Mayor Daley Grants Interview to the Russians... 'I’m the only mayor in the country that took responsibility [for education].' (June 25, 2011). I must say my eyes jumped up when I turned to the TV channel Russia Today this weekend and saw our former mayor being interviewed on the Russian news program. The Russians introduced their esteemed Chicago guest as the mayor who “managed to turn the declining Rust Belt city into a destination city, pushed through immigration reform (he did?) and masterly dealt with the racism issue, winning the support of the black Chicagoans.”

During most of the years he was Mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley took public credit when the city's public schools made their annual production quotas, much the same way leaders in totalitarian and authoritarian countries took credit for dubious production goals ranging from potato harvests to soccer victories. Above, Daley, flanked by two supporters, announced the annual "increase" in Chicago's reading scores on the ISAT test on September 15, 2008, at Chicago's Ella Flagg Young Elementary School. Flanking Daley are (then) Alderman Ike Carrouthers (left), who is now (2011) in prison for corruption, and (then) Chicago Public Schools "Chief Officer of Research, Evaluation and Accountability" Dr. Ginger Reynolds (right), who was subsequently purged by Daley's school board and dropped from sight. Prior to being purged, Reynolds dutifully provided the Daley administration with the data (such as the ISAT chart on the far right above) proving that the schools were the best ever and getting even better than that. Reynolds also provided testimony at the show trial hearings against "failing" public schools that were later purged of their staffs and made into "turnarounds." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Mayor Richard Daley II is now cashing in on his 22 years of service to the city of Chicago as the longest acting mayor, a fact that has even impressed the Russians who have quickly transitioned from one party to multi-party elections and made those in the party filthy rich in the process.

As our colleague Ben Joravsky from The Reader wrote last week, Daley is making an excellent transition to the private world.

Daley has landed a “gig” with the University of Chicago — which reaped $20 million in TIF money (and millions in other dollars, from charter school money to deals with various University of Chicago experts) during the Daley years. The U of C is paying him $100,000 per year. He is working with the law firm that worked out the disastrous privatized parking meter deal; he cashed in on his $184,000 pension (while telling everyone city pensions cost the city too much); and he has now formed a company with his son Patrick seeking overseas investors for deals in Chicago.

By the way, that’s the same Patrick Daley who graduated with honors from the University of Chicago in 2004, who the Sun-Times disclosed in 2007 held a hidden ownership stake in a sewer cleaning company that won millions of dollars in no-bid contract extensions from City Hall. Patrick allegedly speaks Russian after having worked in Moscow for four years.

No Richard M. Daley media event was complete without what observers dubbed "Richie's Rainbow," a diverse crowd of people who either stood behind Daley and smiled or sat in an audience and cheered on command. At the September 15, 2008, announcement that Chicago's ISAT scores had gone way "up" again (see previous photograph), Richie's Rainbow consisted primarily of Chicago Public Schools bureaucrats, along with a couple of teachers, who cheered on signal. In the group above are more than a dozen men and women whose annual salaries — in positions ranging from "Chief Area Officer" to "Elementary Chief Officer" — were generally at $125,000 per year or above. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.In a scene straight from the acclaimed HBO series "The Wire," the Sun-Times reported with a straight face Daley’s red-faced apology for getting caught with his hands in the cookie jar, but he still denied it while dusting off the crumbs.

“I did not know about his involvement in this company. As an adult, he made that decision. It was a lapse in judgement for him to get involved with this company. I wish he hadn’t done it,’ the mayor said at the time, reading from a prepared statement.”

“Daley choked back tears as he struggled to continue, “I hope those people understand that Patrick is a very good son. I love him. And Maggie and I are very proud of him.”

Now the two are teaming up to scam with the Russians and other international investors looking to get into the Rahm Emerald City of corrupt contracts, and rigged deals.

After (then) Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley completed his annual announcement that the city's public schools had exceeded his annual production quotas on standardized test scores at Chicago's Young Elementary School on September 15, 2008, Daley posed with some of the nearly 1,000 children — all of them African American — at the segregated west side Chicago school. One of the signal features of the Daley administration was to increase the number of segregated schools in Chicago by allowing the proliferation of segregated charter schools under a Daley (and corporate Chicago) program called "Renaissance 2010." Under "Renaissance 2010," some charter schools were segregated for white and Latino students (excluding African Americans), while most of the new charter schools (such as the nationally hyped "Urban Prep") were all-black. During the same years, Daley's "turnaround" policies (i.e., closing "failing" schools based on test scores) resulted in the elimination of more than 1,000 black teachers and principals from Chicago and their replacement with (usually) young, intense white female teachers. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.For some reason, the Daley phenomena today is not news to the Tribune or the Sun-Times, while bad teachers and corrupt unions are. But Substance and the Reader feel people ought to know just how much we’re being taken for a ride.

There is one difference between the corrupt third world dictatorships and so-called democratically elected politicians in the U.S.

Take the case of Ben Ali, the former president of Tunisia who was just convicted of massive corruption after being thrown out of office in a people’s rebellion that set off the chain reaction of Mid-East governments falling like dominoes.

The Wall Street Journal quoted sources that estimated he and his “family” controlled one-third of the country’s wealth. WSJ reported that he would demand a 50-50 partnership with any potential business venture that needed government approval.

So these corrupt dictators steal while in office.

Now here in Chicago, our “democratically elected” leaders collect once they leave office, as evidenced by the revolving door of corporate lobbyists and elected officials.

Daley is merely laying stake to what he feels he’s entitled to, since he did make it possible for the corporations to cash in on the city deals that made them lots of cash.

While the TV cameras in the Young Elementary School library on September 15, 2008, were focused on the Daley show and media event promoting the fact that ISAT scores had gone "up" again in Chicago, no one in the media except Substance bothered to notice that the library was empty, except for the handful of books that had been carefully arranged behind the podium from which Daley spoke. The above photo, which was taken while Daley was announcing that the schools's scores had gone "up" again, shows the empty library at Young school. By the final year of Daley's reign, Chicago learned that 160 elementary schools in the public schools system did not have libraries. Additional schools, such as Young, had libraries, but no books. Daley's claims to miracles in improving the schools rested on carefully scripted media events and a supine corporate press corps. Substance photo taken September 15, 2008, at Ella Flagg Young Elementary School in Chicago by George N. Schmidt.Remember Mayor Emanuel netting about $20 million in “relationship banking” for about a year and a half after working in the Clinton and Obama administrations even though he had no investment banking experience?

That cookie jar is full of gooey chocolate chip cookies, boys.

Now, back to the Daley interview on Russia Today. King Richard Daley the Second, who would perspire notoriously during press conferences where his press aide would quickly wisk him away should he stray from the script, looked quite comfortable sitting in front of softball interviewer Al Gurnov, who loves to joke with Russian ministers and oligarchs about how their vision of the world makes so much sense.

First question, why did you not seek re-election?

Daley begins by saying he could run again and win, obviously thinking his re-elections were pre-ordained in the Russian tsarist tradition, but it was all getting just too easy, he said.

Six terms in office, twenty two years as mayor, how about term limits, like there are for the president of the U.S?

“We have to limit terms?” Mr. Daley gulped. “The public is smarter than anyone else. They can say we like you or we reject you. I wouldn’t mind Obama serving for 10 terms. If they don’t re-elect you, they don’t believe you’re doing a good job.”

Gurnov then asked the obvious question, if he’s in office for so long, maybe Daley has “what we in Russia call the administrative resource (the machine) where you can pull more money and resources.”

Workers in any totalitarian entity, from Stalinist Romania to Daley and Emanuel's Chicago, would recognize the charts showing that production of key commodities — whether potatoes, vodka, or test scores — always go "up" when a Supreme Leader demands that they do. Above, the chart, prepared by "Chief Accountability Officer" Ginger Reynolds, showing how Chicago's public schools proved that Daley's leadership was correct on September 15, 2008, at Ella Flagg Young Elementary School. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.“No,” Daley responded. “If you just worry about being re-elected and don’t do your job, you won’t be re-elected.”

Daley claimed to never “micro-manage” people, never carried a cell phone and took notes as he went around the city.

His greatest achievement? Why education, of course.

But even the Russian interviewer was struck about how Daley referred to his education achievement as some kind of “God complex.”

Isn’t it the teachers who should take credit, the Russian interviewer asked.

“No, it’s not the teachers,” Daley quickly said. “You’re really taking the responsibility. I’m the only mayor in the country that took responsibility.”

Corruption seems to be a traditional Russian problem, Gurnov said, so he turns to the master to ask what could be done.

"Well, you have corruption all over," Daley said. "Look at (former Illinois Gov. Rod) Blagovich. He was young."

What - Daley talk about corruption? Wasn't he the guy the FBI was running wiretaps on after the Hired Truck Scandal in which he was rewarding patronage workers with jobs to keep him in office (because the voters love him so much)? Not to mention all the no-bid contracts being awarded to his family and friends that even the feds under the Bush administration had to take note of.

Gurnov’s question would be like asking Hitler to comment on the phenomenon of anti-semitism in the world, and how to combat it. Or asking Ted Bundy how to stop serial killers.

Enjoy the interview if you can stomach almost 30 minutes of this guy with the Russians. If you can't get the hotlink in the first paragraph above, the URL is:


June 26, 2011 at 8:50 PM

By: John Kugler

Do Not Forget Recent Daley Corruption

great story jim, it just want to make sure to add the most recent daley corruption story.

Former Mayor Daley’s son profited after airport Wi-Fi deal

BY TIM NOVAK & CHRIS FUSCO June 6, 2011 1:58AM

For years, City Hall maintained that Mayor Richard M. Daley’s son, Patrick Daley, had no financial stake in the deal that brought wireless Internet service to city-owned O’Hare Airport and Midway Airport.

But it turns out that the younger Daley still reaped a windfall of $708,999 when Concourse Communications was sold in 2006, less than a year after the Chicago company signed the multimillion-dollar Wi-Fi contract with his father’s administration, company documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show.

Concourse disclosed its investors to the city, as required. Patrick Daley wasn’t one of them.

But he still had a stake in Concourse’s success, the company documents show, and profited as a result when the company was sold after winning the city contract.

Daley’s role was as a middleman who lined up investors for Concourse. Among them: M. Blair Hull, the millionaire commodities trader who mounted an unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic Party’s nomination for U.S. Senate in 2004.

On June 27, 2006, nine months after it signed the potentially lucrative city contract for airport Wi-Fi service in Chicago, Concourse was sold — at a 33 percent profit — to Boingo Wireless Inc. for $45 million.

Three days later, Patrick Daley got his first payment as a result of the sale, the documents show — for $164,789.

Over the next 17 months, with Daley now serving in the U.S. Army, he got four more payments resulting from the sale, totaling $544,210, the documents show, for a total of $708,999.

Shortly after Patrick Daley received the last of those payments, his father’s City Hall press secretary, Jacquelyn Heard, told a Sun-Times reporter in a Dec. 3, 2007, interview, that Patrick Daley “has no financial interest with the Wi-Fi contract at O’Hare.”

Exactly how the deal was structured isn’t clear. Neither Patrick Daley nor his father replied to interview requests. But the amount that Patrick Daley was paid was linked to the sale price of the company, a source with knowledge of the arrangement said: The more the company was sold for, the more Patrick Daley would be paid.

The elder Daley — who left office May 16 after deciding not to seek re-election — is now in business with his son. The two Daleys are working out of offices on Michigan Avenue on international business deals.

Patrick Daley’s Wi-Fi windfall was part of $1.2 million he was paid as a result of deals he had with Cardinal Growth, a Chicago venture-capital firm that invested in Concourse and other businesses. Among those businesses was a sewer-inspection company that got millions of dollars in no-bid city-contract extensions.

In addition to Patrick Daley, Cardinal Growth also has had business dealings in which it made payments to two of his cousins, Robert G. Vanecko and Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko.

Patrick Daley’s payments from the sale of Concourse Communications ended in March 2009 — four months before Cardinal Growth received a subpoena from a federal grand jury investigating his and Robert Vanecko’s roles in the sewer-inspection business.

The sewer company’s president has since been indicted on federal charges that accuse him of minority-contracting fraud. Patrick Daley and Robert Vanecko haven’t been charged with any crime. Nor have Cardinal Growth or its owners been charged with any wrongdoing.

Cardinal Growth is owned by Robert Bobb, who’s a lawyer and former federal prosecutor, and Joseph McInerney, an accountant. The firm has raised millions of dollars from private investors and, with those investments in hand, has been able to borrow $50 million from the U.S. government to use in its projects.

Among the businesses that Bobb and McInerney acquired with that money: Concourse and the sewer company, Municipal Sewer Services.

Six of the businesses now are facing forced liquidation by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which is trying to recover $20 million it’s still owed from the $50 million in loans it made to Cardinal Growth.

Patrick Daley, now 35, began working with Cardinal Growth in 2002 as an unpaid intern for the firm, while he also he worked on the master’s degree in business administration he would obtain from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. After his internship, he continued working with the firm, helping Bobb and McInerney find people to put money into Cardinal Growth’s investments.

Among the investors Patrick Daley brought in was Hull. Patrick Daley previously had worked for Hull, who was seeking then-Mayor Daley’s endorsement in the 2004 Democratic U.S. Senate race around the same time he agreed to invest with Cardinal Growth in Concourse Communications. Mayor Daley decided not to endorse anyone in that race, which was won by future President Barack Obama.

Hull was among the bigger investors in Concourse Communications, which was one of nine companies that submitted proposals to the city in 2003 to install Wi-Fi at O’Hare and Midway. At the time, Concourse had won deals to build wireless Internet networks at airports in New York City and Minneapolis.

During the time the city was evaluating the O’Hare and Midway Wi-Fi proposals, Patrick Daley graduated with honors from U. of C.’s business school in June 2004.

About two months later, then-Mayor Daley’s city aviation commissioner, John Roberson, and a panel of unidentified city employees decided to recommend that City Hall award the contract to Concourse.

In November 2004, Patrick Daley announced he had enlisted in the Army. He left Chicago for basic training the next month.

In September 2005, while Patrick Daley was in the Army, City Hall signed a 10-year contract with Concourse that also included two renewal options for three years each.

Under that deal, Concourse charges a fee that allows anyone at O’Hare or Midway to connect wirelessly and go online.

The contract guarantees the city a minimum of $1 million a year.

If Concourse takes in $7 million from Internet users at O’Hare and Midway, the city’s take on the deal becomes 35 percent — $2.45 million from the $7 million.

Roberson told the Sun-Times in an interview shortly before the contract was signed in 2005: “Patrick Daley has no involvement in this at all.”

But though he wasn’t listed among the investors, Patrick Daley still benefitted as Concourse built its business with the help of the O’Hare and Midway city contract. With that deal completed, Concourse then provided wireless Internet service at 12 of the busiest airports in North America, making it an attractive takeover target.

Nine months after the Chicago contract was signed, Cardinal Growth sold Concourse to Boingo Wireless at a 33 percent profit, while also becoming a minority shareholder in Boingo.

Soon after came the first of five payments to Patrick Daley.

In addition to the $708,999 from those payments linked to the Concourse sale, Cardinal Growth made numerous other payments to Patrick Daley, totaling $543,127, between July 10, 2002, and Oct. 31, 2009, company records show. It isn’t clear what those payments were for.

Bobb and McInerney declined interview requests.

Patrick Daley still has business ties with two companies that have received private and government funding through Cardinal Growth: Certi-Fresh Foods LLC, a shrimp-distribution company in Los Angeles, and TWG Capital, an insurance-services company in Indianapolis. They are among the six Cardinal Growth companies facing forced liquidation by the SBA.

For years, Patrick Daley maintained a rent-free office at Cardinal Growth’s headquarters, on the 55th floor at 311 S. Wacker. Also, he has two sport-utility vehicles registered at that office, which Cardinal Growth recently left after its landlord sued to evict the firm.

June 26, 2011 at 10:11 PM

By: John Kugler

So Daley shafted the kids?

"Teachers got two types of pay raises. And people in public life got labor peace," He said. "Can anybody explain to me what the children got?" Later, the mayor was more to the point: "Our children got the shaft."

Rahm, Jun. 16, 2011


His greatest achievement? Why education, of course.

But even the Russian interviewer was struck about how Daley referred to his education achievement as some kind of “God complex.”

Isn’t it the teachers who should take credit, the Russian interviewer asked.

“No, it’s not the teachers,” Daley quickly said. “You’re really taking the responsibility. I’m the only mayor in the country that took responsibility.”

Daley, June 25, 2011


I am totally confused now? who did the shafting?

HINT: the taxpayers and the voters are not the winners in this one.

June 27, 2011 at 8:05 AM

By: Bob Busch

Another library -- a media event stage for Arne Duncan

Guilty. The IB lady asked me to go over to Marquette school and have a look at the library. Arnie Duncan was going to announce a partnership with Bogan in two days. Well the library was well stocked. However they had no librarian at the time. As you can imagine, it was a mess. I told the IB lady about the mess, I’m sure she knew about it anyway. I got the Bogan principal to let me and the other Bogan librarian to go over there and set it right.

My co-librarian was a human dynamo together we spent four hours creating what in effect was a movie set for Arne. We re stacked books, opened boxes full of new books, arranged tables, divided the room with a curtain, set up the podium, dictionary stand -- and set out the flags. The principal tried to hire either one of us on the spot, and we left the place totally in order.

The trouble was this was all bullshit. We knew it, the principal new it, the kids knew it... Everyone except Arnie?

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