Not surprisingly, llinois House Speaker and state Democrat Party boss Mike Madigan — long-time friend to Chicago’s United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) — had a campaign fund-raiser last Oct. 30 hosted by UNO's chief executive, Juan Rangel, and its lobbyist, attorney Victor Reyes. The event was lucrative, with UNO contractors writing checks for more than $24,000 to campaign funds controlled by Madigan.
Of course, Madigan had helped the charter school organization get a $98 million taxpayer-funded grant in 2009, without any requirement for competitive bidding on the work. However, as the Sun-Times recently revealed, millions of dollars from the grant ended up going to family members of UNO’s political allies and to a top executive of the group, Miguel d’Escoto and his brothers.
Now the Sun-Times reports that after the Madigan benefit, a bill was introduced in Springfield on Jan. 2 that would have provided another $35.2 million in taxpayer money UNO was seeking to build more charter schools. The author of the bill, state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), says she's unsure who added the UNO benefit into the bill, which would assist UNO with two more charter schools in Bedford Park, on property in Madigan’s district that Rangel hopes to get annexed by the city of Chicago. ...More HERE