Chicago’s new mayor wants to end aldermanic prerogative

By John Ruberry Chicago's reputation for corruption is well-deserved. Since 1973 there have been thirty-five members of the City Council who have been sentenced to federal prison. Likely there will be thirty-sixth soon as outgoing Ald. Willie Cochran pleaded guilty two months ago to a charge of wire fraud. In January, Chicago's most powerful alderman, … Continue reading Chicago’s new mayor wants to end aldermanic prerogative

The Land of Mary Todd Lincoln Spending: Illinois unfunded pension debt reaches new record

Mary Todd Lincoln mannequin at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum By John Ruberry Illinois reached a new millstone recently--its unfunded pension debt is wallowing at a record $133.5 billion, despite a massive 2017 income tax hike and a booming stock market. In 2008 that debt was only $54.8 billion. And now 25 percent … Continue reading The Land of Mary Todd Lincoln Spending: Illinois unfunded pension debt reaches new record

Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part Three

By John Ruberry Garrison Keillor used to regularly begin his News From Lake Wobegon segment on the Prairie Home Companion with "It was a quiet week in Lake Wobegon." Because it was always quiet there. And in regards to my continuing Tales from the Illinois Exodus series at Da Tech Guy, I should open each … Continue reading Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part Three

Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part Two

By John Ruberry There is never a shortage of evidence of the decline and fall of Illinois. Just a week after I authored Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part One in this space, I already have a second entry. In two weeks Chicagoans will elect its first female black mayor as two very liberal candidates, Lori … Continue reading Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part Two

Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part One

By John Ruberry If  you are looking for bad news then Illinois is just the place for you. What I'm writing here at Da Tech Guy will probably become a series. Illinois' population has been shrinking for five straight years. After the 2020 Census the Prairie State will lose one congressional seat. And it's possible … Continue reading Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part One

Bill Maher, you need to take a closer look at blue states and why people are leaving

By John Ruberry Elitist Bill Maher, an alleged comedian, attacked red state America a couple of days ago on his HBO program, claiming that there are "two Americas." “We have a problem in America called spatial geographic inequality which means the most affluent and educated people are clustered in just a few cities," the leftist … Continue reading Bill Maher, you need to take a closer look at blue states and why people are leaving

Illinois’ dispirited bicentennial celebration ends

By John Ruberry As I've mentioned here a few times, 2018 is Illinois' bicentennial year, a fact that not only has escaped most Americans but even, I suspect, most people living in Illinois. Last Monday the official Illinois bicentennial party was held in Chicago at the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. … Continue reading Illinois’ dispirited bicentennial celebration ends

Forward to Detroit: Prominent Chicago mayoral candidate suggests a commuter tax

By John Ruberry Democrats, particularly Chicago Democrats, love political dynasties. Before Mayor Carter Harrison Jr. there was Carter Harrison. Before Richard M. Daley there was Mayor Richard J. Daley. In Mike Royko's indispensable study of urban machine politics, the Pulitzer Prize columnist wrote, "The Dan Ryan is the expressway that [Richard J.] Daley takes to … Continue reading Forward to Detroit: Prominent Chicago mayoral candidate suggests a commuter tax

Harvey, Illinois’ layoffs to pay for pensions portends nasty future for the rest of state

By John Ruberry For decades Illinois, Chicago, and many other Land of Lincoln municipalities have been kicking the can down the road in regards to public worker pension obligations. Harvey, a poverty-stricken southern suburb of Chicago with a long history of corruption, has not just reached the end of the road, it has run off … Continue reading Harvey, Illinois’ layoffs to pay for pensions portends nasty future for the rest of state

Illinois Democratic governor nominee mum on details for his proposed pension bailout tax hike

By John Ruberry "We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth." First presidential inaugural address from Ronald Reagan, who was born in Illinois. "As a result, Illinois government is a massive retirement system that, during work hours, also offers some … Continue reading Illinois Democratic governor nominee mum on details for his proposed pension bailout tax hike

Illinois bicentennial: The 14 worst leaders from the state

By John Ruberry In honor of Illinois' bicentennial, Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald compiled a list of Illinois' best-known leaders. There is some good in it--Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln, and some bad. Ethel Kennedy? Robert F. Kennedy's widow was born in Chicago but grew up in Connecticut. And besides, her contributions don't amount … Continue reading Illinois bicentennial: The 14 worst leaders from the state

The decline and fall of Chicago

By John Ruberry Two unwelcome pieces of bad news punched Chicago in the face last week. A state pension reform law for two municipal pension plans was unanimously ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court. Also last week came news that the Chicago metropolitan area saw the biggest population drop of the nation's metro regions. Chicago … Continue reading The decline and fall of Chicago

Rahm’s last term

By John Ruberry Yes, three years is a long time in politics but even before the uproar over the Laquan McDonald shooting--the troubled black teen was shot 16 times by a white Chicago police officer in 2014--Mayor Rahm Emanuel already faced tough reelection prospects in 2019. President Obama's former chief of staff was forced into a runoff … Continue reading Rahm’s last term

Chicago Tribune columnist’s “In Chicago, wishing for a Hurricane Katrina” creates anger

By John Ruberry As the tenth anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina approaches we will come across many retrospectives of the storm that killed over 1,800 people and destroyed large swaths of the Gulf of Mexico coastal area--particularly in New Orleans. But we won't see too many like this one from the Chicago Tribune's Kristen … Continue reading Chicago Tribune columnist’s “In Chicago, wishing for a Hurricane Katrina” creates anger

Blackhawks Cup win gives Chicagoans a respite from troubles

By John Ruberry Chicago has suffered a tough run since the Great Recession of 2008-09. Its high murder rate has garnered America's third-largest city the unfortunate nickname of Chiraq--a morphing of Chicago and Iraq. Depopulation--a big problem for most rust belt cities--continues to plague Chicago. Its population hasn't been as low as it is now since … Continue reading Blackhawks Cup win gives Chicagoans a respite from troubles