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The Decline of Daley?

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The final countdown

If you ever wanted to see a sign of Mayor Daley’s waning influence, it’s in the mayoral candidates’ responses to the drivers getting stranded on Lake Shore Drive during the blizzard. (Hat tip to CapFax)

“If reports that Mayor Daley was not involved in the actual decision making on the city’s response are true, that’s a disappointment, ”Carol Moseley Braun said through a spokeswoman.

Referring to the now internationally-notorious traffic mess along the lakefront, Emanuel said in a written statement: “We need to get to the bottom of what happened last night on Lake Shore Drive — with hundreds of passengers stranded for hours, it’s clear that there were mistakes made that we can never let happen again. And we need a comprehensive review to determine what went wrong and what went right throughout the city.”

Granted, no one running for Mayor was going to say “Listen, if those idiots couldn’t be bothered to recognize that a highway RIGHT NEXT TO THE GODDAMN LAKE might have some problems during the third biggest snow storm in the history of the city of Chicago they should have just been left there to freeze!”, but there was a time no one would consider taking potshots, even as relatively tame as Rahm’s, at Daley.

Seems like those with money in the game are banking on the assumption that Daley just doesn’t have much muscle left.

A top-level City Hall meeting aimed at ending the dispute over financing the stalled O’Hare expansion project was abruptly canceled Thursday by the CEOs of United and American airlines, the  mayor’s press secretary said.

City officials said they initially thought cancellation of the meeting this afternoon between Mayor Richard Daley, United CEO Jeffery Smisek and American CEO Gerald Arpey was due to the blizzard that socked the Chicago region two days ago.

But the airlines appear to be stalling on Daley’s demand that they bring new proposals to the table to jump-start the construction of new runways at O’Hare International Airport.

“At this point, the mayor has begun to wonder about the sincerity of their efforts to meet with him,” said press secretary Jacquelyne Heard. Daley even offered to see them on a Sunday, she said.

Daley has tried to set up alternative dates, offering four or five options, all of which were rejected, leading Daley to believe the delay is intentional, Heard said.

The cold reality is that people know Daley’s not going to be around long enough to get revenge against those who do him wrong now.  That means that even the people who don’t want to do him wrong have to when circumstances call for it (a la Rahm’s statement).  That said, the last arrow in Daley’s quiver is that of public opinion.  Although he may be kind of damaged goods after the more idiotic responses to the blizzard, if Daley’s going to have any clout left it’s going to come from people who appreciate his accomplishments (and how they are indicative of his love of this city and his knowledge of what makes it work).  Might be too late though, we’ll see…

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People Stranded on Lake Shore Drive All Night – I Bet Daley’s Pissed

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Legacy

Before the blizzard really hit Mayor Daley went out on an all-out news blitz about the efforts underway to deal with the oncoming storm.  Then it started to snow…

Before the city shut down the Drive, traffic had been crawling; it took upwards of an hour to travel only a mile. Many cars were without a full tank of gas, and ended up running out.

Evanston attorney Craig Roeder says he got on Lake Shore Drive at 6 p.m. and headed north. He says he crept and crawled until just south of Fullerton Parkway, when traffic ground to a halt around 9:30 pm.

And there he sat, in whiteout conditions for six hours, until 3:20 a.m. when WBBM Newsradio 780’s David Roe was interviewing him on the phone.

Jim Glonke was stranded near North Avenue for 11 hours. He told CBS 2 he left his office in Chinatown in the late afternoon Tuesday, and it was backed up. He arrived at North Avenue around 7 p.m., and traffic stopped completely for an hour or two. Glonke was told a jackknifed bus was to blame.

A CTA bus driver told CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole he had been stranded on Lake Shore Drive since 5:40 p.m. Tuesday. That was at 5:15 a.m. Wednesday.

The trains are doing better, but that’s a case of damned with faint praise.

Metra trains are delayed up to three hours because of switching problems and weather conditions and numerous trains are stopped throughout the suburbs, according to Metra’s website.

The CTA is reporting Yellow Line service has been suspended and the Blue, Red and Purple lines are experiencing “significant delays.” Some CTA buses have also become stuck in the snow.

Watching the news blitz last night I found myself thinking that the response to this storm is Daley’s last hurrah, which makes this stuff all the more aggravating.  Realistically, what did the people taking Lake Shore Drive expect?  Traffic sucks there during rush hour under the best of circumstances, dump a foot of snow and add 25 foot waves and 60 mph winds…did you really think you were going to get home that way?  If there was a screw up on the city’s behalf, it was failing to shut it down before these idiots got on in the first place.

The most important barometer of the city’s response to the storm is going to be the death toll, in terms of emergency shelters for the homeless, whether landlords kept to the temperature laws and if anyone dies of carbon monoxide poisoning.  We’ll see over the next couple of days, but unfortunately for Daley, people not dying is rarely considered news.

The other big test is going to be how quickly the roads are cleared and how quickly the CTA returns to being “on-schedule” (which is an extremely relative term for the CTA).

If people respond as they tend to do to weather disasters – poorly – this could be a tragically fitting metaphor for Daley’s legacy as Mayor.  Old time Chicagoans will point out how Chicago was before Daley came on, where you couldn’t walk around in the Loop at night for fear of getting shot, neighborhoods like Lincoln Park were warzones, and Chicago was seen much like a haven for violent crime.  Now it’s in many ways a world class city, and yet Daley may be just as remembered, if not more so, for the fiscal catastrophe he’s leaving the city in.  It’s fair, but it’s also tempting to lose perspective on how monumental his accomplishments have actually been.

Written by updowndownup

February 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Carol Moseley Braun to Watkins – “You Were on Crack!”

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The video really speaks for itself, so please watch it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Carol Moseley Braun to Watkins – “You Were on C…, posted with vodpod

Somewhere I’m sure Malcom X is very proud of the solidarity in Chicago’s black community.

Watkins fired the first shot accusing Moseley Braun of leaving public life for several years.

“I did not even know the woman lived in the city of Chicago because I haven’t heard her voice on the street,” Watkins said.

“Patricia, just because you didn’t know who I was for the last seven years is because you were on crack,” Moseley Braun said.

While Watkins admits she was a drug addict at 19, she says she was never addicted to crack.

“She could be sued for slander,” Watkins said.

Even with the threat of a lawsuit, Moseley Braun is not apologizing for her remarks.

“When someone slaps you like that then you have to tell the truth and that is what I did,” Moseley Braun said.

If you’re not familiar with Watkins, you’re not alone.  She’s been polling at 1%.  Apparently Braun thought that this 1% was so important it was worth it, though…

Written by updowndownup

January 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm

It’s Official and Unanimous – Rahm’s On the Ballot

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Resident

7 out of 7 Illinois Supreme Court Justices agree that Rahm Emmanuel is in fact a resident of Chicago.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled today that Rahm Emanuel can stay on the ballot for mayor of Chicago,  saying in a unanimous decision that he meets the state’s residency requirements despite spending most of the last year as White House chief of staff.

“The voters deserved the right to make the choice of who should be mayor. And what the Supreme Court said basically, in short, that the voters should make the decicions of who will be mayor,” a victorious Emanuel said after slapping backs and shaking hands with commuters at the Clark and Lake elevated train stop near his downtown headquarters.

“The nice part was to be able to tell the news to voters, because a lot of people had not heard it,” Emanuel said.

The court essentially took the position of the Appellate minority, and by that I mean their position is that the Appellate majority are a bunch of political hacks who wouldn’t know established jurisprudence if it jumped up and bit them square on the ass.  Allahpundit at Hot Air points out:

So harsh is it, in fact, that two justices wrote a separate concurrence criticizing the court for being unduly vicious towards the appellate court. (“[T]he tone taken by the majority today is unfortunate…”)

Surprise surprise, one of the two dissenting concurrences came from Ms. “I Think For Myself and Don’t Care That My Husband Rules the Chicago City Council With an Iron Fist” Justice Burke.  Can’t imagine she likes seeing them get this kind of lashing when all they did was what her husband ordered them to.

Maybe This Whole Thing Was Just What Rahm Needed – Rahm Finally Over 50%

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50%

I don’t know how I missed this, but yesterday there was an interesting poll on CapFax.  It’s a poll from We Ask America, sponsored by the Chicago Retail Merchants Association (so take it for what you will), and it shows not only people overwhelmingly want Rahm on the ballot, but he’s finally crossed over the magic number.  I guess it’s a case of don’t know what you got till it’s gone.

It makes sense, considering Rahm coming off the ballot made people look into the abyss and see there’s no one there they could even imagine wanting as Mayor.  It’s fitting that the number of undecideds gets a significantly bigger bump without Rahm than any of the other candidates.  The upside to this is that if Rahm stays on the ballot, this thing should be over with the primary, which means we won’t have an additional month and a half of this nonsense.

Written by updowndownup

January 27, 2011 at 8:47 am

Response to “And the Ordinary People Said” on Rahm Residency: I Really Hope “Ordinary People” Aren’t This Dumb

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Foolishness

Over at “And the Ordinary People Said” blog on Chicago Now, Marksallen has attempted to string together an argument entitled “Why the Illinois Supreme Court Must Remove Rahm Emmanuel From the Ballot”.  It’s remarkably trite, but I’d like to go through it piece by piece.  I’ll try to avoid being a snob about the parts that don’t even resemble the english language (e.g. “Even in his response to the ruling and throughout this challenge period Rahm Emanuel has offered no respect for the legal anticipated legal opinion versus political opinions saying that it is the ‘public opinion’ that matters over the legal opinions.”) as I’m sure every blogger could be found guilty of such mistakes at some point.

 

His first argument:

A ruling in favor of Rahm staying on the ballot does a disservice to the Federal elected officials, and more specifically The White House staffers who like Rahm went to DC to “serve the President,” and without the same financial status of Emanuel paid two sets of rent for their DC apartments as well as maintaining the costs of sustaining their local residences to the point that whenever they decided to visit their home residence, there was never any confusion of where those federal elected officials or White House staffers could lay their heads. Why should these federal officials and White House staffers pay the expense to sustain both residences to keep their home residence and not Rahm.?

So the argument here is that allowing Rahm on ballot wouldn’t be fair to David Axelrod?  Does this even require a rebuttal?  If so, I guess it would be this: it has absolutely nothing to do with law.  If the people who maintain homes both in Chicago and DC do so because they mistakenly thought they’d need to do so in order to vote in Chicago, that’s 100% on them.  The unspoken premise of this argument is “If someone misunderstands the law and acts based on this misunderstanding, the laws must be applied as per the misunderstanding so that everyone is equally constrained by this individual’s mistake.”  This, obviously, is ridiculous.

And how far does “intent” go when considering the clear “residency” requirements that forced city workers, police and firefighters to actually prove where they laid their heads in order to keep their city jobs?

According to the law, it would go very far.  That said, it’s a lot harder to claim you have an intent to return if you move outside of the city while working in the city.  It’s much easier if you’re working in Washington DC, unless you think that a daily commute from Chicago to Washington DC wouldn’t be all that bad.

Aside from that, even if you take intent off of the table, the Supreme Court is responding to the Appellate decision, which hinged on the word “residency” not meaning “residency”.  The only defense of this aspect of the decision offered was this:

over 30 ordinary citizens offered their objections on Emanuel’s qualifications as a “voter” versus that of a “candidate,”

If we’re going on the law, it wouldn’t matter if every single person in the city of Chicago offered their objections on this subject.

If you look over the rest of Marksallen’s posts, what he’s actually trying to argue becomes much clearer.  He’s arguing that Rahm needs to be off the ballot because Rahm takes votes away from Carol Moseley Braun.

Aaaaaaand He’s BACK! Rahm is Back on the Ballot (For Now)

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Stay Granted

Via NBC Chicago), the Illinois Supreme Court has granted the stay of the appellate decision, which means when the ballots go to press later today, Rahm will be on them.

The Illinois Supreme Court has granted Rahm Emanuel partial stay. Which means he’s back on the ballot for now.

“Emergency motion for stay pending appeal is allowed in part,” the order reads.

And not a moment too soon. Ballots are being printed today.

According to the motion, “Board of Election is directed that if any ballots are printed while this court is considering the case the ballots should include the name of petitioner Rahm Emanuel as a candidate for the mayor of City of Chicago.”

The order is available here.  It’s tempting to see this as proof the Supreme Court intends to overturn the Appellate decision, but not so fast.  Ed at Hot Air makes an astute point that really this is just the move to keep their options open.

The decision does give a hint that the state supreme court sees the possibility of overturning the appellate decision on residency.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t have bothered with the stay.  However, it’s a low-cost decision that leave all options open, and that makes a stay a bit of a no-brainer.  The city can advise its voters that Emanuel has been disqualified if the court later upholds the decision, but without a stay, the city would have to reprint all of the ballots and delay the election if the court overturns it.

Like I was saying yesterday, don’t think for a second that politics has nothing to do with this.  For one, this is Illinois.  Come on.  Next, we elect judges here, which means they are almost as corruptable as any other Illinois politician.  Ed Burke (the most powerful alderman on the Chicago City Council) would obviously prefer a weak mayor, which is why he supports Dishraggy McGee (aka Gery Chico).  That said, he prefers Rahm, who he can work with, significantly over Braun, who would represent a pretty seismic shift in power on the city council (as Braun + the black aldermen > Burke).   Considering the campaign thus far, Burke has to realize how big of a risk he’d be taking having it come down to a runoff between Chico and Braun.  Chico can raise money (which is to say Burke can raise money), Chico can get endorsements (which is to say Burke can get Chico endorsements), but between him and Braun, Braun’s clearly the alpha male.

So what’s probably going on is Rahm and Burke are working out terms so that Burke can be sufficiently comfortable with Mayor Rahm.

As it always is with law, depending on who’s arguing what you can really see things going either way.  And the way it’ll go has everything to do with Rahm getting Burke more comfortable with Mayor Rahm than he would be with a Chico vs. Braun runoff.

Written by updowndownup

January 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Posted in Chicago Mayor