Author Topic: Happy 2011: Reviews and previews of politics in ESL  (Read 1261 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Happy 2011: Reviews and previews of politics in ESL
« on: January 06, 2011, 04:57:28 pm »
from THE ST. LOUIS AMERICAN:

Happy 2011: Reviews and previews of politics in ESL

Welcome to 2011, a year that promises (for East Boogie) to be as hot politically as it, potentially, could be from a criminal standpoint.

Be hopeful, you say? After all, "tis the season to be jolly," right? Well, at the risk of being labeled some sort of East Boogie "political Scrooge," let's see if that would be a waste of hope and/or optimism.

First, let's take a look at 2010. Last year found East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks Jr.' former deputy liquor commissioner sentenced to five years in prison for extortion and lying to the feds.

Former ESL City Councilman and so-called businessman Michael Collins was also convicted on vote fraud and tax evasion charges. He'll be sentenced on January 7.

Then there was former ESL Delta Sigma Theta president Germaine Pang who was sentenced to four and a half years for mail fraud, in a "Bernie Maddoff-like" investment scam involving her sorors, family and friends.

The cheating was so prevalent that it even permeated ESL high school athletics, as the East Side Flyers were actually bounced from their post-season state football playoffs (despite a perfect record) because Coach Darren Sunkett was caught, red-handed, in the act of fielding players (including his own nephew) who were in violation of residency requirements.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin even had to call in the Department of Education to investigate ESL School District 189's flagrant abuse of Title I funding, the result of questionable spending and excessive travel expenses, on the part of board members, with nothing to show for their jet-setting and extravagance.

And fiscal irresponsibility and late budgets caused the state Financial Advisory Authority to intercept all state funding for ESL until Mayor Parks, City Manager Deletra Hudson and the city council get their collective acts together.

So where's the hope, in 2011, for East Boogie? Definitely not in the hands of the politicians, the school board or any of ESL's elected officials for that matter.

Here's how 2011 will start. St. Clair County has tentatively laid off 13 deputy sheriffs. East St. Louis is in the process of laying off 19 police officers, and The Illinois State Police is already reduced in their capacity to patrol ESL.

Can you say Dodge City, folks? In fact, Dodge City may soon replace "East Boogie" as the new nickname for East St. Louis if these scenarios play out. And don't think for a minute that every literate criminal isn't already aware of these facts.

And, while Mayor Parks, School Board President Lonzo Greenwood, state Representative Eddie Jackson and former Democratic big shot Charlie Powell were paranoid about FBI informants in 2010, they should be absolutely terrified about the potential for anarchy in 2011, given the looming absence of law enforcement in a community already plagued with excessive criminality.

Now for the "good news." Mayor Parks will have to run for re-election in 2011. A number of candidates have filed to run against Parks, including current city Councilman Delbert Marion and former ESL mayor Carl E. Officer. Officer is clearly the forerunner in challenging Parks; but questions remain as to whether he will learn from the mistakes of four years ago and run a serious, well-funded and aggressive campaign this time.

Officer lost the mayor's seat four years ago (by less than 35 votes) to Parks who, basically, out-campaigned and out-hustled Officer. This time, if Officer is really hungry he has to show it, particularly following his recent loss in the State Representative race to Eddie Jackson.

However, my hope for 2011, despite all of the challenges and adversity, is that all of my readers will have a healthy, safe and prosperous New Year. Until next time.


Offline Magic Wand

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Re: Happy 2011: Reviews and previews of politics in ESL
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011, 05:10:56 pm »
Glad I escaped.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." --Aristotle, Greek philosopher

Доверяй, но проверяй

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Happy 2011: Reviews and previews of politics in ESL
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011, 06:38:37 pm »
That's from my man James Ingram. He always writes about the madness with a sense of humor.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."