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Morning shorts

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* Southtown: Todd Stroger’s campaign is counting on a last-minute push from Chicago’s rock star of politics, Barack Obama, to put Stroger over the top in what still appears to be a tight race for Cook County Board president.

* Rezko owns vacant lot next to Obama’s home

* Sneed: Hmmm: Sneed hears rumbles a mink coat reportedly belonging to Michelle Obama, wife of Sen. Barack Obama, may have gone missing following the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Saturday birthday bash at the South Shore Cultural Center.

* Lieutenant governor candidates spar over hiring investigation [Audio clips at site]

* Top donors as of late Monday night.

* Newspaper’s practices criticized during libel trial - Attorneys for chief justice say paper did not ensure columnist”s information was true

* Illinois Supreme Court justices testify in libel case

* Gubernatorial Wives’ Work Ethics–Now & Then

* Officials announce reforms at Cook County juvenile center

* Sun-Times: Politics is a dirty tricks business but when it comes to Halloween, the two gubernatorial candidates offered up only treats Tuesday night.

* Sun-Times: Mayor Daley has purchased $80,000 in radio time over the next six days to urge Chicago voters — with the help of his running mate, state Sen. Miguel del Valle (D-Chicago), — to support advisory referendums on Tuesday’s ballot.

* Richards: Don’t let upcoming election spook you

posted by Rich Miller
Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 8:26 am


  1. Obama is in trouble on this one. It’s all too cute. This might pass the smell test in ethically challenged Illinois but reeks for the national stage. Can’t think Iowans will think much of this.

    Comment by Backyard Conservative Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 8:32 am

  2. It looks lijke Obama’s boy banker may have used mommy’s money to buy himself the treasurer seat. Also, Obama is looking more and more like a mere mortal. First, he backs Junior Mafia, Gianulias, now he is supporting Toddler.

    Comment by Wumpus the Free Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 8:33 am

  3. And U. S. News and World Report listed Paul Vallas as one of the most influential American leaders - don’t those guys watch Commedy Central? We had the Haircut that Walks on there.

    Yep, Irony Matters.

    Comment by Pat Hickey Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 8:35 am

  4. Well, Alexi is using his family money to buy the Treasurer’s seat, not our money, as Blago is. He has no choice in his first campaign.

    But next time he runs for office (the top state job, no doubt) he’ll be using our money. Look for all kinds of poorly thought out, marginally necessary out but glitzy programs to come out of (our) Treasurer’s office if he is elected. So we’ll be funding his next campaign, the public dime will.

    The Obamas are certainly starting to look a lot like Illinois Democatic establishment hacks. The support for Todd Stroger, the ultimate unqualified hack. Funky real estate dealings with Tony Rezko, the ultimate squiffy dealmeister. And the mink coat. What modern woman wears mink. This is the 21st Century. It’s not the cost I’m objecting to, it’s the dead minks. Tacky, tacky. Cruel, cruel.

    Comment by Cassandra Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 8:47 am

  5. Here’s an interesting piece about the Cook County GOP. Apparently they’re so desperate to find candidates for office that they recruited mentally ill man from Edgewater to run! Here’s the story.

    Comment by Shreen Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 9:01 am

  6. I’ve had the highest hopes for Obama, but today’s Rezko story stinks to high heaven. I know Obama’s not a saint. I didn’t think he was quite so greedy though.

    Comment by Stuck with Sen. CPA Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 9:07 am

  7. A 1.65 million dollar Georgian home with four fireplaces, glass-door bookcases fashioned from Honduran mahogany, and a 1,000-bottle wine cellar? And who “misplaces” a mink coat? I don’t begrudge anyone success or how they spend their money, but if I didn’t know better, Obama sounds more like a Republican than the “working class representative” Democrat he claims to be.

    Comment by Walking Wounded Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 9:10 am

  8. WW, thanks for the reminder that only republicans are rich and only democrats work for a living. First I find out that Obama is a chain smoker, now his sife wears mink, sound like typical democrat politicians to me, WW. Perhaps he can go eat Foie Gras with Kerry and Kenendy.

    Comment by Wumpus the Free Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 9:17 am

  9. Wumpus the Free…I hadn’t been thinking so much about Kerry and Kennedy, more of Thurston Howell the Third and Lovey. But then again, they were just fictional characters. Seems we have enough of those in elected office.

    Comment by Walking Wounded Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 9:34 am

  10. Yea, let’s all take that guy down a peg! Who does he think he is? Who misplaces a coat? Well, somebody. I imagine that there was a coat check. Do you think people draped their coats over the backs of their chairs? Plus, Sneed is totally gospel. Cassandra — unless you are vegan, quit throwing rocks. If you are, then you can criticize in your canvas shoes all you want.
    This was going to happen because Obama had been so built up by everybody, but if this is the worst…Well come on, people.

    Comment by Pile On! Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 9:38 am

  11. I am a vegan. Got a problem with that?

    Comment by Cassandra Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 9:45 am

  12. Hey, let’s give Senator Obama credit for coming up with a quick strategy to get people to stop pushing him into the 2008 Presidential race. All he has to do is be seen promoting the candidacy of that most unqualified candidate of them all, “Toddler” Stroger. If Stroger loses, Obama’s aura of influence is made waeker. If Heaven Forbid, Toddler wins, every scadalous story that will spew out of the puppet Toddler’s administration will make Obama look more and morelike a glorified hack himself.

    Comment by fedup dem Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 9:53 am

  13. One - I agree it’s ludicrous for Obama to endorse the “unreformer” Todd Stroger. Especially considering his fence sitting in the primary left the true reformer Claypool twisting in the wind. But as usual, Obama will get away with it.

    Two - Rich, I thought spouses are off limits in comments. Shouldn’t we not be dissing Michelle Obama?

    Comment by phocion Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 10:03 am

  14. Shreen:

    The GOP used the same formula for the guy from Riverside to run County wide.

    Comment by Caveat Eligorum Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 10:11 am

  15. Cassandra–
    Touche. Criticize fur wearers all you want.

    Comment by Pile On! Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 10:16 am

  16. Well,
    the bloom just came off the rose named Obama. Is there no one that Rezco did not corrupt? Obama might as well forget about that presidential bid for a while. His opponents will skewer him with this house deal. This really is disappointing.

    Comment by Garp Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 10:19 am

  17. Everyone knows that this Rezko/Obama story was a leak by Madigan to try to cause trouble for Obama.

    I wish he would let go of his petty grudge against Obama/Gianulias and start trying to unite the Democratic Party of Illinois. His leadership has been sorely lacking.

    Obama is a threat and the speaker should be worried. Gianulias or Obama could very well challenge Lisa the next time around.

    He better watch out.

    Comment by Leadership 101 Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 10:37 am

  18. Leadership 101,

    It takes a worried man to sing a worried song. Pros like Speaker Madigan do not need to worry. Senator Obama, a great public servant, has been taken into the upper ozone by the very people who sneered at his campaign against Bobby Rush. The air gets thin up there.

    Another thing - don’t get into the balloon with people who can’t land it. Madigan is pretty well-grounded.

    Comment by Pat Hickey Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 10:55 am

  19. Agreed, Leadership. Why do people lose sight of the larger stage here. MJM will continue to weaken anyone who stands in his or his daughter’s path–the good of the party here in Illinois be damned.

    Madigan apologists speak of his brilliance and subtlety at both the legislative and political level (no argument here), but they always forget that this man of the apple fame is also very vindictive when he is crossed (SEE Larry Hicks, Alexi Giannoulias, Geoff Obrzut, Ralph Capparelli, Gary Lapel Pin etc.) He IS NOT without fault.

    I don’t understand why he doesn’t just surrender the party chairmanship and work his will as Speaker. If he wants to advance a personal agenda that’s the place to do it. Not by sabotaging Barak and Giannoulious.

    Who is he to hold the litmus paper and say “lick.”

    Comment by Skarfeld Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 10:56 am

  20. Leak or no leak, this story is bad.

    Read between the lines. Tony, I can’t believe my good fortune that you bought the land next to my house. Hey neighbor, mind if I buy 10 feet of your property, a fence would be way to close to my house and disturb my view. By the way, I took the trouble to draw up some plans for the fence I want you to build. Your having trouble finding a landscaper to mow your lawn, don’t worry I have a good one and I’ll pay for it.

    this stinks to high heaven.

    Can the feds appoint an FBI agent to accompany every politician in this state-maybe they could double as body guard. That way they could stay close to the investigations and save tax dollars spent on security

    Comment by Garp Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 11:09 am

  21. My point, Garp, is that this item would have come out sooner or later. Only Cellini & Co. got a pass from the press all those years when they were “conducting business”. Obama is not going to be that fortunate.

    This is a strategic move by the Speaker to damage Obama b/c of not only his endorsement of Alexi but also b/c he poses a threat to Lisa. There are quite a few Dems tired of having Lisa served to us as the only item on menu for Governor in four years.

    If you only knew how clearly we see it coming . . .

    MJM and his folks have gotten exactly what they wanted out of this Rezko revelation–discussion of Obama as another possibly corrupt Illinois official. Watch to see if Lisa takes advantage of this to launch an investigation.


    Comment by Skarfeld Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 11:38 am

  22. I understand your frustration Skarfield because I too like Obama, but this is ridiculous. If it was the speaker who leaked the info and if his purpose was to sully Obama’s reputation, it worked on me. Blogo’s “What’s she thinking line” was misused on JBT. It needs to be applied here.

    What in the world was Obama thinking when he bought a house with this guy. They are not even married. I just don’t get it.

    Comment by Garp Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 12:01 pm

  23. If King Daley told Obama to lick his boots, the Messiah’s only reply would be, “Strawberry or cherry lip balm, Mr. Mayor?”

    C’mon, if this doesn’t nail him as a Daley wing party hack, nothing will.

    Comment by Snidely Whiplash Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 12:11 pm

  24. ===Obama is in trouble on this one. It’s all too cute. This might pass the smell test in ethically challenged Illinois but reeks for the national stage. Can’t think Iowans will think much of this.

    Having read the story, I’m a bit confused about what is scandalous. Is it that he payed Rezko more money than the property was assessed at? Or that Obama pays for the lawn mowing.

    We’ve actually found a situation where the politician is doing more for Rezko than the other way around.

    I’m sure it’s fun to try and deflate Obama, but isn’t he doing exactly everything that people claim Blagojevich should have done with him?

    Comment by archpundit Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 12:28 pm

  25. Isn’t it traditional rich pal of pol behavior to
    do the pol favors like buying the vacant lot next door so the pol doesn’t have to hassle with nosy neighbors. I mean, of all the vacant lots in Illinois, how did Rezko come upon this one.

    Sort of like paying for the band at the pol’s kid’s wedding, buying him some property in a nice warm climate (Nixon and what’s his name)–the
    list is endless. Of course, that gives the rich pal a nice seat at the table….a seat that, as Obama himself has endlessly pointed out, ordinary citizens can’t aspire to.

    Comment by Cassandra Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 1:16 pm

  26. ‘No story here, Folks; politics is all; you’ve seen this, move it along - let the man cut his grass; Hey, Andy Shaw, I said move it - yeah, you . . .today!’

    Comment by Pat Hickey Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 1:26 pm

  27. The underlying story is bad, but Obama’s hundreds of words trying to explain it away are what is worse. The true story seems obvious - I couldn’t afford both lots, so my pal Tony bought the side lot. Obama clouds it up with “I don’t recall” “I may have” etc. Come on . . . .

    Comment by Anon Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 3:54 pm

  28. Obama’s next national mag cover:

    Better Homes and Gardens

    Comment by What? Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 4:29 pm

  29. Hickey is smoking the drapes again and trying to pass it around too. This land deal smells real bad. First, the implications of the deal–a pol, a big expensive house and a convenient partner/investor/friend–ok–BUT–and this is a really big BUT–Obama and Rezko? Indicted Rezko? With what we know now, even if he wasn’t on Fitz’s play list–the association is unseemly–but this deal if true is going to have serious reverberations–explanation or not. Also if true, I will be deeply dissapointed in Barak Obama–I was a fan of his before he was a so called “Rock Star”. This state needs the entire national supply of acetone to degrease the awful mess we call Politics– in Illinois.

    Comment by Ignatius J. Reily Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 9:21 pm

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