Thanks to Michael Shakman and the Shakman Decrees a Veteran Gangster Disciple can be an Impact Political Player! Hal Baskin with the late Judge R. Eugene Pincham and former United States Senator Roland Burris.
In 1969 Michael Shakman and other Hyde Park lawyers, along with the long-dormant Progressive political players indigenous to that Chicago community, went shopping for a judge.
The nature of that legal marketing expedition evolved from sociological laboratories around the University of Chicago sparked by John Dewey and other long haired gentlemen and short-haired females. This particular push against the Democratic Political Machine affected our political psyche once it was determined by the right judge that political hiring is an intrinsic evil.
The Shakman Decrees* did nothing to end corruption; rather, they made a transfer of power from a Political Machine to Progressive Coalition Machine. Shakman Decrees created the political landscape that elected a President. All the graveyards in Cook County could not create more votes than Shakman - SEIU, ACORN, Progressive Coalitions Universal and political power remained in the hands of the very few.
Barack Obama could not have vaulted over the political gradus to the White House without Shakman.
Like Hyde Park itself, the Shakman victory is unique. Only in Cook County and in some few Illinois towns did this Dewey shower of Inquiry is Truth blossom and grow. No where else,in America, can or will Michael Shakman Enterprises flourish. What Shakman hath wrought is this:
1. Planned Parenthood's Personal PAC Has More Money and Muscle Than the Teamsters
2. SEIU and the less Public Salary Unions are Ward Organizations
3. Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Latin Kings, Four Corner Hustlers, Mickey Cobras
are precinct captains
I find it . . .consistent that no newspaper, or media outlet is finding journalistic grist for the mills in Chicago Magazine's well-crafted investigation into the association of gangs and political hacks.
However, my concern lies in the authors' dismissal of gang-banger activism in Chicago as a mere homage to Bathhouse John and Hinky-Dink's high-jinks, instead of a wormy Progressive abortion of political honesty rooted in Shakman and the Shakman Decrees.
Here is Shakman's effects upon our political life in Cook County
Many forms of political corruption—taking bribes, rigging elections, engaging in pay-to-play deals—are plainly unethical, if not illegal. But forming political alliances with gangs isn’t a clear matter of right or wrong, some say. In many Chicago neighborhoods, it’s virtually impossible for elected officials and candidates for public office not to have at least some connection, even family ties, to gang members. “People try to paint this picture of bad versus good—it’s not like that,” says a veteran political organizer based in Chicago who specializes in getting out the vote in minority areas. “Everybody lives with each other, grew up with each other. Just because somebody goes this way or that way, it doesn’t mean you’re just gonna write them off automatically.”
For better or worse, gang members are constituents, the same as businesspeople in the Gold Coast. Says Aaron Patterson, an imprisoned gang member: “It ain’t like gangs come from another planet.”
For some politicians, gang members can be a source of political strength—all the more so given that the once-formidable City Hall–Cook County patronage system, the lifeblood of the old Machine, is mostly gone. In the heyday of the Machine, recalls Wallace Davis Jr., a former 27th Ward alderman, political chieftains could simply snap their fingers and marshal a large cadre of city workers to go door-to-door with “a pint of wine and a chicken” to turn out the vote.
Few politicians nowadays have such armies at their beck and call. To win elections, many officeholders and candidates—especially those who represent parts of the city with high concentrations of street gangs—turn to those gangs as their de facto political organizations. “It went from wine and a chicken to hiring a gangbanger,” says Davis, who served from 1983 to 1987. “It’s unfortunate.”
Though estimates vary, most authorities and criminologists agree that there are 70,000 to 125,000 gang members in the city. In the numbers game of Chicago politics—in which, as the old joke goes, a one-vote victory constitutes a landslide—a constituency of that size gets noticed. (Keep in mind that in Illinois convicted felons can vote once they are released from prison.)
Yet, Shakman goes unidentified.
Would that the authors went further -Inquiry is not Truth; John Dewey notwithstanding.
Shakman at work from todays's Chicago Tribune:. . .The concession deal was struck between the Park District and the restaurant operator under then-Mayor Richard Daley. Investors in the restaurant venture included Daley friend Fred Barbara and city contractor Raymond Chin. The city is now trying to undo the 20-year deal.
The Park Grill's lawyer, Michael Shakman, called the city's lawsuit "way off base" and said the restaurant's ownership group "was not selected through political connections."
The city's lawsuit "punishes honest people who created a restaurant that was risky and uncertain when the Park Grill agreed to go into Millennium Park," Shakman said in a statement. "Now that Millennium Park is successful, the city wants to redo the deal and wants money to which it has no right. That's not fair. A deal is a deal."
The city's Law Department is reviewing the countersuit, spokesman Roderick Drew said. The city maintains that the Park District did not have the authority to reach agreements for the use of the land, said Drew, who added that the deal was not approved by the City Council, which he said is required for approval of a concession permit.
Our Public Imagination Shakman
In 1969, one man made his stand against the Chicago political machine. Michael Shakman, an independent candidate for delegate to the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention, battled against one of the most enduring traditions in Chicago's politics: political patronage, or the practice of hiring and firing government workers on the basis of political loyalty. With many behind-the-scenes supporters, Shakman's years of determination resulted in what became known as the “Shakman decrees.”
Shakman filed suit against the Democratic Organization of Cook County, arguing that the patronage system put nonorganized candidates and their supporters at an illegal and unconstitutional disadvantage. Politicians could hire, fire, promote, transfer—in essence, punish—employees for not supporting the system, or more particularly, a certain politician. The suit also argued that political patronage wasted taxpayer money because public employees, while at work, would often be forced to campaign for political candidates.
In 1972, after an exhaustive court procedure and much negotiating, the parties reached an agreement prohibiting politically motivated firings, demotions, transfers, or other punishment of government employees. A 1979 ruling led to a court order in 1983 that made it unlawful to take any political factor into account in hiring public employees (with exceptions for positions such as policy making). Those decisions along with companion consent judgments—collectively called the Shakman decrees—are binding on more than 40 city and statewide offices.