Joe Berrios Is Da Boss!

Joe Berrios Is Da Boss!
Having a party with your money!

I guess some people this week learned something I had long known - in Cook County Joe Berrios Is Da Boss!

Ahh Good Ol' Joe Berrios, that unapologetic King of Nepotism who once compared himself to being an equal of the Kennedy Family. Well maybe he is if you consider that the Kennedy wealth was built on the illicit gains of bootlegging. So okay Joe - if you want to be seen as being the the same sort of crook they were, who am I to argue?

Especially after hearing about what Thomas Hawkins, an analyst at the Cook County Board of Review while you were Da Boss there, had to say about you. I guess screwing the taxpayer multiple times is just up your alley given all those allegations, both past and present, of granting favorable tax reductions to big campaign contributors or simply those willing to put the "lettuce" onto your big plate.

Yes sir Joe Berrios - you certainly seem to have no problems when it comes to having shame, or for having a ferocious appetite for "lettuce." But you you know what Joe? It doesn't give me great pleasure hearing that yet another public servant (become alleged thief) is willing to roll on you to save his own hide because that just tells me that there are plenty of others gaming the system and taxpayer.

However, if Thomas Hawkins isn't lying about how he fed you the "lettuce" or that that information has become common knowledge among the Feds from those wiretaps, then I can only hope and pray that there will finally be charges brought against Joe Berrios at the conclusion of this particular trial.

The way I see it, it is pretty useless going after the little guys without also getting the Big Tuna. And believe me, Berrios ain't no guppy around here when it comes to his actions and/or allegations of political corruption. So, if the Feds aren't getting ready to indict Joe Berrios then this trial won't accomplish a damn thing. Nor will it make a statement that the Feds are serious about stamping out the constant and open corruption which is worn as something of a badge of honor around here. Particularly among Cook County Politicians who have had zero shame as they thumb their noses at the very people who have put their faith and trust in them.

Unfortunately much of the blame must fall upon an inept Illinois Legislature and an Illinois Supreme Court. Both have been party to the diminishing of personal rights and freedoms as well as violating the principles of one person - one vote mandates. The People of Illinois, meanwhile, have been left without fair and proper representation within their blatantly skewed congressional districts because they are unable to properly challenge incumbents at the ballot box and rid themselves of corrupt or ineffective politicians.

And that folks is the true cost of Gerry-mandering as it is intended to do do nothing more than maintain the status quo - which is a corrupt and rigged political system.

Of course there is another problem as well and that is the dumb-asses known as Blind Democratic Ideologues. Look, blindly voting for the same ineffective or corrupt Democrat is not going to bring much change. And from what I have observed over the last five decades or so - it hasn't. So what is this paradox when it comes to Cook County Politics?

Look, it makes no sense to support politicians who have done nothing more than increase the financial burden upon the taxpayer while getting hardly anything in return for it. And it doesn't take a genius to figure out that infrastructure (especially what you can't see under the streets) is crumbling while overall public safety and human services continue to be diminished due to lack of funding.

So where's all that money going to then? I mean there has been one new tax or fee after another, especially in Chicago and Cook County. And still, visitors and mostly residents will be soaked to the bone with those new Big Brother Speed Cameras and a Tabulated Fine Schedule. By the way, those fines will far exceed any earlier predictions and become an economic windfall. But hear me loud and clear - this won't stop taxpayers from being hit by another new revenue scheme somewhere in the near future.

And yet - people will blindly re-elect the same people instead of throwing the bums out? Well folks - you get what you pay for and until you demand better - you won't get it! And therein lies the insanity as voters cannot understand the damage they bring upon themselves. Either that or a hell of a lot of people have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo for employment. Still, that doesn't explain the entire voting population and that means that there are many who just submit to the minority and must pay dearly for it.

And believe me - there is a cost associated with corruption! But unless these people who unconditionally vote Democratic every election believe that thievery and corruption has become a valued democratic principle all of a sudden then the time has come for them to show their displeasure at those making decisions. And that doesn't mean voting for Republicans or for RINO's - hell go out and vote for Green or Independent Party Candidates.

But if you must remain a staunch Democrat because "Dat's Da Way It Is" well then I just have ask - how's that guaranteed pension doing for you after your Democrats mandated all those funding holidays, or after they tagged you with all those new increased taxes and fees while talking give-backs? And how do you feel about seeing no substantial improvements in our infrastructure, public safety or human services?

Better yet, how do you feel about Joseph Berrios or Edward M. Burke, both of whom could qualify as being poster children for bad government or Bad Democrats? Do you like it that these two have enriched themselves by getting massive property tax reductions or refunds for the politically connected and/or those willing to pay to play while your own taxes go up?

But hey, one shouldn't just look at these two guys because there are a hell of a lot of other "DEM Bosses" (pun intended) within Illinois considering how many taxing authorities have their hooks in us. Still Joseph Berrios is most special of all to me because he does his dirty work without fear of the authorities or reprisal by the voters.

Because in Cook County Joe Berrios Is Da Boss!

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  • I think this is the first time something came out that Berrios was implicated in taking bribes, as opposed to the old fashioned Burke type of tax appeal conflict of interest.

    As you indicated, it is whether the feds are going to go up the tree, but they had previously shown the desire to do so, especially when prosecuting small hacks at the Libertyville SOS office finally led to George Ryan.

    However, gerrymandering isn't an issue here, as the assessor runs at large in Cook County. I doubt that gerrymandering has much effect on the Board of Review either, there being a Republican in the north suburban seat. However, it certainly has an effect in the do nothing legislature, especially since the pressure is off now that the legislators are getting their funds transfers.

    But I mentioned earlier that the alternative Claypool turned out not to be an alternative, and Berrios sent out the only comprehensible assessment notice. Probably the only solution is to combine the offices of County Assessor, County Clerk, and township assessors, and then there would be only one crook to watch.

  • In reply to jack:

    I think you may right on this being the first, but the conflicts of interest allegations, as well as the campaign contribution money trail, would suggest he indeed has had a personal lettuce patch.

    Besides these are the type of positions where direct intervention on behalf of a client and the person making the decision run hand in hand. Hopefully this will lead to a "much closer look" with an indictment being the cherry on top ala Ryan's Secretary of State bribery operation. At least it curtailed some of those shenanigans in that office for a while although it probably still exists.

    As for the Berrios comprehensive assessment well shit he should at the very least make the appearance he is doing his job right? I mean suburban residents have been getting those comprehensive assessment notices for decades - seems Crook County was a wee bit late to that party.

    Gerry-mandering, I believe, ultimately casts a wide circle due to its influence factor and ability of the powers that be to engineer a wider swath of nonsense. Especially given the intermingling and overlapping of authority among the various taxing bodies and/or boards. But I do agree that it is easier to combine, as you suggest, if only to cut down the number of crooks that need watching.

    Personally, it doesn't matter whether it is Berrios or Claypool - they are all useless and should be thrown out with the trash.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    The last point is certainly true. However, the problem, as exemplified by the last governor and U.S. Senate races is that the machine starts with a 400,000 vote advantage in Cook County, which certainly doesn't help in any county-wide race, and is only on the margin in the state-wide ones.

  • In reply to jack:

    I hear you Jack, except I wouldn't discount the strength of vote advantages in Downstate Democratic enclaves either. Just saying, but it seems to me that that number goes up when you factor in the East Moline-Rock Island, Belleville-East St. Louis, Peoria, Rockford and of course all the State College Towns - well that 400,000 vote margin grows even more. So yeah, it is tough to overcome the strength of Democrats when some 60% of the voters don't even bother to show up. And I don't think that scenario changes anytime soon.

  • In reply to jack:

    I guess when a drug user says and does anything, we believe him. I don't see where Berrios is guilty of anything when they were "listening" in and could've had Berrios red handed. It seems that the two idiots had threw out names.

    I've appealed my taxes there before and I know now that Berrios is gone, he didn't control that office. Larry Rogers is in control and he is the Commissioner that makes the decisions. Someone there told me that Berrios was the Da Boss until Larry Rogers showed up and took over.

    I don't know how much that is true but I can tell you that nothing has changed and it is still Rogers running the Board. Do I think he was involved with the "idiots", I don't think so because since I've been appealing my taxes, Rogers has been Da Boss.

    Maybe Berrios is that good but I don't think so.

  • In reply to Salt mines:

    Thanks for commenting Salt Mines. Naturally one has to take anything with a grain of salt when someone is trying to save their own hide but I wouldn't underestimate Berrios despite your assertion that Rogers was doing the day to day's if you will.

    Berrios, has been able to become one of the untouchables within the Cook County Democratic Machine and that has a lot to do with where the money comes from and under what circumstances in relation to his capacity to "approve or deny" those hefty tax bills.

    So I don't think it is much of an accident that the 4 or 5 most influential Democratic politicians in Illinois are involved in granting tax reductions - it is, as someone once said "a bleeping goldmine." So as I have repeatedly said - follow the money.

    But hey, let's see what else shakes out right? The Feds tend to go after the little guys first before the big tunas. And if authorities are willing to let someone skate on a potential 40 year sentence in exchange for 20 months? So you have ask - what exactly have the Feds been given?

  • In reply to Salt mines:

    Mike's point seems to be that as head of the Cook County Democratic Committee, he is the boss. Thus, we shouldn't take it on faith that he suddenly is clean.

    Also, Berrios or one of his relatives* initially makes the assessment. If he is overassessing, and it looks like he is, he makes it that much easier for the lawyers in the assessment appeal business, and Rogers.

    Now, whether the defendants, who are stupid enough to speak to a wired mole, are telling the truth, or this is like Beavers saying the feds are only interested in him turning in John Daley, I don't know. Also, I don't know if J.J.Jr. protege Rogers is on the up and up, either.

    __________
    *The nepotism allegation not being denied, but he merely claims that he is above the County Board's ethics ordinance.

  • In reply to jack:

    Just so you know, I have no doubts that Rogers is knee-deep or just as corrupt as the next guy as Salt Mine suggests. But yes Berrios is the Boss primarily because of him being the head of the Democratic Committee. That, in an off itself, opens up many avenues of opportunity for favoritism and likelihood of a few fat envelopes being passed around at Berrios' favorite restaurants. Again follow the money......money......money......money.

  • Sadly, this is all true.

    And mostly unfixable due to the electorate out here that will continue to vote against their interest due to hollow promises.

    Will the last tax-paying, lawful person in Crook County turn off the twisty bulb before leaving?

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    I like your Twisty Bulb comment Richard especially because that too is sad but true. Things will never change in Crook County (and elsewhere).

    p.s. I am now into my second reading of the Liberty Amendments because (a) I like it and (b) do not want to miss the finer points. I see where your head is at in all this and why you take the position you do. And you have my respect for standing tall.

    My only observation (sic, criticism of Levin's work) is that it will require politicians to buy into it and I do not see them cutting off their own spigots. But - I do agree with the premise presented. It is simple enough and logical while providing the nation with new blood and new ideas politically.

    Unfortunately the only way we get the Liberty Amendments is if there is an Insurrection first and even then it would be a crap shoot if still another group of greedy bastards don't manipulate the power vacuum that is created.

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