Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pay-To-Play, Joe Moore and Heather Steans

Chicago Alderman Joe Moore screamed "F--- You!" at a V.I.P. reception with Illinois Governor Quinn on Saturday, June 21. Why? He was upset over being denied entrance to a V.I.P. reception because he did not buy a $200 ticket for the event. While storming out, he growled at Gov. Quinn, "This is pay-to-play!" The hypocrisy of Moore's behavior (not to mention the weirdness) is rich indeed. (Read more about that story...) If that's what Moore describes as "pay-to-play," then he's as guilty as anybody. Moore's birthday is July 16. It is typical for Moore to send invitations to his birthday party with one little catch: You'll be asked for a "suggested donation." In 2007, that meant shelling out $125.00 for grilled hot dogs and boring conversation. That's Moore's house on the day of his birthday party on July 16, 2007 (5:15 p.m.). Notice the festive Joe Moore campaign signs in the yard, perfect for any birthday celebration or pay-to-play party. In addition to his for-profit birthday parties, Ald. Moore has a reputation for pressing business people for "donations" to his campaign fund. "Pay-to-play" is a game Moore knows well, as does his little friend Heather Steans. Steans is an Illinois State Senator who, over the years and with help from her husband, facilitated the funneling of around $200,000 to Rod Blagojevich. She doesn't like to admit it, but there it is, in the public record. That's an inconvenient truth for Steans, as she earnestly pretends to be a pure-hearted reformer who would never participate in such dirty games (she's not, and she has). That brings us back to Joe Moore... Of Hosts and Parasites: Moore is on the Host Committee of an upcoming fundraising event for Steans. The fundraiser invitation, laughably, is a parody of the television show "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" That's the show that on which Patti Blagojevich, wife of the former governor Rod Blagojevich, has been busy eating bugs with has-been celebrities. Steans and most of the folks on her Host Committee were staunch Blagojevich supporters until it became too uncomfortable for them to continue in that role. The Steans invitation indirectly mocks Blagojevich, but unintentionally points out the hypocrisy of Steans and those on her Host Committee. The Steans invitation says "I'm a Politician, Get Me Out of Here!" On Monday, June 29 folks will gather at 50 W. Washington Street, Suite 400 in Chicago. That's the office of Jeanne Reynolds, an Associate Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court. Reynolds is also the current president of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. (Say, isn't that sexist? Is there a "Men's Bar Association of Illinois?") If you need directions to the Steans fundraiser, you could phone Ms. Reynolds' office at 312-603-1249. That's Reynolds in the photo (in the pink thing), with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (under the forehead) at the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ 94th Annual Installation Dinner in Chicago, June 5, 2008. If you would like to attend the Steans fundraiser, you have several options. Would you like to be an "Island Rescuer?" It will cost you $2,000. Other options are "Island Host" for $1,000, "Producer" for $500 and "Celebrity" for a mere $100. If you want to attend, you'll have to pay. You don't pay, you can't play. (See how that works, Joe?) That's exactly what Ald. Moore was so upset about when he screamed "F--- You!" at the IVI-IPO folks on June 20. How do you think Steans - or Moore - would react to somebody who sends Steans a check for $100, but insists that they be given "Producer" status? Chicago is a city of "pay-to-play" politics. Do you want to build a new store or add on to an existing building? A "donation" to your local alderman is likely to speed the process up. No "donation" is likely to slow you down, maybe even kill the project. Are you an aspiring politician who wants to run for office in Chicago or Cook County? You'll need the endorsement of the Democrat Party, the iron-fisted "machine" that decides who will be a candidate and who will not. Want to attend a Joe Moore birthday party or a Heather Steans fundraiser? You'll have to pay to play. Leave a Comment... See Our Online Store Chicago News Bench RSS Feed We're on Twitter...