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Political daybook in Illinois and Chicago on Dec. 7

“Everyone wishes this wasn’t going on. In hindsight, it looks bad,” a family member of Mayor Daley (right) says of Robert Vanecko’s (left) real estate deals involving city pension funds.

Robert G. Vanecko (left) and his uncle, former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Today’s must-read: Daley pension debacle: Where did $54 million go? Sun-Times Watchdog Reporter Tim Novak looks at how former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew Robert G. Vanecko and his business partner Allison S. Davis lost 80 percent of $68 million that five city pension funds gave them to invest.

Mayor Rahm Emauel’s plan to stop gentrification and preserve the character and affordability of Pilsen and Little Village was rammed through a City Council committee Thursday amid controversy about the absence of a quorum. Fewer than eight of the Housing Committee’s 15 members were present. Fran Spielman has the story.

Bill Daley follows in brother’s footsteps — by promising property tax freeze. “All I can deal with right now is the first year. … I’m not gonna give you a blanket guarantee that it’s forever,” Daley said Thursday.

Another CTA driver disciplined for peeing on his bus, gets 3-day suspension. Robert Herguth reported last month on four other incidents in which drivers were caught relieving themselves on or near their buses, in some cases after being reported by someone who saw it happen.

CPS bid-rigging scandal leads to $1M settlement from private school operator. Lauren Fitzpatrick reports that Camelot Education agreed to the settlement after the IG found it paid ex-CPS CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett to help steer public contracts to the company.

Homeless advocates and civil libertarians Thursday applauded Chicago for quietly repealing what critics called the “unconstitutional” ban on aggressive panhandling.

The Obama Foundation and Chicago Public Schools are partnering to award $2,000 grants to civic-minded students, educators, schools and community organizations. Read Rachel Hinton’s report.

Former president George H.W. Bush was buried on the grounds of his presidential library and museum in Texas. Is it possible for former President Barack Obama to be laid to rest at his Chicago presidential center? Lynn Sweet has the story.

Here’s a look at political events scheduled for Friday Dec. 7.


  • 8:30 a.m. –  Sen. Dick Durbin, Congressman-elect Jesús “Chuy” García and Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez will be among the speakers and will introduce Illinois Governor-Elect J.B. Pritzker at an event hosted by the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition. The Chicago Club, 81 E. Van Buren.
  • Noon – Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti chairs the Military Economic Development Committee’s quarterly meeting. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., 15th floor, Suite 15-200.
  • 5 p.m. –  Ald. Joe Moore cuts the ribbon on Le Piano, the newest addition to the Glenwood Avenue Arts District. 6970 N. Glenwood Ave.

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