Saturday, November 15, 2008

Aldermen ring up $40K from circus

Some elephant ordinance has been in the news the past couple or so weeks. This Sun-Times article is a natural extension of that:
Feld Entertainment -- the producer of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus -- is represented by lobbyist Timothy Dart, the brother of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. Timothy Dart, his wife, Jennifer, his law partner John Nicolay and their law firm, Nicolay & Dart, have contributed $13,100 to aldermen and their ward organizations since 2004, $4,000 of that to Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th), Illinois State Board of Elections records show.

Sources said Burke played a behind-the-scenes role in engineering the City Council delay.

Feld has given a total of $1,250 to the campaign funds of key alderman -- $750 to Burke and $500 to Cochran.

Universal Circus has made campaign contributions of $30,600, $18,000 of that to the 20th Ward Regular Democratic Organization now under Cochran's control.
Sometimes it pays to be on the right side I suppose. Then again should a legislator have to paid or rewarded for their stand? Maybe I'm just naieve.

More from this article about the ordinance:
Smith's proposal was watered down by aldermen scared off by the ridicule that followed Chicago's now-repealed ban on foie gras. Then it was delayed at last week's City Council meeting at the behest of Aldermen Willie Cochran (20th) and Emma Mitts (37th).

It's set for another vote this week -- on the day after Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus opens its two-week run at the United Center.

In delaying the vote, Cochran said he was concerned that a ban on the use of chains and restraining devices that Smith wants could end up depriving elephants of sleep and, as a result, endangering circus patrons.
"These are necessary tools for the humane and proper management and care of our elephants," Payne said of the tools Smith wants to ban. "They're integral to the care, transport and well-being of our animals. As the legislation is written, it would no longer allow us to perform in Chicago, which would be unfortunate. We want to play in the city of Chicago."
Oh this is just another half-baked ordinance. There are always two sides to the story.

I'm for the human treatment of animals, but I just called this half-baked because I'm not so sure if this was thought out. A lot of these ordinances like the big-box or the foie-gras ban it just seems like an attention getting.

Not too long ago over at Mechanics I blogged about a ban on ice-cream trucks in the 18th ward. The idea was that the alderman was concerned that there was some illegal transaction going on in these trucks. She didn't start an investigation or nothing she just decided it was better to ban ice cream trucks. It becomes a slippery slope after a while doesn't it?

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