Mayor Daley forgot to push for ethics reform for Illinois Taxpayers
Make sure you read our prior post on Mayor Daley when he also forgot to list his free trips on his ethics statements. Please read Fran Spielman's take on Daley's tricks. Read the extend entry. Mayor Daley must be under too much stress lately. But not as much stress as lawyer from the water department, an ARDC complaint filed was today. Patrick McDonough
Daley pushes Springfield agenda lacking ethics reform Comments May 14, 2009 BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter Flanked by a cast of thousands, Mayor Daley turned up the heat today on the Illinois General Assembly to approve his Springfield agenda with one conspicuous omission: ethics reform. With one governor in prison and another impeached and indicted, reforming a state government mired in corruption and pay-to-pay politics is high on just about everybody's agenda. Not Daley's. Not even after the Hired Truck, city hiring and minority contracting scandals resulted in dozens of convictions, including the March guilty verdict against former Streets and Sanitation commissioner and Hispanic Democratic Organization chieftain Al Sanchez for rigging city hiring and promotions. Why not champion the issue? "We've done everything here. We're leading the way with our inspector general, office of compliance -- all the things we've done. We're more transparent than any other government. Look at it. We're doing a tremendous job here. We lead by example," he said. With two weeks to go in the spring session, Daley instead renewed his push for the wish list he has championed for months. It includes an infusion of capital funding to the CTA to ease pressure to raise fares and at least $200 million and pension relief for Chicago Public Schools to avoid classroom cuts and another local property tax increase. The mayor also pushed for property tax and foreclosure relief as well as what he calls "common sense gun laws." And he again urged Gov. Quinn to scrap his plan to withhold the 10 percent stake municipalities would expect to see in additional revenues from Quinn's proposal for a 50 percent increase in the state income tax. "Mayors have said, 'We've politically worked to get our share of the income tax -- whether under [former governors] Ogilvie or under Edgar. We worked that. We supported that. They can't take that away," Daley said. Schools chief Ron Huberman called Quinn's proposed $51.5 million increase in funding for Chicago Public Schools the smallest increase since 2002 and "one of the lowest we've seen." It comes at a time when CPS is grappling with a $475 million deficit, limping along for the fifth straight year with no state money to fix crumbling schools and has no more rabbits to pull out of the hat. "The district has already drawn down its reserves by $100 million to avoid increasing property taxes last year. Another draw-down is not an option. If we were to draw down our reserves any further, it would impact our bond rating," he said. Quinn and legislative leaders are grappling with a monstrous, $12 billion deficit. Daley's agenda would pour on even more red ink. Asked how he expects them to fund it, the mayor suggested leasing state assets. That's even though his $2.5 billion Midway Airport lease deal recently fell through for lack of financing, and the market for leasing public assets has dried up. "We did it years ago. Why didn't anybody else think of this? At least they can start thinking about this thing," the mayor said. "Markets are gonna come back. I'm confident this country will come back. We came back during the Depression. But you have to start thinking outside the box, because government is not gonna be run the same way [as it has] in the last 50 years after this deep, deep recession. It's gonna change. And unfortunately, the private sector is gonna change."