Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Friday, May 10, 2013

"Slow Eddie" Burke wants the UNO tap turned on again. Gee, I wonder why?

From left, Gov. Pat Quinn, UNO CEO Juan Rangel, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Ald. Edward Burke at the July 2012 groundbreaking on the Southwest Side for the UNO Soccer Academy High School.
Back in the Harold Washington days, they called him "Slow Eddie" Burke to distinguish him from "Fast Eddie" Vrdolyak, as a leader of the racist cabal of 29 Chicago aldermen who stood in opposition to the city's first black mayor.

Vrdolyak is out of prison and back plying his trade in nearby Cicero. But Ald. Ed Burke is still with us and still pulling the same shenanigans. On Wednesday, Burke asked his pal Gov. Quinn, to turn the the money spigot back on for the UNO charter hustlers.

Last month, as investigations swirled, Quinn suspended the remaining payments from a $98 million state school construction grant to UNO after it was found that millions were funneled to companies owned by two brothers of Miguel d’Escoto, a top UNO executive who resigned following the reports. Quinn, worried about his own connections to UNO, asked the clout-heavy group to clean up it's mess before he would turn the spigot back on. That clean up would likely include a leadership shuffle with UNO political boss Juan Rangel stepping down.

Burke has five UNO schools in his ward and UNO helped his brother Dan defeat progressive Rudy Lozano in a close 2010 election. Burke’s daughter-in-law, Jacqueline Burke, has worked for UNO since 2009, according to UNO payroll records. Also, about $1.67 million from the state grant to UNO went to Windy City Electric, which was operated by top Burke precinct captain Anthony Burke, to help build the charter elementary school that UNO operates next to the future Soccer Academy High School.

Burke has also raised a ton of money for Quinn who needs Slow Eddie's backing if he has any chance of being re-elected in the upcoming governor's race. And so it goes. The ties that bind.

According to the Sun-Times:
Burke — who attended the school’s groundbreaking last July, along with Quinn and House Speaker Michael Madigan — called himself a “big fan” of Juan Rangel, UNO’s chief executive officer, who also co-chaired Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral campaign. Burke called Rangel a “man of honesty, integrity and good purpose.”
All this, just as Pres. Obama was turning National Teacher Appreciation Week into “National Charter Schools Week" and calling privately-run charters, "learning laboratories". I'm sure Slow Eddie's family, Rangel, the d'Escoto brothers, Madigan and Rahm will all be joining in the celebration.

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