Illinois AG Madigan Files Suit Alleging Trump Tower Violates Clean Water Laws
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit against the operators of Trump International Hotel and Tower, alleging President Trump’s hotel along the Chicago Riverwalk endangers fish and other aquatic life in the river.
“Trump Tower continues to take millions of gallons of water from the Chicago River every day without a permit and without any regard to how it may be impacting the river’s ecosystem,” Madigan said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. “I filed my lawsuit to make sure Trump Tower cannot continue violating the law.”
The Chicago Tribune reported in June that Trump Tower is the only skyscraper that failed to document measures taken to protect fish and aquatic life. The building siphones nearly 20 million gallons of water a day from the river, only to pump it back out up to 35 degrees hotter.
According to the lawsuit, building managers not only failed to renew a state permit with requirements to limit the amount of fish killed by changes in temperature or pressure, and from being pinned against intake screens, but failed to meet requirements in the permit.
Trump himself hasn’t said anything about the lawsuit yet, but representatives from the Trump Organization called the lawsuit “political.”
“We are disappointed that the Illinois attorney general would choose to file this suit considering such items are generally handled at the administrative level,” they told the Tribune. “One can only conclude that this decision was motivated by politics.”
Madigan’s lawsuit isn’t the first woe Trump’s monument to his ego along the Chicago River has faced over the years. In May, a disability rights advocate filed a lawsuit alleging multiple violations of the Americans with Disabilities act, citing improperly positioned items in bathroom facilities in both the lobby and 16th floor restaurant. The same month, Crain’s revealed promotional materials from real estate agents for vacant spaces in the building severely downplayed the Trump name, listing the building as 401 North Wabash Ave and using photos without the 20-foot tall letters emblazoned on the side of the building. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel famously sparred with Trump over those letters in 2014. Last year, data showed that condo vacancies in the building were three times higher than other large condo buildings downtown.
Madigan’s lawsuit calls for a $10,000 fine for every day Trump Tower is in violation of the law.
Billionaire vs Billionaire
Illinois Republican National Committeeman Richard Porter called Democratic gubernatorial contender JB Pritzker a “billionaire ass-kisser” Tuesday morning in a speech at a joint meeting of the GOP State Central Committee and the Republican County Chairmen’s Association.
“This guy is a billionaire ass-kisser. He is a billionaire ass-kisser,” said Porter. That’s who he is. He kissed Blagojevich’s ass. Now he’s kissing Mike Madigan’s ass. We can’t lose to this guy. Right? He’s a tax cheat. He’s a suck-up. And what’s he want to do? He wants to raise your taxes and hand the government over to Mike Madigan.”
According to Rich Miller a Capitol Fax, who first posted the comments from the speech which was livestreamed, Porter also said Pritzker is “making the Bahamas great again.” The National Committeeman went on to ask the audience to “pardon his language” but that he just wanted to “make sure that a normal guy is going to be in the mansion, the guy that actually pays his taxes and reports his taxes.”
A March Chicago Tribune investigation revealed Pritzker, who has self-funded his gubernatorial campaign, has a network of offshore accounts. But while the billionaire Democratic gubernatorial hopeful may indeed be “making the Bahamas great again,” his GOP rival Bruce Rauner helped to make the Cayman Islands great in the same way. During his tenure as chair at the private equity firm GTCR, Rauner had a personal interest in at least three funds set up in the Caymans by the company. Prior to his term as governor, Rauner also managed to avoid paying any Social Security or Medicare taxes at all in 2010 or 2011.
Rauner, who has also mostly self financed his campaign along with the help of fellow billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, is estimated to be worth close to a billion dollars.
Nazi Republican Nominee Gets Chased Out of Suburban Board Meeting
A Nazi running on the Republican ticket for 3rd District House Rep was booted from a board meeting in suburban Palos Township on Monday after showing up to support a local trustee who’s been under fire for a year for making Islamaphobic comments on social media.
“I didn’t go down for my campaign, I came to offer Sharon Brannigan my support because she’s getting no support from her colleagues,” Arthur Jones, a Holocaust denying Nazi and former leader of the American Nazi Party and current Republican candidate for the 3rd District, told the Palos Patch. “It’s outrageous they let this go on and on for a year. [U.S. Rep Dan] Lipinski hasn’t said a damn word in her defense. Just because she’s a Republican, it’s his responsibility to show some representation.”
Residents of the area have not however, been calling for Brannigan’s resignation “because she’s a Republican,” but rather because of anti-Muslim and white nationalist comments she made on social media.
“What’s Palos doing?” Brannigan wrote on Facebook in 2014. “Why are all our schools filling with Middle Eastern students without proper documentation? What is Dan Lipinski 3rd District Rep doing about it?”
In 2015, Brannigan wrote a Facebook rant containing similar rhetoric used by white nationalists which has been parroted by conservative pundits over the past few years.
“In the 3rd District here in Illinois, our demographics include 25% Muslims of which very few integrate within the communities keeping themselves and their activities hidden from the general population,” she wrote. “Everywhere you turn, from Orland Park to Bridgeview, those numbers are increasing leaps and bounds. We are allowing these people whether they have peaceful intentions or not into our country without question.”
Brannigan wrote a lengthy apology that appeared in the Palos Patch in 2017 after three months of sustained protest by outraged community members.
I am not anti-Arab. I am not anti-Muslim. I am not anti-immigrant,” the apology read in part. “I am the granddaughter of immigrants who came to this country from Ireland and Italy through Ellis Island with a dream of prosperity and goodness. I know what racism is and I know what discrimination is. It was not my intent to reflect any of those feelings.”
Community members however, have continued to protest and demand her resignation. Those organizing the effort say that supporters of both Brannigan and Jones showed up to the meeting with signs that read “Vote for Arthur Jones in November,” “Sharon Brannigan Stays,” and allegedly anti-Semetic slogans.
“We were left with no other option but to immediately deliver our more than 1,000 postcards demanding Brannigan’s resignation,” said Bassem Kawar, National Coordinator of the Campaign to TAKE ON HATE, in a press release. “To force Jones out of the space with our chanting, and to shut the meeting down. We are firm with our stance, and will never allow or encourage any platforms for racist and hate speech.”
Brannigan denounced Jones in an email to the Palos Patch. “To be perfectly clear, I reject and condemn Arthur Jones and his candidacy for any office in any state in our United States of America,” Brannigan wrote. “He and his repulsive blather is such that it is nonsensical for me to waste words or breath on a person so low in character.”