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Aldermen behaving badly

Thursday, Oct 27, 2016

* From Tom Corfman’s daily news briefing

Several members of the City Council complained about a new ethics rule forbidding them from buying scarce World Series tickets at face value from the Cubs, but Ald. Milly Santiago, 31st, outdid herself, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

“We were not the ones reaching out to the Cubs for some freebies or for some special treatment,” the first-term alderman said at a hearing. “The Cubs actually reached out to all of us….”

“First of all, those tickets were not front-row tickets,” she said of the playoff seats she already received. “They were all the way in the upper deck.”

“I’m a poor alderman,” she said. The job pays at least $105,000 a year.

The entire episode has been “kind of insulting, humiliating and embarrassing for us,” she added.

See, it’s already done some good.


* On a more serious note

South Side Ald. Willie Cochran (20th) was overcome with emotion on the day Sandi Jackson resigned her City Council seat under the cloud of a federal investigation that eventually would send her and her husband, Jesse Jackson Jr., to prison.

“She was one of my favorite colleagues. It makes me heavy-hearted because of the troubles her family is having,” Cochran said on Jan. 11, 2013.

Now, it’s Cochran who might be in trouble.

The retired Chicago Police officer and community organizer is under federal investigation in connection with his use of political campaign funds, sources have told the Chicago Sun-Times.

As Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown first reported, records show Cochran paid himself more than $115,000 from his campaign fund over a three-year span. In some cases, he reported the payments more than two years after he should have, then amended his campaign finance disclosure reports after the fact to correct the omissions.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Norseman - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:55 pm:

    I’d say that I want to smack these whiny alderman, but I wouldn’t want people to think I’m a Trump voter.

  2. - Count Floyd - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:56 pm:

    “Poor alderman.” She makes six figures plus perks for a part time job. No shame.

  3. - Joe M - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:58 pm:

    For state employees there is a gift ban law that prohibits state employees from accepting gifts like that. Perhaps the City of Chicago needs to pass a similar law for themselves.

  4. - Longsummer - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:58 pm:

    “But, but, but… We are alderman! We know people! And those people who we know like to offer us things! It is our right to take them!” the Chicago way makes me want to puke. What is so illuminating about this event though is how much the aldermen have cried about it, without apparently an ounce of recognition how unbelievably ridiculous they look.

  5. - siriusly - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:00 pm:

    There once was an alderman who wanted to vote against an aldermanic pay raise because it wasn’t big enough. His committeeman advised him against it.


  6. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:05 pm:

    Thoroughly Brazen Milly

    Sorry this job doesn’t pay as well as her prior media gigs. She can feel free to go back to them.

  7. - James the Intolerant - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:06 pm:

    Upper deck, the nerve.
    They got to buy tix for the first few rounds, just quit while you’re ahead. Too bad the election isn’t next year.

  8. - zatoichi - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:11 pm:

    The next set of city code hearings related to the Cubs in any way should go well.

  9. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:17 pm:

    We don’t want no upper deck tickets nobody sent.

  10. - so... - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    ==The next set of city code hearings related to the Cubs in any way should go well.==

    Not the Cubs’ fault. Take it up with the ethics counsel.

  11. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    This story is sooooo Chicago. It’s practically all you need to know about the City Council.

    Ubi est mea.

  12. - Chicago_Downstater - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:24 pm:

    I say let her enjoy the game from Waveland if she can stomach all us plebs that make less than 6 figures.

    As a side note: I tend to sit in the upper deck reserved (outfield) during the regular season. As long as you get a seat toward the middle of the row, you have some of the best views of the park for $12 on non-marque games…just saying.

  13. - City Zen - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:29 pm:

    Maybe if Chicago only had 15 aldermen/city councilmen like Los Angeles - a city with 1 million more people - the Cubs could accommodate them.

  14. - Downstate - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:30 pm:

    Agree with Chicago_Downstater.
    Upper deck gives a great view of the field.

    Loved this line: “We were not the ones reaching out to the Cubs for some freebies….The Cubs actually reached out to all of us….”

    What a great excuse! “You can’t blame me, I didn’t solicit the inappropriate gift, I only accepted it!”

  15. - BK Bro - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:38 pm:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but aldermen get the 100k salary AND a driver….right?

  16. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:47 pm:

    “I’m a poor alderman,”

    Well that’s in the team picture for best potential negative ad sound bite ever.

  17. - Amalia - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:51 pm:

    the greed is truly puzzling. why do they not understand that it’s not just about the ticket price, but about the access to tickets? there are many people who would make the financial decision to buy, but they cannot have access. The access is the big issue, in my mind. the attitude of multiple Chicago aldermen is awful.

  18. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:54 pm:

    –why do they not understand that it’s not just about the ticket price, but about the access to tickets?–

    Right, but the argument that these tickets are worth their face value when in reality SRO tickets are fetching four figures on the secondary market is also ludicrous.

  19. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:55 pm:

    No possible conflict. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  20. - Amalia - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 5:26 pm:

    @Ron Burgundy, yes. I just don’t think they deserve access no matter what the priced!

  21. - Sox?? - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 5:28 pm:

    Surprised to see so many “South Side” aldermen complaining about not receiving dibs on Cubs tickets.

  22. - Responsa - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 5:41 pm:

    What is most enjoyable about this whole thing is the pure demonstration of how absolutely clueless some of these aldermen and women are about the brazen image they are projecting. Sure, we understand they may feel that for once their privilege and access to perks is being denied. But for heaven sake whine to your spouse or mother or dog—not in city council chambers with media present.

  23. - NoGifts - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 6:44 pm:

    I can’t stop laughing.

  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 7:24 pm:

    From the Sun Times, “With his police background, Cochran was supposed to play a leading role in chairing public hearings that culminated in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s police accountability overhaul. Instead, he was conspicuously absent from most of those hearings and a no-show on the day the plan was approved.”

    Once a cop, always a cop I guess. The last time I saw Alderman Cochran was when he testified with Harry Osterman at the IL House Judiciary Committee hearing on Feb. 22, 2013, in the Bilandic building in downtown Chicago. The whole thing was captured on CAN TV. They “took the show on the road” for this hearing on Brandon Phelps concealed carry bill.

    Chris Welch was on the panel chaired by Elaine Nekritz, and he questioned Cochran about the Duty to Inform provisions of the concealed carry bill in his diplomatic style. Cochran wondered if police would have to handcuff armed citizens.

  25. - Gooner - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 9:18 pm:

    Love the “poor” line.

    Last year I had a slightly down year, so I made about as much as an alderman.

    Based on that, I can’t afford Cubs tickets either.

    I guess I will have to work harder next year. Maybe then I will be back where I can afford.

    The Alderman should give that concept a thought. Alderman, if you have one part time job, you can always get a second. That’s what people living in your ward do.

    BK — no, most aldermen do not get a driver. Alderman Burke thought he was special so he got one, but that was about it.

  26. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 10:58 pm:

    If the tronclodytes wanted to push real pro-business reform, they’d be campaigning for a reduction in the size of the City Council and an end to the practice of aldermanic baronial powers.

    It’s ludicrous in 2016 that you have to kiss the ring — or worse — of 50 hacks with their hands out in an arbitrary crazy quilt of wards to do business in the city.

    A large city council and an appointed school board serve only one purpose — to keep anyone from building an enough electoral base to challenge the Chicago mayor.

    And that’s why politicians are scared of the CTU, a citywide organization that lives and works in every city neighborhood.

  27. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:56 am:

    Chicago once had seventy aldermen (two to a ward with 35 wards). The City Council was reduced to fifty wards later with one alderman per ward.

    The biggest mistake ever made was when aldermanic terms were increased to four years.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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