Emil Jones Is Back - NBC Chicago

Emil Jones Is Back

And still up to no good



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    Former state senate leader, legendary hack and Barack Obama mentor Emil Jones has a new job: He's a lobbyist.

    So, his new job is a lot like his old job.

    Jones was last seen acting as Rod Blagojevich's last standing friend in Springfield, plugging up all manner of ethics reform and other legislation -- except anything that delivered dollars to beleagured Chicago State University, which named a new arena after Jones to show its gratitude.

    Jones was also widely suspected of angling for Obama's old Senate seat, which would have been a nice kind of symmetry after taking the young "reformer" under his wing and providing him with the Machine's moblike protection.

    At Mercury Public Affairs, Jones joins a firm founded as a Republican outfit that is now filling out its Democratic roster,

    Because why take sides when you can just take the money?

    That also means Jones will be joining up with at least one partner who ran an ad against Obama during the campaign in which he was featured.

    But all is forgiven. Just politics.

    Jones's bio on the Mercury website credits him with leaving "an unparalleled legacy of achievement" in Illinois. 

    Well, if by legacy they mean the way he wedged his son into his old General Assembly seat, then yes, though by no means was that move unparalleled in state history.

    Jones's old patrons are no doubt thrilled.

    We are less so.

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor ofThe Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.