This week’s Twit is a local yokel who believes his “part-time” job as a Chicago alderman gives him the right to tax Chicago citizens into oblivion for buying bottled water and Slurpees, all while filling his (and his family’s) own pockets. Get ready to vicariously live the Chicago (but not the American) Dream through the underhanded dealings of the 12th Ward’s very own:
This political misanthrope is the worst kind of thief. He’s the guy who rummages through your pockets while he’s busy telling you it is for your own good (in other words, a true blue Chicago Democrat). He learned his trade from some of the best con men in the game, though. Guys like King Daley II and political hit man Victor Reyes (of Hispanic Democratic Organization fame) brought Cardenas into Chicago’s fold of Untouchables.
So how do you repay a King (or his wannabe mobster replacement) for the right to kiss his ring? By pledging your undying fealty to filling the ludicrous budget gaps he has created. In 2007 Cardenas proposed a 25 cent tax on bottles of water sold in Chicago. Ultimately it would be much less, but the tax still passed. Now Cardenas is calling for a massive sugar tax. According to a statement released by Cardenas, “adding a penny-per-ounce tax on any beverage with added sugar could not only reduce obesity and its accompanying high health care costs, but also generate much-needed revenue.”
So it is our responsibility, yet again, to get Machine Democrats out of a budget hole they created though graft, sweetheart deals and out-and-out theft.
Cardenas’ career-long concern from filling budget gaps does not seem to extend to his own spending or sense of social/political propriety, however.
Cardenas has accepted every pay increase offered to him during his reign. He pulls in around $115,000, making him among the highest paid aldermen in the city. The number is sickening enough, but it turns out that Cardenas is only a part-time alderman. He has two other business ventures, aside from his lucrative career as an alderman, that supplement his sizable taxpayer-funded salary. He owns a business consulting firm which claims some pretty impressive clients and a money wire transfer service named Quick Dinero. The last thing Cardenas needs is a series of salary bumps that come from city funds.
But once you’ve decided to bilk the tax payer for salary you don’t really need, despite the fact you rant and rail about how the city is broke, why not get the whole family on the public servant gravy train? In 2009 it was revealed that Cardenas is paying himself rent with taxpayer funds. His political offices are in a building owned by an LLC controlled by him and his family. According to my most recent Google search (which occurred about 15 minutes ago) his office is still in that location.
Next you’ve got ghost pay rolling for relatives. No truly corrupt Chicago organization would be complete without this little accoutrement. In Cardenas’ case the freeloader is his father, who is paid 13 dollars an hour and works 45 hours week, evidently doing nothing. Cardenas, when pressed for an explanation as to what exactly his father does to earn his salary, could not even come up with a decent lie. “He does a lot of things — a lot of the things in the community that people have no idea about.”
Daley couldn’t have said it better.
We don’t need more taxes, Chicago. We need less Cardenas.