The [Friday] Papers
I'm taking the morning - and possibly the day - off. I'll return to rail against state legislators voting themselves a pay raise, Neil Steinberg's latest noxious thoughts, and the Tribune editorial page's warped sense of economics sometime between now and Monday. Don't forget to check in on Saturday for the always superlative Weekend Desk Report of Natasha Julius, and go right now to Pat Bataillon's latest What I Watched Last night entry about why he chose to watch Modern Marvels: Metal last night instead of 30 Rock. Don Jacobson has a new Chicago In Song that finds a thread between Dean Martin and The Handsome Family, and Eric Emery provides you with a guide for How to Watch a Bears Game With a Bears Fan in his latest Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report. The Beachwood Tip Line remains open.
The [Thursday] Papers
The unbelievably great highlights:
* Ald. Ed Smith: "There is no headline in this budget that reads 'The Department of Criminal Affairs' . . . there is no line item for a $40 million Hired Truck scandal . . . for buddies swiping in buddies . . . for phony sick pay."
* Ald. Toni Preckwinkle: "It's not so much the number of people being arrested, it's that they are connected. They're part of the political operation, frankly, of the administration, and that's what's so problematic."
* Ald. Arenda Troutman: "The Duffs stole $100 million earmarked for blacks and other minorities . . . White men [used] their mothers, sisters and daughters to steal $40 million. They abused the Hired Truck Program designed to help blacks and other minorities pull themselves up by their bootstraps. These people were getting contracts because they lived in a white city. They were greedy and wanted the minority share."
Ed, Toni, Arenda - where have you been all my life?
Now let's look at the mayor's reaction and consider once again to what degree he is a child.
* To Smith: "Very good. Make sure you meet the inspector general. He'll be in your office tomorrow morning . . . We'll make sure. He'll be in your office. Thank you."
* To Troutman: "It doesn't bother me." And then he "mockingly applauded." (The Tribune account, once it got around to the kerfluffle, put it this way: "Ald. Arenda Troutman (20th) won mock applause from Daley after delivering a speech in which she criticized inequities between African-Americans and whites as well as city jobs given to members of the pro-Daley Hispanic Democratic Organization." Nice. Way to be sincere about all those moves to win back black support in an election year.)
* To Preckwinkle: Well, neither account has the mayor responding to Preckwinkle, perhaps because she is one of the few council members with half a brain. And she was blistering.
"Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) blasted the 9 percent share of city contracting awarded to black companies.
"'It seems problematic at best and damning at worst we haven't done better for African-Americans,' Preckwinkle said. 'Since I believe this is a can-do administration and that things are accomplished when there is a will behind it and a commitment to it, I can only conclude that both are absent in this instance. And that is very disturbing to me.'"
* To reporters after the meeting: "Everybody's against corruption - whether it's an employee, the president of a company, the chairman of the board - anyone. Everybody's against any type of corruption. Of course, I am too."
* Fran Spielman refers to "the corruption scandals that have made Daley's life miserable for nearly three years."
Spielman has an incredibly short memory. Significant scandal has been with this mayor since he's had the job - for 17 years. You can look it up.
Not only that, why is the focus on Daley's life being made miserable, as if he's the victim?
* Daley's budget "includes no new or increased taxes."
The council approved the LaSalle Street TIF district at the meeting. If Spielman would take the time to read Ben Joravsky, she would learn how Daley's use of TIF districts does in fact raise your taxes.
* What does it mean for a budget to be "a perfect blueprint for re-election?" That it's a political document, and not a financially responsible one?
* The budget "freezes the property tax levy for a third year." True, but it doesn't freeze skyrocketing property taxes. Daley has the luxury of not having to raise the levy, while gentrification squeezes long-time middle-class homeowners out of their neighborhoods and fills his coffers.
* The budget "holds the line on all other taxes and fees." I'm pretty sure a close read of the budget would yield a different verdict if you include things like increased parking ticket enforcement, just for starters, not to mention increased fees at the park district and the CTA, whose budgets don't leave City Hall without mayoral approval.
Despite their outbursts, Smith, Preckwinkle and Troutman voted for the mayor's budget, which passed unanimously. My question: How many reporters in town do you think have actually read the budget? The Over/Under is 2.
And don't miss The Sporting Life, our guide to your week in leisure. Loosely defined.
"The 44-4 vote came only after Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) informed aldermen they had no choice," the Sun-Times reports. "If they failed to approve the permit, it would blow a $2.4 million hole in Daley's 2007 budget."
A) So why not just eliminate the City Council if the way they must vote is pre-determined?
The Buck Stops There
And he's powerless to do anything about it now.
ComEd's racially-based lobbying strategy pays off.
"Aides to the governor called it 'a very good start' Wednesday, although some lawmakers criticized administration of the program."
Some lawmakers didn't?
But more importantly: 14 people!
House of Rahm
The ones that worked they put in safekeeping for the next election. The ones that didn't they called for eliminating.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Join the B-team.
Posted on November 17, 2006
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