He zones. She sells. And it's legal. ...

He zones. She sells. And it's legal. -- Sales, Richard M. Daley

There are 357 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from May 31, 2008, titled He zones. She sells. And it's legal. -- Sales, Richard M. Daley. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

It's hard to miss Barbara O'Connor's face on a drive through North Side neighborhoods, where her real estate signs beckon buyers to "find your way home." In the last decade she has built a thriving business ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

Jim

Chicago, IL

#348 Jun 4, 2008
Estella wrote:
<quoted text>
You'll just have to keep wondering about the answers to your questions. Look over your shoulder and suspect everyone in your vicinity - even your best "friend". Ask yourself over and over - is it this person? is it that person?
The fact of the matter is this - O'connor enjoys her real estate success BECAUSE of her connection. There are hundreds of real estate agents who are hard working, knowledgable, industrious, pleasant, intelligent, EXPERIENCED, ETHICAL and on and on who do not have the clout to succeed to the level of those who have connections.
She does not enjoy her real estate success Because of her husband as you suggest. The property on Lincoln and Foster had another real estate agent for a year without selling any of those condo's. In the meantime, Barbara sold out three properties of similar size on both Lincoln and Foster within three blocks that there was no re-zoning required. That's why the developers went to her because she gets results. In this market all the clout in the world can't move real estate. Simply getting the listing doesn't sell the property, but Alderman O'Connor must have forced the people to buy as well.
Chicago Developer

Chicago, IL

#349 Jun 4, 2008
Jim wrote:
<quoted text>
She does not enjoy her real estate success Because of her husband as you suggest. The property on Lincoln and Foster had another real estate agent for a year without selling any of those condo's. In the meantime, Barbara sold out three properties of similar size on both Lincoln and Foster within three blocks that there was no re-zoning required. That's why the developers went to her because she gets results. In this market all the clout in the world can't move real estate. Simply getting the listing doesn't sell the property, but Alderman O'Connor must have forced the people to buy as well.
Right on Jim. Every developer that buys property to rehab, or land to build on did not need it rezoned. So, does the general public still feel that we can't hire Mrs.O'Connor because her husband is a public official. Seems to me that having an alderman for a spouse is more of a professional liability than an asset.
my kind of town

Plainfield, IL

#350 Jun 4, 2008
Chicago Developer wrote:
<quoted text>Right on Jim. Every developer that buys property to rehab, or land to build on did not need it rezoned. So, does the general public still feel that we can't hire Mrs.O'Connor because her husband is a public official. Seems to me that having an alderman for a spouse is more of a professional liability than an asset.
Now we see another way developers can contribute
to Alderman O'Connor. When they hire the spectacular
Mrs. Alderman on their real estate transactions -
whether zoning is involved or not- it is an "investment" in the future. But blogsites also offer an avenue to show their support and respect-kind of
a hi-tech way to kiss the ring.

Having an Alderman as a husband or an Uncle who
is the Chair of the Zoning Committee is never, ever
a liability within the chummy world of real estate
and development. Otherwise, why would agent Barbara O'Connor and zoning attorney Jim Banks be
so successful? And please, do not say it is because
of their "work ethic" or they "show up on time."

Since: Sep 07

Chicago, IL

#351 Jun 4, 2008
Chicago Developer wrote:
<quoted text>Right on Jim. Every developer that buys property to rehab, or land to build on did not need it rezoned. So, does the general public still feel that we can't hire Mrs.O'Connor because her husband is a public official. Seems to me that having an alderman for a spouse is more of a professional liability than an asset.
Permits, zoning, inspections, etc are all a little easier when you have a friend in City Hall, aren't they? One project today may not require zoning changes, but you never know when that one deal will come along where you just need to have that sidewalk moved or you'd rather not have that inspector look too hard at your electrical work, or you need someone to carefully run rough shod over the neighborhood groups that threaten your ability to get it built, get it sold and then get out of the neighborhood. It's times like these when having a friend in the alderman goes a long way. And what better way to buy that support than throwing a few deals Barbara's way. Sure, you can make campaign contributions but there are those pesky limits to worry about, and all that mess with public scrutiny and all. As a developer, you'd be a fool to list your property with anybody else!

You may be totally above board in what you build/sell, but doesn't it tick you off that your less-than-ethical competitors may be able to take advantage of the situation?

And I'm not saying Patrick O'Connor has EVER done favors for developers. But how can he even be surprised by constituents being so angry about this?
Estella

United States

#352 Jun 4, 2008
Jim wrote:
<quoted text>
She does not enjoy her real estate success Because of her husband as you suggest. The property on Lincoln and Foster had another real estate agent for a year without selling any of those condo's. In the meantime, Barbara sold out three properties of similar size on both Lincoln and Foster within three blocks that there was no re-zoning required. That's why the developers went to her because she gets results. In this market all the clout in the world can't move real estate. Simply getting the listing doesn't sell the property, but Alderman O'Connor must have forced the people to buy as well.
Quit with the Lincoln/Foster - if the alderman had not put her on the map she would not have gotten the project. You don't know and I don't know but what that developer didn't have his eye on a property in O'Connor's ward.
She isn't the only agent in the business who has gotten their names out on the street through obtaining business from a husband - be it a developer, judge, celeb or whatever. Those agents know who they are and so do most other agents.
tired out

Wheeling, IL

#353 Jun 4, 2008
So many of you sound like a vigilante hooded lynch mob. If you have an even partially open mind please keep reading, if you've already decided, don't waste your time..

To the O'Connor supporters - you can't make blind people see - the facts are on the Alderman's website - with the timeline that the tabloid omitted.

To those opposed to the O'Connors -
I'd ask you to re-read the original article from a skeptical viewpoint, look for facts only, you will see the holes in the story - then go to the alderman's website - the holes will be filled in.

Thank you
Radius

Dallas, TX

#354 Jun 4, 2008
If it smells fishy wrote:
<quoted text>
According to the B&W website, Ms. O'Connor is:
#1 Agent in Volume at Baird & Warner 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
#1 Agent in units sold out of Baird & Warner's 1600 agents
Consistently in the top 1% of Baird & Warner's agents since 2000
Baird & Warner's #1 Development Agent
As the broker who holds Barbara O'Connor's license, I think they could be considered as having something to gain by the relationship.
Do you think she sat her Open Houses,all the new agents work for her. One time there were 20 agents doing Open Houses for Ms. O. What do you think they got for a commission? Far less than they would if they had there own business. Baird&Warner was a factory for Ms. O's empire. New agents were encourage to do Open Houses as she could not possible cover them alone or with her poorly paid staff. Success yes, ethics no
my kind of town

Plainfield, IL

#355 Jun 4, 2008
tired out wrote:
So many of you sound like a vigilante hooded lynch mob. If you have an even partially open mind please keep reading, if you've already decided, don't waste your time..
To the O'Connor supporters - you can't make blind people see - the facts are on the Alderman's website - with the timeline that the tabloid omitted.
To those opposed to the O'Connors -
I'd ask you to re-read the original article from a skeptical viewpoint, look for facts only, you will see the holes in the story - then go to the alderman's website - the holes will be filled in.
Thank you
And I'd ask anyone with a brain to give it up.
The "arrangement" has been revealed to all-
and it stinks just as much to the city as it does in 40.
The O'Connors had a 10 year ride. She has made
plenty. He still gets plenty. Let them do the right
thing and confine her business outside the Ward.
Or, they will be perceived for exactly what they are-
arrogant, greedy and totally self-serving. Otherwise
why not erase any doubts? Prove the detractors wrong
The solution is very simple, if you want a solution.
Chris

AOL

#356 Jun 4, 2008
tired out wrote:
So many of you sound like a vigilante hooded lynch mob. If you have an even partially open mind please keep reading, if you've already decided, don't waste your time..
To the O'Connor supporters - you can't make blind people see - the facts are on the Alderman's website - with the timeline that the tabloid omitted.
To those opposed to the O'Connors -
I'd ask you to re-read the original article from a skeptical viewpoint, look for facts only, you will see the holes in the story - then go to the alderman's website - the holes will be filled in.
Thank you
As Kass's column today tells us, Alderman O'Connor requested a meeting with the editorial board to complain about the legitimate coverage of this story. He, like you and the rest of his supporters, have insinuated that there are factual inaccuracies in this coverage - what are they? I went to the alderman's response, it still doesn't address why it is ethical for Barbara O'Connor to be taking clients on projects were the O'Connor family stands to make a financial gain after her husband acted on behalf of the constituents in the 40th Ward and made zoning changes? No one is saying it is not legal, we are saying it is unethical.

This is an opportunity for Barbara O'Connor to continue doing real estate practices, but to do so outside of the 40th Ward, and with clients who did not receive any zoning changes that Alderman O'Connor acted on with a vote in the city council. If she practiced real estate in the suburbs or in the city on projects were her husband has no conflict of interest, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

So what are the factual inaccuracies in this article?

And please stop with this ridiculous notion that we are some sort of angry mob, filled with hate, smear the character of the good and decent O'Connor's, blah, blah, blah.... You just come off sounding hysterical. Alderman O'Connor is a public official, accountable for his actions to the public and subject to the legitimate press inquiries - this is still America, with the first amendment to ensure Governments are subject to the will of the people who give it its legitimacy.
Estella

United States

#357 Jun 5, 2008
tired out wrote:
So many of you sound like a vigilante hooded lynch mob. If you have an even partially open mind please keep reading, if you've already decided, don't waste your time..
To the O'Connor supporters - you can't make blind people see - the facts are on the Alderman's website - with the timeline that the tabloid omitted.
To those opposed to the O'Connors -
I'd ask you to re-read the original article from a skeptical viewpoint, look for facts only, you will see the holes in the story - then go to the alderman's website - the holes will be filled in.
Thank you
The only "mob" is the group of O'Connor cronies who monitor or are requested to protest a negative post (or even a neutral post) about the O'Connors.
Archie Bunker

Tinley Park, IL

#358 Jun 5, 2008
Crook County, Chicago way, vote fraud, kickbacks, payoffs, corruption....
josepha

Hammond, IN

#359 Jun 5, 2008
Your all jealous buggers. If you had the opportunity, you would do the same. Jealous, jealous...
Estella

United States

#360 Jun 5, 2008
josepha wrote:
Your all jealous buggers. If you had the opportunity, you would do the same. Jealous, jealous...
You are saying that all humans are unethical and greedy. I think you should speak for yourself without assuming and stating everyone else is the same as you or the O'Connor couple.
josepha

Hammond, IN

#361 Jun 5, 2008
Estella wrote:
<quoted text>
You are saying that all humans are unethical and greedy. I think you should speak for yourself without assuming and stating everyone else is the same as you or the O'Connor couple.
Everything that they have done is totally within the law. Let's see what you have and what they have, then talk. Heh, heh, heh.

Since: Sep 07

Chicago, IL

#362 Jun 5, 2008
josepha wrote:
<quoted text>Everything that they have done is totally within the law. Let's see what you have and what they have, then talk. Heh, heh, heh.
It's pretty obvious what they have. They have an arrangement that offers them an opportunity to capitalize on developers seeking special access to the alderman. It's a conflict of interest, any way you slice it.
josepha

Hammond, IN

#363 Jun 5, 2008
It's not illegal now is it! It's business, any you want to slice it.

Since: Sep 07

Chicago, IL

#364 Jun 5, 2008
josepha wrote:
It's not illegal now is it! It's business, any you want to slice it.
Only someone benefiting from the arrangement would see it this ways. This is not business, this is public office funded by taxpayers. This is trusting an elected alderman to make decisions motivated by the best interest of the neighborhood rather than real estate commission his wife stands to make. I guess we should expect O'Connor's campaign slogan for the next election to be: "Not doing anything illegal." The pinnacle of ethics in city government. Sad.
zarathrusta

Springfield, IL

#365 Jun 5, 2008
Chris wrote:
<quoted text>
As Kass's column today tells us, Alderman O'Connor requested a meeting with the editorial board to complain about the legitimate coverage of this story. He, like you and the rest of his supporters, have insinuated that there are factual inaccuracies in this coverage - what are they? I went to the alderman's response, it still doesn't address why it is ethical for Barbara O'Connor to be taking clients on projects were the O'Connor family stands to make a financial gain after her husband acted on behalf of the constituents in the 40th Ward and made zoning changes? No one is saying it is not legal, we are saying it is unethical.
This is an opportunity for Barbara O'Connor to continue doing real estate practices, but to do so outside of the 40th Ward, and with clients who did not receive any zoning changes that Alderman O'Connor acted on with a vote in the city council. If she practiced real estate in the suburbs or in the city on projects were her husband has no conflict of interest, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
So what are the factual inaccuracies in this article?
And please stop with this ridiculous notion that we are some sort of angry mob, filled with hate, smear the character of the good and decent O'Connor's, blah, blah, blah.... You just come off sounding hysterical. Alderman O'Connor is a public official, accountable for his actions to the public and subject to the legitimate press inquiries - this is still America, with the first amendment to ensure Governments are subject to the will of the people who give it its legitimacy.
Talk about hysteria - The spouse of an alderman sells real estate all over Chicago. Said alderman gets approval not only from the City Law Department but also the Ethics Board when voting on related matters. The alderman follows the rules and recommendations of both.

This is a crime? There's plenty of hysteria on this blog, but it's not coming from where you might expect.
Mark Amoruso

New York, NY

#366 Jun 5, 2008
I can't believe all you losers continue to write in this blog about this tired subject.

GET A FRIGGIN LIFE!
Estella

United States

#367 Jun 5, 2008
Mark Amoruso wrote:
I can't believe all you losers continue to write in this blog about this tired subject.
GET A FRIGGIN LIFE!
Hardy Har Har! So what are YOU doing on here?

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