Kass: Chicago Way Casino — where pols can take to the pole

To see if this idea had legs, I walked over to the Thompson Center and asked around. The first two guys I ran into were lawyers. They didn't want their last names used.

"A casino here? It's an excellent use of resources, and it would lower the cost of construction," said a lawyer named James. "But how do you keep the casino dollars out of Madigan's hands?"

You don't. He's the boss. And in his benevolent wisdom, he'll decide what's best for taxpayers.

"I could go for the Thompson casino," said the other lawyer, a Polish guy named Mike. "But I won't pay to see aldermen dancing. And besides, I don't like it when aldermen pick on the Poles."

Downstairs in the food court, Raymond, a maintenance worker, was helping another employee clear out some garbage cans and stack plastic food trays.

"We could put a sports bar right there next to the falafel place," he said. "Could we bet on games?"

Not everyone in the food court was thrilled. Thomas Lapham, who works for a geothermal energy company, said the idea of pole-dancing aldermen and state legislators was unappetizing.

"A casino wouldn't be a good use of the space," Lapham said. "This is where I come for a gyros sandwich or that spicy chicken across the way."

He hated my idea.

"I don't want pole-dancing politicians," he said, staring at the remnants of his gyros. "I want a food court."


twitter @John_Kass