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Great Moments in Chicago politics

May 14, 2012, 12:31 PM EDT

Wrigley Rooftop

You wanna know how to keep your lucrative rooftop seating? They put up a billboard, you put risers under your seats. They try to push through major renovations, you give nearly $200,000 to an Alderman. That’s the Chicago way!

A week before Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) declared his opposition to new advertising signs the Cubs want to erect that could block the views of rooftop clubs overlooking Wrigley Field, the alderman’s political fund got contributions from three club owners.

The checks to the Citizens for Tunney fund included $2,500 from George Loukas — who owns the Cubby Bear Lounge as well as rooftop clubs — and $1,000 apiece from Ivy League Baseball Club and Right Field Rooftop LLC, owners of the Skybox on Sheffield club. That makes at least $171,356.50 in all that Tunney has received from owners of the clubs, which offer fans a rooftop vantage to see Cubs games.

The article notes that the Cubs used to give to Tunney too, but haven’t done so for a couple of years.

That’s politics man. And given that all of these donations were reported in campaign finance reports, it’s only usual in Chicago inasmuch as they are perfectly legal.

The more squishy ethical questions we can debate. Part of that debate should include what we think about the fact that the Cubs themselves have a financial interest in other rooftop viewing establishments.

Forget it Jake, it’s Chitown.

  1. hammyofdoom - May 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Craig, you just made me a very, very happy boy with not only an Untouchables quote but a Chinatown one as well.Unfortunately you got a little bit of baseball and politics in with my cinema, that was a little disappointing.

    ON topic, it’d be so weird to see billboards off behind the left field stands in Chicago… just weird.

  2. mybrunoblog - May 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    If the people of Chicago keep electing these frauds they get what they deserve: See D.C., Washington, Marion Barry

    • paperlions - May 14, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      Yeah, because….you know…the votes of state and federal representatives are so rarely sold to the highest bidder….OUCH! Damn, sprained a muscle rolling my eyes while typing that.

      • cur68 - May 14, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        Have some torradol. You’ll feel invincible and can roll them really far after.

    • professor59 - May 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      It’s far too ingrained to be avoidable. By the time someone gets to a mayoral nomination in Chicago, they’ve been groomed in the corruption for years. You only have a choice between the lesser of two evils at any time.

      Not to pick on Chicago, where political corruption is most legend – it goes in in most, if not all of the big cities.

      • The Rabbit - May 14, 2012 at 3:17 PM

        As I have learned after moving from the major East Coast cities to the rural Bible Belt, the corruption is actually worse in small town America.
        Everyone is related to everyone else and there is no lesser of two evils…The thief running is unopposed.

  3. nelsonsaint - May 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Please don’t call it “Chitown” ever again, especially if you’re inserting that awful word into one of cinema’s greatest sentences.

    • El Bravo - May 14, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      What’s wrong with “Chitown”?

      • nelsonsaint - May 14, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        Anyone who says that word immediately sounds like Jim Belushi.

      • El Bravo - May 14, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        Fair enough. I prefer Common’s “Chi-City” or simply “The Chi”…sometimes I even call it Chicago….

  4. aceshigh11 - May 14, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    A man becomes preeminent, he’s expected to have enthusiasms. Enthusiasms, enthusiasms…

    What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy?

    Baseball!

    A man…a man stands alone at the plate. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone.

    But in the field, what? Part of a team. Teamwork… Looks, throws, catches, hustles. Part of one big team. Bats himself the live-long day, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and so on.

    If his team don’t field… what is he? You follow me? No one. Sunny day, the stands are full of fans. What does he have to say? I’m goin’ out there for myself. But… I get nowhere unless the team wins…

  5. recoveringcubsfan - May 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    It’s all free speech, man. And Chicago is the freest city in the midwest! That’s what makes people love it so much – that, and the fat people. The funny, funny fat people, like John Belushi.

    No wait. Chicago is actually corrupt and its people are sad, disenfranchised slobs. Won’t somebody explain how this can be?

    • derklempner - May 15, 2012 at 2:37 AM

      You’re a sad person who feels that stereotypes are funny, even when they’re not true. If you would have anything close to a true stereotype, then you might not have a negative rating to your comment.

  6. cleverbob - May 14, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    My wife tells me all the time that I need to make more free speech.

  7. APBA Guy - May 14, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    The Roberts Court has made it perfectly clear that buying politicians via donations is legal. Unlike some municipalities, Chicago has long practiced what the Court only recently approved.

  8. bringin1234 - May 14, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Its funny but they sold the Cubs to a Business man, hes only in it for the money… if you wanted a guy to care about the team and winning, you should have lobbied for Mark Cuban…. expect him to keep pushing this… heck who knows maybe sometime down the road if they keep trying to kill the ads, lets see if all hell breaks loose and he tries to move them…..that would be anarchy…. and fun to watch

    • derklempner - May 15, 2012 at 2:42 AM

      As a former employee of the Cubs, I can honestly say that the Ricketts are all-in when it comes to bringing a championship team to the north side of Chicago. If you’re just some average Joe with an opinion, then you don’t know the whole story, and you might think you have some sort of insight into the inner workings of the Cubs’ operations, but you’re not even close to the truth.

      Stop being negative about the Cubs’ system and start believing that this team is headed towards many years’ worth of winning seasons and contention for the title. The Cubs may not do anything noticeable in the next year or two or three, but they will be a force to be reckoned with in the NL over the next 10 years. And its all thanks to the Ricketts’ determination to succeed.

  9. chumthumper - May 14, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    According to a current car insurance commercial, who knew every Chicagoan sounds like Harry Caray.

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