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!
Tags: Big Brother Speed Cameras, Chicago, Chicago Political Commentary and Joe Berrios, Chicago Politics, City of Chicago, Cook County, Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, Cook County Board of Review, Cook County Property Tax, Corruption, Edward M. Burke, former Cook County Board of Review President Joe Berrios, Gerry-mandering, Illinois Legislature and Illinois Supreme Court, Joe Berrios, Joe Berrios Is Da Boss, Joseph Berrios, Nepotism, One Person One Vote, Political Corruption, Politics, Property Tax Appeals, Property Taxes, Speed Cameras, Thomas Hawkins, Thomas Hawkins Trial