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Thursday, Aug 27, 2015

* Ugh.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

58 Comments
  1. - Wondering - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    While trying not to scream in anger reading that I’m biting my tongue.

    It’s a microcosm of all that’s wrong here in Illinois with public pensions, public sector unions and how they’re allowed to operate. This shouldn’t be allowed and people should go to jail for the actions described here while these particular residents suffer and taxpayers are sucked dry.

    It’s truly maddening.


  2. - hot chocolate - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    Read this article over the weekend. Breaks your heart that children have to live that way. The administrators seemed to make out like bandits and no one involved in the grift expresses much remorse.


  3. - SO IL M - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:57 pm:

    This is what happens when union money controls politics in a county for 40 years. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Politicians financed by the Laborers Union have had absolute control over Alexander County since the late 70s.

    Todays follow up piece is pretty good as well. KFVS ran a story monday also on this.


  4. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:58 pm:

    Ugh and then

    Banned word. Banned word. More banned words.

    This is awful.


  5. - Jose Abreu's next homer - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:59 pm:

    The greed generation knows no bounds. Phil Pagano, Dr. Breuder, David Piccioli among other state workers care for nothing but themselves and their entitlements. The baby boomers are leaving a terrible legacy.


  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:59 pm:

    ===This is what happens when union money controls politics===

    More like what happens when a white, quite “southern” county controls a black housing project.


  7. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:01 pm:

    These aren’t Democrats, are they?


  8. - Commander Norton - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:01 pm:

    That’s deplorable. Articles like this are why I’m thankful for freedom of the press and the doggedness of investigative journalists.


  9. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:02 pm:

    Wilson sure is chatty fella.

    Perhaps the U.S. Attorney should give him a call.


  10. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    Unfortunately, a lot of housing authorities are run poorly. They are essentially fiefdoms and operate as such.


  11. - SO IL M - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:07 pm:

    Rich, sorry to disagree with you but what has been going on at the housing authority is the same as what is going on in county politics. The people talked about in this article, as well as others that arent mentioned are all democrat party loyalists and have worked hard for the party. Wilson was also mayor of Cairo during much of his time as director of the housing authority and he has also been and still is a member of the Laborers. This is more about political payoffs than racism.


  12. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:07 pm:

    ==- Wondering - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:50 pm:==

    How, exactly, is it a microcosm? In what other situations can you specifically cite are the directors neogtiating contracts with employees in which they have a personal stake based on their own contract? Where else in state or local government are two pension systems being provided? What’s truly maddening is that you have responded to this tragic and terrible story with bankrupt ideology and ignorance.


  13. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:09 pm:

    ==- SO IL M - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:07 pm:==

    If you could read for comprehension, you would know that The Southern specifically pointed out the differences in how management treated complexes with majority white residents versus majority black residents.


  14. - Langhorne - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:09 pm:

    Let’s play monopoly. Oops, you drew the card, “go directly to jail.”

    Where is the oversight from HUD? DCEO? Audits?


  15. - Cassiopeia - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:09 pm:

    Has the Laborers union responded to this outrage yet?

    They look pretty bad in this report.


  16. - Honeybear - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:09 pm:

    This makes me livid on two levels. One, that this was done to the poor. But stuff like this is ALWAYS being done to the poor. Two, that it was being pertetrated by a union. When I try so hard to be active in my union, to do what’s right, to support and defend my fellow workers, to keep an eagle eye on my own locals activities (especially the finances), only to be undercut by worthless individuals like this kills me. In one fell swoop they nullify all the good that I have worked hard to earn. Now Southern Illinoians (those who read the article or see TV reports) will have their opinions set. I’d spit on them if I could.


  17. - SO IL M - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:13 pm:

    Precinct captain– if you knew anything about alexander county you would know what i said is true. Unless you mean to say that a courthouse and housing authority board that is all democrats are all racists.


  18. - illini - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:14 pm:

    The follow up reporting today is just as disturbing and raises some other questions. This will not go away any time soon.


  19. - SO IL M - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:14 pm:

    CASS–Read the follow up in todays southern


  20. - Mama - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    I don’t believe this should be a bad reflection on the state union. However, it should be a bad reflection on the man or should I say people who scammed HUD.


  21. - Mama - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:17 pm:

    I found it hard to believe Andy Clarke, a friend & real estate broker who is chairman of the Alexander County Housing Authority, was not involved in the scam against HUD with Wilson. Wilson should lose his pension!


  22. - ILIL - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:19 pm:

    This is a great piece of reporting. Hopefully the Southern (and every paper in Illinois) can continue these types of investigations.


  23. - Mama - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:20 pm:

    HUD is a federal program. Right? Therefore, was Wilson part of the federal employees union? If he was in the state union, which one?


  24. - SO IL M - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    Mama—Andy was placed on the board a few monthes ago when HUD told the County Board Chairman that Price and another Board Member had to be removed. He was not on the board when these things took place.


  25. - SO IL M - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:22 pm:

    MAMA– Wilson is a Laborer.


  26. - nixit71 - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:22 pm:

    ==baby boomers are leaving a terrible legacy.==

    Ergo the Shallowest Generation: http://seekingalpha.com/article/103202-the-shallowest-generation


  27. - Sunshine - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:25 pm:

    Seems to me that a ‘northern’ state like Illinois would not tolerate such goings on. After all, this is The Land of Lincoln.


  28. - Mama - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:25 pm:

    “Where is the oversight from HUD? DCEO? Audits?” I agree, where have these people been for the last 10+ years?


  29. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:27 pm:

    It is just like Hopkins Park or Royal Lakes or any other low income project in downstate.


  30. - nixit71 - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:37 pm:

    Someone forward this to all the Chicago politicians who think CPS is the only school district dealing with extreme poverty.


  31. - Downstate - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    Cairo is about 3 miles off of Interstate 57. If you are in the area, you need to take time to drive over an look at this town.

    The housing sector is not their only problem. City maintenance is so bad that a main road in town is reduced to one lane, as there is sink hole that needs to be repaired. It’s been that way for 15 years!


  32. - Realkewlio - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:54 pm:

    As someone who recently visited Cairo for the first time, the city is much more economically depressed then this article or even the people showing me the town explained prior to my visit.

    To call this a labor problem is appallingly indignant, considering the racial make-up of those who have been in power compared to those the housing authority in Cairo should have been serving. These pension payments and bonuses should be the first two items the FEDS investigate and strip from officials.


  33. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:57 pm:

    I rarely ever want to punch anyone in the face.

    I want to punch James Wilson in the face.

    James Wilson is a horrible person and a hypocrite.

    James Wilson should be in prison, and his pension should be taken away. He should be forced to pay restitution.

    My hope is that HUD works closely with the DOJ to nail this weasel.


  34. - Archiesmom - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:00 pm:

    That is obscene. Only possible word for it.


  35. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:04 pm:

    Kudos to Congressman Bost and his staff for taking a real, active interest in helping out the residents of the Authority and Cairo in general.

    My worry is whether any of this was every reported or even investigated before. If conditions have been this poor for so long, I cannot imagine that a resident or group of residents never made a peep.


  36. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:24 pm:

    =If conditions have been this poor for so long, I cannot imagine that a resident or group of residents never made a peep.=

    Socially and economically isolating the poor has been happening in the United States since this country was a sovereign nation. Good reporting (this article) and social media have brought these stories to the public eye. Very similar to “today’s must read” in Capfax earlier today.


  37. - Responsa - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:28 pm:

    This is almost unbelievable, but I do believe the reporting. I’m glad it’s out in the open.


  38. - Tournaround Agenda - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:34 pm:

    I’m surprised it took this long to blow the lid off of it.


  39. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:38 pm:

    The people need to elect better officials. Of course, then the union could simply write a bill taking the new officials out of the picture and requiring binding arbitration that should at a minimum, secure the status quo. So why bother electing anyone to take them on?


  40. - A guy - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:40 pm:

    Ugh x 1000.


  41. - SO IL M - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    Downstate– You know not of what you speak. Cairo has enough problems to talk about you do not need to exagerate them


  42. - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    AUTHOR Good, Paul

    TITLE Cairo, Illinois: Racism at Floodtide. Clearinghouse Publication Number 44.

    INSTITUTION Commission on Civil Rights, Washington, D.C.

    PUB DATE Oct 73

    Robert Landsden, a 62-year-old white attorney
    and banker whose grandfather wrote Cairo’s official history and has a park named in his honor, says: “There are a lot of white people who would sooner see Cairo float down the Mississippi than give a black man a break.”

    http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED081884.pdf


  43. - SO IL M - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    Realkewlio—Not everything is about race. Sometimes things are about corruption. And it not a Labor problem, its a problem with the Laborers. There is a difference.


  44. - SO IL M - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:51 pm:

    Crazybleedingheart–you do realise that the people Bob Landsden was talking about are no longer around right?

    But hey maybe you and the rest are right the democrats are racist. Does that mak you feel better?


  45. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:56 pm:

    CBH, I recall the speaker of the Missouri House advocating flooding Cairo rather than blow the levees on some farmland, although the landowners had been paid over the years expressly for that contingency.


  46. - Downstate - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:58 pm:

    - So IL M,
    Sorry, last time I was through there they still has the yellow police tape and some barricades around a large hole in the center of the street that looked to be the former main street. I know it was there for more than a decade.


  47. - Bob the Slob with a Cushy State Job - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 3:04 pm:

    That is some fine work there for the plumbers.


  48. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 3:08 pm:

    Word - yes sir. That was in the spring of 2011.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-30/news/ct-met-southern-illinois-flooding-04320110429_1_levee-missouri-farmland-flood


  49. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    And it is still an issue:

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/02/24/388463024/army-corps-project-pits-farmland-against-flood-threat


  50. - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    SO IL M, best not to put words in my mouth. I don’t think the problem is with Democrats. I haven’t been made aware of any racially-progressive Southern Illinois Republicans in the region. The problem is pretty obviously with racist white people, some of whom are Democrats, most of whom given political power in Alexander are Democrats. Whatever.

    This isn’t an issue of labor unions or graft or Democrats or public workers. No matter what Mike Bost has to say.

    It’s an issue about Cairo. And Tamms. Up to Alton. Over to Ferguson. Etc.

    The fact that there are good things about a region and its people doesn’t mean everything is rosy or that history is meaningless. Most of history’s villains procreated and most of their children have not advanced as far as they should have, though a few do.

    Racism is just not that controversial of a premise. Sorry you feel otherwise but it doesn’t disprove the point.


  51. - Downstate - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 3:10 pm:

    SO Il M,
    This is what I saw for more than a decade in Cairo, IL:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@37.0026263,-89.1680869,3a,75y,24.02h,62.12t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sGkTEKYHVj82sOopWgudEpQ!2e0!7i3328!8i1664!6m1!1e1


  52. - Mama - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 3:15 pm:

    ++- SO IL M - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:21 pm: ++ Thanks for your insight.


  53. - Realkewlio - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 3:28 pm:

    - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    You have taken the words right out of my mouth- perfect response to sum up what SO Il M is clearly missing in their purview.

    Racism is real, no matter what side of the aisle you caucus with, pay due to, or sit next to at Sunday service. If racism didn’t exist, perhaps the disproportionately large African American population in Cairo, relying on HUD, wouldn’t be living in squalor, while taxpayers make multiple pension payments to the white officials for not doing their jobs.


  54. - Downstate Illinois - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 4:12 pm:

    If you dig deep enough in the paper’s archives you will find connections to a long history of voter fraud that often supported Laborers-backed candidates, including their leader and one-time Blagojevich backer. Said leader used to drive a Jaguar, union-built of course, just in another country.

    I’m impressed that the Southern actually wrote this. While it’s a long-standing travesty in Cairo, it’s scary to think how many other cases like this exist that aren’t exposed as daily newspapers slash their newsrooms and in the case of The Daily American in West Frankfort, actually close their doors altogether.

    Township governments, housing authorities, public health departments all have been cesspools of corruption in the region at one time or another. Lisa Madigan doesn’t do Democrats unless she’s forced to act. Illinois State Police have proven to be near incompetent in this regard and the FBI no longer focuses on crime, but anti-terrorism.

    Kudos to the Southern and its reporter Molly Parker.


  55. - Earnest - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 4:37 pm:

    Great reporting. The problems seem to be a lot more about leadership than unions. I think that’s what a lot of people felt at the state level when they voted Rauner over Quinn.


  56. - illini - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 4:48 pm:

    Downstate - agree with you to a point, this article has opened many eyes.

    I totally agree that the Southern and Molly have done an admirable job on this story.

    Yet I am also painfully aware of a story going back close to 2 years that seems to be caught somewhere between the IG and the AG.

    You are right about the changes in the business as far as the daily newspapers are concerned.


  57. - Chicagonk - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 5:27 pm:

    You don’t need a newspaper to make obvious what people in Illinois see on a daily basis. It’s definitely unfortunate for the vast, vast majority of public workers in Illinois that these bad apples continue to get away with obvious corruption.


  58. - NoGifts - Friday, Aug 28, 15 @ 8:45 am:

    Where’s the County Board? The housing authority doesn’t operate in a vacuum (in most cases!) There are only 8000 people living in the county. A pretty high percent must know what is going on there.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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