Exciting news, Kids. It’s time for another edition of “Connect the Dots.” Consider the following stories, and see if you, Smart Reader, can discern any relationship among them. From yesterday’s Chicago Sun-Times:
Two firms awarded contracts by Cook County President Todd Stroger's administration can't be found on state or county business registries, yet they received upfront payments in deals that investigators are now looking at, according to state and county officials and documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
The businesses aren't registered with the state or county as Cook County requires, but that didn't stop officials from hiring the firms this spring and quickly paying them to promote composting and other energy conservation programs.
There he goes again. Yes, this Todd Stroger is the same corrupt, incompetent second generation political hack that noted ethical reformer/spawn of the Chicago political machine, Sen. Barack Hussein Obama (D-ACORN), endorsed in Stroger’s successful 2006 election as President of the Cook County Board. Conveniently, each of these contracts fell just under, as in $25 below, the $25,000 limit over which County Board approval would be required. Under the able stewardship of Prince Todd, Cook County is broke, but at least these funds went to serve an important community interest:
They include a public relations contract given to a company by the name of Urban Rapport for $24,975 "to build awareness of the department's (Department of Environmental Control) energy and conservation program," according to a letter written by Stroger's Deputy Chief of Staff Carla Oglesby to green light the contract.
But a check of state and county records shows that Urban Rapport, run by convicted felon and hip-hop promoter Terrell "Shorty Capone" Harris, isn't a registered businesses in Illinois -- a requirement of businesses doing contract work for Cook County.
A similar contract to spread the word about the county's green initiative was given to Arrei Management Inc., once owned by Stroger's beleaguered chief of staff Oglesby and dissolved in 2008, state records show. Stroger already suspended Oglesby for signing off on a $24,975 contract for her private public relations firm -- CGC Communications -- in recent months.
Fortunately, even in these hard times, there is enough scratch to pay for essential things like PR to “build awareness” of Cook County’s energy and conservation program. Can you imagine trying to live without that? Oh the humanity! What about the children?
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has handed out raises — some of more than 20 percent — to his staff while proclaiming a message of "shared sacrifice" and planning spending cuts of $1.4 billion because the state is awash in debt.
The Democrat has given 43 salary increases averaging 11.4 percent to 35 staffers in the past 15 months, according to an Associated Press analysis of records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
They include a $24,000-a-year bump for the man promoted to shepherd the state through the fiscal storm. Budget Director David Vaught got a 20 percent raise to $144,000 in October when he moved from senior adviser to Quinn.
I guess that now we can all understand Gov. Quinn’s pleas for increased taxes on the beleaguered citizens of Illinois. After all, at a time when nearly everyone is getting at least an 11 percent raise at work, how can we begrudge…oh wait …in the private sector, things are a little different, as reported by the Liberal Death Star here, in a story describing Illinois’ descent into the economic toilet:
In Beardstown, a small city deep in the western marshes, Ann Johnson plans to shut her century-old pharmacy. Because of late state payments, she could not afford to keep a 10-day supply of drugs. In Chicago, a funeral home owner wonders whether he can afford to bury the impoverished, as the state has fallen six months behind on its charity payments, $1,103 a funeral.
This story also describes the devastating impact of the stunning profligacy and governmental malpractice decades of Illinois “pubic servants” have inflicted on the one the democrats’ favorite mascot groups, the “disadvantaged.”
The Community Counseling Centers of Chicago is another of those workaday groups that are like the stitches on a baseball, holding together poor and working-class neighborhoods. With an annual budget of $16 million, the agency tends to families torn by crime and violence as well as people who are psychologically stressed and abusing drugs.
On any given Monday morning, the agency’s chief administrative officer, John J. Troy, 61, has no idea how he is going to keep its doors open until Friday. He said the state had not come through with an expected $2.2 million, which is about six months of arrears. He has laid off and recalled employees three times in the last two years.“Two weeks ago, I had days to meet my $420,000 payroll and all I was looking at was a $200,000 line of credit from a bank,” recalled Mr. Troy. “I drove down to Springfield and said, ‘Hey, you owe us $3 million.’ They said: ‘Oh, that’s nothing. We owe another agency $10 million.’ ”
Yes, economic times are tough for Americans at the base of the Obama pyramid, those supporting the jet-setting, $40,000-a-week vacation, date night in Paris, golf and hoops lifestyle of selfless political royals like Barack and Michelle, who occupy the rarefied air at the tippy top, and the public employee union members, political cronies, and other beneficiaries of Barack’s stash in the middle. Interestingly, the article describing Illinois’ pathetic financial condition is entitled “Payback Time,” which is the best description for the current administration of Illinois’ favorite son Barack Hussein Obama that I’ve heard in a very long time.
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