Things that should be in the spotlight that are more important that LeBron James’ penis.

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I have written a blog post title guaranteed to get a lot of hits due to search referrals.

I was surprised to see a reference to  Lebron’s schmeckel in a headline in this morning’s Sun-Times:

LeBron James’ penis remains in spotlight during Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Not for me.

I got home from my birthday dinner at a new neighborhood seafood place in time for the fourth quarter, and Step Curry’s shooting was much more impressive to me. As was LeBron’s triple double.

But it made me start thinking of what should be in the spotlight and isn’t.

What will happen to Sarah Karp’s story on Rahm juking graduation rates? Karp is the great investigative journalist who just moved from Catalyst to the Better Government Association.

How long will the spotlight be on that?

Karp says, among other things, that CPS has been counting girls who drop out due to pregnancy not as drop outs but as “transfers to motherhood.”

Scandals involving Rahm seem to have short shelf-lives.

Like whatever happened to the FOIA request for emails between Rahm and Chicago billionaire Michael Sacks?

It came out that Rahm and Sacks were meeting almost daily and that there were 1500 emails between them discussing public policy.

Also prior to the election there was talk of an SEC investigation into kickbacks to the Emanuel campaign and Bruce Rauner’s campaign from those doing pension business with the city and state.

What happened to that?

Just prior to the election Rahm’s people promised that the email correspondence between Rahm and his closest financial advisor would be released in 77 hours.

Why 77? Because that would put it after the election.

They have never been released.

Oh. Here is something needing a spotlight:

Whatever happened to the federal investigation of corruption in UNO charter schools?

And how long will this grand jury be meeting on the Barbara Byrd-Bennett SUPES scandal?

Until we forget and the spotlight goes elsewhere.

So many things that need a spotlight.

Leave LeBron’s penis alone.

UNO fraud hasn’t slowed Wall Street charter investors.


Crain’s graphic.

The charges against UNO of fraud by the Security Exchange Commission has had little impact on charter school investments by Wall Street.

Crain’s is reporting today that “the charter school bond market is back.”

Finance Authority Chairman Bill Brandt says the UNO violation caused “consternation,” but charter schools fit the agency’s mission to foster education, employment and economic development. “As long as the school continues to have a significant amount of folks that want to go there and waiting lists and continues to perform financially as well as they have been, the bonds aren’t implicated,” Mr. Brandt says.

Investors are blowing off a slew of risks to earn higher interest rates. S&P rates 210 charter school bonds, with nearly half of them below investment grade, says Ms. Mills, who is based in San Francisco. And that’s just a portion of the approximately 730 bonds ever issued because only half qualify for a rating.

Bondholder risks include schools failing to win renewal of their charters because of poor academic or financial performance, government cuts to education funding and inexperienced management. Defaults are more common than in municipal finance generally.

Still, the industry has a significant local presence. Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co., underwriter for UNO’s troubled offering, is the second-biggest underwriter for charter school bonds across the country. Chicago-based B.C. Ziegler & Co. is the 10th-largest issuer. Chicago-based Nuveen Investments Inc., recently purchased by New York-based TIAA-CREF, is a major investor in charter school bonds.


UNO charter schools charged with securities fraud. All of Chicago is not surprised.


Chicago’s largest charter school operator is UNO. At the time of the fraud UNO’s boss was Juan Rangel, Rahm’s 2011 campaign chairman.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the United Neighborhood Organization, was charged today with defrauding its charter school investors.


The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday announced it had charged charter school operator UNO with defrauding investors in a $37.5 million bond offering for school construction work by failing to disclose conflicts of interest.

The SEC alleged that UNO Charter School Network had failed to disclose a multimillion dollar contract with a windows company linked to one of its top executives, Miguel d’Escoto.

The average working man or woman in Chicago would not be surprised at this point to read that the organization once headed by the campaign chairman for Rham Emanuel would be charged with something.

However some might be surprised that things like charter schools have investors that can be defrauded.

But that’s because they haven’t been paying attention.

Rahm, Rauner and Rangel want schools to be run like a business.

It is just that the business they are thinking of is Enron.

Where is the Justice Department? Why not federal indictments?

How were Rahm and Squeezy involved?