Park Forest Mayoral Candidate Only Enters Public Housing Unit After Hours; Turkey, Anyone?

turkey
Turkey for your vote?

Juniper Towers is a public housing complex in Park Forest, Illinois. As such, there is a regular staff, and those wishing to enter without a specific destination must adhere to certain standards, letting staff members know they are present.

Because this is public housing, candidates for public office are not permitted to enter and wander aimlessly, moving from floor to floor, door to door.

Turning Left has learned from several reliable sources that one mayoral candidate in Park Forest, Illinois — and a current public official in that town — has been doing precisely that. Mr. JeRome Brown, a second-run mayoral candidate in Park Forest, IL, has been described by sources as entering Juniper Towers, walking floor to floor, going door to door, but only after staff for Juniper Towers have left for the day. Only after hours.

Obviously, Mr. Brown has someone on the inside who is opening the front door for him, or he waits surreptitiously for someone to exit so he can enter.

We have to ask: why not enter when staff is present? Why wait until staff have gone home for the day to begin his surreptitious campaigning?

We have learned, to our amusement, that Mr. Brown raffled off a turkey before Christmas. The winner was the first person who could prove he or she had a voter registration card.

Why give a turkey only to someone already registered to vote? Why raffle a turkey at all, unless he is engaging in an all-out campaign to buy votes.

A few years ago, a mayoral candidate in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, also attempted to buy votes, this time from seniors. This candidate promised, and delivered, a box of chocolates and seven dollars cash — yes, cash — to any senior who promised to vote for him, and he promised to provide them a ride to the polls.

The seniors took the chocolate, pocketed the $7.00 cash, and voted in droves for his opponent.

His opponent won. Handily.

Mr. Brown appears to believe that seniors and other members of public housing in Park Forest, Illinois, are simple, gullible folks, ready to cave and give their votes to someone obviously pandering for their attention, for their votes.

Turning Left must ask, is turkey the only thing of substance Mr. Brown has to offer?

Mr. Brown Tries To Buy Park Forest

We have learned that a Mr. JeRome Brown is trying to buy Park Forest.

Try this:

brown

We at Turning Left will watch this election cycle. This is among the most tawdry we have found. Ever.

Here, we see Mr. Brown appealing to seniors for something he cannot promise under the laws of Park Forest – jobs. Unless he were to somehow soak the local taxpayers for more, and then create jobs out of thin air.

But even the Meeks of Chicago would object of so foolhardy a use of resources, even for political gain.

Yes?

Perhaps no.

Yoi.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: Crowd-funding Campaign

We are thrilled to announce the launch of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition’s crowdfunding campaign, “Cops Lead Drug War Victims on  Journey for Peace.” 

Making use of the footage shot during 2012’s Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity, LEAP is producing a documentary filmabout the law enforcers who led a caravan of drug war victims across the United States in a campaign to acknowledge the devastation created by Mexico’s war on drugs. 

LEAP’s mission was to supplement the victims’ testimony with law enforcement voices bearing personal witness to the harms and wasteful futility of the War on Drugs here in the United States.

LEAP journalists Dean Becker and Sam Sabzehzar joined with filmmakers from Mexico and around the world to document the emotional testimonies of the victims and police throughout the 27-city tour, shooting more than 500 hours of unedited video.

This moving story of law enforcement coming together with drug war survivors reveals a truth about the value of ending the violence generated by drug prohibition.

We write to request your help in two ways.

1. Would you make a gift of at least $25 today to support this film’s production?  

2. Would you invite at least 10 friends to join this effort with you and make a gift by sharing the link (www.tiny.cc/leap_film)? 

We have the film. We have the story. You have the funds to help us edit, translate, score and finish a documentary that will draw attention to the grief caused by the war on drugs around the world. 

As a LEAP supporter, your contributions are truly what sustain our efforts. Please help us to complete this film and educate the public on the dire need for an end to drug prohibition. 

Thank you, 

Major Neill Franklin (Ret.)
Executive Director
Law Enforcement Against Prohibtion

Suffer the Soccer Children: Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta is a Real Piece of Work

Village of Crestwood
First the water, now the vindictive mayor.

It wasn’t too long ago we were all saying, "If you go to Crestwood, don’t drink the water."

Now?

"If you go to Crestwood, beware the mayor."

Especially if you play soccer.

Play soccer in a league that has been in existence for more than 40 years.

A league that is its own not-for-profit (NPF).

Do you get that?

An independent corporation.

In existence for more than 40 years.

Feel so, so very sorry for this Illinois village, stuck with a mayor hell-bent on stepping on children for political gain, clawing his way to the headlines, making a name for himself as a perpetrator of political vendetta.

The mayor wants to see the books.

The mayor wants a cut of the pie.

The mayor has a political vendetta.

Suffer the children.

Here’s some background from Phil Kadner’s recent contribution to the Southtown Star, Kadner: Mayor picks fight with soccer club.

I like and enjoy reading Phil Kadner. Please make a point of reading him.

Ahem. Yes. The background, from Phil Kadner:

At issue are the soccer fields just south of 138th Street and Lavergne Avenue, which are on ComEd land overlooked by high-tension towers.

According to soccer club board members, 32 years ago former Mayor Chester Stranczek agreed to let the club use the property rent-free after the village signed an agreement with the utility company for use of its easement.

Volunteers with the soccer club leveled the land by hand, raised money to construct a $22,000 fence and gate, more money to buy soccer goals and an additional $13,000 to build a garage to house equipment.

The village cuts the grass on the field. But, for 20 years, the field has been in use by the not-for-profit Crestwood Soccer Club, composed of "more than 500 children signed up for its fall season; about 70 percent Crestwood residents and the rest from the surrounding suburbs," according to Kadner.

Seventy percent is an amazing figure for a club, and political suicide for anyone to mess with. Especially a 20-year agreement.

But why should that stop Lou Presta?

There are 40 recreation teams and five travel teams in the club.

That’s amazing.

So why, pray tell, is the mayor, Louis Presta, messing with this fine organization, and the 500+ children (70% from Crestwood) who are members?

First, Crestwood Trustee John Toscas is president of the not-for-profit (NFP) Soccer Club.

And Toscas, it appears, is not a strong-enough supporter of the mayor.

The proposed solution?

Again, from Phil Kadner:

A proposed village ordinance would create a new seven-member parks commission appointed by the mayor, and create a new position of director of parks and recreation.

Presta told me the position would be filled by a current village employee at no increase in salary.

But the ordinance says compensation for the director “shall be established by the board of trustees annually.”

Get this straight.

Crestwood does not own the land. ComEd owns the land. Kids play under high tension wires. ComEd leases the land to Crestwood.

Now Presta wants to call that land a park.

A village park.

Even though Crestwood does not own the land.

And there’s more, and it’s about money:

Not only that, Presta indicated he wants the soccer club to share the money it raises with the rest of the village’s recreational programs.

“Some recreation programs make money and some don’t,” Presta said. “I believe the money should be spread around so that those that make money can help support those that don’t to provide opportunities to everyone.

Of course. So this private corporation must now open its books to the village.

And pay, pay, pay.

Because Lou Presta, mayor of Crestwood, is a real piece of work.

A real, real piece of work.

Please read Phil Kadner’s entire column here.

Would You Protest If Bill Clinton Offered To Campaign For You?

I don’t care if you’re in the Democratic Party, Republican Party, Coffee Party, Tea Party or any other party. If former president Bill Clinton offered to campaign for you, you’d let him.

Wouldn’t you?

Come on, now. Of course you would. Bill is an excellent, excellent campaigner.

Which is why it appears the sanctimony runneth over in Chicago these days as former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun (where, exactly, has she been these past several years, only to rise from the dust and run for mayor of Chicago?) and Rep. Danny Davis decry Bill Clinton’s offer to campaign for Rahm Emanuel.

Carol. Danny. Come on.

Come on.

If Bill Clinton offered to campaign for you, would you really turn him down?

Really.

Joe Berrios Continues To Give Taxpayer-Paid Jobs To Family Members Like Candy

From the Chicago Sun-Times (sporting a clean, new look today):

Criticized repeatedly for stacking the public payroll with family members, Joe Berrios has hired his son and sister to work for him as he takes the reins of the Cook County assessor’s office.

Berrios, who was sworn in as assessor Monday after winning a rough-and-tumble election, hired son Joseph “Joey” Berrios as a $48,000-a-year residential analyst and sister Carmen Cruz as director of taxpayer services at a salary of $86,000. Their salaries will remain unchanged from when they both worked for Berrios when he served on the Cook County Board of Review, which hears property tax appeals.

“They’ve got experience, and I’m hiring people with experience,” Berrios told the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday.

Berrios said he wants competent people he can trust working in his administration.

“I trust them,” he said. “It is what it is.”

Yes, Joe.  It is what it is.

Nepotism.

Plain as day.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson To Be Inducted Into Rich Central H.S. Hall of Fame

It’s good news, and we offer congratulations to Sen. Hutchinson!

From ENEWSPF:

Rich Central High School will induct 14 into the school’s Hall of Fame.

“We, at Rich Central High School in Olympia Fields are very proud of all of our students, present and past,” the school said in a press release. “On Saturday, October 23rd we unite to honor some of our former students and their great accomplishments. This is a wonderful event for all of our communities to enjoy. Our Keynote speaker is Senator Toi W. Hutchinson – Class of “91 and we will be joined by several board members, mayors, aldermen and friends of Rich Central.  Our award winning RC Jazz Band, under the direction of Mr. Phillip Crews, will provide the entertainment.”

The following are the 2010 Hall of Fame inductees:

A. Jason Bonaparte ‘97
President, Bonaparte Corporation

Michael Brock ‘88
Owner, Pacesetter Ground Transport & Global Logistics

Glen Brooks, Jr. ‘88
Chicago Police Dept. Area Coordinator & Special Projects

Gene A. Cross  ‘89
Head Coach College Basketball

Linda R. Delaney Milam ‘84
Software Engineer for NASA at Johnson Space Center

Michael C. Garner, Jr. ‘97
Football All-Star & Community Volunteer

Gregg Garofalo ‘88
Attorney, Garofalo & Thiersch, P.C.

Chuck Greenberg ‘68
Grammy Award –Winning Musician

Col. Steven R. Grimes ‘71
Chief of Ophthalmology, COL, Medical Corps, US Army

Sen. Toi W. Hutchinson ‘91
Illinois State Senator, 40th District & Community Service Volunteer

Derrick Murphy ‘00
Community Service Volunteer & Professional Athlete

Thomas K.R. Stovall ‘97
Small Business Expansion Consulting

Angela K. Walker ‘89
American Cancer Society & Community Activist

Rachel W. Williams ‘88
Attorney, HR Director for Avatar Corporation

Mark Kirk Bumbles Again: Exaggerates Role in Berman Bill

Yes, Mark Kirk did it again.

He claimed credit for something he did not do at all. Claimed credit for a bill the Democrats passed.

Mark Kirk claimed credit for a Democratic initiative.

Yet another Democratic wannabe.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Rep. Mark Kirk claims credit for being a driving force behind a bill signed into law this year that requires the president to crack down on companies doing business with Iran.

But the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Howard Berman, says Kirk is guilty of "exaggeration" when he says the "Kirk bill" became the "Berman bill" so it could pass the Democratic Congress.

"We didn’t even look at his legislation at the time," Berman said. "Our bill did so much more and went so far beyond his bill, I would have to put it in the context of an exaggeration."

Kirk told the Sun-Times editorial board last month, "The Iran Sanctions Bill, it was originally Kirk-Andrews, but if you were going to move it, that means you need to adjust to the power of the House. This legislation eventually became Howard Berman’s legislation, who is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He had my full approval in moving that forward under his badge."

For years, Kirk has been an apostle of trying to hold Iran’s feet to the fire by choking off its supply of gasoline. He passed a resolution this year to do that — H.R. 3081. (His staff had inadvertently listed the resolution as 3801 — a bill dealing with mortgages — on his campaign website but corrected it Monday morning after a Sun-Times story was published.) Kirk is listed as a co-sponsor of Berman’s bill.

"There is no doubt that Mark was a committed person on this idea, which wasn’t his idea, it was out there in the press," Berman said. "He introduced legislation in the previous Congress on refined petroleum products. He did chair a group I occasionally went to, the Iran Working Group.

"The bill that I was involved with, we didn’t even look at his legislation at the time. It was a much broader bill than his bill and, in fact, we were persuaded that while the refined petroleum sanctions were valuable and useful, Iran has a way of reducing its reliance on imported petroleum."

Illinois, you need to get it. Mark Kirk is not your man.

Alexi Giannoulias is the only coherent vote for United States Senate.

NYTimes Explosive Report: Sam Zell’s Culture of Stupidity at the Tribune Company

I heard Sam Zell speak a couple of years ago at the Inland Press Association’s Annual Meeting. He was funny. Seemed full of energy, off the cuff, eccentric.

An article in today’s New York Times reveals so much more, reporting on the bizarre culture Zell and those he has brought in have created at the Chicago Tribune and elsewhere at the Tribune Company.

Clearly, Zell is steering company into the ground.

From the NYTimes:

In January 2008, soon after the venerable Tribune Company was sold for $8.2 billion, Randy Michaels, a new top executive, ran into several other senior colleagues at the InterContinental Hotel next to the Tribune Tower in Chicago.

Mr. Michaels, a former radio executive and disc jockey, had been handpicked by Sam Zell, a billionaire who was the new controlling shareholder, to run much of the media company’s vast collection of properties, including The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, WGN America and The Chicago Cubs.

After Mr. Michaels arrived, according to two people at the bar that night, he sat down and said, “watch this,” and offered the waitress $100 to show him her breasts. The group sat dumbfounded.

“Here was this guy, who was responsible for all these people, getting drunk in front of senior people and saying this to a waitress who many of us knew,” said one of the Tribune executives present, who declined to be identified because he had left the company and did not want to be quoted criticizing a former employer. “I have never seen anything like it.”

The report goes downhill from there, where sexual harassment is justified as path to creative thinking, with disclaimers like this in the Tribune’s revised employee handbook:

“Working at Tribune means accepting that you might hear a word that you, personally, might not use,” the new handbook warned. “You might experience an attitude you don’t share. You might hear a joke that you don’t consider funny. That is because a loose, fun, nonlinear atmosphere is important to the creative process.” It then added, “This should be understood, should not be a surprise and not considered harassment.”

My jaw dropped several times reading this article. So sad. I don’t see how the Tribune can be taken seriously any more.

Todd Stroger Is There For You 24-9

24-9: the new magic number to watch for in upcoming indictments.

A top aide to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger was arrested and charged Monday with several felonies relating to alleged money laundering and theft.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Carla Oglesby, Stroger’s deputy chief of staff, was taken into custody about 4 p.m. by members of the Cook County state’s attorney’s financial crimes unit, said Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Oglesby is charged with several felonies, including theft of government property over $100,000, money laundering and official misconduct.

“It’s in connection with the ongoing financial crimes investigation conducted by the state’s attorney’s office into the awarding of so-called 24-9 contracts,” Daly said.

The “24-9” reference is to contracts that fall below the $25,000 mark, the threshold requiring approval by the Cook County Board.

On Monday afternoon Oglesby was pulling out of a Loop parking garage when investigators — armed with an arrest warrant — stopped her vehicle and took her into custody, placing handcuffs on her before they drove her to a nearby police station.

Her attorney did not return a call for comment.

Todd Stroger could not be reached for comment either, the Sun-Times reports.

I remember when Todd Stroger was running to be elected to the seat his father held. I was at a meeting of a local township’s Democratic organization when a young college student asked the Democratic Committeeman if Stroger received the nod just because of his name. The committeeman responded with a lecture, “Young lady, you need to understand how things work.”

“How things work” at the time essentially meant “fall in line.” The young college student was too naive.

Weren’t we all…?

Toni Preckwinkle, clean up this mess. Please.

And work for the taxpayers of Cook County 24-7, not 24-9.