Saul Alinsky.

    This is a complex subject with 50 years of data for review. The subject itself is far too large for an Uptown Update topic.

  57. Another desperate attempt on a project that has completely lost its way and actually tears Uptown's economic future apart.

    A life perserver couldn't save the Titanic. Throwing millions and millions of dollars into the Wilson Yard cesspool won't save it.

  58. Now for some strictly local commentary.

    Higgins cartoon summing up the problem with Wilson Yard........in the final analysis.

    Hizzoner, celebrating his TIF windfalls.

    The Helen Shiller code.

  59. Whoever the reader was that made all those calls, THANK YOU. Also, a huge thank-you to Molly and to Fix Wilson Yard. I have donated in the past, and will make another donation now. It's so important to have a neighborhood organization that stays on top of this! Very encouraging that we have the kind of community that can organize to create real change!

  60. Hey guys,

    I just ran across this link while I was looking at the Bureau of Sanitation report. It's to the Inspector General Office of Chicago's corruption reporting page.

    I think the shenanigans with Shiller, The Spawn of Shiller (McJunkin), Holsten, and the rest might qualify as corruption.

    Just fill out the form with as much detail as possible and submit it. It is separate from the City and can be submitted anonymously.


  61. "that the clerk be instructed to show me as abstaining on provisions of rule 14."

    Rule 14 is the City Council rule under which aldermen are supposed to abstain from a vote when they have a conflict of interest.


    Sorry, I can't get the link to highlight, but if you cut and paste the article, Burke's firm represents Holsten...Client #21

  62. Link to the Burke Holsten connection article.

    Just another service brought to you by IrishPirate soap. The soap that doesn't eliminate the stank, but highlights it.

  63. I THINK that it is now appropriate to call Alderman Burke;s office and start asking him why his enthusiastic support for this.

    Burke Edward M Alderman
    2650 W 51st St
    Chicago, IL 60632
    (773) 471-1414

    I mean, if our Alderwitch cannot answer the question, perhaps his office can.

    Seriously, please start calling his office tomorrow... it might make for some interesting information, particularly with his ties to Holsten, which I did not know about until the post above..

  64. KH, don't bother reporting any suspicions of unethical or illegal behavior on the part of aldermen and their staff to the City's Inspector General. They cannot be investigated. There was an attempt to change this in City Council back in the late 1980's, but it died in committee.

    Ald. Shiller has stated that she opposes having the City Inspector General investigate aldermen and their staff for allegations of corruption and waste. I find it appalling that there is such a grave lack of accountability, but I don't see this changing until voters place more pressure on City Council.

  65. So then where do you report a violation of the open meetings act? I am generally with Shiller on not criminalizing poverty but for goodness sake, when aldermen violate the law SHE herself should be all in support of that. Why? Because Chicago alderman are either our "elite" or are the handmaidens for our elite. They routinely do things that engross the wealthy and make the poor and marginalized suffer more.

    Ahhh...such a sticky situation this Helen Shiller finds herself in. In order to achieve your goals you have to abandon your ideals?? I didn't read that part in "Rules for Radicals." Maybe there is a special footnote somewhere that I overlooked.

  66. City Council Rules of Order

    rule 14 makes no reference to conflict of interest or any other reason WHY an alderman might not want to vote

    rule 14 attempts to put our alderman on record - it says that if an alderman is present, they HAVE to vote Yea or Nay - UNLESS they make a separate motion PRIOR to a vote and ask permission from the Council NOT to vote - this is usually granted on the basis of hearing no objection rather than as an additional procedural vote

    Our state legislators have 3 buttons in front of them - yes, no, and present - but our alderman do not. The only way our aldermen can vote other than yea or nay is to leave the room or invoke the escape clause in rule 14.

  67. from the original post:

    "they put me in touch with Alderman Burke's office, who chairs the finance committee. I spoke to a lovely woman named Judy who said the actual document was about 40-50 pages long ... I asked if I could get a copy of the document and she asked if I worked downtown and could pick it up. She said that she doesn't receive electronic versions and therefore couldn't e-mail it to me."

    the legal minimum response to this kind of query is "COME ON DOWN!"

    under our Open meetings Act, a public body is required to keep the records of their proceedings available for public inspection. The day before when this proposal was voted on by the Finance committee it became part of their official record, and they are obligated to keep a copy in their office for anyone to stop by and look at and make a copy

    they are technically NOT obligated to sent it out, although often committees will if you ask real nice (I think mainly because they prefer faxing something out to having to keep the office open for a civie who might or might not stop by!)

    notice this is under the OMA. If you want to insist they SEND you copy, that's a FOIA process. But FOIA gives them 10 days to sit on your request, so FOIA is not generally useful to us in the 48 hour window between agenda posting and action when we poor civilians are scrambling to find out WTF our government is up to.

    at no time in human history has it been easier, cheaper, or quicker to send 50 pages of information a few miles but it is beyond the ken of our home town

    in practical terms to be in this game what this means for us in the 'hoods is that we need a call list of neighbors who work downtown in the vicinity of City Hall who can stop by on a break or lunch hour and pick up a document on short notice

  68. "Fix Wilson Yard asked ... Ald. Edward Burke for a copy of the ordinance and amendment. Ald. Burke’s office advised us that their copy was filed with the City Clerk’s Office ... "

    telling you they didn't have it is in violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act

    Burke's office admitted to you that they have a legally inadequate record of their proceedings of the previous day

    you were denied your rights

    make sure your lawyers know about this response

  69. "So then where do you report a violation of the open meetings act?"

    great question, wish there was a simple answer

    these are both a tad dated but still good resources


    Open Government Guide: Illinois

  70. technically the OMA says any citizen or our County State's Attorney may bring suit

    the IL Atty General reads this clause as "not my job!" they won't take legal action but they will occasionally write a nasty gram

    when asked about local govt corruption one of our State's Atty candidates curries favor with the machine by openly spewing rhetoric to the effect that her office will not have the resources, local govt is someone else's problem

    forgive me as I recommend that if you have enough commitment to complain about these kind of assaults on your rights as a citizen of Illinois that you write to the Mayor, Cook County States Atty, and IL Atty General, even as I confess my personal experience with these avenues has been paltry

    in practice it's up to us & whatever lawyers we can hire, the good news is a lawyer can recover fees if successful

  71. Thank you, Hugh. I felt so bad that you were treated so poorly when you appeared before the council most recently. People have a right to expect that their legislative representatives will follow the laws, ordinances and procedures that they have put in place themselves (as a body) and have individually sworn to uphold. It is pathetic that it must take so much effort from the voting public to make them do these things but I, for one, really appreciate that there are people out there like you who are willing to spend the time and put themselves on the line to protect our liberties.

  72. our home town's govt is not supposed to be able act this quickly

    they are not allowed to play hide the bacon with legislation

    and there's a good reason for that - WE are supposed to have a seat at the table

    we have 48 hours to notice something of interest, call, ask questions, and express our views

    I don't think it's too much to ask

    of course I feel kinda silly getting all worked up over little ole WY when our Village Elders did a $2B Tuesday-Wednesday slam-bang-thank-you-ma'am job on Midway

    it was amusing to hear ALDERMEN complain about the rush and lack of transparency, consideration, and deliberation in City Council, hey, try being a taxpayer sometime, at least the Alderman got behind-closed-door briefings

    Alderman Burnett on the Midway deal:

    Thank you, Mr. President. I just want to say a few things. One, I think that this is a good deal. I want to commend Volpe and Mr. Smith and everyone involved in putting such a deal together. God knows we can use the money right now, but I would be re miss if I did not acknowledge the fact that I really feel like I'm being pushed because for once, we found out about this deal in the newspaper, three days before we sit down and talk about it, and then we, you know, are on an obsticle course trying to figure it all out and look at it and ask all of the questions, you know I think it's very unfair to us and I just have to point that out. I think it's a good deal but I don't like the way that it was shoved down our throats, and I don't appreciate that and I think that's wrong that I had to, if I have a financial decision to make at home, I talk to my wife and we got to work on it together before we make a decision. You know, we don't even get the chance to read the whole document and do all of the research before we have to vote on such a big deal, and I know we're in a financial crisis, but it's wrong how you guys did it and it's very disrespectful to all of us as Aldermen, very disrespectful and I'll tell you if things like this continue to happen as we go through this budget, there's going to be a problem because, you know, you are just choking us and making us do things whether it's right or wrong, you need to give us the respect as elected officials in this council. I know you all have been working on it for years and two years and three years but you got to give us the respect because we're the ones who vote on this and make it happen. Thank you.

  73. poor alderman thinks he was disrespected

  74. With all of this said... did anyone get a copy of this 40-50 page document? If so can that person make it available online to all of us? I think a lot of people are interested in reading it!

  75. "God knows we can use the money right now..." the alderman says.

    Yet little to none of it is going to go to plug the current deficit because the specifics of the act that allowed this to happen require that the money be spent for infrastructure. The sad fact is that you simply cannot vote democrat in Chicago or Cook County anymore. Chip Douglas, please invite me to the next Uptown Libertarians (or Republicans) meeting. Cronyism in Chicago is doing very little for people across the political spectrum here.

  76. Burke's Statement of Financial Interests, the source document of the Sun-Times article

  77. Did Burnett vote in favor of the measure?

    If the ways and means are corrupt, you have to stand up and vote against the ends even it favors you.

    By supporting it, you only feed the beast that is the machine as it twists your arms, kicks you down, leaves money behind, and tells you to thank them on election day.

  78. The vote was unanimous. By the time the City faces the serious repercussions of mortgaging off its assets, Daley and the rest of City Council figure they will be long gone. How I long for term limits. What's happening with TIFS, especially the WY TIF, is criminal. It seems to me that something could be done on the state level to address the corruption in Chicago's TIFS. This might be good for Greg Harris or Heather Steans to address.

    My request is that those of you who didn't vote, please don't bother to complain on this blog.

  79. sometimes calling our aldermen crooks is over the top, but state laws were broken this week

  80. It seems to me that flouting these laws is so de rigeur that they don't even have the capacity to understand how this is horribly offensive (and given the tenor of the times) downright frightening to so many of us.

  81. no, they know, but they also know the sheriffs are on their team and they figure we won't sue

  82. Well, if any community has learned how to sue public officials... it's us.

  83. LOL TrumanSquare. Unfortunately, I am already seeing some of my projects drying up. I will try to continue contributing to these lawsuit funds but it is just soooo wrong that we have to pay this additional "tax" just to make our government to follow the laws of the land. Fix Wilson Yard folks---is a separate action necessary?

  84. " ... they don't even have the capacity to understand how this is horribly offensive .. "

    you mean like, if they understood the law better, they would be more compliant?

    you're cute!

    but if you really think that - write to the IL AG Public Access Counselor

    I'd love to see our AG schedule some mandatory attendance open government training for our aldermen

  85. This is absolutely inferiorating!

    Thank you to whoever took the time and effort to really dig into this matter!!!

    What disturbs the hell out of me is just how easily our voice is taken for granted in city hall. "Oh, Helen says this is gonna be great - okey doke, I'll let it pass."

    It seems that the aldermen just can't conceptualize the fact that a lot of us folks in Uptown are middle class like them, working in the loop like them - making money to pay our taxes - flipping the bill for a ward with five times the amount of what is average for subsidized housing in a ward.

    Makes you wonder if they think everyone who lives in the 46th ward is helpless, or in need of help?

    Makes you wonder.

    It sucks to love Chicago so much, but despise the crooked bastards who run it.