Carol Felsenthal
On Politics

4 years
ago

 

The Wives Club: No Wonder Blago Wanted That Job for Patti

How lovely for Carrie Zalewski and Lynne Sered. Governor Pat Quinn recently appointed the two women to plum jobs on state boards that pay six-figure annual salaries. Each woman appears to have solid credentials. But—in the kind of coincidence that seems to happen all too often in Illinois—each woman also has a powerful connection…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

Alexi G’s Basketball Diaries

Many stories about Alexi Giannoulias, the candidate for the U.S. Senate seat once held by Barack Obama, mention that the two are basketball-playing buddies. Not recently: They haven’t played since Obama won the White House. In a phone interview, Alexi attributed this to the President’s busy schedule, but reports suggest that Obama’s advisers want their man…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

A Republican Ahead in Hawaii—A Sign of Things to Come in Illinois?

At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday, President Obama drew applause when he mocked the conspiracy theory that he was born in Kenya. “It’s been quite a year since I’ve spoken here last—lots of ups, lots of downs—except for my approval ratings, which have just gone down. But that’s politics. Beside[s], I happen to know that my approval ratings are still very high in the country of my birth…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

Forrest Claypool to the Rescue?

Editorial boards and earnest columnists have exhorted readers to sign those petitions for Forrest Claypool—the one man, in their words, standing between fair property tax bills and Joseph Berrios, a machine pol who won the Democratic nomination for assessor in February.

The signatures are flowing in, and the 52-year-old Cook County commissioner will almost certainly claim a spot on the November…

Carol Felsenthal

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4 years
ago

 

Houlihan on Giannoulias vs. Kirk: Alexi’s In to Win

Early Monday morning, I spoke on the phone with Jim Houlihan, whom I interviewed in person last Wednesday. I wanted an update on the Senate race in light of the closing of the Giannoulias family’s Broadway Bank on Friday. Houlihan was in Washington for the wedding of a friend, but he got a chance to see his pals, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

James Houlihan interested in run for mayor

The Cook County Assessor has his eyes on the office—whether or not Daley runs

On Wednesday, I met with outgoing Cook County Assessor James Houlihan at his spacious downtown County Building office. The last time I interviewed him was in July 2006, when I was writing about Bill Clinton’s post-presidency. (The two men are golfing buddies.) Houlihan is a big man with an open face and manner—a great talker who has the natural gift of remembering…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

Goldman Sachs or Broadway Bank? Voters’ Choice

So Alexi Giannoulias demands that Mark Kirk, his Republican opponent in U.S. Senate race, return the thousands he has received from Goldman Sachs. The firm was just charged with civil fraud for allegedly misleading investors on a mortgage instrument that went south with the housing market…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

The One Question I’d Like to Ask Blago

If I ever land another interview with Rod Blagojevich—I suppose I could wait until next Sunday and call his weekly WLS-AM talk show—I’d ask him why he didn’t just serve his terms as governor in a reasonably honest manner and then do what legions of retired legislators do: grab a job at a law firm and rake in a seven-figure salary…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

Toni Preckwinkle Backs Machine Candidate for Assessor

Toni Preckwinkle, almost certainly the next President of the Cook County Board, is backing Democrat Joseph Berrios—lobbyist, head of the County Democratic Party, toady of House Speaker and state Democratic Party chief Mike Madigan—for assessor.

When I read of Preckwinkle’s preference for Berrios over reformer Forrest Claypool (in Stella Foster’s Sun-Times column), I was surprised. Silly me. I must have consumed too many orgasmic editorials…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

Patti Blagojevich got what?

I was reading a first-rate profile of Patti Blagojevich in Illinois Issues when I came upon this nugget: In 1983, Patti left home for the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign to major in economics on a legislative scholarship.”

Patti’s father, Richard Mell, was then and remains today the clout-heavy alderman of the 33rd Ward. How lovely that some nice member of our General Assembly gave the Alderman’s daughter a free ride at the state’s top university…

Carol Felsenthal