Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Focus on Chicago's problems and not the clown car of candidates

     Maybe we're going about this wrong.
     Last week, as you know, Rahm Emanuel realized his mayoralty is upside down in a ditch, wheels spinning, so he decided to take his ball and go home.
     And this enormous crew of marginal figures, cranks, has-beens, and perennial candidates leaps up and announces, in turn, that each is just the person to run what is still the nation's third largest city. It's like that scene where the Oklahoma territory is opened for settlement; somebody fires a gun and all these buckboards and horseback riders go racing across the border in a cloud of dust.
     I won't list them all.
     Some blame belongs to the media, including my own beloved Sun-Times. We pass the time recounting tales of Willie Wilson handing out cash here, William "Dock" Walls making his fourth bid there (I actually agree with Walls about something, when he says of his fellow arrivistes, "They have no clue what's needed." His only omission — omnia vanitas — is not including himself in the magic circle).
     All good fun. I get it. Ringling Brothers went out of business, and the employment opportunities for clowns is severely limited. That's sad. But what's needed now is not to indulge egomaniacs, but to find someone who can address the enormous, city-killing problems facing Chicago.
     Since this column tops out at 719 words, I'll limit myself to the top two problems.
     First, violence in general and the cops in particular. Violence not only rips apart lives, but drives away the investment that the city needs to thrive. And cops, besides killing innocent people all too often, cost the city $500 million we don't have over the past 15 years in settlements and judgments.
     Here, I hate to say it, but Garry McCarthy has a definite edge. Not for any experience in his four and a half years as superintendent, which amounted to saying "Yes Mr. Mayor" twice a day into the telephone. But the CPD rank and file already really, really hate him, which gives him a certain freedom to act. What ruined Rahm is that when the Laquan McDonald video became known, he had already passed through his reform-the-police phase of his attempt to lead and had drifted into the try-to-be-pals-with-cops phase, and if handing the mom who popped up a paycheck kept the video out of sight, all the better.
    We need a mayor who is going to act on the scathing Justice Department indictment of the Chicago police, and who'll implement change while she stops her ears to the we-can't-do-our-jobs-unless-we-can-glibly-trample-human-rights-without-any-supervision-or-consequence shriek the force will put up.
     Did I say "she"? Giving the game away. 

To continue reading, click here.

If, like some readers, you finish the column and want a little background on my unusual fondness for Carol Moseley Braun, you can find the details here.


  1. whomever is the next mayor will need to come to a new collective bargaining agreement with the teachers union . Over the next two years the City of Chicago will negotiate new contracts with all of its labor unions. These contracts — 44 separate collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) — are critical to how the city operates, as they govern the administration's relationship, salary, benefits, and work rules for nearly 91% of its workforce. according to the BGA.

    these are the unions who's former workers are drawing the pensions that have city finances upside down. I'm pro union . but if city hall keeps promising to include lucrative pensions for 55 year olds going forward we are doomed.

    which candidate is up to this task?

  2. All Taxwinkle will do is raise taxes so high, that everyone who has the ability to leave Chicago, will leave.
    I know several people that supported her when she first ran & all of them have abandoned her as she is just power mad!

    1. So she’s “power mad” because... she’s a woman? Are men running for office not “power mad”?

    2. Taxwinkle is power mad, because she's power mad!
      Her gender has nothing to do with it!
      She deliberately went after a couple of County Board members who voted to repeal the ridiculous pop tax, like Boykin!

  3. Maybe Neil could transfer that "unusual fondness" to Dorothy Brown, who does a pretty good imitation of Carol Moseley Braun. While I agree that Toni Preckwinkle would be a good choice, notwithstanding her soda pop tax, my favorite is Lori LIghtfoot, for whom I can vote with a clear conscience since she's so unlikely to win, but the looming nightmare is Garry McCarthy, whom I consider a Rudy Giuliani in the making.

  4. I've been torn between thinking it would be a good idea for her to run for mayor and wanting her to stay where she is so we don't get some buffoon in her current gig.

  5. Not living in the city I won't have a vote to cast, but she does seem to be the most plausible candidate. The will all promise to not raise taxes, and will all be lying on that score. But I doubt if it will cause a mass exodus.



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