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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel declined Tuesday to back up his campaign's accusation that Ald. Robert Fioretti has no political backbone, choosing instead to outline his own record for tough decisions without ever mentioning the name of his latest rival for the 2015 mayoral election," the Tribune reports.

"Shortly after Fioretti announced his mayoral bid Saturday and blasted Emanuel as an ineffective leader, the mayor's campaign released a statement from spokesman Steve Mayberry saying the 2nd Ward alderman 'has shown no backbone for making tough choices and little respect for Chicago taxpayers' pocketbooks.'

"Called on today to explain why he thinks that's the case, Emanuel instead ticked off a litany of the 'tough decisions' he said he has made in his first term, from finding the money to finance longer school days in Chicago Public Schools to making the city more attractive to businesses."

This is what he'll do the whole campaign - leave the dirty work (that he used to perform as an operative) to surrogates while keeping himself above the fray. It's a strategy, imported from Washington, D.C., that is wholly disingenuous in that he avoids accountability for his campaign even as he touts accountability in his mayoralty.

"Pressed on whether he was saying Fioretti stood in the way of those decisions, Emanuel told reporters to 'draw your own' conclusions."

No, we want to hear the words come from your mouth. Say it. Say it!

"Emanuel declined to be specific in his criticism of Fioretti. 'I just addressed the question, you guys can draw your own,' he said."

Rahm asking the media to draw their own conclusion might just be a first; he's made a living out of drawing conclusions for us and trying to ram them down our throats. If only he truly meant it.

Bongripper Brucey
"Republican Bruce Rauner on Tuesday said if he were governor, he would have vetoed Illinois' medical marijuana law - but now that it's law he called for the state to scrap the way it's giving out licenses to grow and sell the substance," the Sun-Times reports.

Geez, not much of a fighter. He could've vowed to try to overturn the law if elected. Instead, he wants to make a mockery of it.

"The former venture capitalist said the lucrative licenses should go to the highest bidders. Rauner proposed having an auction for medical marijuana licenses."

Democrats are right to point out that awarding licenses based on wealth instead of competence is a spectacularly bad idea.

"But Rauner said he feared the business of medical marijuana in Illinois was secretive and ripe for corruption. State officials are now accepting business applications for those seeking to grow and sell the medical marijuana. The process opened up Sept. 8 and closes Sept. 22. Right now, there is a competitive application process for 22 licenses for cultivation centers and 60 licenses for dispensaries.

"Thanks to Pat Quinn's secret, insider process, there are a lot of questions left unanswered," Rauner said, reading from prepared remarks at a news conference. "But there is something we know for sure: Something stinks, and it's not the marijuana."

First, leave the jokes to us. Second, it's hardly a secret, insider process. It's regulation. Applicants are being vetted. Background checks and medical know-how might be a little more important in this case than net worth.

(I was gonna write "background checks are a little more important than checkbooks" but I wanted to get the medical bit in. Besides, bidders would presumably have to meet the same set of criteria as current applicants, so the same "secret" process would remain intact, unless Rauner wanted to compel the state to simply choose the highest bidder regardless of any other factors.)

The names of those applying are not public, nor would the rejected applicants become public once the licenses are given out, according to the new law.

A chief sponsor of the legislation said the application process was designed to be secretive, so licenses aren't given out on the basis of politics.

State Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, said the law was written so that the names and any identifiers of the applicants are not known to the state agencies making the licensing decisions.

That seems to make sense, though I hope that information becomes available to the public afterwards.

Rauner, however, pointed to former Quinn chief of staff Jack Lavin, as an example of a danger of political inside dealing. While on the governor's staff, Lavin worked to pass medical marijuana. One month after it was signed into law, Lavin left the governor's office. Earlier this spring, Lavin signed on a client seeking a medical marijuana license.

And we know all about it! How is that an example of a secretive process? What it really is is yet another dismaying example of the revolving door - which has nothing to do with marijuana licenses per se. What limits would you put on former government officials lobbying their former colleagues, Bruce? That's the issue there.

But here's the real kicker:

When asked if he was just not happy with the current bill or whether he opposed medical marijuana, Rauner said: "Medical marijuana is something I've not supported. It's not a big issue for me either way."

Nothing is! The dude really doesn't seem to have a social agenda, though that's half the job. Bills like this are going to cross your desk. And why would you veto it if it's not a big issue for you either way?

Finally, why do you want to be governor? I can only identify one issue you really care about: destroying government unions. You're spending an awful lot of money to get the chance to ultimately not achieve that.


It's not even about the pot. Rauner is calling a press conference a day now proclaiming major policy positions as a media strategy for a candidate who has fallen behind. At least try to think this stuff through, though.


Pussy Riot Was Here
Masha and Nadya explained it all in Humboldt Park.

Reckoning At Eagle Creek
The secret legacy of coal in the heartland.

Fantasy Fix: Reality Intrudes
Adrian Peterson, Jay Cutler.


* Ex-Banker Gets Prison For Raiding Lincoln Park Garages.

Eight years - and then deportation.

* Sometimes You Owe Your Kids An Apology.

Nicely done; recommended.



See also:
* Rauner Camp Denies Columbia Journalism Students Press Conference Entry.

* Illinois GOP Gubernatorial Candidate's Rep Tells J-Students They're Not Welcome At Presser.


Maybe only the highest bidders get into Rauner press conferences.





The Beachwood Tip Line: With a choice of sides.


Posted on September 16, 2014

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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