This comes to us from a blog reader (you know who you are) well acquainted with the ugly side of gambling.
(Chicago Tribune) Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing lawmakers to pass a gambling bill that would allow the city to weigh its choice of a casino operator in secret and forbid state regulators from taking away its license.
The legislation also would grant the mayor authority to seize land for a casino and keep not only the gambling profits but also two local taxes and a cut of an upfront fee paid for the right to run the gambling emporium.
If the legislation is successful, the City of Chicago (all too often a proxy for the mafia), dripping with corrupt politicians, many of whom end up in prison would be able to dodge areas of oversight all similar gaming facilities in Illinois face.
And we KNOW that the US Internal Revenue Service wouldn’t dare to look into the crooked dealings of former White House Chief of Staff (and Chicago Mayor) Rahm Emanuel. After all, if Rahm were to go to jail and sing, Obama would land in a cell next to his.
When the Chicago Casino Development Authority sits down to consider the bids from private companies competing to run the casino, it can do so behind closed doors with no oversight what-so-ever.
(Chicago Tribune article, cont’d) The measure calls for Chicago’s authority to accept sealed bids, which the city could keep secret under the state’s Freedom of Information Act until after it selects a casino operator. By contrast, when the Illinois Gaming Board considers the other new casinos, it will be required to open bids, discuss those proposals, listen to presentations from bidders and make a decision during public meetings.
“The process set up for Chicago definitely is unusual, and I think for something like this where you’ve got a lot of money at stake, the more transparency, the better,” said David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. “It raises a lot of concerns, and if this is how it was going to be selected in my state, I would want some more transparency.”
Time for a walk down memory lane. Don’t worry. The complete list is too long and burdensome to read. I’m just going to hit a few highlights.
Rod Blagojevich, close friend of Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama: Governor from January 13, 2003 – January 29, 2009 was convicted on 17 corruption counts last year and another in 2010 totaling a maximum prison sentence of 305 years.
George Ryan: Governor from 1999-2003, Illinois secretary of state from 1991 to 1999. Found guilty in 2006 on 18 federal counts regarding actions during time as secretary of state and as governor. Sentenced to 6½ years, imprisoned from 2007 to present, with an estimated release date of July 4, 2013.
Otto Kerner: Governor from 1961-1968, federal appeals court judge from 1968 to 1974. Found guilty in 1973 on 17 federal counts regarding actions during time as governor. Sentenced to 3 years, but imprisoned for less than a year (from 1974 to 1975) because of poor health.
Dan Walker: Governor from 1973 to 1977. Pleaded guilty in 1987 to three federal counts regarding actions occurring after he left office. Initially sentenced to seven years, but released after a year and a half (from 1988 to 1989) because of health concerns.
Other Illinois politicians
Dan Rostenkowski: Congressman from 1959 to 1995. Pleaded guilty in 1996 to two federal counts regarding actions during time in Congress. Sentenced to 17 months, imprisoned for 15 months, from 1996 to 1997.
Mel Reynolds: Congressman from 1993 to 1995. Found guilty in 1995 on state counts related to having sex with a minor. Sentenced to five years. Then found guilty in 1997 on 15 federal counts regarding actions during campaigns for Congress. Sentenced to six and a half years. President Clinton commuted his sentence in 2001.
Betty Loren Maltese: Cicero town president from 1993 to 2002. Found guilty in 2002 on six federal counts regarding actions during time as town president. Sentenced to eight years, imprisoned for seven years, from 2003 to 2010.
Jim Laski: Chicago city clerk from 1995 to 2006. Pleaded guilty in 2006 on one federal count regarding actions during time as alderman and city clerk. Sentenced to two years, imprisoned for less than a year, from 2007 to 2008.
Tom Keane: Alderman from 1945 to 1974. Found guilty in 1974 on 18 federal counts regarding actions during his time as alderman. Sentenced to five years, imprisoned for less than two years, from 1976 to 1978.
Add Miriam Santos Chicago treasurer, Ed Vrdolyk alderman, Paul Powell secretary of state and countless others- adding to over 1000 according to a University of Illinois report.