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The [Thursday] Papers

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel formally presented his proposed 2014 city budget to the City Council on Wednesday, starting a weeks-long process that's likely to consist of hearings, questions, sweet talks, twisted arms, capitulations, and moments of intended eloquence," Mick Dumke writes for the Reader. "Then aldermen will vote to approve it largely intact.

"On the upside, this proposal appears to include some good news. Emanuel said the gap between revenues and expenditures is shrinking, from $655 million in 2011 to a projected $339 million next year. At the same time, he plans to invest more in services like recycling and resources for kids and teenagers.

"But even as Emanuel called for 'telling the truth' about city finances, his speech avoided doing so, glossing over details about how hundreds of millions of public dollars are spent. Here are the facts behind some of the mayor's claims."

You have to click through to get the goods.

*

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2014 budget more than doubles the amount initially set aside for police overtime this year, reflecting the increasingly high financial cost of trying to tamp down gun violence on city streets," the Tribune reports.

I find that framing a bit odd. Is it becoming increasingly more expensive to fight gun violence in the city? My guess is that the costs are just about the same as always!

What is really being reflected here is A) evidence that Rahm lowballed overtime pay in this year's budget to help keep it "balanced," and B) a political and policy decision to dole out overtime dollars instead of pursuing an alternate policing or personnel strategy.

Worse, though, is this "objective" statement by the Trib:

"Emanuel has embarked on a strategy of moving police out of desk jobs and onto the streets."

That sounds good, and that's what Rahm wants you to believe, but if you're familiar with what's really gone on at the police department, you know that's just not true.

"Most of the 1,000 officers the mayor claimed to redeploy were already out on the street in specialized units assigned to high-crime areas," Dumke reports.

"In fact, many veteran officers believe that dismantling these units was disastrous as murders and shootings spiked last year. Since then, the city has spent an estimated $1 million a week paying cops to work overtime shifts in troubled parts of the city.

"At the same time, new police hires are barely keeping pace with retirements and attrition. Currently about 10,700 police officers are on the force - about 200 fewer than when Emanuel took office, according to payroll records posted online. That's also 1,100 fewer than in 2007."

*

I'm sure the Sun-Times' reporting is equally egregious, but the site once again froze my totally up-to-date Firefox browser and took about 30 minutes off my life. I knew I shouldn't have tried to go back there after experiencing this problem for weeks now - and occasionally over the years before then. Get it together, Sun-Times. You're supposed to be digital gurus now, not the same old amateur hour.

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#ChiBudget

*

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He's For Quinn (?)
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel intends to back fellow Democrat Pat Quinn for a new term as governor - even if mayoral pal and vacation companion Bruce Rauner wins the GOP nomination," Greg Hinz reports for Crain's.

Because this is Chicago, we must consider the following:

A) Given his unpopularity, Rahm's endorsement of Quinn might actually help his friend Rauner - or whoever wins the GOP nomination. Additionally, Rahm just increased the chances that Rauner wins the nomination by separating himself from that friendship, which has been hurting Rauner's cause.

B) Rahm may say he'll back Quinn, but will he lift a finger to help him? Let's see how enthusiastically Rahm raises money and sends out the troops on behalf of Quinn; merely "backing" him doesn't amount to much.

C) Rahm is supporting "the Democrat," not Quinn, out of party loyalty.

Even given the alleged policy differences cited by Rahm, it's awfully hard to believe that he wouldn't prefer Rauner to Quinn. Rauner and Rahm speak the same language, share the same values and seem more simpatico on the issues than Rahm and the Quinnster. Unfortunately for him, Rahm obviously thinks he can't hide under his desk on this one.

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What The Bears Are Doing On Their Bye Week
Signing up for Obamacare; watching Laguna Beach.

Ha Ha Cubs And Double Door Ha Has
In our Local Music Notebook.

The Palmer House Hilton's Magnificent Mural
From France in 1926 to the ceiling of the hotel's lobby.

PSA To NSA: Stop Watching Us
Featuring a celebrity cast.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Thaw out.



Permalink

Posted on October 24, 2013


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Vizio Settles Spying Complaints.
POLITICS - WikiLeaks Reveals Staggering Breadth Of CIA Hacking.
SPORTS - Fantasy Fix Draft Guide Pt. 3: The Professor!

BOOKS - Bannon, The Best And The Brightest.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: Ray Rayner & Friends.


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