Your Tax Dollars at Work: Paying For Strippers in Chicago


A recent information request in Illinois revealed that the City of Chicago was writing off visits to a local strip club as a business expense.

For the Good of Illinois

Two days ago, For the Good of Illinois added another tranche of data to our online transparency portal at This installment includes every check written by the City of Chicago from FY 2002 to 2011.

It contains $74 billion in vendor payments. Last year alone, over 69,000 entities received checks, and you can see it all at The data contains numerous details: vendor code, transaction id, PO number, fund, department, amount, check number, and date.

Here’s a curious item found while digging though the data…

The Admiral Theatre, Inc., is a strip club on the northwest side of the city. Obama for America is the President’s campaign fund.

The City of Chicago approved payouts to each of them, using the same catch-all “vendor code” or expense classification. Further review found that neither vendor exists in the Chicago’s current on-line transparency portal.

The Admiral Theatre strip club received $5,197.78 from the City of Chicago between the dates 2006 through 2011. The sixteen checks ranges from $1.00 to $1,900. A buck? Is some one tipping dancers using City of Chicago checks?

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