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From Proft, to the Sun-Times to the campaign trail

Wednesday, Jan 3, 2018

* From the Dan Proft media empire on December 15th

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) played a role in the drawn out legal battle between the Village of Broadview and a proposed adult “gentleman’s club,” Chicago Joe’s Tea Room, according to a 2013 deposition of former Broadview Mayor Henry A. Vicenik.

Vicenik, who was no longer mayor at the time of the deposition, said that Durkin called to arrange a meeting between him and David Donahue, one of the principal parties behind Chicago Joe’s.

Donahue is a one-time aide to House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and former Cicero Town President Betty Loren-Maltese, who spent eight years in federal prison for stealing $12 million in city funds.

In the deposition, Vicenik said he and Donahue discussed how Vicenik, who was named personally in the lawsuit, could get out of the case. An attorney deposing Vicenik noted an earlier statement made by Vicenik that Donahue had threatened to take Broadview board members’ houses away.

In 2007, the board voted to deny Chicago Joe’s a “special use” permit, and the court cases began and are still ongoing.

Vicenik did not return a call from West Cook News for comment.

Durkin’s office responded to an email asking about the relationship between Durkin and Donahue with a letter from Patrick W. Walsh, a Clarendon Hills trial lawyer: The letter in part said, “Representative Durkin does not and did not represent Mr. Donahue.”

U.S. District Court records also show that Durkin attempted to quash a subpoena to testify in a deposition. The judge denied the motion. Durkin, an attorney, represented Broadview in the mid-2000s in between stints as a House member.

* A follow-up story in the Sun-Times never mentions the Proft media piece, but does debunk some of the story, although you gotta first wade through a bunch of tantalizing sizzle like this

In a sworn deposition in a federal court case, the former mayor of Broadview testified that Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin called and asked him to meet with a strip club consultant who has fought village officials for more than a decade over plans for a new adult-entertainment venue.

But scroll down and you’ll see that Durkin actually prevailed on his motion to squash the subpoena

Durkin was subpoenaed in the case repeatedly but his lawyers convinced the judge he shouldn’t have to testify.

“I think whatever involvement he had in that one conversation is tangential at best,” the judge said.

* And then there’s this

In his deposition in the case in March 2014, Donahue denied asking Durkin to contact Vicenik for him, but said he had a conversation with Durkin before Vicenik called him.

“I think I spoke to Jim Durkin about something,” Donahue said. “I told him that I had tried to get ahold of Henry Vicenik, and I had not been able to get ahold of him.”

Donahue said he didn’t know why Vicenik called him after that.

“I assume Durkin may have mentioned it,” Donahue said. “If he ran into [Vicenik], he told him, you know, ‘Donahue was looking for you.’”

In an interview this week, Donahue said, “I did not ask Jim Durkin to set up any meeting. As far as I know, he didn’t.”

* And then the Proft empire followed up with this headline

Durkin denies intervening in Broadview strip club dispute despite ex-mayor’s testimony

Proft, of course, is backing a GOP primary challenger against Durkin. He’s getting some big help from Local 150 of the Operating Engineers, which is part of the new Sun-Times ownership group.

* Meanwhile, one of Proft’s candidates has a new TV ad

Moore is up against Rep. Charlie Meier in the GOP primary. Rep. Meier voted for the tax hike, but voted against the veto override.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:14 am:

    ===Rep. Meier voted for the tax hike, but voted against the veto override.===

    Let’s remember;

    Proft is taking on the members who “betrayed” (Ms. Wheeling believes) Bruce Rauner… as Proft is supporting a primary challenge to… wait for it… yep, Bruce Rauner.

    Proft is taking on those who bucked Rauner as Proft works against Rauner.

    Don’t be fooled. It’s about Proft. It’s not about being a phony conservative, ideology, even about being consistent.

    This is all about the Tillman/IPI deal that went “south”, and Besler and Proft not running the political arm.

    As a white male, Rauner had to get rid of Rasmussen, Rickert, all the IPI folks… Proft’s Besler had to go too.

  2. - Fax Machine - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:15 am:

    Profts big gets so far are this story and the scoop on Rauner signing HB40.

    He’s not exactly CapFax but a lot of in the know people check out his sites both to see what he and his checkbook are thinking and for the occasional actual news hit.

  3. - Less is moore - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:25 am:

    OMG. The Republican Party needs more of Moore??? After the GOP tries to put the pedophile in Alabama in the rearview, this is the brilliant slogan this crew thinks up?? I hope Proft and his pals are on Madigan’s payroll because I don’t think the dems could ask for more incompetence.

  4. - Dave W - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:27 am:

    Willie: this was never about defending Rauner against people who betrayed him. It was that they betrayed a core principle. Rauner happens to be on the right side of that issue, and the wrong side on most other issues.

    Charlie Meier will have his hands full with Don Moore.

  5. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:31 am:

    ==It was that they betrayed a core principle.==

    The core principal being, “Go ahead and rack up massive budget deficits so long as my taxes never ever go up”? I guess that’s consistent with what Congressional Republicans just did.

  6. - ste_with_a_v_en - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    Proft and Ives don’t care about doing what’s right for taxpayers, they want to promote themselves at the expense of Republicans across the state.

  7. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    - It’s about Proft. It’s not about being a phony conservative, ideology, even about being consistent. -

    I’d say it’s all about keeping Papa Uihlein happy so the $ keeps flowing. In that regard Proft is as consistent as they come.

  8. - Gooner - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    So Durkin (a lawyer) allegedly set up a face to face meeting so that two people involved in expensive litigation could discuss partially resolving it?

    Wow. That’s huge news.

    Proft better dust off some space on his shelf for the Pulitzer he’s going to get for that one.

  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:52 am:

    Proft, oh behave, baby.

    If you’re going to get all titillating like that, you have to deliver the goods. Otherwise, you’ll get a reputation as a tease.

    You’d think a guy who made a fortune on the taxpayer dime with no-bid Cicero contracts could do better on strip club/Outfit stories. I mean, talk to your business associates. They know things.

  10. - walker - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    Unlimited funding for oppo research, and owned “news bureau” to distribute whatever. Proft can be a big-stakes player, in Bannon mode.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    ===Proft and Ives don’t care about doing what’s right for taxpayers, they want to promote themselves at the expense of Republicans across the state.===

    You think Rauner is a Republican? That’s a hoot.


    Who isn’t a taxpayer. Be specific.

    ===this was never about defending Rauner against people who betrayed him. It was that they betrayed a core principle. ===

    As Ms. Barbara Wheeler pointed out, it was about betraying Rauner. Keep up, please.

    ===Rauner happens to be on the right side of that issue, and the wrong side on most other issues.===

    If Rauner is “wrong” on “most other” issues, and most is greater than half, how is Rauner even close to being a Republican, and further, phony conservatives like Mr. Wehrli voted to hurt social services and to keep the state from a budget, all the while racking up a large debt, making the fiscal situation worse.

    What issues have been right? Destroying Illinois with a uber-left, costal liberal social agenda?

  12. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    I don’t see how Durkin can complain, since he’s never had a problem with all the misleading stories that go from the IPI to the tribune editorial page to Rauner’s campaign hacks. This is just more of what Durkin signed up for in 2013 when the ilgop sold the party to Bruce.

  13. - Dave W - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    ==The core principal being, “Go ahead and rack up massive budget deficits so long as my taxes never ever go up”? ==

    No, but thanks for the intellectually dishonest response. They voted for the tax hike without a single reform being implemented. It was the worst job of negotiating in the history of politics. Rauner surrendered on more than 40 of his original turnaround agenda items and was down to 2 non-negotiables (work comp reform and a property tax freeze). Madigan said no to both, and 16 Republicans caved with nothing to show for it.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    ===…16 Republicans caved with nothing to show for it.===

    … betraying Rauner, as Ms. Wheeler said.

    You’re welcome.

  15. - LoisLearned2much - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:16 pm:

    Proft is doing what Proft does best–DECEIVE and spin in and for his favor. The FACTS are Rep Charlie Meier did NOT vote for the tax increase. In the final vote Rep. Meiers stood for tax payers and with Gov. Rauner and did not support the tax increase. Proft cares about no one but Proft and money.

  16. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:45 pm:

    –OMG. The Republican Party needs more of Moore?–

    It’s time like these when you ask: what were the rejected tags?

    Ranks up there in hackneyed creativity with a b-to-b outfit that says “we mean business.”

  17. - Dave W - Thursday, Jan 4, 18 @ 7:55 am:

    Lois: yes, Charlie “stood for taxpayers” after receiving 4,000 phone calls on his cell phone on the 4th of July demanding that he reverse course and vote against the override. The real question is, why did it take that sort of effort to convince a Republican in one of the safest districts in Illinois to do the right thing? He was defiant on the phone with constituents right up until the vote. He had to be dragged kicking and screaming.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 4, 18 @ 8:30 am:

    Who ISN’T a taxpayer?


    It’s like if some say 2-3 dog whistle words together they think they sound so smart.

    How can you stand with “taxpayers” by continuing to believe the state shouldn’t pay its bills or have a budget?

    That’s one messed up way to support… “taxpayers”

  19. - Just Visiting - Friday, Jan 19, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    I look forward to better days in Illinois. The days when Proft and Ives are nothing but dust bunnies in the garbage can of time past.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune asked 16 mayoral candidates to release tax returns, 6 complied
* A rough idea of what they're looking at
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Rauner was wrong about "record levels" of unionization
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Stava-Murray updates
* Pritzker's inauguration ball tix will benefit Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation
* Rauner claims he's been too busy to reflect on his term
* Pritzker's day in DC
* *** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
* Feds re-raid Ald. Burke's office
* Yesterday's stories

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