Discover more from Fred Klonsky in Retirement
Chicago style. Not exactly the poster woman for ethics reform.
Plus a footnote to yesterday's post on Madigan and the IEA.
Fred Klonsky in Retirement is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
After posting my article on pension reform and reporter Ray Long’s book, The House that Madigan Built, I got an interesting call from a long-time Springfield insider.
It was about Bob Haisman, former president of the state teacher union.
By the time we were fighting for our pensions, Haisman was retired from IEA office.
“You know that when he was doing all that social media stuff attacking you guys for opposing the Cullerton pension compromise, he was on the IEA payroll.”
“What job title?” I asked.
“Membership recruitment,” the caller said.
Haisman, as I wrote yesterday, was the point man in pushing compromise on pension legislation that would have undermined the constitutional pension protection clause.
His attacks on those of us who fought to defend our pension got quite personal, calling us naive and characterizing us as “the perfection caucus.”
He was very active on social media and frequently his target was those of us in the rank-and-file who were outspoken about not compromising on the pension protection clause.
I’m not sure what his attacks on us had to do with union member recruitment, and I have no first-hand knowledge that he was paid by leadership to take the low road.
Maybe he just drove that road for free.
Meanwhile, this morning I was reading the morning Illinois Politico Playbook.
Shia Kapos writes:
Some Chicago City Council members fed up with the shady wheeling and dealing of government are calling for new ethics reforms that would tighten restrictions on elected officials and lobbyists.
“People are tired of corruption. They’ve lost the public trust in government. This would restore that trust by holding elected officials accountable,” Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd) told Playbook about an ordinance she plans to introduce today.
Kapos identifies other backers of the ordinance as Alds. Anthony Beale (9th), George Cardenas (12th), Ray Lopez (15th), Howard Brookins Jr. (21st), Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th), and Felix Cardona Jr.
But it is Alder Sylvana Tabares’s name that jumped out at me.
Only the Chicago City Council would choose Tabares be the their face for ethics reform.
In his chapter on The Patronage Army, Ray Long explains Tabares’ relationship with the indicted Michael Madigan and her appointment by Rahm Emanuel to the Chicago City Council when Madigan demanded it.
When Alderman Mike Zalewski of the neighboring Twenty-Third Ward left the City Council, Madigan said he recommended state Representative Sylvana Tabares, a Chicago Democrat who had worked to help the speaker’s political organization.
By the way, only in Chicago is moving from the state legislature to city council considered moving up.
When north side party boss Dick Mell retired from the City Council, he also promoted his daughter, Deb Mell, from state Representative to take his seat in Council.
She (Tabares) was appointed to the ward seat. Madigan was asked who had received his recommendation, and the speaker didn’t hesitate to mention the mayor who had the appointment power: “Rahm Emanuel.”
Why Tabares, a Madigan protégé, is trying to pass as an ethics champion is anybody’s guess.
Some suggest it is connected to the Secretary of State race. Tabares is supporting the opponent of City Clerk Anna Valencia who failed to disclose for two years that her husband was a lobbyist for a well-connected security company.
Tabare’s bill would ban spouses and domestic partners of city elected officials from lobbying.
I have nothing against the bill. And I don’t care much about the Secretary of State race.
But Tabares as a the spokesperson for Council ethics reform is laughable.
And for those who care about Illinois and Chicago politics, Ray Long’s book is a must read.