* I’ve known Becky Carroll a long time. She brings tons of children’s toys every year for my annual December toy collection drive for Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (100 two years ago, 50 this past December). We’ve had our differences (whew), but I’ve had more with others. It’s the way of the world. She was recently brought on by the JB Pritzker campaign and I was told shortly thereafter that she would only be there temporarily while they searched for a permanent spokesperson. They are a bit Rahm-heavy over there.
Anyway, the way Chicago works, whenever one connected person wins a contract, he or she almost undoubtedly beat out a bunch of other clouted people [ADDED: Click here for the list of insiders who also bid], so this isn’t all that unusual…
A major contract for updated and expanded concessions at Midway Airport cleared an initial hurdle Thursday despite questions about the involvement of a political operative who has worked for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The mayor has pitched the lucrative, 15-year deal as a way to create new jobs, increase the Southwest Side airport’s concession area by more than 50 percent, boost city sales tax collections and increase the amount of involvement of minority- and female-owned businesses.
One of the new businesses that would take part in the spoils is C-Strategies, a public affairs and strategic communications company run by Becky Carroll. She used to work at the Emanuel-controlled Chicago Public Schools and also ran a political action committee aligned with the mayor. Before that, she was a spokeswoman for Blagojevich, the former governor now serving a federal prison term for political corruption. […]
Tiffany Green, managing deputy commissioner for the Department of Aviation, said Carroll would “provide day-to-day management consulting services” related to inventory and warehouse audits, marketing objectives and policies, outreach and employee recruiting.
Seems like she could handle that, particularly with the kind of dough that could flow from the project. There’s an appearance issue for sure because of the Emanuel connection. But we’d have to know which firm(s) she beat out to really understand if she’s deserving.
* This, however, could be problematic…
In city economic disclosure statements, Hudson Group — a major retail company that’s part of the joint venture — also lists C-Strategies as being paid $25,000 for five months of lobbying work. But Carroll, who’s not registered as a city lobbyist, said she has done no lobbying work to get the contract approved.
The Hudson Group told the Tribune that the city economic disclosure was in error. She hasn’t done lobbying before, so I hope the company is right because you can’t lobby in exchange for a piece of the action in this state.