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Chicago Alderman: No Building Permits For Chick-Fil-A

Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno is the latest politician to weigh in on the controversy that has erupted over the political positions taken in the past by the owners of restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A, and he also happens to be the one trying to use the most heavy-handed tactic to punish a private company for the political beliefs of its owners:

A Chicago alderman wants to kill Chick-fil-A’s plans to build a restaurant in his increasingly trendy Northwest Side ward because the fast-food chain’s top executive vocally opposes gay marriage.

Ald.Proco “Joe” Moreno announced this week that he will block Chick-fil-A’s effort to build its second Chicago store, which would be in the Logan Square neighborhood, following company President Dan Cathy’s remarks last week that he was “guilty as charged” for supporting the biblical definition of marriage as between a man and woman.

“If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the 1st Ward,” Moreno told the Tribune on Tuesday.

Moreno stated his position in strong terms, referring to Cathy’s “bigoted, homophobic comments” in a proposed opinion page piece that an aide also sent to Tribune reporters. “Because of this man’s ignorance, I will now be denying Chick-fil-A’s permit to open a restaurant in the 1st Ward.”

The alderman has the ideological support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,” the mayor said in a statement when asked about Moreno’s decision. “They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”

Moreno is relying on a rarely violated Chicago tradition known as aldermanic privilege, which dictates that City Council members defer to the opinion of the ward alderman on local issues. Last year Moreno wielded that weapon to block plans for aWal-Martin his ward, saying he had issues with the property owner and thatWal-Martwas not “a perfect fit for the area.”

Chick-fil-A already has obtained zoning for a restaurant in the 2500 block of North Elston Avenue, but it must seek council approval to divide the land so it can purchase an out lot near Home Depot, Moreno said.

In opposing Chick-fil-A, Moreno stakes out a position likely to resonate in his hipster ward and much of the rest of the city, where public officials have long cultivated the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. But Moreno also enters the complex intersection of property and free-speech rights.

Moreno gets one thing absolutely wrong here. There’s absolutely no evidence that Chick-fil-A or its franchisees have ever discriminated against anyone. Indeed, I would bet there are gays and lesbians working and and eating at a Chick-Fil-A somewhere as you read these words. We aren’t talking about discrimination at all, we’re talking about the political opinions and activities of the owners of the company. Now, I happen to disagree with those opinions myself but the fact of the matter is that the position that Don Cathy and his fellow owners hold on same-sex marriage is still, by an admittedly small and shrinking margin, the majority opinion in the United States, a fact most recently affirmed in the state of North Carolina. I’d like to change that, and I think it will, but that’s a fact. Where’s the logic in targeting Chick-fil-A when they happen to hold an opinion that a majority of Americans continue to hold? The most important fact, though, is that Moreno lies when he says that Chick-fil-A is discriminating against anyone and unless he can point to even a single overt act committed by the company, its employees, its franchees, and their employees, he should retract that statement immediately.

But the lies are only the first mistake that Moreno makes, the second is his attempt to use the power of the state to punish what he considers to be unacceptable political beliefs.

As Dave Schuler explains, Chicago Alderman have extraordinary power over the issuance of building permits in their wards because they must sign off on all building permits that are issued. While this sounds like its essentially a pro forma function, in reality the Alderman have essentially unlimited discretion in whether to sign off on a permit or not, and can apparently base their decision on anything they wish. This being Chicago, of course, the potential for bribery of one kind or another is really rather obvious, but this episode also demonstrates how that power can be used in ways that may not be corrupt, but which still give politicians far more power than they reasonably ought to have. If an Alderman can grant or deny a permit for any reason, for example, then what’s to prevent him from using it to discriminate against particular ethnic groups or, in this case, to punish people who have political opinions different than him? What’s to stop him from using it to ruin the business of someone who backed the guy who ran against him in the last election. Apparently, there’s nothing to stop him, at least not inside the Chicago political system.

Regardless of Chicago politics, though, it is really rather obvious that what Moreno is attempting to do here is completely unconstitutional:

Denying a private business permits because of such speech by its owner is a blatant First Amendment violation. Even when it comes to government contracting — where the government is choosing how to spend government money — the government generally may not discriminate based on the contractor’s speech, see Board of County Commissioners v. Umbehr (1996). It is even clearer that the government may not make decisions about how people will be allowed to use their own property based on the speaker’s past speech.

And this is so even if there is no statutory right to a particular kind of building permit (and I don’t know what the rule is under Illinois law). Even if the government may deny permits to people based on various reasons, it may not deny permits to people based on their exercise of his First Amendment rights. It doesn’t matter if the applicant expresses speech that doesn’t share the government officials’ values, or even the values of the majority of local citizens. It doesn’t matter if the applicant’s speech is seen as “disrespect[ful]” of certain groups. The First Amendment generally protects people’s rights to express such views without worrying that the government will deny them business permits as a result. That’s basic First Amendment law — but Alderman Moreno, Mayor Menino, and, apparently, Mayor Emanuel (if his statement is quoted in context), seem to either not know or not care about the law.

A Chicago politician that doesn’t care about the law? How shocking.

Josh Barro points out, correctly, that this political attack against Chick-fil-A, which Boston Mayor Mike Menino started, is no different than the efforts that some engaged in two years ago to get New York City to deny permits to the Islamic Community Center being built at the site of an old Burlington Coat Factory a block-and-a-half away from the site of the World Trade Center. In both cases, people were seeking to deny permits solely because of the content of the speech of the people applying for them. The First Amendment is very clear about this. The government cannot punish an entity solely based on the content of its speech, and Alderman Moreno has made it eminently clear that he would seek to deny a permit solely because he doesn’t like the content of the applicant’s speech. Moreno says that Chick-fil-A would not find a welcoming community in his ward. If he’s correct, then they’ll quickly find that out I suspect. However, it’s not his place to deny them the attempt to try solely because he didn’t like what one of their owners say.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Chad S says:

    You can’t deny someone a building permit because of religious beliefs, which is what the Ground Zero mosque opponents were doing. Thats clearly unconstitutional under the 1st amendment. Barring a building permit because of political beliefs is a gray area at best.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

  2. PD Shaw says:

    @Chad S: The First Amendment guarantees the right of free expression against the government as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  3. jan says:

    So, the scenario is that a powerful Chicago Alderman is upset about the thoughts/opinions held by a restaurant chain ower who isn’t actively discriminating against anyone. But, it’s ok for the Alderman to actively discriminate against this owner from getting a building permit because he doesn’t like how this person thinks?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  4. mantis says:

    The most important fact, though, is that Moreno lies when he says that Chick-fil-A is discriminating against anyone and unless he can point to even a single overt act committed by the company, its employees, its franchees, and their employees, he should retract that statement immediately.

    What statement?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  5. legion says:

    The Chick-Fil-A CEO was stupid to bring his beliefs – regardless of how shared they are among the company – into his business. It’s unprofessional, incompetent, and opens him personally up to significant shareholder lawsuits – his use of the shareholder assets as a platform for his politics has demonstrably damaged the company.

    That said, responding like this is absolutely unacceptable. Companies and private citizens have every right to vote with their wallets, but what Moreno is doing is so appallingly unconstitutional I’m shocked – even by Chicago standards. I have a very strong suspicion that he’ll be making a retraction ASAP after the city’s lawyers get done having aneurisms and call him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  6. @mantis:

    This one from the Chicago Tribune quoting Moreno:

    “If you are discriminating against a segment of the community,”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. jan says:

    @legion:

    “Companies and private citizens have every right to vote with their wallets,”,/i>

    Yep, that’s how you counter or buffer opinions that aren’t your own. And, BTW, that kind of protest works, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “If you are discriminating against a segment of the community,”

    You do understand that this statement makes no claim that Chick-Fil-A is in fact discriminating, right? One assumes he thinks they are, but he doesn’t actually say that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  9. mantis says:

    Aldermanic privilege was the subject of a federal case in 2009, though I don’t think the outcome has much relevance here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. Dave Schuler says:

    I have a very strong suspicion that he’ll be making a retraction ASAP after the city’s lawyers get done having aneurisms and call him.

    It’s no accident Chicago is called “the city that settles”. This very day the city agreed, without debate, to pay more than $7 million to two individuals who were tortured by police during the chiefdom of Jon Burge, since convicted of perjury and serving time in prison.

    What will happen is that Chick-Fil-A will sue, the city will settle, the taxpayers of Chicago will pay the costs, and Moreno will get re-elected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. sam says:

    “Denying a private business permits because of such speech by its owner is a blatant First Amendment violation.”

    I wonder about that. I think the good alderman is being a good panderman, but I’m not so sure he principle stated is correct. Suppose, for example, the KKK wished to set up an outreach office in say, Watts. Would the powers that be be on firm ground in denying a permit for such on the “You can’t yell ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater” principle?

    Not that this case approaches the hypo by less that a zillion parsecs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  12. jan says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    “What will happen is that Chick-Fil-A will sue, the city will settle, the taxpayers of Chicago will pay the costs, and Moreno will get re-elected. “

    …cut, dried and correct.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. mantis says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    What will happen is that Chick-Fil-A will sue, the city will settle, the taxpayers of Chicago will pay the costs, and Moreno will get re-elected.

    This assumes Moreno will actually deny the permit, and isn’t just grandstanding.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  14. Dave Schuler says:

    It’s a perfect situation for him. He’s elected by the voters of the 1st Ward. All he needs to do is appeal to them. Court costs, fees, and penalties are paid by the taxpayers of the city as a whole.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Vast Variety says:

    While I don’t think it’s right to deny them the building permit, anytime the owners of the company donate to the National Orginization for Marriage or any other orginization working to deny marriage to same sex couples then they are discriminating.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  16. al-Ameda says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    What will happen is that Chick-Fil-A will sue, the city will settle, the taxpayers of Chicago will pay the costs, and Moreno will get re-elected.

    Dead on, Dave.
    Sometimes cities get by despite the inexplicably stupid actions of their elected officials.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. @legion:

    It’s unprofessional, incompetent, and opens him personally up to significant shareholder lawsuits – his use of the shareholder assets as a platform for his politics has demonstrably damaged the company.

    One must have shareholders before one can have shareholder lawsuits.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  18. PD Shaw says:

    @sam: The SCOTUS threw out the “clear and present danger” test, which is what your alluding to here, back in the 60s. Today, NAZIs have the right to parade past Holocaust survivors, and you can’t simply say something bad might happen. We’re all supposed to grow callouses and make our own speech.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. Drew says:

    @mantis:

    Please stop with the high school debating tactics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  20. sam says:

    @PD Shaw:

    I think it’s somewhat more opaque than that right now, PD.

    [T]he Supreme Court appeared to return to Holmes’s views [see, e.g. Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 40 S. Ct. 17, 63 L. Ed. 1173 (1919)] in Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444, 89 S. Ct. 1827, 23 L. Ed. 2d 430 (1969). In Brandenburg, the Court reversed the conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader under a state statute, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.13, prohibiting advocacy of crime and violence as a necessary means to accomplish political reform. The Court held that a state could not “forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force … except where such advocacy is directed to producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” Though the Court’s opinion fails to mention specifically the phrase clear and present danger, many Constitutional Law scholars have seen Brandenburg as a return to the Holmes-Brandeis immediacy test first set forth in Abrams. However, the Court has not specifically addressed the clear-and-present-danger doctrine since Brandenburg, and thus it is not clear whether the Court would embrace it anew or would fashion an entirely new standard for determining whether, in certain circumstances, free expression can be punished. [Source]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. mantis says:

    @Drew:

    Please stop with the high school debating tactics.

    Sorry if you don’t think it matters whether the Alderman made a specific claim or whether he will actually try to block a permit, but it does.

    You live here in Chicago, right? You know these guys love to pander and love the sound of their own voices, but they often don’t follow through on what they say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. michael reynolds says:

    You know, a cynic might almost suspect this whole system was set up to allow alderman to receive convincing arguments of the cash variety.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  23. Chad S says:

    @PD Shaw: If Chicago passed a law saying that Chick-fila(and its executives) had to apologize and disavow their beliefs over gay marriage, that would be a fair point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. mantis says:

    You know, a cynic might almost suspect this whole system was set up to allow alderman to receive convincing arguments of the cash variety.

    Welcome to Chicago!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  25. rudderpedals says:

    Is Illinois weird? A typical Florida municipality would have an open planning & zoning heariiing where members to argue over site plans and such and then vote with appeal to a city council for another vote that itself appealable through the courts for a de novo review.
    I shudder to think my state can be used as an example of how to avoid bad stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. I’ll let Dave Schuler explain it when it pops back in, but the short explanation is —- it’s Chicago

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. Dave Schuler says:

    @rudderpedals:

    I think the short answer is that in Chicago the mayor and the members of the City Council wield a lot of unchecked power.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. legion says:

    @Stormy Dragon: True, but even privately-held companies have people they’re beholden to, and I’ve only seen that guy described as the CEO, rather than the owner, so he’s still somebody’s employee…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. mantis says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    I think the short answer is that in Chicago the mayor and the members of the City Council wield a lot of unchecked power.

    That’s why Rahm thought being mayor here would be a dream job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. PD Shaw says:

    @rudderpedals: The aldermanic veto privilege appears to be unique to Chicago, but in any event, a denial of the building permit would be appealable to the courts on a variety of theories, not just the First Amendment problem, but as an abuse of police powers, unconstitutional taking or vindictive action equal protection. Obviously though they might just walk away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. Racehorse says:

    @Vast Variety: Do you check out the beliefs and statements of every business that you visit? How about people like Henry Ford, J.C. Penney, Wendys, Colonel Harlan Sanders, William Fox (Fox Films), Walt Disney? Have you ever studied the beliefs of the Wright Brothers before you flew on a plane? Do you use light bulbs – check out Tom Edison. This whole thing is ridiculous. Chick – Fil- A has great food, service, and great employees who enjoy working there. Mr. Cathy has a right to his opinions, and I have a right to eat at Chick – Fil- A. The CFAs around here are always packed!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  32. Moderate Mom says:

    @legion:

    Before opining on who the President and CEO of Chick-Fil-a might have a responsibility towards, you might want to Google the company and check out their history and ownership. It is a privately held company, owned by the Cathy family. Dan Cathy, said President and CEO, is the son of Truett Cathy, the founder of the company. Dan’s beliefs are no different than his father’s and there are no public shareholders to make happy.

    Let Chicago (and Boston, for that matter) Chick-Fil-a their permits and let the lawsuits commence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. Tlaloc says:

    Denying a private business permits because of such speech by its owner is a blatant First Amendment violation.

    Bu-wha?

    How do you figure?
    A) chick-fil-a has exactly no first amendment rights as it’s not a person, much less a citizen of the US.

    B) the first amendment in no way guarantees you not to have any repercussions for your speech (beyond not having them treated as a crime). If you spout off about how much you hate republicans and the local republican governor decides not to extend you a privelege (and that’s exactly what a business license is, you have no right to one at all), then that’s tough. If the people feel like it’s an abuse of power they can throw him out of office but your likelihood of winning a constitutional case is 0.

    If Chick-fil-a had loudly protested that Boston/Chicago were the new Soddom and Gomorrah nobody would be surprised that said cities chose not to give them licenses. It’s exactly the same thing. The cities have decided those businesses are not good reflections of the city’s values. Chick-fil-a gets to take a hike.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  34. Dexter says:

    @Tlaloc:”Chick-fil-A gets to take a hike”: Is there no shame anymore? Is there absolutely no shame? Do the LGBT people feel that everyone else has to be 100% in lockstep, total agreement with their opinions and viewpoints or risk their wrath? Is this what’s going on now? Evidently. We all now have to bow to their throne.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  35. Dodd says:

    @Chad S:

    Barring a building permit because of political beliefs is a gray area at best.

    No. It’s not even the tiniest bit grey. It’s plain black letter law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  36. JKB says:

    Actually, given this is Chicago, the Alderman probably has already received his bribe but he couldn’t just sign off on the permit/license. So, he makes this unconstitutional statement for which he can never prove any denial by himself isn’t due to suppression of free speech. So now, the city will settle, the permit will be given and Chick-fil-A will open.

    Of course, the local knowledge is that Chick-fil-A have no customers. I wonder if that will turn out to be reliable?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. JKB says:

    @Dodd:

    It would have been a “grey area” if the Alderman had just kept his mouth shut and denied the permit due to his privilege. Chick-fil-A would never have been able to prove retaliation for free speech. But now….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  38. Ben says:

    By the way, Doug: Boston’s unintelligible mushmouth of a mayor is Tom Menino, not Mike.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. superdestroyer says:

    Another great example of the coming one-party-state. Do what those in power tell you to do or the weight of the government will land on you. Does anyone believe that anyone in Chicago will ever challenge those in power in Chicago when they know that there job, business, home, and family will be punish for expressing an idea that is not approved of by the government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  40. Moderate Mom says:

    While out running errands with my son this evening, we wound up eating at a Chick-Fil-a. As usual, the restaurant was packed and the drive-thru line wound around the building twice. As we pulled into the parking lot, we were talking about politicians in Chicago and Boston saying that Chick-Fil-a would not be welcome there. My son cracked that given the crowd, it was obvious that no one is our city gives a damn about gay marriage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  41. Tony Lopez-Cisneros says:

    STUFF YOURSELVES WITH CHICK-FIL-A SAINTS; Because, Chicago’s Political “Prostitutes” Are Telling Chick-Fil-A To “Stuff It” !
    Chicago’s 1st Ward Alderman, Joseph “Proco(pio)” Moreno, Has Gone On Record Saying He Is Opposed To A New Chick-Fil-A Planning To Open In Chicago’s Near-North-East Side.

    He Has The Support (& Backing, No Doubt In The Next Chicago Aldermanic-Election$) Of Closet-Sodomite-Mayor Rahm Emanuel; Who, Has Also Gone Publicly On Record & CBS-News Radio LYING LIKE THE DEVIL (Emanuel’s Spriritual Father) And Saying “Chick-Fil-A’s Values Are Not Chicago’s Values” !

    I Believe DuSable (The True Historic Founder Of Chicago, IL), Dwight Lyman Moody (Founder Of The Moody Bible Institute) & Old-Fashioned Christian-Fundamentalist Evangelist, PAUL RADER, Would Unequivocally Disagree, Condemn & ANATHAMIZE Chicago’s Present Pro-Sodomite Mayor Rahm Emanuel For His HISTORICALLY PERVERTED WORDS About/Against CHICAGO, THE MORAL POSITION OF THE MAJORITY OF THE CITIZENS OF CHICAGO & THE PRESENT OPINION AGAINST THE SODOMITES & SODOMY TAKEN BY THE CITIZENS OF CHICAGO, IL, TODAY !

    In 2011, Alderman Moreno Endorsed Mayoral Candidate Gery Chico–Whose Union Supporters Referred To Rahm Emanuel As “THAT WALL ST. JUDAS” !

    **ALD. MORENO HAS “FLIPPED” & IS NOW A “JUDAS” HIMSELF !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  42. Tony Lopez-Cisneros says:

    STUFF YOURSELVES WITH CHICK-FIL-A SAINTS; Because, Chicago’s Political “Prostitutes” Are Telling Chick-Fil-A To “Stuff It” !

    Chicago’s 1st Ward Alderman, Joseph “Proco(pio)” Moreno, Has Gone On Record Saying He Is Opposed To A New Chick-Fil-A Planning To Open In Chicago’s Near-North-West Side.

    He Has The Support (& Backing, No Doubt In The Next Chicago Aldermanic-Election$) Of Closet-Sodomite-Mayor Rahm Emanuel; Who, Has Also Gone Publicly On Record & CBS-News Radio LYING LIKE THE DEVIL (Emanuel’s Spriritual Father) And Saying “Chick-Fil-A’s Values Are Not Chicago’s Values” !

    I Believe DuSable (The True Historic Founder Of Chicago, IL), Dwight Lyman Moody (Founder Of The Moody Bible Institute) & Old-Fashioned Christian-Fundamentalist Evangelist, PAUL RADER, Would Unequivocally Disagree, Condemn & ANATHAMIZE Chicago’s Present Pro-Sodomite Mayor Rahm Emanuel For His HISTORICALLY PERVERTED WORDS About/Against CHICAGO, THE MORAL POSITION OF THE MAJORITY OF THE CITIZENS OF CHICAGO & THE PRESENT OPINION AGAINST THE SODOMITES & SODOMY TAKEN BY THE CITIZENS OF CHICAGO, IL, TODAY !

    In 2011, Alderman Moreno Endorsed Mayoral Candidate Gery Chico–Whose Union Supporters Referred To Rahm Emanuel As “THAT WALL ST. JUDAS” !

    **ALD. MORENO HAS “FLIPPED” & IS NOW A “JUDAS” HIMSELF !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  43. @Tony Lopez-Cisneros:
    @Tony Lopez-Cisneros:

    I hope you’re happy now, Moderate Mom. This is all your fault!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  44. Tony Lopez-Cisneros says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    What’s The Matter “stormy dragon” From The Pit Of HELL ?

    Jealous That The Cathy Family Is Acting NO DIFFERENT THAN The BILLIONAIR PRITZKER-FAMILY OF CHICAGO: WHO BASICALLY “OWN” CHICAGO MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL & HAVE RECENTLY “BOUGHT” CHICAGO 1st WARD ALDERMAN JOE “PROCO(PIO) MORENO ?

    Heck, When I Ran For Congress In ’98, ’02 & ’04, I Had A PRITZKER “JEW”-LAWYER AT MY DISPOSAL VIA KEVIN GORE: NEPHEW OF FORMER V.P. AL GORE !

    THE MONIED “JEW” BILLIONAIRES / TRILLIONAIRES PRITZKERS, ROCKEFELLERS, ROTHCHILDS, MORGANS, SCHIFFS & ETC. ARE ALL FAMILY OWNED BANKING-BUSINESSES: ALA & AKA ILLUMINATI–FREEMASONIC–NEW-WORLD-ORDER BANKSTER-GANGSTERS !

    SO SHUT UP HYPOCRITE & ROBBER-BARON ASS-KISSER !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  45. mantis says:

    Tony, why are you so angry?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Hell, if you think this Alderman is an EEG flatliner then you should see some of the talking mannequins who occupy San Francisco’s council chambers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. Moderate Mom says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I’m not responsible for whoever that slightly unhinged person wrote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. Oak Park Dave says:

    About Chick-Fil-A :

    If you like the results you a getting, true insanity would be to change what you are doing. Whatever Chick-Fil-A is doing, it is working particularly well. The chain has the highest estimated EBITDA among US chicken chains and higher per store profit than the golden arches. What makes it so amazing is that it is closed on Sunday while its competitors are open.

    The Cathy family will probably donate the money from the settlement to an organization of their choice . . .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  49. michael reynolds says:

    @Tony Lopez-Cisneros:

    You need more capital letters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. Commonist says:

    Homophobes are subhuman and should be happy they can get building permits ANYWHERE in the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  51. Racehorse says:

    People need to take a look at the good that this Mr. Cathy has done. I read things he has said and believes in. I found not one hateful statement and no judgments on any person or group. Look at the “City of Refuge” and “Rock Ranch” organizations that help so many people of every race and background: organizations that Mr. Cathy is very involved in. Go the website:
    cathyfamily.com to learn more about this amazing person. A real inspiration to everyone!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  52. rudderpedals says:

    @Dave Schuler: I think I understand your frustration a lot better now. Before, you could have found me in the focus group that refused to believe a city cowould work this way. I’d like to learn more. Are there any good histories of Chicago politics? Something like Caro’s Master of the Senate but for ChicagoN Perhaps a Daley bio?

    @PD Shaw: Thank you for the caselaw. ISTM the alderman has issued a blank check to the franchisee, or perhaps a blank building permit. Wow

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. mantis says:

    Are there any good histories of Chicago politics?

    To Serve and Collect is good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. Luke Easter says:

    Chick-Fil-A vs. Chicago

    With all the violence going on in the world there is one controversy,
    And it is not about an Alderman’s or Chicago Mayor’s idiosyncrasy,
    It has to do with all pertinent things notwithstanding, a Chick-Fill-A,
    The denial of opening an eatery because of what the owner had to say.

    Mind you, this is Chicago where gang violence is on par with Iraq,
    Going to public school is like Afghanistan as you might come back,
    Certified dead, not from RPG’s or IED’s but from gunshot wounds,
    7 year-old Heaven Sutton killed selling lemonade was way too soon.

    Rham Emanuel lashed out at thugs responsible, “Who raised you?”
    Well, actually Mr. Mayor, the exact same question is proposed too,
    For your agreeing with Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno on this ban,
    As company President Dan Cathy agrees with God & not with man.

    “Chick-Fil-A values are not Chicago values,” this mayor has said,
    I should hope so, imagine eating chicken fingers ending up dead,
    While drug transactions, car jacking & all felonies continue to rise,
    I’ve never heard of death by gunshot for not turning over your fries.

    16 year-old Shakaki Aspy sitting on her porch, shot thrice in her chest,
    If this was on the battlefield in a war zone, maybe a bulletproof vest?
    Also shot was Leon Cunningham 18, who had been wounded before,
    Already confined to a wheelchair no longer able to walk out the door.

    First Amendment concerns aren’t being violated yet zoning is not a right,
    However, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is,” so why the fight?
    Anyone who finds quoting the bible offensive may they not eat elsewhere?
    Mr. Mayor, Mr. Alderman aren’t there more serious issues for you to care?

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  55. rudderpedals says:

    @mantis: Thank you. This wasn’t in my library but I’ll look in B&N. I did find a copy of “Grafters and Goo Goos” in Venice to get me warmed up.

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  56. mantis says:

    @Luke Easter:

    With all the violence going on in the world there is one controversy,

    Really? Just one? I don’t think that’s accurate.

    Mind you, this is Chicago where gang violence is on par with Iraq,

    It is? Please explain your assertion, with data.

    Anyone who finds quoting the bible offensive may they not eat elsewhere?

    Chick-Fil-A can sell chicken elsewhere too.

    Mr. Mayor, Mr. Alderman aren’t there more serious issues for you to care?

    Why do you think one statement about an issue = don’t care about all other issues?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  57. legion says:

    @Moderate Mom:
    @Stormy Dragon:
    Mea culpa – I didn’t realize they were quite _that_ privately held.

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  58. wr says:

    @Tony Lopez-Cisneros: “Heck, When I Ran For Congress In ’98, ’02 & ’04, I Had A PRITZKER “JEW”-LAWYER AT MY DISPOSAL VIA KEVIN GORE: NEPHEW OF FORMER V.P. AL GORE !

    THE MONIED “JEW” BILLIONAIRES / TRILLIONAIRES PRITZKERS, ROCKEFELLERS, ROTHCHILDS, MORGANS, SCHIFFS & ETC. ARE ALL FAMILY OWNED BANKING-BUSINESSES: ALA & AKA ILLUMINATI–FREEMASONIC–NEW-WORLD-ORDER BANKSTER-GANGSTERS !”

    Well, no wonder you didn’t win. If you’d run for congress in 2010, you would have fit right in with the rest of the Tea Party morons, and you’d be happily in the House proposing legislation demanding that all public school science classes teach the Rapture as proven fact.

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  59. Sammieluke says:

    You wan’t to know why Chick-fil-a doesn’t “actively discriminate”? Because it’s against the law. Saying that Chicago is denying the company because of the COO said his opinion that it doesn’t reflect the company is wrong. The COO speaks for the company and is donating the company’s money to the hate groups.

    You can deny building permits for any reason you want, it isn’t illegal.

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