Jussie Smollett’s protector Kim Foxx faces Cook County voters in two weeks

By John Ruberry

February was a nasty month in Chicago. Not the weather, as it was pretty good. Just a day or two of sub-zero weather and no major snowstorms.

No, I’m talking about crime. Just as there are contested primaries in Cook County for state’s attorney, which consists of Chicago and its inner suburbs, on both the Democratic and Republican sides. There are three challengers to Kim Foxx in the Democratic side, two GOPers are battling for their party not.

Bill Conway seems to be the leading Dem challenge to the incumbent prosecutor.

Foxx, best known for her still not-fully explained decision to drop charges against alleged hate crime hoax charges against Jussie Smollett. A grand jury empowered by a special prosecutor issued new charges against the former Empire star last month, 

Murders of have been decreasing in Chicago since 2016 when there were 762. But last month there were 34 murders–ten more than in February, 2019, a 41 percent increase.

In 2019 there were 123 shootings in February. This February there were 166.

Carjackings are up too. As with murders in Chicago, the clearance rate is abysmally low, year to year, according to Hey Jackass, hovers around ten percent. But that clearance rate is declining. 

There are no figures on gangs of shoplifters in Chicago, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate there are more of these roving mobs. Twice last month the ritzy North Michigan Avenue was hit. Both times no one was arrested. 

Foxx, a leftist, refuses to charge shoplifters with a felony who are caught steeling less than $1,000 in merchandise. The Illinois threshold is $300. Crime seems to pay in Chicago and suburban Cook County as long as you don’t get caught and especially if you don’t get too greedy.

Northeastern Illinois seems to be part of the wave that I called here the Age of the Criminal.

Election Day is March 17 here. Of course I’ll be taking a Republican ballot. 

UPDATE March 19: Cook County voters proved to me just how dumb they are. Foxx easily was won renomination two days ago. The Republican nominee is Pat O’Brien, who has my support.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

They Tell No Tales

Not suspicious at all

by baldilocks

A mystery has taken hold of me.

Phil Haney was a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security – an agency that investigated him nine times and found nothing untoward. And this very same agency scrubbed its own records that Haney had been using to investigate Islamist terror networks in the United States.

Vaguely, I remember his name from my early days of blogging. He’s back in the news again; unfortunately for being dead.

From Carmine Sabia:

A man who had already exposed President Obama once and was about to do it again has been found shot to death in California.

Police originally labeled the death a suicide but now say that the initial reports were “misinformation” and the case is still open.

Haney blew the whistle on the Obama Administration for, he said, asking him to scrub the records of potential radical Islamists that the Department of Homeland Security was investigating prior to Obama’s election.

Last Friday he was found dead in his car less than three miles from his home from a single gunshot wound to the head, police said.

The initial reported said Haney “appeared to have suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound” and “a firearm was located next to Haney and his vehicle,” Fox News reported.

A new press release from the Amador County Sheriff’s Office now says that the death was not a suicide and that the investigation is “active and ongoing.”

“On February 22, 2020 the Amador County Sheriff’s Office released initial details regarding Philip Haney being found deceased in our jurisdiction. Mr. Haney was located in a park and ride open area immediately adjacent to State Highway 16 near State Highway 124. Highway 16 is a busy state highway and used as a main travel route to and from Sacramento. The location is less than 3 miles from where he was living.

According to other reports I’ve read, Haney was a committed, active Christian. A widower, he was planning to remarry this year. Not exactly a prime candidate for suicide; I guess that’s why that angle was dropped.

I’m reading his book See Something, Say Nothing, published in 2016. It is an indictment of the Obama Administration as lackeys of global jihad and I’m look forward to reading about the San Bernardino and Orlando Islamist attacks, which could have been prevented, according to Haney.

Seems that a lot of highly placed people might benefit greatly by sending Mr. Haney into the next world.

I’m also planning to read Haney’s essay Green Tide Rising; suffice it to say that it’s not about climate change.

I’m a nobody, so it should be easy to explore this without becoming dead myself. But we’ll see.

By the way, I’m “reading” the book via Audible. It seems that dead-tree versions of it are unavailable — at least on Amazon.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Why Donald Trump Courts Black Americans

Setting the captives free

by baldilocks

A guy I follow on Twitter pointed out something that has been in the back of my mind ever since 2016 when Donald Trump asked black Americans what we had to lose by supporting him in his presidential bid.

Over 90% of black voters voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, but so what? Black people are only 13% of the US population.

(By the way, over 92 million eligible voters did not vote in the 2016 presidential election! I bet that number will be smaller this year.)

The point is that Donald Trump did not need black voters to win in 2016 and does not need us this year. So why does he help and support black Americans? Why does he want us on the Trump Train?

There was a lot of predictable race-baiting last week when President Trump pardoned Bernard Kerik, Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. and granted clemency to Rod Blagojevich. All three are white men and as their stories on were all the talk on Twitter, Chelsea Handler said this.

When people have a caricature formed in their minds, they are unable to see solid reality right in front of their faces. Social Media exacerbates this phenomenon because people want to be part of that which seems popular. Conversely, people hate to be contradicted and hate being wrong – although both happen all the time.  I remember the first time someone tried to explicitly shame me for predicting something that didn’t pan out.

“I was wrong.”
“YOU WERE WRONG! Aren’t you ashamed?”
“Why should I be ashamed of being wrong? I’m not God; therefore, I make mistakes.”

Yes, it really happened like that.

Anyway, the reality is that President Trump pardoned and granted clemency to many others. And many of these others are black.

Here’s a sample.

Angela Stanton-King

When best-selling author and BET reality TV star Angela Stanton-King received word on Tuesday that President Trump had just granted her a full pardon, she was literally overcome.

“I just started hyperventilating right at the airport,” she told Newsmax. “I was just crying like a baby. People thought someone had died.” (…)

For Stanton-King, the pardon represented another amazing chapter in her life’s extraordinary  journey. After surviving a troubled childhood involving abuse, she got caught up in a stolen vehicle ring, and received a prison sentence. She was released in 2005.

“When I was released from prison 15 years ago,” she told Newsmax in an exclusive interview, “I was given a $25 check and a bus ticket and told to start my life over.

“I came home to four children, and I came home to two tombstones,” she said. “My mother was in one and my grandmother was in the other. (…)

Stanton-King defied the odds. She went on to write a best-selling book about her journey, Life of a Real Housewife. The book launched her career as a publishing entrepreneur, and that led to a big role in a BET reality TV show. She also founded the American King Foundation, a nonprofit focused on criminal-justice reform and reuniting families that have been separated by mass incarceration.

In the comments to Handler’s Tweet, many others point to the error in her implication, but it’s a safe bet that she will block it all out and pretend that it didn’t happen all the way up to the next time she decides to point the racism finger at the president or at conservatives in general. She is what she is. Like-minded politicos and media professionals will do the same.

President Trump knows this, but he still keeps reaching out to fellow Americans who are black. Why? I think I have an answer.

What do all of these newly-freed former prisoners – white, black, brown, etc. – have in common besides being mostly non-violent offenders? It’s this: they all hit bottom and are determined to climb back up; they are intent on becoming better people than the persons they were. More often than not, someone saw their efforts and gave them a hand up.

They are all looking to improve themselves the right way.

That’s a very American trait which President Trump appreciates. If you ask me, he doesn’t care whether or not any of these people vote for him – many of them probably won’t be able to anyway.

What he is doing: using his power and authority to make it easier for the repentant to keep walking in the right direction instead of reverting to their old selves and old lives.

He’s inviting all of them – great and small — to be a part of the American Dream, their birthright. He’s inviting them to rebuild their lives and do their small part in making America great again.

Black, white, brown, red, yellow, they already lost the most precious thing they had to lose: freedom. Now they have it back and the president is just trying to help them hold onto it.

Do I think that the percentage of black American voters who vote for Donald Trump in 2020 will be larger than in 2016? Probably, but not by much.

Then again, I could be wrong.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Bloomberg Everywhere, Steyer Nowhere, Trump NH Surge, Yellow Dog Media Ignore Black Pastor walkout in VA and You can’t see the Violence inherent in the System Under the Fedora

Am I the only person sick of seeing Mike Bloomberg ads that I can’t skip every time I want to play a video on YouTube?

I’ll wager that a lot of people a lot younger than me are sick of them too and that will not bode well come primary day.


There is one advantage to the “Bloomberg Everywhere ads”. They have replaced the “Steyer everywhere” ads that were bombarding us for a few months.

By my count to date those ads have earned Steyer nearly 1 delegate at the Democrat convention.

I guess now we will see the difference between a multibillionaire and a billionaire in action.


President Trump’s showing in NH is all the more impressive when you consider these factors.

  1. There was no question as to the result
  2. There was every incentive to GOP voters to cross over to vote Dem while almost no incentive for Dem voters to do the opposite
  3. His GOP opponent was not only the governor of a neighboring state but was supported by a former recent NH GOP chair.
  4. Has had three years of unrelenting media opposition on all the media in the area
  5. He lost the state last time around

This doesn’t bode will for the left when you consider that he won without NH last time. President Trump doesn’t believe in the prevent defense.


Speaking of states President Trump lost last time I thought this story might be of some interest:

Virginia state Democrats on Tuesday stormed out of the House chamber after a local black minister led the body in an opening prayer that openly and strongly condemned abortion and gay marriage.

Rev. Robert M. Grant Jr., who pastors The Father’s Way Church in Warrenton, used his few moments at the microphone addressing the newly Democrat-controlled House of Delegates to decry abortion, advocate for traditional marriage, and warn against God’s wrath if the state legislature goes against Biblical principles.

I’m old enough to remember when there would be universal outrage if a bunch of Democrats in the former capital of the Confederacy walked out on a prayer by a Black Pastor, particularly during “Black History Month”.

But we are in the age of the yellow dog media where even Governor Blackface/Klanhood is forgiven by the national media as long as you proudly wear the D after your name.


Finally if you haven’t heard about the anti-Trump fanatic who drove into a GOP registration tent trying to run folks down earlier this week , it’s likely for the same reason you haven’t heard about the guy with a cane sword swinging it at Trump supporters or a former Cop who was assaulted at his birthday party because his hat looked like a Trump hat.

As long as the assaliant is a Trump oppoenent and the target a Trump supporter as far as the national media is concerned it’s not news.

Now if one of the people threatened pulled out a gun and shot the assailant in any of these cases. I have a feeling it would be promoted everywhere as the next Kent State.

Unexpectedly of course

Illinois corruption investigation breaks wide open with guilty plea of state senator for bribery over red-light cameras and more

By John Ruberry

Last Sunday in this space I wrote about the need to ban red-light cameras in Illinois–and nationwide. One of the reasons I gave was that the easy cash collected from these “safety devices” fosters corruption. Oh, as far as safety, I mentioned in that post that the record on safety involving red-light cameras is at best mixed. They may even cause automobile accidents.

On Tuesday former Illinois state senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago), who has close ties to longtime state House speaker Michael Madigan–who also is the chairman of the state Democratic Party–pleaded guilty to bribery, tax evasion, and extortion charges in federal court. Sandoval is now cooperating with the feds.

Sandoval is the former chairman of the senate Transportation Committee. Using the clout from that post, he promised to “go balls to the walls for anything you ask me” to a representative of the red-light camera firm referred to as “Company A” in the plea agreement.

So far that company has not been officially named but perhaps in a verbal misstep, told a judge, “I accepted money in exchange for the use of my office as a state senator to help SafeSpeed, or Company A.”

SafeSpeed denies wrongdoing and in a statement says it is cooperating with federal authorities. 

Politicians are nervous. This weekend on his Fox Chicago show Flannery Fired Up, host Mike Flannery said, “This red light camera company–suddenly candidates, Republicans and Democrats in Springfield and elsewhere are racing to get rid of this money as if it was infected with the coronavirus. ”

Prosecutors say that Sandoval accepted $250,000 in bribes, including $70,000 in bribes to benefit the red-light camera industry. 

It hardly seems that the industry needs the help. According to the Illinois Policy Institute, Illinois drivers have handed over $1.1 billion to municipalities in fines involving red-light camera infractions. Illinois’ largest city of course is Chicago so it won’t shock you that it has more red-light cameras than any American municipality. Chicago, as I also mentioned in last week’s DTG entry, has already endured its own red-light camera scandal. The central figure in that scandal worked his way up the ranks in Boss Madigan’s Chicago ward organization.

Part of the federal investigation involves lobbying done on the behalf of Commonwealth Edison, the local electrical utility.

As far as public interest, the jaded residents of Illinois will have reasons to keep their attention focused on these scandals. Why?

  • Because people hate utilities.
  • They hate red-light cameras.
  • They hate politicians.

Yes, people keep re-electing the latter, but Boss Michael Madigan, the Michelangelo of gerrymanderers, mocks the electoral system by creating legislative districts that all but ensures Democratic super-majorities in the Illinois General Assembly. 

And increasingly, people hate Illinois. The Prairie State has lost population for six straight years. And no, cold winters aren’t the reason. The states that border Illinois, as well as nearby Michigan, are gaining residents. 

As nauseum pols and media figures are calling–again–for “meaningful reform” in Illinois. Here are my suggestions: Amend the state constitution to ban gerrymandering, and bring term limits to the General Assembly–four terms in the House and two in the Senate. Majority leaders, minority leaders, House speakers and Senate president should be limited to four-year terms. And while we are amending the constitution, the pension guarantee clause needs to dropped, but while protecting those recipients on the lower and of the pension scale. 

Did you know that state legislators can be paid lobbyists? Ban that too.

Also, the state needs a strong inspector general with the power investigate General Assembly members. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Illinois red-light camera probe provides convincing evidence why they should be banned

Chicago’s Northwest Side

By John Ruberry

There is a lot of red-light camera news in Illinois. As part of an overall corruption investigation in the state, federal authorities are into looking into the activities of Chicago firm, SafeSpeed, LLC, which installs red-light cameras in some Chicago suburbs.

Last week the mayor of west suburban Oakbrook Terrace, Tony Ragucci, resigned. He is part of that SafeSpeed probe. Federal agents have also have raided the municipal offices of the villages of McCook, Summit, and Lyons in conjunction with this investigation. A state senator who is part of the red-light camera probe, Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) has since resigned.

Last year federal authorities seized $60,000 from Ragucci’s home, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, and $51,000 from a safe from Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski’s residence. Tobolski is also the mayor of McCook.

SafeSpeed’s CEO denies any wrongdoing and no charges have been filed regarding the firm.

In 2017, the Forest Park Review called SafeSpeed a “clouted company.”

Something stinks in Illinois. Actually, something new stinks in the state.

Red-light cameras are a cruel cash cow. At best their record in preventing accidents, the prima facie for them, is mixed as evidence shows out of fear of a $100 ticket–the charge in Illinois–motorists often abruptly slam on the brakes but then end up getting rear-ended.

As the nation’s most corrupt city, it shouldn’t be surprising that Chicago has more red-light cameras than any other municipality. Nor should it be surprising that it has endured a bribery scandal involving red-light cameras. John Bills, a former precinct captain in Michael Madigan’s political organization, is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for accepting $2 million in bribes and gifts from a different red-light camera company, Redflex.

Madigan has been speaker of the Illinois House for thirty-five of the last thirty-seven years and he’s been the chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party since 1998.

Three paragraphs ago I called red light cameras a cruel cash cow. How much cash? From 2008 through 2018, drivers forked over $1 billion to municipalities. Not a major reason, but I suspect the proliferation of red-light cameras, most of which are concentrated in the Chicago area, as among the causes of Illinois’ six-years-and-counting population decline.

Here’s a personal take on red-light cameras. Thursday night Mrs. Marathon Pundit, who is a limousine driver, called me. “You have to pick me up at O’Hare Airport.” I replied, “Why?” She answered, “There is a boot on my limo.” Yes, one of those wheel boots. When I picked her up at O’Hare she supplied more details. “The city says there are four unpaid red-light tickets, two of them are from 2018, but the office says they were never told about them.”

Okay, you may answer that one of her co-workers could be covering up inaction at the office. But in order for her employer to receive a city vehicle sticker for the limo she drives, all red-light camera tickets must be paid off. But the limo she drives has the latest Chicago vehicle sticker.

Those four tickets cost her employer $988, which included late charges and sending someone out to the car to remove the boot. Not knowing what was coming next, Mrs. Marathon Pundit parked her limo in a short-term lot, so her fee–which we have to pay–was a staggering $77. As it took all day Friday to sort out this debacle, my wife missed a day of work. She’s not on salary.

I’m certain hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans have similar stories.

There is some good news regarding red-light cameras. Last year Texas became the eighth state to abolish them. And in a rare bipartisan push, there is a movement in Illinois to ban them. And Illinois drivers now have a new friend, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza. The Chicago Democrat says she’ll no longer assist municipalities in collecting red-light camera tickets. “As a matter of public policy, this system is clearly broken,” Mendoza said in a statement, “I am exercising the moral authority to prevent state resources from being used to assist a shady process that victimizes taxpayers.”

Good for her. 

Red-light cameras should be banned. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Cindy McCain Explains why she (and other elites) don’t deserve our respect (and an interesting coincidence)

Cindy McCain the widow of Senator John McCain confirms something that all of us have already known:

note that she says that a girl from her daughter’s high school was a victim of him and she hopes he’s in hell but consider, it didn’t outrage her enough to speak out aloud and make a fuss about it, five years, or ten years ago back when it might have made a difference when the odd blogger or two was writing about it.

Remember this is the wife of a US Senator, a Former Presidential Candidate supposedly one of the most respected people in the political world, a “Maverick”.

Nope not a word.

When it comes to Jeffrey Epstien or Harvey Weinstein, or Matt Lauer et/al as far as our elite betters in cultural or political world the actions of these men were not a crisis in their eyes until the general public found out what all of them already knew.


Closing thought. Something hit me when I was writing this piece. I went back and checked the historical stats for my site.

From 2010 to 2013 My site was on a roll, I was growing in traffic, I was being credentialed for national campaigns covering Presidential, Senatorial, Congressional and other campaigns all over the country and able to do it via Datipjar. I had an oped run in the NY Post and even had an appearance on Boston’s fox station (I brought cannoli naturally). In late 2013 I brought on the first batch of my Magnificent Seven added several popular nationally known bloggers as paid members of my team. My Radio show was going strong and was expanding. I attended CPAC in 2014 confident that this was going to be my future.

On April 14 2014 I wrote an article titled

Private Islands, Orgies, Bill Clinton? Nothing to see here

The kicker was this:

What could the media do if this story involving the former father of the year? They would call it old news, not relevant, dirty tricks from a salacious lawsuit that doesn’t even involve him and an attack on Hillary that crosses the line. In fact the left will deploy a plethora of adjectives to discourage further discussion of this story from antiquated to zany, but there is one adjective that could not come out of their mouth to dismiss this story:

Unbelievable

The last few years have proven that the left can convince a low information voter of a lot of things, but even the full power of the mainstream media and the strongest zealots from the War on Women® brigade would not be able to convince the American public that Bill Clinton would have no interest or business on a private island where orgies took place.

2014 ended as my worst year in the Blogs history until last year’s technical issues kept us from posting and updating. Despite the addition of popular well known writers my traffic crashed over 67% in one year. The Tip Jar revenues likewise dropped. My radio show which had been adding stations never grew further and ended. By 2015 I had picked up an overnight temp job to pay the bills which eventually became a full time job in 2018. I dropped the podcast and I resigned myself to the fact that where I am in the blogging/writing/reporting world would never be more than what it was.

I never noticed the timing until today.

Republicans are handed a winning issue as Democrats call for and act on abolishment of cash bail

By John Ruberry

If your sole source of news is leftist media such as Slate, you’ll believe that there are “people who are in jail solely because they can’t afford to pay their way out.”

Nope.

There are people in jail awaiting trial because they are accused of serious crimes and they are deemed by a judge to be a threat to society.

Someone like Tiffany Harris of Brooklyn seemingly fits that bill. Late last month Harris allegedly slapped three Orthodox Jewish women as she said “F-U Jews” and was promptly arrested.

Courtesy of New York State’s new laws that eliminate most cash bails, Harris was back on the street a few days later. The next day Harris allegedly punched a woman and was arrested again–and was released.

A few days later, during a court-mandated meeting with a social worker, Harris was arrested again after allegedly pinching that worker. She went too far even for New York this time. Harris is now being held for psychiatric evaluations.

The Harris case is not an isolated one in the five days the Empire State’s new bail law has been in effect, as the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle tells us:

On Thursday, a man accused of manslaughter for choking and stabbing a woman to death in Albany was set to be released without bail under New York’s new criminal justice laws.

In Harlem, a man who allegedly hit and killed a pedestrian while driving drunk was released without bail because of the new state law that ends cash bail for misdemeanors and many non-violent felonies.

In Rochester, a man convicted a decade ago of shooting a Rochester police officer was released on new drug charges without bail.

And in Poughkeepsie, a man once convicted of manslaughter was set to be freed on new charges of felony aggravated DWI as he awaits trial, the district attorney said.

Law enforcement officials are understandably aghast over the new law, as are Republicans.

New York City’s left-wing mayor, Bill de Blasio, is now calling for a minor scaling back of the law, adding judicial discretion to keep those are the biggest threat to society either locked up or under the burden of a cash bail.

De Blasio is a former Democratic presidential candidate. Of the top tier Dems running for president, all of them, specifically Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders favor ending cash bail. So dropping it is not a fringe issue among the Democrats. Sanders has gone as far as sponsoring a Senate bill to abolish cash bail.

Anti-police rhetoric dominated liberaldom during the 2016 presidential race, which led President Trump to call himself “the law and order candidate.”

In a November Tweet, President Trump decried the New York bail law, “So sad to see what is happening in New York where Governor Cuomo & Mayor DeBlasio are letting out 900 Criminals, some hardened & bad, onto the sidewalks of our rapidly declining, because of them, city. The Radical Left Dems are killing our cities. NYPD Commissioner is resigning!”

Other Blue States are bowing to the criminals. As I noted here at Da Tech Guy, Cook County Illinois’ State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, best known for dropping the hate crime hoax charges against Jussie Smollett, is bringing additional misery to law-abiding citizens such as myself by refusing to prosecute shoplifters who steal merchandise worth less than $1,000. Probably not coincidentally, Chicago is now plagued with shoplifting mobs. Californians will vote later this year on an initiative to eliminate cash bail–a bill enacted in the former Golden State was blocked by a lawsuit. As I also noted in that DTG entry, the headline was “Welcome to the Age of Criminals,” San Francisco’s new prosecutor, Chesa Boudin, the son of two Weather Underground terrorists, who was raised by two others, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, wants to drop cash bail right now. He favors “restorative justice” as an alternative to imprisonment. New Jersey and one Red State, Alaska, has a weaker version of the New York cash bail law.

Abolishing cash bail for the GOP is what former Chicago White Sox announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson would call a “get-me-over-fastball.” In other words, it’s a gift basket of a pitch that ends up as a home run.

Trump should pursue maintaining cash bail as a campaign issue. But even more so, because law enforcement is primarily a local issue, down-ballot Republicans should do so too.

After all, as I’ve noted many times, the most important duty of any responsible government is to protect its citizens from invaders and criminals.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Feds have their net out for Illinois’ kraken monster, Boss Michael Madigan

Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia

By John Ruberry

The new year isn’t here yet but 2020 is shaping up to be the Year of Many Political Indictments in Illinois.

Three months and a day ago I posted this story at Da Tech Guy: Feds setting up a massive corruption net in Chicago area. In that entry I gave a summery of the recent raids on offices of several politicians, all with ties to Boss Michael Madigan, the kraken monster of Illinois. As I’ve explained numerous times in this space, Madigan is the most powerful pol in the Prairie State. He has been speaker of the state House for all but two years since 1983. He’s served as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party since 1998. He’s been committeeman of Chicago’s 13th Ward since 1969. It was from that perch in 2007 that Madigan nominated Joseph Berrios to be the chairman of the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization, better known as “the Chicago Machine.” Three years later Madigan greatly assisted Berrios in his election of the seemingly obscure post of Cook County Assessor. That office determines how much your property is worth in Crook County–and therefore how much it will be taxed–and it’s a position that has long been associated with graft.

Like the legendary kraken, Madigan has very long tentacles and of course a large reach.

Among the updates I have for you today is that Berrios, who was–gasp!–ousted by a reformer last year in the Democratic primary for assessor, is now under federal investigation. With his power base gone, Berrios stepped down as party chairman shortly after his well -deserved defeat.

Madigan is the senior party in the tiny law firm Madigan and Getzendanner, which specializes in corporate property tax appeals.

Hmmm.

Also in that September DTG post I reported on the indictment of Ald. Ed Burke of Chicago. He represents a ward that borders Madigan’s. Burke has been an alderman since 1969 and is the longest serving Chicago alderman in history. Burke’s a lawyer too. His specialty? Property tax appeals. 

In May, federal authorities raided the home former Commonwealth Edison lobbyist Michael McClain. ComEd is the electrical utility for northern Illinois and the utility, which is owned by Exelon, seems to be a major focus of the corruption probe. And that’s a big problem for Madigan and other Illinois politicians. Exelon is a public corporation and it’s difficult for it to hide its dirty laundry. And ComEd is subject to local government regulation, which of course is why the utility cozied up to Madigan and other big shots. And customers, such as myself, have to pay a ComEd bill every month. And every ComEd user believes they are paying to much for electricity. Now they have another reason to hate ComEd.

Clearly the feds are in the midst of a far reaching corruption investigation in Illinois, its target appears to be our kraken, Madigan. But Madigan has been under federal investigation before and the tangible results of those probes were as elusive as those efforts by photographers trying to get a clear photograph of Bigfoot, or a real kraken. 

Madigan infrequently speaks to the media and he never uses email.

Let’s take a look at where one of those tentacles reached. The City Club of Chicago is a tweedy, or seemingly so, good government group, dismissed as “goo-goos” by the cynics. It’s known for its weekly luncheons featuring prominent public officials. For years its president was Jay Doherty, a lobbyist for ComEd. He resigned earlier as head of the group after the feds raided the City Club offices and he no longer lobbys for Commonwealth Edison. Among the speakers at the City Club during Doherty’s tenure were ComEd reps–and Lisa Madigan, Michael’s daughter, who spoke to them in 2009. At the time Lisa was the Illinois attorney general and her office was investigating Doherty and the City Club.

The focus of this part of federal probe appears to be handing out of ComEd jobs for the politically connected in exchange for state actions favorable to the utility.

Last year a study by the University of Illinois at Chicago named Illinois the second most corrupt state. Louisiana was tops. 

Man oh man, Louisiana must be horrible. Illinois surely is. 

Here at Da Tech Guy Pat Austin regularly reports on Louisiana.

John Ruberry blogs at Marathon Pundit from Illinois, where is not under federal investigation.

Woke vs UnWoke Crime and Punishment

In Iowa last week a most extraordinary jail sentence was passed down.

Despite confessing to the crime on camera, Martinez pleaded not guilty and took the case to trial, where a jury convicted him. This pleased the church’s pastor, Eileen Gibbie, who told the Des Moines Register, “I often experienced Ames as not being as progressive as many people believe it is, and there still is a very large closeted queer community here. But 12 people that I don’t know, who have no investment in me or this congregation, said this man committed a crime and it was crime born of bigotry and hatred.”

This “crime born of hatred” was the burning of a rainbow flag that he stole from the Pastor’s church.

I’m not a fan of theft nor arson but I suspect that if Adolfo Martinez had stolen a American Flag from a Knights of Columbus Chapter and burned it the ACLU would be all over this case defending the burning of the US flag as his right of free expression and calling this sentence of travesty.

Instead the ACLU is silent as he is sentenced to more than double the six years that Donald Thurman was given for armed robbery.

What, you don’t know who Donald Thurman is? Well he is a young man who was released on parole a year ago after serving two year of a six year sentence for armed robbery and then did this:

Donald Thurman is a 26-year-old Chicago man who has been charged in the murder and sexual assault of University of Illinois at Chicago student Ruth George. The 19-year-old UIC student was raped and strangled in her own car in a university parking garage, police said.

Thurman followed George into the garage and then sexually assaulted and killed George because he was angry that she ignored his catcalls, prosecutors said in court, according to The Associated Press.

Thurman was taken into custody not long after George was found dead on Saturday, November 23. UIC Police identified Thurman as the suspect

The fact that you likely haven’t heard of this crime leaves Robert Stacy McCain perplexed:

Given how often feminists have expressed concern about “violence against women,” and considering how loudly feminists insist that sexual assault on university campuses is a problem deserving national attention, you might suppose that feminists would have mentioned this crime. And yet they remain strangely silent about it, for some reason.

Poor Miss George, if only Mr. Thurman had stolen and burned a rainbow flag instead of merely committing armed robbery he might have gotten a sentence long enough so that her family could have enjoyed her company at Christmas instead of mourning her death.

Alas we live in an era so woke that if a Billionaire Author who was once on welfare tweets that a woman shouldn’t be fired for asserting biological reality she must be ostracized so unless you have the right victim and the right perp some crimes are not only unworthy of national attention but are, unfortunately for Miss George and her family, unworthy of decade long sentences.

This incidentally will continue as long as we permit it