As you may have surmised by now I have a wee-bit of an obsession with the Obama administration’s version of how to conduct the US Census. In previous posts, here, here and here, I have focused mainly upon the epic waste and fraud committed by the little mice who scurry through the shadowy census hallways. However, I am now discovering some bigger droppings (amidst all of the little ones) to prove there is such an infestation of the more larger caliber of rats that there may be a need to call in… these guys.
Were Billy and his crew at VEXCON to take on the task of finding the source of the vermin excrement they would first have to follow the trails that wind their way through the halls of the US Census Bureau and the headquarters of many Census Managers and Supervisors. Yet, if they followed the contaminated little tid-bits further (be it backward or forward), they would inevitably discover they all seem to originate from or lead to a specific location where one particular person either is or use to be. And, if they seriously wanted to find the nest itself, they would trace one of the more interesting trails back in the 8th Ward of Chicago’s South Side in the office of Todd Stroger.
(Hat Tip to afrocityblog.com for this most excellent photo)
Todd is the son of John Stroger, Southside Chicago’s former 8th Ward Board President, whose legacy includes a few chapters in “padding the county payroll with political cronies and relatives”. Well, as the new president of the Cook County Board of Corruption Commissioners, Todd’s administration is also said to be a place where the stench of, “cronyism, corruption and shady contracts continue to emanate”.
Finding they had a few hundred thousand dollars of federal grants left to publicize the census, Stroger’s spokesman Eugene Mullins told the Chicago Tribunethat he and deputy chief of staff Carla Oglesby awarded contracts to eight publicity firms to spread the word. So far, so good.
Unfortunately, there is this curious little point regarding the amount of these contracts… All are for $24,995… precisely five dollars short of the amount that would require presentation and approval by the entire County Board. Carla Oglesby is one of the contract recipients. She is Todd Stroger’s Deputy Chief of Staff. Her PR firm, CGC Communications seems to be under investigation for allegedly awarding more than $225,000 in other contracts to other companies who (like many Census and Gulf Oil/Tar Ball Beach Cleaner-Uppers) did not seem to have actually performed any work.
In one case, Oglesby awarded a $24,995 contract to Arrei Management Inc. (formed in December 2006 to promote professional and basketball football players) to do what only a promoter of professional sports players knows best… How to “build awareness of the County’s composting and electronic collection programs”. Sadly, according to state records, Arrei Management was “dissolved” in May 2008 for failure to file required reports.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Come to find out, nearly all of the companies to whom Oglesby awarded contracts for Census work were incorporated just days before the contracts were issued.. half by the same attorney, Ramsen Isaac but they were all paid by the county within a week. One business was run by a convicted felon named “Shorty Capone” (AKA: Terrell Harris) who listed a vacant lot as the business address and two other contractors, K. Gregory Demos and the Illinois Human Development Council, submitted nearly identical invoices with the same unlisted phone number. Another company, Alliance Media was owned by a Mr. Mark Carter (a backer of Stroger). The address of the company turned out to be a UPS Store in Greektown. When asked a few annoying questions by the Chicago Tribune (just days before all of those companies were magically “incorporated”)… silly little questions like…how he came to own the company (even though his name didn’t appear on any paperwork), why Alliance Media wasn’t listed as a corporation in the state’s records and what kind of work was actually done under the contract… Carter’s only response?
“I’ll talk to you later man.”
Phone messages left for Isaac were not returned and Oglesby refused to comment.
When asked why the firms were paid before doing any work and what kind of checks were done on the vendors who were awarded contracts (as county ordinance requires) to ensure they are registered with the state or county, Eugene Mullins also had no comment.
County Purchasing Agent Carmen Triche-Colvin (responsible for making sure a businesses is registered with the state or the county before paying a vendor) also could not be reached for comment.
However, when confronted “later” by the Chicago Sun Times, Mark finally admitted that, like most workers hired for the Census, “We have done some training” for the $2,995 he pocketed received “… but no — no work.”
I wonder how many more jobs Obama will count as “saved or created” through this little Chicago Land scheme? More importantly… why are the talking heads of the mainstream media ignoring the ever increasing infestation of rats plaguing every corridor of Obama’s US Census? Then again, maybe they’re too busy tip-toeing over the droppings in their own hallways.