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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jim DeLeo the Man

John Kass is at it again, and this time he pushes the limits of being a provocateur. Jimmy Banks recently passed away and his wake was held yesteday. Banks is a Chicago insider known only to other insiders and astute political observers. He was chair of the powerful zoning committee and his nephew as the top zoning attorney in the city. Over the years, he accumulated a great deal of power. Kass believes his death was a passage of the torch of power.

It took place on a quiet street in Oak Park. There were no TV cameras, no press aides. It was a somber ritual marking the transfer of power.

Sam Banks, the longtime political boss of the 36th Ward on the Northwest Side of Chicago, was laid to rest. He passed away after a long bout with cancer. The funeral was held at St. Giles Roman Catholic Church.

One of Sam's pallbearers was his former political apprentice, State Sen. James DeLeo, D-How You Doin'?

Sam was the guy for years. But there's a new guy now, reaching beyond the ward, from Rush Street to Rosemont and beyond:


Kass then goes on to relay the history of the Mafia (known as the Outfit in Chicago) and its ties to politicians including DeLeo. Both DeLeo and Banks are powerful pols in Chicago and in Illinois. I'm not sure that Banks death means that DeLeo is now the man. The man of what I would ask. I also am not sure that the man's death is the appropriate time to make such analyses.

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