The Lipinski's did it, the Stroger's did it, the Beaver's did it, the Steeles' did it........why not Emil Jones? This is becoming common practice in this state, when you retire leave your office to your offspring. How do we get new blood in these Political positions?
There will be a new Emil Jones in the State SenateState Senate Pres. Emil Jones Says He'll Retire
CHICAGO (CBS) ― Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, Jr. says he won't seek re-election in November.
Jones' office released a statement Monday afternoon in which the 35-year legislative veteran thanked colleagues and constituents but didn't say why he was retiring.
Jones played a key role in helping Barack Obama get to the U.S. Senate. But Monday, Jones resigned as a candidate for re-election. He wants to hand his South Side seat to his son.
As his protégé, Obama's presidential campaign has been the emotional capstone to Jones's long career. After 36 years in public office, one-time city inspector Jones said he would step down next January as state senate president.
"I'm saddened by it because I had the great pleasure of serving for 16 years in the Illinois General Assembly and Emil Jones is one of the first people I got a chance to meet," said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. "He wrapped his arms around me, he showed me the ropes."
As CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports, Jones's departure will be a blow to Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The nearly 73-year old Jones is the closest powerful legislative ally of Gov. Blagojevich.
In a statement, the governor said, "The accomplishments I am most proud of would not have happened without Emil Jones."
Many hope the next senate president will end the long legislative stalemate that has paralyzed the state capitol.
"I'm sure Speaker Madigan has an interest in who the next senate president is going to be as well, which can only make for big fireworks coming out of Springfield," said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL).
Among dozens of his family members and friends on the state payroll is Jones's son, Emil Jones III, a $59,436-a-year senior account manager for the Blagojevich administration.
Jones wants his son to take his seat. He carefully timed Monday's resignation to make it virtually impossible for any other candidate to emerge. The deadline for Democratic leaders to pick a replacement is just a few days away.
Obama, in a statement, said, "Senator Jones has been a passionate advocate who has fought for working families and the underprivileged for more than three decades."
"His health is still fine; his brain is as sharp as ever, but it's time to go on and allow someone else to carry the mantle in the Democratic senate," said State Sen. icky Hendon (D-Chicago).
Hendon is one of at least seven state senators campaigning behind the scenes to replace Jones as president.
As for Jones, he has long joked he would like Obama, if elected president, to appoint him Ambassador of Ireland.
But in all seriousness, it is likely that he could get a federal appointment if Obama's presidential bid is successful.
I am volunteering Todd Stroger to do this, maybe then he will be less likely to make budget cuts here so freely. Well I can't wait for Sherir Curran's report.
Sheriff sentences himself to jail
August 20, 2008Recommend (5)
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter
Lake County Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr. sentenced himself today to a week in his own jail, saying he believes spending time behind bars will make him a better cop and a better person.
"I believe that I can be a better sheriff by having a better understanding of jail operations from the perspective of an inmate in the Lake County Jail," Curran said before being locked up. "I believe that I will receive significant introspection from staying in the jail with inmates for a week."
Curran plans to live in a cell, eat jail food, mingle and talk with other inmates in common areas, while also attending numerous programs offered in the facility, including substance abuse counseling, parenting and educational classes, along with religious services.
That immersion, he said, should give him more insight into everything from safety issues to what programs may be needed help inmates straighten out their lives and avoid future crimes.
"My experience in the jail will help me to better understand our existing programming, as well as any possible unmet needs that exist in our programming,'' said Curran, a 45-year-old former prosecutor elected sheriff in 2006.
But Curran, a Roman Catholic, also frequently cited a spiritual desire to understand what inmates are going through and how their lives may be turned around.
"In Lake County, we have embraced the scriptural mandate to love our neighbor. Your neighbor must be everyone if we are truly going to see peace on Earth," he said. "In the eyes of society, I may be sheriff, but in God’s eyes, I am no better than anyone else."
He said he wasn’t worried that his stay would be criticized by some as a publicity stunt.
"I don’t live my life for other people," Curran said. "I do what’s right and let the chips fall."
After making his announcement at a news conference, Curran went through the standard booking procedures, including being fingerprinted and photographed. He then exchanged his gray suit, blue shirt and red-striped tie for jail-issued, dark-blue shirt and pants, along with purple sandals.
"It feels different," he said after changing clothing, but added: "The outfit is comfortable enough."
He acknowledged, though, that he won't be living exactly as inmates do — for one thing, he’ll have his own 8-foot by 6-foot cell. His staffers insisted on that provision for security reasons, Curran said, though he described the jail — which houses a maximum of 740 inmates — as "extremely safe."
He will spend nights in several different units, including the maximum security segregation unit.
Curran, a Democrat, also plans to continue his official duties, including running the jail, though that will involve shifting some meetings from off-site locations to the jail or adjoining sheriff's offices.
He vowed, though, not to leave the jail and sheriff's office complex
Here I agree with Daley, the Universities and Colleges want the drinking age lowered. Many are right, this will have the students drinking in bars instead of campus. I went off to college, I waited until I was 21, which was always the legal drinking age for as long as I can remember. Many argue if 18 year olds can drink they know a lot of 17, 16 or younger kids that will have access due to their friends. We all know most 19 and 20 year olds know 21 year olds. Then there are many high end bars that have a minimum age of 23 to enter. These places are keeping the amateur drinkers out. Now does this mean lowering the age we will have younger amateur drinkers?
Daley and lowering the drinking age to 21
CHICAGO -- Nearly 50 years removed from his own carefree college days, Mayor Daley on Wednesday lambasted university presidents for campaigning to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18.
For the tuition they charge and the six-figure salaries they receive, Daley said university presidents have a "legal and moral responsibility"to establish a safe environment for students.
Lowering the drinking age hardly qualifies, the mayor said. He called it "the easy way out"and a lowering of standards that need to be raised.
"Will that be the motto: 'Come to my university. Drink as much as you can as long as you pay your tuition'? Do you think you send your son or daughter to come home as an alcoholic? That's a bad message, I'm sorry. You have enough time to drink the rest of your life," Daley said.
"You think the president of the university is gonna open a beer hall in his house?" Daley continued. "Do you think the coach of the baseball team or football team will open it up? They should raise their standards and think that drinking is not part of college life. Everybody has responsibility on this and drinking at universities isn't something you should be proud of. You don't send your son or daughter to learn how to drink at universities. You send them for an education."
Lake Forest College President Stephen Schutt, who signed on to the so-called Amethyst Initiative, said university presidents are "about the business of educating students" and they would like to be able to educate them on responsible use of alcohol.
But, there is "no lawful way" to do that so long as the legal drinking age remains 21 and a majority of students are under that age, he said.
"Students at colleges and universities across the country -- and, unfortunately at many high schools -- are already drinking, despite the fact that the lawful age is 21. They drink in private. They drink in hiding. They sometimes go off campus to places to drink that are dangerous. They may drive while doing that," Schutt said.
"There is a real argument that needs to be considered about whether it would be safer for them to drink lawfully
Have fans turn other Bear fans in
I also heard they are going to have a hot line during the games so fans can turn other fans in, for just about anything. The Bears tailgating has been going on for years, if not decades, now they want to tame the Bears fans. This is ridiculous, how many incidents and how minor are we talking about?
Some Bears fans say tailgating rule is a turnover
August 8, 2008
By ANDREW SELIGMAN, the associated press
As far as some fans are concerned, the Chicago Bears just committed one big fumble. New tailgating rules are in place, and they don't understand why.
Under a new policy that started with Thursday's preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, tailgaters without a ticket can no longer stay in the Soldier Field parking lots during games.
Why? The team said in an e-mail to season-ticket holders this week that it was trying to crack down on poor behavior, but some fans said it's trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist.
Longtime season-ticket holder Jeff Benson, of Kansas City, Kansas, called the policy "stupid" and "crazy" as he basted ribs. His friend, Tom Tumbarello, Elmhurst, added: "I agree with him totally."
For years, many fans have watched games on television in the parking lots, where they would set up impressive food and drink spreads. Some who showed up without tickets would try to buy from scalpers.
Now they'll have to leave once the game starts, a policy that makes little sense to Michael Isaacs, of Highland Park.
"If they can sit in the stadium and get hammered, why can't they sit out here and relax and watch the ballgame?" he said.
Isaacs said he didn't realize unruly behavior in the parking lots "was a big issue before" and added: "Everybody's neighborly. By the time we come back after the game, there are just people relaxing."
Hopefully she didn't buy this get up just for the occasion
Yes, still a drama queen till the end. How much did she get away with all her years as Alderman? She got off pretty easy. What was all the white powder they found all over? Does she still have gangbanger boyfriends? A former Chicago Police SGT is now Alderman, after an easy win, running on getting gangbangers out of Ward 20, well he got rid of number one gangbanger Troutman by winning Alderman.
After she was charged with corruption in early 2007, Ald. Arenda Troutman (20th) defiantly denied wrongdoing and suggested she had been targeted for political reasons.
"Folk in my community understand there can be false allegations when there is someone who is the voice of the people," Troutman told the Tribune at the time.
But on Wednesday, a subdued Troutman admitted that prosecutors had been right after all and that for several years she had solicited cash from developers to back projects in her ward.
Troutman, dressed in a colorful summer dress despite the rather somber occasion, nodded and quietly answered "yes" when a federal judge asked her if she had accepted illegal payments.
She likely faces about 4 to 5 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to one felony count each of mail fraud and tax fraud. U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo scheduled sentencing for Dec. 3.
Troutman becomes the 12th Chicago alderman to be convicted of wrongdoing in the last 20 years, but the first since Percy Giles (37th) in 1999.
Prosecutors detailed the evidence against Troutman, including conversations that an undercover informant recorded as part of the FBI sting that snared her. In one exchange, the alderman promised to smooth the way for a development but then asked, "What do I get out of it?"
In another infamous quote that was caught on tape and later drew scorn from council colleagues, Troutman compared politics in Chicago to prostitution.
"Most aldermen, most politicians are hos," she said.
In the 33-page plea agreement, Troutman admitted it was "the general practice" of her office to direct staffers to solicit donations from developers seeking to do business in the 20th Ward. Prosecutors laid out payoffs totaling $21,500 in the document.
Whether it was to change zoning, allow alley access or approve the sale of city-owned property, Troutman made it clear her support "would either not be forthcoming or would be delayed" if she weren't paid, the plea agreement said.
Troutman long enjoyed the support of some of Mayor Richard Daley's most prominent black allies, including Bishop Arthur Brazier and Rev. Leon Finney Jr. But after the corruption charges came as she campaigned for a fifth term, Brazier and Finney threw their backing to challenger Willie Cochran in the February 2007 election.
Cochran won a landslide victory, but Troutman, comparing herself to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., declined to concede the race in election-night comments to her supporters.
"She had a certain level of constituents who trusted her, and this I'm sure leaves them with a heavy heart, to know that after all the proclamations of innocence she is pleading guilty," Cochran said Wednesday. "I'm glad this is coming to a close."
The 20th Ward includes some of the city's poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods, but it's also at the edge of a spreading wave of new homes along the South Side lakefront.
Some community leaders said Troutman held up important redevelopment projects, but she responded that critics were promoting "the scourge of gentrification."
As part of the investigation, the FBI sent a mole named Andre Johnson to see Troutman. An elder in a Baptist church, Johnson told Troutman that a wealthy investor was looking to build a mixed-use building on South Halsted Street.
For her backing, Johnson gave a $5,000 check to a women's auxiliary linked to Troutman to pay for tickets to a campaign fundraiser.
The 20th Ward Women's Auxiliary was supposed to be a nonprofit organization, but Assistant U.S. Atty. Joseph Alesia said tens of thousands of dollars in cash were withdrawn from the organization without any public accounting.
Troutman left court Wednesday without comment, but her attorney, Sam Adam Jr., said that she would not cooperate with the government and simply wanted to put the case behind her.
"For the benefit of her family and for the benefit of her personally, we felt this was the best thing to do at this time," Adam said.
Charges in the case are still pending against Steven Boone, a former Troutman aide, and Vince Gilbert, her onetime political adviser.
Both have pleaded not guilty to participating in the payoff scheme. In some of the illegal arrangements, prosecutors said, Gilbert forced his way into development projects as a partner so he could give Troutman kickbacks from his share of the business.
Blagojevich and cameras
So these cameras all over the Illinois Highway system are going to generate all kinds of money to help the state out, what to pay for all the overtime down in Springfield because they can't pass a budget in time?
Will they only go after real speeders, not people going 7 - 10 over?
Despite mixed results so far with camera-enforcement technology, Gov. Rod Blagojevich wants cameras on the state's highways to issue tens of thousands of speeding tickets that would pay for more state troopers.
If approved by state lawmakers, the Illinois State Police will set up 108 cameras to catch speeders going both directions on potentially every major highway.
Such technology is currently in sparse use in other states and countries.
Illinois has already proved to have difficulty with cameras used to catch toll cheats and speeders in work zones.
Most recently, it took the tollway more than a year to send out toll violation tickets, leading many drivers to unwittingly rack up thousands of dollars in fines, a Daily Herald investigation revealed this year.
The report also raised questions about the system's appeal process and mailing procedures, which have yet to be addressed. Measures introduced in the Statehouse to provide tighter guidelines have failed to gain approval.
Work zone cameras, installed in roaming vans centered on construction zones, took about two years to get operational after the law was signed in 2004.
However, officials say they have proved successful since then, issuing scores of $375 tickets an hour.
The latest proposal would mark the most expansive use of camera enforcement in the state.
The governor's office estimates the $4 million system would raise $40 million to hire 500 more troopers. The new officers could be used to create 10 teams that would target high-crime areas throughout the state, the governor's office says.
Fines would be set at $75.
Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero says the plan is "still in its infancy," but he added the cameras will not go after small-time speeders.
"It would allow us to go after drivers that are way over the speed limit," he said. "It is not like some guy going 7 or 10 miles over."
Currently, cities and counties across the Chicago area are raking in tens of millions of dollars by installing cameras that send out $100 fines for blowing red lights or, in some towns, send out tickets when cars violate railroad crossing gates.