“Second don’t count!”

Tomorrow, I will once again join the muckraking force and cover the corruption trial of Cook County Commissioner William Beavers.

William Beavers (courtesy of the Chicago Tribune)

William Beavers (courtesy of the Chicago Tribune)

Now, if you’ve been reading my blogs through the years AND if you pay any attention to politics in this country, you understand that Illinois politics–especially Chicago and Cook County politics–are a blood sport. We currently have two former-governors in prison, and if you’re an Illinois pol and aren’t either under investigation at some point in your career OR haven’t spent time in the pokey for something you did whilst in office, well, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. You’re a disappointment to the rich history that is the Illinois political carnival.

Freak show is more like it, come to think of it.

Back to Beavers, I interviewed him years ago after the whole John Stroger/Forrest Claypool Democratic primary showdown for the Cook County President election in 2006. See, Stroger stroked-out during the last days of the campaign and it’s alleged that his campaign kept it secret until the last possible second. Of course they did. Duh.  That’s the Chicago way.

So, when Stroger was declared non-compis mentis, many felt that the runner-up, Claypool, should’ve been handed the wheel to go head-to-head with the Republican challenger, Tony Peraica. Even though Claypool lost to Stroger in the primary, the Cook County Democratic Party endorsed Stroger’s spawn, Todd Stroger, to run against Peraica.

Forrest Claypool

Forrest Claypool

Seriously–that’s like handing the casinos over to Fredo Corleone and telling him to have at it.

Anyhoo, I was in grad school during this whole Cook County President kerfuffle and had the dubious honor of interviewing Commissioner Beavers–who also happened to sucking the teat of the Stroger clan–about what was going on. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Commissioner Beavers–Now that John Stroger is basically circling the drain, doesn’t it seem fair to put the second place finisher–Claypool–up against Peraica?

Beavers: Huh? What’s that now? The second place finisher? Fair?? You kiddin’ me?? Well, lemme tell you something honey, SECOND DON’T COUNT!

There endeth the interview.

The Toddler won, which made for some fun times in Cook County. Seriously. A roasting pan would have done a better job at running Cook County than Todd did.

Starting tomorrow, check out gapersblock.com for my tales from the crypt that is the Dirksen Federal Court Building.

 

 

Eau de Choad

(courtesy of ChicagoTribune.com)

William Beavers (courtesy of ChicagoTribune.com)

My apologies for not posting the past few days, and I’m sure my three readers are quite apoplectic about my absence. I’ve been covering a couple of YUUUUUUUUGE high-profile court cases in Chicago–all of which have been postponed until Dec. 17th and Jan. 31st.

For those of you who pay attention to the blood sport that IS Illinois politics, did you notice any familiar faces on the Beavers team? No? Yes? Short memories I guess. Sam Adam and Son are once again defending yet another notorious pol since they did such a bang up job with this one.

On a side note, I’ve interviewed Commissioner Beavers several times and next to this guy, he gives the best soundbites ever.

Daley pissed

Now onto the serious stuff.

I thought the Nuge would be either dead or in jail by now. I hate it when famous people don’t keep their word. It really creases me. He needs to have some sense knocked into him–perhaps by that wang dang sweet poontang he claims to have had once upon a time.

Perhaps someone should inform his ugly ass that most welfare recipients are, um WHITE.

Nugent: Budget deal should suspend welfare recipients’ voting rights

from Raw Story.

“Conservative rocker Ted Nugent is urging the Republican Party to “stop the insanity” and insist that voting rights be suspended for welfare recipients as a part of a larger budget deal.

In his Monday Washington Times column, Nugent ranted that talk about raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans proved that Washington was a “financial insane asylum.”

“What we need is a wholesale, top-to-bottom assessment of the federal government, and then we need to slash and burn all Fedzilla departments, agencies and offices that are not constitutionally required or deemed vital,” he wrote. “This should be fundamental before any deals are cut regarding new taxes.”

I don’t know what is more disturbing–his room temperature IQ when it comes to, well, everything, the fact that people still pay attention to him OR that he has an actual newspaper column.

The 1970s called–it wants Nugent back. Shit, he should never, ever be allowed to leave that decade. Let him fuck teenage girls, live out his Vietnamese girl fetish and shoot defenseless animals in peace–just leave the real stuff to people who actually know what the fuck they’re talking about. If the GOP had any sense (I know, I know, I saw it), they’d stuff his maw with some sweet poontang then tape it there so he’s unable to do anything else EVER. But they won’t since today’s GOP is a big bunch of pussies.

Or, better yet, play him this.

NEEEEEEEXT!

Cook County Cacophony

People never cease to amaze me.

Case in point. From the Chicago Sun-Times:

“Cook County Commissioner William Beavers, a South Side and suburban Democrat, isn’t the only one refusing to take the 10 days off without pay that he and the rest of the County Board unanimously agreed to when they passed the 2011 budget.

Last week, Beavers told the Sun-Times the pay cut was illegal — citing the state Constitution, which says sitting elected officials can’t have their salaries boosted or docked — and now Commissioner Earlean Collins is standing with him.”

Oooookaaaay …..

Please continue.

” ‘I wrote a letter, saying ‘I do not wish to have my salary cut,’” Collins said during Tuesday’s regular County Board meeting, referring to a letter she penned to county government officials.

Collins, a Democrat who represents the west side and western suburbs, said her office sacrificed a lot when commissioners OKed another budget measure this year that gave each commissioners equal district office budgets of $360,000, which covers commissioners and staff pay and other expenses; in 2010, Collins had the second highest district office budget at $421,489.

For one Collins staffer, that meant a $15,000 pay cut before the 10 days without pay, she said.”

I get it: No one likes having their salaries cut. What gets me about this is these folks have jobs, unlike yours truly here. They have benefits–both healthcare and a pension. They have a place to go to every day, a purpose. Yet, they still bitch about it. Of course, they have a right to, but what really gets my knickers in a twist about this is we pay their salaries–they’re elected officials, see. So, in my opinion, they have no right to bitch, moan and whine about pay cuts–especially when the U.S. unemployment rate is hovering around 10 percent.

It gets better.

” ‘It’s unfair where they can get no overtime — to ask them to take $15,000, $10,000, $5,000 cuts and take 10 more days out of their pay. That is not equitable, and I will not sit by and take my cut because I know this board nor the president can cut my salary,” said Collins, who like other commissioners earn $85,000 annually.

Collins is sounding a different tune from February when discussed the proposal.

“Can I give up 10 days? Yes. Absolutely,” Collins said Feb. 24, just two days before the final budget was OKed.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who championed the five furlough days and five shutdown days without pay as a way to close a nearly $500 million hole in the $3 billion county budget, responded to Collins during Tuesday’s meeting: “I haven’t asked any one commissioner to do something that I haven’t done myself.”

“I’ve taken the shut down and furlough days as I’ve asked everyone else,” Preckwinkle said.”

WAIT A SECOND… Did I read that correctly? Collins originally agreed with taking a pay cut and now she’s backtracking? Sounds like the current crop of GOP contenders for President. She’s acting more like a Republican (and some Democrats) with her actions–saying one thing and doing another. It’ll be interesting if she follows in her fellow pols’ footsteps by chastising those who want to do follow in her footsteps.

Read…

“Most of the 23,000 employees were asked to take the ten days without pay: five furlough days and five government shut-down days. The aim was to save $29 million by the end of the fiscal year, Nov. 30. By the end of August, $16.2 million savings had been achieved, Kurt Summers, Preckwinkle’s chief of staff, said after the meeting.

“What kind of message do we send to the 23,000-plus employees that everybody has to take cuts and furlough days except the county commissioners and their staffs,” Commissioner Tim Schneider, a northwest suburban Republican, said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I think it’s the wrong message to send. I think we have to have shared sacrifice, we have to lead by example,” he said, noting that he and his staff are taking the unpaid time off.”

I like Toni Preckwinkle–I voted for her. She’s smart, savvy and so far hasn’t take any crap. She’s perfect for Cook County, has a huge mess to clean up and is doing her best to fix it all. She has some smart commissioners working with her too–John Fritchey and Larry Suffredin–to name a couple.

But, the tone that William Beavers and Earlean Collins have taken is annoying and ignorant–considering they both make a good salary. Yes, I am sensitive about this because of my job-free situation, and take issue with those who bitch about their jobs in front of me (or in the media). Obviously, they’re just not paying attention to what is actually happening in this country, and should have their sensitivity chip recalibrated, or have one put in. Yes.. yes… I know that no one has the perfect job and I’ve whined about my past jobs. Aaaaaand, I’m sure I’ll find something to bitch about when (noticed how I didn’t say IF–I’m cautiously optimistic) I finally land a job.

I’m not surprised at William Beavers, however. He is, after all, partially responsible for unleashing Todd Stroger on Cook County, among other things. Ahh…Cook County. I doubt any other county in this country is as colorful and corrupt as Cook. *So proud*

And finally ….

“The discussion was prompted by a new report Preckwinkle commissioned to gauge who was complying with the five furlough days and five shut-down days approved as part of the 2011 budget package. She sent a letter last week to the commissioners thanking those who had complied and pointing the finger at those who hadn’t.

But on Tuesday, Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey chastised the administration for inaccuracies in the report, prompting Preckwinkle to withdraw it and have County Comptroller Connie Kravitz recalculate some of the numbers.

Leave it to John Fritchey to keep ’em honest.