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[12 Aug 2014 | One Comment | ]

When conventions and trade shows threaten to leave McCormick Place or Rosemont for Orlando, Las Vegas or elsewhere, officials at the lakefront and suburban convention centers have a carrot to offer to keep those shows here:
A pot of taxpayer money they guard so tightly they’ve tried to keep secret how it’s spent, the Chicago Sun-Times has found.

Over the past three years, $26.5 million from Illinois taxpayers has been spent to lure the International Housewares Association’s trade show, the Radiological Society of North America convention and 79 other shows to McCormick …

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[1 Jul 2014 | No Comment | ]

Thee head of the Illinois Department of Transportation resigned Monday following questions about patronage hiring at the agency.

Ann Schneider’s resignation comes after longtime anti-patronage crusader Michael Shakman called for a federal judge to order an investigation into government hiring following a Better Government Association investigation that revealed Schneider’s stepdaughter had been put on the payroll and promoted at the agency.
Read more in the Sun Times
image coin struck of Julius Nepos, last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, and son and nephew of Roman Leaders

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[23 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]

Choose Chicago — the city’s convention and tourism bureau — gets half of its money from government agencies, but it won’t tell the public how it spends it.

Half of Choose Chicago’s funding comes from the city of Chicago and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the government agency known as McPier that also leases office space to the tourism group.
Read more in the Sun Times
image Various Graft Techniques not currently in use by the Metropolitan Pier Authority

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[13 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]

Republicans scouring the November ballot for GOP candidates for Cook County’s top elected offices will be out of luck.
The deadline for mounting opposition against entrenched Democrats holding countywide office has passed for the Cook County Republican Party.

The final day for party officials to submit candidate petitions was Monday, according to the Cook County Clerk’s office.
Though no Republican stepped forward to run for the top countywide offices during the March primary, the party still had the opportunity to put its preferred candidates on the ballot if Republicans gathered at least 2,710 …

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[6 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]

From the Chicago Sun-Times
A businessman with ties to former State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday for engaging in a check-kiting scheme in order to keep his family’s struggling Boston Blackies restaurant chain operating.
Chris Giannis, 41, hugged a half-dozen weeping relatives before he was led away by Cook County sheriff’s deputies.
“This is a sad end to the story,” Giannis’ attorney, Terry Gillespie, said outside of Judge James Linn’s courtroom after his client was sentenced for theft.

At the time, Giannoulias pledged to give to charity all …

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[2 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]

Renovating the historic Uptown Theatre is the “missing piece” to creating an entertainment district in the North Side neighborhood, proponents say. And that effort just got a $10 million boost.

A House Bill which included the appropriation for the theater — pushed by Senate President John Cullerton (D) — passed both houses of the Illinois Legislature last week. It’s the first major investment in the theater since it was purchased by JAM Productions in 2008.
“We’re happy to help jumpstart that project. Of course we know it’s just upward of $70 million …

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[26 May 2014 | One Comment | ]

Gov. Quinn’s administration chose a well-known West Side social-service provider to distribute millions of dollars in anti-violence money across crime-ravaged Chicago neighborhoods in 2010, even though state audits just months before said the group couldn’t substantiate more than $200,000 in bills involving a summer-jobs program.

The problems involving the Chicago Area Project were significant enough to draw attention from federal investigators. They opened a criminal probe into the $7.8 million summer-jobs program, started under ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The problems were also serious enough to spur the state to ask the Chicago Area …

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[12 Mar 2014 | No Comment | ]

The Rev. Michael Pfleger and former state Sen. Alice Palmer were among those who appeared at a news conference at The Ark of St. Sabina in the Gresham neighborhood to support the now disbanded program that was assailed in a blistering audit last month and is now facing a steady drumbeat of negative headlines.

Palmer, who helped manage the project in the South Shore neighborhood, defended the hiring of two gang members through the program there — only to have one wind up accused of the other’s murder.
That scandal among others …

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[13 Dec 2013 | No Comment | ]

A key element of that, Rush and SBC said, would be the creation of the Bobby L. Rush Center for Community Technology.
Funded with a $1 million grant from telecommunications giant SBC and the promise of another $175,000 from Congress, the not-for-profit agency’s aim was to help revive the violence-plagued South Side neighborhood, Rush said.
“This tech center would level the playing field for economically disadvantaged students and the unemployed so that they may one day enter the field of high technology,” Rush said in an announcement posted on his congressional website. …

Chicago, Featured, Headline »

[25 Nov 2013 | One Comment | ]

Despite being Chief of Staff to the President of the United States, who at that time was pushing for the Olympics to be held in Chicago, Rahm Emanuel Claims no role in enriching one of his donors
While the city paid $91 million for the property, it is likely that the city overpaid,” Emanuel’s staff says in an email. “This property was bought by the previous administration . . . Mayor Emanuel was serving as chief of staff to the president of the United States and had absolutely no role in …