Tag: ally

Rahm Emanuel crony George Cardenas allegedly had public employees campaign for him on city time

In addition to an ongoing federal criminal investigation, Chicago (IL) Alderman George Cardenas of the 12th Ward, a close ally of embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is now facing a lawsuit in the Cook County state circuit court from Maria Chavez, a City of Chicago employee who was terminated after she reported Cardenas’s use of city property and employees to campaign for re-election to law enforcement.

Here’s the details of why Cardenas is under federal criminal investigation from the state lawsuit filed against him by Chavez (Chavez is identified by her first name, Maria, in the lawsuit):

12. Throughout her employment with the City of Chicago at the 12th Ward Public Service Office, Maria received multiple positive employment reviews as well as letters of appreciation from local citizens, non-profit organizations and businesses for her efforts for the citizens of the 12th Ward.

13.  During the course of the February 2011 Municipal General Election, in which citizens of the City of Chicago elect municipal officers including Mayor, Clerk, Treasurer and Alderman, the City of Chicago’s Office of the Legislative Inspector General received complaints against Cardenas related to allegations that Cardenas was using city property, namely the 12th Ward Public Service Office, and city employees, namely the 12th Ward Public Service Office’s employees, to gather registered voters’ signatures and notarize petition sheets seeking the nomination of Cardenas as 12th Ward Alderman.

14. The City’s Legislative Inspector General’s Office interviewed most but not all of the 12th Ward Public Service Office’s employees.  News of the investigation became publically known in mid-2013 through news and radio media reports.

If it is true that George Cardenas used city property and employees for his re-election campaign in violation of federal, state, and/or local laws, than Chavez did the right thing by reporting that to the authorities and Chavez should end his re-election campaign and resign from the Chicago City Council immediately. In any case, voters in the 12th Ward of Chicago should vote for Pete DeMay, Cardenas’s opponent, in the upcoming city council election. DeMay will fight to rebuild Chicago’s middle class.

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner tries to buy a secret political agenda, alienates potential Democratic allies

A couple of weeks before being sworn into office as Governor of Illinois earlier today, Republican Bruce Rauner and his ultra-wealthy political allies put $20 million of their own money, half of that coming from the new governor himself, towards an attempt at buying themselves an unstated political agenda that, more than likely, will benefit Rauner and his fellow rich people, if anyone at all, and screw over poor, working-class, and middle-class Illinoisans in more ways than one.

Aside from the fact that he’s trying to buy his own political agenda, there’s two major flaws with Rauner’s plan to buy a political agenda: he has given very few specifics on what his agenda will consist of, and he’s alienated Democratic allies that he would need in order to get his agenda enacted into law.

The first major flaw with Rauner’s scheme is that he’s given only a few generalizations of what his state budget proposal and other items of his agenda will look like. Regarding the state budget, Rauner has gone into very little detail on what his budget proposal will look like. During the gubernatorial campaign last year, Rauner refused to give even a general idea of what kind of budget he’d propose if elected governor. Additionally, Rauner campaigned on general platitudes of “shake up Springfield” and mostly ran against Democrats as a “candidate of no” throughout the campaign. I have a strong suspicion that Rauner is hiding a far-right political agenda that will alienate both Democrats and Republicans.

The second major flaw with Rauner’s scheme is that he’s alienated the Democratic allies in the General Assembly that he’d need in order to get whatever his agenda is enacted into law. Since Democrats have a narrow supermajority in the Illinois Senate and a slim supermajority in the Illinois House, Rauner would need a coalition of every or nearly every Republican state legislator and enough Democratic state legislators to get majority support for his agenda in both houses of the General Assembly, meaning that Rauner has very little, if any, room to alienate people. As it turns out, Rauner’s scheme has already alienated the kind of Democrats he’d need to get his agenda passed. Jack Franks, a Democratic state representative from Marengo who represents a state house district that, if I recall correctly, voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, blasted Rauner for trying to buy a political agenda, saying that many Democrats fell for Rauner’s vows to work with them until him and his rich buddies threw down $20 million to try to buy a political agenda. Since Franks is from a conservative constituency and was a vocal critic of the previous Democratic governor, Pat Quinn, on many issues, Franks is the kind of state legislator that Rauner would need on his side in order to get whatever his agenda is enacted.

I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if Bruce Rauner’s first term as governor ends up being his last, since Rauner appears to have already made too many political enemies by trying to buy a secret political agenda with his money and the money of his ultra-rich pals.