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The Mechanics
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Cook County Board Fri Oct 02 2009

Hanania on the Cook County Video Gaming Bill

The Cook County Board stamped out video gaming in Cook County, essentially invalidating Governor Quinn's $31bn capital projects budget, to be financed by video gaming taxes.

Ray Hanania of WJJG-AM and Southwest News-Herald (and long time City Hall reporter) has an interesting piece on just what might be behind the move (Bridget Gainer replaced Mike Quigley):

The Bridget Gainer rush to reinforce Cook County's questionable ban on video gaming machines raises some real questions.

Who is really behind the effort?

Casino lobbyists -- including one Cook County board member and several who have received Casino industry related donations -- want the video gaming measure killed but buried before the public can understand the issues.

Here are some facts:

A-Local Villages should have the power to decide on their own whether or not they should be able to permit video gaming in their communities. Why should Gainer, a former executive at the politically connected insurance giant AON, and the Cook County Board decide that for them?

Video Gaming could generate, through licensing options, as much as $500,000 a year for suburban communities. Each establishment could install 5 machines, and licensing costs would be about $5,000 a year. And each village could see as many as 15-20 establishments installing the devices.

B-Right now, there are about 60,000 illegal video gaming devices being managed by organized crime and independents who are breaking the law. These machines exist but the county is incapable of cracking down on them. The way to undermine the illegal criminal activity is to put the reality under legal parameters and bring them out into the sunshine.

 
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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

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It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...

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Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

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It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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