Daily archives: January 21st, 2010

Let Harold Washington Rest In Peace, Dan (Video)

I laughed so hard when I heard this today on WBBM. Harold Washington campaigns from beyond the grave for Dan Hynes.

Give me a break.

From the Sun-Times:

One of Chicago’s most iconic politicians, Mayor Harold Washington, surfaced from the grave Thursday to call his 1986 hiring of Gov. Quinn as city revenue director “perhaps my greatest mistake in government.”

Washington’s comments appear in a new ad by Comptroller Dan Hynes that debuted on Chicago television stations Thursday and could prove to be a defining moment in their bitter gubernatorial primary.

“I must have been blind or staggering,” Washington said in the ad, which uses archival video from a November 1987 WGN-TV interview of Washington. “I would never appoint Pat Quinn to do anything. Pat Quinn is a totally and completely undisciplined individual who thinks this government is nothing but a large easel by which he can do his PR work.”

Quinn, at that point an up-and-coming government reformer, was brought on by Washington in 1986 to clean up the city’s scandal-plagued Revenue Department. But Washington canned Quinn in June 1987, alleging that Quinn engaged in grandstanding and repeatedly ignored orders.

“He went in there like a bull in a closet, wouldn’t do what he was told, which was to put the systems in there which I had discussed thoroughly with him,” Washington said, showing flashes of anger as he spoke. “No, he thought that department was a PR plantation, and he didn’t do his work. He was dismissed. He should have been dismissed. My only regret is that we hired him and kept him too long.”

The ad’s emergence caused Quinn’s gubernatorial campaign to go into major damage control, quickly issuing a lengthy statement that disputed Washington’s assertion Quinn was dismissed and asserted the late mayor is “spinning in his grave today.”

Quinn’s camp also ridiculed Hynes’ use of Washington’s image when the comptroller’s father, Tom Hynes, left the Democratic Party to mount an unsuccessful, third-party bid to unseat Washington in 1987.

“It is outrageous that Dan Hynes is now invoking the name of Mayor Harold Washington in a blatant maneuver to mislead voters. That Dan Hynes would use a 24-year-old news clip of a beloved figure to attack Gov. Quinn shows there is no limit to his negative campaigning. There also is no limit to his hypocrisy,” Quinn spokeswoman Elizabeth Austin said in a statement.

This is insane.

Dan, Pat, I could give a care how bad you think the other guy is. Tell us what you bring to the job, not what the other guy lacks.

For the record, Harold Washington and Pat Quinn reconciled, and Quinn supported Washington after the events referenced in the commercial. It’s politics. That’s all.

That having been said, I’m voting for Quinn. I like both of them, but I like Pat Quinn for governor more.

Preckwinkle Tops in New Tribune Poll; Todd Stroger Comes In Fourth

Toni Preckwinkle

From NBC 5 Chicago:

Chicago Ald. Toni Preckwinkle has surged to a significant lead in the Democratic primary for Cook County Board president as she has become better known and liked among suburban voters, a Tribune/WGN-TV poll shows.

Board President Todd Stroger fell to last place among the four candidates, his support dropping to 11 percent from 14 percent six weeks ago.

The Chicago Tribune adds more:

Board President Todd Stroger fell to last place among the four candidates, his support dropping to 11 percent from 14 percent six weeks ago.

During that time, Preckwinkle supplanted Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown as the front-runner with the support of 36 percent of likely Democratic voters, up from 20 percent, the poll found. Brown, who held a lead last month built upon her name recognition, fell from 29 percent to 24 percent.

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Terrence O’Brien rose to 16 percent from 11 percent in the December poll.

The survey of 503 likely Democratic primary voters, conducted Jan. 16-20, found only 12 percent undecided in the contest, putting the onus on Preckwinkle’s opponents to use the final days of the campaign to try to take support away from her. The survey’s error margin was 4.4 percentage points.

I like what I hear of Preckwinkle, although I have to admit her attack ads on Dorothy Brown for holding jeans days to raise money for charity is stupid, stupid, stupid. Many schools, companies and governmental bodies hold jeans days and give the money to charity. It’s a healthy practice and good for morale. Preckwinkle needs to stop these ads already. They’re nothing but silly.

That having been said, understanding that so during elections just becomes infantile, I’m still leaning toward voting for Preckwinkle.

NYTimes: The Supreme Court’s Blow to Democracy

From the New York Times:

With a single, disastrous 5-to-4 ruling, the Supreme Court has thrust politics back to the robber-baron era of the 19th century. Disingenuously waving the flag of the First Amendment, the court’s conservative majority has paved the way for corporations to use their vast treasuries to overwhelm elections and intimidate elected officials into doing their bidding.

Congress must act immediately to limit the damage of this radical decision, which strikes at the heart of democracy.

As a result of Thursday’s ruling, corporations have been unleashed from the longstanding ban against their spending directly on political campaigns and will be free to spend as much money as they want to elect and defeat candidates. If a member of Congress tries to stand up to a wealthy special interest, its lobbyists can credibly threaten: We’ll spend whatever it takes to defeat you.

The ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission radically reverses well-established law and erodes a wall that has stood for a century between corporations and electoral politics. (The ruling also frees up labor unions to spend, though they have far less money at their disposal.)

The founders of this nation warned about the dangers of corporate influence. The Constitution they wrote mentions many things and assigns them rights and protections — the people, militias, the press, religions. But it does not mention corporations.

The Times is right. If Congress does not act, your vote will be meaningless. You are a person. A corporation is not. Corporations will now be able to give as much money as they want to any and all politicians.

This is incredibly insane.

Olbermann: U.S. Government Completely For Sale

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

With no limits on campaign financing, corporations will take over the government.

I was flabbergasted by the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which overruled two precedents: Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, a 1990 decision that upheld restrictions on corporate spending to support or oppose political candidates, and McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, a 2003 decision that upheld the part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 that restricted campaign spending by corporations and unions, the New York Times said today.

The ramifications of this are incredible. Everything Keith Olbermann says in the video above is true. Sometimes Keith overreacts. Not this time.

I didn’t get a chance to listen to Thom Hartmann today, but I’m sure he was beside himself. Hartmann has been arguing for a long, long time that corporations are not people. He’s right. A corporation is a legal entity which exists on paper only. The First Amendment should not apply at all, but it was the First Amendment which persuaded five of nine justices otherwise.

This is incredibly unnerving. The New York Times editorial board is correct: "Congress must act immediately to limit the damage of this radical decision, which strikes at the heart of democracy."

Would You Kill For Drew Peterson?

Drew Peterson’s stepbrother, Thomas Morphey (left), took the stand Thursday in a hearing to decide whether prosecutors can use ‘hearsay’ evidence.

I shudder just to write that headline. Hearing a question like that from someone I’m close to would really give me pause.

Drew Peterson allegedly said something like that to his stepbrother.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

A day before Stacy Peterson vanished, Drew Peterson confided that his fourth wife was seeking a divorce — then asked a startling question, Thomas Morphey testified Thursday.

“How much do you love me?” Peterson asked, according to Morphey, his stepbrother. “Enough to kill for me?”

Their Oct. 27, 2007, conversation left Morphey shaken — and convinced that Peterson was planning to kill his 23-year-old wife, Morphey said.

Those fears grew a day later when Drew Peterson asked for help in moving a 3 1/2-foot-tall blue barrel out of his Bolingbrook home, particularly when Morphey picked up one end of the 140-pound container.

“It felt warm,” said Morphey, whose courtroom statements closely followed information he provided in an exclusive 2008 interview that ran in the Chicago Sun-Times. He said in that interview he believes Stacy Peterson’s body was in the plastic container he helped Peterson carry out of the house on Oct. 28, 2007.

The Sun-Times reports that Morphey acknowledged he was so upset by his actions that he took an overdose of prescription drugs the next day in a suicide attempt. He said he was contacted by police investigators after being released from the hospital and provided them information about Peterson’s alleged actions.

Innocent until proven guilty, and I hope the court does everything possible to ensure this is a fair trial.

Because it’s going to be incredibly ugly.

More here at the Sun-Times.