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Chris Robling and the usual slop from an Illinois Review writer
By Ray Hanania
Illinois Review describes itself as the “Crossroad of the Conservative Community,” but all it is really is a trash heap and waste dump for has-been former political consultant wannabes and sophomoric hypocrites who struggle hard just to be mediocre writers.
No talent. No professional writing awards. Nothing but a political agenda of hate and vicious slander.
The latest garbage on the slander web site blog comes from a true has-been, Chris Robling.
Robling boasts that he has appeared on WGN TV as a “political commentator,” but his insight is so sophomoric that you have to wonder how far political debate has fallen in Chicago. WGN’s political coverage is the lowest viewer ranked coverage in broadcast because of people like Robling. They could do so much better, if they tried.
Robling serves as a principle of Jayne Thompson & Associates, founded by the wife of former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson. And he worked for 5 years as the spokesman for the RTA at a time when the RTA was at its worst, suffering from poor media coverage in a large part thanks to Robling’s lack of media skills.
And with friends and cronies still at the RTA, Robling is pimping for politics when he launches into a rambling tirade on the Illinois Review against METRA Chairman Brad O’Halloran.
METRA has always had a representative from the Orland Park area and when the vacancy for METRA Chairman came up, Brad O’Halloran was a natural nominee. He’s the perfect choice to bring fiscal responsibility to METRA, a critical component of the RTA.
But that’s what irks Robling. O’Halloran was backed by Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth Liz Doody Gorman who made a name for herself several years back when she nearly singlehandedly tripped up disgraced former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger Jr. Stroger has shoved a hike in the sales tax down the throats of taxpayers and it looked like no one could stand in his way. Until he met Gorman.
Gorman three times pushed for the repeal of the sales tax hike and won its eventual rollback saving taxpayers millions.
Robling, like many of the fringe nut jobs out there, supported the sales tax hike, maybe because he was hoping for some contracts.
And as a political hack, he’s no pimping for Alex Clifford, the former METRA CEO who was handed and outrageous $718,000 severance package that taxpayers should be demanded be returned to the public coffers.
In his assault against O’Halloran, Robling compares Clifford to the controversy-plagued former chief of the Orland Fire Protection District Bryant Krizik. Krizik was removed by the OFPD Board after it was discovered that his official Fire District computer laptop was filled with pornography. (I has just been hired as the media consultant for the OFPD when Krizik was removed.)
But Robling thinks someone who has a laptop filled with pornography is the victim of “political patronage?”
Robling is the definition of an idiot!
Robling didn’t point out in his venomous blog scribblings that Cook County taxpayers faced the largest fare increase while Clifford was in charge of the RTA. And, Robling backed that fare hike.
In contrast, O’Halloran, who like Gorman, opposes unnecessary tax hikes and fare increase O’Halloran has vowed to fight to roll some of those increases back.
O’Halloran was the sole trustee at the Village of Orland Park who spoke out against the questionable village financing of the expensive and lavish condo project at 143rd and LaGrange Road. O’Halloran asked the single most important question, “Why should taxpayers help finance that project?”
Robling’s bio on the Thompson PR web site is curious and filled with misleading statements. You have to wonder about his work.
Here’s what is on the site:
“As an Illinois Senate-appointed member of the Chicago Regional Transportation Task Force and Director of Communications for Chicago’s Regional Transportation Authority, Chris has worked on a joint venture with Raytheon, press relations, and business-to-business marketing. He received the American Public Transportation Association’s grand and first prizes for communications achievement in 1996 and 1995, respectively.”
It also implies he is still a director of communications for the RTA, which is not true.
Very misleading if you ask me.
Clifford’s politically motivated rantings and exaggerated accusations of patronage attract Robling because Robling is a “Gorman hater.” Gorman opposes increased taxes and Robling supports them. Gorman opposes no-talent consultants, and Robling is the king of non-talent consultants.
Clifford comes from a former position overseeing a bus depot in California. Don’t Californicate our transportation system, Robling.
The CTA, Metra and Pace are each led by a Board of Directors which determines levels of service, fares and operational policies. The CTA is governed by the Chicago Transit Board whose seven members are appointed by the Mayor of Chicago and the governor. Metra’s Board consists of 11 members appointed by the region’s county boards and the Mayor of Chicago. Pace is governed by a 12-member Board made up of current and former suburban village presidents and mayors.
The RTA’s director of communications is the highly qualified Susan Bisno Massel, who was appointed on July 1, 2013.
Massel worked for the City of Chicago for the past six years, most recently serving as Director of Public Affairs for the Chicago Department of Buildings. She also worked at Chicago’s Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development and the Department of Housing and Economic Development.
When someone like Chris Robling attacks you, that’s usually a sign that you must be doing something good. Taxpayers should see it as an affirmation that their interests are being protected by O’Halloran and by Gorman.
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This post has already been read 9 times!
Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com