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The [Monday] Papers

Well, of course, the big news over the weekend was the Tribune poll showing that "more than half of Chicago voters don't want to see Mayor Richard Daley re-elected."

On the face of it, wow.

"The poll found only 37 percent of city voters approve of the job Daley is doing as mayor, compared with 47 percent who disapprove. Moreover, a record-low 31 percent said they want to see Daley re-elected, compared with 53 percent who don't want him to win another term."

Bear in mind, though, this:

"A year prior to the 2007 election, a poll showed only 41 percent of voters backed Daley's re-election - what had been the record low until the current survey."

So we could have a mayor returning to the job in two elections in a row despite most voters surveyed wishing otherwise. Except on Election Day, of course.

What gives?

First, the mayor still knows how to turn out his organization when it counts.

Second, there hasn't been a good alternative to Daley since 1989.

Memo to pundits and editorialists: Stop blaming voters for not having any choices. They are outraged plenty. Start blaming the absolute lack of civic leadership in a city that thinks so highly of its elites; are we that void of "courage" that no one will step up?

Where are the real progressives?

Jesse Jackson Jr. is too damaged by the Blagojevich trial at the moment, but Barack Obama never stepped up; he endorsed the mayor the people didn't want. (By the way, the Trib poll found that "Just 22 percent of black voters want to see [Daley] re-elected, compared with 37 percent of whites.")

Toni Preckwinkle stepped up - to the Cook County Board president's race. Joe Moore? Staying put. Tom Dart? Only if Daley doesn't run. Patrick Collins? Lawyering. The Dawn Clark Netsch/Abner Mikva crowd? All in Daley's corner. So-called reformer Forrest Claypool? Going for county assessor, because that's so his niche. Even anti-Olympic Green Party candidate Tom Tresser is gunning for Todd Stroger's job instead.

Is it really going to be up to Scott Waguespack?

I like Waguespack, but he's still in his first term as alderman and his citywide appeal is unclear at best.

Maybe Scott Lee Cohen should set his sights a little lower than governor. Same with former U.S. Senate candidate David Hoffman. Mike Quigley just went to Washington; tis a pity.

Better yet, isn't there someone to emerge from non-political circles who can run an irreverent, independent and serious-minded campaign that could catch our imagination? Is our city that devoid of possibilities? Someone from the art world, the social services, a media personality . . .

The voters are ready for change. Our elites aren't.

COMMENTS: From Paul Clark:

Let's see - Oprah is pouting herself out of town. Jerry Springer's already done the mayor thing. We traded most of the Blackhawks that would have any name recognition at the ballot box. Greg Maddux is toiling on the farm. Studs Terkel and Mike Royko are dead. As is Rahm, probably, in terms of being a candidate.

Peter Fitzgerald is out of politics and probably doesn't live in the city.

Are any of Daley's kids old enough to take over?


Howard's Homes
I'm sorry about the halted Beverly Ridge development featured in this Sun-Times story, but I think the real story is buried in the middle:

"[Ald. Howard] Brookins used his political might to help get $87.1 million in public cash, including $11.6 million from the city, set aside for MGM/TGI 105th Street LLC, the developer, which is a joint venture between Orland Park builder Jack Mayher and Patrick Terrell, the former Notre Dame free safety famed for having broken up a pass in the end zone to help the Fighting Irish upset until-then undefeated Miami in 1988.

"Brookins - who has gotten $6,500 in campaign contributions from the joint venture - recommended that Taylor, who was his girlfriend at the time, be hired to sell homes on commission for the project. She got the job."

So Brookins secured public money for developers who are campaign contributors and in turn asked that those developers hire his wife, which they did.

Does it never end?

Gangs Banged
A one-source story like this (well, two if you count the gratuitous former white supremacist at the end) would never pass muster at many college - or even high school - newspapers, much less the front page of an ostensibly major metropolitan rag.

One cop saying the presence of gangbangers in the military "seems" bigger now than, um, before, just isn't up to snuff.

But then, gangbangers sell papers too.

Blago Testimony Preview
"What he has to do is say to the jury, 'Do not believe what I said [on the tapes] when I thought no one was listening and I spoke with absolutely no reason to lie. But now, when I speak with everything to lose, with every incentive to lie, you should believe me.' That is a tough sell."

- Former federal prosecutor and current white-collar defense attorney Ron Safer

Aisle Blockers
I've long maintained that the grocery store is the best microcosm for all that is wrong with society, namely a selfishness and self-centeredness that ruins life for everybody else (not to mention deceptive marketing practices like selling shelf space to the highest bidder).

Here's the latest list I've seen on annoying grocery store habits.

Pavement at Pitchfork
The audio is really only good for "Gold Soundz," but on the other hand it's good enough for us. Wish I had been there.

Regarding Comcast
The latest in our series about why Comcast sucks and it's proposed merger with NBC should not be approved.

20 Tweets
Well, Stedman actually stopped at 18 . . .

What The Cubs Did Over The All-Star Break
Uncle Lou got that kegerator going; D-Lee slept.

Did The Wheels Just Fall Off?
Last ones on the White Sox bandwagon are the first to get off.

The Welles Park All-Stars
Another youth baseball adventure from our very own Coach Coffman.

Nachos In A Helmet
It's like Man vs. Food.


The Beachwood Tip Line: The Man vs. Tip Line.


Posted on July 19, 2010

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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