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  #1  
Old 12-04-2008, 03:46 PM
Freejooky Freejooky is offline
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Someone explain Chicago's corruption? (ANSWERED BY CECIL)

I understand that that's "just the way it is here," but stuff like Daley's Meigs field destruction is something that would be rejected in fiction as unrealistic. "They'd throw the guy in prison or at least kick him out of office!"

What's up with the blatant, out-in-the-open corruption and illegality in Chicago politics?
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2008, 09:57 PM
Valerieblaise Valerieblaise is offline
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My feeling is that Chicago has been corrupt for so long that lifelong Chicagoans not only expect it, we almost find it charming in a way. It's as though every time a new scandal makes the news, we collectively go, "Daley, you scamp! Didn't we talk about you not giving jobs to your friends? You go to your room and don't come out until supper!"

I think if a politician ran on a platform of cleaning up corruption, the response would be, "If you want to try... " followed by a shrug.

Of course, this is based on absolutely zero facts.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2008, 09:35 AM
dropzone dropzone is online now
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What Valerie said, plus the sad fact that Chicago's reputation far exceeds its present state. There was much talk before the election about how corrupt Chicago politics were and how that meant that Obama would steal Cook County, just like Kennedy had (or not) in 1960, but they are NOTHING compared with the scampish adventures of Big Bill Thompson. What passes for political corruption these days is piddly stuff like Streets and Sanitation workers taking long lunches. *YAWN*
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2008, 10:47 AM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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I don't know but Detroit and New Orleans could give you a run for most corrupt.
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2008, 11:44 AM
dropzone dropzone is online now
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A run? I was listening to a radio station from NO once and they are MUCH more corrupt.
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2008, 12:37 PM
Man With a Cat Man With a Cat is offline
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I hear people when they hear where I'm from, and their first response is about the politics.

I tell them Chicago is the Yankees, or Celtics of corruption - we play in a big league, have been around a long time, and at one time, and still are occasionally, a big deal when something goes south because of the history. We are one of those cities people watch and say a-ha ! when something happens.

Example: There is a fight in the locker room of the locker room of the Yankees - National news, because everyone "knows" that the Yankees have a "history" of that sort of thing.

That fight in the KC Royals locker room? No one cares, it's the Royals.
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2008, 05:40 PM
CC CC is offline
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The deal is the Golden Rule. The movers and shakers are happy with the status quo, and for them, the city works. So their gold rules. For the folks with no clout - most specifically the folks on the west and south sides, it's take it or leave it. But if you ask the people who the city attends to, they'll tell you, "The city works. I don't care how it works. It works." The only folks bothered by the corruption are those who don't profit from it, which is a relatively small group.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2008, 06:40 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
they are NOTHING compared with the scampish adventures of Big Bill Thompson.
Wow. I spent the better part of five years in Chicagoland and I never heard of Thompson OR the Pineapple Primary. That's great history (if you didn't have to live through it).
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2008, 06:42 PM
jnglmassiv jnglmassiv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valerieblaise View Post
My feeling is that Chicago has been corrupt for so long that lifelong Chicagoans not only expect it, we almost find it charming in a way. It's as though every time a new scandal makes the news, we collectively go, "Daley, you scamp! Didn't we talk about you not giving jobs to your friends? You go to your room and don't come out until supper!"
That's sadly a pretty accurate wrapup of my attitude. When I hear about some scandal involving, say, building inspectors, I usually first think 'Oh No! What will his family do?' and then I wonder 'How I can get his job?'.

It comes as a constant trickle. Fire inspectors bribed. Legally parked cars towed. Federal indictments. 10 county corrections officers arrested. Bid fixing. Ghost payrolling. Licenses-for-Bribes. Promotions and raises for the inept cronies.

You learn to enjoy the stories and roll with it.
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2008, 11:51 AM
gaffa gaffa is online now
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It's a matter of scale. The corruption here is so petty as to be amusing. Jobs for friends? Seriously? In Kansas City, the corruption was more on the scale of giving millions of dollars of TIF money to "blighted" areas like the Country Club Plaza (a shopping area that rivals Mag Mile). Or the astounding corruption of the Bush Administration. What's the worst any Chicago pol could do compared to sending a C-130 full of cash to Iraq and losing (holds pinky to mouth a la Doctor Evil) NINE BILLION DOLLARS!
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2008, 03:34 PM
dropzone dropzone is online now
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At least we have Blago bringing honor back to the state and the city.
Quote:
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on charges he brazenly conspired to sell or trade President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder as part of what federal prosecutors called a "political corruption crime spree."
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2008, 06:55 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valerieblaise View Post
I think if a politician ran on a platform of cleaning up corruption, the response would be, "If you want to try... " followed by a shrug.
Well, Blagojevich won on that platform . . . Heh-heh-heh . . .
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  #13  
Old 12-14-2008, 07:04 PM
Governor Quinn Governor Quinn is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
Wow. I spent the better part of five years in Chicagoland and I never heard of Thompson OR the Pineapple Primary. That's great history (if you didn't have to live through it).
I have (somewhere around here) a paper I wrote on the Pineapple Primary, and it is interesting history, especially in its roots.
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  #14  
Old 12-15-2008, 10:45 AM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is online now
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Originally Posted by Mr Bus Guy View Post
I tell them Chicago is the Yankees, or Celtics of corruption......
Then who are the Cubs of Corruption??
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  #15  
Old 03-24-2009, 09:14 AM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
What Valerie said, plus the sad fact that Chicago's reputation far exceeds its present state.
Quote:
Al Sanchez, the former commissioner of Chicago's Streets and Sanitation Department, was convicted Monday on charges that he rigged city hiring by trading jobs for campaign work.

Sanchez, 61, is the highest-ranking aide to Mayor Richard M. Daley to be found guilty in the federal corruption probe of City Hall hiring. A federal jury convicted Sanchez on four counts of mail fraud and acquitted him on three other mail fraud counts.
Link.

Now, is this reputation or present state?
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  #16  
Old 03-24-2009, 01:19 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Moto View Post
Link.

Now, is this reputation or present state?
Small potatoes compared to the old-school corruption. Another "jobs for contributors/friends" bust.
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  #17  
Old 03-24-2009, 02:09 PM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
Small potatoes compared to the old-school corruption. Another "jobs for contributors/friends" bust.
I'm not saying it's not relatively small beer - but isn't it more corruption than seen in most American cities - especially in the aggregate?

Mind you, I come from Pittsburgh originally, which has to be in the running for an honorable mention. But from the looks of it, Chicago still has quite a problem going here.
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  #18  
Old 04-25-2009, 06:46 PM
darkregime darkregime is offline
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My family had two large properties taken from us by the city, they don't have to justify their reasons, they told me "if you don't like it then sue us, but the city WILL take your buildings". you can't win against city lawyers....

Last edited by darkregime; 04-25-2009 at 06:48 PM..
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  #19  
Old 05-01-2009, 11:03 AM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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I think the reason is that we're talking local politics here. In national politics, few things actually affect you directly (other than tax rates), so people focus on ideologies like corruption and get all worked up.

But in local politics, as long as your potholes get filled and your garbage gets picked up, what do you care about the other stuff? A simple "they all do it" and a shrug, and you can get on with your life......TRM
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  #20  
Old 05-01-2009, 11:13 AM
CC CC is offline
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This is exactly the problem with the city. For many people - those in the loop, the new south loop areas, the north side, the northwest side, that's all they do care about. And because Da Mare gets all the buzz about running "the city that works" everyone figures the same thing - my potholes are getting fixed, the garbage is being picked up. If any of them were to spend any time on the south and west sides of the city, where it still looks like a bomb hit (in some cases it's been that way since the '68 riots), where there are no jobs, no decent grocery stores, no big box stores, where the schools are abysmal, they'd realize that just shrugging your shoulders extends the status quo, for those people, too. We're all in this together. It's time to take seriously the idea of promoting the general welfare, even if it means spreading some of the goods and services around. This mayor continues to ignore a good portion of the city.
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  #21  
Old 05-23-2009, 04:32 PM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Just to note that this has now been addressed by Cecil, in a "Straight Dope Chicago" column: http://chicago.straightdope.com/sdc20090514.php

Consequently, I'm marking the title and moving this to the other Chicago forum.
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  #22  
Old 11-14-2009, 09:26 AM
alvin123 alvin123 is offline
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“A Democratic machine in Chicago? Don’t be naive"

“A Democratic machine in Chicago? Don’t be naive" said by John Kass.

“There is no Chicago Democratic machine. Mayor Richard Daley says so.”

“Rather, the current mayor was applying reason. When Republicans dared suggest that Obama was not a mythic reformer riding on a unicorn named Change, but actually some sort of silky creature of the Daley machine (which does not exist), those foolish Republicans were so very wrong.”

“The reporters might put on tinfoil hats to shield them from the channeling of Daley/Obama strategist David Axelrod, and such newfound clarity might cause the journalists to wonder, horrified, whether Obama’s gentle unicorn is actually named Cosmo and draws a paycheck from the Department of Streets and Sanitation.”

“When Obama is president and the red phone rings at 3 a.m. and Cosmo says that the Russians have put planes in the air, don’t worry about it. He’ll make a decision. He’ll call White House chief of staff Bill Daley. Bill will call Rich. And Rich will call the boss of all the brothers, Michael Daley, the city’s top zoning lawyer who’ll be running the Justice Department, and a decision will be made. So don’t worry.”

“By Daley’s reasoning, Obama’s first machine patron, state Sen. President Emil Jones (D-ComEd) wasn’t part of the machine either, even though for years Jones was double-dipping as a city sewer inspector. According to legend, Jones inspected sewers while wearing a luxurious camel’s hair coat and alligator shoes and never got a speck of dirt on his finery.
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  #23  
Old 11-14-2009, 09:57 AM
CC CC is offline
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Lil Richie learned his manner from his mentor, Da Mare, Sr. Dan Sorkin, a local DJ and frequent parodist of the mayor and his minions used to do a bit in which he said, in his finest Richard M. voice, "Look, dere is no soutwest side bloc. Dere never has been. An anyways, dere a nice bunch of guys."
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