Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Judge frees Chicago from Shakman decree. Lets the fox guard the hen house.

"Part of the problem..."
Best quote of the day comes on the heels of Chicago being released from the 42-year-old Shakman patronage-hiring decree, allowing Rahm's boys to police themselves. The quote comes from Jay Stone, the son of retired Ald. Bernard Stone (50th).
“Emanuel is part of the problem — not part of the solution,” Jay Stone said as the mayor sat stone-faced a few feet away in federal court. Arguing that Emanuel has “shown no responsibility or remorse” for having benefited from that illegal patronage army, Stone said allowing Emanuel’s City Hall to police itself was “something out of Kafka or a George Orwell novel.” 
IN CASE YOU FORGOT...Stone told the court that Emanuel was elected to Congress in 2002 with help from more than 500 foot soldiers commanded by now-convicted former First Deputy Water Commissioner Donald Tomczak. and Streets and San deputy Dan Katalinic, who was also convicted in the hiring scandal.

Yes, Rahm is definitely part of the problem and if Judge Schenkier was really interested he could have looked no further than the mayor's control over the Chicago Public Schools and how CPS has become a wing of City Hall. The meting out of no-bid contracts to clout-heavy companies and politically-loyal organizations has more or less replaced hiring over at Streets & San as the new patronage and charter school operators like UNO and Gülen have become the main beneficiaries.

Second-best quote comes from Rahm himself.
"Chicagoans are not naïve enough to believe that attempts to influence city hiring will magically disappear overnight.”  
He's got that right.

Rahm was asked whether he has any regrets about the help he received from Tomczak and Katalinic in his first race for Congress.
“It’s 12 years ago. It’s been spoken to. There’s nothing more to say, except for what we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished today and what we have to do going forward,” Emanuel said. 
Forward indeed. Shakman is needed now more than ever.

The D.C. Attorney General on Monday filed a lawsuit alleging that the founder of a D.C. public charter school diverted millions of dollars to a for-profit company he owns.
Speaking of charter hustlers (and why not while the S.E.C. is in town filing charges against the UNO hustlers and while the F.B.I. is raiding Concept charters run by shady Turkish billionaire Fethullah Gülen) check out today's Washington Post to see what's going on in the nation's capitol, right under Arne Duncan's nose.
The D.C. attorney general in October sued three former managers of Options Public Charter School for allegedly funneling more than $3 million from the school to two for-profit companies they owned. In May, the attorney general sued the founder of another charter school, Community Academy, alleging that he enriched himself by creating a shell management company that was paid more than $13 million in taxpayer dollars for work largely performed by school employees.

The charter board had given a clean bill of financial health to both schools in June 2013, finding “no patterns of fiscal mismanagement” at either, according to a charter board report.
'A FINANCIAL BLACK HOLE'...WaPo reports that D.C. taxpayers send more than $600 million to charter schools, and in return, charters — which are required by law to be nonprofit organizations — submit independent financial audits, annual budgets, large contracts and other financial data to the city charter board.
The charter schools that have contracts with outside management organizations send fees that range from 2 to 100 percent of their operating budgets. The management agreements are something of a financial black hole, according to charter school board officials, who say they have limited ability to monitor how the tax dollars are used. When the management organizations are private for-profit companies, they are not subject to the same financial disclosure rules as nonprofits.

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