Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan represents a Southwest Side district, not far from where the White Sox play ball. But he’s spent way more money in recent months for tickets to games on the North Side.
The “Friends of Michael J. Madigan” fund spent $122,869 on Cubs tickets and $46,245 on Sox tickets in the first quarter of the year, according to new campaign disclosure reports.
Madigan aide Steve Brown said the Chicago Democrat likes both teams, “but he’s probably more of a Sox fan.”
Madigan doesn’t use the tickets himself. “They’re used by volunteers and supporters as a thank you,” Brown said. When Madigan or his family attend a game, “they use personal funds.”
The Cubs tickets were the largest itemized expenditure reported by Madigan for the first quarter of the year.
The other big payment was $60,710.88 (in three installments) to Sawbridge Studios, which makes handmade gifts for your desk or office.
He’s a giving guy.
Donations to the mayor
Speaking of those quarterly campaign reports, lots of big names donated to Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the first three months of the year.
Among the notables were Second City CEO Andrew Alexander ($1,500), the Duchossois Group’s Craig Duchossois ($4,100), Scoutahead.com CEO Raj Fernando ($4,100), Hilco Global CEO Jeffrey Hecktman and his wife, Penny ($11,200), fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger ($2,000), former Madison Dearborn exec Justin Huscher and his wife, Hilarie, ($11,200), Glen Tullman and his Ignite Glass ($15,000), Boeing Senior Vice President Timothy Keating ($5,600), businessman and reality TV star Marcus Lemonis ($10,000), former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson ($5,000), former chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign John Podesta ($500), Invenergy CEO Michael Polsky ($5,000), HighGround CEO Vip Sandhir ($5,400) and White Lodging CEO Bruce White ($5,000).
The records also give more details about donations from the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant chain. At least 29 owners or employees donated $83,800 to the mayor. Lettuce has licensing agreements with contractors at Midway Airport, as reported a few weeks ago.
Banking on a golf film
A Chicago venture capitalist who invests in early-stage tech companies and sports-related businesses is banking on a movie about golf.
Keith Bank, the founder and managing partner of KB Partners, is producer and executive producer (or key financial guy) of “Tommy’s Honour.” It’s a film about two Scottish legends, father and son golfers Tom and Tommy Morris.
“It’s an incredible story and one that very few people know about,” Bank told me. He’s a self-described golf nut whose goal is to play the top 100 golf courses in the U.S. (he’s played 99) and top 100 in the world (he’s played 70). Bank has played at Old Course in Scotland, a course featured in the film.
Bank was introduced to the story by Jim Kreutzer, a local endodontist (root-canal specialist) who likes to golf and has found a second career in filmmaking. Kreutzer has developed a dozen movies over the years. He bought the film rights to “Tommy’s Honour” and, as co-producer, has brought it to fruition. The film has all the elements of a good movie, he says, “a father-son relationship, life, death and social class.”
“Tommy’s Honour,” which stars Sam Neill (of “Jurassic Park” fame) is also backed by Ken Whitney, an early partner in the Blackstone Group in New York. He recently joined Bank and Kreutzer in Chicago for a charity benefiting the First Tee, a nonprofit that introduces golf to young people from impoverished neighborhoods without golf courses.
Valukas stepping down
Anton “Tony” Valukas is stepping down from his honorary role as chairman of Jenner & Block law firm. He’ll continue as an active senior partner “representing our clients and mentoring the next generation of lawyers,” according to a news release.
New leader at Women Employed
Iliana Mora, a leader in Chicago nonprofits, has been named president and CEO of Women Employed, succeeding Executive Director Anne Ladky.
Ladky is retiring in June after 40 years with the organization.
Mora has been chief operating officer at Erie Family Health Center. She’s also been a member of Women Employed’s board of directors for nine years. Mora starts her new job July 1; Ladky will help with the transition.
To play George Lucas
Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” franchise, told fans he’d be interested in one day playing George Lucas — the movie’s creator.
Hamill made the comments when asked about his dream role at a Star Wars Celebration event in Orlando, Florida, over the weekend.
Lucas, who now makes his home in Chicago, attended portions of the event.
Read more Taking Names at shiakapos.com.