Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pearson gone, Bonne charged with DUI, Syverson vs. Sweeny, another casino proposal

The bitch about vacation is that it isn't really a vacation. It's really more a matter of putting off the work, which compounds each day, until you return to pay the piper. This has been my life, for the most part, since my reluctant return from San Juan. I think I'm finally caught up now, though.

I apologize to readers who may have grown weary of infrequent posts for the last couple weeks, but I assure you we have much to talk about.

Where shall we begin?

How about the Metrocentre? When I last addressed this, it looked like the party was over for Corey Pearson, and that turned out to be the case. The way it appears, I'm willing to bet Corey was told to start looking for a job months ago so that he could resign instead of being fired. His house of cards has begun crumbling as questionable expenses have been discovered, but he's managed to sidestep the falling anvil.

He's someone else's problem now, so good riddance. Let us hope one or both of the mayor's new panels will take a good look at the Authority Board as well.
Mark Bonne, Republican turned independent, was arrested and charged Thursday night with DUI - his second. Based on his resemblance to W.C. Fields, I'm not surprised. Einar Forsman and Paul Logli, I've got my eye on you, too.

I wonder if Dave Syverson got a late-night phone call from a noisy holding cell early Friday morning, pleading to make Bonne's latest flub disappear.

Right now, a bill by Syverson aims to do away with the Cullerton ruling which resulted in so many recent candidacy objections, including one that backfired on Bonne when he applied the ruling to Democrat Bill Robertson's having voted in the previous GOP primary. In a comical twist, the same ruling knocked Bonne off the ballot after it was discovered he'd voted in the Democratic primary. Both ended up running as independents.

In an instance where justice prevailed, Robertson won the 14th Ward seat, and it looks as though Bonne may have been drowning his sorrows ever since.

By the way, Syverson's bill passed the Senate and is before the House.

Speaking of Syverson, I'll bet he wants to strangle Chuck Sweeny right about now. The Register Star stopped reporting on the controversy Sweeny started by painting Dave as a saboteur of W. State St.

As it turns out, Syverson agreed to a special meeting with residents on the west side who were pissed off by what Sweeny wrote. Of course, Dave said Sweeny used his comments out of context. All things considered, I think Syverson is right on this one. The weekly reported that Sweeny hightailed it out of the meeting early, and Sweeny hasn't uttered a word about it since.

My guess is that we'll see one or two apologetic pieces in the near future in the daily. Sweeny will latch on to some Syverson cause to make amends. Maybe it'll be the Bonne Bill.

Yesterday, RRStar editor Linda Grist-Cunningham broke the daily's silence by throwing stones at Democratic chairman Dan Lewandowski, who apparently - get this - sent text messages stating "brass" at the daily had killed the story about Syverson's appearance on the west side.

Because it didn't occur to editorial staff that a reporter should be sent to the meeting, Grist-Cunningham basically said Sweeny didn't report on it because he was a part of the story. Looks to me like they're too chicken to admit Sweeny was just plain wrong.

I've gone easy on Chuck in the past, especially considering he's made it particularly obvious he's getting many of his ideas from this blog, but I have little sympathy for him here. Aaron Chambers should have gotten Sweeny's job, but there can't always be justice.

Sweeny also wrote strongly in support of an additional subsidy for the Metrocentre this week. He pretended the city isn't already paying an annual subsidy of more than $900,000. That payment now goes toward paying down renovation bonds, but it is a subsidy nonetheless, based on lofty, undelivered promises made by the MC - that no other money would be required from the city. To date, no one has been held accountable for the broken promises.

The problem child wants another $1 million a year, and we'll be stuck paying it. The way Sweeny sees it, we have to take one for the team. But in professional sports, the owners aren't the ones who are asked to make the sacrifices.

If the shareholders aren't seeing a return on investment, management and coaching staff are the first to go, but that hasn't been the case in the Rockford fiefdom.

The taxpayers are the owners, city council is management and the Authority Board is the coaching staff. The shareholders think it's time for new leadership all around.

The situation begs another question: Would the Blackhawks organization pitch in on a bailout to keep the Metrocentre's doors open? Doubtful, but it makes one wonder what would happen if the Icehogs no longer had a facility to call home.

Back to likely 2013 mayoral candidate Dave Syverson.

Syverson's behind yet another bill that would bring a casino to Rockford. We've come to laugh at these over the years, but this is about the best chance a casino in Rockford has had yet.

All things considered in Springfield, I see more gaming licenses on the horizon. Republicans like this idea, because they can say they didn't raise your taxes to get at the extra loot.

A casino may cure what ails downtown, but if one happens, they're gonna wanna put it out by I-90. Under the circumstances, I guess I'd have to support the riverboat standard in Illinois to keep it downtown.

There will be a casino in Rockford, but it will undoubtedly be out by the tollway, because that's where all the private dollars are invested right now.

Mayor Morrissey oughta speak up on this issue now before his beloved downtown loses another golden opportunity.


  1. Ah,Mr.Duke,you've been missed....

    I suspect LarryBoy is quite conflicted on the casino issue...when he ran against Doug Scott,LarryBoy the candidate was STRONGLY anti-casino....(luckily most will have forgotten)but as many see the prospects of a casino as "economic development"and if indeed Syverson opposes LarryBoy in 4 years, LarryBoy has no choice but to support the possibilty...
    Seems SOME report,(TV or WNTA)had LarryBoy expressing a desire to have the CITY own the casino(ala' IceHogs)...then he COULD excercise more control over it's placement....

  2. Imagine Rockford as a rowing scull.

    Imagine the rowers on the left, the Democrats, especially Labor Democrats pulling in coordination with the “non-tax, tax” Republicans on the right.

    Someone has to call cadence – “Stroke, Stroke…”

    That is what this last local election was all really all about, folks.

    Yep, Casino or something equally as important is afoot.

    Someone still has to call cadence.

    Uncle Duke, follow the money.

    Too bad Madigan wants to fire all Ryan & Blago appointees like Scott and Box.

    Rockford and Winnebago County will need the ILEPA and the IL Commerce Commission to pull off remediation of the Brown Fields and lay the Infrastructure.

    SO, my bet is that the “project” will fall in the area of either South State around the old Rail Road Depot or south Kishwaukee north of Harrison.

    Let’s call the plan, “killing several birds with one stone.”

    Is the compound taking any bets??

    Nice to see you back.

  3. Last night at the Rockford City Council Meeting, another larger chunk of the $600,000 has been allocated to the MetroCentre - $270,000.

    Has the Ad Hoc committee even met yet?

    So, $80,000 of the $600,000 originally allocated by the outgoing City Council is left to be spent.

    Simply amazing.

    Is the Compound taking bets?

    Here is my wager: The Ad Hoc committee, which, thanks in large part to LGC’s anger (Thank you Linda!) will now meet in public, will recommend north of $600,000 more dollars be allocated to the “Problem Child” in this year.

    That is potentially 1.2 Million Dollars (should I be correct in my hunch) that could have went to City Services, like police, fire, infrastructure.

    I wonder at what point will the Union leadership figure out it’s been had?

    Suckers… like the great three ring statesman, P.T. Barnum once said, “a fool and his money are soon parted…”

    Oh, and Papa Duke, please post the roll call for all of “us” suckers.

  4. “Board members huddled for their regular meeting today, a day after a city committee discussed an additional $1.5 million taxpayer subsidy for the arena. The committee was assembled after MetroCentre officials asked the city for a $600,000 loan in April."

    Yep, if anyone is interested in the crystal balls that I sell… most are this accurate and precise in their predictions... tho’ it is all up to the user to tune them properly.