Category Archives: The Daley Show

Defensive Daley Disinforms

“Mayor Richard Daley today scoffed at complaints that next month’s increases in parking meter rates would affect people in many Chicago neighborhoods,” the Tribune reports.

“The mayor said there are ‘very few (meters) in the neighborhoods. It’s about 80 percent downtown – 80, 85 percent downtown in 2 or 3 wards. It’s not in the communities’.”

Whoa!

“In fact, of the city’s 34,264 metered spots, about 8,100 are in the 42nd and 2nd Wards that cover downtown. That’s only about one-fourth of them, not the four-fifths Daley claimed.”

Hey, no one said Daleyland was a reality-based community.

Parking Pablum

Let’s not let the always dependable Bea Reyna-Hickey, the city’s revenue director, go unnoticed.

“The Chicago Sun-Times reported in August that Chicago Police officers had written 84,000 fewer tickets than last year and were on pace to end the year with a 9 percent dropoff from the 1.63 million police-issued tickets in 2007,” the paper reports.

“At a City Hall news conference Monday, Reyna-Hickey at first attributed the ticket plunge to drivers who ‘take their parking more seriously’ and are less inclined to park illegally.”

If only – though we should all drive and park to the letter of the law just to spite the mayor, who is depending on our violations to balance his budget.

“But, questioned further, she said, ‘Police [ticketing] has decreased . . . Clearly the police have a lot of other important things to tend to.”

The moral of the story: Always question further. And take your parking seriously.

The Devils in Durbin’s Details

A collection of noteworthy points, details and arguments from the Durbin-Ryan-commutation imbroglio that I haven’t yet had a chance to point out.

* “If Ryan is released early, he will have spent less time in prison than two friends convicted in the case – Ryan’s aide, Scott Fawell, who did the dirty work, and businessman Lawrence Warner, who profited from the dirty deals,” the Sun-Times notes in an editorial today.

* “Let’s also look at one of the main assertions on Ryan’s behalf, that he’s been punished enough in part because his government pension has already been taken away,” Mark Brown writes today.

“What they fail to mention is that he had already collected about $800,000 from his ridiculous $197,000-a-year pension before he was sent off to prison. How many of you can expect to collect $800,000 from a pension in your entire lifetime? Not many. It’s not our fault if he spent it all.”

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Todd’s Folly

“Budget day is like Groundhog Day in Cook County,” Commissioner Mike Quigley says. “Every day is the same day over and over again.”

No kidding. I’m not sure how guys like Quigley and Claypool can take it; I mean, if we’re frustrated, imagine what it must be like in the trenches.

Just for starters, copies of the budget weren’t available because some of the figures were inaccurate. Again. Printer’s error. Supposedly.

“Every year, President Stroger issues his budget, and it’s a mess,” Claypool said. “It’s full of errors. It’s incomplete.”

And it’s a budget that calls for borrowing to pay the bills. Hey, the Sun-Times asks, what happened to all that new sales tax money? “What we were going to do with the surplus was to put it in a reserve fund, which is sound financial practice and that’s what rating agencies really want to see, that we have a rainy day fund.”

Hasn’t it been raining in Cook County for years?

Even the good news doesn’t turn out to be ture.

“Right now, I don’t believe we have the votes,” said John Daley, chairman of the finance committee. (And by “we,” he meant “we.”)

Not true, according to the Daily Herald.

“[W]hile Stroger allies have said repeatedly they don’t have the votes to pass the borrowing, a survey of commissioners Tuesday by the Daily Herald reveals that, in fact, they likely have the bare minimum of nine votes to pass it, but want other commissioners to join them so they are not forced to take the heat alone,” Rob Olmstead reports.

Memo to John Daley: Pull your pal Todd aside and teach him a lesson from your brother. The best way to get cooperation from your legislative body is to co-opt them first, then bully them.

Adopt the Quigley/Claypool reforms. It will only make you stronger.

O’Hare Wars

While the mayor was celebrating the opening of a new runway at O’Hare and fending off questions about the opposition of six airlines to his airport expansion program, foes of the plan ran a full-page ad in the Daily Herald. I had trouble wrestling the entire image into this post, so I’ll just provide you with the text.

DALEY’S O’HARE “MODERNIZATION” BOON or BOONDOGGLE?

Chicago has made many unchallenged public relations claims about Mayor Daley’s much ballyhooed “O’Hare Modernization Program” or “OMP”. But when one looks at the details it is quickly apparent that the public relations claims are mostly “hot air”.

The Aviation Benefit Claims are Bogus!

* The infamous “Western Access” – a one hour bus ride around the airport. Chicago admits that passengers with baggage, who use American Airlines and who park in the western parking lot, will face a one hour bus ride around the airport to get to the American terminal. Same goes for United passengers with baggage who land at Terminal 1. Imagine: $15-20 billion of your money for a Rube Goldberg design that eats up an additional hour of your time! That’s “modernization”?

* The 45 minute taxi ride from the Northern Runway to the United Terminal. Because Daley’s massive plan fails to fix a critical taxiway choke point on the northern side of the main terminal complex, FAA controllers anticipate major taxi delays in good weather (let alone bad weather) from the northern runway to the United terminal complex.

* Minor Delay reduction rapidly disappears. FAA’s own studies show that the new runway will not provide any significant long term delay relief.

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Congressman O’Connor

The latest scuttlebutt about who will replace Rahm Emanuel in Congress centers on Fortieth Ward Ald. Patrick O’Connor, Mayor Daley’s floor leader. He sounds perfect for the job.

“O’Connor noted that the field is getting more crowded by the day,” the Sun-Times reports, “setting the stage for an open Democratic primary election.

“‘We, as political leaders in this congressional district, would be pretty poor leaders if we allow it to dissolve into something like that’.”

God forbid we let this dissolve into an open primary!

“This is an opportunity for all of us to be together, work together and come up with a candidate we can all support.”

Yes. Don’t mind us. You guys decide and let us know.

Changing Daley

I had to shake my head when I heard Richard M. Daley tell reporters approvingly today that Americans want change. It reminded me of something Barack Obama said over the weekend:

“Here’s my question for you, Ohio: do you think Dick Cheney is delighted to support John McCain because he thinks John McCain’s going to bring change? Do you think John McCain and Dick Cheney have been talking about how to shake things up, and get rid of the lobbyists and the old boys club in Washington?”

Here’s my question for you, Chicago: do you think Richard M. Daley is delighted to support Barack Obama because he thinks Barack Obama’s going to bring change? Do you think Barack Obama and Richard M. Daley have been talking about how to shake things up, and get rid of the lobbyists and the old boys club in Washington?

Only if he leaves them alone in Chicago.