Red-Light Camera Co.’s Chicago Corruption

The chairman of the Australian company behind Chicago’s red-light program resigned this week and trading in the company’s stock was suspended amid an intensifying investigation into allegations of corruption in its Chicago contract.

Redflex Holdings Ltd. announced the extraordinary actions just days after board members were briefed by an outside legal team hired to examine ties between the company’s U.S. subsidiary and the city official who oversaw its contract, a relationship first disclosed in October by the Tribune.  …

The internal probe found that company executives systematically courted former city transportation official John Bills with thousands of dollars in free trips to the Super Bowl and other sporting events, sources familiar with the investigation told the Tribune.  …
The internal probe and a parallel investigation by city Inspector General Joseph Ferguson are also raising more questions about the company’s hiring of a longtime Bills friend who received more than $570,000 in company commissions as a customer service representative in Chicago, the sources said.

via Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune got the OK to print this story because John Bills was one of Daley’s guys.  Since Daley is gone Rahm gave the nod.

Hello Lisa Madigan?  Anita Alvarez?  Either of you awake?


What Quinn Didn’t Say

For The Good of Illinois logo

Yes, we are going to continue
milking Illinois taxpayers like a dairy cow…”
what Gov. Quinn didn’t tell you
State of State Address
February 6, 2013

Word cloud of State of State Address (what we heard)

Yesterday, Gov. Quinn gave the “State of the State”. Here’s the rest of the story…

The growth of state payroll is exploding. In 2012, the State of Illinois payroll went from 79,451 (2011) to 115,388 employees. We questioned the numbers, Quinn’s administration defended them. See chart here.

No stopping salary abuse, even from state officers. The Chief Investment Officer at Teachers Retirement System (TRS) salary spiked from $209,697 (2008) to $357,500 (2011). See salary history.

The College & University payroll is padded with patronage. In 2000, the Illinois College and University system employed 51,439. Today, the system employs 90,213; but, student enrollment is up only 7%. Taxpayers and students are stuck with the bill- that’s called “generational theft”.
In 2011, the 7th highest salary went to the president of Moraine Valley Community College: $674,210. The junior college chief out-earned the Chancellor at the University of Illinois. See Top 8 Illinois College/University Salaries here.
Governor, the taxpayer is abused at every level of Illinois government…

In 2011, a DuPage County engineer cleaned off $340,147, tops among 197,000 local- municipal employees across the state. Click here.

In 2011, 57 village/city managers out-earned all governors of the 50 states. The village manager of small Grayslake topped them all- $259,252. Click here.

Where are the Republicans? Milking the same dairy cow…

Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno just doled out six $20,649 “perks” for “leadership” – those cashing in include Sen. Kirk Dillard and Sen. Bill Brady. Now they make $87,000 plus. In Texas, legislators make a salary of $7,200! Read Alton Telegraph Editorial.

Feds Investigate Jesse Jackson Jr.

We all knew this was coming:

Federal prosecutors and FBI agents in Washington have launched a new criminal investigation of Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. involving financial improprieties, including possible misuse of funds monitored by Congress, law enforcement sources tell NBC News.The probe prompted lawyers for Jackson to meet with federal prosecutors this week in an attempt to persuade them not to indict the congressman.

via NBC Chicago.

This couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Ald. Burke, Wrigley & Your Tax Dollars

Ten years ago, Chicago’s most powerful alderman, Edward M. Burke, and the rest of the City Council signed off on a deal that promised $16 million in taxpayer subsidies to the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. to help it build a new corporate campus on Goose Island rather than move to the suburbs.

Three years later, Burke’s law firm, retained by Wrigley, persuaded Cook County officials to lower the property assessments for two buildings the chewing gum giant had bought down the street from the new campus.

Burke’s legal work helped Wrigley cut its property taxes by more than $412,000 between 2006 and 2008, records show.

For that, the company says, it paid the alderman about $90,000 in legal fees.

via Chicago Sun-Times.

What the story fails to mention is that Wrigley also received millions in TIF money to build the hitherto unfinished building on Goose Island.

The story is a good read (i.e. good read it) as it also talks about how Wrigley has been sold to Mars.  So now all the millions spent on top of the millions in lost revenue will likely never be recouped.

Just embarrassing all around…. unless you’re The Machine.

No Street Money in Chicago; Could Obama Lose Illinois? Cook County?

A lot of anger in the rank and file because Barack Obama is not handing out the typical “street money” to hire thugs to work the precincts and intimidate black voters into showing up at the polls. Obama’s balking at the $2 million that would cost because the campaign can’t afford to spend it.

This could cost him enough votes in Cook County for Romney to win it…and thus the state.

Sound incredible? It is. That’s true. But a lack of street money makes this possible if not probable.

via Kevin DuJan @ Hillbuzz.

This is not exactly a shakedown but it is another common occurrence on the Chicago’s West Side (and I understand the South too.)  I’ve seen it first hand in a local race… it’s bizarre.

Kevin DuJan has excellent sources.  If he says this appears to be a problem then it’s going to be a problem.

John Kerry = Inside Trader and Profiteer

Another oldie but goodie:

For years, Kerry has invested millions in a number of green energy companies that have benefitted from the president’s efforts to aggressively subsidize the industry with taxpayer dollars.

These companies include Exelon, which received a $646 million taxpayer-guaranteed loan in 2011 to build a solar facility in California and created only 20 permanent jobs, as well as Fisker Automotive, the fledgling electric car company that offshored its manufacturing operation to Finland after receiving a $529 million federal loan guarantee in 2010.

The loan guarantees, approved by the Department of Energy, were made possible by funding allocated in the 2009 stimulus bill, which Kerry supported. According to Kerry’s own office, the Senator “played a key role” in crafting the portions of the legislation designed to offer federal support for green energy projects.

Additionally, Kerry co-authored the controversial cap-and-trade legislation that would have effectively imposed a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions. Though the bill ultimately failed, the New York Times noted that Exelon and companies like it “would emerge as financial winners” if the legislation was enacted.

Kerry has hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), a venture capital firm run by John Doerr, a prominent Obama donor who served on the president’s Economy Recovery Advisory Board.

The firm, where former vice president Al Gore is a partner, invests heavily in alternative energy companies such as Fisker Automotive and Amonix Inc., a Nevada-based solar panel manufacturer that laid off two-thirds of its workforce earlier this year despite receiving nearly $6 million in federal tax credits.

Amonix was one of 16 companies (out of 27 overall) listed in Doerr’s “green-tech” portfolio to receive some form of federal support under Obama.

via Washington Free Beacon.

People — the problem in NOT in Washington.  The problem in on Main Street.  The goofballs in Massachusetts keep voting for this guy (the Lord knows we have our own corrupt politicians.)  That said, how is the not a crime? And, where is the MSM on this story?

Fighting Crime The Chicago Way!

CeaseFire Illinois, a group that works against violence, is being recruited by the city of Chicago as part of a pilot program to help reduce crime in two police districts, one on the West Side and the other on the South Side.  …

The city will give the group a one-year grant for $1 million to hire 40 “interrupters” who will mediate conflicts in the Ogden and Grand Crossing districts, where gun violence has spiked.  …

This is the first time CeaseFire has received funding from the City of Chicago. Previously, it was largely funded through state and county sources.

via Chicago Tribune.

So says the Tribune.  The SunTimes story is similar.  Both FAIL to mention what CeaseFire really is… the public relations arm of coordinated Chicago street gangs.

In this city known for rampant corruption and cronyism the politicians know what to do with the money they extort from taxpayers! Whenever possible taxes here are only used to support thieves, thugs and liars.  …

Chicago’s politicians have agreed to hand over $1,000,000.00 to a group calling themselves, “Cease Fire”. They were founded simply to take city tax money and pretend they’re working on violence reduction. Of course Cease Fire will be working in “secret negations” to make Chicago safer. I’m sure the time and money will be easy to audit that way.

Cease Fire is a group of, not so retired ghetto gangsters with significant rap sheets that are supposed to convince their pals not to kill each other, or innocent civilians.


This is insanity.  The gang bangers are going to completely fabricate the number of “interruptions” in violence.  McCarthy will permit it because it creates the appearance that the money was well spent.

Shouldn’t the city counsel have to weigh-in on this sort of spending?  Where’s the Alderman (and Aldermen) stand on this?

Chicago’s Suburbs Corrupt Too

A former Chicago alderman is pushing for the creation of a suburban inspector general’s office to thwart corruption in the 1,200-plus government agencies spread throughout the suburban landscape.

In a report released Monday, Dick Simpson, a former alderman and current head of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s political science department, cited more than 100 cases over the past three decades involving suburban officials convicted of corruption.


The article provides a couple of examples of corrupt behavior by suburban pols.  Nothing surprising; and missing some of the bigger players (Mayors Blaze & Stephens.)

What’s missing from the article, and from the report apparently, is any mention of the dynamic duo of legal prosecution Ms. Anita Alvarez and Ms. Lisa Madigan.  Both of these positions have investigation divisions.  Each is certainly capable of putting corrupt politicians in jail.

That Anita and Lisa simply refuse to protect the citizens from corrupt politicians means they both need to be replaced.

Indicted Derrick Smith to Host Legal Clinic

Derrick Smith, the indicted Near West Side state rep accused of accepting a $7,000 bribe, is organizing an event for locals who might need legal help of their own.

In the first publically organized event for his 10th District constituents since being arrested and indicted on bribery charges in March, Smith is offering a free legal clinic at his West Side office, 2532A W. Warren Blvd., on Saturday, July 21 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

via Chicago Journal.

Laughable until ya think about it for a moment…

Derrick is facing a massive legal defense bill; one that he probably cannot afford to pay.  But he can leverage his office and invite a bunch of lawyers to come and hear about some new cases.  The lawyers get some fresh cases and will contribute a little something something to Derrick’s legal defense fund.

There’s no corruption problem and a little more corruption cannot solve.