Friday, December 2, 2016

EXTRA: Madigan spouse, Burke, Sox & Cubs chairs (but no Bears) on state Bicentennial celebration commission

I always manage to get a few kicks whenever government officials make rounds of appointments to otherwise obscure commissions – a chance for them to repay favors or make political statements that we might not otherwise note.

MADIGAN: No partisan grudge
Take the state’s Bicentennial Commission, which on Friday appointed a few dozen members to oversee the efforts to celebrate Illinois’ 200th anniversary of statehood come 2018.

AT A TIME when Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, are feuding over the state’s budget, it seems that one of the voting members of the commission will be Madigan’s spouse.
BURKE: Can play historian at state level?

Then again, Shirley Madigan has been involved with the Illinois Arts Council for years and has long been one of the kinds of people who get appointed to these government-overseen panels that take on special projects.

I also got my chuckle from seeing that former Mayor Richard M. Daley and current 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke both were picked. Particularly with Burke – who likes to view himself as Chicago’s unofficial historian and always tries to liven up his government rhetoric with references to obscure events in Chicago history.

There will be municipal officials from outside of Chicago – the mayors or village presidents of Barrington, Dixon and Springfield were picked for posts, while corporate heads of Ameren, Pepsi and United Airlines also will be included.

SOME OFFICIALS OTHER than Rauner got to make appointments, and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White picked the head of the Illinois State Archives – a logical position to include since it would be nice to have someone who has access to the state’s records when putting together a historic celebration.
McCASKEY: Would better record gain post?

There are many other people who got picked for positions, although I still get a chuckle from seeing the names of Jerry Reinsdorf and Tom Ricketts – the chairmen respectively of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs (Reinsdorf does double-duty by also representing the Chicago Bulls), along with Rocky Wirtz, chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks.

What gives – no George McCaskey, or anybody connected to the Chicago Bears?

Maybe that’s the price one pays for reflecting badly on the city’s public image by operating a team with a 2-9 record this season, with five more games to play?


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