Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dodge makes it formal for comptroller at the Humphrey House Monday

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ORLAND PARK, Ill., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jim Dodge will formally announce his candidacy for the Office of Illinois Comptroller at a press conference Monday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. at the historic John Humphrey House, 9830 W. 144th Pl., Orland Park.

An Orland Park official since 1989, he is seeking the Republican Party nomination as the state's chief fiscal control officer in the Feb. 2, 2010 primary election. Dodge, who holds a master's degree in economics and finance from the University of Chicago, works as a technology consultant.

Dodge selected the Humphrey House site for its historical sentiment as John Humphrey served in the Illinois General Assembly, as a Republican Illinois state senator, and as Orland Park's first mayor.

Dodge is the first one to formally jump in to the race. Former Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka is also planning to officially announce and there are reports she is circulating her petitions, too, and will be running. Topinka has higher name recognition, but targeting Comptroller rather than the synch race for treasurer or governor might be an issue. Dodge needs to broaden his name recognition statewide. Both are friends and it is expected to be a cordially race.

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Orland Fire District President Patrick Maher is also in the race for Cook County Commissioner in the 17th District. Maher, someone told me, was in the Lemont Parade (where I walked with my son). I didn't see him but I did see Mark Kirk and Judy Biggert.

I know because Maher's camp sent me their newsletter announcing his candidacy in the Democratic Primary Feb. 2. He'll face Dr. Victor Forys who has amassed a large campaign fund and ran once before for U.S. Congress.

I got the newsletter when I mentioned Maher in an earlier blog post. I also wrote that there have been more  sightings of one of Maher's top Fire Battalion Chiefs in their taxpayer-funded SUV gas guzzler driving his kids someplace outside the district again. Maher said he planned to look in to it. I thought he might actually act on the problem, because it is a major problem. But then again, all he did say was he would look in to it.

Here is Maher's campaign web site where he announces his candidacy:

He talks about the need to protect the interests of taxpayers, but I haven't seen him take any action on what I and other taxpayers consider a misuse of public vehicles, driving a Fire Protection District SUV outside of the district. Maher explained before that the 5 (?) battalion chiefs in the district drive the cars around on and off-duty so they are available when needed. Let's just hope that idea doesn't spread to other taxpayer funded government agencies.

The winner of the Democratic primary Feb. 2 will then face off with Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman, a Republican who has built a powerful front defending the rights of taxpayers leading the charge against the repressive 1 percent Todd Stroger Cook County Sales Tax. Maher didn't attack Stroger's sales tax plan in his newsletter discussion about fighting for taxpayer rights. That is going to be an hurdle that will be hard for him to overcome, the fact that Stroger and the Democratic Machine back him.


Former Cicero Town president Betty Loren-Maltese, who was convicted of corruption and spent seven years in the hoosegow and is now spending six months in a halfway house across the street from Circus Circus in Las Vegas, told FOX Chicago News reporter Anne Kavanaugh that she is writing a book called "Justice: Chicago Style" ... I thought it should be titled "Guilty."

Loren-Maltese, of course, never takes responsibility for her crimes or her vindictive ways and plays the victim so well. She's a split personality, on one side very likable and on the other vicious, cruel and mean. It's the Bad Betty and her greed that put her in jail and the Good Betty who only reappears when she needs sympathy.

When Kavanaugh asked me about whether her book would sell, I noted I would buy it, as a journalist. But, I wasn't sure a public that has had it up to here with former convicted criminals and convicts trying to make excuses for their actions would want to read the book. Betty most likely will simply fill the pages with junk about how it was everyone else's fault instead of her own, blame it on how "friends" betrayed her, and paint herself as the innocent victim of injustice, duped by male politicians.

The truth is if Betty were smart -- she has it in her -- she'd admit her responsibility in her crimes and her own life, stop playing the victim which is BS, and take responsibility for her own actions. Then, write about the colorful characters she met during her three year reign as Good Betty (93-96 when I was her consultant) and six year reign as Bad Betty (96-02 when politically sleazy PR consultants Dave Donahue and later Lee Harris ran her post-corruption defense campaigns under Ed Vrdolyak's direction. Donahue's greasy fingerprints are all over Orland Park and Township.)

I was her consultant when she was doing good and while she was quietly betraying everyone around her. Town Supervisor Joe DiChicio was found not guilty because the judge easily saw through her weak defense and efforts to manipulate the Town Clerk's board meeting records. I left her when I asked her if the FBI charges were true and she called Vrdolyak to tell him I spoke with the FBI, and Vrdolyak ordered Betty to fire me. Thank you Betty!

Harris and Donahue represented her when it was clear that she was the focus of a major corruption investigation that looted the Town of more than $10 million. That explains how Betty amassed all that money and property and big cars and high-flying gambling life.

If she got her act together, she could do some good with her life. but knowing Betty, she is always consumed with anger, hatred and meanness. Those are tough obstacles for anyone to overcome.

I liked the old, Good Betty, the one that shared leadership with other leaders in Cicero back in the early 1990s and opened the town together with progressive programs. But that Betty is just a memory that if came back would make her book a success. Bad, mean Betty writing a book. People who know her will buy it but that won't be enough to make it successful.


Rumor is Rocky Wirtz, the owner of the Blackhawks and Judge & Dolph is a part of the investment group buying the Chicago Sun-Times. Wirtz is a smart guy. He put the Blackhawks back on the map and he is smart when it comes to business. I hope he can help re-organize the Sun-Times and keep it from closing.

-- Ray Hanania

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