Tales of the ruling class: Chicago edition

The Independence Day holiday provided a wonderful snapshot of the Chicago branch of the ruling class at play. If you follow the money of Chicago politics, you soon realize the importance of the role of a seemingly obscure local official, the Cook County Assessor. That office, currently occupied by Joe Berrios, who worked his way up the machine from precinct captain, has enormous powers to raise or lower property tax bills.  

So how does a member of the Chicago Machine that rules politics in the city, county and state, and which brought us Barack Obama, honor our nation’s founding? Chicago City Wire reports:

Arriving home from long family weekends today, many Chicago homeowners went from relaxed to girding themselves upon greeting their new, much larger property tax bills in the mail.

News of the specifics of this year's Cook County's big property tax hike came just in time to dampen 2017 Fourth of July celebrations.

But Cook County Assessor himself, Joe Berrios, whose questionable, significantly higher property valuations drove much of the tax spike, doesn't appear stressed.

Berrios was spied spending his 4th of July-- a Cook County government holiday-- yachting on Lake Michigan, hanging on the "Good Times," an 83-foot luxury boat owned by Chicago corporate lawyer Christopher D. Lueking.

 

The Good Times, which was docked at the Chicago Yacht Club, holds 24 people and includes three bedrooms. It has its own Facebook page.

Windy City Yachts ranks the "Good Times" as Chicago's fifth-largest.

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios boards the "Good Times," Chicago's fifth-largest yacht. | Chicago City Wire

Nice.  Berrios has come a long way from the Cabrini-Green hellhole housing project where he was raised. He was the first Hispanic member of the legislature in his political journey up the machine. But he went for the power, not for the glory.  An assessor wants to stay out of the headlines luxuriating with the rich and powerful.

From the standpoint of any ruling class, it is far better to keep the real holders of power obscure.

Berrios is lucky that he is a Democrat. If he were a Republican, the Democrat media couldn’t get enough of the story to satisfy their appetites.   

The Independence Day holiday provided a wonderful snapshot of the Chicago branch of the ruling class at play. If you follow the money of Chicago politics, you soon realize the importance of the role of a seemingly obscure local official, the Cook County Assessor. That office, currently occupied by Joe Berrios, who worked his way up the machine from precinct captain, has enormous powers to raise or lower property tax bills.  

So how does a member of the Chicago Machine that rules politics in the city, county and state, and which brought us Barack Obama, honor our nation’s founding? Chicago City Wire reports:

Arriving home from long family weekends today, many Chicago homeowners went from relaxed to girding themselves upon greeting their new, much larger property tax bills in the mail.

News of the specifics of this year's Cook County's big property tax hike came just in time to dampen 2017 Fourth of July celebrations.

But Cook County Assessor himself, Joe Berrios, whose questionable, significantly higher property valuations drove much of the tax spike, doesn't appear stressed.

Berrios was spied spending his 4th of July-- a Cook County government holiday-- yachting on Lake Michigan, hanging on the "Good Times," an 83-foot luxury boat owned by Chicago corporate lawyer Christopher D. Lueking.

 

The Good Times, which was docked at the Chicago Yacht Club, holds 24 people and includes three bedrooms. It has its own Facebook page.

Windy City Yachts ranks the "Good Times" as Chicago's fifth-largest.

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios boards the "Good Times," Chicago's fifth-largest yacht. | Chicago City Wire

Nice.  Berrios has come a long way from the Cabrini-Green hellhole housing project where he was raised. He was the first Hispanic member of the legislature in his political journey up the machine. But he went for the power, not for the glory.  An assessor wants to stay out of the headlines luxuriating with the rich and powerful.

From the standpoint of any ruling class, it is far better to keep the real holders of power obscure.

Berrios is lucky that he is a Democrat. If he were a Republican, the Democrat media couldn’t get enough of the story to satisfy their appetites.   

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