Sunday, July 23, 2006

OP ED: Daley in Deep Doo Doo?

However the November and next year’s municipal elections go, it appears the old Chicago “machine” is starting to rust and the master mechanic, Mayor Rich Daley, my be having career problems.

Any of the recent scandals would have brought down the “man in charge.” In Chicago, however, there is an unworthy resiliency for old guard Chicago Democrats led by Hizzoner. The latest report on police torture again brings further evidence that Mayor Daley arguably leads the most corrupt and racist major city in America. Yet, the sycophants are quick to absolve Daley – again and again.

Of course if you believe the Mayor, he knew none of it. Not about political work for cushy jobs. Not about the donations for contracts. Not about the mobbed up backgrounds of his close pals. Not about airport contracts for his wife’s luncheon ladies. Not about the insider casino deals. Not about his brothers’ clout activities. Not about the pay-for-no-work jobs program. Not about police brutality against minorities. Not about prosecutorial abuse, even as state’s attorney. Not about the courts fixing everything from parking tickets to murder cases. Not about the unseemly handling of the Stroger situation, including the anointment of Stroger the Lesser as the party standard bearer. He knew none of it. So sayeth the mayor and his minions.

Born in Chicago, and being involved in its social and civic life, I can say with assurance that virtually EVERYONE knew of these things. We knew how the system worked. Police abuse against minorities and prosecutorial persecution was common knowledge – winked at by public officials from the precinct captain to the mayor. The democratic machine is much like the Democrat leaders of the old south – operated ruthlessly by a click of white pols for their own benefit. Sure, some blacks got rich playing “window dressing,” just as long as they did not get too uppity about the suppression of the black community in general.

It is to the credit of the people of Chicago that a recent poll indicated that more than 70 percent of the citizens (friends and foes alike) simply do not believe the Mayor. And that was taken before the latest round of professed mayoral ignorances. Is there anyone left who DOES believe the mayor?

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