by Don Washington on 2012/01/04
As we discussed yesterday the Tutorial staff spent the last two weeks asking activists, community members, public officials, workers, homeowners, neighborhood groups, journalists, artists, organizers and political junkies important political stories that will just be missed this year by the likes of Fran Speilman and Hal Dardick. They will miss these stories because their idea of fact checking consists of asking someone powerful for the proper spelling of their name. As we said yesterday this list might surprise and upset you, I’d say sorry but it’s not my fault that things are this screwed up in 19th century… I’m sorry 21st century Chicago.
The Story: Where Did All the Good Guy Aldermen Go?
• The Idiot Conventional Wisdom: If there is any and there may not be very much of it, it will be that the city is experiencing a shake-up with new blood coming into the Council and a new Mayor, setting a new course for our new order in the city. It’ll be a feel good positive story.
• The Villain/Patsy Fall Guy: There will be none. It is possible that this story will hardly be remarked upon as several aldermen will simply decide not to run or flee the City Council in other ways prior to the next Municipal elections.
• The Pre-Packaged Selling Points: The Ward Re-Map has caused a number of Aldermen to seek new positions. This is an example of how reform is causing Aldermen to seek better places to operate. This realignment is the perfect time to shrink the City Council.
• The Nasty Secret Everyone Will Forget: Running for Alderman in Chicago, especially if you are the sort of person who might be an opponent of Mayor Emanuel’s vision of the city, is going to cost you a LOT of money. For a serious candidate, BEFORE Citizen’s United and the birth of For a Better Chicago it cost one over $200,000. Mayor Emanuel, For a Better Chicago and groups like the Civic Federation have that kind of money in their change drawers.
• The Villains Who Will Relied Upon as Experts: The entire press corps will be called upon to opine about how this shifting is good for the city’s wellbeing but I suspect our friends at Chicago Tonight will be called upon to tell us wonderful change is.
• What You Won’t Hear but Will Desperately Want to Know: Chicago’s electoral political space time is being warped by a political black hole named Rahm Emanuel. When he ran the DCCC he set off a nasty fight with Howard Dean of the DNC to fight for the soul of the Democratic Party. The good news is that he lost that fight and then wrote a self-serving manifesto called the Thumpin’ where he took credit for winning. As Obama’s Chief of Staff he had Obama running around wiping out progressive candidates in Democratic primaries all over the country which gave us our present Congress. He is now the nexus point for hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate donations. He and his friends are going to use that power to elect even more pliable aldermen and more importantly Congressmen, Senators and State Level Officers.
You may think of Mayor Emanuel as a mature adult who doesn’t carry a grudge, is not vindictive and is not in possession of a foul temper. This is because you’ve been reading the Tribune or the Sun-Times. He is actually an angry little marmoset of a man. Fighting with him in the City Council is a good way to not be able to raise enough money to run for Congress or some State Level Officer seat. So you want to get somewhere where you will not have to fight with him and that would be the city r the county or the state. If you are an aspiring progressive politico is Chicago or find yourself in possession of the occasional progressive impulse running for higher political office is going to get really, really hard.
Tomorrow’s Something Wicked This Way Comes: Who the F*&k Took My Pension!