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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

New Poll – Rahm 39%, Carol Moseley Braun 12%, Chico 9%

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50%

Bright side – if Danny Davis and James Meeks both get out, all of their supporters go to Carol Moseley Braun, and she then gets all of the undecideds, she’s got a clean 4% on Rahm.  No problem, right?

 

Just like the last poll, Rahm leads in all racial demographic groupsAfrican-Americans split 31.7% Rahm, 20.4% Braun, 13% Davis, 9% Meeks.  Hispanics split 28.4% Rahm, 22.1% DeValle and 17.4 for Chico.  Whites split 52.1% Rahm, 11.5% Chico.

It seems fairly clear that Rahm’s going to get the most votes in February.  Barring something happening that completely changes things, that should be a walk.  The bigger question is if he crosses 50%.  If he does, game over, he’s the new mayor.  If he doesn’t, then there’s a runoff against whoever comes in 2nd.

Unfortunately the crosstabs they give are incomplete, so there’s not a lot of info to divine who exactly these undecided voters are.  We know they’re disproportionately from the North Central Wards (but more or less evenly distributed), we know they’re disproportionately young, and we know that they don’t like answering questions about their race.

If you don’t like Rahm, it seems like it comes down to Chico and Braun.  With Braun, you have to assume she’ll be able to peel off some African-American support from Rahm.  If he gets knocked down to 20% of the African-American vote, that could definitely make an impact on Rahm’s ability to avoid a runoff.  Where things get tricky for Braun is if Davis or Meeks step aside to avoid splitting the African-American vote.  Although on its face one would assume their votes would head towards Braun, Rahm’s shown an ability to attract African-American support.  Every vote for Davis and Meeks is a vote that doesn’t get Rahm 1 vote closer to 50%.  As it seems unlikely at best that Braun could get 50%, after she gets 1 vote ahead of whoever comes in 3rd all that matters is that other votes don’t go to Rahm.  That is to say that if Davis dropped out Braun could get 99.9% of his support and she still would have been better served by him staying in.

Chico’s situation is a bit more unique.  Other than Rahm, Chico’s got the most cross-racial support.  It’s possible he could leverage his support from white voters to make an electability argument to DeValle supporters, which could put him in striking distance of coming in 2nd in February.  He’s done a good job getting penetration with his platform, which could explain his success with white voters.  The strength of his position is that he seems to be the top alternative to Rahm for white voters, if Rahm stalls at any point, he’s positioned to get some runoff from Chicago’s largest racial demographic.  He also doesn’t share Braun’s problem with Davis and Meeks.  Chico’s got 5 points on anyone else (who isn’t Rahm) amongst whites, so every vote he picks up in that demo is probably a Rahm vote.

What will be interesting to see is what happens when Chico and Braun start balancing taking down Rahm with trying to make sure they wind up #2.  At a certain point they’ll start undercutting each other at every opportunity, which they both have to realize could hand 50% to Rahm.