Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Taking umbrage

The person taking the umbrage is George Jacob. And person whose umbrage he is taking is me.

He's a little POed that I described him in an earlier post as (and I'm paraphrasing here) the "Chamber of Commerce's guy" on the Peoria City Council. Don't bother looking. It's MIA.

Not true, he says. After all, he voted against buying the Illinois American Water Company, which was something the city council endorsed.

Point taken. But Gary Sandberg voted for the buyout, and that doesn't make him the Chamber's darling, either.

But I concede that he's more independent than my earlier post suggested and I apologize for saying otherwise.

Still, the line on George at the time the council voted for him was that the business community really wanted one of their own on to fill the facant at-large slot. Understandable, since Dave Ransburg, millionaire member of the Peoria Civic Federation, was shown the door by voters sick of his act.

I like George. He comes across like a working class guy. He's a good guy to have a beer with (or a Diet Pepsi, in my case) and share tall tales with. And it's obvious he and his family worked hard to get what they have: Brewer's Distributing, which has a lock on sales of Budweiser in this part of Illinois.

So let's not kid ourselves. George is stinking rich. He hangs out with August Busch IV, president of Anheuser-Busch, the guy who owns Budweiser. I hang out with Chase Ingersoll, the guy who owns the Grandview Hotel.

We run in different crowds.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see George out on the campaign trail. We'll have to see during the upcoming budget battle whether he's an essential services guy, a progressive or some mixture of the two.

I'm rooting for him to be one of those three.

But if you really want to see him get red under the collar, when he offers to buy you a drink, order Miller Light.

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