Ron Huberman has been on Mayor Daley's fast track really fast. Ron Huberman was a Police Officer who moved up to head the office of Emergency Management, then on to Mayor Daley's chief of staff, then he said he drove a school bus one summer while in college, next thing he is head of the CTA. Now head of the CPS (Chicago Public Schools). What's next for Ron Huberman? When Daley retires he will have someone to replace him, and that must be the plan. Anyhow, no rumors that Daley will retire soon, but I am quite sure who he would want in his position when he does.

OK, now Cook County County Commissioner Mike Quigley will be running for Rahn Emanuel's congressional seat, with Cook County Commissioner Forest Claypool's blessing. Maybe Forest will run for CC President again?

The last President watched his Texas Team loose the World Series to the new Presidents favorite team. Now the White Sox number one fan is in the White House.

Then there is Blagojevich, he hired the same PR people as Drew Peterson. Now Blagojevich is trying to get on every talk show he can. Obviously he is trying to make it very difficult to pick a jury for his upcoming Federal Trial.

Will Pat Quinn our Lt. Governor be sworn in today? But not after Blagojevich has his say to the Illinois Senate.

This State, Illinois, has been in the National Media more than any other State this past year. If it was all good it would be great.

We have the little things, yep a drunk Alderman taken into custody, Sharon Dixon, 24th Ward.

White Sox want to sell Obama hatsFor the White Sox marketing department, having a "first fan" has been a dream come true.

"It's been unbelievable," Reifert said. "At this moment, (Obama) is the most popular man on the planet - I think that's safe to say. And he chooses to wear a White Sox cap. That's pretty powerful stuff."

He said the idea for the Obama-themed Sox hat came from feedback from Sox fans who called on the team to commemorate Obama's historic victory.

Sales of Sox hats have increased by 25 percent since the November election, but Reifert said it's too early to tell whether Obama being a fan of the team will have any effect on ticket sales for spring training.

Cook County Jail guards are going cell to cell at the jail this morning looking for homemade knives or other such items, after nine inmates were injured in in a fight between two rival gangs earlier in the morning.
The entire jail is on lockdown until guards and investigators get a handle on the situation and they've talked to everyone who may have seen exactly what happened.

Newly-installed Chicago Public Schools chief Ron Huberman today was booed by a crowd of parents, teachers and community officials upset about plans to close and reorganize 22 schools. Huberman, whom Mayor Richard Daley moved over from the CTA on Tuesday, looked on sheepishly as the crowd booed as his name was mentioned.What's next for Ron, Mayor?

Download your own Blagodarts game

Sharon Sonte 24th Ward alcohol on her breath
January 21, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A Chicago alderman facing DUI charges said she was not drunk when arrested early Wednesday morning.
Chicago Alderman Sharon Dixon, who represents the 24th Ward on the city's West Side, said she was on her way home from a friend's house in Evanston when she was arrested at 1:30 a.m. According to police, Dixon drove her car over a hose at the scene of a fatal fire and demanded officers move a squad car so she could get by. Police said she then demanded their badge numbers.
"A huge misunderstanding took place with the police. Matters escalated and fought out of control and I was arrested," said Ald. Dixon.
Police said they smelled alcohol on her breath and arrested her on suspicion of drunk driving. She was charged with obstruction of traffic, driving under the influence and failure to present insurance.

We have record amounts of snow, and horrific driving conditions. We have Roland Burris, and that Circus that has been going on, maybe that will die down when he gets sworn in as Illinois Senator Thursday.
We still have the Circus in Springfield going on with the impeachment of our Governor. Now anyone in this country can pronouce his name,Rod Blagojevich.
There will be the inauguration of the President from our State, Barak Obama.
We aren't forgetting about our favorite, Todd Stroger. He will soon be back in the spotlight again. For now Todd should enjoy his rest from the spotlight. Alderman Toni Preckwinkle has announced she will be running against Todd for Cook County President.
This State has certainly been a good place to be employed in the Political News business. This State has been recession proof in this area.

An hour before the meeting, I received a call from a reader who said, "The happiest man in this state right now has to be Todd Stroger because all this mess with Gov. Blagojevich has taken the news media's focus off him. Please don't forget about Stroger. Stay on his (case)."

Before the arrest of the governor, before impeachment proceedings had begun, I probably received more angry telephone calls about Stroger than any other politician in this state.
Stroger also blames the news media for the public's perception of him. The news media dwells on the negative because it makes for more interesting stories.

Cook County government is massive. It runs one of the largest public hospitals in the nation. The court system is the second largest in the country.

Although he's county board president, a number of independently elected officials such as the sheriff, state's attorney, treasurer, assessor and recorder of deeds have their own budget, and he has little control over them, Stroger said.

The newspapers don't explain any of that or the massive costs of running the government, he said.

But the fact is most people don't read newspapers. Those who do don't believe much of what they read. Too few people really care about how their government works.

When I mentioned that to Stroger, he acknowledged as much. He said when he was a state representative, people always would ask him how things were going in Washington, confusing him with a congressman.

I feel that part of my job is to try to let elected officials know what the public is thinking. And to find out what the elected officials have to say to them.

So I continued to press Stroger about the lack of confidence in Cook County and government in general. He didn't react defensively. He didn't raise his voice in anger when challenged

It will cost you more to sue in Cook County

Cook County Jail Problems

A gang fight inside the Cook County Jail Tuesday night left seven people injured after several inmates pulled out “shanks” and started attacking other inmates prompting a lockdown of the jail.

Of the seven people, four were treated at the hospital inside the jail, and three were taken to area hospitals to be treated for non life-threatening injuries, said Steve Patterson, a spokesman for the Cook County sheriff’s police.

Two rival gangs housed in the maximum-security section of the jail at 2600 S. California Ave. were involved in a brawl Monday in a common area of the jail, Patterson said. The bad blood spilled into Tuesday.

A verbal altercation about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday escalated after inmates began to physically attack each other and some inmates pulled out shanks, Patterson said. Patterson said two shanks were recovered from the scene.“They’ll make a shank with just about anything, recently its been pieces of vents, heating ducts,” said Patterson. Correctional officers confiscated about 1,200 shanks in 2007, and 667 shanks in 2008, Patterson said.
No correctional officers were injured in the incident

Cook County suffers from a different disease. Its cancer is lack of leadership - someone willing to use the bully pulpit to streamline without fearing retaliation from labor unions, campaign contributors and vendors; someone willing to reinvent a structurally antiquated model of government that simply cannot persist into perpetuity

Cook County raised by one penny on the dollar its share of the sales tax. Three months later, Stroger and team are pushing for a borrowing plan that would sell bonds to cover pension costs, insurance costs and a capital program.

These are not the solutions of a creative, forward-thinking leader. These are not solutions at all.

What we need is to combine the offices of county treasurer, recorder of deeds, assessor and circuit court clerk, which cost taxpayers millions of dollars every year. From overlapping duties to in-house attorneys and separate public relations staffs, the layered structure of constitutional officers is antiquated and expensive.

Stroger, like his father, believes independently elected countywide officials should mind their own business. Stroger's office shouldn't be micromanaging Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown's office. Brown should keep her nose out of Treasurer Maria Pappas' office. Pappas should zip her lip about Assessor Jim Houlihan's office, and so on.
I disagree.
The county board president is the CEO who, along with his board, approves the budgets of these sister offices. There ought to be more oversight and more resource-sharing, not less. It might take four or eight years to actually accomplish a merger of this kind. But it needs to be done, and it will take someone willing to light the apple cart on fire.

There are many more cost-saving solutions suggested; Commissioner Mike Quigley of the Northwest Side has advocated a number of drastic and drastically-needed measures for years.
The county needs to shore-up its billing practices for Medicaid patients. It needs to reform the "request for proposal" process and end the practice of mid-stream cost increases that have become routine, undermining the intent of a low-bid requirement.

The county needs to spend less on attorney fees and consultants and public relations. It should fold the Cook County Forest Preserve District into existing county government.
The county should watchdog more closely workers compensation claims and medical malpractice settlements.
It should not be advocating a bricks-and-mortar capital program with no identified, new revenue stream

What will next year bring?

Wow what a year this State has had. Our Governor was took away in handcuffs early one morning and had us all checking the Capital Fax blog for the latest updates and confirmation of this event during our work day. Many goups of people gathered around a computers together in the office watching the live Press conferance. How much time was lost on the work day due to this?

Yes, it was true, our Governor was selling Barak Obama's Senate seat, also wanting a kickback for funds for Children's Memorial Hospital and wanting to fire a Chicago Tribune Journalist, John McCormick. Which reminds me of more incidents, Sam Zell taking over the Tribune, and finally the Tribune filing for bankruptcy.

Boldly enough our Governor preforming his gubernatorial duties appoints former Illinois Attorney General and Comptroller Roland Burris. Congressman Bobby Rush, Illinois District 1 was there at the press conference to speak his mind and also end the conference that kept trying to lynch Blagojevich. Blagojevich kept interrupting that this is about the appointee not the appointer.

Now Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. could be a number on the indictment of Governor Rod Blagojevich.

One great thing we had happen in this State was we now have a President coming from this State. We got some good coverage of Senator Obama's announcement at the Old State Capital in Springfield. Here we had Chicago and Springfield all over the news with the election night acceptance of the Presidency right here in Grant Park.

We got to see the streets closed off by Obama's Hyde Park home, and where his Dearborne Street office were. We had full coverage of everyone who had to deal with all the road closures. We have had the experience of everything that occurs when a President comes from our state.

Ed Vrydolyak pleaded guilty, to avoid a trial, and not have more uncovered.

Wow what a year it has been, and I have only touched upon the many events that occurred. That was a smart move on his part, just think his sons and more of his and their business dealings would have come out. There would have been more in jail and a longer term for Fast Eddie if there was a trial.

Tony Rezko, Bill Cellini, Stuart Levine, Chris Kelly, all friends of the Governor under investigatition and Governor Rod Blagojevich trys to sell a senate seat knowing this, I am still amazed Rod did not try to behave.

Will so many questions be answered this year?

Will the Olympics come to Chicago? There are so many plans for so many tempory buildings that will be torn down after the Olympics. Why not make them permanent?

The CTA is going up again, with fuel prices dropping. Why?

Why did the city lease the parking meters only to have the leasing company raise the rates, and have you pay 24/7 with no free Holidays? Why couldn't the city just do this?

Will the White Sox win the World series? At least they go one game further than the Cubs this year in playoffs/

The Bears are out of playoff contention this year with the last game's loss.

I hear the Blackhawks are doing well. For so long you had to order premium channels to see the Blackhawks. They did not gain any new fans during this time. The owner dies, his son takes over and they are on nonpremium television. Now they are available for the general population to watch and they are gaining a fan base.

We lost Spike O'Dell and Steve Dahl on our morning drive.

If things keep up as they are there should not be any political reporter layoffs.

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