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The [Friday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes / Posted on February 21, 2020

So, per Thursday's column, here's a little more about Laura Ellman, who sounds like a state legislator you may want to party with:

"Laura Ellman is a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate for the 21st district," Wikipedia says. "The district, located in the Chicago metropolitan area, includes all or parts of Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Lisle, Naperville, Warrenville, West Chicago, Winfield and Wheaton."

Just to be clear, her district may be located in the "metropolitan" area, but it's all suburban.

Ellman herself lives in Naperville.

To us, Naperville might as well be Nebraska. (Which is unicameral, by the way.)

Then again, if she lived in the city, she wouldn't be concerned with drinking on the train.

Anyway . . .

"Ellman defeated incumbent Republican Senator Michael Connelly in the 2018 Illinois general election by 1,179 votes. Ellman, a senior independent assessor at Argonne National Laboratory, has a degree in mathematics from Grinnell College and a masters in applied statistics from the University of Iowa."

So she's a smarty-pants. Good.

"This is a district filled with heavy commuters, and we need to improve our roads and our commuter rail," she told the Sun-Times in its 2018 candidate questionnaire. "People need to be able to drink without fear of penalty."

I might've added that last sentence, but surely she was thinking it.



What are the most important differences between you and your opponent?

The most important differences between me and my opponent is that he is stoops down to the level of partisan games and appeasing corporate and special interests rather than solving problems and standing up for working and middle class Illinoisans.

I want to work for evidence-based solutions and create opportunity for all. Senator Connelly has voted against school funding, women's rights, workers rights, and LGBTQ rights, and he has voted to continue the irresponsible budget impasse to stand with Governor Rauner.

I will be an independent voice who is accountable to everyday Illinoisans and my constituents, not lobbyists and corporate interests. Unlike Senator Connelly, I will fight for our students, for women's rights and LGBTQ rights, and for working and middle class Illinoisans.

Good answer. We like the way you think. We're gonna be watching you.


Belvidere Brutality
"Over the course of seven months, 13 Investigates has poured over thousands pages of documents, interviewed dozens of people, and investigated their claims of excessive force by the Belvidere Police Department," WREX-TV reports.

"What we found in our search through public records and interviews is the police department has been named in at least 12 lawsuits for police misconduct, it has paid tens of thousands of dollars to settle many of those claims, and two officers, who combined were named in half of those lawsuits, are still on the force today."

Those two officers?

"Out of 30 patrol officers on the force, [Ryan] Davenport and [Brandon] Parker made fewer arrests than half of them, but they still lead their department with resisting arrest charges. Combined, the two officers make up more than 23 percent of all resisting charges for the entire department.

"We reached out to Parker and Davenport for comment as well as Chief of Police Shane Woody and Belvidere Mayor Mike Chamberlain. The city attorney denied our request."

No wonder:

"Since becoming chief in 2018, Woody has cleared every officer of wrongdoing in complaints filed against them. In fact, there is no record of any officer being punished following any of these formal complaints except for one."

There's lots more, give it a read.


Revolving Randy
"Former U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren has been selected to succeed Linda Koch as president and CEO of the Illinois Bankers Association," the IBA says.

That sounds about right.


"Hultgren, an Illinois native, has served in a number of elected offices for over 24 years. Most recently, he served in the United States House of Representatives from 2011-2019, representing the 14th Congressional District of Illinois. In Congress, he served on both the House Financial Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Prior to his time in Congress, he served as a member of the Illinois Senate from 2007-2011, and as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1999-2007, while also serving on the financial institutions committees in both chambers.

"In addition to his public service, Hultgren has worked in finance, banking and law. He currently is a senior vice president of commercial lending with Wintrust Financial, and, before being elected to Congress, he was a vice president of Performance Trust Investment Advisors."

Emphasis mine.


Look, Hultgren has every right to be super into banking. But if it was ever a question, now we know for sure whose interests he was looking after while in public office, because if he was looking out for consumer-citizens, the banking industry would no longer be so friendly to him. And he might not have been so friendly back if he wasn't thinking about his post-political career. (Or maybe he's a true believer. But the revolving door only feeds our well-earned cynicism, and folks like him have lost the benefit of the doubt.)


Top industry contributing to Hultgren's campaigns: Securities & Investment.


Madigan's Mouth
"E-mails obtained by WBEZ show Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's longtime top aide discussed placing political loyalists at Commonwealth Edison, the state-regulated electric company whose hiring and lobbying activities are under federal investigation," the station reports.

"Madigan's spokesman, Steve Brown . . . did not reply to WBEZ's multiple phone and e-mail messages seeking comment Thursday."

I've been saying for years that the only legitimate reason to contact Brown is if it's the only way you can reach out to Madigan, because Brown's word isn't any good and, as illustrated here, he shouldn't be allowed to pick and choose when he wants to comment. Besides that, who cares if a spokesperson refuses to comment? The point is Madigan refusing to comment, and that's the way it should go down each and every time. Madigan is the one to question; otherwise you're just asking his spokesperson to lie to you to check a box in your old-fashioned story structure.


New on the Beachwood today . . .

The Socialist Roots Of The Bagel
Bernie likes his with lox.


Confessions Of A Chicago Tour Guide Part 2: Myths Of The Mob
Scorcese, Goudie, Hotel Geraldo, JFK and the Outfit's homes in River Forest.


24 Hours With Bloomberg TV
Lotta shows with his name on 'em.


The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #292
Is in production as you read this!

Cleaning up Manfred's mess. Plus: The Unprecedented Nature Of Kris Bryant; Baseball's New Freaky Rules; Marquee Media Moves; End Of The World According To GarPax?; Bulloney; Ben & Eddy; We're Confused Too, Breadman; Derek Carr's Eyelashes vs. Casey Urlacher's (Alleged) Offshore Gambling Ring; Illinois Hoops Nation Update, and more!



The term "I have an immediate follower" is the reason I have trust issues from r/chicago





Church of Misery at Reggies on Wednesday night.


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