Attn: State Treasurer Dan Rutherford: Stop Tweeting about your breakfast (plus today's news observations)

July 20, 2011

We are in a heat wave. Luckily, our public officials are on top of it. They can use new social media tools to help educate and inform the public. They can do things like send out reminders, give updates and list resources. You know, like say, Representative Deb Mell:

In retrospect maybe it wasn't wise to squeeze a run in. #toodamnhot.

Good heads up. Now how about State Treasurer Dan Rutherford?

morning jog outside, cranberry & OJ for breakfast.

So maybe it's not too hot? And I've always wondered what a treasurer eats for breakfast. Yesterday he tweeted that he had an apple bar. Sunday? OJ & cranberry juice with peanut butter crackers. 

Yep, this is the guy who tweets what he had for breakfast.

B story: Wow, so the unnamed official in the Inspector General report was former festivals chief Megan McDonald. Wait, I know that name! That's right, she has drawn the criticism of WBEZ blogger Jim DeRogatis over her handling of Lollapalooza and allegations of political clout. The IG report said that she was at the scene of the now infamous Vanecko (Daley nephew) fight on Rush Street. Now, she disputes that and tells Carol Marin that she wasn't anywhere near Rush street that night. Which begs the question: Who goes to Rush street? Anyway, it seems to me that Chicago is developing a little bit of a brat pack. All of Mayor Daley's politically clouted friends and family seem to have kids that are now young adults (20, 30s). And I guess, the city is theirs. They are the Paris Hilton's of Chicago political scene. Except, well, one of the guys was investigated for murder. To be fair, it was one punch, but again, who fights on Rush street? Is that who goes to Rush Street? Daley relatives and flash mobs?

My advice? Embrace it. More Daley brat pack. Sneed needs it. 

C story: This question has been bugging me for years. Why doesn't the Illinois Secretary of State's office not take Visa? Well, WBEZ's Meghan Power did a story about it yesterday. It turns out Visa will not let businesses force customers to pay for the transaction/convenience fee. See, every time you use a credit card, a $2 charge is assessed. Right now, the businesses eat that (that's why convenient stores and niche businesses will not you charge under a certain amount). But in the case of our state government, they refuse to take on that fee and want the customer to fit the bill. Mastercard and Discover have no problem with charging the customer. But Visa is holding out and the state won't budge. Fascinating, seeing that most other municipalities and state governments accept Visa and the fees. You know, like a business. Jeez, about 10 states actually make it illegal for those fees to be paid by customers.

D story: So Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart took a lot of heat for suggesting that ICE deportation proceedings be separate from the Cook County jail. Right now, ICE asks the jail to hold potential illegal immigrants for up to 48 after they are supposed to be released. Dart drew the ire of anti-immigration folks who went nuts on the comment board (sent to us by some classy sites). Anway, Dart is getting support for his thoughts from an unlikely source:  Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle. Here's her statement: 

I applaud Sherriff Dart’s recent public statements highlighting the troubling inconsistencies in current Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policies that are in place at the Cook County Jail system.  The disincentive for the thousands of immigrants in our County – including lawful immigrants and permanent residents – to cooperate with local law enforcement places a great strain on our communities. I encourage ICE to work with officials such as Sheriff Dart throughout the country to provide them with a better understanding of policies and regulations. I have written a letter to President Obama and asked my Judicial Advisory Council (JAC), which was recently re-purposed to work more actively and more closely with our criminal justice system constellation, to study this matter very closely, and provide support to the Sheriff’s office in exploring possible solutions that we can undertake here in Cook County.

“This serves as a perfect example of the need for our Federal lawmakers to enact comprehensive immigration reform that eliminates inconsistencies between levels of government, reduces the burden on tax payers who bear unnecessary costs and increases public safety in our local communities.” 

There ya have it.

Weather: Heat makes people punchy. WBEZ's Andrew Gill was on a 65 Grand bus today and after a huge busload war of words, a passenger yelled "C'mon cool it. Everyone cool down!" Anyway, Eight Forty-Eight pulls out the stand-by interview with Eric Klinenberg about the 1995 Heat wave. I lived through that one. It was a different time. First off, no internet. Secondly, no cell phones. And lastly, no Chipotle. So imagine that life with 100 degree heat. huh?

Sports: NBA released the schedule for next season. See, I would rather watch NBA than NFL. At this point, I want to see Derrick Rose again. I want to see him get better and deep down, I know he will. The Bulls are going to be such an unbelievable draw next year. The Bears? The last images I remember of football in Chicago consisted of a Green Bay celebration on our turf. No thanks. Still hurts. I could be okay with skipping a season. I've skipped them before. (Kordell Stewart, anyone?) 

Also, paging Matt Garza - look for a trade. Every time you pitch, the Cubs blow it for you.

Kicker: Jon Wurster filled in for me at Pitchfork this weekend. He's the drummer for Superchunk. In the piece, he asks the Reader for a retraction. The Reader writes up a rebuttal. Hilariously, they call me out in the first paragraph for being clever/lazy. I didn't book Wurster (Gill did) but yes, the Reader is correct: I am clever/lazy.