November 13, 2019
MADIGAN TO COMMITTEEMEN: NO ROLE FOR ARROYO IN STATE REP PICK

Toxic and tainted. That describes the expected process to occur on Nov. 15 when ten Democratic committeemen from various parts of the 3rd Illinois House District meet to fill Luis Arroyo's vacancy. One of those ten is Arroyo himself as he is still the 36th Ward committeeman. And therein lies the problem. And now there will be an eleventh man in the room: Speaker Mike Madigan. He sent a Nov. 11 letter to the committeemen stating that any choice made on Nov. 15 which included the 36th Ward's 7,447 weighted-votes, if cast by Arroyo, and/or his participation in any way, would result in that choice not being seated. Message to Madigan: The law says otherwise. Arroyo was arrested on Oct. 25 and charged by the feds with bribing a state senator to vote for a certain sweepstakes gaming bill for which Arroyo was a paid lobbyist of the beneficiary. Full Article...


November 6, 2019
ARROYO'S ARREST, RESIGNATION CREATES PRECKWINKLE PAYBACK OPPORTUNITY

Luis Arroyo's arrest for allegedly bribing a state senator to support a sweepstakes gaming bill, and his Nov. 1 resignation from the Illinois House, has created both opportunities and complications. So what else is new? This is Chicago politics. Ald. Gil Villegas (36th), Mayor Lightfoot's floor leader, wants to replace Arroyo as 36th Ward Democratic committeeman. County party chairman Toni Preckwinkle, who lost to Lightfoot in April, can thwart that. Arroyo won't resign as committeeman until Preckwinkle signs-off on Villegas. In picking Arroyo's House replacement, the 36th Ward has 37% of the weighted-vote. The perceived Preckwinkle candidate is Dave Feller, a Sheriff's employee who wants to be both committeeman and state rep. Preckwinkle on Nov. 4 got her executive committee to ASK both Arroyo and Ed Burke (14th) to resign. Good luck with that. Arroyo won't quit until and unless he get his pick in his House seat. Full Article...


October 30, 2019
ARENA'S CITY APPOINTMENT PROMPTS MAJOR 45TH WARD PUSHBACK

It is said that no good deed goes unpunished. That being the case, then it is logical that no bad deed goes unrewarded. There many 45th Ward voters, like about 63.8 percent of them, who on Feb. 26 thought and continue to think that John Arena's tenure as alderman was an unending succession of bad deeds which should not be rewarded. They are incensed that Mayor Lori Lightfoot has bestowed upon Arena a golden parachute: A $123,996-a year job as a deputy commissioner in the city's Planning and Development department. "He (Arena) goes from working 70 hours a week as an alderman," said an alderman who wanted to stay anonymous, "to working 40 hours a week as a city bureaucrat, and getting paid $14,000 more." Full Article...


October 23, 2019
NON -NICETIES ABOUND IN CIRCUIT COURT CONTEST

Civility is nice. Being nice is nice, right? It is said that if you can't say something nice about somebody then you should not say anything. Developing in the 2020 Democratic primary for Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court there is a whole lot of nastiness brewing. "There is an appearance of impropriety," said Jacob Meister, a lawyer running for the clerk's job. "There is a circle of corruption." Meister is not referring to the 20-year tenure of Dorothy Brown, who is retiring. He is instead attacking one of his three opponents, Board of Review commissioner Mike Cabonargi, who is the slated Democratic candidate to replace Brown. Also passing petitions for the March 17 primary for clerk are state Senator Iris Martinez (D-20) from the Albany Park-Logan Square area, who was elected to her seat in 2002, and former county commissioner Richard Boykin of Oak Park, who was an outspoken foe of Toni Preckwinkle's soda tax and got beat in the 2018 primary in his West Side district. Full Article...


October 16, 2019
PROPERTY TAXES LIKELY TO INCREASE 35.6% IN 2020 TO COVER CHICAGO'S $843 MILLION BUDGET DEFICIT

To close Chicago's projected $843 million deficit in the 2020 budget, expect property taxes to rise 35.6%. Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) said the hike will be "massive," in the range of $400-500 million. Since property taxes provided $1.474 billion in revenue in the 2019 budget, an increase as Beale predicts will bring property taxes close to $2 billion in an $11.8 billion budget. Property related revenues, specifically taxes and water/sewer fees, are 26.6% of the 2019 budget, and will hit close to 35% next year. This will have a trickle-down effect, with renters and consumers paying more. A 10% across-the-board cut in every city agency's budget would cure the deficit. But in an era of entitlements, who would consider such an antiquated notion? And, quite soon, who would consider buying property in Chicago? Full Article...


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