Saturday, October 15, 2016

Jerry Brown Alleged to have Mob Ties

A book revives decades-old charges that California attorney general candidate and Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown had close ties with individuals related to organized crime during Brown’s tenure in the 1970s as governor of California.

Written by respected investigative journalist Gus Russo and published by the American division of British publishers Bloomsbury, the book, Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America's Hidden Power Brokers, charges in part that during the 1970s, Brown took campaign contributions from mob figures and, in return, granted them political favors.

Russo has written several books on organized crime, including The Outfit: The Role of Chicago’s Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America, Live By The Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death ofJFK, and Gangsters and Goodfellas: Wiseguys, Witness Protection, and Life on the Run.

Ace Smith, a campaign consultant for the Brown campaign, called the allegations “wacky and nutty” and “laughably idiotic.” When the Daily Planet offered to fax the Brown campaign copies of the passages from Russo’s book that make reference to Brown, Smith said, “I don’t need to see any passages from the book to make a comment. This is like talking about Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster. These allegations have about as much credibility as Al Capone’s vault.”

In his book, Russo repeats allegations that Brown ran for governor in 1974 with the help of several figures with alleged organized crime ties, including the powerful Hollywood attorney Sidney Korshak, whom the Bloomsbury book describes as “the underworld’s primary link to the corporate upperworld” and “according to the FBI, [the] player behind countless 20th century power mergers, political deals, and organized crime chicaneries.”

Korshak, who died in 1996 and is described by Russo as a “pal” of Brown’s father, Governor Pat Brown, has a thick online file on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website that alleges extensive ties to organized crime. Russo writes that a 1978 report on California’s Organized Crime Control Commission issued by then-California Attorney General Evelle Younger called Korshak “the key link between organized crime and big business … A U.S. Justice Department official has described Korshak as a ‘senior advisor’ to organized crime groups” in several states, including California.

“When Brown enlisted electronics mogul Richard Silberman … as his chief fund-raiser [for the 1974 campaign],” Russo writes in Supermob, “it quickly became apparent that the same Chicago money that had transformed California in the forties would continue to play a key role in the seventies. (Silberman would be convicted in a 1991 FBI drug-ring money-laundering scheme.) Thus, with a brilliant media campaign, massive contributions from the likes of Lew Wasserman, Jake ‘the Barber’ Factor, and later Sidney Korshak, Brown defeated [Republican State Controller Houston] Flournoy by 175,000 votes.”

In return, Russo alleges in his book that Brown gave favors back to alleged mob figures, including appointing the brother-in-law of Teamsters union leader and Korshak associate Edward Hanley as one of the directors of the California Agricultural Association, which Russo says “named the concessionaires at all the state’s racetracks and county fairs.”

Russo alleges that profits from these concessions were later “skimmed” off and sent to reported mob figures. In addition, Russo alleges that Brown once tried to close down the Hollywood Park racetrack as a favor to Korshak, who Russo says “was … trying to pave the way for an organized crime takeover of the facility.”

The racetrack allegations were so widely reported in California at the time that they later became the subject of a series of Doonesbury cartoons by Gary Trudeau. In one Doonesbury strip reprinted in Supermob, Trudeau depicts a reporter talking on the telephone to a Brown associate only named “Gray,” a reference to then-Jerry Brown Chief of Staff Gray Davis. “Let me get this straight, Gray—who exactly did Jerry solicit the contribution from?” the reporter asks. “A guy named Sidney Korshak,” ‘Gray’ answers. “He’s the local low-life, an alumnus from the Capone mob.”

Brown was quoted in Time Magazine in July of 1979 that he thought the Doonesbury cartoons were “false and libelous, but I’m flattered by the attention.”

When Gray Davis ran for governor in 1998, the San Francisco Chronicle made reference to the old allegations, with political reporter Robert Gunnison writing that “Brown … appointed [Davis] to the California Horse Racing Board in 1979. It was a particularly volatile time for the panel. Critics said he was appointed to help Service Employees International Union clerks during a strike at Golden Gate Fields. The union’s lawyer, Sidney Korshak, was alleged by the state attorney general to be an organized crime figure.”

Russo alleges that Korshak’s influence on California governors was not limited to Brown and his father, but also included Ronald Reagan. Russo also alleges that Korshak sought to help Brown achieve higher office past the California governship, writing that “Korshak’s Service Employees Union … dispatched workers and cars” to New Hamphsire in 1979 “to assist Brown’s effort” in the primary against Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter.

Some of Russo’s information concerning the allegations of the Brown-organized crime connection came from the Berkeley Daily Planet reporter Richard Brenneman, who wrote news articles on the issue in the 1970s while a reporter with the Santa Monica Evening Outlook. Brenneman is listed in the book as a source.

Thanks to J. Douglas Allen-Tayler

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Inaugural 5K for Missing Children Comes to Chicago on October 15, Hosted by @pscchicago

On the morning of October 15, 2016, families throughout the Chicagoland area will come together at DuSable Harbor to support the serious and relevant issues of child abduction and exploitation through Chicago’s first annual 5K for Missing Children. According to the FBI, over 450,000 reports of missing children were entered into the National Crime Information database in 2015 alone.

The National Center of Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is an organization that assists in finding missing and exploited children with law enforcement5k for Missing Children, families, and the professionals that serve them with the cases. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the 5K for Missing Children will be donated to the NCMEC.

The 5K for Missing Children, hosted by Premier Security, consists of a 5K run and walk, kid’s dash, face painting, bounce house, IDing booth, post race party and more. The IDing booth will offer complimentary ID kits. All participants of the 5K and the Kid’s Dash will receive a finisher’s medal, a participant race tech t-shirt, as well as many other great giveaways. The race will commence at 8:30 a.m. at DuSable Harbor and Kid’s Dash starts at 10:00 a.m.

Premier Security expanded their partnership with NCMEC this year to provide training to all of their over 1,000 employees in recognizing, responding to and reporting incidents involving children who have been abducted or those at risk of being abducted

“As a company, we appreciate the partnership we have formed with NCMEC. It is humbling and heartbreaking to understand the mission of NCMEC,” said Premier Security CEO James C. Taff. “We feel it is not only our duty as Chicagoans and security professionals, but as parents, aunts, uncles and a community, to help protect children everywhere.  We’re hopeful that this event will help families educate themselves on how to stay safe and, in doing so, promote NCMEC’s admirable mission.”

The event is made possible by the efforts from many sponsors including John Hancock Real Estate, Fleet Feet Sports, Apex3 Security, Apex3 Systems, Wells Fargo, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Mesirow Financial, Kuty & Associates, LLC, Paperless Proposal, RXBar, Jiobit, The Protection Group, and Revolution Brewing. The efforts of sponsors, families, and supporters combined will help the 5K For Missing Children take steps to a make Chicago a safer city.

Registration is $35 for adults and children 10-years-old and younger are free. To register or to learn more about Premier Security’s 5K For Missing Children please visit

Premier Security is a fully licensed and insured corporation that provides professional uniformed security services throughout the Chicago area and suburbs. Premier Security provides their clients with dynamic security solutions and partners they can count on. For more information visit

Established in 1984, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® is the leading nonprofit organization in the U.S. working with law enforcement, families and the professionals who serve them on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children. As part of its Congressional authorization, NCMEC has created a unique public and private partnership to build a coordinated, national response to the problem of missing and sexually exploited children, establish a missing children hotline and serve as the national clearinghouse for information related to these issues. For more information visit

Monday, October 10, 2016

American Mafia: Chicago: True Stories Of Families Who Made Windy City History

Everyone knows stories about the American Mafia and its varied forms of crime, from racketeering to stock manipulation to murder.  American Mafia: Chicago explores the Windy City, strolling through its neighborhoods and imagining scenes from the past—telling the stories of the men, women, and families and revealing the events behind the legends and the history of the families' beginnings and founding members.

Featuring the most fascinating stories from the early days, when loosely-organized, incredibly secretive gangs terrorized neighborhoods with names like Little Hell, through the mob’s headiest years, when Al Capone and his men pretty well controlled the city, American Mafia: Chicago: True Stories Of Families Who Made Windy City History, offers tantalizing glimpses into the era when Chicago was ruled by gangs with their ever-twisting allegiances and tangled webs of relationships.

Most of the buildings are gone now. But the stories are still there, if you know where to look.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Have You Been Indicted Or Convicted? Are You Going To Prison? This Is What You Have To Know!

Federal Prison & Federal Prison Camp a Beginner's Guidebook for First Time Inmates.

Have You Been Indicted Or Convicted? Are You Going To Prison? This Is What You Have To Know, When You Have To Go!

Steve Vincent is considered by many to be America's Premier Federal Prison Consultant. Steve has helped hundreds of people prepare for Federal Prison and Federal Prison Camp with his professional, unique and caring program that is designed to do one thing, get you prepared for prison without scaring or embarrassing you. Steve teaches what you need to know in order to stay safe during your period of incarceration with a positive message that places emphases on you surviving, improving yourself during the time and realizing that you will be going home. While no two prisons are exactly the same, and regardless if it's federal or state, or if you are a man or woman, the day-to-day life of their inmates is quite similar. Steve's guidebook can help you to better understand just what you will be facing at a low security institution or camp.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tokyo Joe: The Man Who Brought Down the Chicago Mob (Mafia o Utta Otoko)

The yakuza, Japan's homegrown mobsters, are favorites of local filmmakers but not documentarians, for reasons entirely understandable. A documentary that seeks to delve into the inner workings of the Yamaguchi-gumi might find an audience, but the hurdles to making it, such as scouting subjects willing to dish openly (and possibly suicidally) on camera, would be formidable. Better to make another TV-friendly program on tuna fishermen.

Tokyo Joe: The Man Who Brought Down the Chicago Mob (Mafia o Utta Otoko)Documentarian Ken'ichi Oguri, backed by uber-producers Kazuyoshi Okuyama and Chihiro Kameyama, has finessed this difficulty by focusing his new film, "Tokyo Joe: The Man Who Brought Down the Chicago Mob (Mafia o Utta Otoko)," on Ken Eto — a Japanese-American FBI informant who put 15 Chicago mobsters and mob associates behind bars in the 1980s.

Eto was no ordinary snitch. Born in California in 1919 and raised by a harshly disciplinarian father, Eto was a wild, scrappy and highly intelligent kid. He found his true metier in a World War II detention camp, where he fleeced fellow detainees in poker games. After the war, he settled in Chicago, where he honed his skills in card sharping while insinuating himself into the mob-run gambling business.

In 1983, Mafia capo Vincent Solano feared that Eto, recently busted for running a massive numbers operation and out on bail, was going to spill to the cops. He ordered a hit, carried out by two henchmen, who drilled three bullets into Eto's skull in a parked car. Incredibly, Eto survived, and, while recovering in the hospital, decided that Solano's betrayal trumped his loyalty to his Mafia bosses. He entered the FBI's witness protection program and spent the next several years giving testimony that delivered a body blow to the Chicago mob.

Oguri tells this story through interviews, mostly notably with Elaine Smith, the former FBI agent who put Eto behind bars (and later wrote a book about him), Jeremy Margolis, the former federal prosecutor who persuaded Eto to turn snitch, and Steven Eto, Eto's son by his second wife.

These talking heads are fascinating characters in their own right. Smith, who joined the Bureau at the late age of 34 when it was still a mostly male preserve, comes across as a salty, wised-up type, spinning anecdote after engaging anecdote about Eto, his case and the ways of the Chicago mob. Of more than 1,000 victims of mob hits, she claims, Eto was the only one to survive. Steven Eto pungently humanizes his father, who ran numbers out of a coffee shop near home and once memorably told his young son, "If you bring a weapon to a fight, be prepared to kill the guy, because if you don't, you'll have an enemy for the rest of your life."

Eto himself appears only fleetingly on the screen, being badgered by the media after his arrest and testifying as a witness for the prosecution, but he is a riveting presence whose hooded eyes see all but tell nothing. Oguri's film about his exploits is, for anyone interested in Mafia lore, pure manna from wise-guy heaven.

Thanks to Mark Schilling

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