05/12/2005: A Bobby Rush story...
From the "Karen Files", it's Story Time again...
I came across this one: Lax Ethics Enforcement Created Culture of Carelessness in House by Norman J. Ornstein (AEI) and almost passed it over, except it contains a reference to my favorite Chicago Alderman, Bobby Rush.
”A story on Illinois delegation travel in the Chicago Tribune over the weekend noted that Democratic Reps. Bobby Rush and Luis Gutierrez had not filed a single trip report to Congress since 2000, despite taking six and 25 trips respectively.
“You brought it to our attention,” Tasha Harris, a Rush spokeswoman, told the Tribune. “We didn’t know we had to file.”
That is a bit like failing to file tax returns for five years, then telling the IRS that you didn’t know you had to file. But it’s a situation that many lawmakers and aides now find themselves in. Even more typical, I suspect, is evidence of blatant disregard for the rules and standards set by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.
What is going on here? …”
Reminded me of my favorite Alderman Bobby Rush Story. So, click on the "more" button to read further.
I had e-mailed this to Don Wycliff (Chicago Tribune) last fall following an interview he did with Alderman Rush.
Before I begin, this is not meant to reflect on whether Bobby Rush is a good Alderman, or answers the needs of his constituents. Plus, because of the way things worked out…I’ve never actually met him, but my husband did.
Back in the spring of 1991 Bobby Rush had changed his ward offices and had hired our company to do the heating/ac work. Then, inexplicably, refused to pay his $1200.00 invoice. At that time I was appox. 7 month pregnant with my second daughter (big as a house) and my husband gave me this collection issue to deal with.
Bobby just refused to pay this outstanding bill and for no good reason – the work had been done.
I kept wondering “WHY” was he making me chase him through the entire small claims court system of Cook County? And for something I KNEW he was going to pay one way or the other.
Well, we went through all the filings, notices, missed court dates -- all the way to the N-th hour of getting a “Body Attachment Warrant” whereby the Sheriff’s police would have had to arrest him for contempt of court and bring him before the Judge in the case.
What was so very funny were the small details: I had to keep going to court (where he never appeared) waddling as only a pregnant woman can to stand before the Judge who would look at the complaint and yell loudly for the entire building to hear “CALLING DEFENDANT, BOBBY RUSH. ANYBODY SEEN ALDERMAN BOBBY RUSH.” I think the entire place was laughing and looking round for “Bobbie” to show up…he never did.
Then, was the service of process. As an Alderman he KNEW all the Sheriff’s police deputies, who just couldn’t seem to find him anywhere -- this City Hall habitué. So, I had to hire a special process server. This is where they get little old ladies who sneak up on the unsuspecting and serve them with papers. I got him served. (Actually I had to serve him several times this way - they kept switching old ladies to do the job.)
Finally, after I got the judgment (plus costs) and he failed to pay or appear. The case moved to the Contempt of Court Citation and the Body Attachment filings.
Literally 24 hrs before I was to go to court (once again) to file the Body Attachment, Bobby must have realized that getting arrested would not help his re-election prospects nor keep this matter on the QT if the press got wind of his being arrested at City Hall and taken out to Maywood.
He showed up that day at our business offices to pay this claim - plus costs -then about $1500. He pulled out a rolled up wad of $20 dollars bills in cash large enough to choke that proverbial horse. No check or money order to pay this bill off.
But he didn’t have exact change, and my husband’s office was a business office…they didn’t have a cash register to make change (and most customers don’t pay cash anyway.) So Bobby had to run out to the local mini-mart to get exact change (to the penny) and return to pay his bill.
Thus did we finally get this resolved.
So, every time I hear his name, I am reminded of this funny story and how I kept thinking “Bobby…why don’t you just pay this bill, why are you making me do this?”
It does make me smile. Oh yeah, my favorite Alderman, Bobby Rush.
Karen on 05.12.05 @ 04:01 AM CST