Friday, February 1, 2019

Corruption in Chicago: ain't we got fun?

It appears that a long-running FBI investigation may have gathered evidence to incriminate, not just Chicago city politicians, but also leading lights in the state government.

Retiring Ald. Danny Solis received sex acts, Viagra, free weekend use of an Indiana farm once owned by Oprah Winfrey and a steady stream of campaign contributions in exchange for shepherding official City Council actions, according to allegations in a federal court affidavit obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

The allegations are contained in an explosive search warrant application that helps explain why Solis, the powerful chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee, agreed to spend more than two years cooperating in a federal investigation during which he is known to have secretly recorded at least a dozen conversations with Ald. Edward M. Burke, the former chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee.

Although no charges have been filed publicly against Solis, the 2016 affidavit lays out in detail a federal corruption case against the veteran alderman, who was one of the closest City Council allies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Emanuel’s predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

It also alleges that among the people recorded as part of the Solis investigation was Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, the longest-serving state House speaker in the country.

The 120-page affidavit shows federal investigators listened in on more than 18,000 conversations on one of Solis’ cellphones over the course of at least a year, while also conducting surveillance of his private meetings and trips to massage parlors.

It also indicates the Solis probe dates back at least as far as May 2014.

There's more at the link.

Two years wearing a wire, recording almost every top politician in the city and state?  Oh, boy, the dirt the FBI must have on those tapes!  Pass the popcorn.  This should be very entertaining, watching the rats and the cockroaches scurry to hide from the sudden, unexpected and absolutely unwanted light on their proceedings.



Wayne said...

In other news, bears eliminate solid waste in arboreal regions.


While I share your anticipation at the entertainment, the targets are most likely "D" - which makes any actual consequence unlikely.

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"the targets are most likely "D" - which makes any actual consequence unlikely.

Nonsense. The investigators being transferred to the Nome Alaska office is a consequence, isn't it?

sge32000 said...

Come on, commenters; allow me my illusions for a while at least.

I'm pretty much trapped in this state and have had very little to cheer for a looong time. Even minor changes in Illinois (convicting / jailing Burke, Solis, Madigan, Emmanuel et al, fixing the pension mess, lowering taxes, passing constitutional carry ...) would be much appreciated baby steps.

Uncle Lar said...

Born in Illinois. Lived through the glory days of King Richard (Hizzoner da Mare!) Daley when corruption was at least as bad, but streets were clean and free of snow and petty crime was carefully controlled.
Viewing modern times from very far away it would appear that they have retained every bit of the corruption but are now sadly lacking in the efficiency that used to make it somewhat tolerable.
What the Daley machine knew instinctively, but the new order social progressives cannot seem to fathom, is that it's perfectly fine to milk your cash cows forever, but if you start to bleed them eventually the entire herd dies off.

kamas716 said...

This is me holding my breath in anticipation of the filing of charges and the trials.

I realize Hell just froze over, but I think it'll take much before the Flipping Big Idiots and the Ducking Of Jokes get around to representing us commoners in criminal matters.

Beans said...

Um, the only one who will get whacked is some sacrificial goat at the lowest levels. All the others will quietly transition into lobbying positions doing the exact same corruption. Why? Because it's the Chicago Way!

Yet they go after everyone in the Trump Administration with wanton abandon, dropping subpoenas, warrants and charges willy nilly.

Yeah, my excitement meter never even pegged above 0.01 on this story. Maybe if some positive results come out of it...

Technomad said...

Corruption? In Chicago's government?


Me golden idols are tarnished!

*sobbing hysterically*

Old NFO said...

I don't believe any of them will actually be indicted... sigh

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Isn't it beyond hypocritical for a society to demand so much "perfection" from their private citizens to the point of "criminalizing" them for the most minor innocuous offenses and penalizing their every word and deed if even the slightest off-apropos in content
...while running around all loose-cannon and unbridled free-lance "devil-may-care"?

Practically bordering on fascism, just about.
"French Revolution", anybody?

Will said...

""French Revolution", anybody?"

Did they dig up all the dead politicians and power brokers, and hang them, in addition to all the live ones, to make a point? 'Cause I would be fine if we go the extra distance today. A job well done...

Old 1811 said...

What Uncle Lar said. (And I get the reference, Uncle Lar. Are you charming and delightful?)
There was a time when Chicago corruption was different from most other places: officeholders actually did their jobs; they just took a cut they weren't entitled to. But now, it seems, all that's changed, and they just blatantly steal without bothering to do their jobs, just like everywhere else. I blame Trump. Or maybe global warming. Or maybe Bush.
And the fact that they're all Democrats may or may not mean anything. After all, since 1972, 33 Chicago aldermen have been convicted of Federal crimes, and two are under indictment right now. (Source: Second City Cop blog.) I say, pop some more corn.

Tom in NC said...

If they are actually charged and convicted, they will likely suffer the same consequences as Marion Barry - maybe a little time in a country club, then will be re-elected to office

C. S. P. Schofield said...

Tom in NC;

I was living in DC during Barry's Comeback, and were are a few things that folks outside the beltway don't know about that little Opera.

In the first place, while Congress may have publicly assented to Home Rule for DC, they had no intention of actually allowing local authority to run the city. So Marion Barry arrived in office to discover that the only authority he actually HAD was to skim. He might have been just as awful a Mayor of some podunk minot city without a bunch of (bipartisan) Congressional Meddlers...but we will never know. Other Black politician/activists who rose to power as mayors did ok. Carl Stokes springs to mind, although he did fail to rein in the disastrous Muny Light (a Depression era Electric Utility that bought electricity from actual producers (and didn't pay its bills) and sold it at a loss).

In the second place, I am morally convinced that Barry's return to power was effected by an editorial in the Washington Post. Appalled at the prospect of Barry;s return (though they had had no problem endorsing him every other time he ran) the Post ran an Opinion piece in the tones of a horrified Maiden Aunt to the effect of "You can't POSSIBLY vote for That Man!"

I was in the city at the time. the general consensus was "Oh, fuck you. Watch us!"

I was frankly tempted in the same direction. The Post was being a passel of Progressive Pussies about it, and besides the imminent sining of the Good Ship DC Government was clearly n the horizon, and I could think of nobody better than Barry to do down with it.

Pity Congress valued the illusion of an undefended City above any hint of rationality in its accounting. They should have taken it back. Even Congress would have done better at keeping a budget.

Tom Bridgeland said...

Illinois, where governors leave office for jail.