Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jimmy DeLeo Takes His Final Bow

Natasha Koreki in the Sun-Times covers how former State Senator James DeLeo is stepping away from being the State Central Committeeman for the 5th Congressional District.  

Anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes around him knows what a guy he was.
DeLeo provided decades of fodder for us to write about, and I thought this might be a good time to reflect on some highlights. 
DeLeo perfected the art of spinning a tale, getting friends to double over in laughter, even as questions about his ties always swirled around him. 
Sun-Times reporters Tim Novak and Chris Fusco asked DeLeo in 2001 about contributions he received from D&P Construction of Chicago, after the gaming board deemed it “mob associated,” because it was owned by a sister-in-law of Chicago’s reputed mob boss John “No Nose” DiFronzo. 
DeLeo’s response became infamous among insiders. 
“What does that mean, ‘mob associated?’ ” he asked Novak and Fusco. “In the year 2001, is there really a mob in Chicago?” 
In 2007, DeLeo made news when he scored coveted tickets to see Miley Cyrus at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont for himself as well as his then-close pal, the now-imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. 
“I’m a rich legislator,” he said at the time. “I buy my Cubs tickets. I buy my stuff out of my own money.” 
Besides, DeLeo, who had taken his young daughter at the time, said he had no fun at all.
“I was there under duress, OK?” DeLeo said at the time. “There were 20,000 screaming 11-year-olds. I’d never do it again. Not that I don’t love my daughter, but, oh, my god, it was torture.”
...“He’s one of the funniest men I’ve ever met,” said longtime friends Ed Genson. “He has stories that can entrance a room.”

I tell you what...it may not be a popular opinion inside the Republican Party, but for us here at the Truth Team, we'll say it:  we'll miss Jimmy DeLeo.   He was one of a kind and had a big heart.

He was a lion in Illinois Politics the like of which include Pate and Dallas.  Take a long bow, Senator DeLeo.  You earned it.

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