2012 Illinois Political Hall of Shame: A Bakers Dozen

This Bakers Dozen are my picks for the 2012 Illinois Political Hall of Shame even though there were many, many more candidates available. But hey, we can do this as an annual event and like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can add those missed as lifetime achievement winners if necessary.

Naturally these selections are based upon my own opinions. But I believe most people would agree that these 13 public figures are at least somewhat indicative of what is wrong with our politics in the State of Illinois; i.e. political corruption, nepotism, ethical lapses and even outright malfeasance.

While nearly all the inductees are Democrats it is my hope that people don't read too much into that. As an Independent I believe that both Democrats and Republicans have done much harm in this state (and nationally as well). But Illinois is what it is, isn't it? Democrats pretty much act with impunity due to their near absolute power.  And because of that they also happen to take up the most newsprint when it comes to scandals.

If, however, you believe I have missed someone from the minority party, then please offer them up for nomination and will do a followup somewhere down the line.

In the meantime, I bid you all a good night and happy days ahead.

Who knows, maybe someday people will come to their senses and make the changes necessary to take back the state from those abusing the public trust?


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  • I don't know if mere candidates qualify for the list, but it seems like the 2nd CD is continuing its traditions with Mel Reynolds and Donne Trotter, plus that many of the other south Cook County suburban candidates probably have some dirt too (especially those who formerly worked for the state).

    As far as a GOP doing harm to the nation, I think we agree on Joe Walsh.

    Also, I agreed, based on the CTA Tattler alone, about what Emanuel turned out to be. I don't know if the same applies to his actions relating to the schools, in that the teachers had the backing of legislation to counter him, but I blame Madigan & Co. for that, too.

    If we want to add nonpoliticians who act like them, Joel Brodsky sure had done honors in your neck of the woods. Calling co-counsel mentally ill indicates a certain amount of psychological projection.

  • In reply to jack:

    Boy that 2nd CD sure has its legacy my friend. Candidates might be a good subset to work on - I'll keep that in mind because as we know these are just the same old recycled hacks anyhow.

    Joel Brodsky qualifies for the Humankind Hall of Shame so far as I can tell. His defense strategy was stupid although I suppose Peterson now knows the meaning of poetic justice.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    On the other hand, since most of the media say that the only slim chance Drew has is an "ineffective assistance of counsel" claim, Brodsky continues to provide evidence of that. But that would only get him a retrial. I don't think you Will Co. taxpayers want to pay for that.

    I could probably add several of Glasgow's assistant state's attorneys for almost blowing it. The defense almost had their mistrial motions granted, except that Drew realized that that would only result in a new trial, too.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yeah we are really tired of Jim Glasgow and his incompetent team around here. Outside of the Peterson conviction he has pretty much blown up every major case here.

    Whether we taxpayers want to pay for a retrial or not, though, is inconsequential as I believe that sort of thing is already budgeted for according to one of your long ago appreciated comments. So it looks like we will have yet another circus around here, hopefully the legal team can refrain from the Men In Black Sunglasses Look.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Glasgow's folks put Christopher Vaughn away pretty quick. However, there wasn't much doubt in that case.

  • In reply to jack:

    They did at that but like you said it was pretty overwhelming so far as the evidence went. The Ryan case, though, was one mess up after another after the rush to judgement on the father. We have had bad prosecution, bad police investigations, etc in Will Co and that should bother a lot of people. Plus Glasgow is something of a publicity freak and think that too should bother folks. Then again the other guy wasn't any better or different either.

  • I should have added that since the past standards of greed and incompetence--Blago and Todd Stroger--are no longer eligible for the list, people who "looked good" in comparison, such as Toni Preckwinkle and Forrest Claypool, no longer do, although I suppose both have the support of the Tribune Editorial Board.

    Todd and Sandi remind me that one nominee should be Bill Beavers, given the tax fraud charges, his admission that he buys gas in Indiana because it is cheaper (because it doesn't have Cook County taxes), and his attempts to prop up Todd and put his daughter Darcel in the city council, thwarted only by the Jacksons giving out turkeys to potential voters. Proving again that voters don't have a choice, although I doubt that the ones in South Shore really care.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks Jack - think I will do a follow-up and do a "prior to" Hall of Shame piece to include other notables. As for Preckwinkle, Claypool and Beavers - they were all considered but I wanted to limit the number somewhat so not to bore people with a long post. But I will do follow-ups based on the input I get here. Thanks.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    p.s. I really like the idea of compiling a more complete Hall of Shame as I would be remiss to include the man who "turned me on to the corrupt nature of politics in the first place" - Anthony C. Laurino (the Alley Alderman). I have to tell you he really is one who got me looking at the Machine Politics in the first place when I was a youngster. Let's just say he can take credit from the grave for the creation of this blog.

  • I'm guessing George Ryan and Blago were left off because they're now out of power and I'm guessing are already in the Hall of Shame.

    Todd Stroger should make the list based on sheer incompetence.

    As for Joe Walsh as one of the other commenters suggested, I disagree. He hasn't been charged with anything and he was exonerated on the deadbeat dad charges that Tammy Duckworth insisted on continuing to air long after they were proven false (btw, if you consider Walsh worthy of induction based on how dirty the 2012 campaign was, Duckworth should also get inducted for the same reasons).

  • In reply to Perplexio:

    I commented on Walsh based on that it doesn't appear that he did anything for his district, and he backtracked on his positions when challenged on them.

    I hadn't accused him of being crooked, and I have previously stated that neither candidate was worthy of my support, but I didn't have a vote in that district. Or in the second, either.

  • In reply to Perplexio:

    Thanks for commenting Perplexio. Yeah I would think Ryan and Blago are already members. I suppose since I just made this my first annual I should do a follow-up with "lifetime membership prior to 2012."

    And that of course would include Todd Stroger - thanks for jogging the noggin'. I also agree that, although Joe Walsh was a contentious son of a bug he has been publicly absolved of his deadbeat status by the person who would know. Case closed.

    p.s. I am sure Tammy Baby will make the 2013 Hall - let's see what she really does now that she's in position to do so. I suspect though she will be a rubberstamp.

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    Don't forget Dan Proft and how he did not walk his talk on the radio or in his many speeches while he was the spokesperson (among many other jobs) in Cicero. He never talks about Cicero on his show, he never takes questions about Cicero and I think we all know why...he is trying to hide from his affiliation there for his part in enriching himself at taxpayer expense and for his part in supporting Dominick. He once admitted to a question at the Wheaton Tea Party that Larry Dominick does not represent good government as he espouses it on the radio and elsewhere...so how does he explain his support...simple, moey in his pocket to areported almost 4 million. I would just like to see the work product that he produced to justify his $600,000 for representing the new town hall (could be double dipping here as he was already supporting the building as part of his job supporting Dominick) over a two year period...I think it was on this 'deal' that he made the mot money per hour. Let's see if i was justified...Let's see if you can call his talk show and ask questions about his tenure in Cicero. I do not think he will list his work in Cicero on his resume. (That would put it right in the trash).

  • In reply to Jorgy Nondeplum:

    Jorgy this as Blago would say is "Frickin' Golden." THANK YOU! I knew there was some sort of connection but I honestly have not listened to his radio show. Quite frankly I found Jim Laski (a WGN predecessor) to be entertaining despite being a convicted felon. But I enjoyed his candor and honesty about the Machine's inner workings. I also happened to meet him at WGN Studios after I one of my own on-air stints and we had quite the political discussion but Proft wasn't a part of it. Now I know Jim Laski wasn't well-liked but he definitely knew how the game is played around here.

    Evidently so does Dan Proft and I will bring him into my future posts about Larry Dominick's Machine.

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    Dan had so much to do to earn his money in town - town spokesperson, responsible for the web content (or propaganda), responsible for the printing and content of the town newsletter (more propaganda)
    , on the elementary school board, on the high school board, on the college board, and had that 'Frickin' Golden' deal and still had time to get a law degree...wonder if Cicero also paid for that.

  • In reply to Jorgy Nondeplum:

    It just gets juicer and juicier. I have some serious digging to do but one thing is perfectly clear - Larry Dominick needs to be voted out in Cicero and hopefully the people will do exactly that shortly. He has turned the town into his personal fiefdom while denying the people proper representation. No doubt he has a substantial patronage army and Ochoa will need to counteract that somehow.

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    Good write-up,

    This is one of those lists that need to be updated every year.

    Personally, I have to agree with the above post about Dan Proft; because, even though Larry Dominick is the worst officeholder in Illinois, in my opinion, there never would have been a Dominick if it weren't for Proft. And that's quite clear from all the major publications that wrote about Proft between 2005 and 2010, like the Sun-Times, Tribune, etc.

    Even more interesting about Proft, though, is that this guy has a highly rated morning political talkshow, which completely omits everything that's happening in Cicero. (Seriously, how do you talk about local politics on the radio and miss Cicero? Especially when you worked there?).

    But getting paid $600,000 for "PR," for a municipal building, a nonexistent service at worst, and an unnecessary service at best, while running as a Republican gubernatorial candidate, while speaking at Tea Party events, and lambasting President Obama on the radio, namely for out-of-control and wreckless spending...?!!

    The hypocrisy is outrageous...!

  • In reply to David Jenkins:

    Definitely will do so as well as posting a backtrack of pre-2012 members. Dan Proft not commenting on his own political show is his own strongest indictment. And the good people of Cicero need to take him to task on this by lighting up his switchboard.

    You are right the hypocrisy is outrageous. Thanks so much for commenting David. It is appreciated.

  • Just one word, "SCUM"

  • In reply to greatlakes1944:

    greatlakes1944 - Blunt, To The Point, Excellent Observation! Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

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    I linked to this article from my site: www.TownOfCiceroIllinois.Com. Enjoy...! Also, I had some good pictures of Dominick (No. 3) and Berrios (No. 2).

  • In reply to David Jenkins:

    Thanks so much David. I have added you to my Blogroll and I hope people take the time to read your site - especially if they want to know "what's really going on." Great Job!

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