Almost 50 years ago, a Humboldt Park teenager named Joe Berrios visited his local alderman, searching for help with a speeding ticket.
That alderman was Tom Keane, one of the most powerful political operatives in Mayor Richard J. Daley’s Democratic Machine.
Almost magically, Keane made the speeding ticket disappear. In return, a very grateful Joe Berrios joined the Party.
He’s been there ever since, rising through the ranks to where he is today: Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party and Assessor of Cook County.
The story of that ticket was one of many tales told by Berrios when he joined us at the Hideout to discuss politics, patronage, nepotism, property taxes and cleaning toilets in the Humboldt Park field house, among other things.
On hand to video the event was our very own Chris Buddy, who is to videography what Tom Keane was to politics–a powerhouse. Though I don’t think Chris can fix your speeding tickets.
Enjoy the show–it’s must viewing for anyone interested in how Chicago politics really works. See you on November 1, when our guest will be Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
I'm a political columnist for the Reader newspaper and the host of The Ben Joravsky Show, a daily podcast sponsored by the Reader & the Chicago Sun-Times. Just google my name and you'll find the podcast.