If I have said it once I've said it a thousand times in some shape or form already - "the amount of monies extracted from the taxpayer is in direct proportion to what the politically connected insiders take out of the system." And nowhere is that truer than right here in Illinois where controlling the ebb and flow of tax dollars while diverting them has been something of an art form among the nastiest of political vermin - the Chicago Democratic Machine and its dinosaur holdovers.
Some say the machine is dead, but let me tell you something not so profound - it isn't, it has just reinvented itself over the years. Political insiders still get the bulk of the work and in turn they play games with their books to feed the rest of the operation. After all, there are a lot of beneficiaries to those tax dollars and just to make sure no one is deluded here - the businesses that do the bilking are doing so with the express knowledge of politicians and their political appointments and hires.
In Illinois - everything is for sale. Unfortunately, though, those precious contracts are doled out to long term supporters of the Democratic Party because they fill up the campaign coffers with taxpayer monies that have been skimmed off the top. Now anyone who doesn't understand how the game is played only need to look at the latest revelations concerning McDonough Associates.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) conducted an audit and concluded that McDonough ""committed theft” by over-billing taxpayers "millions” of dollars, the state has banned McDonough Associates Inc., a 45-year-old engineering giant with ties to the Daley family and dozens of other politicians, from getting any state work for three years."Of course McDonough Associates has denied that there was ever any theft. They did, however, agree that some of the audit findings were legitimate and have attempted to justify them as errors in bookkeeping and internal quality control practices. Well maybe that is true, but their response does seem to me as something of a standard one whenever someone gets caught with their fingers in the cookie jar.
But hey I could be wrong, right?
What strikes me as odd, though, is that here is a major construction firm who has been doing state business for as long as I can remember and that they didn't have proper internal quality controls in place? The fact that corrective actions, and the addition of a quality officer, needed to be instituted after the fact is also suspicious to me. I mean this is a firm who has done gobs of government work for the state, Chicago and other municipalities and I have no doubt that the paper trail, from bid to project conclusion, must be carefully documented. So excuse me if I sound a bit skeptical here, but I have more than once remarked about how certain contractors were favored over others, especially by the former Daley Administration.
The way I see it, the entire system is rigged and only those who are willing to pay to play are considered in the long run. And don't think for a minute, say, that former Mayor Daley didn't know about some of the shenanigans, after all his family relations seem to have made out very nicely thank you. But that is a much bigger story than can be told here. So I suppose we will have to leave that for another day to write about.
In the meantime, just consider this "why must we taxpayers pay so much and so many times over?" And what about that motivation for the Illinois Tollway Administration (and their bevy of political appointments) to jack us around by doubling the cost of tolls? Well folks, it has nothing so much to do with maintaining its roads and vital infrastructure as it is about maintaining their network of contractors who are busy helping them distribute the wealth among the Illinois Political Insider Club.
Funny thing though - I just wonder when the taxpayers (and voters) finally get mad enough to say no? Will it be in the upcoming election where every single state representative is up for reelection? I mean wouldn't that not be the absolute best time to finally begin the process of shutting shut down that Chicago Machine Mentality and specifically Mad Dog Michael Madigan and his Madigoons?
Well the choice is yours, but if you don't then the over-billing of taxpayers will continue. And mark my words, this bilking and manipulation thing isn't just about one firm named McDonough Associates Inc.. You must include all those clients who routinely employ and contribute campaign funds to the likes of a Michael Madigan Law Firm in order to escape paying their fair share of taxes. It is no accident that so many lawmakers are engaged in what appears to be far too many conflicts of interests. Yet, despite those serious breaches in ethics, no meaningful reform has emerged from a Madigan led Illinois Legislature. But I suppose that is no accident either.
Still, in spite of it all, Illinoisans cannot say that they aren't aware of how the game is being played in the State of Illinois. Pay to play has been such an integral part of our political fabric that it almost feels normal. And the reason for that is in large part due to the dictatorial antics being played by Michael Madigan and his Madigoons. They are all products of the Chicago Machine and have systematically stripped the people of this state of their rights and liberties while engaging in legislative actions that shield their actions from recourse.
While many support the Democrats, one thing they miss is that they have unwittingly supported an ideology that no where resembles its core beliefs. To say that being a hardcore Illinois Democrat is someone who is empty and devoid of principle is pretty much spot on. Hey it is what it is, it doesn't take a genius to see what you have been given in return by your elected leadership. But for the sake of argument let's just say they have given the people nothing but lies, more lies and squandered our tax dollars on their excesses.
You know, now that the November Election is fast approaching, I really want the people to consider something before they cast their vote - is this the way government is supposed to work? Should pay to play really feel as normal as it does? Now if the answer to those questions are yes, then by all means continue voting for the same people who have led us to the brink of bankruptcy. On the other hand, if you are tired of the same people representing an empty and meaningless ideology that has stripped them bare, then it is time to show them the door.
Illinois, it seems, has a very big decision to make?
Tags: Chicago Machine, Chicago Machine Politics, Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, IDOT, Illinois, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation Suspends McDonough Associates, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, Illinois Legislature, Illinois Legislature Up For Reelection, Illinois Tollway, McDonough Associates, McDonough Associates Accused of Theft, McDonough Associates and Daley Ties, McDonough Associates and Political Clout, Michael Madigan, Politics, Richard M. Daley