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Chicago pollies on outer for World Series

AAP logoAAP 27/10/2016

Chicago aldermen vented their anger this week after a ruling by the city's ethics board denied them the chance to buy World Series tickets at face value.

The Chicago Sun-Times editorial page ridiculed the council members as whining, "perk-deprived babies."

The Chicago Cubs, who play at Wrigley Field on the city's North Side, are seeking the championship of Major League Baseball for the first time since 1908.

With the best-of-seven series with the Cleveland Indians knotted at 1-1, the Cubs host three games starting on Friday night (Saturday morning AEDT).

Team officials had given aldermen access to hotly sought tickets in the first two play-off rounds in early October, but revoked initial plans to let council members buy World Series tickets, after a revised ruling last week by the ethics panel.

Chicago's ethics ordinance bans gifts worth more than $US50 ($A66) to city employees and elected officials. Under the new interpretation, sports or concert tickets are to be judged at free-market value, rather than face value.

Only the mayor and the council member representing the Wrigley Field district would be allowed to accept a ticket to attend in their official capacities.

With the Cubs bidding to end their 108-year trophy drought, even the worst seats are selling online for thousands of dollars.

Alderwoman Milly Santiago, who earns $US116,208 ($A153,011), said in a council debate that she was too "poor" to buy a ticket from a ticket reseller.

She complained that the play-off tickets she already used were "not front-row tickets" but near the stadium's upper-level roof: "That's how bad those tickets were."

Alderman Roderick Sawyer, son of a late Chicago mayor, said he had not sought tickets but insisted that council members "should be able to take advantage of history".

Chicago, which has been dominated for generations by the left-leaning Democratic Party, has a long, ignominious history of public corruption.

In the last 40 years, 33 of about 200 Chicago aldermen elected to the 50-seat council have been convicted of federal crimes, according to the Illinois Policy Institute, a Republican-linked think tank.

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