Forrest Claypool - say it with me, please " Forrest Claypool." There; isn't that like a Yoga moment, or cucumbers on the eyelids?
For most Chicago journalists, just saying " Forrest Claypool" is a tonic akin to a seventh grade fat boy getting a Saint Valentine's Day card from a tween stunner - the Hope, Oh the Hope!
You see over the last forty years, Chicago newspapers gave up integrity for access. Columnists and Editorial Boards care more about the news morsels tossed by a Daley, a Blago, an Obama, a Rahm, a Mike Quigley, or a Pat Quinn than it does about getting out the full story. Public television and radio, WTTW& WBEZ share the agendas of the elected Progressives who run this city, county and this state and the activists and PACs who help keep them in power, They feed at the same tax-funded trough.
I'm just a working stiff, with a mortgage and a new tax on something I own or don't own every sixty seconds in Cook County. To me, the name " Forrest Clayyyyyyyyyyyypoooooooooool " portends a looming grift - a government sanctioned pinch of my wallet. Forrest Claypool to my waxless ears is akin to the names of great grifters, cads, bounders, cut-purses and ne'er-do-wells of common culture Reese Kilgore, Butch Cavendish, Velma Valento, Bill Sykes and of course Galworthy's hideous Soames Forsyte. . Uriah Heep is Congressman Mike Quigley's sole property, though Forrest Claypool would give Wee Mike a run for his money.
Thanks to the capriciously snorting snouts of Chicago's iconic news hounds, Forrest Claypool does not get away with murder, only character assassination of better persons -Amalgamated Transit Union Local #308 Bob Kelly. Why only yesterday, Forrest Claypool celebrated the continued employment of 65 felons turned CTA apprentices with this -"Despite Mr. Kelly's commitment to end the rail car servicer apprentice program and put his own union members out of work, we've been able to work with Local 241's leadership to find a place for these individuals, guaranteeing them the opportunity to work and put food on their families' tables for another year," CTA President Forrest Claypool said previously." And often.
Robert Kelly has been portrayed in our collective Chicago media as cross between Simon Legree and Sir Percival Glyde, from the moment that the doomsday clock on the Forrest Claypool, Rahm Emanuel, Michael Pfleger CTA School for Felons was announced last March. Though the ex-cons were placed in rail cleaning posts, no one bothered to let the union governing such labor in on the plans. Kelly wanted the workers placed in the jobs at the Local 308 recommended salaries, but Rahm Pinchpenny Savior and Forrest Claypool chained the workers to Micky D salaries in the name of Saul Alinsky.
But Kelly has said he wanted the CTA to pay the rail workers more money. The 65 rail apprentices are dues-paying union members, but they’re paid a considerably lower wage than their union counterparts, and they don't get benefits.The SPIN fed to the gaping maws of the Chicago news hounds avoids the facts, minutes, calendars and records of Forrest Claypool. No one from WTTW to Chuck Goudie to Eric Zorn will bother with the facts missing from a good Claypool news feed.
“What do I say to people when I say you’re going to do the exact same work next to a guy making $25 an hour and benefits, and I'm not going to pay you benefits?" Kelly asked on "Chicago Tonight" recently.
"They're using these people to save money. Give them the right wages, health, pension, benefits. Let’s give these people a real second chance. Let’s do it. I will sign that deal tomorrow, turn these people over, and give them a real shot at life,” Kelly said.
Claypool is such a gutless, sniveller that he and Rahm hired Citizen Michael Pfleger to perform the character hit on Bob Kelly. Michael Pfleger wrote a Jeremiad on the alleged nasty nature of Bob Kelly in the always complicit Chicago Tribune, followed by an idiotic smear piece about Kelly's daughter winning a scholarship in the Sun Times. Pfleger led a December protest that included accomplished grifter and activist Rep. Bobby Rush and a score of Pfleger acolytes at the offices of ATU 308, during the Local's Christmas Party. Now, Michael Pfleger has issued a Fatwa on Kelly via one of his FaceBook pages.
Claypool knows enough to duck a working man in an honest forum. I have never met Bob Kelly, but I have had more than enough personal contact with Forrest Claypool for one lifetime - usually at political fund-raisers for good people in public life who must admit Claypool on the guest list or near their coat tails. Usually those same people find themselves subject to scurrilous charges on TV or in a column, later to be dropped.
Claypool would not know the truth if it came with a government check. He does not need to know it. Forrest Claypool is fine. Rahm Emanuel is fine. Michael Pfleger is fine.
Chicago? Not so good.
Robert Kelly? We shall see.