Thursday, November 8, 2012

Very Important Pooh-Bahs

Amazing, some of the things that come in over the transom.  Thank you to a reader for sending in this story that some readers are going to think we're making up:

Many times it comes up in conversation -- "What's going on with [former 46th Ward alderman] Helen Shiller?  She's been so quiet!"  So what does a career activist do when she retires from politics after 24 years in office?

Apparently she becomes a lobbyist.  Above are her (and son Brendan's) names on the City of Chicago's list of currently registered lobbyists.

Makes sense.  Ald. Shiller was always passionately interested in politics and what went on behind the scenes; she earned a Masters Degree in Public Policy while she was in office.  So it's not a big surprise that she'd put all that interest and experience into use as a Chicago lobbyist.  What we do find surprising is her client:

Pooh-Bah Enterprises is the owner of "VIP's, a Gentleman's Club," described as “Chicago’s only full liquor & topless bar.”  The City has been trying to have it closed since 1993, and the 19-year legal wrangling recently went before the U.S. Supreme Court -- for the second time.

The Supreme Court dismissed the case without comment just three weeks ago, and the club seems out of options.  Maybe a couple of lobbyists with long-time City ties can make all the difference?


  1. A bit odd, isn't it, to see Helen on the side of an enterprise/industry not exactly known for its pleasant relationship with women?

    I say *odd* because Helen, through her actions, always seemed like an inflexible "LIBRULL" (NTTAWT) whose worldview was cemented around 1969.

    Change that: It's not odd at all. She's a politician with loose morals and she'll do just about anything for money, right? :)

  2. Wait... what? Helen Shiller wants to be a topless dancer?

    Super classy. Mother and son team fighting to save topless dancing in Chicago. Another fine example of her "if you pay me, I will do anything you want" mantra.

  3. I hope she's not lobbying to dance there.

  4. Go Helen! Fighting to support women working their way through college, struggling to make a better life for themselves!

  5. OH Gawd,

    the cognitive dissonance is overwhelming.

    I love the Sun Times story. "Buttock, latex, federal convictions", it sounds like the Romney afterparty in Boston on Wednesday morning.

    I can understand why the Shillers would lobby for this business.
    Hey cash is cash. What I have a harder time understanding is why a client would hire Helen Shiller. She wasn't exactly popular among the city bureaucracy or her fellow aldercritters.

    Brendan at least does have some legal background working on liquor license issues.

    Perhaps Helen Shiller believes that this type of dancing allows young women to empower themselves and take charge of their lives. It's an argument I might make. It's not an argument I would expect from Helen Shiller.

    Perhaps she got involved to help her spawn make some cash.

    As the second Mayor Daley might say when confronted with evidence of his family members benefiting from various government related contracts "Who knows?".

  6. I do not and never have liked Helen Shiller but the VIP`s Gentleman`s club is the hottest place in Chicago I been to. Pretty expensive on your credit card but what the hell, you only live once.

  7. Helen, nice progressive stand for women's right, you viperous hypocrite....LOL

  8. Press release

    In addition to helping groups cut through government regulations and requirements, Lakeview Strategy Group provides broad services including strategic planning, organizational development, event planning, website and social media development, and advocacy and organizing assistance. Other members of Lakeview Strategy Group include: Michilla Blaise, Brad Hochgesang, Maggie Marystone, and Brendan Shiller. Find more information about Lakeview Strategy Group team at, or call (312) 462-4044.

    What's awesome? The web addy in the press release, here, isn't accurate (missing the "www" bit).

    .. not a good start for a group that offers a website development service.

    Their staff is comprised of some familiar names - minus one I'd have expected to see.

    Also fun, Helen's bio (write your own punchline):

    Chicago's longest-serving female Alderman, Helen Shiller retired from the Chicago City Council in 2011 after nearly a quarter century of service.

    Today, through the Lakeview Strategy Group, she continues to help make Chicago a place where families, businesses, and organizations can thrive.

  9. I would like Jon Trott and the Jesus People to comment on this. After all, they were one of her absolute top supporters for years. Jon, what do you think of Helen 1.)Promoting strip clubs and 2.) Abandoning Uptown completely and even naming the new venture 'Lakeview", a neighbor both you and Helen swore was a horrbile, gentrified area of Chicago? Hmmm, Jon, hmmm?

  10. People of a certain age may remember this song.

    I refuse to hyperlink.

    I had considered photoshopping Helen's face on to some stripper pics and making a video, but I couldn't do the story justice. Plus it just seemed W R O N G.

    You have to bet the Shillers really, really hate the internet and this site in particular. I'm guessing I'm not on their XXXmas party list either.

    I wonder where said holiday soiree will be held. Too bad that management company bought the Salvation Army building across from Target. It would have made a great fish farm/strip club.

  11. I just love how Jon Trott is called out on this page, but ignored it.

    However, in his famously passive/aggressive mode he posts over at this topic from last week.

    I refuse to hyperlink because like "Brian" in "Monty Python's Life of Brian" Trott is NOT THE MESSIAH, HE'S A VERY NAUGHTY UPTOWN BOY.

    Python is worthy of a hyperlink. Unlike the passive aggressive Messiah on Wilson.

  12. This made my day! What a wonderfully looney scenario!

  13. John/Jon/Jhon Trott/Jesus People.. still waiting for you to comment.. You all jumped on anyone who sullied this vacuous, two-faced viper in the past. Why so silent now?

    By the way, how would the community get her face off the collage at Uplift? I do not think it is appropriate to have Helen forever enshrined on a HIGH SCHOOL when her firm is now lobbying for strip clubs. I would suggest that is not an appropriate message for high school aged children..

  14. USH,

    I wouldn't suggest holding your breath waiting for the Messiah on Wilson to respond.

    He's probably a bit perturbed at Shiller over this. JPUSA has a variety of money making businesses from roofing materials to construction etc and this could have proved a fine moneymaking opportunity for them.

    Imagine our betters on Wilson sending some of the younger female members of their "intentional family" over to the strip club to earn a living. They could even create a company to supply strippers. "The Stripper People".

    I kid my JPUSA neighbors.

    Seriously, Shiller is gone and both she and JPUSA were locked in a decades long grotesque embrace of mutual convenience.

    Gawd, I love that line. It screams pretension. I should have worn a beret while I typed it.

    Anyway I'm relatively sure that JPUSA and its members don't approve of strip clubs. They are probably saddened that Shiller is doing this, but figure that she was a good alderman for THEM during her reign of error.

    She's gone so what use is there for them to criticize her? Maybe they wouldn't get invited to any soirees her dwindling band of supporters might have in the future.

    The beauty of this REVELATION regarding Shiller is that it not only sheds LIGHT on her true character, but spreads the GOOD NEWS of her duplicity to the masses.

    Also I just looked and as of now the Strip Club seems to be her only consulting client. I hope it stays that way.

    I have a theory as to how Shiller got this lobbying gig, but since it's only a theory I shall keep it to myself.

    Personally, if I owned the strip club I would have hired Rahm's former campaign manager as my lobbyist. That's just me though. Unlike Sheldon Adelson and Karl Rove I try to get results when I drop the big bucks.

    It will be interesting to see what happens with this club.

  15. "The Stripper People". ROFL IP.

    Now back to how the community can take back Uplift HS and the shameful memorialization of Shiller's face in the collage. Shiller, the Advocate of the Stripper. Just doesn't seem right

  16. Gawd,

    I wish I hadn't suggested that.

    I'm imagining an emergency meeting of the non leadership of JPUSA being called to discuss this issue.

    "Imagine, what it will do for our recruitment of young strong males for our construction related businesses if we also create "The Stripper People".

    Although, I would support them closing their Cornerstone Shelter and turning it into a strip club.

    It would probably do less harm to the community.