Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Clout City: Stunt Men

By Mick Dumke
Clout City, The Reader's Chicago Politics Blog

During one of many lulls during the full City Council meeting last week, 49th Ward alderman Joe Moore was in the council lounge giving an interview to TV reporters about a new proposal to expand the powers of the inspector general’s office. His colleague Helen Shiller walked by looking skeptical.
“I think it’s a stunt,” she said of the proposal. “It’s a political move.”
For years Shiller was Mayor Daley’s chief council opponent, often casting the only vote against his budgets, criticizing waste, and demanding more funding for social services and development in depressed wards.
A few years ago, though, Shiller made peace with the mayor and got his support for her Wilson Yard project. Ever since she’s been a pretty consistent aye vote.
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  1. Calling for more accountability with members of City Council is a political stunt? I find it to be a great way to begin addressing the pay-to-play politics that occurs among some Chicago aldermen, especially with their control over zoning within their wards.

    My question is this: Is there any other city in the entire United States that allows their members of city council to escape such accountability?

  2. Even if it is a "Stunt" as Helen likes to call it is it still not the right thing to do?

    Every dollar the City Government and for the most part the Federal Government (Excluding issues of national security) spends should be open to the public. It's PUBLIC MONEY..not Government Money.

    Once again Helen either doesn't get it or flat out doesn't care.

  3. Helen gets it she just doesn't want her pay for play exposed.

  4. Often a person's reactions to something reveal more about them than they realize.

    Helen says "Fix Wilson Yard" has no agenda except as a political stunt.

    Helen says the public wanting their aldermen to be accountable is a stunt.

    The people who pay for this city to run are being bled dry, and the same people are asking for real representation because they're fed up with "business as usual."

    When someone like Ald. Shiller dismisses that all as "a stunt," you wonder it is who REALLY doesn't get it.

  5. Even if it is a "stunt", what viable alternatives has she proffered?

    She's obviously aware that there's a growing desire with the public to see what they're up to.

    What does she offer up beyond a "well, it's complicated, and people are more stupider than us alderfolk, so whenever we figger out a way to dumb everything down so much that it's still kinda' legally accurate, yet smokey enough to be misleading, we'll start thinking about ways to possibly, maybe sorta' get around to getting something together to start talking about the possibilities of maybe doing something proactively in the future."

    Kudos to the Reader though, for that hefty slap re: her trading her soul to the mayor to get her legacy project "out of the ground", to use her terms.

    Hey Maggie, how's that website TIF release coming along?

  6. Accountability = political stunt?

    I don't think so.

  7. A political stunt is when you register all the homeless in your district to vote using the local shelter as an address and then bus them in to vote after they've had breakfast.

  8. Shiller dissing a Moore initiative, how pathetic - forget anything you may have heard about an "independent caucus" or "progressive caucus"