After Alderman Fred Roti was convicted on 2 RICO, 5 bribery and 4 extortion charges, the Outfit lost much of its leverage over city business. Over time, Burke stepped into the void and centralized legislative power in his own office.
Alderman Roti wasn't merely the Outfit's man in the Chicago City Council. He was, according to FBI records, a made member of the outfit. His father Bruno Roti was one of Capone's top Capo's. His son, Joseph Bruno Barbara is an unindicted co conspirator in several bombings from the 1980's and constantly mentioned in corruption. The youngest Barbara is also a long time friend of Mayor Daley as far back as high school.
Alderman Roti was around in the 1950's and Alderman Burke is still around. Is this piece actually saying that the Outfit's only connections are these two individuals. Comparing Roti, a made member, to Burke, who's ties are loose, is absurd. It also totally distorts the intertwined connections between the Outfit and Chicago government.
The piece itself is all right, if I'm being kind. Alderman Burke is one of the most powerful Chicago alderman and his wife sits on the Illinois Supreme Court. That makes the two of them major players in Illinois. They also both have long histories of questionable behavior. The piece summarizes that. It goes through three decades of shady behavior and does it in about ten paragraphs.
That's fine though there's nothing new here. All of this is public information and most of it quotes Chicago media as sources. Then, the piece says this.
Here’s the question: Why hasn’t The Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois (ARDC) opened an investigation concerning Cooley’s allegations against Alderman Burke? And why hasn’t the Chicago media demanded it?
Given that the Chicago media has been quoted throughout, this criticism seems out of place. That said, there's no doubt the Chicago media hasn't done a good enough job of fleshing all this out. Still, it's curious to quote the Chicago media throughout the piece and then claim they haven't done enough to flesh it out.
What's really bothersome about this piece is that it's really an excuse to attack Obama by loosely tying him to all this. The title is, Alderman Ed Burke III: Top Machine Boss of Obama's Chicago. The only tie is a favor that Burke once did for Tony Rezko. First, the top machine boss of Chicago is Mayor Daley not Burke. Second, this article is meant to do nothing but muddy Obama by guilt by association. Obama is tied to none of this. None of this is new. They're quoting documents from the 1970's and 1980's. There's nothing new here and so it's really nothing more than an excuse to go after the president through guilty by association.