Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chicago Reader: FAIL

Read this before you drop another handful of quarters into a parking meter, and make sure to send Helen a note thanking her for looking out for our her best interests:

Chicago Reader: "How Daley and his crew hid their process from the public, ignored their own rules, railroaded the City Council, and screwed the taxpayers on the parking meter lease deal" By Ben Joravsky & Mick Dumke

From the story:
"The City Council approves Mayor Daley’s budget by a vote of 49 to one. It projects a balance by firing workers, hiking various fees and fines, and leasing the parking meters. Daley and the aldermen congratulate themselves on working through a dire financial situation together. “Often the City Council is looked at as a body, that if we all vote one way or another, it’s a rubber stamp,” says 46th Ward alderman Helen Shiller. “But that doesn't fit the times.” The lone dissenter, the 26th Ward’s Billy Ocasio, has a different take: “Yes, these are hard times,”he says. “But I think in this budget we haven’t been that responsible.”

Further... (on parking meter vote):

"Five aldermen—Shiller, Carothers, George Cardenas, Ariel Reboyras, and Sandi Jackson—manage to miss the vote."


  1. The ultimate point of the Reader article is "We have met the enemy and he is us." Thanks to apathy, cynicism, indifference or some combination of the three, the citizenry of Chicago (and yes, I'll accept my share of the blame) have allowed our king and his court to do just about anything they darn well please, as long as the garbage is picked up and the flowers bloom in the streets.

    Oh yeah, and we get the Olympics.

    And someday, after these guys and gals die/disappear, our kids and grandkids will read about this particular chapter of Chicago history and wonder why the heck the old folks didn't DO SOMETHING about it!

  2. You've got a bit of a point, gayle; however, don't discount the fact that these people twist and pervert the election process to retain their positions.

    Daley, we have seen proven recently in court, created the HDO to steer city jobs to folks who campaign for him.

    Joe Moore has been caught on film "assisting" a voter IN THE POLLING BOOTH.

    Helen has minions who generate libelous/slanderous rumors against her opponents; has her people post campaign posters for her at polling places and has reportedly been feeding and transporting the homeless to the polls.

    The list can go on.

    All the while, they work diligently to protect themselves from IG investigations.

    While the ultimate responsibility is on the voters, yes - let's not overlook the deviousness of these people to retain their positions of power.

  3. I'll be a man of few words:

    term limits
    campaign reform
    understandable transparency
    Inspector General's powers broadened
    punish pay-to-play politics

  4. It's truly sad when this "world class" city sees more controversy over who's fans are better looking than over theft and patronage in government. The people here simply shrug it off as "that's the way it is in Chicago" and go about lesser business. Unfortunately that is not what makes a world class city, it's what makes corruption possible.

    The fact that the few of you here on UU and in Uptown are taking such an interest and pro-active stand in the local politics is what makes this neighborhood so much better than the others. Even with the problems we face we are dealing with them every day and not walking around in a daze oblivious to government shenanigans.