The Grotesque Chicago-ization of the United States Government

Most of you have heard that Arne Duncan, formerly Chicago’s school Czar and now America’s school Czar, tours the country talking about reform while his hypocrite boss shuts down the DC voucher program.

Like the late night TV ads, I can only say “but wait, there’s more!!”

Heritage put out a very good piece detailing yet another example of “The Chicago Way” at Duncan’s former home.


Morning Bell: Choice for the Powerful, But Not for the People

But now we find out that when Secretary Duncan was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, he took a decidedly different approach to the wishes of Chicago’s politically powerful families. The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that while he was Chicago schools chief, Secretary Duncan maintained a log of politicians and influential business people who sought better placement for their children in Chicago’s public schools. From the Tribune:

It includes 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard Daley’s office, House Speaker Michael Madigan, his daughter Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.

The skank-like lack of morality of these people knows no bounds. They should disgust you. They sit and talk about the poor as they shower their campaign contributors with rich benefits and contracts, all while retaining the best jobs, slots, and political gems for themselves.

They deserve nothing but contempt and outrage. They are bad people.

Q: Who is Gutting FOIA Reform? A: The Madigans

I find it fascinating that people in Illinois are actually considering Lisa Madigan for Governor. (She is yet un-announced, BTW) This phenomenon seems to attach to the types of voters who throw temper tantrums over taxes and immigration, but can’t connect the Madigan that ran Illinois into a ditch (Mike Madigan) with the Madigan that will keep Illinois in a ditch.

Exhibit 1 is the late May shell game with FOIA reform. As with Quinn’s tax increases, where Lisa gets credit for being anti-tax while her Dad gets ready to soak Illinois taxpayers, Lisa and Mike are playing the same game with FOIA reforms.

Lisa is lavished with praise for her “reform” bill, while Mike Madigan’s and John Cullerton’s henchmen in the “Legislative Staff” have gutted the bill.

“Illinois needs a Freedom of Information Act with teeth, such as the one Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office has worked on for months.

It doesn’t need the gutted, watered-down version that mysteriously appeared late Tuesday night — one that bears little resemblance to Madigan’s proposal.

Illinois Press Association officials received a new draft of the FOIA bill about a minute before midnight Tuesday. The draft, written by “legislative staff,” included radical changes from what the advocates thought was the nearly final bill.

We have to wonder who is in charge of the “legislative staff” and where he, she or they got the idea to undo months of work by Madigan’s staff, the IPA, the Illinois Reform Commission and other advocacy groups.

The staff-written draft is a perfect example of how elected officials want to keep you in the dark. Madigan had invited everyone to the table to discuss her proposal, including opponents such as the Illinois Municipal League. Instead of direct opposition, we see a draft that comes from nowhere, surprising the groups who have been working tirelessly to make changes.”

Just how credulous are Illinois voters? Mike Madigan, 5 Governors, and Mayor Daley have bankrupted Illinois, given away the store to special interests and insiders, and run Illinois into a ditch. You’d have be to insane to elect the Madigans governor. Insane.

More articles on FOIA games and the undeserved credit given to Lisa Madigan.

Daily Herald Op Ed

At the same time, efforts to improve our now-lame Freedom of Information Act are in jeopardy. There had been a plan supported by many to strengthen penalties on those who violate the law and give the attorney general power to enforce it. Now, House and Senate leaders are talking about dropping those. Their new version would shield address information on arrestees and public employees. Further, it also would add broad exemptions that would give governments greater cover to operate in secret and to keep settlements private that involve your tax dollars.

If you think FOIA doesn’t affect you, you’re wrong. It’s conceivable with this latest plan, none of us would have any way to determine whether a Jim Smith, accused of rape, is the same Jim Smith who holds a municipal post, or the same Jim Smith who is our neighbor. We’d have no way of judging whether a Todd Stroger-guided Cook County lawsuit settlement was a fair deal.

These two moves don’t do anything to cleanse corruption. They increase the clout of those in control and allow more chances for them to operate in shadows. There are only nine days left in the legislative session. We call on every Illinoisan reading this to call the legislative leaders and their legislators and tell them these ideas simply cannot become law.