Cubs and White Sox Know How To Grease Palms

A common misconception is that Chicago gets its “Windy City” moniker because of the harsh breeze that blows through the city from Lake Michigan. In reality, that is only one of a few explanations. Our favorite, the one that we heard as a child and it kind of stuck, is that it comes from the massive importance of Chicago politicians, all of them “blowing a lot of hot air”.

Mayor Daley Governor  Blagojevich

(Mayor Daley professes his allegiance, Governor Blagojevich hangs with friends)

And, as the CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports, the baseball teams of the city still know how to take care of their politicos. According to the paper, both the Cubs and the White Sox are in a pretty “giving mood” when it comes to making sure the city’s elite politicians have access to the upcoming playoff games.

From the TRIBUNE:

Many Chicago politicians have plans to be safely seated in the friendly confines of Wrigley or the Cell, assuming the Sox can get it together this weekend. That’s because, in many cases, public servants only had to wait for the ballclubs to check on their needs and desires.

They got a call or a note from the teams asking a simple question: Do you want to go?

Senate President Emil Jones, the South Side political power broker who has waited 72 of the last 100 years since the last North Side world championship, said yes and is waiting for details.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who once said he would like to be buried under home plate at Wrigley Field, was offered a couple of prime seats near his usual spot. He plans to take his oldest daughter, Amy.

They’re among the winners in the grand tradition of making tickets available for city and state politicians known for their abundant capacity to get what they can.

Sure, the tickets aren’t free. But they are face value, and the politicians can always tap their campaign funds to cover the tab.

Obviously, the various watchdog groups are acting like wet blankets just because some “law” that limits gifts to public officials to only $100. That won’t even fill up your Hummer these days!

Kent Redfield, who heads the Sunshine Project at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said tickets that are paid for out of campaign funds create another layer of separation between officials and the citizens they serve.

“The average guy, he’s spending his own money,” Redfield said.

“He’s living from paycheck to paycheck. The politicians are soliciting campaign funds from special interests. . . . So they’re using other people’s money to buy season tickets and that creates an opportunity for them to buy playoff tickets at face value.”

Oh, boo hoo. Don’t these people realize that playoff games are just become another kind of “high-end steak dinner”, not so much for the actual fans but for businessmen and the political elite to get schmoozed and do their schmoozing? In other words, a normal Cubs game.

(Worth mentioning: Mayor Daley, by the way, doesn’t need any of these perks to get his playoff tickets. He’s a lifelong season ticket holder.)

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