Saturday, March 31, 2007

Todd Stroger's Blog has been updated.

This blog may be a joke but it really does sound like him. It has his voice either this is the Cook County Board President or someone out there has literally got him down pat. A hilarious prank if I can call it that.

Still check out the latest post he takes aim at the fact that there are some people who haven't gotten over the last election. Claims he will his own campaign website up. Especially since two of his former opponents Tony Peraica and Forrest Claypool.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday afternoon cleaning

Well I just decided to post an image that shows my email address. You can't click on it to send my e-mail you'll just have to type it out. You can go to my profile and I've made my e-mail address available there if you want to click on it to send me an email.

That makes my about description obsolete. So I'll have to come up with some ideas. Email me if you have any suggestions on how I should make some changes to it.

I think it's time I changed my profile pic again. Dr. Benjamin Mays needs a rest from being the public face of this blog. It needs a new one. Over time there have been Bill Cosby, Dr. Martin Luther King, Captain Bejamin Sisko (Star Trek: Deep Space 9), John H. Johnson of Johnson Publishing Company, Captain James T. Kirk (the original Star Trek), and perhaps others too numerous to name.

Choices for new profile pics for right now are Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Crispus Attucks, Benjamin Banneker, John Sengstacke & John Abbot of the Chicago Defender, Mayor Harold Washington of Chicago, Mayor Maynard Jackson of Atlanta, Frederick Douglass, WEB DuBois, etc. Those are just to name a few.

Any whatever the prevailing wisdom or indeed feedback or whatever suggest it will be right for the moment. OK.

Jesse Jackson backs Sen. Obama for president

Now I was lukewarm or cool to Obama as a politician even when he ran for the Senate or even as the talk started about him running for President. Still I think this is a great move by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. He's using the kind of language I would use now. From today's Crain's...

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Thursday he's backing Democrat Barack Obama in his presidential bid, giving his support to a new generation of black politicians.

"He has my vote," the Rev. Jackson told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Jackson sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988, winning 13 primaries and caucuses in 1988. His son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, already has endorsed Obama.

Jackson represents a different era of black politician, battle-tested by the civil rights struggles of the 1960s with Martin Luther King Jr.

Obama, 45, is biracial - his white mother was from Kansas, his father Kenyan - and educated at Ivy League universities.

In his best-selling memoir, "Dreams From My Father," Obama said he couldn't even get in the door at national civil rights groups when he was younger. He wrote letters to them after graduating from Columbia University but said none responded.
Jackson could help Obama to secure the support of black voters, a critical bloc in the Democratic primaries.

Jackson has a long history with one of Obama's chief rivals, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband former President Clinton. He counseled the two when the president's affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky became public.

But Jackson said his history with the Clintons doesn't complicate his decision to back his home state senator, calling Obama Illinois' "favorite son."

"It's not awkward at all," he said, adding, "I don't owe a debt to any of them."

Jackson said he will support the winner of the Democratic nomination, whether it's Obama or not, and he is talking to other candidates because of his agenda that includes the war on poverty and voter protection.
A new generation of black politicians. That how I see Obama. We need new ideas and fresh faces. That's Obama right now. And it's great the Rev. Jackson doesn't feel like he owes a debt to the Clintons. Honestly we already had a Clinton in the White House why elect another one. Just like we got another Bush in the White House over a decade later.

Good move though Rev. Jackson!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Opposition to the GRT

Remember my post about the black religious leadership being on board for the Gross Reciepts Tax (GRT or I can use an alternate title Tax Fairness Plan). This is designed for funding schools and to get a health care program off the ground. There's a lot of bellyaching on this and I'm going to highlight more.

On Tuesday, things seemed a little slow over at Illinoize so I posted about a black business organization's opposition to the GRT. In fact Hermene Hartman, publisher of N'Digo has been very much against the GRT and said so in her column and proposed alternate proposals. So there are other opposition to the GRT.

In a column today Michael Snead reports that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. opposed the Governor's GRT proposal for the same basic reason, it will hurt small businesses.

On top of that three Democratic state senators have problems with the GRT proposal...
Sens. William Delgado, Martin Sandoval and Antonio Munoz put out a statement saying they want to debate other possibilities.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich has proposed a "gross receipts" tax that would apply to nearly all Illinois business transactions. He says business should pay a bigger share of Illinois taxes, and he wants to use the money for education and health care.

The three senators applaud his goals but question the tax proposal. "We believe the governor's insistence on the gross receipts tax as the exclusive solution to this problem is short-sighted," the Chicago Democrats said.

They suggested a plan to raise income and sales taxes while lowering local property taxes. They called that idea "more realistic."
Well the Capitol Fax Blog is a little more balanced on this than mine only because I am tracking the opposition only. Well hopefully this will be an interesting debate. We'll see how it goes.

Now here's a sport that doesn't require expensive sneakers...

Check out this Sun-Times article titled, "Water polo making splash among African Americans".

Yup you don't need any Air Jordans in a swimming pool. Julian High School a very nice school on 103rd Street just off I-57 (the only expressway without a name strangely enough) and it's just off some railroad tracks. Namely the Metra Rock Island line which runs along Vincennes Avenue.

So this story caught my attention and normally I could just let the story be seen by you in the links provided in the feed, but today I'll give you a treat. Show that our young people are doing some interesting things. They play water polo.

Four Julian seniors played their first home water polo game Wednesday against Gage Park at West Pullman Park District, the place where the foursome picked up the sport as youngsters.

Two sets of twins, Marvin and Marvell Rudd and Jerrel and Jarral Elam, are on Julian's first-ever water polo team. A fifth senior, Stanford Wallace, was absent from the home opener. All of the players are African-American.

"A lot of people don't know about water polo, but I'd prefer to do water polo over [sports like] baseball or football," Marvin Rudd said. "I want us to represent to African Americans, especially since we've been working so hard."
"[West Pullman swim coach] Danny Prear got me started, and at first I didn't like it because it was hard," said Rudd, who started playing water polo in sixth grade. "[As a freshman], I went right out for the swim team. There were a lot of us who already knew how to play. We've been trying to get a water polo team at Julian since our freshman year. Everybody loves this game."
You know I remember that during the debate over the Olympics in Chicago, west side leaders wanted to have an Olympic size swimming pool on that side of town. Well this article touches upon the fact that there aren't many pools in black neighborhoods...

Coach Linnea Garrett said it took about three years for Julian to get the team started after this year's group of seniors entered the South Side school four years ago.

"I think a lot of our seniors have wanted this since their freshman year," Garrett said. "But to find the resources and dedication to it took about three years from all levels. I didn't realize they had played water polo and they did swimming on the side."

Most of the seniors grew up within an eight-block radius of one another near the West Pullman Park District.

"In an all African-American neighborhood, to do a non-traditional activity is impressive," Garrett said. "There are very few pools there."
You know I have been hearing about this movie perhaps when I get the first opportunity I should check it out. I knew it involved swimming, but what else. I'm liking some of the movies coming out featuring a mostly black cast. It's almost like these movies are less negative and a little more inspiration...
It's almost fitting that Julian had its first home game about a week after the movie "Pride" opened last Friday. "Pride" is the true story of African-American swimmer Jim Ellis, who started an African-American swim team at a Philadelphia rec center in the early 1970s.
Finally how is the water polo scene in the Chicago Public Schools..
Kevin McCray, the Public League's water polo coordinator, said there are either girls and/or boys water polo teams at Julian, Young, Lane Tech, North Side College Prep, Morgan Park, Mather, Curie, Kenwood, Lincoln Park, Von Steuben, Lake View, Gage Park, Taft and Foreman. Julian, Gage Park and Lake View are all in their first seasons this year.

"Our stronger schools are on the North Side, like Lane and Lincoln Park and Young [on the West Side]," McCray said. "But the South Side is coming on with better swimming and water polo teams.

"We'd like to have more promotion in the schools, but the Park District has a pretty big water polo program, and the swim clubs encourage the kids to do [water polo]. The youth group swim clubs around the city have a great deal of effect [on getting more kids to play water polo]."
Yeah not all the young guys want to play basketball which was the case back in my days in high school. In fact those who didn't want to attend class, they'd instead attend when the unit was basketball. Good luck to them though.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's been a long time since I've actually followed a videoblog...

You can call them vlogs if you want. Videoblogging sounds better. If I even do one I might come up with a better name for one of those.

Anyway there is a blog where you can keep up with news about videoblogging called the Vlog Press Kit. A collection of stories and links with regards to the vloggosphere. The authors there hope to be able to help journalist learn a little more about videoblogging.

BTW, I haven't followed this scene too often because since "discovering" it in 2005 when I first started blogging, the scene has slowed down considerably. Kind of unfortunate but I suppose when it comes to one-man (or one-lady or one-person) it's basically very easy to do. That's not to say they don't produce.

Here's a videoblog I saw today and maybe you have some space at home to build a personal museum of stuff. This segment is courtesy of Lo-Fi St. Louis.

Also Videoblogging week is coming up next week during between the 1st and 7th of April. Have your broadband internet connections ready!!!!

GOP angry over Gerson's removal

Oh my, the Republican scene no matter how small it really is in Chicago is interesting. If you follow Repulican news in Illinois you might have heard about this. Almost a shame especially since in Chicago and Cook County Republicans are basically irrelevant. Check out this post from last year during the County Board President's race.

I've seen a couple of open letters for this and this article from Skyline Chicago about the controversy over the 42nd Ward GOP organization's committeman. Let's have a look...
Can you hear the 42nd Ward's GOP elephants trumpeting, in protest of the unexpected removal of recently-appointed Republican Committeeman, Eloise Gerson?

Gerson was recently appointed and then removed from the non-paid, elected position. Now, immediate past committeeman Rich Gordon is, "respectfully demanding" that the person responsible for her removal, Cook County Republican Central Committee chairman Liz Gorman, reinstate Gerson "Immediately."

"The 42nd Ward and Eloise Gerson are one of the few bright spots in the Republican party that actually produced results," said Gordon, who was elected in 2000, and re-elected in 2004.

Gordon resigned as committeeman in January due to business reasons, with the recommendation and stipulation that 42nd Ward GOP president, Gerson, be appointed to fill the remainder of his term, which would be up early next year.

According to Gordon, at that time, Gary Skoien, then-chairman of the Cook County Republican Party, appointed Gerson to be the 42nd Ward's GOP Committeeman. (When committeeman vacancies occur, the county chairman of the applicable party appoints the replacement, Gordon said.)

When Skoien stepped down as chairman in February because of his wife's health, a special election was held to replace him, and Cook County Commissioner/Orland Township Committeeman Gorman was elected. Within weeks of assuming the office, she removed Gerson.

According to Gordon, Gerson has played a "central role" in developing the 42nd Ward Regular Republican Organization into, "one of the most effective Republican organizations in Cook County. "

"In her capacity as the president of the organization, she has been a tireless worker and has served 42nd Ward Republicans in an outstanding manner," Gordon said.

He added that Gerson has been "both a leader and an engine," helping to distribute thousands of pieces of Republican campaign literature and sponsoring seminars and candidate debates. She has been a fixture at meetings of 42nd Ward community organizations.

Gerson, who has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates, serves on the Leadership Committee of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and, until her removal, was one of only two Republican Jewish ward committeemen, Gordon said. She has also been a delegate to the Republican National Convention and served as the Republican Jewish Coalition liaison to the Judy BaarTopinka campaign.
Hmmm, you know this same Gorman was pivotal at the county during the budget debates in the past couple of months. She supported a budget that resulted in the layoffs of many workers. Especially healthcare workers and prosecutors. So in her own party she is being attacked for her role in that.

Let's continue so for whatever reason she removed a committeeman from her position despite all she has done for her party. Why was she removed? Let's see what is being said on that...
According to Gerson, she was removed because she wouldn't change her vote from another candidate to Gorman. She said she received a call prior to the election from a Gorman supporter warning that if she didn't vote for Gorman and she won the race, she could be "unappointed as committeeman."

But, "My word is my bond," said Gerson, a Streeterville resident. "I can't flip-flop."
Then here are the excuses...
Yet Gorman said she removed Gerson, due to a "drastic decline," in Republican numbers.

"We're just looking to make a change," Gorman said, although she admitted the last election was a, "Democratic tsunami," and that Republican numbers are down.

Gorman said she was looking for a "professional change," and "Someone to bring the party together. She said she received a tremendous amount of support on the decision, calling it, "A move in the right direction.

"The decision has been made and I'm sure Eloise will run in the next election," Gorman said. "It was a very calculated decision. I sat back and looked at the numbers. There have been no brochures or outreach in the ward for several years.

"It was time for a change," Gorman said. "It's a good decision and I stand by it."
The position of 42nd Ward GOP committeeman is a rudderless position right now, because no one is sitting in that seat. Rich Gordon, whom Gerson succeeded says this...
Gordon called Gorman's reasoning ridiculous, and said everyone's vote has gone down, including hers. The 42nd Ward has the second highest vote in the city, behind only the 41st ward on the Northwest Side, Gordon said.
Hmmm, last year Peraica and no doubt other county Republicans were talking about how Chicago and Cook County needs a two party system. Well infighting like this isn't helping the situation. The Cook County GOP needs work.

Ben Wallace is joining the affordable sneaker movement

I never follow the NBA. I haven't since the Bulls last won their NBA title, but today is a special day because I want to talk about sneakers. Yes sneakers.

When I was in high school the big news often was when are these new Jordans coming out. I heard some guy talking about how if he can get these shoes today it's all over. It almost seemed like people waiting for the Nintendo Wii during the last Christmas season.

Well I showed a video of a man visiting a bank talking about saving his money instead of spending them on expensive basketball sneakers. Yeah the man is from My Urban Report make a visit. And then this.

From Gaper's Block, Chicago Bulls center Ben Wallace has lent his support to a line of affordable sneakers...
Stephon Marbury started it. Now, Ben Wallace is joining the cause.

Wallace is lending his name to the Starbury Movement, endorsing an affordable line of sneakers and apparel started by the New York Knicks' star. Wallace will begin wearing the Starbury II basketball shoe Thursday when the Chicago Bulls play his former team, the Detroit Pistons. And his own sneaker -- Big Ben -- is expected to hit the market in late August or the fall.

"Kids don't really understand what it takes to go out and buy a $300 pair of shoes," Wallace said at a news conference on Tuesday. "We don't understand the pressure we put on our parents when we're growing up. This is one of the things where I think the parents will appreciate it a lot more than the kids right now because it eliminates so much stress from the parents. All parents want to see their kids have nice things."

Now if only we can get these kids to think about school and how to dress on a job interview. Instead of them thinking about a pair of athletic shoes that they're not likely to ever play a sport in. Still maybe we do need to move away from expensive athletic shoes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

World of political blogs

I've been looking around the world of political weblogs. I have been particularly immersed in them since 2006. I'm in the world of Illinois political blogs now. And even though Illinois has been the focus for the most part it pays to look around the country.

I was checking out the websites that make up the Hotline Political Network. And there are many interesting sights of different content and styles. Only a precious few are actually blogs most others are actually databases of stories and link sites.

Through, I found this blog called It has a video companion called I like PubDef as something of St. Louis' answer to the Capitol Fax Blog. The site is almost like it except with the originally produced videos and on the side the sight owned does operate a buiness that helps political candidates. Still this is a political site that has content and is very well designed. Full service in many ways, a step up in the world of political blogging.

Also I want to point out the Alabama affiliate of the Hotline Political Network, Doc's Political Parlor and Home of Lawn Mower Repair. My goodness that site is so down home I can imagine the authors drinking some cold ones while digging up the day's political news. A very southern site if I say so. It sticks out only because it doesn't seem very professional but I guess that's the one thing that keeps me coming back. There's no pretension about that place unlike most of the other sites on the Hotline Political Network.

18th Ward Run-Off

I was reading the two links provided in the Capitol Fax Blog's Morning Shorts and this race got strange quick. How do I begin?

Well the challenge who should run drew enough votes to be in a run-off but he decided he couldn't run because he didn't have no cash. The fact that he was going to drop out of the race didn't end the contest as the third place winner gets to run against the incumbent now. This cause the second place winner to put his plans on hold. Confused? Here's the deal...

Chicago aldermanic candidate Paul Stewart was planning to drop out of the 18th Ward race because he couldn't raise enough money -- but he put those plans on hold Monday after he learned his exit would not automatically end the one-on-one runoff contest.

"I'll have to go back in consultation with my campaign committee," Stewart said. "The decision may still be the same. The decision may change. I'm not going to make an assumption up or down right now."

The former city official said he initially thought his departure would leave Ald. Lona Lane with no opposition in the April 17 runoff to succeed former Ald. Thomas Murphy, who was elected judge.

But the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners determined Monday that Lane would face the candidate who received the next highest tally in the February election: third-place finisher Joseph C. Ziegler Jr.

Stewart said he wants to inform his committee about the finding, but he conceded little has changed.

"We still don't have the money," he said.

Hmmm. Not sure what to say about it though. Perhaps his campaign didn't manage their money correctly. Now is the time to hustle too since he's in a runoff. If he doesn't feel he can compete then perhaps Stewart needs to get out of the way and try it again next time. Here's more...
"Maybe by virtue of the fact that this has transpired, there may be increased interest in the race," Stewart said. "Maybe that will be enough to get my message out."

Ziegler didn't learn he might be back in the race until Monday, when reporters started calling. He suggested Stewart, a former city employee, may be jumping in and out of the race just to block other challenges to Lane, who was endorsed by Mayor Richard Daley.

"Whether you play offense or defense, you play for the same team and the same coaches," Ziegler said. "It's still politics in Chicago."

Ziegler wasn't sure what he would do if his name was put back on the ballot. He received only 11.3 percent of the vote in February.

"As a candidate I'm placed at a severe disadvantage because I've lost 30 days of campaigning," Ziegler said. "I have kind of returned to work, and I have not thought one way or another about re-entering the race. Three weeks before Election Day you can't really launch a legitimate campaign."

If both Stewart and Ziegler drop out, fourth-place finisher Sydney Washington and last-place finisher Eldora Davis each get a shot in turn, Allen said.

Lane's campaign tried to stay out of it.

"We haven't gotten anything from the board of elections confirming it," spokesman Maze Jackson said. "Until then, Ald. Lane is focused on helping her constituents -- regardless of who runs."

This should be a textbook case of being prepared for any outcome. I suppose it's impossible to see the unforseen outcome. Still while I suppose you do have to look at any future debt, perhaps a campaign should just have a little fund off to the side in case of runoff.

Then again I'm no expert. I won't prentend that I know much about how to raise money, how to account for it, and even how to save it.

Service at the Roseland Post office from

The Internet Block Club 34th Ward. I think I was looking through the hits I got for this blog and found this. If not I probably unknowingly Googled this website. I then posted a link to this site a year ago.

Well not too long ago I discovered that they have a blog there and the webmaster dropped by The Eye to say hello. So I wanted to share this post with you since the latest controversy in the Chicago area has been mail delivery and how the mail doesn't get to where it needs to go in a timely fashion.

According to this story there's a problem at the Roseland neighborhood post office. Well there are actually two stories. Hmm I wonder if improvements must be made in the post offices around the area.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Bully Gets Bullied

Interesting video. Not that I agree with the title, but this was the title given on YouTube. I decided not to change it. And check out this link that helps to explain this episode.

This was just horrible. I think the people who went to this show was there to cause disruption. And I don't see how Rush Limbaugh was a bully. Whether you agree or disagree with the conservative, is there really any reason for this behavior? And did this behavior make people look good?

I don't know, but passions on one side of the aisle was very heated. This was a very painful telecast to watch. Perhaps Rush's only mistake was injecting politics into a TV show where the political was not to be discussed. He was guest hosting The Pat Sajak Show after all.

Hyde Park Herald takes aim at Dorothy Tillman

The Hyde Park Herald is doing a three part series. I suppose this is part one we are reading here. There are two stories about the losses of the Harold Washington Cultural Center and how Tillman and Lou Rawls had a falling out.

Let's take a look at these losses...

The most recent financial reports filed with state and federal officials by the non-profit organization Tobacco Road Inc., which manages the center, show it lost nearly twice as much money as it grossed in its first full year of operations. In recent months, the HWCC events calendar shows the state-of-the-art, 1,000-seat theater has been dark. Top-tier entertainment at the venue is rare, according to the center Web site. And events that help burnish Tillman legacy are routinely scheduled.

Private donations for the center, which totaled $2 million during the construction and fund-raising portions of the project, have all but dried up. A small but steady stream of public money continues to augment the HWCC operating budget, but the uncertain political future of the 3rd Ward could further jeopardize the center operational stability.
Ouch, not looking good for something that really should be an asset to a redeveloping neighborhood. Here's some more...

The financial outlook for the HWCC is shaky. In 2004, a cash crunch forced Tobacco Road to refinance one of its three mortgages to raise an additional $881,958 for operating and construction costs.

There are instances of apparent conflicts of interest involving current and former board members and management from the non-profit organization that oversees the HWCC.

Appearances of possible self dealing conduct by key management at the HWCC, which the Internal Revenue Service defines as financial transactions between a non-profit and virtually all persons closely related to the organization.
Another question that comes up is who's actually working at this cultural center. This place is a hotbed for nepotism...

Jimalita Tillman, one of three daughters of Dorothy Tillman, is Tobacco Road executive director. State and IRS records obtained by the Lakefront Outlook show Jimalita Tillman is paid $45,000 annually for 30 hours of weekly work for the organization.

Current and former members of the Tobacco Road board ?the body that is supposed to oversee Jimalita Tillman work include her brother Bemaji Tillman; Otis Clay, a Chicago musician and long time friend of Dorothy Tillman; Robin Brown, Dorothy Tillma former chief of staff; Brenda Ramsey, a campaign contributor to Tillman 3rd Ward Democratic Organization; and Terrence Bell, a financial contributor to Tillman campaigns.

Ald. Tillman did not respond to repeated requests by the Lakefront Outlook to discuss Tobacco Road board and management composition. Jimalita Tillman did not respond to requests for an interview or to written questions about the HWCC and Tobacco Road delivered to the cultural center.
They spoke to a Tim Walter who said that having family members run a non-profit can be problematic...

Tim Walter, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Small Foundations, said empanelling a non-profit entity oversight board with persons who share family ties and have friend-based loyalties can be problematic to the effective leadership and management of a non-profit entity.

"You want to avoid situations where a non-profit actions could trigger even the appearance of a conflict of interest," Walter said. "I think that one of the keys in running a small and successful non-profit."
There's a lot more information here that I had intended to put here perhaps I'll leave the other story for another post perhaps today or maybe tomorrow. But I want to share the comparisons made for this center with Newark, New Jersey...

Grams said a comparable example of a similar facility maximizing its potential to the community is the New Jersey Center for the Performing Arts (NJCPA), in Newark, N.J., which turned a $1.1 million profit during its first year in operation in 1999. They were programming and earning $10 million in ticket sales in the first year they opened and have maintained that level since then, Grams said. This was done in part through building networks of advisory committees in both corporate and religious sectors of Newark.

Like the HWCC, the NJCPA was also built almost entirely with public funds, and like the HWCC, it is also run as a non-profit organization. Both organizations are overseen by a board of directors. And the concept of using public money to fund both of these privately run non-profit groups is also similar.

Mayor Richard M. Daley said at the HWCC 2004 opening that the facility would Showcase what Chicago all about?and that residents from all walks of life will now be able to understand how important education is in arts and culture not only to the African-American community but to our city, our nation and the world.

Like Bronzeville, Newark population is predominately African-American. The city has been burdened, like Bronzeville, by urban decay and disinvestment. And, as is the hope in the heart of Bronzeville, revitalization characterizes Newark more recent history.

One of the goals in building the NJCPA was to help repair the city social fabric, ravaged by some of the worst 1960s race riots, said Lawrence Goldman, the NJCPA president. Creating a diverse programming schedule that appealed not only to Newark residents but also to the metropolitan area diverse population has been key in the center success.

NJCPA commitment to bringing diverse communities together is in our DNA, said Goldman. There is scarcely a major decision that impacts the arts center that is not looked at without understanding its effect on our diversity mission.

The Newark center December programming calendar reflects this commitment to diversity. NJCPA has scheduled events for 26 of December 31 days its artists performing gospel, soul, baroque, hip-hop, doo wop, classical music and a touring production of the Broadway play The Producers.

Some of the HWCC events, Tillman's political opponents allege, were staged to help boost the alderman's popularity. The alderman, who was appointed by Mayor Washington in 1983, is up for re-election in February 2007.

Uh-oh this opens up Ald. Tillman to more charges of using the center to make her self look good. Or at least ego boosting events where the Alderman and her daughters were honored as living legends and another where Tillman was the guest speaker. And it leads to this...

Some of the events held since the opening of the HWCC may also have violated federal non-profit tax law, said senior partner at Chicago-based Quarles & Brady LLP Janice Rodgers, a nationally-known charitable organization attorney.

In order for an organization to maintain a non-profit tax status, the IRS prohibits persons affiliated with a non-profit group and their relatives from conducting financial or in-kind transactions that profit a non-profit group senior management or members of its board of directors.

In addition to her duties at the HWCC, Jimalita Tillman also owns and operates the Spoken Word Cafe located directly north of the HWCC. Promotional material for the HWCC obtained by the Lakefront Outlook indicated that Spoken Word provides catering for HWCC events. That is potentially a violation of federal tax law, said Rodgers.

That is something that could trigger some scrutiny by the IRS, Rodgers said.
You know this doesn't look particularly good. They (her opponents and probably her informed constituents) get her on how she uses her money in her ward and her controversial legislation one of which happens to be a reparations ordinance and other things (man I wish I can share with you what she said about CTA Board Chairman Carole Brown). Anyway I would be shocked if she lost but these are points worth looking at.

Is Dorothy Tillman using this facility to benefit herself instead of the 3rd Ward of Chicago?

What's going on Harvey???

The Mayor out there in the struggling suburb Mayor Eric Kellog is starting to sound like a rough character. He's serving his first term as mayor after defeating his predecessor Nicholas Graves in 2005. This time though there some allegations are coming out about this campaign coming from Mayoral hopeful Brenda Thompson...
But in Harvey, the death threat Thompson says she received last Monday evening has also become a standard, far more ominous feature of election season.

Thompson, 58, became the third mayoral candidate in the past three elections to complain of a warning against her life last Tuesday, when she said that an unidentified man called and told her to drop out of the race.

"He called the campaign office and said, 'You'd better get out of the race, or something is gonna happen,' " she said.

"My daughters tell me I should be worried, but I'm not going to be intimidated."

The threat has been reported to state's attorneys and the FBI, said Thompson, adding that she did not trust Harvey's police department to investigate.

Before it went to the death threat story this Daily Southtown article talked about how elections go. You would hear about the theft of campaign signs. If only that was all it was. Then a death threat has become a much more,"a standard, far more ominous feature of election season."

There seems to be a history of this in Harvey. If there isn't any truth to what is mentioned here, it doesn't help that the allegations are going around...
In 1999, a Harvey police report surfaced alleging that a $2,000 bounty had been placed on then-Mayor Nick Graves by his rival Eric Kellogg.

Kellogg, who beat Graves to become mayor in the 2003 election, scoffed at the allegation.

And the police union, which backed Kellogg in the 2003 election, made its own counter-allegation of a death threat in 2002, claiming in a lawsuit that Graves had threatened to kill union officials during heated contract talks.

After his election, Kellogg then claimed at a council meeting in early 2004 that his and his family's lives had been threatened.

Three months earlier he, Police Chief Andrew Joshua and two controversial officers, Darnell Keel and Merritt Gentry, hauled in three women employed by the city and aggressively questioned them about a plot against Kellogg's life, according to a lawsuit the three women filed in 2004 and the city later settled for $60,000.
Mayoral hopeful Thompson has said that Harvey is a city, "gone wild". Still I don't know it takes a very courageous and a stand-up person to run for mayor of Harvey especially if there are those who are willing to use thuggish tactics to keep someone or themselves in office. It could also reek of desperation.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Motorola Q

I got me a new phone when I was home on spring break. It's a nice phone that allows me to take pictures. Alas it's still the basic phone that has a typical keypad.

By the time I got my new phone I realized I have a new interest, a "smart phone". I would call this a Blackberry type phone although Blackberry is more a brand than a type. These phones are said to have the functionality of computer. They can allow you to make calls, text and instant message, email, and surf the internet. And the nice QWERTY keypad wouldn't hurt either. These are cool features for a blogger like myself.

So if I were to get such a phone today, I would like the get the Motorola Q. The reason why is that I'm a big Motorola fan. Have been since the StarTac phones came out. Also the design of the Q is much in the same vein as the RAZR phone. The design is very sleek and slim.

The only thing I wish it has was a design similar to the Sidekick. It should just be a two-piece phone. Then again one can't get everything they want. I could look at all phones that are on the market now and in the past and find designs that I wish could be on everyphone.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Meanwhile back in Chicago...

Lowe's is coming to 83rd & Stewart. This is where a Wal-Mart was supposed to be years ago but that was blocked in 2004. Here's the whole story courtesy of the Chicago Tribune...

LOWE'S GROWS: Lowe's Cos. plans to open its second store in the city at Chatham Market on the South Side, a shopping center under development at the shuttered Ryerson steel plant at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue.

The North Carolina-based home-improvement store paid an undisclosed sum for an 11.5-acre site where it plans to build a 117,000-square-foot store, according to the project's developer, Archon Group LP, a unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

The shopping center is expected to open in phases starting in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Lowe's will be one of two anchors; Archon is looking for a second anchor. In 2004, the Chicago City Council blocked Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from building a store on the site by declining to approve necessary zoning changes.

Iran takes some hostages.

Today I feel like looking at the world scene. Two nations dominate the news scene of the world because they are seeking build nuclear weapons. On Friday one of those nations Iran was in the news.

What happened?

Iran has taken 15 Royal Navy personnel hostage. The breakdown is 8 Royal Navy and 7 Royal Marines. Among that group is one woman. Here's a little more of the story...
Iranian armed forces spokesman Gen Ali Reza Afshar told Iranian radio the crew were being interrogated and had admitted being in Iranian waters.

He also said they were in "sterling health" and there had been no problems.

The British government says the eight sailors and seven marines were in Iraqi waters. It has demanded their immediate release.

The Fars news agency says the group - including one woman - was flown to Iran's capital and arrived in the Iranian capital at 1200 local time (0830 GMT).

Satellite tracking systems on the British boats proved they were inside Iranian waters, it added.
The 15 were seized on Friday after boarding a boat in the Gulf.

They were from HMS Cornwall, based in Plymouth - the flagship of the coalition-Iraqi force which patrols Iraqi territorial waters in the northern Gulf to combat smuggling.

The Cornwall's commander, Commodore Nick Lambert, said they had been inspecting an Iraqi boat before clearing its skipper to continue with his business.

When they returned to their two small boats, they were "promptly arrested".

The helicopter then saw the British boats being moved along the Shatt al-Arab waterway to Iranian bases, Cmdr Lambert said.

There had been no evidence of fighting, he added.

When I first heard this story it conjured up images of British ships of the line getting ready to attack a nation for their trangressions. I mean this in the sense of the British Navy's status as a superpower way back when. These days a lot of diplomatic manuevering is used instead of seapower.

Right now though I don't know about Iran. It seems all a nation needs is an excuse to engage in a rather agressive over the top action such as this. We'll see how this will work out.


I've been trying to figure out what to make of this website.

Twitter is the new thing amongs bloggers. Videobloggers like Steve Garfield seemed to have been talking about Twitter the most. Even two politicians running for President are getting in on the action of Twitter.

The only thing I can figure out about Twitter is that it's an updater service. It allows you an update as to your where-abouts and/or what you are doing at this very moment. Depending on what you update Twitter with this seems very nifty. It just means that you can't give every single detail about what you're doing at the moment that you update.

So that's the best I can do right now. Just one more site to waste your time with on the world wide web.

Check out their blog.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Capitol Fax Blog on the Hotline Blog

With an interesting subject. It's only important because of the Obama factor, but it's connected to an alderman in a run-off, Dorothy Tillman.

Rich Miller wrote a column today and then made a post about it over at Capitol Fax. Sparked a discussion where some would say that Sen. Obama's endorsement of Dorothy Tillman for 3rd Ward Alderman was irrelevant to the national scene. The fact that it's on Hotline on Call this afternoon piques the interest of the guys over there. Perhaps this is just an indication of the interest in keeping one's house in order as they seek the presidency.

The story here was that Ald. Tillman was on board for the Senator's run for his seat in 2004. He's just returning the favor as she is in a run-off with Pat Dowell. And here's the deal...

Obama is set to endorse the always controversial 3rd Ward Ald. Dorothy Tillman in her runoff against hard-charging independent Pat Dowell. Obama isn’t alone. Almost every black political, religious and civil rights leader in the city is lending support to Tillman, who scored just 43 percent in the first round of voting, finishing a mere 400 votes ahead of Dowell.

About the only major political figure not backing Tillman right now is U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who just helped elect his wife, Sandi, to the City Council. Jackson said this week he plans to put at least 150 foot soldiers into the 3rd Ward come Election Day, but he tried to downplay the fact that this is the first time he and Obama have ever opposed each other in a local race.
Then here's something to think about...

Jackson says he understands why Sen. Obama would back Tillman. The alderman was one of Obama's earliest supporters in his U.S. Senate bid. But others are wondering how Obama's decision to back such a die-hard proponent of slavery reparations will play in Iowa and New Hampshire. They may have a point.
A lot of people have knocked Dorothy Tillman as a horrible alderman. I can't say I have the best idea on that. The 3rd ward is slowly changing and perhaps Ald. Tillman was there for the ride more than helping it along.

Still it should be interesting to ask if this could affect Obama. It seems his association with a local church could hurt him. Why not who he associates with in political circles.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

On Spring Break...

I stopped by a rather famous restaurant on Stony Island. You may have heard of this place, Soul Queen. A place that has so much history.

If you step inside you'll see pictures of famous people from entertainers, athletes, or even politicians. You will see pictures of Rev. Jesse Jackson, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Mayor Harold Washington, and even President Bill Clinton. This is just to name a few prominent individuals to have their pictures of the wall.

Owner Helen Anglin has picture of her family including a graduation picture of her son from law school. I understand that he died tragically but I don't remember the whole story. Unfortunately I hear rumors that she may sell her restaurant and they will close. I hope not, however.

While it's here it's still a good place to eat. The buffet is good. You have your choice of meat and vegetables (and that include dressing). And how about those corn muffins?

Still if you're looking for some soul food and taking in a little history. Stop by this place. I think you'll like the food too.

John Edwards to suspend Presidential Campaign

I just saved a blog post to my links about that. His wife his again ill with cancer so they're expected to make an announcement about the campaign right about now according to an FNC alert from All the same, I wish Mrs. Edwards a speedy recovery from her illness.

You know what????

There should be a database of those public officials who have blogs. I can focus on the state of Illinois or I can look at anyone across the state. I imagine even if there is a low number of officials with blogs, that it would still be too numerous to even do that.

Over on Illinoize is a blogging politician, state Rep. John Fritchey, who has his own blog The Open House.

Today I find another politician with a blog Wayne Sinnock, a city councilman in Highland, Illinois.

The Mayor of Elburn, Illinois also has a blog of his own as well.

I'm sure there is a much larger universe out there and I'm willing to look for them. If you want to be open about doing the business of the people then I think a blog is one way to maintain some form of communication with the people. It is something that should be encouraged.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Letterman Regular 'Bud' Melman Dies

I'm going over my current daily three post limit but if you guys remember the character Larry 'Bud' Melman from Late Night (or Late Show) with Davide Letterman. The actor Calvert DeForest died today at 85.


Calvert DeForest, the white-haired, bespectacled nebbish who gained cult status as the oddball Larry "Bud" Melman on David Letterman's late night television shows, has died after a long illness. The Brooklyn-born DeForest, who was 85, died Monday at a hospital on Long Island, Letterman's "Late Show" announced Wednesday.

He made dozens of appearances on Letterman's shows from 1982 through handling a variety of twisted duties: dueting with Sonny Bono on "I Got You, Babe," doing a Mary Tyler Moore impression during a visit to Minneapolis, handing out hot towels to arrivals at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

"Everyone always wondered if Calvert was an actor playing a character, but in reality he was just himself—a genuine, modest and nice man," Letterman said in a statement. "To our staff and to our viewers, he was a beloved and valued part of our show, and we will miss him."
According to this article DeForest made his last appearance on the Late Show in 2002 when he turned 81.

VIDEO: Two Women

On the Fence films has made the Canadian health care system a target. This is not the first video they made on this.

So let's see a woman was so sick and had constant infections that she had to had her bladder removed. Why? Well according to this video it didn't need to happen she kept getting wait listed for treatment.

Her mother got to work on her behalf. Wrote letters, made phone calls, even offered to pay for her daughter's treatment. Well Canadians weren't allowed to pay for their treatment apparently.

Her mother went to her parliamentary representative for help and they took her letter to the Minister of Health. That didn't do much good, though. Apparently it was more important to help a man get a sex change operation before they could help a woman with a serious medical condition.

Canadians can say that their health care system isn't a failure but I just have to look at this on the individual level and looking at some of these stories something is wrong. I hope we don't have a system where a person with a serious medical problem doesn't immediately get the treatment they need.

A dedicated public servant...

Good for her. These are the kind of stories we should hear about. What this woman did was risky and thankfully it paid off. She could have just as easily decided not to pursue this, but what she did helped this dangerous individual get caught.

So to set up this story, Martha Ramos is the chief of staff to Alderman Rey Colon (35th Ward) and followed a man from the scene of a knife attack and was on the phone with 911 to give away his location. This man, Luis Irizarry, was already suspected in a series of knife attacks in the Edgewater neighborhood. In doing so it just made him easier to arrest. Here's a little more...

"He just looked suspicious, because he was running like he was escaping from something," said Ramos, 41. "I just was so focused that I wanted the police to hurry up and catch this guy."

Prosecutors charged Irizarry, 26, with five counts of aggravated battery and one count of attempted murder in attacks that started March 13 and continued until his arrest Sunday. On Monday, Judge Raymond Myles ordered Irizarry held without bond.

Chicago Police praised Ramos' role in Irizarry's capture.

"She did a very fine job," said Deputy Supt. Hiram Grau. "She could have easily continued to go on her way and not made the call."
Sunday around 11 a.m., Ramos was driving north on Kimball near Diversey when she saw a man in a black hooded sweatshirt being followed by another man who was screaming.

The second man stopped to catch his breath, and Ramos said she "saw the blood dripping from the side of his face."

Without hesitating, Ramos made a left onto Diversey, following the hooded man. Everything seemed to work in her favor, she said -- even the traffic lights cooperated.

"Nothing obstructed me," she said. "Time stood still. I felt like I was flying."

The man turned into an alley, and Ramos followed him, dialing 911 as she drove. For the next 10 minutes, she trailed as the man snaked his way through alleys and side streets.

Ramos stayed on the phone with 911, telling the operator her location.

"I realized at that moment how important it is for people to put addresses on garages in the alley, because that really helped situate me," she said.

The man darted across Milwaukee Avenue and made a right on North Elbridge. There, in the 3000 block, police caught up with him.

Well we know a motive for why this guy was cutting people. He thought there were giving people "weird" and "crazy" looks. Obviously a mind of a disturbed individual. None of the individuals attacked were killed thankfully.

The religious zeal of the gross reciepts tax

The Capitol Fax Blog has been on this story about how Gov. Blagojevich has been getting churches into his Gross Reciepts Tax that he hopes to fund a health care program in Illinois. He's going so far as to say that God or The Lord is on his side or at least on the side of a government run health care program. It seems shallow to me though.

Still watching this video, it seems to me that most of the ministers he got at a press conference at the First Church of Deliverance on 4300 South Wabash were black ministers and thank you Rich Miller for this quote...

Bishop Sanders: “The governor is on God’s side.”

Mike Flannery: “And people who would oppose this would be against God?”

Bishop Sanders: “It isn’t that they would be against God. They would be ignorant, so they wouldn’t know whether there was a God.”
Hmmm, maybe Bishop Robert Sanders may actually be for a government run health care program but I really hope he wasn't taken in by the governor. If I were the governor I don't know if I should take this as a positive or a negative. Still it looks like the Governor of Illinois is going to press ahead.

Unless his budget and programs are approved he isn't going to support any other proposals. Check out this article from the Daily Herald. Transportation is in trouble in the Chicago area particularly on the CTA and this won't even be a priority under this governor's budget...

Backers of the Transportation for Illinois Coalition said the six-county region's network of roads, mass transit and freight rail systems cannot afford to deteriorate another year without a comprehensive statewide capital program.

The General Assembly should increase annual transportation program expenditures by $5 billion over each of the next five years, according to the coalition, led by the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois AFL-CIO, and other labor, non-profit and government organizations.

"If we cannot move workers to the workplace and goods to the marketplace, our ability to compete and to attract and retain jobs faces serious jeopardy," DuPage County Chairman Robert Schillerstrom said at the Thompson Center in Chicago. "Future economic growth will bypass our region and our state. We need a comprehensive transportation and transit funding plan and we need it now."

But Blagojevich said he has more pressing concerns.

"As far as I'm concerned, the big priorities are passing our tax-fairness plan and getting everyone access to affordable health care, and fairly and properly fund our schools to give our kids a chance to learn," Blagojevich said during an appearance on the South Side.

"That's the priority, and unless we do that, as far as I'm concerned nothing else is on the table."
This budget debate is going to get interesting. Who knows he may not get everything he wants, but if the governor is looking at holding everything in limbo unless he gets what he's looking for then there is some serious negotiations to be had here. I'm quite glad that Speak of the House Michael J. Madigan is on the case with his own proposal...

House Speaker Mike Madigan, unhappy with Blagojevich's proposed gross receipts tax on business, Tuesday pushed an alternative through committee: a 60 percent increase in the state income tax to provide more money for schools while also reducing property taxes.
Well let's just see what happens shall we.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Articles about the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus

They have been in the news a lot in the past few days. If you have been checking out my links, I've had a few articles about them. So what is up, you may ask?

Well today James Meeks co- chairman of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus talked about how blacks need to be better served in the job market.

Money is flowing in for economic development; it's just not going to the right places: That's the conclusion of a study by a Washington-based watchdog, and it's the basis for hearings by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.

The caucus co-chairman is State Senator James Meeks of Chicago.

"I think there has to be somebody who is a point person, and there must be a plan that is in place to attract economic development to areas where we have the highest unemployment. And I think the governor, as the head official of the state of Illinois, it is his responsibility to make sure that these individuals also are taken care of."

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity says the state is working to help the unemployed, and he calls the study "flawed."
From the Sun-Times talking about basically the same thing. This time saying that the state of Illinois' economic subsidies are going to those place where they're needed the least...

"There's a disconnect between the work that the department is doing and the finances in under-served communities," said Sen. James Meeks, joint chairman of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.

"Why is it in every year there is no improvement in the job rate in certain areas? If it's true that the state is focused on those areas, we ought to see some changes. We never do," Meeks said.

A report looking at $1.2 billion in subsidies provided by the state from 1990 to 2004 found Chicago received only about 15 percent of the subsidies, though it's home to 38 percent of the region's population.

The report, released in January by Washington D.C.-based watchdog Good Jobs First, also found relatively few subsidy deals going to Chicago communities that are predominantly African-American.

Roughly $198 million in subsidies went to the Northwest corridor around O'Hare Airport, an area that was already an attractive place for companies to relocate, the report noted. That was more than the $177 million received in all of Chicago.

DuPage County, with about 11 percent of the state's population, got 18 percent of the subsidy dollars, and Will County, with less than 5 percent of the state's population, got over 11 percent.

The report concluded, "subsidies are going to the places that need them the least, while the struggling areas of Chicago and its inner-ring suburbs are getting less than their fair share."

Meeks said caucus constituents point to jobs as their No. 1 concern. He said he will likely sponsor jobs-funding legislation with a specific dollar amount that targets the neediest areas by zip codes.

"We keep voting for, and our governor keeps coming out with, initiatives dealing with health care, KidCare, universal health insurance," Meeks said. "We're not against any of those things. But if I have a decent job, I can get my own health insurance. What our community needs is jobs.

Well jobs are important issues for sure. Now Rev. Meeks is talking and while I could say no one should have to ask Gov. Blagojevich for anything, he should take a leadership role in this. The question is will he? For right now I may not see that.

Here's the last one...

The head of the state commerce department spotlighted the state's 4.6 percent unemployment rate at a hearing here Monday, but black state lawmakers were more focused on the 20 to 33 percent rates found in some largely black Chicago neighborhoods.

The hearing was called by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to look for means to ensure economic development and work force development dollars are going to communities that need them the most and that they are providing pathways to good-paying jobs.

In addressing the group, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin noted since January 2004 the state has added more than 166,000 jobs, more than any other state in the Midwest. He also pointed to programs including the state's critical skills shortage program, which focuses on ensuring workers are trained for jobs for which there is high demand; the challenge grant program, which has provided funds to 446 businesses in the state -- 180 of them in the Chicago metropolitan area and 30 percent of which went to African-American-owned businesses.

He said federal rules dictate how federal work force investment funds are distributed statewide and noted local work force investment boards oversee how those funds are allocated, although the state plays a monitoring role.

Chicago Urban League Policy and Research Director David E. Thigpen told legislators that as unemployment rates across the state have fallen, they refuse to budge in many African-American communities, where the unemployment rate for blacks averages about 12 percent, more than double that of whites, and ranges between 18 and 33 percent in communities including Austin, Robbins, North Lawndale and Washington Park.

He noted graduation rates, which in some communities lag the state average by 30 points, "are sending a steady stream of young people out in the communities with low skills and extremely bleak employment prospects."

Some 39 percent of the eligible population of African Americans in the state have, for one reason or another, given up looking for work, he noted.

It just ran into another issue that deserves attention. Not just economic development but education. Giving those people better skills to get better jobs. This is something worth working on.

Hmm, I think this should go onto Illinoize.

Chatham Village Square, Chicago

Another video from YoChicago about Chatham Village Square on the corner of 87th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. This shopping center contains a Target, Walgreen's, Cingular, Radio Shack, Foot Action, a military recruiting station, Game Stop, to name some of the places where you can shop. You also look across the street to see a more convention Chicago store front city scape.

You know I remember how this place used to look. And there was a Polks Brothers, Woolworth's there. Walgreens used to be on the corner of 87th and Cottage. There was a Sara Lee store, a bowling alley, even a People's Gas office to pay your gas bill. There was easier access into the lot. There was parking outback and near the street and come and go in either direction. If only there were pictures of how it used to look.

There is a reason why it looks different than it did say perhaps 10 years ago. There was a fire there and most of the center looked dormant. People's Gas left, over time a lot of establishments left (there is no bowling alley there anymore and Woolworth's closed all of their stores). Then when it was time to redevelop there was a lot of moving around. A lot of establishments like Walgreen's or Radio Shack was moved around over time there. Then eventually comes the plans for Target to come into the neighborhood.

These days for sure the big draw was that Target that opened in 2002. It's a great addition and no longer do Chicagoans who live in the general area of 87th and Cottage have to go to the suburbs to shop at a Target. Still this is a great intersection for business

Check out this post that describes this shopping center and shows its general area with pictures. There's even a nice discussion there too.

What's going on in City Politics as we get closer to the runoffs...

Let's start with Chicago's 2nd ward. Bob Fioretti may be successful in taking a black ward. Perhaps that's not accurate anymore as the ward is changing thanks to development and racial turnover. Still he has his work cut out for him since the incumbent Alderman, Madeline Haithcock is taking advantage of some past allegation of stalking.

Well before the election on February 27th, the National Organization for Women had endorsed Fiorettie in his race but took down their endorsement from their website. Apparently her attempt to use an order of protection against him proved to be a final draw. Indeed Haithcock may have just turn NOW against her because of it. The Sun-Times said it best in their article when they said, "She's desperate".

Here's a little bit more about the story...
The National Organization for Women on Monday reinstated its endorsement of 2nd Ward aldermanic challenger Bob Fioretti after determining that five-year-old sexual harassment and stalking allegations against Fioretti have "no basis in fact."

That didn't stop incumbent Ald. Madeline Haithcock (2nd) from using the allegations. Over the weekend, she put out a campaign mailer with a copy of a 2002 emergency order of protection against Fioretti under the headline, "Bob Fioretti is a big talker. Turns out he's also a stalker of women."
It turns out Haithcock had only told one side of a complicated story.
A judge vacated the order of protection one week after it was issued after learning that Fioretti and his girlfriend had filed criminal complaints against the same woman the year before for making unsolicited advances toward Fioretti and harassing phone calls. The woman was a court reporter who saw Fioretti in courtrooms where he had appeared as an attorney. They had no relationship -- sexual or otherwise -- Fioretti said.

NOW President Kim Mongoven was so incensed by Haithcock's continued smear campaign against Fioretti, she held a news conference Monday to denounce the tactics -- and re-endorse Fioretti.

"Haithcock has again launched a vicious attack based on the same misstatements of fact. NOW . . . condemns these attacks. They are a desperate political ploy meant to distract voters from a long record of misplaced priorities. I urge citizens of the 2nd Ward to reject these dirty campaign tactics," Mongoven said.
On Monday, Fioretti asked a Circuit Court judge to issue a temporary restraining order against the Haithcock campaign. He didn't get it. But the company that designed and wrote the mailer agreed to pull a second campaign piece with a similar theme.
Fioretti got 29 percent of the vote to Haithcock's 20 percent in Round One. Monday's mudslinging developments virtually guarantee an ugly finish.

"Desperate people do desperate things and she's desperate," Fioretti said.

"I'm proud to have NOW's endorsement. They have done so much for women's rights. And I'm disappointed with an opponent who resorts to slander and lies. She is trying to distract from the real issues in this race: that she's taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from developers and missed over 80 percent of committee meetings."

In the 25th Ward the challenger Cuahutemoc Morfin is seeking a runoff against the incumbent Alderman Daniel Solis. This has been covered since the election on February 27th. Solis right now is the official winner but Morfin is seeking to have the votes of another challenger and former Alderman Ambrosio Medrano counted even though he was dropped off the ballot because of his felony conviction. Here's a little more about this story...
A 25th Ward candidate is trying to force a run-off in the April election, arguing in a federal lawsuit that incumbent Ald. Daniel Solis really didn't secure 50 percent of the primary votes as needed.

Cuahutemoc Morfin said Monday that 283 votes cast for another candidate, Ambrosio Medrano, should be counted because voters were told too late that Medrano was kicked off the ballot.

"We're asking that the votes are respected and counted into the calculation that determines a winner in the 25th Ward," Morfin said.

The Friday before the Tuesday Feb. 27 elections, the Illinois Supreme Court deemed that Medrano could not run because he has a felony conviction. Votes for him would be considered invalid.

But 178 early votes had been cast for Medrano and another 105 came in on Election Day, they contend. If considered valid, Solis would have just 48 percent of the total, said Nicholas Kefalos, an attorney who filed the lawsuit.
Fifty percent of the vote is needed in the primary to stave off an April election. Kefalos said voters' constitutional rights were violated because they weren't properly told their votes wouldn't count.
Those who voted early cast ballots for Medrano before his candidacy was invalid. Illinois does not provide a way to remedy that, Kefalos said.

This is going to be interesting. Both of these cases. Hopefully Haithcock's stunt will cost her at the polls and I don't know what to say about the 25th ward.

I should just note in the 25th ward. Morfin was endorsed by Medrano when he got knocked off the ballot.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Civic Footprint

I just want to make you aware of this website I just discovered called Civic Footprint. It should help you to determine where you fit within the matrix of jurisdictions and political districts. I think this is directed towards Cook County but it would be nicce if this could be ubiquitous with the rest of the country.

Have at it.

Morehouse College SGA campaign season has started

These scenes were posted outside of the Morehouse cafeteria today and the campaign for SGA President, Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary and other offices have started. The new leaders of the student body are coming out to make their mark. Things are going to get interesting.

So what is this you see? Well apparently some SGA candidates have decided to form something of a ticket. Perhaps an alliance of sorts. They get together on a ticket known as Luminous.

Good move. If I had the interest in running for an SGA position this is exactly what I would have done. Indeed this has been done in real live politics for years, people coming together with common ideas or what ever is common to them. Either these guys got together before they made the decision to run for an SGA office or they reached out to each other and say let's get together and form a ticket

As to whether Luminous is successful is to be seen. To be sure though this is honestly the first time in my time at Morehouse College that I have actually seen this type of campaign.

Woah now

The Capitol Fax Blog in their morning shorts this morning linked to an article on where celebrities have donated money to specific candidates. This article was in the Sun-Times.

Let me preferace this by saying that in general Hollywood donates money to Democratic candidates. Think for a second here, you hear that Hollywood is considered liberal right? Well the money trail proves will prove it. It's just that I found some things that are interesting looking at this article.

I wonder what is the advantage of donating to your favored party or candidates but then donating to the other party or candidate you're not that likely to support. Is there some strategy or sucking up going on. Or are they just trying to side with the winner.

I was shocked to find that Jada Pinkett Smith (Will Smith's wife) and Berry Gordy (of Motown Records) have donated money to President Bush. Smith however has donated money to Barack Obama, while Berry Gordy (hmm I always thought it was Barry) has donated money to Bush's challenger Sen. John Kerry as well as Sen. Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Wow I wonder what's up with that.

I see that according to this article Prince back in 1990 donated money to a Republican candidate and I see that Spike Lee is donating money to Sen. Clinton. Well this will just cause me to ask questions about why the donate money the way they do. Perhaps a lot of us who aren't celebrites may ask questions about that of ourselves.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

An addition to the blogroll.

To share and going in the blogroll. You may have seen a link to this blog called the South Side Star and it bills istelf as "cyberlounge of the mental martini". They might have to explain that one.

If they can keep a consistant template it looks like a great site to check out and it covers a number of topics in addition to south side politics. It's the place to go when you want to look at Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign. For the most part though what you might see more topics about pop culture on the South Side of Chicago and perhaps some American Idol too.

They seem to be overdoing it at least for one moment on coverage of Chicago resident and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson. Either way I think you'll enjoy it.

Bubba bashing on black radio

I only glance at the Chicago Tribune's Washington Bureau's blog, The Swamp. Checking out the posts that I have missed I saw this post about callers to WVON "bashing" President Clinton. It's interesting that blacks are actually questioning the 42nd President's value to the black community.

There are those who will stick up for him. Not totally sure why, everyone will have a different answer for it. One can say that he's comfortable among black folks, which is probably very true. He probably is very familiar with black folks.

At the same time can anyone list a singe accomplishment of Bill Clinton as it pertains to the black community? Well I don't know. It's just possible that from the time he entered the national scene as President to today there is certainly a cult of personality around Bill Clinton.

I remember a few years ago on CNN's Larry King Live, Pres. Clinton was on the program and this segment there was also radio host Tom Joyner. Joyner was there to advertise this book about helping people get into college (probably more for those in high school looking at college). We see that Clinton was trying hard to eek out an accomplishment from that such as his administration dispense more pell grants (or was it financial aid in general) than any previous administration.

Anyway Tom Joyner was singing his praises talking about how we need a man like Clinton in the White House. Sounds great, but why? For affirmitive action? For economic development? What about education? Clinton could have acted on this piece of legislation with regards to the Voting Rights Act that was extended last year from what I can tell he sat on his hands for that. It could be said it wasn't an issue at that time but I'm sure someone saw it coming in fact they did see it coming.

There are many ways to approach looking at Clinton's time as President of the United States.

Rumor has it (or perhaps it was a fact) that Bill Clinton was referred to by Tony Morrison as the "first black" President. And what was sighted was his philandering ways and the fact that "the man" was chasing him. "The man" could be Republicans or perhaps white guys who didn't want Clinton to be friendly with blacks. Either way the philandering part isn't very flattering to this idea that he is the "first black" president.

Well enough about that. I want to comment on how his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, brought her husband to Selma about a couple of weeks ago. Some have seen this as a first sign of trouble and that she gets Clinton out to excite a base that she needs in her run. Indeed she might be worried about her collegue Sen. Barack Obama taking about that black vote she needs. Of course this can only open up questions about whether she is her own candidate.

Look there are a lot of questions to be asked. If we are to consider Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, then we need to look at the record of her hubby who used to be President. I see her bid as sort of a piggy backing to his accomplishments. Indeed I do believe her famed last name is the main push behind her candidacy.

So perhaps it's a good thing that blacks are lighting up the phone lines with more questions than love for the Clintons. And on top of that this could mean that blacks are willing to put their vote behind a fresh face like Sen. Obama. There's still another year or so to go yet, however.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patty's Day.

I know that the south side Irish has their Parade in Beverly last Sunday. And then there is a big parade in downtown Chicago and I would think it would be today but I don't know. There is a saying, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day.

Oh yeah Rich Miller's Capitol Fax Blog was the first to post this video as well as other videos including one of a Chicago tradition. On St. Patrick's Day the river would be dyed green in commemoration. Cool isn't it.

Have a good one and don't drink too much.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I just like how...

Some MSM sources such as the Chicago Sun-Times, The Hill, The Washington Post, and other sources allow you to use such websites as, Digg, even Facebook to link to their articles. I really wish other MSM sites would do that. It would make my job and other interested inviduals' job easier to have something of a database to link and keep track of the news of the day. There are some sources I'd link to more if it was easier to link by the click of a button as opposed to have to go to the links site and then doing a copy and paste or even doing the typing.

Either way as far as local sources go the Chicago Sun-Times has got a leg up in my book. Just look for this bookmark button with the image of a plus sign in an orange block and they give you a choice as to where you want to link the article. They're getting with the times for sure. Hopefully others will follow suit.

Dempsey Travis, Chatham Park Place, Chicago

Another YoChicago video. Actually this is part one of a series of videos with Dempsey Travis, a real estate developer. He's obviously been around a long time.

He's written books in addition to his business activities. His books have broached on the subjects of black history. Particularly black political history in Chicago, black history in Chicago, and even a biography of the first black mayor of Chicago Harold Washington.

Here they talk about a new development in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood that he's a part of. Interesting isn't it.

And check out the rest of the YoChicago videos with Dempsey Travis.

Thursday, March 15, 2007 evaluates Gov. Deval Patrick...

Too bad I don't live in Massachusettes otherwise I wouldn't have to rely on 13th Floor blog on According to their blog though the second popularly elected black governor in the US (the first being Douglas Wilder in Virginia) is not doing very well there. I'll let them tell you why...
Massachusetts' Deval Patrick (Dem): When Patrick pleaded, "Don't give up on me," a few days ago, my immediate reaction was to remember Bill Clinton's 1995 statement, "The president is still relevant here." If you need to say it, that's a very bad sign. Clinton's party, however, had just suffered a catastrophic electoral defeat, whereas Patrick won 56% of the vote only four months ago. What went wrong? Patrick can blame a variety of perk-related controversies, from upgrading to a more expensive state car and fancier drapes for the governor's office, to use of a police helicopter, to splurging on a $72,000-a-year appointments secretary for his wife. The governor is also under scrutiny for making a phone call to assist former business associates.
They're assessing all the new governors. Gov. Patrick was in part two of that series. They already did part one and part three should be available tomorrow.


Yeah it's time anyway. I have some education/schools blogs to add in addition to the District 299 blog about the Chicago Public Schools. I want to add Mike Klonsky's Small Talk and another blog, District 211 about the schools in northern Cook County, I've actually found via the District 299 blog.

You know I was going about addition to restructing my blogroll by alphabetizing the links like I had in the Vlogroll (it doesn't seem to be that busy does it?). Now I may just have to start a section on education. I can't say I've followed the education issues that well, however, it is one of those issues that I'm concerned about. Education and economic development and I thought there was something else but at this moment it escapes me.

Oh yeah does anyone have any comment on the e-mail subscription through Feedburner. If you don't have a clue about using a feedreader (i.e. Google, MyYahoo, or Bloglines to name a few) you can enter an email address. I even have the option of email updates being sent between the hours of 7 and 9 in the morning. I can always change that give me some feedback.

As always even though you have email you can subscribe to this blog by putting the feed in a reader as I mentioned. Look for this Subscribe in a reader in the sidebar, though of course it will read Subscribe to It's My Mind along with the orange image in front. So let me know if the email program is working for you.

Chatham Food Center

If you have been reading this blog before the recent municipal elections you have heard this place mentioned by Ald. Fredrenna Lyle as she ran for re-election successfully this year. Courtesy of YoChicago we finally get a look at this establishment owned by Leonard Harris. A very good video and I'm glad that Joe Zekas had found his way there.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Along the Calumet Expy.

These towers. I wish I could have gotten a much clearer picture. These are near a little known body of water called Lake Calumet.

You know I have never actually seen this lake. I wouldn't be surprised if it was heavily polluted because it is surrounded by nothing but industry. It's a port too, which is why this picture is here.

These are grain elevators. If you drive here along I-94 (it's real name is the Bishop Ford Expressway but it was originally called the Calumet,I just haven't changed the name in my head) you will see these grain elevators just before you cross 130th Street. The signs near the top of these grain elevators will indicate that it is a part of the Illinois International Port District and with them the prominent names of the Illinois Governor, Mayor of Chicago, and the actual executive director of this district. Listed on the website as an Anthony Ianello.

You know during the elections last year for Governor they made a big deal about how Gov. Blagojevich liked to put his name on signs everywhere in the state. Particularly the tollways. I suppose the only point to the complaints was to just prove how vain he was about getting his name out there.

I remember for years the only name for Governor on these elevators was Jim Edgar even during the years of George Ryan. The signs announcing this district was just dirty until our current governor was elected. Who knows this might have been the start.

Let me just say though I've never been anywhere near this area there are plans to build a park and I believe there actually was a golf course over there. This golf could count as its immediate neighbor a yard for garbage trucks, those grain elevators, and even further south on the Calumet a garbage dump. I should have gotten a picture of that too. The garbage dump doesn't actually look like a garbage dump it actually resembles hills. There's talk of turning that into a park too.

How about another video from YoChicago!!!

They take a drive through the mostly black and affluent Pill Hill neighborhood on the far south side of Chicago. It can roughly be bounded by Jeffery, 87th Street, Stony Island and the 91st Street. It was said to be the neighborhood of former County Board President John Stroger while he was still healthy.

You know check out this post I made just about two years ago, the primary setting of this book that I mentioned takes place in Pill Hill.

PS: You know I just realized that they have a couple of other videos of other places on the south side. I will share them with you over the next few days.

Sneed's column today....

She discusses the opposition to Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s endorsement of Pat Dowell as she seeks to unseat 3rd ward alderman Dorothy Tillman. THis coming from two of his congressional colleagues Bobby Rush and Danny Davis. I will post this breif excerpt in its entirety...

It's war: Representatives Bobby Rush and Danny Davis would love to jab Congressmate Jesse Jackson Jr. with a hat pin from one of Ald. Dorothy Tillman's (3rd) toppers!

• To wit: Rush and Davis are infuriated Jackson is backing Pat Dowell in her runoff against 24-year incumbent Ald. Dorothy "The Hat" Tillman.

• Quoth Rush: "This is outrageous! Dorothy is an original. A rarity. A leader since way back to the era of Harold Washington. She's a stellar supporter of African-American developers and business. Those of us who cut our teeth on reform politics in Chicago aren't going to go along with this just because there is a new kid on the block."

• Quoth Davis: "God is not through with Dorothy Tillman yet. I gave her my mother's last hat -- a felt hat with a feather in it -- when she died as an indication of respect for Dorothy and the leadership she provides. She built the Harold Washington Cultural Center; her work on slave reparations has garnered her international respect. What is Jesse thinking?"

I can always look at this as more of a generational rivalry more than anything. Rep. Jackson is attempting to flex his muscle and is doing so in time for the runoff next month.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sharpton tears into Obama

I'm not a big fan of Al Sharpton and I tend to think it's sad that people actually take him seriously. That not withstanding now he's going after Obama. That's not to say I'm more of a fan of Sen. Obama, but he has more positives than Rev. Sharpton.

As I pull a litte from this Sun-Times article you will see why Sharpton may be going after Obama...
"Why shouldn't the black community ask questions? Are we now being told, 'You all just shut up?'" Sharpton told a TV reporter from a New York CBS station.

"I'm not going to be cajoled or intimidated by any candidate," said Sharpton, a New Yorker who ran for president in 2004.

Sharpton went on to criticize Obama on other issues, including his relationship with Sen. Joe Lieberman, who's controversial within the Democratic Party.

"Senator Obama and I agree that the war is wrong, but then I want to know why he went to Connecticut and helped Lieberman, the biggest supporter of the war," Sharpton told TV.
The New York Post wrote that Sharpton, who has vied with Jesse Jackson to lead black Americans, is "terrified of being overshadowed by someone of Obama's class and character."

"It's driving Al crazy that Obama is as impressive and popular as he is, and he's not happy about it," a black Democratic activist was quoted as saying.

A source reportedly close to Sharpton also said the New Yorker had wanted to run for president again in 2008, and Obama's White House bid foiled him, according to the Post.
So those last three paragraphs may explain it. This goes back to what was said on this blog in January. And Al Sharpton is only proving that point, however, at least he's not trying to state that the Senator isn't "black" enough. When it comes to this struggle I'd rather Rev. Al gets egg on his face for trying it. And the fact that he isn't running for president in 2008 because of Sen. Obama, that's a good thing.

Tardy on taxes 7 years in a row? Barry could get jail time

Marion Barry is in trouble yet again.

Remember when he was mayor of DC (he's served on the DC City Council since 2005) he was arrested for drug possession in 1990. In fact there was some video because this was part of a sting operation. He was again accused of drug possession in 2002.

These days though his troubles are not from illegal drugs but more financial...
In a court document filed Wednesday, prosecutors said Barry, who last year got probation instead of incarceration in a criminal tax case, ''has not acted like a person who has been given the opportunity of probation and should not be treated like one.''

Barry pleaded guilty in 2005 to misdemeanors for failing to file tax returns covering 1999 to 2004. As part of his plea bargain, Barry agreed to file future federal and local tax returns annually. Prosecutors now charge that Barry missed deadlines for filing federal and D.C. tax returns for 2005.