Friday, May 24, 2013

IRS scandal a reminder of how I learned about The Chicago Way
..."Are you in your good senses?" said my father. "We have lives here. We have businesses. If we get involved in politics, they will ruin us."

And no one, not the Roosevelt Democrats or the Reagan Republicans, disagreed. The socialists, the communists, the royalists, everyone nodded their heads.

This was Chicago. And for a business owner to get involved meant one thing: It would cost you money and somebody from government could destroy you.

The health inspectors would come, and the revenue department, the building inspectors, the fire inspectors, on and on. The city code books aren't thick because politicians like to write new laws and regulations. The codes are thick because when government swings them at a citizen, they hurt.

And who swings the codes and regulations at those who'd open their mouths? A government worker. That government worker owes his or her job to the political boss. And that boss has a boss.

The worker doesn't have to be told. The worker wants a promotion. If an irritant rises, it is erased. The hack gets a promotion. This is government.

So everybody kept their mouths shut, and Chicago was hailed by national political reporters as the city that works.

I didn't understand it all back then, but I understand it now. Once there were old bosses. Now there are new bosses. And shopkeepers still keep their mouths shut. Tavern owners still keep their mouths shut.

Even billionaires keep their mouths shut.

One hard-working billionaire whose children own the Chicago Cubs dared to open his mouth. Joe Ricketts considered funding a political group critical of Obama before last year's campaign. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former chief of staff, made it clear that if the Cubs wanted City Hall's approval to refurbish decrepit Wrigley Field, Ricketts better back off....

Cuomo to Sheriffs on Gun Control: Please Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
New York county sheriffs have been urged by Governor Andrew Cuomo to not voice their opposition to the state’s new gun-control laws. The governor reportedly threatened to remove them from their posts if they spoke out against the laws.

The bill was hastily passed by a Democrat-controlled legislature and signed by Cuomo earlier this year in response to the Newtown school shooting. Parts of the bill have needed modification because they were unclear or impossible to comply with. The new law put strict limits on the size of magazines in addition to broadening the definition of an assault weapon, a class which is banned.​

Shortly after the bill passed in January, the New York State Sheriffs’ Association sent Cuomo an analysis of the law that included suggested changes. According to Albany’s Times Union newspaper, Cuomo then invited representatives of the assoication to the Capitol last month and had a “heated” meeting with them, in which he told them to refrain from commenting on the bill.

“The governor was of the opinion that the sheriffs around the state should not be interjecting their personal opinions in reference to the law,” said Chemung County sheriff Christopher Moss. Another person briefed on the meeting said Cuomo threatened to remove the sheriffs from their positions, but Moss would not confirm this....