Sneed exclusive: Ald. Burke calls for end to ‘hidden fees’

SHARE Sneed exclusive: Ald. Burke calls for end to ‘hidden fees’

After the defeat of his state lawmaker brother, some believe Ald. Ed Burke (14th) could be next — so maybe he should think about how to leave gracefully. | Sun-Times file photo

Follow @sneedlingsFie on fees!

In a bid to protect consumers, watch for Ald. Ed Burke (14th) to introduce a resolution calling for the City Council to hold hearings on rooting out Chicago businesses imposing “hidden fees.”

It follows in the wake of a scathing Obama administration report criticizing the practice.

“This is a growing and troubling trend that has muddied the waters for consumers nationally,” Burke tells Sneed.

“We need to take action locally to ensure that Chicago-based businesses clearly advertise their fees so that consumers can equitably compare prices and truly get the best deal on their purchases.

“By holding these hearings, the City Council also hopes to put pressure on companies that all too often bury their fees in the small print.”

The Obama administration took aim in their report at a wide range of businesses that charge “hidden fees,” from resorts and airlines, to telecommunications companies, ticket vendors, banks and car dealerships.

“At their worst, such fees can be fraudulent or deceptive, at a minimum, they make prices unclear, hinder effective consumer decision making and dull the competitive process,” according to the National Economic Council report released by the White House.

“Federal and state agencies can enact rules that require any mandatory, or defacto mandatory fee be included in any advertised price — no matter who is advertising it,” according to the report titled “The Competition Initiative and Hidden Fees.”


Follow @sneedlingsMais oui?

Sneed hears rumbles that GOP Illinois fundraiser/class act Ron Gidwitz, who raised a bundle for Trump . . . is also under consideration to become the next U.S. ambassador to France as well as Australia. Stay tuned.

The Axe man . . . 

Hey! Hey!

David Axelrod, a political strategist extraordinaire and CNN commentator, tells Sneed he is heading to Washington, D.C., Monday for a pretty important engagement.

• To wit: Axelrod, a huge Cubs fan and former Obama senior White House adviser, is heading to the White House for a ceremony honoring his favorite World Series winning team.

No hard feelings . . . 

U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress who is now campaigning for Democratic National Committee chairman, did a swing through Chicago on Sunday and snagged the endorsements of two former foes: Cook County Dem Party Chairman Joe Berrios and State Rep. Will Guzzardi — who unseated Berrios’ daughter, Toni Berrios in the 2014 Dem primary.

Hmmm . . .

Here’s a question: Will Chris Kennedy, an heir to the Kennedy dynasty’s dynamism, have announced his candidacy for governor before he is honored at a Special Olympics Chicago reception at the Carnivale restaurant on Feb. 27?

Or at it?

Created originally at the Chicago Park District by a young [Illinois Supreme Court Justice] Anne Burke, it was Kennedy’s aunt, Eunice Shriver, who made the Special Olympics concept and ran it into an international institution.

Stay tuned.

I spy. . .

Cubbie slugger Kyle Schwarber at Ocean Cut Friday morning for an ESPN broadcast with Waddle & Silvy featuring Kap & Co. . . . RTA Chairman Kirk Dillard and State Sen. Bill Brady, who are top Republicans, spotted at Dem Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s post-inauguration reception at the state capital Wednesday. . . . Cubs manager Joe Maddon heading over to Chicago Cut on Thursday night after his first baseman Anthony Rizzo’s charity event elsewhere. . . . Bulls players Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson spotted at Gibsons on Rush recently.

Sneedlings . . .

Civil rights leader C.T. Vivian, a lieutenant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, will deliver the sermon Sunday at St. Sabina Catholic Church in advance of MLK Day Monday. . . . Cardinal Blase Cupich and Bulls guard Dwyane Wade are being honored at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship breakfast at 8 a.m. Monday at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: LL Cool J, 49; Holland Taylor, 74, and Dave Grohl, 48. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Pitbull, 36; Drew Brees, 38, and Regina King, 46, and a happy Tuesday birthday to the hardest-working grandfather, Nino Gattuso, ageless.

Tweets by @sneedlings

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