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Added Apr 12 2012

While everyone is focusing on speed cams, Rahm is slipping the $7 B trust through and it will get voted on next week at same time as the speed-cameras, its TEN times worse than the "type" of process for the meters.

Rahm can have total control of all leases of our assets.
The "one alderman" on the board is a bogus move. It serves no purpose but as a puppet.

PLEASE contact your Alderman and let them know you stand against corporatization and hidden profits for the banks and construction companies behind this "infrastructure trust"

  • Nora H 15 year Lakeview resident, member ELVN

    This certainly needs more sunlight.

  • Agreed. The only reason I can see the aldermen only asking for one seat is they are already giving up and decide that they only want their paycheck, not the responsibility that comes with it.

  • Also, why do all these things Rahm's creating have to have appointed councils? Why can't we the people vote for the members?

  • One can only hope some aldermen surprise us and vote against this thinly veiled power grab. Of course, if you live in the ward of an alderman that does, expect repercussions via the reduced level of city services -- grabage pick-up, street sweeping, potholes filled, etc. If anything, Rahm is vengful.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    There was a good article in today's (Friday 13th) CHICAGO TRIBUNE on the failure of similar projects in other states. One example was a toll bridge in San Diego that went bankrupt. One common problem is that when the "partnership" fails, then the municipality feels obligated to rescue the project, and the projected "savings" disappears.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    This scares the begeesus out of me

  • I posted a comment on this last week. This seems like just another ripoff for Chicago taxpayers. Still too many key questions unanswered and the plan is confusing at best.

    Moreno indicated he'd vote against this in it's current form, but we'll see....

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    I just saw a report on the news about this and Rahms point girl I think her name was Scott was being asked questions by the alderman about why this had to be approved so fast and post haste ? Her response was something like... well the federation of labor supports it and we need the jobs .My response ..everyone needs the jobs and that is no reason to rush into this at this time in History and with all the recent money wasting DETIMULUS plans the Dems have favored . A couple things scare me already . Daley needed a vote on his parking meters before alderman could even see it .On a national level Obama needed stimulus before anyone could even read it .Now Rahm wants son of Stimulus without any idea how it will be funded . If the funding falls through or falls short guess who will be left holding the bag ? Second , of course the Unions support it . It will load them up with more loyal relatives , cronies and Dem elites who will oh so appreciate those jobs that we will get left holding the bag for . Let me play Nostradamus here and in 5 yrs or less you can all tell me how on I was on this . This will get passed , the unions will add their loyal cronies , their will be massive fraud and flat out abuse of the money and we will be fighting criminal and fraud cases forever , funding will not be there and the tax payer will be left holding the bag , Rahm will make himself look good to the loyal cronies and sheeple short term and he will be out of here when the check comes due . Someone needs to tell these Dems to stop spending money they don't have ..PERIOD ...They shouldn't count on anything beside what they have and they need to stop sticking us with the bill for their failed plans . Yes Chicago needs the infrastructure repair and they should be able to use the fees they already collect to fund it .

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Look what was anounced today ..The group that bought thoses Parking garages downtown with a pledge that no new garages would be built that would copmpete with them have filed a 200 mil suit against the city because of the new garage at AQUA..We can't afford this people

  • Jedi can you post the link?

    You're missing the bigger problems with this, how are these "investors" going to get paid, at what rate of return with what guaratees. Bonds have always worked before, what's wrong with them now? And why is the city council being left out of the approval process?

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    I think they will start with some initial private money and then the funding will dry up ..It's just too big . And you are right how are the investors going to get paid ???? rest assured if they are loyal dems they will get paid and we will pay them ( see Solyndra ) I think this will end up being as big or bigger of a cluster F*&k then the parking meters . The Silly council is being left out because Rahm RULES ..He is the emperor dammit

  • Tom G Living in Avondale since 1994

    Jedi: This isn't about democrats or republicans, this is about investment bankers. Chicago and other municipalities are looking at selling bonds to private investors because their revenue streams are drying up. The question is how much risk the private investors would be assuming--what are the terms? Given the budget problems in Illinois and Chicago, my guess is that taxpayers will be assuming most of the risks, and once again the investment banks will be hauling in the cash whether the project fails or not. If there's one group of people who are motivated primarily by greed it's the financiers looking for the next vehicle they can use to take the money and run. At least that's the lesson I took from the financial meltdown. I'd rather pay a municipal income tax than support the 1% with my taxes.

  • Tom G I've mentioned this before, red and blue politics are used as distractions. These people only care about one color and that's green, the color of money. Wall street banks are looking at public infrastructure as another revenue stream to plunder and Politicians benefit from the campaign contributions and jobs they provide in return.

    From the link I posted above:

    "Morgan Stanley executives include William Daley Jr., the former mayor’s nephew. Morgan Stanley officials have said William Daley Jr. had nothing to do with the firm’s two Chicago privatization deals." Well that would be unethical wouldn't it.

    The contracts they make municipalities sign are onerous and one sided. The poster child for Wall Street malfeasance is Jefferson County. Water and sewer fees to residents have skyrocketed, service has declined and the county is in bankruptcy court.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    The simple fact of the matter is this is Historically more a Dem Policy and the plans I mentiond were all done by Dems . The other simple fact is that in Chicago we are ruled by nothing but Dems .You mention Private Investors .. The investors in these sorts of things tend to be insiders who know when to get in and when to get out and they are usually Dem insiders and donors ( see Solyndra and Chicago's Parking garage deals ). I don't care that investors want to make a buck . That's Ok with me . Insider deals that rip off the public and are Illegal should be prosecuted but seldom are if they involve the likes of Rahm and Daley . Tom you question how much risk the private investors will assume . My short answer is NONE ( once again refer to Solyndra ) .I don' want the tax payers holding the bag for the investors or for Rahm who's only goal in this is to put more of his Cronies and party elites in Union Jobs at our expense and to create a slush fund he has domain over ...Much like Richie and his TIF's.

  • Jedi,

    This is not "Historically more a Dem policy". GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, that republican paradise, sold the state's tollway to the same group that bought the Skyway.

    Virginia is pretty red:

    More on Chicago privitization

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    The difference is that Daniels plan saved Indiana Money they balanced their budget and didn't raise taxes . In Chicago , Daley sold the meters , his son and several cronies made fortunes brokering the deal .William Blair and other donor firms made a ton of dough and we get the benefits of paying Higher and Higher meter prices while paying Laz for the Handicap exemption ,while also paying the Parking garages for their exclusive non compete agreements . Chicago will be mired in Court for 75 years and we the tax payer will foot the bill for the lawsuits and their outcomes . We will end up paying Laz over 75 yrs , more , then they paid for the meters when you factor in the give back for the Handicap exemption . In effect paying them for the honor and enjoyment of ripping us off . At least Daley got a little paper that he used to fund operations for 1 stinking year . No wonder he left . No, I stand by my statement , this has been historically the way the Dems operate and I grew up a loyal Dem . They have shown a consistent history of spending money they dont have to expand their power base at our expense . Then they stick us with the bill .This has been going on since the New Deal and the WPA . I also stand by my statement above that we will get stuck with this bill just so Rahm can spend money and hire cronies and Party elites . I stated that I would be like nostradamus and I think a firm basis in Dem History and policy will rule the day ..I am willing to bet money on this . I will be proved right .By the way Im not saying the Republicans dont spend also . This isnt about what Party is better .It's simply the facts and it is the Dems who are ruling us so that's what we better deal with or vote them out . The very fact that they are trying to " Rahm " this down our throats without even a Silly Council debate should raise red flags even for the staunchest Rahm sheep .

  • Tom G Living in Avondale since 1994

    "The United States has a divided social system in that both the public and private sectors provide citizens with benefits and services. The effects of political party control on public social policy are widely known. An area of study less understood is how partisanship influences private social benefits. I develop and test a theory that political parties' choice between indirect and direct social expenditures is primarily motivated by a desire to alter the balance between public and private power in society. First, I find no statistically conclusive evidence that Democratic control of the federal government results in higher levels of total social spending. Additionally, my results show that Republican control of the legislature results in a higher ratio of indirect to direct social spending. These results have implications for determining the beneficiaries of social benefits and economic inequality."
    Christopher G. Faricy, Washington State University, "The Politics of Social Policy in America: The Causes and Effects of Indirect Versus Direct Social Spending,"The Journal of Politics, Vol. 73, No. 1, pp. 74-83, January 2011

    Chicago politics is a separate species of government embedded in a corrupt state political culture. It's not a representative sample of the Democratic party nationwide. As to social spending, at least according to this research, the myth that Democrats spend more than Republicans is false. It is more an issue of whether those services are done by government agencies or privatized. It is not surprising that more social services get privatized under Republican influence, given their long-standing anti-socialist agenda, as well as the more recent strain of this that is to shrink government down to the size that it can be drowned in a bathtub.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Tom that sounds like the liberal mumbo jumbo of some Liberal PHD college prof ...I work with one and he makes as much sense as that guy .. Direct to indirect to affect the balance between public and private power ...In the words of the Geico Caveman ..ah what ? I also take a different view as to what you state vis a vis the Democrat party Nationwide as it is our" Chicago Way " machine socialists who run it . This has been an ongoing problem with that party and I dont know how or why Dems deny it or try to defend it . It is the reason there is a TEA party. Democrats do spend more then Republicans . Just look what has gone on in the last three years with Obama spending more in that span then all the previous 43 admins combined . That is criminal and defenseless . I agree with you on the rest of that postand a lot of spending is used to buy influence . The difference is that the Private money is their own . They are not Taxing us and using our money as they see fit . They are also the producers and the makers in Society . I think it is their own choice as to what charity or Social program they give to as that is their money . What Rahm is going to do with this " Private /Public partnership " is to create jobs and improve the infrastructure some of that is needed's just a matter of who gets left holding the bag and you already have my prediction and I'm willing to bet money on it . Any takers ?

  • Jedi,

    You really gotta stop drinking the cool aid. By your reasoning Daley also balanced the budget and didn't raise taxes so he must have done a good job. The meter increases are no different than Daniel's toll increases. Daley was just better at getting his cronies kickbacks.

    The current deficit can be traced right back to W's train wreck of a Presidency. Clinton gave him a Surplus that he clawed back from previous GOP administrations, and he immediately proceeded to blow it on tax cuts and war spending which sent us right back into the red. The only party that's done anything about controlling the deficit has been the Democrats and they get blasted for it. I wouldn't trust the Tea Party/GOP to run a bake sale.

  • Jedi,

    Don't forget our last GOP Gov George Ryan, who's also sitting in Prison. His corruption actually lead to children dying. At least Blago was only a pretentious narcissist.

    Graft and Corruption has no political allegiances.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Daley did NOT balance the budgete ven with the meter deal and we still have a budget deficit . The meters will be costing us for 75 yrs now . We will have to pay LAZ back for the Handicap exemption . The city will constantly be faced with lawsuits from garages with non compete agreements . That is just the tip of the Ice berg , factor in meter increases every year and a Private concern that can decide where to put future meters and you have a Cluster that can't be compared to Daniels success there . In Indiana they have a balnced budget . In fact they are refunding the surplus back to the trax payers ..How can you compare the two .

    You can go back to Carter for the cause of the finacial meltdown and to blame the current Deficit on W is wrong . How can you do that when Obama is running a trillion a year deficit and is spending more money in three years then all the previous 43 admin combined . How is that Bush's fault ? Clinton only balanced the budget because the House was ruled by Republicans who gave him that budget and he wisely signed it . On the Rep side the military was cut by about 1/3 on the Dem side there were entitlement cuts... and that's how a President works well with the other side to get things done . Good for him . How can you say the Dems are trying to cut the deficit ? Talk about Kool aid... you can't be serious . To bring this back OT all I am putting out there is my opinion of Rahms plan the reason he wants it and how and why it will fail and who will hold the bag . Ive put that out there and am willing to take takers . I'm confident of what is going to transpire and can't believe even libs can't see that.. Especially with all the Historical precedent Continued

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    I dont want this to just be a partisan debate as we are not dealing with Republicans here . I admit I lean right but the only reason I mentioned Daneils success is because another postrer cited it as a waste . I believe the Republicans are better fiscally then the Dems . If you look at polls America agrees . I have cited example after example of why I , and most of America , beleives this . That is not the poblem here ..The Problem is do you believe Rahm is going to pull this off and are you confident it will work without a hitch and we wont get caught holding the bag ? If you can state that with a straight face I want to see it

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Chris you are so right about Ryan ...Piece of Scum . You and Tom make several good points and I'm going to step aside for awhile here as this isn't Dems vs Rep but rather Rahm vs Chicago tax payrers

  • Tom G Living in Avondale since 1994

    Speaking of Rahm, he's an interesting case. One of the first things he did as Mayor was to come out blasting the Chicago Teachers' Union, not the usual Democratic tactic. There's a good book called Confidence Men by Susskind that documents some of the inside stuff from Obama's first two years. Rahm is very pragmatic and kept pushing Obama for short term victories based on whatever he felt could pass through Congress, and probably couldn't care less about the major policy implications of any of the alternative plans. He was against single payer health care early on, fighting others in the administration and pushing it off the table, because he thought it would be too hard to get through Congress. I don't think we're going to get anything visionary from him--and even old school Daley had a vision around beautifying Downtown and getting the middle class back into public schools--because he's a short term tactical thinker. He's a doer not a dreamer, unless you count the dream of occupying the White House. That's why he'll push through this new funding arrangement because it gets him the money he needs now, just like Daley had his huge TIF slush fund. And some of us voted for him because we thought we needed an SOB to run the city, secretly hoping that underneath it all he was a progressive. Too soon to tell, but I haven't seen anything with heart in it coming out of his office.

  • @ Tom G - good points on the characterization of Rahm. A question for you:

    Are you now willing to give this short term action guy a blank check, questionably funded with little or no control tied to it, to find out if he actually is a progressive with good intentions?

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Everyone knows where I stand . If this gets passed fat cat donors will ante up . Rahm will be able to hire an army of loyal Socialist Union members to add to his sphere of influence . These people will be family members and loyal cronies . The projects will start the money will run out Immediately . Rahm will tell his loyal donors to bail ala Solyndra and walla we get left holding the bag . His Loyl donors will lose nothing . The fraud and abuse of this money will be legendary and the City and it's citizens will be in court and paying for the cases and the settlements on top of the interest payments to the investors . Rahm wont be investigated even though every shred of evidence will point to insider deals and illegalities . He won't be investigated or prosecuted because Lisa Madigan and Fitzgerald only go after those who have fallen out of favor with the Party ( see Blago ) . Rahm will be long gone back in Washington when the Bill comes due because he only became Mayor for what Chicago could do for him ..not what he could do for Chicago . He will jump at the 1st sign of a good Washington Job . I will bet money on this and so far there isn't a loyal lib or democrat that has been willing to bet . Having said that if they know what I say is true why do they back it and vote this way ?

  • Tom G Living in Avondale since 1994

    Melvin: Rahm never asked me what I think about it.
    Jedi: I worry about your stress level. How can you be against fat cats and insider deals and against unions at the same time? My father was a union member and voted Republican up to Nixon's second term. He was an honest worker and the union helped him keep his job and a little pension money while the company ground him to a pulp reducing the workforce around him through automation and consolidation. Most union workers are honest and hard workers. His railroad never gave a rat's butt about him, but his union did. I thought you were for the common guy.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    I have nothing against Private Unions , Public Unions are just money laundering schemes and are designed for the" Party" to employ realtives and loyal elite cronies at Tax Payer expense . They buy their support on the backs of Tax Payers and there is no advocate for the Tax Payer . Michael Madigan admitted it yesterday . He stated there is very little incentive for a Politician ( DEM ) to vote against giving the Unions everything they want . I will try to find a link to the interview . I am a former member of a Govt Union myself and saw how evil they are . As for my stress level it's fine ...when it does get high I just dream of making a "Hockey Play " ( Raffi Torres term for his hit on Marian Hossa ) on Rahm or any number of numbskulls who are screwing us . I also agree most Union guys Govt or Private are very hard working .

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    TOM G: simple answer is that unions, just like corporations, operate for their self-interest. Power breeds corruption. Its a shame, because I think collective bargaining is an important counterbalance to corporate greed. Unfortunately, union greed contributed to their weakened political power.

    Said a different way: I dont appreciate hearing about some union worker making $50 an hour. Thats just as bad as hearing about the insane corporate leadership salaries.

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    I must say Gentlemen, this is a very educational thought process going on between you, not to mention, very factual and mind expanding.......if one is into opening their minds on all opinions........I applaud all involved in this thread!

  • Tom G Living in Avondale since 1994

    Alex: Unions operate not for their self-interest, but for the interest of their members. If the members don't like the leadership, they vote them out. Power, in and of itself, doesn't breed corruption; greed breeds corruption. The $50 per hour rate is hardly typical across the board for union workers. Why any working person today wants to villainize unions is beyond me. The number of union jobs has declined precipitously, wealth is in the hand of the few, and top corporate executives have stratospheric salaries out of step with the rest of the developed world. There no longer is any balance of power and money, more than ever, determines who gets elected. In Britain and other European countries at least there is a labor party to represent the interests of common workers. Here you have the Democrats and Republicans fighting over who can raise the most money from corporations and wealthy individuals for campaign war chests. It is totally disgusting to hear conservatives attack welfare recipients, immigrants, unionized teachers, regular government workers, and others who dare to question whether our version of capitalism is working for the benefit of all. They are called socialists and communists and breeders of class warfare. What's disgusting is the fact that it's the wealthy elite that have waged war on the rest of us and they already have won. Of course, you can never be satisfied if money is the way you measure success. There's never enough of it.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    i agree that, in THEORY, unions to represent their members. I disagree that all union leadership is able to remain true to their members. History is littered with honorable people who turned corrupt after gaining power.

    If you are accusing me of "villainizing unions" then I take offense. I was a member of SEIU for 5 yrs. I admire Karen Lewis for standing toe to toe with that bully Rahm, and fighting for fair teacher pay, honest contract negotiation, keeping politics out of education policy, and smarter students. Conversely, some other city unions have been fighting for years to keep over-paying jobs in return for poor performance. Now "privatization" is the result. (Two exceptions being CPD and CFD whom I admire greatly and deserve their pay.)

    I think all corporations are heartless entities that would sell their souls to make a buck. But I also think some greedy unions negotiate themselves into unemployment.

    I also think there should be a penalty for corporations to take their operations overseas. It is just impossible to compete with countries that have few employment and environmental regulations.

  • Tom G Living in Avondale since 1994

    Alex: We're in substantial agreement and I didn't mean to lump you in with union haters. It's just that you hear so much of that crapola today from the right that I assumed I was hearing more of the same. Sorry. Glad you admire Karen Lewis for standing up to Rahm. Rahm calculated that he would gain kudos from the public for bullying the CTU. Instead he could have negotiated instead of grandstanding. What I don't like is that he added fuel to the fire for people who don't respect teachers. And this from a guy who's proud that his parents took him on civil rights marches.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Karen Lewis as a Union Head is a pot smoking foul mouthed moo moo wearing embarassment that makes the teachers Union a running joke .The played for the press , dog and pony show that Rahm waged with the hemp haired one was for the benefit of people who wanted to believe that they would substantialy change education for the better .Now Jabba the Union head is asking for a 33% pay increase or threatening the city with a teachers strike . That is totally unreal in these economic times .Know anyone in the private sector that has gotten a raise in the last 3 yrs ? Me neither .All Karen Lewis , as well as her predecessor are concerned with is teacher pay and benefits . They are not concerned with education standards or education atmospheres in the Schools . This is not a good thing . Illinois is the 5th largest state in America . Logically we should be funding our schools at the 5th highest level , but no , we go one step further and fund our schools at the 4th highest level . for that investment we are getting the 5th LOWEST preforming school system in the Nation . That is because the education system in Illinois is set up for the benefit of the adults and Politicians in the room and not the children . A simple example of this is the way the teachers Unions fight helpful curriculum changes in CPS ( Langauge arts being taught in grade school being just one the Union has fought ) You can go to the Illinois Policy Institute website for all kinds of real info on it . Or you can get lies from the local media Ms MooMoo and Rahm.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    continued .... Public Unions are growing with the support of our Tax dollars being thrown their way , It has been the only growth industry under Obama .Private Union membership is what is falling as the economy has slowed to a crawl and private employers , especially those in the trades would rather go hire some of those Illegals you mentioned off a street corner ( say Belmont and Milwaukee ) rather then hire and pay the higher frieght for a Union Carpenter or Painter ( thank god for sanctuary cities , right ? ) It's a little tiring hearing the right portrayed as noncompassionate for having common sense and spaeking on issues with common sense and logic .

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Alex you and Tom are very intelligent posters and I like the give and take . Alex I would like to ask if you have ever worked for a Corporation or are just buying into the envy of class warfare ? I have had the wonderful life experiences of working for three Major Corporations . IBM and Interstate Nuclear Services being two .I have also been a Teamster at UPS and a Gov't Union guy for Cook County ( Now that was cronyism nepotism and corruption on a massive scale all being done with OUR money ) I have had very good experiences , and have experienced none of the arguments the left makes while villianizing corporations . Corporations are made up of Americans trying to produce something worthwhile in goods and services that people want . I agree some of the salaries of top execs are out of line but who are we to say what a private corp should pay their execs . It's THEIR Money and their decision .Corporations aren't taking OUR money and giving it to someone like Jeff Neely at the GSA to waste on lavish Paties . No that would be our Govt . You want to talk abouit out of whack pay and wasting money... Now , If I was a top exec I would want to get everything I could and everything my corporation wanted to give me . There is nothing evil in achieving wealth that you worked and dedicated your life to attaining .It has only been a function of a Lib leader that these people who used to be admired for their achievements are now villianized . Funny you don't hear people on the left screaming about how much Liberal Hollywood stars make or untalented pops stars today long as they are libs .Corproations also don't just support one party they split their political donations quite evenly as per which slimy Pol might help them become more profitable . Govt Unions on the other hand funnel out Tax Dollars back to one " Party" . That is the fact . Now if you all want to hate on the right for pointing out logic and fact have at it .

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    Excellent Jedi.......Karen Lewis should crawl under a rug in's all about the money with her......she could care less about the kids.....a friend of mine........ who's word I trust and value ........had her for a teacher at Lane and said she was the worst ever.......good enough for me! From what I've read........written by Bike 100% accurate and his passion for this city and his life experiances makes him an advocate for us all....with nothing to be gained for himself!

  • hateeecs 3 year bucktown resident

    Unions are simple monopolies - monopolies on labor. Of course a union is going to try to get a better deal for its members at the expense of the consumer just as the producer of a product will be able charge more for a product than they might otherwise would if competition were present. We don't accept it for things like phone companies, why do we accept it for public services?

    Smells like Teen Parking Meters but its Rahms Trust fund for his banking friends

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    HATE EECS: I dont think you understand the meaning of a monopoly. Or the concept of collective bargaining.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    They are two different things

  • David Community Member

    Appropos of nothing, Bike Ninja, I couldn't resist throwing in a suggestion here. Maybe you've "experienced none of the arguments the left makes while villianizing [sic] corporations" because you don't live in Nigeria. According to the U.S. Department of State, Nigerians enjoy "extrajudicial killings and use of excessive force by security forces; impunity for abuses by security forces; arbitrary arrests; prolonged pretrial detention; judicial corruption and executive influence on the judiciary; rape, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners, detainees and suspects; harsh and life‑threatening prison and detention center conditions; human trafficking for the purpose of prostitution and forced labor; societal violence and vigilante killings; child labor, child abuse and child sexual exploitation; female genital mutilation (FGM); domestic violence; discrimination based on sex, ethnicity, region and religion; restrictions on freedom of assembly, movement, press, speech and religion; infringement of privacy rights; and the abridgement of the right of citizens to change the government." While American corporations enjoy oil imports (about 5% of all US oil is imported from Nigeria). Call me a socialist if you like, but as far as I'm concerned a corporation's rights to spend "their money" however "they want" end when they start patronizing this kind of clientele, while simultaneously spending millions lobbying congress and the state department for "favorable trade conditions" (i,.e. support for regimes that deal with their civilians as described) and hiding the abuses they support financially from the people through their control of the media.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    David... so why doesn't Barack go fix Nigeria like he did so well In Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood now holds sway ? It isn't in a Corporations prevue to run a State Dep't. or run foreign affairs . There are civil rights abuses all over the world . How many American oil companies are left .It is the demand of Americans for oil that drives oil companies to look for it . Most of the Countries that drill for it are led by despots . What should we do ? Tell every other country in the world how to live ? Or do you want corporations to tell them ? Is that their job too ? I don't know what any of that has to do with a Corporation being free to decide how they want to compensate their own employees with their own money , but like a lot of the arguments from the left they will just change the discussion to keep villianizing Corp America . Hey if they're so evil sell your car and computer and buy a car from the Occupy movement . Oh that's right they dont make cars . One other thing how many American oil companies are left ? They are all foriegn owned . If you are so worried about where we get our oil from why don't you become an advocate for America going after her own reserves ? Are you making any of these arguments to illustrate that you trust Rahm or do you not trust him ? My argument supports with Historical precedent why I don't trust Rahm and why . I haven't had a single Liberal ( why do they now want to be called progressives ..whats progressive about them ) who is denying that this will go bad ..So why do you all blindly support and defend it . Then you wonder why people call the left sheep

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    DAVID: thank you for the info on oil corps in Nigeria. I had no idea it was that bad.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Yes good info on Nigeria . It is bad in a lot of the world not only in Nigeria

  • David Community Member

    I admit my 'argument' is not an argument for or against anything, and it is absolutely off topic. I just couldn't resist pointing out that using the phrase "class warfare" to deflect criticisms of the corporate agenda and the US government pursuit of it, and saying that you've never "seen" corporate abuse with your own eyes, is disingenuous and myopic. It *should not* be a corporation's purview to run the affairs of the State Dept. and the Dept. of Defense, but they *do* successfully set the US international agenda and meddle in state affairs with their nearly infinite political contributions and lobbying. I can't reproduce here all of the material in all of the books and articles that make the pattern clear, but when you look at how bad it is in Nigeria and a lot of the world, if you don't acknowledge a connection between Washington, the Corporate Lobby, international trade, and human rights, I think you're just ignoring the facts.

    Meeting demand is not an excuse. How many stores in your community sell porn and liquor? There's a demand for those things, no doubt, but we regulate the hell out of them to maintain the character of our communities. When you look at licensing laws, zoning regulations, and the like, the concept of a "free market" becomes a joke. Do you know how hard it is to get and keep a liquor license in Chicago? Why shouldn't it be just as hard to get and maintain a license to export oil to the USA? The "invisible hand" is a fairy tale. The government at all levels has a very heavy hand, and is not afraid to move it for the benefit of American business, at the expense of taxpayers. Foreign economic policy and military interventionism is the largest state-run scheme for wealth redistribution that's ever existed in this country.

  • David Community Member

    ...Employee compensation is the least of my worries. CEO pay is a red herring. The fact that, of all the problems with corporations and global economics, *that's* the one issue where people feel some indignation, says something about our education and the media. I want moneyed interests out of Washington, the US military out of everywhere, quality journalism on every TV and newspaper stand, and an end to "free trade" policies that extract wealth from the people of the world at gunpoint and put it in private hands. Is that so much to ask? Is it really that hard to see how the self-interested actions of the biggest corporations in the world are the primary cause of these problems? I know it has nothing to do with trusting Rahm, you just caught me on a bad day with your comment about corporations being 'not so bad' and I couldn't let it slide.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    David you really are taking a gigantic leap of faith in the Liberal dogma of Corporations if you think they or their interest are responsible for the worlds ills . Corportions and Free Market Capitalism is not responsible for any of that poppycock . Neither is inherently evil and they are NOT responsible for despots around the globe running their countries in a Sociialist Totalitarian way or as Dictatorships .If they ran their countries in a free market and Democratic way their countries would be better off . Most of those Countries are ruled by despots and their military . If you and the left want to run around assigning blame to them as the left always have go on and have a cow . Free Market Capitalism is simply the system that has brought the greatest amount of freedom , opportunity ,and prosperity to the greatest amount of people everywhere it's been tried or implemented in History . Meanwhile Socialism has been shared misery and an abject failure everywhere it's been attempted . I have a book to recomend . To the Brink and Beyond International Theory and Politics . written by Andrew Dunne PHD Ex U of C prof of Poly Sci and one of the leading experts on the subject in the world . I don't agree with a lot of it but it is an interesting read . Andrew is a Liberal ( of course U of C ) He is also a personal friend ( hard to believe I know ) The book is hard to find as it was written for other Poly Sci guys . I also agree the media is completely whack . Instead of news you get NBC and ABC doctoring 911 tapes and completelly making stories up to suit their agenda and to sensationalize stories ( Trayvon Martin ring a bell ) These people should be investigated but as long as we have an ATTY Genl named Eric Holder and these stations are doing dirty work for them .. uh ....not going to happen . I want moneyed interests out of Washington also so we agree on somethings .

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    You also seen to simultaneously blame the Govt , Free Trade the Military Lobbyist etc etc ..These people all have their own interests and they usually don't jive with one another . I think it's crazy to assume they would all work together to drain the poor peoples wealth in 3rd world countries . It's rather evident their own leaders use and abuse their own peoples for their own benefit . Now if you want to have a discussion of whether we should then deal with these people or not that's OK with me . The simple fact of the matter is the Corporatioms can fight and lobby for policy and if the current admin didn't think it wise they should stop and or regulate it like they do all the time . . I think it's myopic to state that free trade is draining the wealth of people at gun point as they dont run U S Military decisionsor Foriegn Policy . You are right this has nothing to do with Rahm or his Son of Stimulus plans and whether we should trust him or not . I dont trust Rahm. He has shown a track record of deception and self interest . Couple that with the History of WHY he wants this and how it will be implemented ...well it will be a disaster and no one even the Libs are saying otherwise . So having said that , why aren't you people up in arms ? . Does anyone think this is going to work ? Does anyone think the tax payers are not going to end up holding the bag ? Look the city needs jobs but does anyone think that these jobs will be handed out fairly ,or do you agree with me that this is just all so Rahm can add a loyal army of family , cronies ,and Dem elites to loyal Unions and a City that cant handle what we have now ? Look , we have intelligent thinking people on this eb , Why aren't you all calling your alderman and letting them know this is a bad idea . I haven't heard anyone on these sites that thinks it will , yet they don't care or are so loyal to the " PARTY " that they give up their freedom and self interest ..What hapned to America ?

  • David Community Member

    I think it's interesting that you equate free market capitalism and Democracy. Some of the least Democratic, i.e. the most totalitarian regimes have been friendly to capitalist globalization, and some of the best examples of true Democracy have been legitimately elected socialist or social democratic governments.

    You're right, there's nothing inherently wrong with economic freedom, and I never said I supported socialism. Capitalism-in-theory is obviously not responsible for any of the world's ills. But the actual corporate interests that exist now and have existed in the last few centuries are in fact responsible for a lot of the world's ills, as can be established by historical evidence. We can agree to disagree about what corporations should and shouldn't be free to do in pursuit of profits, but each of us is not entitled to our own facts. The phrase 'Liberal Dogma" just like the phrase "class warfare" simply deflects and ignores cause and effect relationships that are well documented and easily understood.

    One of the best understood phenomena in economic history is how heavy-handed protectionism, i.e. tight regulations on markets, limits on imports/exports and tariffs, etc, are directly responsible for bringing "the greatest amount of freedom , opportunity ,and prosperity to the greatest amount of people everywhere it's been tried." Free market capitalism created huge industrial growth in the nations for whom the trade balance was favorable. Not surprisingly, these were the colonial powers whose corporate and military institutions were powerful enough to create and enforce "free trade" conditions. If free markets are so great, why are the benefits to the people participating in them so one-sided?

  • David Community Member

    At least we agree on the media. I suppose in a world of spin, likes, misinformation, and hand-picked coverage (or lack thereof), how can you and I expect to have a meaningful conversation? My facts are your dogma, and vice versa, and the only reason either of us see it one way or another is a product of where we get our information and how it's presented. I've seen far more than enough examples of how free-trade interests do, in fact, drive military and other foreign policies. Whether or not you believe this to be so is not a question of opinion but of whether or not you accept evidence as establishing fact.

    We also agree on the problem of apathy. Rahm should not be able to get away with something like this "trust fund". You can bet I will be calling Rey Colon. Not that it will do any good, that guy *never* returns my calls or letters.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    I think we agree on more then we disagree . I think we probably view things a little different and that may be due to our divergent life experiences . I can see just by your last comment you are about as happy as I about this Son of Stimulus plan Rahm is trying to Rahm down our throats . I say Kudo's for trying to contact Ald Colon . I have sent several emails and the way I get someone to read them is to present them as a complaint for garbage pick up or something . If you come straight at them they turtle . By the way I included the terms free market and Democratic systems not because they are mutually exclusive but rather that it seems to be the best way to run a country . I would really like to know why you so believe that interests like Oil companies ( who are mostly foreign corp.s ) can shape our policy when they can't even get the US to open up it's own markets here . I think what you are proposing would require a conspiracy that would have to cross Party lines , green agenda's , different Presidential administrations , and then have the cooperation of dictatorships Communist and Socialist regimes that cross cultural and even religous extremes ...That would be a nifty trick . One thing I don't understand about one of your statements you ask "If free markets are so great, why are the benefits to the people participating in them so one-sided?" ..You do realize that America is the greatest example of the fairness of this system and through our history our system has done just what I stated ..It has brought the most freedom opportunity and wealth to the greatest number of people . Or maybe you think there has been a better outcome somewhere else using another system ???No one ever said it was going to be equal nor should it be . Continued

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    continued ....No one ever said it was going to be equal nor should it be . You can't equalize outcomes . That is what Socialism strives to do , but you can equalize opportunities and that is what America has done . Right up until certain people started an argument that it's not fair that certain people have more then you and we need to have some of their stuff ..( class warfare ) That is not deflection it is fact , and it is the mantra of our Ruler .

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    Not having a problem understanding and agreeing with all that you have said..........I thank you! Very informative.........

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Before I turn in I would like to state ..everyone knows I lean right . that being said if Chicago had one party rule and they were Republicans and they were putting the Tax payers and the future of this City in Jeopardy just to increase their own power base and employ their cronies ...Well let me assure you , I would fight it with every fiber of my existence .Therefore I can appreciate people like David who doesn't like the Rahm plan the way it is now and who says they will contact the ald etc . Maybe there is hope for Chicago . I vote both Dem and Rep but if these were Republicans ..I would be all over them as well . This plan just straight up sucks and I think anyone with even a hint of sense feels threatened with the way the City council is being rushed and pressured to pass this . We have seen this before on a City County and National level and it always spells trouble . There should be no need to rush this and the Tax Payers should be assured and Insured against having to hold the bag

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    If it were something that wasn't going to cost the taxpayer.....we would probably get to vote on it........but seeing as it will cost us........NO VOTE!

  • David Community Member

    If you really think I'm a whack conspiracy theorist, Jedi, just google "how corporations shape policy". It's not an impossibly complicated network of accomplices all scheming towards the same nefarious ends. It's more like a very long series of seemingly isolated incidents, but taken as a whole they form a clear pattern. Pay toilets in the slums of the world are extremely profitable (which is not surprising, since there's no other choice for even semi-sanitary facilities) . Millions of infants die from preventable disease every year because of poor sanitation. And yet the governments do nothing to bring running water and sewers to the people. Do you really think that decision has nothing to do with pressure from the companies that *sell* fresh water and facilities? Imagine what would happen in the city of Chicago if running water and sewer access were only available in neighborhoods that paid exorbitant property taxes (white neighborhoods), and instead of public facilities the mayor sold a contract on pay toilets to "E-Z-Go". Would you support that level of privatization, and chastise those in favor of public utilities as being socialists? Pay toilets that people can't afford in places where millions of children die from a lack of clean water is the epitome of 'free markets'. You take things for granted like the roads and the sewer system, paid for by *tax dollars*, but then cry foul when the government crosses some arbitrary line into 'socialism'. Obviously everyone agrees that some infrastructure, police, fire, etc, must be a *public* expense. Is 'free' economic development worth paying *any human cost*? Just because no one has ever done better doesn't mean we can't strive to do better now. I don't care if our system is the best one that's ever existed, it's not good enough.

  • Always enjoy a little conspiracy theory...

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    David it's not a corporations fault that despots rule their Country's like that . You might want to take your argument up with all those fine Communists Socialists and in some cases Muslims . You state it's more like a very long series of seemingly isolated incidents . That I can see but why is it behind every tree the left see's an evil Corp or some rich people as villians . It's as if you've all been conditioned to think Corporations are evil and bad and evil people are the only ones that are rich . That is a function of the class warfare argument . I'm not going to argue that there aren't massive abuses in other countries but to tie that to a Corporation instead of the evil people who rule them is putting the cart miles ahead of the horse

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    "whack conspiracy theorist"??? David....I found your recent posts intelligent, eloquent, reasoned, and very refreshing. Thank you.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    Regarding toilets in third world countries: Ive been to China, Peru, and India. And I can tell you the sanitation for the poor is nausea inducing. Poor sanitation and lack of fresh safe water is a major cause of disease and deaths in this world. Your story about corporate pay toilets in poor neighborhoods is so sad, but Im frankly not surprised at all. Corporations and their officers only get in trouble when they fail to make money.

  • City council votes in favor of Infrastructure Trust,0,2906195.story?page=2

    "Voting against the mayor’s plan were Alds. Robert Fioretti (2nd), Leslie Hairston (5th), Toni Foulkes (15th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd), Scott Waguespack (32nd), Brendan Reilly (42nd), John Arena (45th).

    Absent were Alds. Michael Chandler (24th) and Roberto Maldonado (26th)."

    You'll notice that Moreno has voted for both Speed Cameras and the Trust. Other than photo ops and crack cake rallies I'm not sure what he's actually doing for the 1st ward.

    It's also becoming clear that the city council is just not up to the task of legislating. They can't even be bothered to vote against an ordinance that takes power away from them and gives it to the Mayor. The epitome of that uselessness might be Dick "It's only fine print" Mell. What a waste of an alderman's seat.

  • And another:

    "But as Chicago found out with its parking meter deals, less pressure in the form of taxes often comes in the form of more pressure from tolls, charges and user fees. In the parking-meter deal, then-Mayor Richard Daley leased the city's parking meters until 2084 to a private consortium, which expects to make a $9.58 billion profit on the deal via higher parking fees."

    BTW the city was paid $1.15 Billion of which maybe $76 million is left. The private investors will earn 9 times that much. We also lost the $25 million a year that the city collected and kept before they sold the meters. It looks to me if the city had kept and raised the fees themselves we wouldn't even need this "Trust".

    If we got hosed that bad on the meters, what's the Trust going to do to us?

  • Like his former boss, Tiny Dancer is ruling Chicago via Executive Order. This order was entered yesterday. It will be in two parts as it exceeds 2000 characters.

    I, RAHM EMANUEL, Mayor of the City of Chicago, do hereby order as follows:

    1. Independent Financial Advisor
    a) For each transaction to be undertaken by the Trust, there shall be an independent Financial Advisor (for purposes of this Order, the "Advisor") selected by the Trust.

    b) Each Advisor selected by the Trust shall complete and keep up-to-date a disclosure statement that is substantially similar to the economic disclosure statements required of third parties for transactions with the City, which the Trust shall post on its website.

    c) The Advisor shall provide a written assessment of the proposed transaction including, but not limited to, analysis of the following matters:
    1. Risk analysis, including interest rate risk, revenue risk, long-term operating risk, risk of renegotiation at a future time and risks associated with not proceeding with the transaction;

    2. Cost to the participating government, measured in terms of financing costs, operating costs, financial liability (e,g., for cost overuns, revenue shortfalls, etc.) and lifecycle maintenance costs compared with alternative financing structures;

    3. Economic benefit to the City and the Chicago metropolitan region from the transaction, including likely impact on job creation and retention.

    Each such analysis shall be delivered to the Mayor and the City Council and posted on the Trust's website not later than 15 days prior to any vote required of the City Council or the governing body of any other participating government with regard to the proposed transaction.

    d) Under no circumstances shall the Advisor's fees be based on the success of the proposed transaction.

  • continued:

    2. Annual Assessment
    The Trust shall annually commission a written analysis by an independent third party having expertise in infrastructure, capital markets and municipal finance to analyze the impact of the Trust and the projects it has undertaken on the City and on the Chicago metropolitan region. Such analysis shall be delivered to the Mayor and the City Council and posted on the Trust's website.

    3. Administration by Chief Financial Officer and Corporation Counsel

    The Chief Financial Officer and the Corporation Counsel are each authorized and directed to administer this Order and enforce its provisions through the inclusion of appropriate provisions in grant agreements or other contracts involving the Trust or through other appropriate means.

    4. Effective Date
    This Order shall take effect upon its execution and filing with the City Clerk.

    Rahm Emanuel

    Received and filed April 23, 2012

  • From an April 23, 2012 letter from the City's Dept. of Law to an alderman:

    Re: Request for Legal Opinion on Proposed Chicago Infrastructure Trust Ordinance

    Dear Alderman XYZ:

    Thank you for your letter earlier this afternoon. Your three questions regarding the Infrastructure Trust - whether the City Ethics ordinance applies; the role of the Inspector General; and if the Freedom ofInformation Act applies - are all good questions that a few of your colleagues have also raised. I will answer them in full below, but the short answer to all of
    your questions is, yes. Yes, the City Ethics ordinance applies; yes, the Inspector General maintains oversight over City-related projects; and yes, the Freedom of Information Act applies.

  • I'm having Chicago City Currency printed with Mayor 9.5's likeness above which it reads "In Rahm We Trust."

  • @ Chris: "You'll notice that Moreno has voted for both Speed Cameras and the Trust. Other than photo ops and crack cake rallies I'm not sure what he's actually doing for the 1st ward."

    Check out the bar scene...

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Chris M and Good Guys Wear Blue .You guys are right on . This is going to make that Parking Meter deal look like childs play . Right now in the back of my mind I'm envisioniong Rahm building his own Death Star and cloning an army of loyal Dem cronies and family members into Storm troopers ...cue the Music ... I cant believe all these Chicagoans are standing by and bending over for this . The only good that will come from this will be that if Rahm sticks around for another year or two the fecal matter will be hitting the oscillating device and he will become unelectable anywhere else . The downside is as long as he has this many Dem voters who don't care are too underinformed and ones who like him because he is Rahm and they are Liberals ..He will continually get elected

  • If you compare the version of the ordinance he tried to shove through, the City Council did get some big concessions with regard to the "transparency" of the process.

    My thought is he always asks for the moon and is happy with what he negotiates as that's what he ultimately expected to get.

    I also would suspect that now that we have a grid system for street sweeping and shoveling our neighbors in the 32nd ward are going to be SOL. Wags better buy some heavy equipment with his aldermanic funds.

    Finally, don't be surprised to see nice projects started in or more cops assigned to the wards of the alderman who switched votes. No doubt "incentives" -- much like Tiny Dancer gave to the Dem Senators who flipped on Obamacare -- were promised.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Good guys you are right ...Every Alderman who voted against this will be punished ..He learned from the best Axelrod and Obama ...cue the music

  • The Infrastructure Bank Has A New Villain

    - shows you how the aldermen are really not knowing what they are voting on. The concessions were window dressing according to the Inspector Generals Ferguson, they look good on paper but its all window dressing. The trust is a not for profit and FOIA and Opened Meetings do not apply to Illinois not for profits. So its worse than window dressing?

  • NinnyMuggins your neighbor

    How will investors get their return? User fees in the govt buildings getting retrofitted?

  • NinnyMuggins your neighbor

    Here is my prediction on how this will work.
    A govt-owned building will have energy-saving technology installed. (For the sake of argument) the electric bill will get slashed from $100/month to $60/month. The savings will go to the investors, right? However, at the rate (whatever it is, in this example $40/month) its going to take decades for the investors to realize their return, so its going to have to be the savings plus a little extra to pay off the loan.....say $60/month.
    In short, the taxpayers who pay the electric bill will have to come up with roughly 120% of the current electric bills to pay the investors for the 'favor' they've done for Chicago.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    However the investors are taken care of we can all rest assured that since they are loyal donors and bundlers and Dem elites they will all get their money and interest . the minute this starts to go South it will be covered up and they will let it ride long enough for the investors to get out . (SEE SOLYNDRA ) the Tax Payers will get left holding the bag . There won't be a lot of work getting done and the projects that get started will have massive cost over runs and they wont get done on schedule . Why should they get done on schedule when there will be an unlimited tap of our money funding it ? Thew way this was passed with not even the most basic questions from Alderman being answered is appalling . Then rahm goes to the press and says this will all be open and transparent and th sheep bend over believe it and go Baa Baaa

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