Sunday, March 29, 2009
Taxes: Property, Income, Sales -- and Corruption
1,000 public corruption convictions since 1970
We know too well about taxes in this town. Property tax. Sales tax. Income tax. And there's another one.
It's the "corruption tax" -- the extra money they pay because of dishonest public officials.
People pay it when politicians give government jobs to unqualified cronies and when law enforcement spends millions prosecuting crooked politicians.
The head of political science at the University of Illinois in Chicago, Dick Simpson, found that all together, 1,000 public officials and businessmen have been convicted of public corruption in Illinois since 1970.
It's impossible to calculate the full cost of the corruption tax. Simpson's come up with a $300 million estimate, but that focuses on the Chicago area and doesn't directly apply to taxpayers downstate.
Daley: Cop union 'unfair' to Olympic bid
March 28, 2009 It is "unfair" for police to try to link their pay dispute to Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympics, Mayor Richard Daley said Saturday.
Police union members unhappy with contract negotiations say they will picket City Hall on Thursday--the same day the International Olympic Committee's evaluation team arrives in Chicago.
"If everybody has a complaint about something else, it has nothing to do with 2016," the mayor said. "It's really unfair because the Olympics is bigger than Mayor Daley. It's bigger than the police or fire union, all these unions. It's bigger than them.
"This is about the vision of the city. This is about transforming the city. This is something that other cities are fighting for."
But Daley added he was not concerned the protest would have any impact on Chicago's chances of being awarded the games over three other finalists--Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo--in October, when the IOC is scheduled to make its decision.
"If they want to demonstrate--fine, they can demonstrate. But it won't have any affect," the mayor said.
Unfair! The most corrupt mayor calling our union unfair thats the pot calling the kettle black. I heard Chicago is in last place and this protest by the police will put the nail in the coffin.
Chicago Police officers denied their requests to take compensatory time off could be in line for damages at a time when the city is strapped for cash, thanks to a federal appeals court ruling this week.
Denying the city's appeal, the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Police Department can no longer cite manpower shortages to indefinitely deny requests from rank-and-file officers to use comp time awarded in lieu of overtime pay.
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires the city to grant comp time requests made with sufficient notice, even if it means calling other officers in on their days off to fill the void. The act applies to time earned above and beyond 11 overtime hours in a four-week period.
The ruling comes as nose-diving revenues tied to the prolonged recession threaten to poke a $200 million hole in Mayor Daley's 2009 budget.
Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue says cash damages can and should be substantial.
"Our members have been harmed by not being able to use their comp time because it's at the discretion of the commander to approve or deny," Donahue said.
"There are a myriad of reasons they give. None are acceptable to a member refused the ability to use comp time to attend a family wedding even though the request was put in months in advance."
This has happened to all of us at some point more than once. I was denied last year my nephews first birthday party I even told the W/C what I needed the time for and I was still denied . He will never have another first birthday and I wasn't able to share in the memories.