Tagged: Perri Irmer

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Not Breaking: Reinsdorf US Cell Boondoggle Lawsuit Dismissed

Five months ago, store rx while his White Sox were in full June swoon, Jerry Reinsdorf was celebrating victory. Unreported and unnoticed, with the silent efficiency of a mob hit, the lawsuit against the White Sox chairman brought by an ex-government employee was weighted down and left for dead in a river of motions, minutes, and memorandums.\n\nIn April 2013, Perri Irmer filed an impassioned claim with a local district court arguing that her individual rights had been violated in a wrongful firing, but the case was a larger indictment on behalf of taxpayers against the enigmatic Reinsdorf, his goose, and his golden egg.\n\nThe goose is the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. In her lawsuit, former ISFA CEO Irmer affirmed what those of us who have been paying attention have long suspected: that the ISFA—the government agency created by the state of Illinois allegedly to promote jobs and economic development through investment in sports stadiums—is in practice an entity that mobilizes public funds in the interest of Reinsdorf and his White Sox ownership partners.\n\nReinsdorf’s golden egg is US Cellular Field. The White Sox home ballpark was built, renovated, and is maintained with public money. Taxes pay for upwards of fifty million in bond debt and stadium upkeep annually while the White Sox pay one or two million dollars in “rent” or “ticket fees,” or whatever they happen to be calling the pittance in any given year.\n\nIrmer was in charge of ISFA operations from 2004 to 2011. Early in her tenure she recognized that the White Sox stadium agreement with the ISFA and state of Illinois was “abusive to taxpayers.” And so Irmer sought to reduce costs of ballpark management, earn more revenue for the state at US Cellular Field from events such as concerts, develop public land around the park, and make White Sox games more accessible to members of surrounding south side communities.\n\nAccording to Irmer, Reinsdorf didn’t like her proposals because they cut into his bottom line. US Cellular as a music venue would compete with the United Center, which is owned by Reinsdorf (and incidentally, way undertaxed). More businesses near the ballpark would mean less revenue for White Sox ownership inside the facility. And Reinsdorf opposed lower-class people of color at US Cellular Field because they undermined the White Sox “brand.”\n\nIrmer also fought against additional public funds being diverted to Reinsdorf and the White Sox. She opposed the Bacardi at the Park agreement in 2010, in which Reinsdorf received both state money to build a restaurant outside of US Cellular Field and all the revenues generated from the bibulous White Sox fans therein. And when Reinsdorf asked for $7 to $10 million additional tax dollars for renovations in 2011, Irmer balked again. Despite Irmer’s protests however, Reinsdorf got his (extra) millions in both cases.\n\nBy Irmer’s account, insiders knew that she wanted to make people in power aware of the ISFA’s wastefulness to taxpayers and Reinsdorf’s undue influence over ISFA decision makers. But few were willing to listen. In late-2010 and early-2011 Irmer attempted to meet with Governor Pat Quinn but was rebuffed by his staff. She had a meeting scheduled with Mayor Rahm Emanuel on April 28, 2011. However, four days before the meeting date, Irmer arrived at work to find herself locked out of her office. She was terminated by the ISFA Board two days after that.\n\nNone of these facts or events were disputed in the judge’s opinion on the case. Instead, Irmer’s lawsuit was thrown out because the judge ruled she had not adequately argued that her civil rights had been violated. Unfortunately, collusion is hard to prove, having clout is not illegal, and by law Jerry Reinsdorf has the right to act in his own business interests.\n\nMeanwhile, no one is acting in the public’s interest as the major stakeholders in the ISFA and US Cellular Field, and that is seriously troubling.

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On Jerry Reinsdorf and Donald Sterling

When the psychotic ranting of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling went public this week, ambulance hospital I think we all felt a little ashamed that such a person a) lived and breathed and b) was somehow richer than everyone everywhere. But the moment that NBA Commissioner Adam Sliver banned Sterling from the league for life, buy viagra our horror and embarrassment turned into collective celebration. Racists be banished! Our faith in society restored!\n\nRejoicing came from sports team owners who are not vomitous cultural anachronisms, including our own Jerry Reinsdorf (and son Michael):\n

We completely support Commissioner Silver’s decision today regarding Clippers owner Donald Sterling … The league’s decision underscores the severity and reprehensible nature of the comments attributed to Donald Sterling … Discrimination and prejudice of any kind have no place in sports or in our society.

\nWho would disagree? But “discrimination and prejudice” take many forms. Bigoted language is one of the obvious manifestations but there are others that are more insidious. Because in the end, racism (like sexism) is about power: or one “race” wielding and maintaining power over another. And this is a project in which Jerry Reinsdorf actively takes part. Continue reading

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Rich Man’s Game: Rising ticket prices in taxpayer funded facilities

In case you didn’t notice, prostate pilule attending pro sporting events has become a pretty elitist activity.  Right up there with lipoplasty and lunch on the veranda.\n\nApparently, purchase medicine this trend will continue unabated.\n\nThe Blackhawks announced last week that they will be raising season-ticket prices again, this time by 16 percent in 2014.  A team spokesperson assured Crain’s that the team is conscious about “pricing out” fans.  But since the average cost for a family of four to attend a Blackhawks game is already $396 in 2013, I guess Hawks management means not to price out fans they haven’t already priced out.\n Continue reading

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Excerpts from Irmer v. Reinsdorf et al

Update: Ben Joravsky outlines more specifics of the lawsuit and contemplates the shame of the White Sox longstanding deal with the city and state at the Reader.\n\nOn Monday, prescription clinic a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Perri Irmer, viagra former CEO of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, claiming that Irmer was wrongfully terminated at the behest of Jerry Reinsdorf because she sought to operate in the best interest of taxpayers rather than the White Sox.  More on the lawsuit in Shia Kapos’ article at Crain’s Chicago Business.\n\nFor more background check out these CSS posts about Reinsdorf and/or the ISFA:\n

\n Continue reading