Those who wish to understand how things work in Chicago need read a single article that ties everything together: Teamsters boss indicted on charges of extorting $100,000 from a local business.
A politically connected Teamsters union boss was indicted Wednesday on federal charges alleging he extorted $100,000 in cash from a local business.
John Coli Sr., considered one the union’s most powerful figures nationally, was charged with threatening work stoppages and other labor unrest unless he was given cash payoffs of $25,000 every three months by the undisclosed business.
The alleged extortion occurred when Coli was president of Teamsters Joint Council 25, a labor organization that represents more than 100,000 workers in the Chicago area and northwest Indiana.
Coli, 57, an early backer of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, was charged with one count of attempted extortion and five counts of demanding and accepting prohibited payment as a union official.
Coli could not be reached for comment, but a statement posted Wednesday on the Teamsters Local 727 website announced he planned to retire at the end of the month after 46 years in the union.
In the statement, Coli said he had decided it was time “to begin a new chapter” and that he wanted to spend more time with his family.
The Coli family has been active in politics for years and is well-known for spreading around union cash to various candidates. Coli and his relatives have also been accused in civil lawsuits in both state and federal court of running the union like a racket — accusations they have vehemently denied.
In a 2011 deposition stemming from one suit, Coli was asked under oath why so many of his relatives were allowed to control the union’s lucrative pension funds. “For the record, go f— yourself,” Coli answered, according to a transcript in court records.
“So I take it you’re refusing to answer that question?” the plaintiff’s attorney asked. “I think the answer speaks for itself,” the transcript quoted Coli as saying.
Coli backed Emanuel in his first run for mayor at a time when Emanuel, viewed as a centrist Democrat, had very little union backing.
The Teamsters contributed $35,000 to Emanuel’s 2011 campaign, including $15,000 for polling. The union stepped up even more to back the mayor’s bid for a second term, contributing $134,700, state campaign finance records show.
Once Emanuel was elected, a representative from the union was appointed to the mayoral transition team, and Coli was named to the exclusive group of campaign donors and community leaders in charge of planning the mayor’s first inaugural.
Two months after Emanuel first took office, the Chicago Tribune detailed how the newly elected mayor had demanded greater accountability and financial sacrifice from Chicago’s labor unions — except for the Teamsters.
In 2003, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Coli to the Illinois Tollway board, only to have Coli quickly withdraw his name amid questions about $100,000 in Teamsters campaign contributions to Blagojevich and potential conflicts of interest.
Within a few months, Blagojevich quietly named Coli to two other state boards with less direct impact on Teamsters affairs, the Tribune reported.
In 2005, the Tribune reported the FBI was investigating whether the Coli-led Teamsters siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars from a union benefit plan that provided dental care to Chicago-area undertakers and valets. That probe had been sparked by an internal union report raising concerns about payments from the plan going to organized crime figures.
No charges were ever filed.
Illinois Governors in Prison
Former governor Rod Blagojevich is now in prison for a 14-year sentence.
He was found guilty of 18 counts of corruption, including attempting to sell or trade an appointment to a vacant seat in the U.S. Senate.
He faces another eight years in prison after an appeals court upheld the sentence in April of this year.
No other state can match this claim: 4 OUT OF PREVIOUS 7 ILLINOIS GOVERNORS WENT TO PRISON
The way Chicago “works” is the same way Illinois “works”. Corrupt politicians get in bed with corrupt union leaders and screw the taxpayers and businesses as much as they can.
Sometimes they get caught.
Teamster boss Coli just got caught after all these years of extortion. His deals with Mayor Emanuel screwed Chicago taxpayers. Emanuel promised reforms and transparency but reforms and transparency stop once campaign donations are sufficient enough.
Coli said he is retiring to spend more time with “family”. Unless he gets off the hooks, that family must mean his mafia brothers and sisters in prison.
The City That Works
Chicago is nicknamed the “City that Works“.
I was wondering how it got that name. It took some doing, not by me but rather by the Straight Dope for the answer.
The April 5, 1971 issue of Newsweek featured Richard J. Daley on the cover, and inside, spread across two pages, a photo of Daley and his entourage marching eleven abreast on St. Patrick’s Day. Admittedly the headline below this read, “Chicago’s Daley: How to Run a City.” Adjacent to the headline, immediately beneath the photo, the text of the article read as follows:
“This is not to suggest, reports Newsweek correspondent Frank Maier, that Daley’s Chicago enraptures every resident or inspires every visitor to leave his heart behind. But it is a demonstrable fact that Chicago is that most wondrous of exceptions — a major American city that actually works.”
The last bit was repeated in an editor’s note at the front of the magazine. Beyond a doubt this article was the vehicle by which “the city that [actually] works” entered common currency. The phrase began turning up in Chicago newspapers by 1972, first appeared in the Washington Post in 1974 and in the New York Times in 1975, and figured in the lead of obituaries nationwide following Daley’s death in 1976.
If by some chance you previously did not know how Chicago and the entire state “works”, now you do.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
This is how all our politics works. They are out for themselves. Not too many elected officials leave Washington as poor folks….
Chicago has been a running sewer of corruption and cronyism for many decades. The School Board and the Park District have participated fully, and are now in ruins…Mike Royko’s book Boss intimately described the corruption of the Police force…Now the chickens are coming home to roost.
From what I’ve seen in Harrisonburg, and Virginia, and from what I’ve read of Chicago… Republicans too.
Yes the two parties are much the same. Bad and good in both. I would love to see the light shine on California politics as I suspect what’s going on is not much different than Chicago except it hasn’t been around long enough to reach the inflection point.
Yet all of “journalism” remains tight in the democrats’ pocket.
Sure looks like California is bailing out Tesla big-time:
BillyBob Texas said:
Illinoisians 🙂 are screwed….. Chicagoesians are too…..
wrong – the bond holders are screwed
Anyone living under endemically corrupt governance is screwed, anywhere in the world.
You have to be a fool, or corrupt, to think the losers are those who miss getting paid from it at some point.
The losers are those who get pushed around by the people who are supposed to protect them, who have their opportunities spoilt, their families ruined, their homes taken by the people they are forced to pay to govern them:
Average people, and those that had no part in the mess but must, in their time, take on the world left to them in the state they find it.
Stuki Moi said:
The bond holders will get bailed out. It is the rest of us who are screwed.
Based on the kill count in Chicago year after year, Undertaking and Valet Parking at funerals is a “booming” business there. To have a benefit plan covering these two “trades” for dental only and for that plan to actually have hundreds of thousands of dollars available to be looted by this goon and his family is ludicrous. But looking at the funded status of most plans in the state, it’s not actually surprising.
Jarhead John said:
Batman….Where are you….
It’s way too late for Batman.
Sorry to say, we need the LEAGUE OF SHADOWS.
Certainly his name is well recognized as E. Coli resident in all intestines.
That’s why he works so well with Rahm’s close allies. They live in intestines. The Dimms buying votes is over. Madigan will be out soon. God help Illinois.
I can tell you exactly how it is that Chicago works: with lots of “grease” (slang for bribes & payoffs). It has been that way for well over a century, and it is now institutionalized. Notorious Chicago politicians Hinky Dink Kenna, Bathhouse John Coughlin, and Paddy Bauler set the tone. The latter is famous for his response to a reform candidate for mayor who wanted to clean up the corruption: “This city ain’t ready for reform!”. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/chi-chicagodays-wardball-story-story.html
Indeed all those crooks and many more had jobs for life in the Windy City (the name came from “windy” politicians, not the weather).
Former Governor Jim Thompson should have gone to jail also but he managed to avoid being prosecuted. His corruption was obvious but not blatantly illegal: He was still receiving big contributions to his “re-election fund” even when he could not run again. One of those big donations came from Operating Engineers Local 150, after one of their “business agents” shot up the equipment of a non-union contractor (in the same town where Mish lives). Due to his criminal record he was not even allowed to possess a gun and he was caught red-handed. But guess who got a pardon from Thompson just before he left office? The only condition was that the crook get out of the state. These shenanigans outraged enough people even in the state used to corruption that a law was thereafter passed to make it illegal to have reelection campaign fund donations when a politician cannot run again. But Big Jim was a “Republican” (RINO) so he didn’t get a lot of democrat support.
And last but not least let us not forget Shoe Box Paul Powell, the Secretary of State who died unexpectedly in 1970, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash was found hidden in the hotel room he called home.
Apparently Illinois residents like things that way because it never seems to change.
This is a very entertaining and almost unbelievable history of Chicago corruption:
I wonder if a Trump win was Coli’s miscalculation. Hillary was supposed to continue the protection Obama had provided and then woops! FBI!
I looked up Rod Blagojevich and he was born in Chicago. Would you say that most if not all of the problems in the farming state of Illinois come from Chicago and its corrupting influence even in state level government?
Absolutely; Chicago is the tail that wags the dog. Most of the rural part of Illinois is conservative Republican. For example the county where Mish lives, which is near Chicago, has voted for the Republican candidate for president in every election except 2008. Apparently they too fell for the “if you don’t vote for the black candidate you must be a racist” shtick, although RINO McCain was not much of an alternate choice.
Stuki Moi said:
I bet they voted for O because he was the “home team.” Even amongst democrats in SF, Pelosi is a four letter word (she’s too “right wing” by their standards….). Yet by virtue of her rank as speaker and minority leader, noone wants to replace her with someone junior. She might be a bastard, but she is their bastard….. Probably ditto for O in Illinois.
As far as the unethical behavior goes in Chicago city government – it’s really hasn’t changed at all since the 1930’s. Thugs own the officials, both elected and appointed, and run the city.
The outcome? Just look at the cataclysmic financial cliff that the city is about to fall off.
But Chicago isn’t alone. Corruption is becoming the norm and accepted way of life in America. We import trash from other countries that don’t leave their bad habits behind. They bring their immoral characters across the border and infect our society. We see this over and over again, particularly in California that has been ground zero for illegal immigration. Anybody heard of Bell, California? lol.
I predict that within 15 years you’ll have to pay off the lowly city clerk to get routine documents processed at your local government offices. Just like they have to do in the 3rd world crap holes. It’s coming. Trust me.
Damn glad I’m as old as I am.
It is worse than that in EU already.
Unless you have a story which fits the socialist/progressive/egalitarian/minority mentality you get no documents.
Purposefully, and for no other reason.
I have been dealing with main countries, fully above board in a legal setting, and it isn’t just that no department anywhere ‘clicks’, nor that the laws have been redrawn to penalise traditional reality to favour a programmed environment, it is that the bureaucracies themselves are staffed with incompetent idealised opportunists who will take full advantage of any information to attempt to control and empower themselves of the lives of others, particularly those that they deem freer than themselves, no matter the cost.
Countries are turning on their own people and playing them off, there is a permanent disconnect between the politicians and their world of themes, and the common person, there is a world of bureaucracy in between that is law to itself and that prohibits anything but its own agendas.
At the top they are always imagining and selling how things should be, the bureaucracies are instead making things as they are, and ordinary people are experiencing the result.
This won’t make too much sense to anyone maybe until they actually have the force of public power directed against them. Most people are sort of happy sort of participating in it, but if you turn and face it to question it in sincerity, you will find it is nothing like it appears to be on the surface. There are lots of people with responsibilities, any ultimate responsibility is usually nowhere to be found, let alone approachable in any meaningful way.
Similar theme http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-15/times-change-out-under-us-paul-craig-roberts-opens-floodgates-his-memory
And why not https://mises.org/blog/europes-unsustainable-welfare-state for the institutional racket.
Or http://gatesofvienna.net/2017/07/overpopulation-in-numbers/ for demographic feasibility.
…and still leaders walk around like they know what they’re doing, and people believe they know what they are about and are on to the ‘real thing’.
Eventually they will run out of ideas, probably around the same time they are told bluntly what ideas they should have…doesn’t seem too far off…we are past societal respect and well on the way to some form of prepared socialist dictate.
Geeeeeze louizzze Mish, a couple of years ago I told you a story about how my Dad With his brothers worked their way up through the ranks at city hall as Building, Iron, Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical inspectors, then at night, afterwards a 10 shift, at the end of the day they were soldiers of their blocks or neighborhoods for the ward committee men like Parky Cullerton of the 38th ward. My self and brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors kids were all organized to report crime, or sickness or disability of a neighbor, wash windows and sweep sidewalk for business, escourt the elderly or run there errands or pick up alley garbage, cut lawns, shovel snow while our parents had the voting machines in the basements and picked up voters who needed transportation to get to there voting station. The rewards for my dad and uncles was there kids were the best parks, with equipment like bats balls mits, spikes, ice skates, groomed fields and smooth ice to skate on, and my Dad and his brothers got Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance and one terrific pension.
I knew things were getting out of hand after Jack Kennedy was assassinated. The riots in Grant Park, the burning down of Madison street when Martin Luther was also assassinated. About that time my Dad went to Hiz ‘Oner and told the man that he, my father had an idea how how to stop some of the trouble in the building department. He asked permission of Mayor Daley to unionize the building ,. My father told Hiz zoner the Cities department was plagued with guy’s
taking bribes, turn away shield their eyes when known building violations were being violated in new and exhausting construction. The other groups like iron or electrical inspectors were being paid union scale to inspect the construction of their trade. Only the building inspectors were not getting union scale. So these men were always getting caught taking bribes. Most the dumb ones would say “I only do it, take bribes, because I can’t make ends meet with my city wages , So I need more money.” Damn greedy fools!! So dad said to the Mayor Hiz owner, “let me organize them, get them legitimate wages, I think the bribery stuff will go away.” Well of course it didn’t, but Dad was smart enough to at least go to Mayor Daley and ask for his permission. I think Daley let him do it out of respect for his loyalty to him. I myself believed he my father was really trying to help those men. And I think Daley appreciated the attempt,to legitimately organize because he did not fire him and he certainly let all others know my father had his blessings to organize the men. The same was not so true for others like the chief of inspections and the corporation counsel, and other higher ups of Daley’s army who saw it as “wtf, whose this Mick, busting loose, taking our loot.” They faught dad all the way. Brought him for reviews sent him into the worst of the worst neighborhoods by himself to do apartment inspections, for 10 yearshe couldn’t get the corporation counsel to accept his legal
Fight of discrimination (1/2) the inspectors for the building department were black,, get the building inspectors unionized pay. Finally Dad sued the City and its corporation counsel and won. The City took the suit on appeal all the way to Illinois
Supreme Court where Dad won again. Every city inspector that was part of his union
Received back and contributions to their retirement fund. Then the real trouble came, as multiple national unions tried to take the union from him. Dad was loyal to the lathers and carpenters who were the only ones who supported his efforts. And
Good that background stories are written down. I’m not in the US, but sure it will help some readers build their picture of what is going on.
Bell is the model for all cities in California, its just that Bell was too small to support the city leaders excessive greed so it imploded.
I am looking forward to the tide to roll out and reveal how bad things really have become. You do not have to look too hard to see the decay just a few streets away from new construction.
The roads are in terrible shape. No increase in tax will change that. I saw an article once that described California as “Venezuela” on the Pacific. I think that is correct. We are just a little ahead of their trajectory.
That is also how our elected federal senators and congresscrooks work, they just have the ability to legalize their corruption.
Last week I was in Chicago the first time 7 years. Holy crap what a mess. I could not believe the garbage everywhere. When Hiz oner was running the show Chicago was considtantly “Cleanest City in America” the suburbs to were a mess the roads pothold
And what seemed like speed bumps irregularly placed on main and side streets everywhere.. when Dick Daley jr was there he too ran a beautification program downtown, a public works program like I’ve never seen with under ground parking garages. Sewer and water rebuilds and upgrades as well as cable and power upgrades. Supposedly the taxes were supposed to pay for those improvements. But the truth is the mortgage and bank fraud that decimated pension funds and bank accounts everywhere was the beginning of the end. I’m convinced that unless we end all wars and close all the military bases and begin reinvesting in America every city and state is going to collapse. We are broke as a nation and cannot survive this fight over health care and no inner city jobs.
1. All unions have to be busted.
2. Collective bargaining at the state worker, teacher level has to end.
3. Right to work for all government funded contracts
4. Legalize pot to end the line to prison
5. Tax pot like liquor and ciggerettes.
6 . Repeal and place Obummer care. Pass single payer insurance. And make everyone, including all government employees use one BC & BS head to toe everything covered.
7 Privatise all brides and road work with guaranteed not to exceed shAred cost savings contracts 50/50 to contractor / government and include guaranteed maintence contracts for design life of 5-10 -20 years.
End the fed and its onerous illegal debt.
Return to the gold standard and backed money.
Go back, claw back all funds defrauded by banks and their employees despite settlement contracts.
re: “Pass single payer insurance.” packysite
That will work for sure. Hasn’t worked anywhere else but it will work here.
Dr. Strangepork said:
The real scandal in the USA is that while the people cannot really afford the cost of the corruption, pensions, etc, the unions are throwing incredible money around. As an example, Teachers Unions since 1990 have pissed $149 Million of member money into campaign donations. Imagine if that money had been put into pensions instead…..The numbers for all labor is likely in the mid 12 digits….
Al Capone owned Chicago including police and politicians. When he went to jail they decided to take over his operation themselves. It is still the Chicago Outfit, only now we call it politics.
These thugs are petty thieves compared to the oligarchy who rule this planet.
Since the level of capital formation is directly related to the level of taxation, regulations, and the equal enforcement of the rule of law; it should be no surprise that the hot air bellowing from politicians has the windy city leading the way down the economic drain.
Of course, Chicago is not the only city or country circling the drain of govt corruption. The deep state establishment, who directly benefits from the corruption game they run, are doing everything in their power to neuter Trump, who does not want to play the game.
Since the crash and burn economic reset is unavoidable and within the next few years, the only questions that remain are who suffers the most and what system grows from the ashes. Since both sides must get something, my solution is to satisfy the Left with a one-time wealth confiscation from the 0.05% to pay for basic necessities (3 hots and a cot) for the most vulnerable during the depression that will result from deleveraging an economy that’s 40% dependent on debt. In exchange, the Left must allow a real free-market capitalist system to grow from the ashes – one in which short term-limits apply to all politicians and federal judges, who must also live by the same laws they pass and enforce.
Medex Man said:
Meanwhile, the Clinton Foundation just pulled a Seth Rich in Miama on the guy who exposed the foundation’s fraud in Haiti…
Can we now just label the Clintons as the crime syndicate that they really are?
Medex Man said:
Miami … (typo on Miama)
“Government,” Organized Crime at its finest.
Let me see if I have this straight, this guy Coli is 57, and is now going to retire after 46 years in the union, What’d he do? Join up when he was 11?
Now your beginning to inderstand
“Coli, 57, an early backer of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, was charged with one count of attempted extortion and five counts of demanding and accepting prohibited payment as a union official.
Coli could not be reached for comment, but a statement posted Wednesday on the Teamsters Local 727 website announced he planned to retire at the end of the month after 46 years in the union.”
he joined the union at the age of 10 or 11???
BillyBob Texas said:
It’s entirely possible. When he was 10 years old in 1960, he dad could have been a shop steward in the Local union, and put the kid on the payroll for about $35,000/yr to sweep up around the popcorn machine every Saturday nite……
Your absolutely right. Electricians had a program back in mid sixties that my dad got me into to work as a summer laborer at 15. I was able to work on projects all over the Chicago area at 15 as more or less a laborer. Cleaning up, carrying conduit, pulling wire. Basically all the work the journeymen would not touch. But the unions ran. Believe me it was hard , hot , dirty and messy. I earned every penny. I loved working outside and in construction. I was a big kid 6-2 200 lbs and could handle myself and the work no matter how tough or miserable it got . I actually picked up skills like bending conduit I used all my my life on my own personal home and other work as I grew up. I made good wages like $3.50 an hour in 1968 so I could help pay my tuition at st pats, my books, and some very nice clothes. For the weekends But always felt bad seeing the ghetto kids sitting on corners, pitching penny’s getting hauled in for gang stuff. It really screwed with my head when I finally figured it out. I suppose I could have made a personal stand and maybe I should have just said ” no , I’m taking a job away from a ghetto kid” but that’s not how things worked. All I knew back then was ” show up at the site 15 minutes ahead of horn. Be ready to work all day. I packed my lunch. And a hard hat and gloves and I kept my mouth shut. I did the site foreman told me to do and quit working when he said “quitting time”Nothing more nothing less” that’s the way it was. I thought I was doing the right thing, working like a darn fool and turning my checks over to my ma every week. Not till I got into college did I really understand and I figured out how to get my own work.
Although Chicago has been associated with corruption going back at least to Prohibition days, the rest of the country is certainly not free of it. From New York to California, politicians and political fixers have not had to serve time in prison for being involved in shady transactions. Former NY State Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver had his conviction overturned by a Federal Appeals court. In San Francisco, the late Rose Pak, at one time the Chinese community’s #1 political fixer, was able to by a $600,000 condo for $300,000 in its below market rate program .
Ronald Nicholas said:
Chicago is truly a model city. There is simply no other like it. Also, it has been run this way longer than anyone can remember.
It seems like it is about to crash and burn. (Couldn’t happen to the people/citizens who let this happen and happen and happen.
Teh incubator of teh CLINT0N, 0bama, Emanuel, et al $leeper ￠ell !