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Zalewski raid/ComEd probe roundup

Monday, Jul 15, 2019

[Bumped up for visibility and comments opened for discussion.]

* Keep in mind that this search was done around the same time the feds raided Kevin Quinn’s house. From what I’ve gathered so far, other folks received knocks on their doors in May. Here are some excerpts, but go read the entire WBEZ story

Federal agents recently executed a search warrant on the Southwest Side home of retired Chicago Ald. Michael Zalewski, and sources familiar with the investigation say they were seeking records regarding the alderman’s longtime political ally, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. […]

Part of the probe centers on efforts to get work for Zalewski at ComEd and the interactions between Madigan, Zalewski and longtime ComEd lobbyist and Madigan confidant Michael McClain, according to three sources familiar with the federal investigation. The three sources declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak about the investigation. […]

The younger Zalewski’s wife, Carrie, was appointed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in April to head the Illinois Commerce Commission — which is ComEd’s chief regulator. […]

Contacted by phone at his Quincy home, McClain declined to discuss the federal investigation but expressed confusion about what the agents might be investigating.

“There’s nothing against the law about asking for a job,” he said.

* ComEd statement…

Exelon and ComEd have received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Illinois requiring production of information concerning its lobbying activities in the State of Illinois. Exelon and ComEd have pledged to cooperate fully and are cooperating fully with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in expeditiously providing the requested information.

Those two companies have a huge Statehouse presence. They employ a ton of lobbyists connected to all four caucuses, but Speaker Madigan does have a whole lot of his people on contract over there, as the WBEZ story points out.

* Meanwhile, here’s the Sun-Times

Former Ald. Michael Zalewski (23rd) has hired one of the city’s leading criminal defense law firms, the first confirmation he is caught up in the sweeping federal investigation of the City Council.

Newly-disclosed campaign finance reports show Zalewski paid $25,000 in May to Breen & Pugh, whose name partners Thomas Breen and Todd Pugh are considered among the city’s go-to lawyers for politicos in trouble.

Some of their recent clients have included former Donald Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI in the Russia investigation; former Mayor Richard M. Daley nephew R.J. Vanecko, sentenced to 60 days in jail for the death of David Koschman; Chicago police officer Joseph Walsh, acquitted of conspiring to falsify reports in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald; and Cook County Judge Joseph Claps, acquitted of bringing a gun into the courthouse. […]

Zalewski resigned his aldermanic seat in May 2018, in partial recognition of the overwhelming Hispanic majority in the 23rd Ward that would have made re-election difficult. He was replaced by state Rep. Silvana Tabares, an ally of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

From what I’ve heard, the G is/was interested in that replacement process. Zalewski did have plenty of other reasons for getting out of the city council, including the Latinx composition of his ward and his maxed-out pension.

* But

Public records indicate Zalewski, who was making more than $114,000 a year as an alderman, has been having money problems recently. The IRS filed two liens totaling $185,634 against Zalewski for unpaid taxes in the past two years, records show. The most recent, filed in March, was for $99,770. The IRS last November filed a lien for $85,864.

It wasn’t the first time Zalewski had faced financial difficulties. In 2001, he and his wife, Mildred, filed for bankruptcy, which they emerged from a year later.

* This may or may not be related, but you may recall that a formal request for a federal investigation of Madigan’s political operation was made by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners back in December. To my eyes back then, it looked like a case could be made for suborning perjury. And once these federal investigations start, they can go pretty much anywhere.

* One more bit that may or may not be related…



Follow-up

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown told Chicago City Wire that what McKay wrote about Quinn still being paid by the Madigan “simply isn’t true.”

“His salary ended when he was terminated,” Brown said.

His official salary did end, but that wasn’t the allegation.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

65 Comments
  1. - My New Handle - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you’s… Lotta strands….
    But if you’re gonna ask for a job at a public utility (lineman? backhoe operator?), you might as well ask the Best Statehouse “Insider.”


  2. - A guy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    It’s interesting to see just how this puzzle comes together and what it may reveal when it’s finished.


  3. - Flat Bed Ford - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:12 am:

    Corruption in Illinois state government is institutional. Illinois is an example of how government has been massaged over decades into a system rigged to favor one party and make fortunes for those in charge. It is a government not for the people but for the well connected. Hopefully the G will indict many current and former machine cogs under RICO.


  4. - DIstant watcher - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:18 am:

    Lotta smoke, hard to see if there’s any real fire.


  5. - tires - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    Flat Bed Ford - you clearly didn’t live through the years of Pate, Edgar, Ryan or Thompson. Everyone seems to forgot history when it’s convenient. Illinois has mostly been a two-party State.


  6. - Not politically correct - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:20 am:

    I can’t see how a majority of these players get out unscathed. It’s unfortunate that Z jr. is caught up in this, he seems like a nice and genuine guy trying to do the right thing. In looking at all the bits and pieces of this, something big is around the corner. The feds have been pushing on the elder Z for some time (given those IRS paybacks).


  7. - Steve - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    Here’s what we know from the FBI activity so far concerning Chicago Aldermen. Four Chairman , four know search warrants.

    1) Danny Solis - Zoning
    2)Ed Burke-Finance
    3)Carrie Austin- Budget
    4) Michael Zalewski - Aviation

    That’s a lot of important people for one investigation.


  8. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    Of course someone is taking care of Mr. Quinn under the table. It would be more shocking if they weren’t. He should be careful with his tax returns, however…


  9. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    ” but expressed confusion about what the agents might be investigating.

    “There’s nothing against the law about asking for a job,” he said. ”

    In some goo goo states it “can” be. Hence the rub, hence the Feds.


  10. - Bad Moon - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    There have also been a lot of wiretaps and cooperators wearing wires in these aldermanic investigations. Lots of sweat will flow if there are any in the Exelon/ComEd thing now.


  11. - Powdered Whig - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    === Contacted by phone at his Quincy home, McClain declined to discuss the federal investigation but expressed confusion about what the agents might be investigating. ===

    I am also confused about what the investigation is about. Seems like a lot of spaghetti being thrown against the wall.


  12. - Steve - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:40 am:

    - Powdered Whig -

    You ask a good question. It appears the Trump Justice Department is taking an aggressive stance on public corruption. The New York Times claims this is a national story.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/05/us/fbi-corruption-investigations.html


  13. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    $185,000 in taxes and penalties has to come off a huge amount of unreported income. What was he doing? Is he caught as the guy who passed along bribes? Pure speculation on my part, but there seems to be a lot of money floating around.


  14. - Telly - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:50 am:

    == Seems like a lot of spaghetti being thrown against the wall. ==

    The feds obviously have known about his financial problems given the IRS liens. And it’s safe to assume they have him on tape in more than a few conversations with Solis and Burke. Not to mention, he chaired a city council committee that oversaw a lot of big contracts. That’s a lot of spaghetti — and a lot leverage, and the feds love leverage. They really wouldn’t be doing their job right if they didn’t spend some time on Zalewski. We’ll see if any of it sticks, but a reminder: it’s been almost four years since Dorothy Brown’s cell phone was seized.


  15. - Ok - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:52 am:

    That’s your first clue Powdered, its….. SpaghettiGate!


  16. - A - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    The Feds subpoenaed ComEd’s lobbying records and are looking into connections with McLain. Seems like more than just throwing some spaghetti against the wall.


  17. - Sue - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    Flatbed- you are wrong to the extent you believe corruption in Illinois only serves one party. In actuality- corruption is perhaps the one thing in this state which over the decades has been bi-partisan😁


  18. - JS Mill - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    =Corruption in Illinois state government is institutional.=

    Maybe you didn’t know there were 49 other states each with their own corruption scandals from time to time.

    Illinois isn’t unique or even exceptional in this matter.


  19. - Grandpa2 - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:03 am:

    Paraphrasing the old Jesse James quote about robbing banks: “Why is there corruption in Illinois government? Because, that’s where the money is.”


  20. - Chicagonk - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    @Sue - A big part of my frustration with the Illinois Republican party is that this. There are actually starting to be a lot more reformers and good government types in the Democratic party it seems like. Just another missed opportunity for a poorly run state party.


  21. - Powdered Whig - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    === The Feds subpoenaed ComEd’s lobbying records and are looking into connections with McLain. Seems like more than just throwing some spaghetti against the wall. ===

    I understand that, but I can’t figure out exactly what type of conduct they are looking to uncover. Getting someone a job at ComEd? Isn’t ComEd a private corporation? Are they investigating bribes for employment? It all seems very vague and unclear.


  22. - supplied_demand - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:12 am:

    ==You ask a good question. It appears the Trump Justice Department is taking an aggressive stance on public corruption. The New York Times claims this is a national story.==

    I know for a fact that at least some of these investigations started before the Trump Administration came to power. I was on a grand jury that heard and saw evidence.


  23. - Dr. Pepper - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    Grandpa2 - I don’t think it’s Jesse James; I think it was Willie Sutton.


  24. - Just Me - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    I’ve seen this movie before. I know how it ends, and it doesn’t end well for some.


  25. - Grandpa2 - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:23 am:

    Thanks, Dr. Pepper. I should have googled first. However, googling seems to show that Sutton denied the quote and attributed it to a reporter who had copy to file.


  26. - Telly - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    == a huge amount of unreported income. ==

    Not sure that’s right. If the IRS placed liens, it’s likely he reported the income but didn’t have the money to pay the taxes on it.


  27. - Steve - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    - supplied_demand -

    No doubt the FBI is always working on cases but, that doesn’t mean the U.S. Attorneys will bring them in front of grand juries.


  28. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:29 am:

    There are actually starting to be a lot more reformers and good government types in the Democratic party it seems like.

    LOL, who did these “reformers” vote to be the Speaker of the House and Leader of their party?


  29. - Working night and day... - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:40 am:

    The federal inquiry coincides with the timing of the appointment of Zalewski’s daughter-in-law to the Chair of the Illinois Commerce Commission. Strands woven.


  30. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    Telly. You may be right about the income being reported. Still seems like a lot of money to get that much in liens.


  31. - Daughter - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    == - Working night and day… - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:40 am:

    The federal inquiry coincides with the timing of the appointment of Zalewski’s daughter-in-law to the Chair of the Illinois Commerce Commission. Strands woven ==

    Gotta say it — Please let’s avoid the sexist, ridiculous notions that Carrie Zalewski was somehow appointed because of her father in law or her husband. This is an extremely well qualified woman who has served the state for a long time, while raising a family. She’s a role model for many women and the kind of public servant this state needs. Let’s not hold the “daughter-in-law” responsible for some unknown, not even clear allegation.


  32. - 37B - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    I’m unclear on the timeline regarding when Ms. Zalewski was appointed (3/29 appointed Commissioner, 4/15 appointed Chair) viv-a-vis the job request to ComEd. Could be someone had the brilliant idea to pressure ComEd into hiring Zalewski Sr. as a loving gesture to the new Chairman. That, however, says nothing about Chairman Zalewski’s integrity or anything about the Governor’s nomination of her.


  33. - End of the line - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 12:54 pm:

    People are totally delusional if they think this is throwing spaghetti at a wall. Equally delusional for bringing up Dorothy Brown’s cell phone as some sort of analogous situation.

    This thing is massive and will alter the course of the state.


  34. - Montrose - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 12:59 pm:

    “Please let’s avoid the sexist, ridiculous notions that Carrie Zalewski was somehow appointed because of her father in law or her husband.”

    Nepotism is a real thing that we see time and time again in politics, Illinois and elsewhere. Whether or not her family played a real role, I do not know, but it is not ridiculous or sexist to think that might have helped.


  35. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    If I were Gov I would be really ticked off at whoever drug me into this mess. He was not happy with the WIU soap opera. This is much worse….


  36. - Nagidam - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 1:27 pm:

    Ms. Zaleski is eminently qualified to hold the position she has. What has been said about her qualifications as a lawyer and a mother are spot on. But…there is nothing sexist about a discussion of her employment status as it relates to this issue. The G will be all over it I’m sure if there is something there. I think the reality is she is a qualified individual that was appointed with a new administration simple as that and there will be nothing for the G to look into.


  37. - Powdered Whig - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 1:48 pm:

    === People are totally delusional if they think this is throwing spaghetti at a wall. ===

    Since it is so clear to you, please enlighten me as to what criminal activity is being investigated as it relates to ComEd lobbyists? Are ComEd lobbyists soliciting bribes? What is it?


  38. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    ==People are totally delusional if they think this is throwing spaghetti at a wall.==
    Ya got the inside scoop do ya?


  39. - Telly - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 2:19 pm:

    == Equally delusional for bringing up Dorothy Brown’s cell phone as some sort of analogous situation. ==

    Not looking to make analogies. Just pointing out that not all raids and subpoenas result in indictments. Maybe this “thing is massive” and maybe it “will alter the course of the state.” Then again, it might not. I would have bet big money in October of ‘15 that Dorothy Brown would soon be under indictment and out of office….and I would have lost.


  40. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 2:19 pm:

    Re The strange Sarah McKay twitter account only a few weeks old…
    Chicago Tribune said Ms. McKay had an order of protection agains Quinn where he couldn’t even talk to her, and he violated this a year and a half ago. So with the couple being estranged and not even being able to talk, how would McKay know about any ghost payroll income Jan 2019? Something doesn’t add up.


  41. - Responsa - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 2:19 pm:

    To get the really good jobs whether in government or in private industry you and your name first need to be on somebody important’s radar screen before your qualifications and skills can be considered or rewarded. That’s where Ms Zalewski may be vulnerable regardless of her own stellar performance later. The name Zalewski can’t help but have put her on radar screens over the years just as Lisa Madigan’s did. For both these talented women names that may have started as a help to their careers may end up being a hindrance.


  42. - phenom_Anon - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 2:22 pm:

    =Maybe you didn’t know there were 49 other states each with their own corruption scandals from time to time.

    Illinois isn’t unique or even exceptional in this matter.=

    I’m just going to assume you forgot the at the end of that because, ummm, uh, I mean, even the University of Chicago ranks Chicago as the most corrupt city in the country, and Illinois as 3rd most corrupt state. Illinois is very certainly unique and exceptional in regards to corruption. But again, I’m going to assume you meant that sarcastically.

    =it’s been almost four years since Dorothy Brown’s cell phone was seized=

    The feds don’t do anything in a hurry, and even in what seemed like an easy one, it’s taken forever. Plus, who knows how much Dorothy has talked, maybe there is a connection there between her status and the continued investigations.


  43. - phenom_Anon - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    Somehow my /s got cut off in the first sentence..

    Supposed to say “I’m just going to assume you forgot the /s…”


  44. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    ===even the University of Chicago ranks Chicago as the most corrupt city in the country, and Illinois as 3rd most corrupt state. Illinois is very certainly unique and exceptional in regards to corruption.===

    (Sigh)

    It’s the University of Illinois at Chicago, a professor, not the school as a whole U of C or UIC, who was an alderman.

    You’re welcome,


  45. - phenom_Anon - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    =It’s the University of Illinois at Chicago, a professor, not the school as a whole U of C or UIC, who was an alderman.=

    Sorry, I was typing too fast. I think I’m following what you’re saying in what I assume was also a hastily typed sentence. So, yes, as far as the study that was published by the UIC political science dept., the lead author was a former alderman. Does a corrected attribution significantly change the implication made by the study regarding Illinois corruption?


  46. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    ===Does a corrected attribution significantly change the implication made by the study regarding Illinois corruption?===

    You want me to take you serious when you can’t even correctly cite what study you’re talking about?

    What’s your point, a former Chicago alderman who continues to say Illinois and Chicago is corrupt again did a study Chicago is corrupt? Ok.


  47. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    ==Does a corrected attribution significantly change the implication made by the study regarding Illinois corruption?==

    I found Dick Simpson’s formula for measuring corruption a bit silly in that he used conviction rate to compare areas. Does that really tell you anything about level of corruption? For example, If Barbara Byrd Bennett got away with her schemes in Cleveland and Detroit before she came here but got caught here what does that tell you except that she got sloppy or the federal agents got better. It has nothing to do with the area. It was the person that was corrupt, not the location that was corrupt.
    And a place where the corrupt people don’t get caught isn’t necessarily less corrupt. Yes there is a lot of corruption here and elsewhere.


  48. - phenom_Anon - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    =You want me to take you serious when you can’t even correctly cite what study you’re talking about?
    What’s your point, a former Chicago alderman who continues to say Illinois and Chicago is corrupt again did a study Chicago is corrupt? Ok.=

    I’m not sure if you’re just trolling on this one, but a commenter said that Illinois’ corruption was neither unique or exceptional. I took issue with that, and admittedly hastily mentioned a study from the Chicago area.

    So you’re either taking issue with my attribution, or the idea that Chicago and Illinois are uniquely or exceptionally corrupt. If it’s the second, I might ask what turnip truck you accidentally exited.

    If you’re aiming to challenge the well-earned reputations of corruption held by Illinois and Chicago, then I bid you good luck, because you’ve got a bit of an uphill battle. Please don’t trip over the list of incarcerated governors and aldermen on your way.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 4:12 pm:

    ===but a commenter said that Illinois’ corruption was neither unique or exceptional. I took issue with that, and admittedly hastily mentioned a study from the Chicago area.===

    … and yet that report found corruption, in other towns, in other urban areas… thus making not at all that unique.

    ===So you’re either taking issue with my attribution, or the idea that Chicago and Illinois are uniquely or exceptionally corrupt. If it’s the second, I might ask what turnip truck you accidentally exited.===

    Words matter, as cites matter. You want “facts” but gloss over your points.

    To unique?

    Unique - adjective 1. being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.

    Other places don’t have corruption?

    Now who’s naive?

    ===If you’re aiming to challenge the well-earned reputations of corruption held by Illinois and Chicago, then I bid you good luck, because you’ve got a bit of an uphill battle. Please don’t trip over the list of incarcerated governors and aldermen on your way.===

    New Jersey, New York, Louisiana… “hold my beverage”

    LOL


  50. - phenom_Anon - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 4:25 pm:

    =Words matter, as cites matter. You want “facts” but gloss over your points.=

    As you gloss over the full dictionary definition for a word, which includes: “particularly remarkable, special, or unusual.” I’d say routinely being listed as the number 1 city for something is particularly remarkable, special, and unusual.

    =Other places don’t have corruption?
    Now who’s naive?
    New Jersey, New York, Louisiana… “hold my beverage”
    LOL=

    Yes, what an astute observation. Because corruption exists elsewhere, Chicago is not unique in that regard. I play golf occasionally, so I guess folks like Tiger Woods aren’t exceptional, according to your logic, because they aren’t the only ones who golf. Good luck with that logic.

    Thanks for the laugh.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 4:30 pm:

    ===what an astute observation. Because corruption exists elsewhere, Chicago is not unique in that regard.===

    Not very unique. At all.

    (Sigh)

    ===I play golf occasionally, so I guess folks like Tiger Woods aren’t exceptional, according to your logic, because they aren’t the only ones who golf. Good luck with that logic.===

    Playing golf isn’t unique. Not just one person is playing, exceptionally or not.

    It’s British Open week, or as its call “The Open”

    It’s so unique, 170+ players are playing in it.

    The dorm room thinking isn’t a way to be… unique.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 4:31 pm:

    === I’d say routinely being listed as the number 1 city for something is particularly remarkable, special, and unusual===

    Maybe exceptional, but, the act in of itself, isn’t unique. LOL

    You’re welcome.


  53. - phenom_Anon - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 4:39 pm:

    Except, your words were: =… and yet that report found corruption, in other towns, in other urban areas… thus making not at all that unique.=

    Again, you made it clear there, because corruption exists elsewhere, Chicago can’t be unique in that regard. That’s your “dorm room logic,” not mine.

    So again, according to YOUR logic, Tiger Woods couldn’t be considered unique, because he’s not the only golfer. Anyone in their right mind would challenge that, which is again, your logic.

    Chicago, routinely ranked as the most corrupt city in the country, isn’t unique or exceptional? That’s quite an achievement, though. Tom Brady is unique and exceptional, I don’t think anyone would challenge that. He only has 6 rings, only made it to the last game of the year 9 times. Chicago has a much better record that. But that’s not unique or exceptional. Good luck selling that.


  54. - phenom_Anon - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 4:43 pm:

    =Maybe exceptional, but, the act in of itself, isn’t unique. LOL=

    That’s not what you said, nor what was being challenged. Of course the act of corruption in and of itself is not unique. Being ranked as the most corrupt city is however unique, and exceptional.

    But keep trying to twist and dodge it, please. just don’t hurt yourself, that kind of motion is hard on one’s back.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 4:43 pm:

    ===Except, your words were: =… and yet that report found corruption, in other towns, in other urban areas… thus making not at all that unique.=

    Again, you made it clear there, because corruption exists elsewhere, Chicago can’t be unique in that regard. That’s your “dorm room logic,” not mine.===

    It can be exceptional, not unique. Keep up.

    Golf is not unique, playing at a highest level, that’s exceptional.

    So to that…

    ===So again, according to YOUR logic, Tiger Woods couldn’t be considered unique, because he’s not the only golfer. Anyone in their right mind would challenge that, which is again, your logic.===

    No, Tiger is exceptional and extraordinary.

    (Sigh)

    ===Tom Brady is unique and exceptional===

    A quarterback isn’t unique, every team has one.

    Playing golf in of itself isn’t at all… unique.


  56. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 4:46 pm:

    ===however unique, and exceptional.===

    The act of corruption is not unique. That’s the premise. Chicago is unique to corruption.

    Nope. Sorry. No.

    ===He only has 6 rings, only made it to the last game of the year 9 times===

    It’s extraordinary, as other quarterbacks also have rings.

    The ring itself isn’t unique, winning a ring isn’t unique. It’s extraordinary to win 6


  57. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 5:12 pm:

    I have to agree with Da Big Bad Wolf, any discussion of corruption that focuses solely on convictions is flawed. I’m not saying Illinois doesn’t have a history of corruption, but to just compare conviction rates is half the story.

    As an example, there are things in Illinois that are against the law that are perfectly fine in other states. How many states do you think have a gift ban act similar to Illinois’? Look at http://swamp.coalitionforintegrity.org/ for a different take on rankings.

    Also, it’s no surprise the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois is aggressive against public corruption. There’s no guarantee that can be said about other US Attorneys.


  58. - phenom_Anon - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 5:13 pm:

    =The act of corruption is not unique. That’s the premise. Chicago is unique to corruption.=

    No one, not I nor anyone else, has ever said that corruption only exists in Chicago, no matter how much you want me to have said that. Maybe if you keep twisting enough you’ll make it what you want.

    Tiger Woods is unique and exceptional among golfers. Tom Brady is unique and exceptional among quarterbacks. Even though they aren’t the only ones, and maybe not even the best ever.

    You brought up the dictionary definition of unique, which again includes: “particularly remarkable, special, or unusual.” I’d say both men qualify under 2 of those, if not all three.

    Consistently being the one city ranked as the most corrupt in the country is also remarkable, special, and unusual. Having a national reputation as the most corrupt city in the country is also remarkable, special, and unusual. And thus according to the definition, it is unique. And so again, Chicago is both unique (according to the dictionary definition, which you felt was a good enough standard to include earlier) and exceptional in regards to corruption.

    You’re welcome.

    Hopefully we don’t need to now also have a debate over whether or not it is “exceptional” in regards to corruption. If so, then we’ll have to continue this tomorrow, as I have other places to be now.

    I did however enjoy the conversation, so thank you for the time.


  59. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 5:25 pm:

    ===Tiger Woods is unique and exceptional among golfers. Tom Brady is unique and exceptional among quarterbacks. Even though they aren’t the only ones, and maybe not even the best ever.===

    No. Brady holding 6 rings is unique, as no one else has.

    Adam Scott is unique, the only Aussie to win the Masters.

    Your premise is this;

    ===Illinois is very certainly unique and exceptional in regards to corruption===

    No. That’s not true. There’s nothing unique to this corruption, but it can be exceptional.

    Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson, lefties to have won the Masters are unique as a group, but not individually as there isn’t “one” lefty” Masters champion.

    There’s nothing singular to them as lefties, but the group of lefties being those two, is unique.

    You want this “Chicago corruption” to be unique, and it’s not.

    It’s bribery, extortion, what would make this corruption unique is if they needed to rename a “new” corruption term.

    You don’t like Chicago corruption, who does, but this loathing that Chicago is this end all, be all, to it is embarrassingly non-existence.

    The FBI has the largest anti-corruption unit in the country in Chicago.

    It’s not that it’s unique, it’s extraordinary.


  60. - Dr. Pepper - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 6:43 pm:

    My gosh - everything else aside, could everyone quit confusing U of C with the superior institution, UIC?


  61. - Ebenezer - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 8:34 pm:

    I’ve done business in seven states over the last 25 years. Illinois is unique in the arbitrary power and discretion granted to and tolerated of elected officials. Especially at the local level. It’s an enticement to corruption.

    This is the first state where knowing the mayor was important. This is the first place where we came to understand the local mayor might have ‘preferred’ vendors.

    Yes every state has its scandals, but rates matter.


  62. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 8:41 pm:

    ===This is the first state where knowing the mayor was important. This is the first place where we came to understand the local mayor might have ‘preferred’ vendors.===

    … and yet, there are scandals that had contracts, seeetheart deals, connections, if this is the first place, this must be the first place you did business


  63. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 8:43 pm:

    Let’s start with Miami…

    https://www.floridabulldog.org/2019/07/sweetheart-deal-for-ave-llc-in-works-at-miami-opa-locka-airport/

    - Ebenezer -, does this make Miami as “unique” as Chicago?

    Let’s pick a city… you choose.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 8:46 pm:

    A great reporter Chris Wetterich, covering Cincinnati…

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2018/09/08/former-city-manager-said-cranley-gave-sweetheart.amp.html

    Do we add Cincinnati to “unique” too when it comes to knowing someone to get preferred treatment?


  65. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 8:52 pm:

    ===Yes every state has its scandals, but rates matter.===

    Do you have an acceptable rate of scandals?

    That’s really my point - Ebenezer -.

    Be well.


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