'Dude, I play a hard-hitting reporter for a once great Metropolitan newspaper. I'm Looking for this man, Fast Eddie. Seen Him? He's crook. I cut up my hands when I fell getting out of my Prius. Don't look at me, look at the picture. Look more carefully. Seen him? He's a crook. Look more carefully. Seen him? He's a crook. Hey, can I have the rest of that hamburger when you're done with it? Seen him?
He's a crook . . .'
I am delighted! The Fitzy Procrustean Justice Rack - it seems - does not Fit All.
Goofy Mark Brown is beside himself - now, if Fast Eddie had torched the home of his sleeping family like Madison Hobley, or murdered an elderly Mexican couple like Aaron Paterson, or gunned down and urinated on the bodies of Officers Doyle and Fahey like the Wilson Brothers, and had G (Gimme) Flint Taylor instead of the brilliant Mike Monico as his attorney, Nuanced Goofball Brown would be moist in the eyes and damp in the undies for Eddie Vrdolyak.
Goofy Mark Brown who helped push the summer rioting on the West Side a few years ago with his 'bring it on' editorializing based upon a Sun Times Front PagePhoto of a cop being confronted by a street thug. Mark Brown told Chicago what Mark Brown believed the white cop was thinking and felt iin the heart beating under his Kevlar, is beside himself with Age-ism against Judge Shadur. You see Mark Brown has a column and he can say anything no matter how inflammatory, or goofy.
Mark Brown is taking the stand - out of court mind you - that Edward Vrdolyak is guiltier than all get out and that Judge Milton Shadur is Old and therefore addled.
Check it out soul-patched Dudes!
Perhaps we should stand back in awe of the ever-slippery Vrdolyak and the crack legal team working on his behalf -- some of the best defense minds in the city, with Michael Monico taking the lead and Terence Gillespie and Lorna Propes among the many sending in signals from the sidelines.
And certainly consideration should be given to whether federal prosecutors badly misplayed their hand by signing on to a plea agreement that not only allowed Vrdolyak to avoid an embarrassing trial but left wiggle room for Shadur to set him free.
But the best explanation that I can offer for what happened Thursday -- other than a fix -- is that the 84-year-old Shadur is an over-the-hill jurist who thinks he's smarter than everybody else because he can see fine points in the law and facts that aren't evident to mere mortals. (That is SO Ageism, Mark, Dude!)
After the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald put out a statement saying he "strongly but respectfully" disagreed with the sentence. As you can see, I'm coming up short on the respectful side.
My concern is that Chicagoans will again receive the message that some people are above the law.
Thanks for your concern there, Mark. I'll let the neighbors know that you got our backs. Gino Ford and Smash McKenna were losing sleep thinking that this case might - might mind you, give them pause that gee, some people might be above the law - like Bill Ayers, Bernrdine Dohrn, or all the murderers that G. Flint Taylor wrestles Gator Bradley for more of his cuts in civil suits. They'll be relieved by your thoughtful advocacy, Mark Brown. Dude!
Another Happenin' Dude is Ben Bradley! Ben went to Homewood-Flossmoor in the deep south suburbs as far from Hegewisch as Canaryville is from Kennilworth. Hegewisch and South Chicago are Vrdolyak neighborhoods where Community Activists pretend to help unemployed Steel Workers. Ed Vrdolyak actually helped unemployed steel workers.
ABC TV's Ben Bradley is like Mark Brown. He goes all big Sprawling House on Vrdolyak.
Judge Milton Shadur found serious flaws in the government's case, at one point, calling it "overkill." Later, Judge Shader admonished prosecutors for portraying the former hard-charging alderman and political king-maker as a wheeling and dealing "insider."( emphases my own - stupidity by reporters) Dude, Ah!
"We do not sentence [defendants] because of what people might think about them" Judge Shadur declared from the bench.
"Obviously, the judge thought a lot about what he did," said Michael Monico, Vrdolyak's attorney.
Vrdolyak's attorney declined to comment Friday and at the sprawling home of the former 10th Ward alderman, no gloating from a woman who answered the door. ( Ben said, Dudes, that there was 'no gloating from a woman who answered the door!' Chilling. You would think there'd be gloating!)Prosecutors rely on the threat of time behind bars to 'encourage' defendants to cooperate. While Vrdolyak pleaded guilty, he's offering the feds no help. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Collins says in a similar case involving former Ryan advisor and lobbyist Donald Udstuen, eight months of prison, followed by eight months of house arrest was the sentence and Mr. Udstuen played ball.
"He cooperated. He wore a wire on Governor George Ryan and he still got eight months in jail!" Collins said.
Now here'sy favoprite part and Ben Bradley goes for the Progressive mantra -Chilling - Dude!
Collins says with the clock ticking on an indictment of ousted Governor Rod Blagojevich, he's concerned the Vrdolyak sentence may have a chilling effect on the government's ability to flip witnesses. ( As Roland Burris would say, YES!) "You're going to have people in the back of their minds saying, 'wait a minute, I don't have to help you out. I might get a walk. I mean Fast Eddie Vrdolyak with all his reputation walked out of there,'" said Collins. Even those who quarrel with the judge's sentence say Shadur has a reputation of being ethical beyond reproach. He 84 years old, was appointed by Jimmy Carter.
While Ed Vrdolyak helped countless lawyers trade their shingles for spots on the bench, the judge who sentenced Vrdolyak was appointed during the Carter administration, and said in court he did not know Vrdolyak before the case came before him. He's a well-respected judge who simply didn't think prosecutors had much of a case.