Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Opinion: Dems Kick Trib When It's Down

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Chicago Tribune turned 165 years old on Sunday, and so did its feud with the Illinois Democratic Party. The Bible of Midwestern Republicanism only endorsed its first Democrat for president in 2008, and some politicians have never gotten over the slight. Now that journalism in general, and the Tribune in particular, are going through hard times, the Democrats are not missing a chance to sneer.

    On June 3, the Tribune published an investigative article suggesting that clients of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s law firm have been benefiting from favorable legislation in Springfield.

    Madigan’s response: "The overall approach looks like more garbage from the two garbage haulers who work for a bankrupt company."

    Then, on Sunday, the Tribune published a hit piece on Bridgeview mayor/State Sen. Steven Landek. The piece suggested that Toyota Park, the stadium Bridgeview built for the Chicago Fire, is a money-losing venture that has driven up property tax rates while providing contracts for Landek and his friends.

    Landek’s response: "Toyota Park has been the best thing to ever happen to Bridgeview. It's brought a new spirit and pride and regional attention," he said. "The Fire is a remarkable team, far better than the Tribune's properties."

    Madigan and Landek are political allies. Madigan was one of the committeemen who appointed Landek to complete the term of retiring state Sen. Lou Viverito in 2011.

    Interestingly, Landek's spokesman is Ray Hanania, who also wrote pro-Madigan columns in the Southwest News-Herald during the Speaker's primary campaign against Michele Pizczor.  Hanania is a former Sun-Times reporter. So there may be more than one rivalry at work here.

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