Neil Steinberg describes Mayor Daley exactly

Neil, your honest writing skills and perfect description of Daley is worth a second look by all Chicago Clout fans. I would not have been so nice. Mayor Daley's globetrotting is costing taxpayers money, trust me.Daley a pitchman? Hardly
December 30, 2007
BY NEIL STEINBERG Sun-Times Columnist
So let me get this straight . . . the argument is that Mayor Daley is taking all these trips abroad, wandering the globe like a milkweed puff, all expenses paid by his rich pals, in order to improve the image of the city abroad and help promote business?
"This builds on the marketing of Chicago," Jerry Roper, president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, which has paid for some of the mayor's jaunts, told the Chicago Tribune.
Ah, hahahahahahahaha.
Does anybody really believe that? Or should I say, does anybody who has ever spent time with Daley really believe that? Chicago's mayor may have transformed the city into heaven on earth — at least in certain spots — but in person he's an overbearing, charmless, abrupt man who couldn't sell tuna fish to cats. Awkward in his own skin, squirming, sputtering, uncomfortable, poorly spoken, vindictive, bored, florid, disheveled, mean — really, this is the face that Chicago is projecting to the world?
At least gin up an excuse that makes sense — he likes to be able to walk in public without people lunging to kiss his ring; Maggie likes to shop in Milan; he wants to relax in cities where he doesn't have to worry about being asked about his son Patrick's business dealings.
Something plausible.
But Richard M. Daley, Chicago's own Keebler elf, ringing the globe like Santa, bringing awareness of our great city to unwashed Parisians and unaware Berliners? That's a joke.
Tough to buy explanation of mayor's travels — or that he could sell city

7 Replies to “Neil Steinberg describes Mayor Daley exactly”

  1. We should follow Daley on his trips to see where he hides millions of taxpayers loot. The mob loot. Daley is a goon and a thug. Why is the Shakman settlement money on hold?
    Thank you McDonough.

  2. Year started with a bang for mayor
    MIXED BAG | Re-election, Olympics and scandals

    December 31, 2007
    BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter/
    The warm glow of Olympic gold and a landslide victory that sealed a place in Chicago history. The cold reality of entrenched problems that can be ignored no longer. Mayor Daley faced both in 2007 — sandwiched around the 65th birthday that made him a senior citizen.

    He shook off three years of corruption scandals to earn the right to become Chicago’s longest-serving mayor. And only after his re-election did he clean out his City Hall Cabinet, hammer out costly contracts that guaranteed 10 years of labor peace and tackle the city’s long-festering financial, transportation, police brutality and police corruption problems.

    Daley’s rough year
    The year began with a Bears march to the Super Bowl that provided Daley a timely diversion from a ho-hum mayoral campaign.

    As underfunded mayoral challengers Dorothy Brown and Bill “Dock” Walls struggled for attention, a smiling Daley was photographed in a Bears cap before a Taste of Chicago spread wagered in bets with the mayors of Seattle and Indianapolis. He endeared himself to Bears fans by nixing a 50 percent increase in playoff-parking rates at Soldier Field.

    Between photo-ops and fund-raisers that brought in $7 million in under three months, Daley nailed down a prized endorsement from U.S. Senator and presidential challenger Barack Obama, who said the City Hall corruption that once gave him “huge pause” about Daley was being cleaned up. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago) also climbed aboard the Daley bandwagon — nine months after a blistering critique of Daley that appeared to lay the groundwork for a mayoral campaign.

    The big-name endorsements softened the blow of Daley’s strained relationship with organized labor. Four city unions took a pass on the mayor’s race — payback for the 28-month wait for new contracts and the mayor’s 2006 veto of the big-box minimum-wage ordinance. The Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2 endorsed Brown. The Chicago Building Trades Council was the only union to endorse Daley.

    All 50 wards back mayor
    The cold shoulder from organized labor wasn’t the only hiccup in the campaign.

    A federal report suggested first responders in Chicago and Cook County were ill-prepared to communicate with one another in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack. A racketeering lawsuit accused political operatives with ties to Daley of shaking down a developer.

    Chief Emergency Officer Cortez Trotter responded to the federal critique by lashing out at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, then resigned five months later. The lawsuit, filed by developer Thomas Snitzer, was dismissed by Daley as election-year politics.

    On Feb. 27, Daley captured all 50 wards and nearly 72 percent of the vote, setting him up to break the 21-year record for longevity set by his father, former Mayor Richard J. Daley, assuming he is in office on Dec. 26, 2010. Never mind that only one-third of the city’s 1.4 million registered voters bothered to go to the polls, or that aldermanic challengers bankrolled by organized labor defeated the mayor’s candidates or forced them into run-offs in battleground wards.

    No sooner were the ballots counted than, in March, the U.S. Olympic Committee demanded Daley put “skin in the game” if he wanted Chicago to become the U.S. bid city for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The demand forced a $500 million guarantee from Chicago taxpayers. So much for Daley’s oft-repeated promise to host the Games without a penny of local tax dollars.

    “If everything else fails — an earthquake, tornado, everything comes down — this is your insurance policy,” the mayor said on the day a wary City Council approved the Olympic guarantee.

    The promise worked. The USOC chose Chicago over Los Angeles in the first leg of a marathon bid process that will end in 2009. Daley was so thrilled he leaped out of his seat at the tension-packed announcement in Washington. Chicago is now poised to become the USOC’s new headquarters, another major coup.

    The feds speak
    The Olympic luster wore off when USOC Chairman Peter Ueberroth said Chicago stands in fourth place behind Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo. Daley’s chances weren’t helped by an embarrassing Chicago Marathon in record heat that saw organizers run out of water and one competitor die of a heart ailment.

    March also saw former Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez indicted on charges he traded jobs, promotions, overtime and transfers for political work and personal favors. Sanchez was a chief lieutenant of the Daley-created Hispanic Democratic Organization. The indictment made clear a federal investigation of city hiring that forced the city to create a $12 million fund to compensate victims of City Hall’s rigged hiring was far from over — and that HDO chieftain Victor Reyes remains in investigators’ cross hairs.

    One month later, Daley returned from a two-week trip overseas to the furor of a videotape played around the world — the footage of burly off-duty Chicago Police Officer Anthony Abbate pummeling a diminutive female bartender.

    In a woodshed meeting held on the mayor’s first day back at work, Daley forced the resignation of Police Supt. Phil Cline, who’d been contemplating retirement but wanted to leave on his own terms. Cline walked the plank for mishandling the incidents, including his decision to leave six off-duty officers accused of beating four businessmen at the Jefferson Tap and Grille on the job for months.

    “That’s why everybody was outraged,” Daley said on the day he accepted Cline’s resignation. “You can’t wait that long in regard to an incident like this, because, if there’s a videotape, it’s going to get out.”

    In the wake of those and other allegations of excessive force by police, Daley severed the Office of Professional Standards from the Police Department and hired a Los Angeles attorney to restore public confidence in investigations of police wrongdoing. He also agreed to a $19.8 million settlement with four torture victims of former Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge that, despite a legal snag, is expected to be approved by the City Council in the new year.

    In April, CTA President Frank Kruesi, the mayor’s longest-serving government adviser, abruptly resigned the job he had held for a decade. Convinced Kruesi had made too many enemies in Springfield, Daley took that issue off the table in the quest for long-term funding for mass transit. Ron Huberman, the mayor’s chief of staff, was installed as Kruesi’s replacement. By year’s end, Kruesi had resurfaced as the city’s chief lobbyist in Washington.

    When a blistering federal report blamed shoddy CTA maintenance and missing and falsified records for a 2006 Blue Line derailment, the management shakeup allowed Daley to claim the problems he called “a disgrace” had been “corrected.”

    The same can’t be said for CTA funding. Despite a landmark agreement with CTA unions that includes health care and pension concessions, the General Assembly remains stalemated over demands for a capital program bankrolled by casino gambling. Doomsday fare hikes and service cuts loom.

    Property tax plan not a hit
    The CTA wasn’t alone in its financial crisis. The city budget was also mired in red ink, thanks to personnel costs tied to new labor contracts, sky-high overtime spending and lower-than-expected revenues tied to the housing crunch.

    Daley ordered three rounds of midyear budget cuts — then socked it to Chicago taxpayers by proposing $293 million in higher taxes, fines and fees.

    When aldermen balked at the mayor’s proposal for a $108 million property tax increase to build and maintain libraries, Daley initially called the criticism an “insult to me,” then backed off and reduced the property tax increase to $83.4 million.

    As if the mayor didn’t have enough battles, he picked a few new ones.

    He created a new Office of Compliance to oversee city hiring, infuriating corruption-fighting Inspector General David Hoffman, who felt undermined again.

    Daley became more open in his criticism of Gov. Blagojevich — and walked out of a mass-transit summit meeting called by the governor. He also ridiculed 28 aldermen who signed a petition demanding the city release the names of Chicago Police officers most frequently accused of excessive force. At the top of the list were officers assigned to the now-disbanded Special Operations Section, which is at the center of a cops-as-robbers scandal.

    The mayor’s roller-coaster year ended with a pair of bombshells — one dropped by the mayor, the other by the Chicago Sun-Times.

    The newspaper disclosed Daley’s soldier son Patrick, now deployed overseas, and the mayor’s nephew Robert Vanecko had a hidden interest in a sewer inspection company whose city business rose sharply while they were owners. An emotional Daley called his son’s investment a “lapse in judgment” and declared: “I wish he hadn’t done it.” But Daley said he didn’t know about the deal until the Sun-Times started asking questions. Hoffman is now investigating.

    The mayor’s shocker was his choice of career FBI agent Jody Weis to become the first outsider to serve as Chicago Police superintendent in nearly 50 years.

    Daley was so enamored of Weis and his ability to deliver the Police Department from the abyss of corruption and brutality allegations that he agreed to pay the new superintendent $310,000 a year and lock him in to a three-year term that ends after the 2011 mayoral election. Weis’ salary is $93,790 higher than the mayor’s.

    The move was controversial on several fronts.

    Daley’s stunning choice circumvented a pair of nationwide searches by the Chicago Police Board. He chose an FBI agent who has never been a police officer and never run a law enforcement agency, ignoring long-standing tensions between the Police Department and the FBI. And the mayor angered some black ministers and community leaders, who questioned whether a white superintendent could bridge a widening gap between residents and police in the African-American community.

    But Daley is convinced his G-man is the right man for the pressure-cooker job. Chicagoans will have to wait until next year to find out if their mayor was right.






    IN MARCH . . .


  3. Daley should love the reformers who got the legislature to drop the petition signature requirement from 25000 to 12500. Without that change in the law Daley would not have been on the ballot at all. He only presented 19000+ signature in the post Sorich conviction era. And the challenge brought his number down to 14,000. If we had had the money and people to continue challenging his petitions he probably would have NOT been on the ballot at all.
    I was there for the challenge and I saw bad signatures approved by the Board of Elections employees who were doing their best to drag the process on and keep da mare in power.

    Chicago Sun-Times, Jun 8, 2005 by Frank Main
    A Chicago Water Management Department employee was the leader of a heroin distribution cell supplied by Colombian traffickers, according to federal charges unsealed today.

    George A. Prado, two other city employees and six others were arrested this morning on charges of conspiring to distribute large quantities of heroin. Eight of the defendants were in Chicago and one was in New York, authorities said.

    They said search warrants executed at five Chicago addresses yielded about a quarter kilo of heroin, 16 kilos of cocaine, a gun and $50,000 in cash.

    The FBI launched the investigation in February.

    In an intercepted telephone conversation with a supplier, Prado threatened to kidnap, beat and possibly murder a drug courier whose impounded car contained a kilogram of cocaine seized about two weeks ago by the FBI, prosecutors said.

    Prado is a hoisting engineer for the Water Management Department. Also charged were his brother-in-law, Anthony C. Ritacco, who works for the Chicago Department of Transportation, and Michael D. Hart, a low-level Water Management employee.

    A government informant also worked with Prado, prosecutors said, but was not charged. They said the man, who is not named in court documents, was engaged in the conspiracy during normal weekday working hours.

    Last week, Mayor Daley fired Water Management Commissioner Richard Rice and nine underlings, including the brother-in-law of Cook County Commissioner John Daley, after the discovery of a scam in which someone would punch the employees into a time card reader even though they were not on duty at the city’s Jardine Filtration Plant.

  5. Got this off of Craigslist today it is good.


    Reply to:
    Date: 2008-01-01, 9:13AM CST


    A young Irish lad from the south side of chicago rises through the ranks of the irish gangs. Tough, competitive, well-grounded, and driven. Enters the world of Chicago politics. Quickly befriends the Italian mob, Jewish mob and, of course, leads the Irish mob. Becomes Mayor of Chicago. Builds the McCormick Place with the Mafia. Undertakes Lake Shore Drive and builds one of the finest highways in the world. High rises spring up and Chicago is home to the Hancock and Sears Tower. Ran the Kennedy campaign out of Chicago and built Vegas with their clout and mob money. Soon, he became one of the most powerful men in the country, until his death in the early 70′. His son, born into political aristocracy, grew up being nurtured by presidents, senators, congressmen, wealth, and cronies. Fought his way into political power, soon becoming mayor of Chicago, after the mysterious and sudden death of Harold Washington, allowing the dynasty to continue well into the next century.

    ED ASNER……….Mayor Richard J. Daley

    ALEC BALDWIN……Mayor Richard M. Daley

    KURT RUSELL…….John F. Kennedy

    ROBERT DENIRO…..Al Capone

    MORGAN FREEMAN….Harold Washington

    CHERI OTERI…….Jayne Bryne

    CHARLIE SHEEN…..Robert Kennedy

    GWEN STEFANI……Marilyn Monroe

    CHARLES DUNING….J. Edgar Hoover

    ABBIE HOFFMAN…..Sean Penn

    LYNDON JOHNSON….Tim Robbins

    FRANK SINATRA…..Matt Damon

    Directed by Martin Scorcese

    (Response) Alex Baldwin as Daley? We would need to remove his legs at his knees. Daley should be played by a midget. Alec does drink heavy like Daley. How about my part?

  6. So, Pat, would you prefer Danny DeVito?

    Or, maybe, Drew Carey?

    Or, say, Jack Nicholson?

    Or, how about an unknown Chicago actor?

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