Rauner joins Kennedy in calling for Berrios to resign. But isn’t there an election coming up?

Machine Boss Joe Berrios.

I get why the Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is calling for the corrupt Cook County Tax Assessor and Democratic Party Boss Joe Berrios to resign.

It is part of his “I’m not in charge” campaign against state Democratic Party Chairman and Speaker Mike Madigan.

What interests me more is that Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy said the same thing.

Does Kennedy not know there is a primary election coming up and that Berrios is facing a strong challenge from Fritz Kaegi.

I can see that if Berrios cheats his way into an election win then call for him to resign.

But now?

I know that America’s new term limits appears to be resigning in disgrace.

But Joe Berrios resigning allows the Machine to pick a replacement.

I prefer Kaegi beats him fair and square.



David Axelrod plays his role as hatchet man for Cesspool.

I have this story about David Axelrod.

I was a cab driver back when Harold Washington was running for Mayor of Chicago. I had David Axelrod as a fare. This was before he had been hired to work on the historic campaign.

He told me Washington didn’t have a chance.

He changed his tune when the job with Harold was offered to him. And who can blame him for that.

However, has also always has been a hatchet man for hire.

The Chicago Maroon:

“Issues over which you should leave go to corruption or profiteering. What you have here is a guy who wanted to get the best possible representation for the kids of Chicago and was overzealous in making that happen,” Axelrod said. “Rahm, from my conversations with him, appreciates the progress the system has made in terms of dealing with its horrific financial problems and educationally on Forrest’s watch.”

Axelrod continued to show support for Claypool after Friday’s press conference. At the conference, Emanuel announced Claypool’s resignation, while also praising and even hugging him.

In fact, a 1987 Chicago Magazine article by Grant Pick labeled Axelrod exactly that: The Hatchet Man.

Axelrod’s rise has been swift. In 1984, he left a plum job as chief political writer at the Tribune to stage Paul Simon’s successful campaign to unseat Charles Percy from the U.S. Senate. Since then, he has gone on to arrange media strategy for a host of other candidates, among them Adlai Stevenson, George Dunne, Harold Washington, and, lately, a few beyond Illinois. Axelrod and his staff at Axelrod & Associates, including partner Forrest Claypool, a production manager, and a time buyer, operate out of a starkly furnished River North loft.

The ’87 Pick article is worth a read for those who don’t remember Axelrod from the old days and only know him as Obama’s guy.

Yes. Claypool and Axelrod have been in the hatchet business together for a long time.

In this case you can maybe credit Axelrod for acting out of friendship rather than a paycheck. On the other hand it has nothing to do with the facts or with what is best for the students in CPS.

Axelrol has used his professional skills to create the talking points that are being used to defend Claypool.

For example, here is charter advocate Peter Cunningham’s tweet saying almost exactly the same thing:


Berrios’ dirty tricks. They challenged my signature on a Fritz Kaegi petition. They picked the wrong guy.

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Me and Fritz on Hitting Left (I cropped out my bro).

That’s me and Fritz Kaegi in the picture above.

My brother was in the picture but I cropped him out.

Here’s the original:



What I did to my bro is what Joe Berrios is trying to do to me: Cut me out.

My signature on a Kaegi petition for tax assessor has been challenged by the Berrios campaign.

There is no question that the corrupt Joe Berrios, the current tax assessor of Cook County and Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party, has a serious challenge on his hands.

Just yesterday Kaegi was endorsed today by Congressmen Danny Davis, Bill Foster and Congresswoman Robin Kelly.

And this is Sunday morning’s Trib front page:


A couple of weeks ago I signed a nominating petition for Fritz Kaegi while shopping at the Logan Square Farmers Market.  Fritz is running against the Party Boss. We’ve had him as a guest on Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers.

Because my signature has been challenged I now have to go fill out a form that says I am who I am.

I will do that.  No problem.

Challenging signatures is part of what we laughingly call the democratic process in Chicago elections.

Every challenger to the Machine can expect to have their nominating signatures challenged.  That is why a candidate has to collect three times the minimum number of signatures.

Why my name?

Maybe they threw a dart at a list of names.

Maybe they know my voting record against the Machine. I haven’t ever missed an election at my current address for 27 years.

Maybe they think if they challenge enough signatures, even randomly, enough of those who signed won’t want to go to the trouble of signing an affidavit saying they are who they are.

But they picked the wrong guy this time.

I have never voted for a guy named Fritz before and I’m not missing the chance now.

Sunday week in review.

The Mayor’s picks: eight CPS CEO’s in nine years. Crooks, liars and dopes.


This week’s drawings.



This week’s Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers episode #43.

Guest hosts Joanna Klonsky and Anne Emerson.


This week’s tweets.


This week’s blog posts.

Cesspool’s corruption and lies? It was the teacher union’s fault.

Because to the Chicago Tribune Nazis and lesbians are exactly the same thing.

 CEO Forrest Cesspool must go.

Reporting from the Illinois 4th CD.

The charter school crowd surrenders to segregation.

Go Brandon Johnson!

Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers episode #43. We are guests in our own home.

It was tough handing over hosting duties this week what with all that is going on in the world, the country and in Chicago.

There are no two women better equipped to keep my brother and me in our place than Anne Emerson and Joanna Klonsky.

Anne is an expert on progressive legislation in the Chicago City Council.

Joanna is a leading political consultant for progressive Democratic politics in the city.

They were all about talking about Rahm and his latest baggage: CPS CEO Forrest Claypool.

Does the dirt being reported about Claypool’s hiring of a Jenner and Block attorney who then handed over CPS business to Jenner and Block in violation of CPS ethics rules rise to the level of criminality.

Both Anne and Joanna were puzzled as to how this was any different than the crimes that the previous CPS CEO, Barbara Byrd Bennett was charged with and sentenced to four years for.

The hosts then turned to my bro and me and wanted to know what the hell were we doing in 1968 anyway.

Time was short and we couldn’t tell it all.

But we shared some of our stories.

Here is the podcast.


Cesspool’s corruption and lies? It was the teacher union’s fault.


Teacher unions get blamed for a lot of things, but CPS CEO Forrest Claypool blaming the CTU for his corruption and lies is one hell of a doozy excuse.

On Tuesday Inspector General Nicholas Schuler said he was left with no other option but to tell the board of education it should fire Claypool.

That would be the unelected CPS board that was hand-picked by Rahm Emanuel.

Claypool, Rahm’s chief of staff,  was hired by the board after Barbara Byrd Bennet was busted for a $20 million dollar kick-back scheme involving bogus principal training.

Schuler’s report shows that Claypool then hired a pal, a lawyer named Ronald Marmer, to be CPS general counsel from the high-powered law firm of Jenner and Block. Marmer’s only qualification for the job was that he was a pal of Rahm and Claypool.

In violation of the ethics rules, Marmer secretly hired his old firm, Jenner and Block, to do board work. Marmer and Claypool then covered up that relationship to the IG.

The IG began his investigation in August of 2016, nearly a year and half ago.

Rahm warned against making “snap judgements” about the Claypool double-dealing and corruption.

But the icing on the cake is Claypool’s explanation.

It wasn’t his fault because (wait for it) “we were bargaining with the CTU” at the time.

So now collective bargaining is blamed by Claypool for his being a cheat and a liar.

Claypool has to go.

Chicago wants and needs an elected representative school board.