Call It "Reform" & You Can Double Your Price

Mayor Cermak:  "You know I was elected as a reform candidate."
Frank Nitti: "What the hell does that mean, Tony?"
Mayor Cermak:  "It means that the price is double."
This is apparently a favorite Saul Alinsky story about Anton Cermak and Capone lieutenant Frank Nitti discussing the cost of keeping prohibited liquor flowing in Chicago, as told in a new biography, according to blogger / teacher / former organizer Larry Ferlazzo in a blog entry about the rash of inexperienced vendors selling their reform services.


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  • This has happened to me several times during my 5-year tenure with CPS. I find the cheapest possible prices online for the materials I need, but the retailer is not an approved CPS vendor. So, our purchasing director buys the same items from an approved vendor at double or more than double the cost.


  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I ordered ten projectors at over $900 each. If I had been able to purchase it through, it would have been $600. Why doesn't Humpin' Hubey deem this as wastful spending?

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    My guess is the vendor list initially kept corruption OUT of purchasing by providing much needed oversight to government money. Then again, maybe I'm hopelessly naive. It's function today is obvious enough. The approved vendor list SUPPORTS the system of patronage in the age of the internet. I've lost track of how many "good buddies" my principal has who have opened up part time businesses to rake in the cash as a CPS vendor. It's truly an amazing thing. I'd bet a lot of money that most of the people and companies on the vendor list know someone fairly high up in CPS.

    I found two white boards I needed online for my room for $400 each, shipped. The school ended up paying $1000 each for literally the exact same product. Want to guess what the CPS vendor did? Ordered the whiteboards from the same online company where I found them and delivered them to my building. Heh.

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