Friday, September 8, 2006

Personal Asides: On Sunday’s Political Shootout—Brunner and Stufflebeam…Dan Miller Signs Up as Guest Lecturer for Roosevelt Course...The “Crain’s Chicago Business List of Who’s Who in Chicago.”


Brunner & Stufflebeam.

Sunday’s guests on “Political Shootout” will be Terry Brunner and Randy Stufflebeam. Brunner is an expert…and has been for a long time…on corruption in government as longtime executive director of the Better Government Association. He was one of the first to zero in on the way George Ryan ran the secretary of state’s office. He has a string of great accomplishments to his credit. He was a state prosecutor in Wisconsin, a federal prosecutor and member of Attorney General Bobby Kennedy’s anti-corruption team and led the way to expose corruption in Chicago with his role in the BGA for many years. He is now associated with a group that is probing the extensive conflicts of interest that lie behind Mayor Daley’s O’Hare airport expansion plans.

Also on the air will be a young man who is fast becoming a kind of folk hero among some leaders of grassroots movement conservatives in Illinois. He is Randy Stufflebeam, a vigorous ex-Marine who is waging a valiant write-in campaign for governor. It is too great a leap of faith for me to believe he can be elected on a write-in but his simply-stated program and idealism deserves recognition—for he is without money and is fueled only with his own money and confidence. His father, a great guy, retired trucker, is his driver. He hearkens back to the days of yore when people ran for office without pausing first to see how many PAC checks they can collect: a day that, sadly, will never return but which deserve expression in the sunny, optimism of this candidate. You will hear why he left the Republican party for the Constitution Party and how he wants to make it a vital third force in politics. Both Brunner and Stufflebeam are sure cures for cynicism.

Dan Miller.

Dan Miller, a triple-threat man in public policy expertise, has signed up as a guest lecturer in my Roosevelt University course. One of the stars of the “Sun-Times,” where he is business editor—a division of the newspaper that is overtaking that of the “Tribune” who normally feels one of its strengths is business—Dan has an outstanding background in three vital public policy constituencies. First, as a superb journalist, former editor of “Crain’s Chicago Business” and now with the “Sun-Times” he is an expert on the media. Second, as an expert in his field, he is superbly equipped to discuss business and its role in public policy together with a role he wishes it would play. Third as a highly acclaimed chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, he is well situated to talk about government regulation of business. As a working journalist he is, of course, non-partisan but intellectually he is a principled economic conservative-one of the bright spots on a paper that calls itself “The Bright One.”

Crain’s Chicago Business.

“Crain’s Chicago Business,” an excellent publication which always is an interesting read, puts out a Who’s Who in Chicago every year. It’s not clear whether the list is supposed to be Who’s Who in Chicago Business or Who’s Who in Chicago—the publication fudges in its description. “Crain’s” lists are invaluable and are utilized by many organizations as contact directories. But there is a tendency in “Crain’s Who’s Who” to include some liberal feminist buddies of senior High Up executive Gloria Scoby which may do her good when they get together for cocktails but is not representative of either Chicago or the Chicago business community.

Some are legit, like Grace Barry, president of the Economic Club who scored big in headlines some time ago as a special favorite of Mayor Daley’s group, getting some favors from the administration for women’s businesses at O’Hare. But it isn’t as Economic Club president that she’s important—it’s political clout. One listee who is there because of feminism and no possible economic or social reason is Hedy Ratner. Ever hear of her? Gloria Scoby has. Ratner heads up something called the Women’s Business Development Center. Her inclusion is simply a longtime favor that “Crain’s” continues to pay. The sprinkling of obscure names of women is part of “Crain’s” schtick. Can you imagine Mayor Daley getting up in the morning and thinking, “God, I must talk to Karen B. Greenbaum about this”? Who? Karen B. Greenbaum is another pal of “Crain’s” women clique. She is a “Worldwide partner” of Mercer Human Resource Counseling. No, I never heard of it either.

Several executives from the Chicago Bears are listed—but not the owner, Virginia McCaskey. Probably that’s because she is a conservative who has been known to quietly and unobtrusively support causes feminists may dislike. Antoinette D. Wright is strictly a token to round out the African American component. She’s head of the DuSable Museum. Can you imagine Daley asking Jeremiah Joyce, “do you think we can carry the DuSable Museum crowd?” (By the way, where is Jeremiah Joyce?) Lynn Martin is a passe Republican feminist who was Congresswoman and George H. W. Bush’s secretary of labor who heads a letterhead group that hires her out for consulting but causes not a ripple in Chicago except a good friend of fellow feminists at “Crain’s.” She was thought of because somebody said, “can’t we find a Republican feminist in Chicago?” Who’s Renetta E. McCann?...Aurie A. Pennick?…Bonita Parker?...Judith M. Stockdale?...Benna B. Wilde?... Goldie Wolfe Miller (somebody’s mother?)…

No Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, although she’s been a leader in a number of fields. Well, maybe she’s not only Gloria’s rolodex. You’d think Lynn Sweet would be on the list: she’s got more clout in politics than most of the women listed. Fran Spielman writes a third of the “Sun-Times” herself every day as city hall sage and super-correspondent. Makes you kind of doubt many of the other names, doesn’t it?


  1. Tom,

    Randy Shufflebeam represents the Constitution Party and its platform. It's the kind of platorm that Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy could've wholeheartedly supported. Why give valuable airtime to someone like that?

  2. What is Randy Shufflebeam's web-cite?