Wednesday, February 28, 2007
February 28, 2007
BY MARK BROWN Sun-Times ColumnistI watched Tuesday afternoon into evening as one Chicago political dynasty fell to the wayside and another stepped up to take its place. And the funny thing is, I didn't even realize what was happening until it was all over.
The Beavers dynasty fell flat. The Jackson dynasty is just gaining steam.
But that wasn't apparent as I tagged along with Darcel Beavers on Tuesday afternoon as she made her final campaign rounds through the 7th Ward where her father, William, had ruled since 1983. I watched as voters recognized her and hugged her and as her father's precinct captains reassured her that they had everything under control and that she would easily defeat Sandi Jackson, the wife of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
But they didn't. And she didn't.
"I think we're going to win it straight out but without a runoff," William Beavers, now a Cook County commissioner, had told me at 2 p.m. when I showed up at the 7th Ward office on 79th Street.
"I'm still feeling good," he said when I checked back at 6 p.m. after following his daughter around the ward for a few hours.
By 8 p.m., though, an hour after the polls closed, Beavers was saying, "It's starting to look like there could be a runoff."
Fifteen minutes later, he said, "It's getting tough."
By then, it was already over, and he knew it. But he couldn't bring himself to say so. Not as the clock ticked away and the vote totals mounted with Sandi Jackson carrying many precincts by a 2-to-1 margin. Beavers, known in his profession as somebody who can count votes, wouldn't concede the plain message in front of him. He kept talking runoff as his campaign workers charted the totals by hand the old-fashioned way and argued how to do percentages, by now basing their hopes on their own mathematical errors.
Stroger saga opened windowIn another room, his stunned precinct captains already knew the truth as they picked over their plates of soul food.
"This was the hardest fight I've been in," said one. "The Jackson name. The name worked," said another.
"He's a do-nothing congressman," said a third.
"His daddy was a great man. He ran for president, remember," came the answer.
"I knew it was rough out there," said the first.
Back on the other side of the 7th Ward office, Darcel Beavers was still smiling and telling the television cameras that she was going to wait until all the votes were counted.
She's a nice lady. I could see that as I made the rounds with her, watching her making friends with even the Jackson precinct workers. She worked behind the scenes in her father's office for 22 years, making sure the garbage was picked up and street lights repaired and potholes fixed.
William Beavers, an ex-cop, took over as alderman of the 7th Ward in 1983, riding to victory with the Harold Washington tidal wave.
Darcel Beavers said she hadn't considered herself the alderman-in-waiting during those years in her father's office.
"You know, I never even thought about it. I was just there to make sure everything was taken care of for my father," she said. But when the opportunity presented itself, she decided, "Why not me?"
And maybe her father could have handed her the baton if he hadn't gotten himself involved in the whole messy John Stroger-Todd Stroger saga, which helped embolden Sandi Jackson to run.
But he did, and she did, and the Jackson dynasty worked its own magic with an attractive, energetic candidate and lots of money poured into mailings and billboards and automated phone banks. Also making a difference was the help of the Service Employees International Union, which had once thought of backing the congressman for mayor.
Only question is -- how high?And now you have to wonder how far the Jackson family can take its dynasty. It seems unlikely it will want to stop with a congressman and an alderman and a man who ran for president.
William Beavers remains on the County Board for now, having just been elected to a four-year term, so his dynasty isn't dead yet. A few weeks back, Beavers was quoted as saying: "I'm the hog with the big nuts." Ever since then, I've been wanting to get him to translate, but when I cornered him Tuesday night, he declined.
"If I said it, whoever I said it to, they know what it meant," Beavers said with a twinkle in his eye before the bad news erased it.
That's just as well. Because now he'd have trouble backing it up.
Monday, February 26, 2007
By Ben Joravsky February 23, 2007
AT THE RISK of sounding hopelessly naive, I don’t mind admitting that I believe political reform in Chicago can come from the City Council.
I know we’ve grown used to a council filled with blowhards, scoundrels, and mayoral suck-ups. But if we work from the assumption that Daley’s going to be reelected, and we believe it’s wrong for one man to commandeer the government of this city, then we must look to the council for change.
It’s not as though the aldermen don’t have the power. By design, Chicago has a strong council/weak mayor setup. As Harold Washington learned during his troubled years as mayor in the 1980s, the city’s 50 aldermen have the authority to control budgets and appointments and school and transportation policies—if they choose to exercise it.
There are a few signs of rebellion. Last year the unions got 34 aldermen to take a stand against Daley on the big-box living-wage ordinance, forcing him to exercise his first mayoral veto. The council also managed to drag him, kicking and screaming, to an agreement to ban cigarette smoking in public places.
A majority of independents in the City Council would be nice, but you’d be surprised at how much only a few of them can accomplish. The mainstream media are largely reactive, and they’re always in need of stories driven by flashy personalities. If two or three aldermen dared to denounce, oh, the expensive and unnecessary underground station at Block 37, for instance, or using TIFs to capture tax revenues in wealthy neighborhoods, coverage would follow. Just look at all the excitement roused by our foie gras ban. And reporters are one thing Mayor Daley can’t completely ignore—failing to defend his programs, he might even change them. This is how Forrest Claypool, Mike Quigley, and Tony Peraica are forcing Cook County Board president Todd Stroger to adjust his budgets and policies.
Aldermanic candidates are far too cautious when it comes to Daley. More than one has told me that it’s just too dangerous for a challenger to criticize even his lamest ideas. They figure that would alienate voters who support him and scare off voters who fear him. So most either endorse Daley or pretend he doesn’t exist. “There’s a feeling that you can’t get things for your ward if you criticize the mayor,” says Martin Oberman, a former independent alderman from Lincoln Park. “You and I know that’s not true, but it’s a fear.”
Many candidates assure me privately that once elected, look out, they’re going to be tigers. We’ll see. Michele Smith, a candidate in the 43rd Ward, had the nerve to show up at a public CTA hearing on February 14 to blast the breakdown of the Red Line. The silence from north lakefront incumbents (Burt Natarus, Tom Tunney, Helen Shiller, Vi Daley, and Mary Ann Smith) is deafening.
In the 3rd Ward, Pat Dowell is a harsh critic of TIF waste. It’s no wonder Daley’s working to reelect the incumbent, Dorothy Tillman. Six other candidates who are smart and not afraid to speak out—Toni Foulkes in the 15th, Nick Sposato in the 36th, Greg Brewer in the 50th, Peter Zelchenko and Rachel Goldstein in the 43rd (they’re even more confrontational than Smith), and Bob Bank in the 45th—will all probably lose for the wrong reasons, lack of money being the chief one. But if even one gets elected it will mean more scrutiny of budgets, policies, public projects, and TIFs—especially TIFs. If one alderman—that’s right, just one—were willing to blow the whistle on the TIF scam, reporters other than me might have to cover it.
Of the incumbents, aldermen Joe Moore in the 49th, Toni Preckwinkle in the 4th, and Rick Munoz in the 22nd have shown some guts in defying Daley. I used to have high hopes for Sandi Jackson, who’s running in the 7th, but her husband, Congressman Jesse Jackson, went soft and she may too.
Residents of the 35th Ward may be the luckiest people in town. Whoever wins there will probably join an independent crusade if one emerges in the council. Miguel Sotomayor is running with the support of local reformers. Vilma Colom, the former alderman, is so eager to prove she’s renounced her old machine ways that she’s vowed to vote against TIFs in wealthy areas. And although many of his independent buddies have turned against him over development issues, the incumbent, Rey Colon, has voted against the mayor on several key bills.
If I lived in the 48th Ward, I’d write in Chris Lawrence for alderman, if only to protest the way incumbents use election laws to stymie opposition. Lawrence, who served in Iraq, is enraged that Alderman Mary Ann Smith was able to knock him off the ballot on a minor technicality. “This system’s fixed—it’s rigged, it’s an outrage,” he says, ripping into “waste, fraud, and patronage.”
That’s just the sort of cage-rattling rhetoric the City Council desperately needs more of.
For more on Chicago politics, see our blog Clout City.
Daley has canary-yellow constituency Published February 23, 2007
Chicago politics is bossed by the politically ruthless who understand the obligations of their craft.Because without ruthlessness, a boss is considered weak, unable to hammer the squabbling, greedy and competing interests into line.Without ruthlessness, there can be no Chicago political version of the Stockholm Syndrome--fear transforming into frantic, desperate adoration.Without ruthlessness, a boss couldn't pound the living face of the city into something resembling his own and allow others to call it legacy.Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has held that hammer for a long time. As the city trudges toward Tuesday's election, with his weak challengers splitting the opposition vote as if by design, he's likely to hold that hammer for years.Daley isn't the first mayor to understand the obligations of ruthlessness. They all learn it. His late father knew, as did the late Harold Washington. Their behinds were also smooched publicly, tentatively at first, then quite completely, the frequency of the smooching commensurate with their increasing power.The campaign limps on quietly. The media politely declined to demand that Daley debate his challengers. Ex-con aldermen ran for their old jobs. The comic antics at the Cook County Board, with the media punching bag named President Todd Stroger, reinforced City Hall's subliminal message: Without Daley, all is lost.It is a lie, artfully told. Yet it encourages Chicago to close its eyes to corruption, and to the suburban power elite funneling millions to the Daley campaign to protect their real estate interests.So I've been considering this fascinating fellow who runs things, even though his trains don't run on time; the frightened little guy I once admired and defended when he was weak; the bully who grew more powerful than his father, without opposition, without much dissent.And of the cronyism that rules City Hall, addressed by those who wag their fingers at deals for his friends, but who eventually recover and come down on the side of what the establishment calls stability. Yet how would we treat him if he were black?Harold Washington was slammed by critics for nickel-and-dime corruption--and I was one of them--but since Daley was elected in 1989, hundreds of millions of dollars have been shoveled out of City Hall, the cycle of excuses made and accepted and made again, continuing.Yet both major papers have endorsed the mayor for re-election. Even the saintly Barack Obama--promising to change our nation's politics if elected president--has endorsed Daley. That Obama is content to change Washington but not Chicago, and is not called out for this by his national media camp followers, speaks to their childish yearning for Camelot. But Chicago politics is no fairy tale. I think of Daley in the back of his car, reading the papers, smiling and smirking, his driver Silent Sam Roti wheeling through the South Loop toward City Hall, the mayor bruised by criticism and federal inquests, but still in control. I've been in that car, with Sam driving, the mayor reading the papers, joking, wisecracking about his critics, heaping even more contempt on those who try to curry favor by genuflecting in prose.He has that same laugh, that same defiance, today, the mayor for life wearing his heart on the sleeve of that snazzy canary-yellow sports coat in his TV campaign commercials. The coat has been nicknamed the "Freddy Barbara Jacket" after his friend, the Bridgeport trucking boss/recycling consultant who wears stylish sportswear and is now a wealthy man courtesy of City Hall.Daley campaigns without interference, talking of selling off invaluable city assets like the airports for short-term cash, offering Olympic dreams to his cheerleaders, bedazzling middle-class homeowners. They're the ones who subsidize the real estate cliques protected by tax increment financing districts. They don't quite get it, but they feel the squeeze. I'm reminded of a line used by Ald. Edward Burke (14th), quoting another Irishman, Edmund Burke, no relation, but a bright fellow nevertheless, who had a career long ago across the sea. "In politics there are no permanent enemies, no permanent friends, only permanent interests," said Burke quoting Burke years ago.Burke still uses it, and I'd pay him to say it in his heavily accented South Side Irish Spanish, as the 14th Ward becomes Latino and the old ward organizations fade away.Still, the interests remain constant. The first traders gave whiskey to the Indians for pelts. Now it's contracts and construction permits benefiting lawyers and real estate investors contributing to Rich "The Builder."The Burkean line about interests accounts for human appetites and ambition in forming policy. But it is considered cynical by those who want Camelot and fairy tales.There are no unicorns here. The politicians love it when we spin stories about them--full of mist and the sound of pipes hidden in the rhythm of the words--yet at bottom, political Chicago is a realistic place.The mayor is the mayor is the mayor.He holds the city, quite still, in his email@example.com
February 25, 2007
BY CAROL MARIN Sun-Times Columnist
It is a really bad idea to try and fool a federal judge. It is an especially stupid idea if that guy in the black robes is highly respected U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Aspen.
But here we are, just two days before the Chicago mayoral election, and it looks like Mayor Daley's Law Department has pulled a stunt from which it and he will not easily recover.
Oh, sure, Daley will still get re-elected to a sixth term on Tuesday. But he could soon be forced to testify about the always-unpleasant topic of torture by Chicago police officers, cases that date from 1973 to 1991, which happened under his watch as Cook County state's attorney and mayor.
This week we learned secret negotiations have been conducted by Aspen between the city's lawyers and attorneys for three former Death Row inmates who in 2002 were pardoned and set free.
It seems the city agreed in November to pay $14.8 million to Madison Hobley, LeRoy Orange and Stanley Howard, but only if they didn't criticize the mayor, depose him or make him a defendant in future cases. In other words, the city's terms for settlement were "take the money and shut up."
But perhaps the Feb. 27 election was still too close for comfort. The city's lawyers in consultation with unnamed officials "at the highest levels" suddenly screeched to a halt, threw themselves into reverse, and burned rubber to back away from the settlement they had orally agreed to in front of the judge.
Now the mayor and Mara Georges, head of the city Law Department, are claiming there was no deal.
Imagine Aspen's surprise.
In open court, the judge was heard to say the city's conduct was ''unprecedented.'' Translated, I take that to mean: "Mayor Daley and Ms. Georges, brace yourself. The gloves are coming off.''
Let's be clear.
Were black suspects tortured at the hands of former Chicago police commander Jon Burge and his all-white band of detectives?
How do we know?
The city said so.
The very same Law Department that has spent at least $10 million of our tax money defending these cops, and is still defending them to this very day, is the same Law Department that confirmed the torture.
Back in 1992 as it was preparing to suddenly fire Burge right after spending a million bucks defending him, the city's lawyer detailed seven cases of suspects being tortured, ''spitting blood,'' ''pants pulled down . . . electroshocks,'' and threats to a prisoner to ''blow his black head off.''
The city's attorney back then called it an ''astounding pattern'' of conduct by Burge and his boys.
The only thing that remains astounding today is that the city is still fighting what it long ago admitted was true. And should have settled. And apologized for.
So now, picture this.
The mayor's lawyers have until March 22 to explain themselves to yet another federal judge, James Holderman, who is the chief U.S. district judge in Chicago.
And it is entirely possible that Aspen could be called as a witness. Meanwhile, a third federal judge, U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown, has now ordered Daley to answer questions under oath about police torture.
Friday, around the same time that Brown was entering her strongly worded ruling, the city got even more bad news over at federal court.
A jury awarded almost $10 million because of another horrible cop case. One in which the city knew the cop was guilty, knew the parties suing had been wronged, but couldn't do the right thing and admit it.
Instead, the mayor's Law Department fought the claims of ATF agent Michael Casali and his wife, former ATF agent Diane Klipfel. At trial, the couple successfully proved that Chicago Police retaliated against them after they reported the criminal conduct of Chicago Police officer Joseph Miedzianowski, who threatened and stalked Klipfel. She had to move her kids out of state for awhile.
Miedzianowski, who is now serving a life sentence for gun running, drug dealing and protecting murderers, was one of the most corrupt cops the Police Department has ever produced and yet, jurors concluded, his superiors chose to cover up his conduct rather than really investigate it.
City taxpayers will pay the freight on that $10 million settlement, too -- an amount that could have been far less years ago when Klipfel and Casali were pleading to close this awful chapter of their life and take much less cash.
But the city law department said no.
Notice a pattern here?
I bet those federal judges down on Dearborn Street do.
Daley could soon be forced to testify about the unpleasant topic of torture by Chicago police officers.
Friday, February 23, 2007
date Feb 19, 2007 9:22 AM
subject Attacked and arrested at Daley Center
Good morning Mr. Patterson,
My name is Jaime. I am contacting you this morning in reference to what happened to you at Stroger Hospital last week. An almost similar incident happened to me on the morning of Friday Feb. 2, 2007. Myself and a few others were invited by a friend to attend their court proceeding at Richard J. Daley Center in Judge Donegan's courtroom. In an act of citizens lawfully fighting to uphold our country's Constitution amidst judicial corruption, I was falsely arrested and detained for hours in the basement of the Daley Center, because of a Cook County Sheriff Deputy's false claim that myself and others who were with me were disrupting Judge Donegan's courtroom. When this "so-called" disruption occurred, this sheriff deputy was outside of the courtroom. We did not cause any sort of commotion while we were on the premises of the Daley Center. As we were escorted out of the courtroom, more Cook County Sheriff deputies and a sergeant rushed down the hallway towards us. As I am trying to explain to the officers, that this is a public place; we were invited here to witness a court proceeding and we remained civilized the whole time we were there. They arrested me and told me that I am trespassing and if the others did not want to be arrested, they'd better leave now and not come back inside the building. I was not allowed to phone my family to let them know what had happened to me. The Sheriff Department would not release any information when people called to inquire as to why I was being held.
Later in the evening after being treated like I was a criminal, I told the deputy sheriffs that were nearby, that I was having chest pains, they shackled my ankles, (my hands had been in cuffs already); and escorted me to Northwestern hospital for treatment. Upon arrival, I was shackled to the bed as if I were a madman. The doctors and nurses there seemed as if they were in cahoots with the sheriff dept. One of the doctors who was attending to me, a Dr. Lerman, I overheard her telling the sheriff deputies that she would medicate me and call in a psychiatrist. This doctor knew nothing about me to decide that I needed medication, all she knew is that I came in with cuffs and chains; she assumed that I was a criminal. This whole ordeal I was treated inhumane by the Cook County Sheriff Department and some of the staff at Northwestern Hospital.
I was released late Friday (into Saturday) with false charges against me: Criminal trespassing as well as numerous other false charges. The following Monday, I went to pick up my property. One of the deputy sheriffs, Deputy James, told a white shirted sheriff, that I do not get my property back because I failed to sign some form. Deputy James and other deputies that were in the office look through code books and on a computer, trying to find an excuse to not give my property back. After looking for a while they thought that they had come up with something and gave it to the white shirted sheriff, he in turn made a phone call. He then came over to me with my belongings, everything was there except for my cell phone, my belt and a jacket. They claim that they never had these items. These items were on me when I was falsely arrested for simply just exercising my constitutional rights. I saw the picture of your bruised wrist, I have pictures of my bruised wrists and ankles. If you could contact me, I can give further detail including names and other details.
Bill-Boards for Walls
from Clout St by Newsdesk
Posted by E.A. Torriero at 8:15 a.m.
What does a congressman do with unused political billboard space?
Give it away - even without an endorsement.
It seems U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) had some blank billboards available after an aldermanic candidate dropped from a race. So, Davis spokesman Ira Cohen said, he decided to split the space among the city's two black mayoral candidates.
For longshot William "Dock" Walls, the gift was the largest contribution he received during his campaign. Walls, who has raised barely $16,000, received an additional $5,000 worth of billboard space from Davis.
"We're going to put (Walls) face on it," said Walls co-campaign manager Bruce Crosby, adding that the billboards will dot the West Side. "That's what you do with billboards. You put a Bill on it."
Only five of the city's 50 aldermen declined to help Mayor Richard Daley's re-election campaign do the political dirty work of collecting nominating signatures.
According to campaign, the five dissenters were Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th), Freddrenna Lyle (6th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd), Toni Preckwinckle (4th) and Joe Moore (49th).
Daley turned in far fewer signatures than in past elections, when groups such as the Hispanic Democratic Organization used legions of patronage workers to campaign for the mayor. That practice all but ended with the ongoing federal investigation of City Hall hiring fraud.
Instead, Daley campaign manager Terry Peterson reached out to ward organizations, often led by aldermen.
Moore said he got a call from Peterson, but the conversation was vague.
"Not that I necessarily would have done it, but he never really put the ask on me," Moore said. "Maybe he thought I wouldn't do it. He said he was calling to touch base."
Moore and the mayor have clashed over the big-box wage ordinance and the foie gras ban, both of which were sponsored by Moore.
$9 mil. award for crooked cop's terror
Relieved ATF agents: 'We didn't want to sue the city at all'
February 23, 2007
BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter Two ATF agents say they waited 15 years to see justice against corrupt Chicago cop Joseph Miedzianowski.
On Thursday, justice came in the form of $9.75 million.
A federal jury awarded Diane Klipfel and Michael Casali the significant sum after finding the city failed to properly investigate their reports of corruption by Miedzianowski, leaving him free to terrorize the couple for years.
Klipfel quietly put her hand over her mouth as she heard the jury verdict. Her husband patted her on the back.
"I'm relieved the 15-year ordeal is over with and that justice was served," Casali said.
Klipfel criticized the city for spending resources to defend a bad cop who is now serving a life sentence for operating a major drug ring and protecting gang-bangers and murderers.
"If they would have just turned that into some kind of investigation in the police department," Klipfel said. "We didn't want to sue the city at all. All we wanted was Miedzianowski taken care of."
Suffered for yearsAs an ATF agent, Klipfel worked on a case with Miedzianowski in 1992 when she reported he robbed a drug dealer.
The couple claims the city and police department encouraged a code of silence that kept anyone from reprimanding Miedzianowski.
Klipfel, who said she was later forced to leave her job, said Miedzianowski turned the investigation on her.
The couple said they suffered for years as Miedzianowski stalked them and surveilled their house, forcing her to live apart from her husband and move her children to other states.
Miedzianowski was charged criminally with other corrupt acts years later.
The couple said the police department's probe into Miedzianowski was a sham.
And so did jurors.
"What investigation did the Chicago Police Department do?" juror Joe Karl said. "Mike and Diane were wronged. It was the city's policies that created that."
Juror Megan Cox said the police investigation into Klipfel's complaints "lacked thoroughness," and she called it "incompetent."
'A scary, scary man'Cox, Karl and juror Steve Friedman said seeing Miedzianowski and hearing him talk -- even though it was video testimony -- convinced them of the couple's story.
"He is a scary, scary man," Karl said. "A frightening man."
The trial stretched five weeks and saw Chicago Police Supt. Phil Cline testify he had a role in three internal investigations of Miedzianowski, but the officer was never disciplined in any of them.
The couple's lawyer, Sally Saltzberg, said the city never offered to settle.
The city said it negotiated but was unable to reach an agreement.
"We're disappointed with the verdict and we're reviewing our appellate options," said Chicago Law Department spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyle.
Posted by Dan Mihalpoulos at 8:58 p.m. 2/20/07
Chicagoans long have known that they may vote from the great hereafter. Similarly, a political campaign worker aced a city job interview a few years back, even though he had died a few days earlier.
And Mayor Richard Daley's swelling re-election campaign fund now has received money that originally was donated for the political account of Democratic powerbroker George Dunne. The late George Dunne.
On Monday, almost nine months after Dunne's passing, the Daley campaign reported receiving a $10,000 contribution from the George W. Dunne Campaign Fund.
Since Dunne died, other beneficiaries of the fund have included Todd Stroger's successful bid for Cook County Board president ($5,000); losing Democratic congressional candidates Dan Seals and Tammy Duckworth ($1,000 each); the International Ministry in Chicago ($10,000); and the University of St. Mary's of the Lake in Mundelein ($3,000).
On Tuesday, the county is holding a ceremony to dedicate its building at 69 W. Washington to Dunne, who was county board president.
The checks really are in the mail
from Clout St by Newsdesk
Posted by Dan Mihalopoulos at 1:21 p.m.
After promising a big push against politically mobilized labor unions in this year’s city elections, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce finally is putting some money where its mouth has been.
In recent days, the chamber has delivered checks to the campaigns of embattled incumbents Burton Natarus (42nd), George Cardenas (12th), Darcel Beavers (7th) and Vi Daley (43rd). Natarus and Daley got $10,000 each, while Cardenas received $8,000 and Beavers accepted $7,500.
“Over $80,000 will be distributed by the end of [this] week,” said the chamber’s leader, Jerry Roper.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. gave the chamber $25,000 for its political fund Monday.
The chamber endorsed only one challenger in Tuesday’s election, 49th Ward candidate Chris Adams, whose wife is a former member of the chamber’s board of directors. The chamber on Tuesday donated $5,000 to Adams.
Adams is facing incumbent Joe Moore, who antagonized big business with his leading role in pushing for the big-box “living wage” ordinance and the foie gras ban. Roper said he wants to send a message to Moore because he believes the North Side alderman is angling to succeed U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).
“She has been all over them," Roper said. "They are building their farm team. That’s what they do.Who would have thought four years ago that Barack Obama would be where he is now?”
Meanwhile, the chamber’s foes in organized labor have reported spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund aldermanic candidates. That includes more than $100,000 in the 12th Ward alone for challenger Carina Sanchez and about $200,000 for 15th Ward candidate Toni Foulkes. Labor has almost entirely funded the Sanchez and Foulkes campaigns and heavily supported several other candidates.
The big business bucks largely have gone to Mayor Richard Daley’s re-election bid. None of that money has trickled down to the aldermen who vote almost always as the mayor’s office directs them.
But some observers speculate that Daley is waiting to see which incumbents end up in run-off elections. By then, according to this theory, Daley will be assured another term and he will use some of whatever’s left from his gigantic campaign fund to salvage flailing council allies.
Opponent says stipend equal to 'buying' support
February 22, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter Mayor Daley's campaign is paying college students $100 apiece to get out the vote for the mayor on Election Day -- and replace an army of precinct workers diminished by the City Hall hiring scandal.
Mayoral challenger Bill Walls accused the mayor of "buying" student support. He likened the $100 stipends to employment promises made to members of the Hispanic Democratic Organization and other pro-Daley armies at the center of the scandal. The mayor's former patronage chief and three others were convicted last summer of rigging city hiring.
"He gave HDO promises of jobs and promotions. He's giving these young people instant gratification in the form of money. Quid pro quo: Work for me, and we'll give you money. It's the same thing," Walls said.
Buying lunch is normal: foeMayoral challenger Dorothy Brown said it's not unusual for politicians to buy lunch for precinct workers on Election Day. But she argued that $100 is "an inordinate amount of money" to offer people to staff phone banks, go door-to-door and drive people to the polls.
"They're not breaking the law. But if you have to resort to paying people $100 a day -- if you're the incumbent mayor and you can't get people to volunteer for your campaign -- that tells me you don't have a lot of support in the community."
Terry Peterson, the mayor's campaign manager, said Daley has "a ton" of volunteers -- including union members, ministers, block club presidents and college students. Daley is also getting help from Democratic ward organizations he worked around for many years.
But Peterson argued that there's nothing wrong with offering $100 apiece to college students willing to spend the day getting out the vote.
"A lot of them are going to volunteer because they want to volunteer," he said. "But what's wrong with paying a college student who might want to make a little extra money for school or to help them out with their books?"
Federal judge's ruling clears way for deposition in cop torture case
Michael Higgins and Jeff Coen, Tribune staff reporter. Tribune staff reporter Rudolph Bush contributed to this report
Published February 23, 2007
In a rare ruling, a federal judge on Thursday ordered Mayor Richard Daley to answer questions under oath about whether he or others permitted Chicago police to physically abuse suspects in the 1980s.Lawyers for pardoned Death Row inmate Madison Hobley had fought for two years to take the deposition of Daley, who was Cook County state's attorney at the time of Hobley's arrest in 1987.
City attorneys have argued that Daley has no information about police misconduct under former Cmdr. Jon Burge that Hobley's lawyers couldn't get from other sources.But on Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown disagreed.The facts in Hobley's case "support a conclusion that Mr. Daley may have information about the activities of Burge and other police officers, about who in the city and police administration knew about those activities, and about whether any action was taken on the basis of such knowledge," Brown wrote.Brown instructed the two sides to talk about a possible time and place for Daley's deposition and to be prepared to discuss the issue at a Wednesday court date.City officials said Thursday they may appeal Brown's ruling to U.S. District Judge Marvin Aspen, who is assigned to the case but has referred preliminary matters to Brown."There is a high standard for deposing public officials," Law Department spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyle said. "Our position has been that the mayor has no unique or new information" about the case.Brown's ruling came on the same day that U.S. District Chief Judge James Holderman gave the city until March 22 to respond in writing to claims it has reneged on a settlement with Hobley and two other men who have claimed police torture. Attorneys for Hobley, Leroy Orange and Stanley Howard contend they agreed to a $14.8 million settlement late last year, which the city seemingly has abandoned. Daley said this week there was no agreement, and after court Thursday, city Corporation Counsel Mara Georges stood by that position. Hobley told reporters outside court Thursday that he is disappointed about the settlement dispute. "Sadly, it doesn't seem like I can get on with the rest of my free life," said Hobley. Brown's ruling, however, was cheered by lawyers for the three former inmates."It's about time he had to sit and face some serious interrogation about his role as state's attorney and later as mayor in the long-standing torture scandal," said Flint Taylor, an attorney for Orange.Brown's ruling opened the door for Daley to be questioned about a 1982 letter from then-police Supt. Richard Brzeczek regarding signs that police had abused murder suspect Andrew Wilson. The Illinois Supreme Court later reversed Wilson's conviction."There is evidence that in February 1982, the state's attorney's office, and perhaps Mr. Daley personally, was put on notice of allegations of physical abuse of suspects" through the letter, Brown wrote in a six-page opinion. Plaintiffs suing the city have asked to depose Daley in dozens of lawsuits since he became mayor, but Hoyle said she knew of only one or two cases in which he has sat for a deposition.In the ruling Thursday, Brown said plaintiffs may not use depositions to harass high-ranking government officials, or merely for "publicity value."But she said public officials aren't immune from depositions. Brown cited the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1997 that forced President Bill Clinton to sit for a deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case. Kurt Feuer, an attorney for Hobley, said Brown's opinion confirmed his view that a Cook County special prosecutor had not adequately questioned Daley during an earlier deposition.The special prosecutors' report, released last year, concluded that Burge had engaged in decades of torture, but that he could not be prosecuted criminally because the statute of limitations had run out.The special prosecutor's deposition of the mayor "contains little useful information," Brown wrote.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Angelo Torres- 2 years (release date: 5/13/07)
Jason Martin- 1 yr (released 7/27/06)
Flenory Barnes-16 mos. (NOT IN FEDERAL PRISON)
Robert Mangiamele-18 mos.
Salvador Alvarez-6 mos. (released 8/4/06)
Dennis Natale-1 yr (released 7/20/06)
Commelie Peters-15 mos. (release date 3/1/07)
Salvatore “Sam” Gammicchia-30 mos. (release date: 1/15/09)
Debra Coveliers-6 mos. house arrest/3 yrs probation
Willie Brown-3 mos. house arrest/5 yrs probation/$6,600 fine
Martin McDonough-6 mos. house arrest/3 yrs probation
Donald Warren-5 yrs probation/part of a $9,600 fine shared w/ others -Driver for BBD Trucking
Joseph Ignoffo-14 mos (released 1/12/07)
Carl Edwards-was to be sentenced 8/25/06-Driver for Hard rock Construction (Chgo. IL) status unknown??
John Cannatello-27 mos./$14,000 fine (released 12/8/06)
Frank Cannatello-3 mos./$5,000 fine (released: 12/8/06)
John “Quarters” Boyle-7 yrs (release date- 10/26/11)
Gerald Wesolowski-25 mos/$7,500 fine/$25,000 forfeiture (release date: 8/27/07)
Charles Romano-5 mos./5 mos. house arrest/$4,000 fine (released 4/7/06)
Donald Tomczak- 47 mos./$15,000 fine/$175,000 forfeiture (release date: 7/3/10)
Roger McMahon died before being sentenced-10/20/06)
Nick “The Stick” LoCoco-died 12/9/04
Timothy Shrader- 3 mos. house arrest/$12,000 fine-Driver for American Tank
Richard Rylewicz- 2 yrs (not in federal custody??)
Anthony Affetto- 2 yrs (release date: 6/17/08)
James Laski- 2 yrs
Patrick Slattery- 27 mos.
(release date: in transit??)
Robert Sorich- 46 mos./ $10,000 fine/300 hrs community service
Richard Coveliers-5 mos. (release date: 2/23/07)
Timothy McCarthy- 18 mos. (release date: 6/1/08)
Robert Laino-6 mos/ along with Patrick Stillo to split cost of stolen asphalt, $45,000/ repay FBI $2,750 for cost of investigation (released 6/30/06)
Daniel Katalinic- 1 yr and 1 day
John Sullivan-2 mos/4 mos. of house arrest/$5,000 fine/(release date: 3/21/07)
Patrick Stillo- 1 yr/split cost of asphalt with Laino-$45,000)
Robert Ricciarelli- 2 mos./fined $10,000
John Briatta-18 mos. (release date: 11/21/07)
Michael Acosta- 5 mos./5 mos. house arrest (release 4/30/07)
John D’Amico-never charged- took bribes from Chica Trucking (Patricia Cortez and Blaz Transport)
Rocco “Rocky” LaMantia-never charged
Troutman, Brookins also snub Brown
February 22, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter Two South Side aldermen -- one of them charged with accepting bribes -- have endorsed mayoral challenger Bill Walls' long-shot campaign over Mayor Daley.
Arenda Troutman (20th) and Howard Brookins (21st) are believed to be the only aldermen taking sides against Daley, the favorite in Tuesday's election. The fact that Troutman and Brookins chose Walls over Dorothy Brown makes the endorsement even more surprising.
"I don't care who they support. This is America. People can support anyone they want. Then you really believe they should be mayor and they should be managing this government. If they really believe that -- that he should manage city government -- that's their personal belief," Daley said.
Walls countered, "It means we have the support of their proven organizations and that, on Election Day, we'll have coverage in all the precincts in their wards as well as my name on their palm cards."
Troutman was charged last month with taking bribes -- $5,000 in cash, with the promise of $10,000 more, along with free residential and commercial space -- to grease development of a strip mall that wasn't even in her ward.
But Walls said he welcomes her endorsement and believes, like Troutman does, that the alderman will be exonerated.
"The property was not even in her ward," he said. "She had no control over that property. There are a lot of things that don't stack up" about the investigation.
Troutman could not be reached for comment, but a top aide confirmed that she has endorsed Walls.
'Meet on the battlefield'Brookins is a close ally of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who flirted with the idea of challenging Daley before taking a pass on the mayor's race. Brookins said he's backing Walls because of what he called a lack of communication with Daley.
"I have been trying to meet with him for 3½ years -- ever since the first failed Wal-Mart vote [for a store in his ward]. I have been unable to meet with him," Brookins said. "I don't know how you can work with people -- especially in the African-American community, where I would appear to be selling the community out somehow -- when you don't have an open dialogue with the person you would be supporting."
Asked why he has refused to meet with Brookins, Daley said, "I see him so much that it's exhausting. . . . Why doesn't he just take care of his own self. He's supporting Walls, let him support Walls."
Brookins said he tried to approach Daley behind the City Council chambers on the day the mayor's 2007 budget was passed. Instead of a handshake, Brookins said he got the verbal equivalent of a punch in the nose. Brookins said Daley accused him of backing aldermanic challengers in neighboring wards.
"I was shocked. [Daley] said, 'You don't want to talk to me. Who do you think you are? Do you think you're bigger than [Ald.] Ike Carothers? You're running somebody in the 9th and 18th [wards]. Why don't you just run for mayor, and we can meet on the battlefield,' " Brookins said.
Brookins said the mayor's closed-door policy is not his only beef. There's also the shoddy condition of inner-city parks and Daley's failure to yield to aldermanic demands to hire 100 additional police officers to enforce the city's traffic laws.
"The fixes are not coming fast enough for my community. We're getting our brains beat in over police protection. The public is not buying the line that crime is down 14 percent," said Brookins, who noted that the Rev. Paul Jakes got 41 percent of the 21st Ward vote against Daley four years ago.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
While it is difficult to give a adequate and complete definition of JUSTICE, most observers can perceive clear examples of serious injustices when they arise. Such injustice comes in various forms, such as terrorism, tyranny, racism, human rights, oppression, exploitation, corruption and fraud. To further detail injustices we must look at the following:those wrongly accused of crimes they did not commit, innocent persons being executed despite overwhelming evidence that has been suppressed, and the victims of police torture.
Eugene Wzorek, has concrete proof of the corruption which plagues our judicial system. Wzorek, a former city of Chicago truck driver and the only person ever to win a Shakman decree case against the city, has documented proof of how a superisor of Federal District court reporters, the city of Chicago and its attorneys willfully engaged in a scheme of altering the record of the lower trial court proceedings, causing a false and misrepresented record of proceedings in the court to be filed and presented before the appeal courts. They deliberately falsified documents and forged signatures. In spite of all the evidence; the US Department of Justice; the State of Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board, the FBI, the House of Representatives, political organizations, institutes, even talk show hosts have either ignored him or have turned him down in quest to expose the corruption.
We cannot sit by idly and allow judges and government figures that have a responsibility to uphold EQUALITY AND JUSTICE, instead toy around with people's lives and their freedom. The government as a whole, will ultimately account for their wrongdoing.
FROM CITY HALL TO THE WHITE HOUSE, THERE NEEDS TO BE A SYSTEM-WIDE OVERHAUL......PLEASE JOIN US.
Two aldermen endorse Daley opponent
February 21, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Two South Side aldermen — of them charged with accepting bribes — are endorsing mayoral challenger William “Dock” Walls’ longshot bid to unseat Mayor Daley.
Ald. Arenda Troutman (20th) and Howard Brookins (21st) are taking sides against Daley, who’s the prohibitive favorite in Tuesday’s election, as well as challenger Dorothy Brown. “It means we have the support of their proven organizations and that, on election day, we’ll have coverage in all the precincts in their wards, as well as my name on their palm cards,” Walls said this morning.
Troutman was charged last month with taking bribes — $5,000 in cash with the promise of $10,000 more, along with free residential and commerical space — to grease the proposed development of a strip mall that wasn’t even in her ward.
But Walls said he welcomes her endorsement and believes Troutman will be exonerated.
“The property was not even in her ward,” Walls said. “She had no control over that property.
“I haven’t seen enough of the information to determine whether the feds went overboard,” he added, “but it wouldn’t be the first time. They did it with Miriam Santos, and she was later exonerated.”
Santos, a former city treasurer, later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
Troutman could not be reached for comment, but a top aide confirmed that she has endorsed Walls.
Brookins said he’s backing Walls because of what he called a lack of communication with Daley.
“I have been trying to meet with him for three and a half years,” Brookins said, “ever since the first failed Wal-mart vote” — for a store in his ward. “I have been unable to meet with him.
“I don’t know how you can work with people — especially in the African-American community, where I would appear to be selling the community out somehow — when you don’t have an open dialogue with the person you would be supporting.”
Brookins said he tried to approach Daley behind the Chicago City Council’s chambers on the day the mayor’s 2007 budget was passed but got an earful from Daley about aldermanic challengers the mayor accused him of backing in neighboring wards.
“I was shocked,” Brookins said. “The mayor said, ‘You don’t want to talk to me. Who do you think you are? Do you think you’re bigger than [Ald.] Ike Carothers? You’re running somebody in the 9th and 18th [Wards]. Why don’t you just run for mayor, and we can meet on the battlefield.’ ”
Brookins also was critical of what he described as the shoddy condition of inner-city parks and Daley’s refusal to yield to aldermanic demands to hire 100 additional police officers to enforce the city’s traffic laws.
“The fixes are not coming fast enough for my community,” Brookins said. “We’re getting our brains beat in over police protection.”
a book about judicial corruption and what can be done to reverse it.
Read the entire book on-line in HTML format (about 500 Kb)
Download the book in PDF format (about 400 Kb)
Issued by American Veterans Chicago , Illinois January 10, 2007
CALL TO ACTION
A former attorney and public prosecutor from Portland Oregon, Roger Weidner, and a few American Veterans in Chicago, Illinois, issues this CALL TO ACTION for all American Veterans nationwide, to serve in support as Court Watchers, as we restore courts of constitutional “due process” where truth and justice once again protects the innocent punishes the corrupt.
For attempting to speak truthfully and factually about the corruption in the Multnomah County court system he was repeatedly arrested, many times violently, in front of supporters, to keep him from speaking about the criminal conduct of bureaucrats and attorneys, all either licensed by or employed by the State of Oregon, stealing innocent peoples children, lands or property in “sham” often “star chamber” type proceedings where the innocent always loses. Mr. Weidner, who is a former member of the 101st Airborne Honor Guard Platoon, has been violently attacked, arrested 21 times, jailed and sent in chains to the Oregon Insane Asylum and ultimately disbarred and fraudulent judgments taken against him for speaking out about the corruption in the Oregon court system. The details of his abuse can be found at Roger Weidner.net.
When the Oregon State Bar decided recently to bring charges against Mr. Weidner, for the unauthorized practice of law, he filed as a counterclaim charging racketeering and civil rights abuse. At trial on December l5 - l8, 2006 Weidner advised the court that he was appearing by “special appearance” until informed by the court that he was proceeding in a court of constitutional “due process”. Judge Wilson, in stark contrast to many of the judges Weidner has appeared before in the past l9 years, agreed and let Weidner make a full record of the criminal judicial abuse he has been subjected to by the Oregon State Bar and the Oregon legal system. The Oregon State Bar hired one of the largest law firms in Oregon , the Miller Nash firm, to prosecute Mr. Weidner. Weidner without challenge from Judge Wilson or the Miller Nash attorneys, Bruce Rubin and Tye Fullerton, or Helen Herschbeil with the Oregon State Bar, detailed the unprecedented criminal abuse he has been subjected to for the past l9 years for insisting on speaking openly in court about the corruption. Weidner told the judge, prosecution attorneys and his supporters, “All I have been trying to do for the past l9 years is to come into this court, an absolute constitutional right that I have, and make a full record of the criminal abuse that I and those I am trying to help, have suffered at the hands of corrupt attorneys and bureaucrats involved in stealing our property or our children”. Weidner then pointed at the attorneys for the bar and said, “And the Bar rather than investigating the criminal charges we are making against the thieving attorneys attacks and prosecutes me and hires attorneys to defend the corrupt attorneys involved in stealing our property.
After making his record, the lawyers for the Oregon State Bar had no rebuttal. Instead they called as their only courtroom witness attorney Claud Ingram who Mr. Weidner has previously twice arrested in Bend Oregon for his part in attempting to steal through the corruption of the Deschutes County legal system millions of dollars in property left to Patricia Wishon by her late husband.
Mr. Weidner has subsequently, on at least 3 other occasions, followed the same format and declared the re-established of courts of constitutional due process. In one of those appearance in the federal courtroom of Judge Michael Hogan in Eugene , Oregon , Weidner declared, “ I am here by Special Appearance Judge Hogan until informed by this court that I am proceeding in an Article III court of constitutional due process”. When Judge Hogan did not respond Mr. Weidner then declared, “ In the name of We The People of the State of Oregon and pursuant to Article 1 Section 1 of the Oregon Constitution I am declaring the reestablishment of these courts as courts of constitutional due process. Judge Hogan responded, “procede Mr. Weidner”. Among the 25 supporters of Mr. Weidner present were retired, decorated Marine Corp Bird Colonel Ken Reusser, Political activist Jesse Lott, cousin to Sen. Trent Lott. Historian Des Griffin, TV talk show host Susan Detelfsen.
With Mr. Weidner’s assistance, we are calling for all American Veterans nationwide to support a planned effort to re-establish our courts as courts of constitutional due process in our county, our state, and this nation. Once this Model is established in Chicago , we can duplicate it in any court in the nation, and offer support to any litigant, Veteran or Non-Veteran, wherever they may be located.
The mere presence of the American Veterans changes the complexion of the proceedings, and the conduct of those who would impose raw police power, without lawful justification, on a single individual who would dare to speak up and demand that which is guaranteed under the Constitution.
OUR WEBSITE IS—www. VeteranCourtWatchers. Com
The information needed for registration is:
Email address, if available, and
The days and times you can be available for a CALL TO ACTION
Please note any experience in legal research, and drafting, filing and serving of pleadings, and your willingness to contribute in these areas.
Remember, this is a private CALL TO ACTION and will benefit Veterans and Non-Veterans alike.
If you're a friend of Daley as Will Rent and others are, he will reward your friendship with multi-million dollar contracts. Chicago City Corporation Counsel Mara Georges once said the $40 million-a-year program "is a good program which does a good benefit to the taxpayers of Chicago. It saves taxpayers money. It allows the city to efficiently get jobs done. It is the appropriate use of private resources, as opposed to the city having to engage in its own use of resources. Ask the City of Chicago how much is it costing the hardworking taxpayers for the Heavy Equipment Rental contracts. I believe the taxpayers should have some input into how their tax dollars are being used, instead of Daley the Dictator.
DALEY DOESN'T KNOW BEST.
FYI: SOME OF THE TRUCKS WHICH THE CITY ARE LEASING, HAVE OUT OF STATE LICENSE PLATES, SUCH AS OKLAHOMA, AND INDIANA.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dr. Sheila Mannix of Illinois Family Court Accountability Advocates (IFCAA) announces the kick-off of a Superbowl countdown fundraising event. End of auction scheduled for Sunday, February 4, 2007. Bidding to start at $100,000. e-Bay title of donated item is "Chicago Bears Poster - 1985 Champs with 21 Autographs."
An autographed Chicago Bears Poster entitled: "The Black-n-Blues Brothers" depicting the 1985 Superbowl Championship Offensive Line in classic Chicago-style. Twenty-one (21) autographs were obtained in December 1985 by Dr. Mannix in the foyer of the Bears' Lake Forest, Illinois Training Facility for her youngest brother, Jim, as a Christmas gift. The item has been donated by Jim Mannix to his sister's non-profit organization originally incorporated in 1995 as In All Our Best Interest, Inc. and now operating as Illinois Family Court Accountability Advocates (IFCAA). IFCAA dedicates this fundraising event to the 53 children who have died due to negligence under Illinois' child protective services agency over a seven year span and to the thousands of named and un-named children who are suffering and who have died as a direct result of the alleged criminal acts of family courts and child protective services agencies across the country, which in Illinois violates the Wrongs to Children Act for the criminal exploitation of children for financial gain. The 20" X 36" poster is framed and mounted on foam core. Autographs include:Offensive Line: Linebackers:
Keith Van Horne #78 Wilber Marshall # 58
Jay Hilgenberg #63 Ron Rivera # 59
Tom Thayer # 57 Brian Cabral # 54
Mark Bortz #62 Jim Morrissey #51
Andy Frederick #71
Offensive Backs: Defensive Line:
Matt Suhey #26 Dan Hampton #99
Dennis Gentry #29 William Perry # 72
Calvin Thomas # 33 Henry Waechter #70
Maury Buford #8 Steve Fuller #4
Dennis McKinnon # 85 Mike Ditka, Head Coach (1985 NFL Coach of
Keith Ortego # 89 the Year)
Buddy Ryan, Defensive Coordinator of
championship "46 defense"
IFCAA announced in its national press release of June 19, 2006 that it has taken on judicial corruption - fraud, extortion, coercion under duress - in the Cook County Circuit Court Domestic Relations Division. Since then, despite apparent judicial retaliation for standing up to alleged judicial corruption, IFCAA claims it is continuing to build strength through networking with local and national groups and individuals who are also committed to exposing the apparent national epidemic of local racketeering enterprises in family courts trafficking children for the personal financial gain of divorce judges and lawyers, and court-appointed child attorneys, evaluators, therapists and visitation supervisors.
On August 23, 2006, IFCAA announced that Michael W. Lynch, former chairman of McCook Metals, LLC., accepted an invitation to join the board. Through their partnership and nation-wide networking, Mr. Lynch and Dr. Mannix claim they have obtained and turned over to federal criminal authorities material evidence from organized crime informants evidencing alleged criminal acts by state and federal court judges in which judges and other state and federal court agents manipulate the judicial system through bribery and extortion. They claim that this organized criminal activity is apparently occurring in courts with access to private, corporate, and government funds, e.g., bankruptcy, probate, and family courts, as well as through child protective services agencies across the country.
Dr. Mannix alleges that as a result of the courageous efforts of the nation-wide civilian team fighting judicial corruption, 21 judges and 7 state directors of child protective services agencies have stepped down. The Chicago judge who falsely incarcerated Mr. Lynch on October 13, 2006 quit the bench by December 2006.
Dr. Mannix comments, "We are upstanding, law-abiding citizens who have lawfully organized to fight for our constitutionally-secured rights and to stop the harm being perpetrated against our children, ourselves, our fellow Americans, especially the nation's children, and our global community for the personal financial gain of corrupt court agents and others. My father, John F. Mannix, who was in Connecticut politics for over twenty years, his last position as the Chairman of the State Board of Education, taught me that participating in our democracy in an official position is not only a privilege - it is a blessing - for it affords one the scared gift of living in service to others.
The actions of public officials in league with organized crime for personal financial gain defile the sacrifices of our sons and daughters in law enforcement and the military, here and abroad, who have given their lives in service of the belief that they are fighting for these very same rights."
Resource for older children at www.courageouskids.net.
Access information about In All Our Best Interest at www.gyropower.com.
Also see www.montessoripeaceschool.org.
Contact:Illinois Family Court Accountability Advocates
Dr. Sheila Mannix, 847-971-6679
Source: Illinois Family Court Accountability Advocates
Monday, February 19, 2007
The 59-officer police force that patrols Stroger Hospital (Chicago) has been a source of controversy since it 1973 creation. Critics say that in the 12 year reign of County Board President John Stroger, it became a dumping ground for his 8th ward precinct workers- some whose law enforcement experience amounted to getting arrested.
1 . Officer James Henson fought with a pregnant patient in 2002, knocked her into a counter at the hospital, and she lost her baby. Taxpayers paid $1.5 million for her loss, and Henson was fired. But an arbitrator ordered the county to re-hire Henson.
2. Former County Board President Richard Phelan was at the hospital when an officer was cuffing a television cameraman. Phelan identified himself, told the officer he was his boss and to stop. The officer kept cuffing and the county paid a tidy sum to the cameraman to settle the lawsuit.
DISBAND THIS FORCE
Last month, the family of Augstin Sotomayor filed a lawsuit saying one of the officers pulled the 77-year-old man out of his car as he was waiting for his wife, asked him if he was in the country legally, and beat him up. Sotomayor was in the hospital for 2 months after the beating and suffered a stroke.
Board Member Robert Maldonado has led the charge to disband the force, which is independent of the Sheriff's Department and whose officers make an estimated $40,000-$50,000 a year.
County attorneys suggested the county first appointed a commission to study the force. That three-member panel is due to issue the report shortly.
"I hope we can renew this movement to disband this force", Maldonado said. "Those guys are so out of control." Last year, the Chicago Sun Times requested copies of brutality complaints against the force. The county never provided them.
Feb. 6, 2007- Illinois Family Court Accountability Advocates (IFCAA) announced that on February 2, 2007, in an alleged act of retaliation against citizens lawfully fighting to uphold the US Constitution in the face of alleged judicial corruption, a court watcher was falsely incarcerated at Chicago's Richard J. Daley Center for exercising his constitutional right to be present at a court proceeding involving IFCAA co-founder, Dr. Sheila Mannix.
During Dr. Mannix's court proceedings before Cook County Judge James G. Donegan, a judge allegedly involved in illicit acts, Mr. Jaime Hernandez was allegedly framed and jailed after false claims of the court watchers disrupting the courtroom were alleged by Cook County Sheriff Deputy Eric Gross, while the deputy was outside the courtroom. Note: On November 21, 2006, the reputable attorney, Jonathan G. Anderson was allegedly provoked by a prejudicial ruling by Judge Donegan in gross violation of his client's constitutional rights and in opposition of Illinois law. The alleged provocation resulted in a battery charge against Mr. Anderson for his altercation with Deputy Eric Gross. On Feb. 2nd, witnesses claim that Child Representative David Wessel spoke to Deputy Gross and physically pointed out the court watchers prior to the incident evidencing an alleged pre-meditated violation of Mr. Hernandez's civil rights by Mr. Wessel and other court agents. Three additional court watchers were told to leave the building and were threatened with false incarceration if they returned in alleged direct violation of their constitutional rights by state court agents.
After Mr. Hernandez was taken in to custody. Judge Donegan entered an allegedly criminally perjurious order of protection against Dr. Mannix without due process of law in retaliation for her lawful but unsuccessful attempts since December 31, 2006 to obtain to obtain protection orders for her children and herself in Lake County, their county of legal residence.