SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Send in the clowns

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2006

The former patronage honcho for Cook County government didn’t exactly get the boot this week. In fact, nobody seems to know what his new job is.

Monday, new county board president Bobbie Steele was at a loss to explain what Gerald Nichols does other than act as the godfather of good jobs, so she gave him the boot. It turns out he went from one unexplainable county job to another.

ABC7 went looking for Gerald Nichols in the Cook County Department of Administration. He wasn’t in Tuesday — and no one knows if he’ll be in Wednesday. Nichols has been getting a lot of unwanted publicity thanks to a Sun-Times series that claims he put the fix in for county job applicants who had clout.

His secretary — who asked to be called an assistant — identified Mr. Nichols new job as handling the “administrative business” of county government. The county president’s spokeswoman couldn’t provide a job description either.

“I’m not sure his job title, but I know he’s going to give the residents of Cook County the bang for the buck,” said Chinta Strausberg, Cook County spokesperson.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 6:31 am:

    Hasn’t he banged us enough already???

  2. - Watchful eye - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 7:25 am:

    I hope they bring the cameras back today, and tomorrow, and keep showing up until they find him at his desk doing something. That or send the cameras to Todd’s campaign office and see if he’s there.

  3. - Tom - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 7:34 am:

    I admit, Steele had me fooled for a bit. I was so eager to see some good news from Cook gov’t that I missed where she had Nichols moved upstairs. Now he doesn’t see fit to show up. It’s time to remove him from the payroll.

  4. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 7:40 am:

    I’m glad to see the media exposing this.

  5. - one of the 35 - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 8:34 am:

    This is classic. Nobody can figure out what the guy does…..but he has an assistant to help him do it.

  6. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 9:30 am:

    Again, Steele was given her current job by the Daley Democratic Machine because the Machine wants as many controversial issues as possible handled before the obviously inept Toddler Stroger gets into office. She got the head of the Juvenile Correctional Center to resign…he was become just too controversial…but replaced him with another County hack. She moved Nichols
    out of the limelight, at no cost to him; the Machine is no doubt concerned about what might happen if he flips when the feds start an investigation of patronage hiring at the county. She will have to do something about the budget.

    The idea is that the Toddler has a smooth, easy
    ride for the first couple of years at least of what will no doubt be a tenure of decades, if Chicago/Cook County voting patterns persist.

  7. - John Lee Pettimore - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 9:45 am:

    Speaking of clowns, where is Peraica on this issue? Is he hiding because his son is a payroller, too? Deet Deet deedle leedle deet deet deet deet.

  8. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 10:47 am:

    Cook County Government: We Don’t Know What We’re Doing, But We’re Doing a Good Job at It.

  9. - PalosParkBob - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 11:03 am:

    e pluribus unum (one out of many)

    I’ve worked with many federal, county, municipal, and public school organizations, and I have yet to see one that couldn’t easily cut between 10 and 20% of its budget by getting rid of all the “make work” and patronage jobs, and not decrease the level of service to the community.

    One of the worst organiztions for this kind of abuse is the Cook County Board of Review, where almost all of the 120 members of the staff seem to be “adminstrative assistants” or “deputy commissioners” who are also politically connected campaign workers.

    The CCBOR is the ultimate in patronage politics. We have a grossly incompetent and patronage ridden Cook Assessor’s office that does a horrendous job of performing assessments regarding factual info and uniformity, and rather than create an oversight Board that would hold them accountable for making the assessments uniform and accurate, the Legislature creates a 120 job patronage force where cronies can get elected as commissioners and dole out the jobs.

    Worse yet, they make taxpayers go through all sorts of effort to correct mistakes made by the Assessor, and leave bad assessments on the books if the taxpayer doesn’t take aggressive action to correct mistakes he didn’t make.

    Of course, hiring a politically connected law firm to file a challenge on your behalf greatly enhances your chance of success.

    The CCBOR, one of the best examples of pure politics and patronage ever created by Illinois Republicrats.

  10. - Bubs - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 11:10 am:

    At $114,000 per year (paid out of the budget of a Department he has not visited in years), there had better be one HELLUVA lot of bang!

    And lunch with Todd Stroger does not count.

  11. - Alan - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 11:12 am:

    Tom, not your fault that you thought Steele was actually doing something. The news stories, especially the Sun-Times, was incredibly misleading.

    I thought this patronage guy really had gotten “the boot” as the headline and the lead of the story said. I was almost through reading the rather long story when the writer casually mentioned that the guy had simply been moved upstairs and would receive his same $114,000 salary for apparently doing nothing.

    Shame on the Sun-Times and the other newspapers for printing this so-called “story.” It’s only a story when something changes. And nothing has changed in Cook County. That’s for sure.

  12. - Sweet Brick - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 11:27 am:

    That spokeswoman made me laugh. Was she serious? She doesn’t know what he does but he does a damn good job! Are you kidding me? She does a good job at spin control.

  13. - annoyed all the time - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 11:48 am:

    When Cook County went to privatize their golf courses too there was an unbelievable amount of patronage jobs there making boatloads. I believe that one figure thatthrew me off was the started at Caldwell golf course making $27.00 per hour. I wonder where they all went… Cook County really is the worst.

  14. - annoyed all the time - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 11:51 am:

    For you golfers I meant the ’starters at Caldwell’… for non golfers that means the guy who calls you to the tee.

  15. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 11:54 am:

    Ask the “reformer” Suffredin to publicly comment on what he thinks about this.

  16. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 12:06 pm:

    More cannon fodder for my guy Tony Peraica!!
    How did Chinta get her job?

  17. - Tom - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 12:32 pm:

    Stroger’s camp will try to keep this away from substantive issues as much as possible. They understand many Dems are not pleased with the party in Cook. Instead they will launch a vigorous smear campaign against Peraica, calling him a racist homophobe who will take away all abortions.

    Many of the “reform” Dems who claim they will vote Peraica will gobble up this rhetoric and believe that Peraica is a Neanderthal. That, in a nutshell, is how Todd Stroger will be elected and maintain the bloated, patronage-larded Cook govt.

    Stroger’s campaign will be ugly, and I can understand why (Peraica’s will likely get ugly to counter Stroger). Many blacks look at the city and see Daley’s patronage army primarily benefitting connected whites and Latinos. They want Todd Stroger to be elected to maintain a patronage refuge for blacks. While patronage is wrong, it’s understandable that blacks want their piece of the pie.

  18. - Ashur Odishoo - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 1:52 pm:

    What surprises me about the Patronage is that everyone knew about the Shakman decree. They didn’t even try to hide it on the county level.

    I think the Federal judges will come down hard for ignoring their order.

    Ashur Odishoo
    State Representative 11th District

  19. - Anon sequitur - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 3:36 pm:

    I’ve known Gerald Nichols for years and he is one of the nicest guys I know in Cook County government. I only wish I had known how much clout he had.

    But what I love most is the “holier than tho” response by Republicans. Here in DuPage County, no Democrat could ever get a job in county government under any circumstances, political or merit, despite the fact that more than 40% of the county voters openly vote Democrat. Where is the U.S. Attorney and FBI?

    Meanwhile, Brickhead has never once opened an investigation into corruption in the county, yet was embarrassed to have one revealed in his own office. Glass houses anyone?

  20. - Truthful James - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 4:00 pm:

    Nichols most important job would have been to keep the Cook County Democrat annual fund raising flowing big. What Gerald giveth, Gerald can take away. And that goes for his own giftees to the party.

  21. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 8:46 pm:

    Where is the furor over this man being paid $100k-plus per year out of the Highway Dept.’s budget when he doesn’t even WORK for the Highway Dept.??? He should’ve been an employee of the President’s office! Mr. U.S. Attorney, c’mon down!

  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 25, 06 @ 1:46 pm:

    Hey, “Drew” I know who you are. Just be aware, Randy, that calls have been made.

  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 25, 06 @ 1:47 pm:

    “Oswald,” using a different name is no use. I know who you are.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Report: Kennedy's hands shook during speech, dropped mic
* Rauner honors tireless volunteer
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
* What could Chicago lose?
* It's just a bill
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Harmon doesn't see budget passed until 2019, Biss agrees
* Sen. Bill Brady, others hit with fake news robocall
* *** UPDATED with live coverage *** Today's quotable
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Two sides battle over CPS funding lawsuit
* *** UPDATED x1 *** DC publication looks at Biss' Madigan ties
* *** UPDATED x1 - Speaker Madigan responds *** Rauner wants tollway vote this week
* Kankakee transit agency still struggling with impasse
* React rolls in to legislator pay case
* Poll: 66 percent of Illinoisans support legalization of "recreational marijuana"
* Where are the women candidates?
* "This is basically fraud"
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Chris Kennedy busts the contribution cap in governor's race
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...







* Rauner to speak at Tazewell Republican Party Li.....
* Rauner to speak at Tazewell Republican Party Li.....
* Campaign donation limits lifted in Illinois gov.....
* Illinois governor wants OK from legislature on .....
* Campaign donation limits lifted in Illinois gov.....
* Universal state license plate stalled - SaukVal.....
* Campaign donation limits lifted in Illinois gov.....
* Campaign donation limits lifted in Illinois gov.....
* Medical marijuana use rejected for intractable .....

* FairPoint, Consolidated shareholders to have say on merger
* Chicago man wanted in carjacking spree arrested in Atlanta
* Jury convicts Chicago-area man in girlfriend's killing
* Lincoln Museum plans informative events on WWI
* Illinois plans $8.4M repair to Lake Shore Drive bridges
* Medical marijuana use rejected for intractable pain, autism
* Suit alleging Home Depot negligence in killing revived
* Fort Worth's LaGrave Field in disrepair after no baseball
* Michigan police: Office, home of state Sen. Johnson searched
* Job pulled for wife of Chicago officer charged with murder

* Manar files new school funding reform bill
* Medical marijuana use rejected for intractable pain, autism
* Campaign donation limits lifted in Illinois governor's race
* Luciano: Metamora compromises on scandalous sign -- for now
* Rauner wants OK from legislature on Chicago-area I-55 project
* Two years later, universal license plate still isn't in production
* Illinois considers legalizing marijuana for a fiscal boost
* Lincoln museum director considers what can be added
* Preserving Lincoln’s legacy: Museum director considers what can be added
* State lawmakers look again at pension buyouts

* Cat, UAW reach new labor contract
* Caterpillar, UAW reach new labor contract
* Plan for I-55 toll lanes still stuck in Madigan rut
* Despite poll, no vote now on legal pot
* Passengers on United 'welcome' to wear leggings

* Dear Abby: Mexico trip with baby worries woman’s mom
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for March 28, 2017
* Police: Shooting investigation shuts down inbound Eisenhower
* Experience gives North Carolina edge over Final Four foes
* Man injured in Indiana crash
* Man, 86, missing from Norwood Park
* 4 teenage boys wounded in Monday shootings across Chicago
* Willson Contreras homers twice, Jon Lester pitches 6 in Cub loss
* Maddon: No timeline for Addison Russell’s return from sore back
* Full lineup for 2017 Chicago Blues Fest announced

* Democratic governor hopefuls unified on Rauner attacks, divided on need for self-funding challenger
* Chicago chooses vendor for massive streetlight replacement program
* Church announces death of retired priest who survived brutal robbery in 2011
* Nunes casts doubt on GOP impartiality on Russia investigation
* Cincinnati police say no active search for suspects in nightclub shooting
* Monday's recap: Indians 4, Cubs 3
* Ian Happ makes favorable impression on Cubs ace Jon Lester before sent to minors
* White racist charged with murder as act of terrorism in killing of black man in New York
* Nunes admits he met source for surveillance claim at White House; Dems call on him to step aside
* UConn Heads To Final Four With 90-52 Win Against Oregon

» Rauner Pushing Privatized Toll Lanes On I-55
» Chicago State Delays Decision On New Job For Former CPS Chief
» Cook County Democratic Party Hears From Field Of Governor Hopefuls
» Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Sanctuary Cities Must End
» No Injuries When Amtrak Derails While Arriving In Chicago
» New 'Surge' Parking Pricing Okay By Some Wrigleyville Business Owners
» U.S. Investigating Whether Its Mosul Airstrikes Caused Mass Civilian Casualties
» Study: Dramatic Drop In Chicago Stop-and-frisk Procedures
» State Department Instructs Embassies To Beef Up Screening For Visa Applicants
» Illinois Unemployment Drops To Ten-Year Low

* Sen. Andy Manar files new school funding reform bill
* Medical marijuana use rejected for intractable pain, autism
* Kathleen Parker: Governing by ultimatum
* Manar files new school funding reform bill
* Campaign donation limits lifted in Illinois governor's race
* Luciano: Metamora compromises on scandalous sign -- for now
* Rauner wants OK from legislature on Chicago-area I-55 project
* Two years later, universal license plate still isn't in production
* Our View: The injustice of the lawmaker pay ruling
* Illinois considers legalizing marijuana for a fiscal boost

* How dental mercury seeps into the environment
* PODCAST: Champaign City Council candidate Vanna Pianfetti
* PODCAST: Champaign City Council candidate Debra Medlyn
* PODCAST: Champaign City Council candidate Brian Ames
* PODCAST: Champaign City Council candidate Angela Slates
* Notes @ Noon: BBQ RV ready to roll with side of Puerto Rican flavor
* Bowl for a Buddy benefits pet shelter
* Skatepark renovations begin Monday
* Workshop offers job interview tips
* Event supports Women's Choice Center

* Monahan has goal, 3 assists in Flames' 4-2 win
* Girls soccer scoreboard: Monday, March 27, results
* Softball scoreboard: Monday, March 27, results
* Leonard scores 25 as Spurs dismantle ailing Cavs, 103-74
* IN Current Conditions

* GOP congressman appears to distance himsel...
* Protesters converge on US Rep. Randy Hultg...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren reflects on busines...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren talks veterans' iss...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren accepting internshi...
* Veterans seek answers at forum with US Rep...
* Our View: Time for Randy Hultgren to hold ...
* New shots at Ryancare from Hultgren, Raune...
* Rep. Hultgren accepting summer intern appl...
* Illinois GOP lawmakers say the fight to fi...

* Local Head Start Programs To Get A Boost -......
* Durbin At Town Hall: 'Good News From Washi......

* Local Head Start Programs To Get A Boost -......
* Illinois Head Start/Early Start programs t......

* Is toll road rejection the payback for governor’s refusal to do a budget?
* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* Immigrants Deported Under Obama Share Stories Of Terror And Rights Violations
* 46th Ward Zoning Committee Gives Green Light For Sheridan & Wilson TOD
* Lollapalooza 2017 lineup: Chance the Rapper takes a victory lap with a bunch of predictable acts
* New Algren bio slanders my poker table
* How will Illinois Republicans vote on Obamacare repeal bill?
* Next generation of taxpayers step up to run for Chicago area local offices
* "Chicago PD" Back In Uptown Filming March 29
* Enjoyed Get Out? Try The Belko Experiment and Raw.

* Rauner, Durkin Call on General Assembly to Pass I-55 Resolution
* Rauner Urges Swift Action on State-City Pension Deal as House GOP Readies Its Votes
* Governor Announces Appointment
* Governor Takes Action to Protect Taxpayers
* Vendor Contracted by Illinois Department of Employment Security Data Breached

* PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 7 gets modded for black facade
* Prototype 2017 Moto X showed up briefly on Google Plus
* Remember those iPhone 7 shells? An iPad bomb might’ve come into a terrorism plot
* Google silently fixed the Pixel’s Bluetooth disconnect issues
* How to Use Theater Mode on the Apple Watch in watchOS 3.2
* Moto X (2017) leaked to be somewhat uglier than the Moto G5
* Samsung’s refurbished Galaxy Note 7 won’t be sold in the United States

* Swarzak credits White Sox for added velocity
* Melky, Frazier launch blasts; Holland goes 6
* Soto happy to play mentor role for White Sox
* Rebuilding White Sox loaded with trade options
* Frazier relishing new situation on South Side
* Shields gets tuneup, Pena hits walk-off for White Sox
* Shields fires 5, Pena has White Sox walk-off

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller