* The very weird circumstances surrounding Rep. Paul Froehlich’s alleged use of helping people with property tax appeals in exchange for campaign assistance have gotten even weirder…
Tina decided to do it herself. It’s a simple process. Fill out and sign this form and the Board of Review will decide whether or not you get your taxes lowered. But what happened in Tina’s case is now at the center of an internal investigation at the board.
And here’s the mystery. Tina filled out her tax appeals form as she’s supposed to right up here. But after she handed it in, somebody filled out the bottom of the form claiming to be her attorney. When shown the form, Price said she was surprised, adding: “I’m very concerned, and I have no idea how this came about.”
The attorney who signed Tina’s form is R. Tamara de Silva. On one day in June, she filed a bundle of appeals on behalf of property owners. But here’s the catch, many say they’ve never heard of her.
De Silva did some “work” for Froehlich, according to the story, but it’s not clear if this woman was one of them. From what I’ve heard, de Silva just all of a sudden started showing up at the Board of Review and nobody really knew who she was.
She’s also connected to political operator Victor Santana, who also apparently did work for Froehlich and is tied closely to Board of Review Commissioner Joe Berrios…
[Berrios] declined to talk about his former employee, political operative Victor Santana, whose name came up repeatedly when property owners were asked about who they worked with to file appeals, according to hearing transcripts and board staff.
Gray testified in a June review board hearing that Santana’s fee was $1,000 apiece for his work on appeals for 2006 and 2007. But only property owners or attorneys can legally file appeals, board staff says.
That second graf may or may not connect the dots as to why an actual attorney was brought in to deal with these cases. We’ll see. This is all under investigation right now.
The Cook County Board of Review reversed itself Wednesday and took back controversial tax breaks awarded last year to four Schaumburg properties.
In a move officials say is rare, the board increased the assessed value of the properties, which have a connection to either state Rep. Paul Froehlich (D-Schaumburg) or Victor Santana, a political operative with ties to both Froehlich and Board of Review Commissioner Joseph Berrios.
Commissioners have been investigating whether Froehlich used influence through Santana or anyone else to get tax breaks for businesses in Froehlich’s legislative district. Two of the four property owners donated more than $36,000 to Froehlich’s campaign fund.
Walking back the dog?
Very, very weird.
* Our next item is a different sort of weird. GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Proft has sent out a press release slamming the Democratic General Assembly for failing miserably on the budget, resulting in a downgrading of the state’s bond rating by Fitch. So far, so good. But then…
“Rather than advancing system change ideas, if the Springfield political class believes increasing Illinois’ bond debt is sound fiscal policy, then I propose that state legislators be compensated in state bonds.
“Instead of flourishing while Illinois taxpayers are fleeced, it’s time the Springfield politicians feel directly the financial impact of their bad policies, bad choices and general political cowardice.”
I don’t see how paying legislators with state bonds would hurt them, unless the bonds are impossible to sell. And they won’t be. Here’s the least incendiary aspect of David Ormsby’s response…
…the bonds would be a boon to their income – due to the higher interest rate. Anyone who holds Illinois bonds would earn more money tomorrow than yesterday.
I told Proft yesterday it would be more appropriate to pay legislators as if they were state vendors. That way, their checks would be six months late.
* And then there was this and this tiny bit of breathless weirdness. No comment except a slight smirk and a gentle reminder that I criticized Speaker Madigan within that piece in question…
Leader Cross wasn’t the only one putting his party over his state. The House Democratic Speaker refused to push the income tax without significant GOP support because he was so worried that an all-Dem tax hike could cost his party seats in 2010 - even though the Democrats have ten seats to spare.
* This is definitely not weird, but I might get a little weird at the event, depending on how much wine there is. Forewarned is forearmed.
* Heard any other weird things lately?
…Adding… The Washington Post has taken notice of our attempt at helping Amazon’s customers…
Amazon customers are letting their opinions of [Rod Blagojevich] be known by attaching tags to the book to help direct others to the title. You can search books on Amazon by tags, words you type into a tag search box, which take you to books that have been similarly designated.
For instance, the three books appearing under the tag “moron” are: “Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream” by Samuel J. Wurzelbacher and Thomas N. Tabback, “Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned the Political Establishment Upside Down” by Kaylene Johnson, and Blagojevich’s “The Governor.”
Customers have hit “The Governor” with 78 derisive tags, among them: “delusional,” “crook,” “fraud,” “twit” and “weasel.”