Rahm was not acting like a mayor whose handlers believe he has a double-digit lead.

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Last night got pretty ugly.

Many viewers at home agreed with those in the audience who booed Phil Ponce, the long-time host of Chicago Tonight, when Ponce kept pushing the issue of Chuy Garcia’s son who has had trouble with the law as a kid.

By the end of the evening Ponce’s name was the number one trending topic on Chicago Twitter.

And the Tweets weren’t praising him.

But I thought the story was Rahm.

He was not acting as if he, his handlers or advisors like David Axelrod, believe the Tribune poll showing a double digit lead any more than I do.

He was acting like someone in a very close election. A double-digit lead with a week to go? He would be sitting on that lead, trying to avoid making a mistake.

It was clear that Rahm’s people thought bringing a sheet of paper as a prop to attack Chuy’s managerial experience with the community group Enlace was going to be some kind of gotcha moment.

Did anybody watching at home even know what the paper was?

The entire Enlace issue was manufactured by Sun-Times reporter Dan Mihalopoulos, famously known for his work exposing CTU President Karen Lewis’ vast real estate holdings.

That was sarcasm, in case you missed it.

In These Times online editor Micah Uetricht does a good job telling the real story of Garcia and Enlace.

If you were waiting for talk of schools, cuts in human services or mental health facilities then you waited in vain.

Due to the ugly moderating by Ponce, Rahm didn’t even provide viewers who were playing the Full-Day Kindergarten drinking game a chance for one shot.

I had predicted more lies about high school graduation rates coming from Rahm.

Didn’t happen.

Because Ponce created a hot mess of a debate.

While Chuy made some good points about Rahm’s role in Freddie Mac and about his big donor pals that receive financial benefits from the Mayor in return, the debate appeared frequently to be coming apart at the seams.

Ponce at first explained that the format would allow longer uninterrupted responses. But that only worked for Rahm’s first response. Then it was everybody talking over everybody.

I’m tired of the mayor as manager meme that the press and Rahm have invented. The leader of a city like Chicago is not a business manager. The mayor sets policy and creates a vision. They hire managers.

Rahm hired Amer Ahmad, now serving 15 years for corruption, as City Comptroller.

His vision is that of a Wall Street investor and those of downtown business interests.

When asked about meeting with Chicago residents who live near O’Hare airport and the noise created by the new runways, Rahm first lied and said he had met with them. Then admitted he hadn’t met with them. He said he talked to the alderman.

By the way, go back and read Ben Joravsky’s brilliant take-down of Rahm’s claim to four years of balanced budgets from the September Reader of last year. Of course then Rahm could only falsely claim three years of balanced budgets.

I couldn’t help but laugh when Rahm turned to Chuy and said, “You’re calling Deloitte and Touche liars?” Deloitte and Touche  is a giant accounting firm that does city audits.

First of all, I have a cold and by this time in the debate I was feeling a little giddy from the decongestants.

Deloitte and Touche just sounds funny to me.

Deloitte and Touche came up when Chuy had challenged the transparency of Rahm’s financial operations.

But accounting firms don’t guarantee transparency. Or the truth.

They can be as trustworthy as the accounting firm of Arthur Anderson was – It is no longer with us as a company – in their audits of Enron.

For what it is worth, Mayor Daley’s budgets were audited by Deloitte and Touche too. The very budgets Rahm says created the problems he says he has been fixing.

What Chuy was asking for was public transparency.

Something we will not get from the current mayor.

13 thoughts on “Rahm was not acting like a mayor whose handlers believe he has a double-digit lead.

  1. It has been revealed that Ponce and Rahm are neighbors. You dont think for 1 minute this so called debate wasnt staged hollywood style. After the low blow question on Chuys son and the boos the pious Ponce did a half turn to the audience with a chuckle and asked another question regarding his son. Then out of the west rode Rahm Wayne on his white horse in his white hat to save Chuy, come on do they really think the public is this stupid. But Chuy blew his chance, the first mention of his sons past he should have stood up, pounded his fist at Ponce and told him my familys off limits and if you intend to go down this road, the debate is over. Instead he fell right into the trap that was preset.
    First off Ponce needs to be fired, he just gave public television a black eye. An apology by WTTW to Chuy and his family must be made immediately. A redo of the debate in some form , but a honest form this time as soon as possible must be made available. This was chuys last chance and due to this low life hollywood scam it may have changed unfairly the election. If WTTW doesnt comply then a total boycott is in order. We dont fund a so called public television that condones bias reporting. We boycott all of their programs, sorry yes even bigbird. It just might lead to their downfall. I always held WTTW in the highest regards and we all entrusted them with the early education of our children and then our grandchilren. But now they need to right their ship as fast as possible or loose their viewers support. From now until they correct this situation their call letters should be WTF. Those polls were always bullshit all along anyways. Sunday evening they stated it was 50% Rahm 32% Chuy 18% undecided. Tuesday afternoon, by it seems divine intervention it changed that to 58% Rahm 30% Chuy. So you see again bullshit at its finest, and yes I am pissed.

  2. Phil Ponce became a corporate slug a long time ago, so his anti-Chuy bias simply reflects where he’s been for a couple of decades. I knew him back when he was a grunt reporter who used to come and speak to my journalism classes at Amundsen High School. Those speakers back then included John Kass, who while at the Daily Calumet was not a bad guy — and who sold out big time by crossing the picket line during the Tribune strike. Ponce no longer bothers to answer critical emails when he is doing his ruling class Big Shot thing, so it was nice to read about him getting Twittered and Tweeted against last night. Did Pontificating Phil ask Rahm whether that cell phone theft on Hermitage and later deal in court have anything to do with what the kid thought he was scoring that evening? Or is the problem of a son only limited in Phil’s world to Chuy’s family?

  3. I was hoping to hear about taxing the mercantile exchange trades….but Chuy made a great point when he compared city revenues from sale of Empire State Building and the Willis to
    Tower….in chicago, insiders get huge tax breaks….these are the deals that are killing budgets, not modest city pensions!

    1. J, be careful when you talk about taxing mercantile exchange because the resident financial and wall street expert, anonymous, will have a fit.

  4. Well, well, well. So Chuy is a “career politician?” He’s had a similar -though more extensive-career as the president of the United States (yes, and I certainly don’t mean the last one!) Let’s see, President Obama was a community organizer and so was Chuy. President Obama taught college, so did Chuy. President Obama worked for community organizations, Chuy led one. President Obama started out his political life as an Illinois state senator when Chuy was already an Illinois state senator. Is the incumbent implying that our president is a “career politician,” and, if so, I still think is much better than being a con artist like the incumbent.

  5. Well, well, well. So Chuy is a “career politician?” He’s had a similar -though more extensive-career as the president of the United States (yes, and I certainly don’t mean the last one!) Let’s see, President Obama was a community organizer and so was Chuy. President Obama taught college, so did Chuy. President Obama worked for community
    organizations, Chuy led one. President Obama started out his political life as an Illinois state senator when Chuy was already an Illinois state senator. Is the incumbent implying that our president is a “career politician?” If so, I still think is much better than being a con artist like the incumbent.

  6. Arthur Anderson was disciplined while we were still governed by the rule of law, Fred. Corporate criminals were prosecuted. They went to jail. Deloitte and Touche exists under the new regime, the corporate state. They make their own rules and their own laws.

  7. Again…the media. What were you thinking, Phil Ponce?!
    And could some clever Fred reader (Glen, Matt, Some VAM Poet {if you read Fred, & you should!!}) please write lyrics to the tune of S & G’s Mrs.Robinson w/the refrain,”Where have you gone, Dan Mihalopoulos?” Dan, as you all might recall, revealed the UNO fleecing of the state, which, I believe, was worthy of a Pulitzer. As to the “Karen Dynasty” reveal (& on the front page of the Sunday paper–with pictures of her glorious “mansions,” no less!) & the Enlace issue (good for lining Chicago residents’ birdcages), his journalistic integrity is, alas, no more. Dan, your total 180 totally justifies Fred’s insistence that he is a blogger, & not a journalist. I can just picture Royko turning over in his grave.

    Is John Kass the only mainstream newspaper Rahm critic left, and, if so, will he give one of his own the Moutza?

    1. Royko wasn’t the “Royko” of your dreams, and John Kass (who scabbed on the Tribune strike 30 years ago to get his big reporting jobs) is going to be against us most of the time. Be careful about how the histories are brought back as ghosts. Kass was an honest reporter back when he lived on Altgeld above the garage just west of Kedzie (yes, he used to be part of the Logan Square community before he returned to his white suburban roots)…

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