Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Chicago 21

     That doesn't sit quite right on the page right. Just a number. Imagine it said with a pinched kind of vague Eastern European accent.
     Twantee wahn...
     Twenty-one candidates running for Chicago mayor.
     Treated with respect by my colleague Fran Spielman at the Sun-Times.
     I marvel how she can do that. Me, a story about 21 mayoral candidates could be titled "Invitation to Wack-a-mole." It really makes you want to roll out the old rhetorical chain gun and start blasting away.

     I mean, there were only seven dwarfs in "Snow White," and even that was way too much. Twenty-one is way too many for a field of candidates. Add one more and they can divide up and play a game of regulation football.
     It's better to view them as a mass, The Chicago 21. Start to view them as individuals and, well, it's endless.
     Besides, they'll cancel each other out, eventually, and we'll be left with Toni Preckwinkle and Garry McCarthy. We don't have to criticize, we don't even have to learn their names. All we have to do is wait.
     Which is not to dismiss the rest. Amara Enyia, an intriguing candidate, her second bite at the mayoral apple given a boost by Chance the Rapper. Hope that election cash can come from more people than Ken Griffin and J.D. Pritzker. 

    Or Gery Chico, an actual adult who doesn't spend the years in between mayoral runs in deep freeze storage.
     But Paul Vallas? He's hardly worth the breath to ridicule. Really, do you need me to explain why Bob Fioretti is a joke? Because I'm reluctant, in part because the last time I did, it upset one of his unbalanced supporters so much he writes to me continually. It all goes to spam, but still, every so often, when I gaze into the spam filter the way a man will open a handkerchief after a healthy blow to examine the result, I'll spy this guy, and it's like one of those science fiction movies, where the monster is contained in some kind of special pressure device, all steel and bolts and thick shatterproof glass. And you can see the thing, pressing against the little window and the containment vessel vibrates a little, and you can hear it shrieking through the seals. It's unsettling.
     So let's leave Bob alone. If I thought there was a chance he could become mayor I would go down to City Hall, dressed in a white jerkin, dowse myself in gasoline and set myself on fire. Metaphorically, that is.
     I'd rather focus on the attention on Bill Daley. Last I looked, he was going to go on a listening tour, visiting senior centers and stuff, trying to find some ideas because he hadn't any. How's that working, Bill? Get some good ones? Well, let us know....
     Dorothy Brown. Let's end with her, because this isn't a proper column, just some monstrosity I'm disgorging to keep you occupied on a Tuesday. I would be loath to describe Brown in a dry, journalistic way, because, times being what they are, I'd be accused of treating her unkindly because she's black, or a woman, ignoring the fact that Toni Preckwinkle is both and I think she's swell. The Republican Party might be laid low by a plague of irrationality, but the bug can be found elsewhere.
     And to be honest, I don't have to castigate Brown, all I have to do is check my files. Pointing out Dorothy Brown's flaws is practically a full-time job. We should have a Dorothy Brown Flaw Reporter. I'll limit myself to two:
     From March 10, 2004:
     What would be coming out of the clerk's office if Dorothy Brown hadn't ordered her employees to keep their mouths shut? As it is, they're dishing dirt like frenzied ditch diggers. Two great accusations came zipping my way: a) that Brown has her security detail empty out elevators before she uses them, and b) that this same security detail also pulls her boots on for her. Devoted to the requirements of the form, I ran this by Brown, who responded a) no, she uses the judges' elevators and b) no, they don't.
     At this point I thought the fair thing to do would be not to print these baseless charges. I checked with two editors here, who said:
     a) "Why start being fair now?" and b) "It's election season."
     See, it isn't just me.
     From Sept. 3, 2006:
     God bless Dorothy Brown. She's the perkiest person I have ever met in politics, bar none. The Cook County Circuit Court clerk has more spunk than an Olympic gymnast. She makes Katie Couric seem like Eeyore.
     Have you met the woman? Imbued with energy, excruciatingly well-mannered and the grace of God flowing from her like glow off a light-bulb. Her cringing subordinates might paint a different picture, but that's how she comes across during her visits to the newspaper.
     Of course, she can't run her own department, never mind run the city, not that she'll get the chance: Mayor Daley will crush her like an egg.
     Still, while she lasts, she should provide an interesting contrast to the morose Saul sulking on the fifth floor of City Hall: Daley, the sourest, most visibly unhappy man to hold elective office in America since Calvin Coolidge retired to Vermont, vs. Dorothy Brown, who seems about to bust out into song at any given moment. I'd like to pretend she'll give the mayor a run for his money and he'll only get 70 percent of the vote this time. But I doubt it.


  1. Amara Enyia is currently the director of the Austin Chamber of Commerce. She holds a law degree and a PhD in educational policies, has previously worked with a municipal consulting firm, and co-authored “Chicago Isn’t Broke: Funding the City We Deserve.” She also has worked on grassroots campaigns.

    1. No question that she has credentials. Whether she can move from the Austin Chamber of Commerce to the 5th floor of City Hall is a more difficult question.

  2. OT: What is that collection from in the photo header, Mr. S.?

    1. It was from the Haitian voodoo show at the Field Museum a few years back.

    2. Oh yes, I recall that now. Thought it looked familiar, thanks.

  3. Since you won't, I'll explain why Fioretti is a joke!
    That fool wasted $250,000 of the taxpayer's money on his idiotic crusade against a hot dog joint called Felony Franks. The hot dog joint hired some ex-cons so they could have an actual job, instead of going out & robbing people.
    But Fioretti had a shit fit over the name & refused to allow a sigh for the place to hang over the sidewalk, as a city permit is required for that.
    The owner sued the city & eventually won of 1st Amendment grounds, but as I wrote, it cost the city $250,000 in legal bills for outside lawyers.
    On top of that, the hot dog joint owner could've sued the city for millions & would've easily won, but he decided against that!

    As for Bill Daley, that nincompoop was Al Gore's campaign manager in 2000 & is certainly a part of why Gore lost! Sure, Gore was wooden as a campaigner, but it was Daley who decided not to run hard in Florida.

    As for Taxwinkle, I'm, waiting for the unredacted inspector general's report on her security chief's phony stolen car. That must be a really good read, as 99% of it was redacted!

    I'll also end with Dorothy Brown.
    1. Will all Chicagoans have to pay her $10 to wear jeans to work on Fridays?
    2. Will we also be required to buy goat meat from her & her husband?

    1. So you seem to feel whatever aspiring candidate ends up in office we are screwed. Well that seems reasonable. look at the clown with zero experience we ended up with for governor .

      As I recall a grassroots organizer became senator and then president. Who'd a thunk it?

      Amara Enyia is currently the director of the Austin Chamber of Commerce. She holds a law degree and a PhD in educational policies, has previously worked with a municipal consulting firm, and co-authored “Chicago Isn’t Broke: Funding the City We Deserve.” She also has worked on grassroots campaigns.

  4. Thanks Clark St., sorry for off-loading that onto you. So who DO you support?

    1. Maybe a College of Coaches?


    2. I have no idea, which candidate from this Clown College of candidates I'll end up voting for. None of them appear to have what it takes to run a huge city.

      As for Garry McCarthy, he was doing a fairly decent job as police chief, until he got himself tangled up in the Laquan McDonald disaster. But then there's the problem that no police chief has ever made a successful transition to mayor. Remember Frank Rizzo in Philadelphia, no there was an idiot!

      Paul Vallas did have it years ago, but then that corrupt pile of shit Richie Daley went out & supported Blago for Governor & that made Vallas into some weird vagabond, going from city to city for a new job & failing everywhere. Losing to a crook, especially an incompetent one really messed up Vallas's head.

      Gery Chico. Yes he seems to be a serious adult, but he also can't make up his mind & he appears to be torn between the local Hispanic community & the LaSalle st. millionaires he wants to be one of.

      Willie Wilson, he's a joke, a rich joke. He'd be Chicago's Trump as mayor.

      Jerry Joyce, he's the candidate of Mike Madigan, so never!

      Susana Mendoza. Not only did she pull a fast one running for state controller [that's the correct pronunciation of that idiotic French word 'comptroller'] & then run for mayor, but one of her ads from last month really offended me. That's the one where her mother was against her playing soccer, but she wanted to & the coach was fine with it. Just why did she throw her mom under the bus to win?

      As for the rest, LaShawn Ford, Neal Sales-Griffin [who?], Lori Lightfoot, Ja’Mal Green [who?], Amara Enyia & John Kozlar [who?], none of them have a snowball's chance in hell! Even with the support of that rapper, Enyia is a goner!

    3. Hey, don't go knocking those guys! Bob Kennedy's '63 Cubs (82-80) were the franchise's first winning outfit in 17 years!

      But seriously, folks, after hearing about the Chicago 21 I don't feel as badly about our situation. Cleveland's mush-mouthed mayor is about to begin his fourteenth year in office. This dude comes up with bright ideas like spending millions of taxpayer dollars to build an off-street racetrack for outlaw dirt-bikers, instead of confiscating their bikes and locking them up. You can imagine how well that one went over.

      The truth is, I actually feel sorry for my hometown. Twenty-one hopefuls, and all of them mopes? Seriously? Isn't there ANYBODY available who's even remotely qualified? As Casey Stengel moaned about his fumbling, bumbling Mets: "Can't anybody here play this game?"

    4. Thankfully I am not a citizen of Chicago. I do not have to choose from this sorry list. I am still recovering from '16, having to vote for Hilary despite a feeling that the country had had enough of the Clintons. I feel similarly about the current Daley, enough already! The old man got things done, Dickie made it look pretty in places, Bill has trouble staying on the job. Which candidate has an actual plan for the pension crises looming? Don't ask JB, haven't heard one from him either.

  5. Just a little thing, but the seven dwarves is from Snow White, not Sleeping Beauty.

  6. The voice I heard for the title was from an old Bugs Bunny cartoon, playing cards with a French Canadian. Tweeentee Wan! Tweeentee Two!!

  7. Thanks, Clark St., for reminding Mendoza how to pronounce “comptroller.” That pisses me off.

  8. Vallas IMO could maybe be a good mayor, but he comes off as self-adoring. Most politicians are that way, I suppose, but they do a better job hiding it.


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