When it comes to handouts, Rahm makes Willie Wilson look like a piker. Who’s your daddy?

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I remember the 1979 election for Mayor of Chicago.

Jane Byrne upset Michael Bilandic. Election night I was in the basement polling booth when the Democratic Party Machine precinct captain dragged this poor guy in the door to vote for Bilandic. The guy was clearly clueless and had too much to drink and there were so many poll watchers that the captain couldn’t actually pull the lever for him as he normally would.

The poor guy stood in the booth yelling, “Now what do I do? I can’t afford to give you the five bucks back. What do I do?”

The precinct captain was only slightly embarrassed.

In 1979 a vote from the local wino cost the Democratic Machine five bucks.

I wasn’t shocked to read that Willie Wilson and Bruce Rauner were at a local church where Wilson was handing out handfuls of cash to local parishioners.

Oh. The local media was shocked. But most of them aren’t from around here.

I’m only sorry I don’t go to that church. On that day.

Bruce Rauner is running and losing in his effort to remain as Illinois Governor. Willie Wilson is running for Mayor in 2019.

Rauner and Democratic opponent, JB Pritzker, are spending $300,000 a day to get elected.

I have no idea if handing out cash for votes is illegal. I’m pretty sure it’s not ethical. But this is Chicago.

It is small time stuff compared to Mayor “Whose your daddy?” Rahm. He’s collected $12 million in campaign funds so far.

Retiring Alderman Ricardo Muñoz agreed with me on Friday’s Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers that there is a point of diminishing returns in elections.  He said he figures it would take only $7 million to successfully beat the Mayor.

$7 million.

By the way, I hold no grudge that Ric waited until yesterday to announce that he was not going to stay as dean of the Latino alderman in the Chicago City Council. He gave that scoop to Carol Marin.  He could have shared that with us on Friday, but like I said, I hold no grudge. He’s been a good alderman and I wish him well.

I’m no campaign expert, so I don’t know about that $7 million figure.

I believe in movements.

As for Wilson and his cash handouts in a church.

Back in May:

On the day Amazon announced a shortlist of 20 potential cities for its second headquarters, the executive, Jay Carney, wrote Mayor Rahm Emanuel an email saying “everyone” was impressed with Chicago’s bid, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“Rahm — Assume you saw our news. We look forward to diving in deeper on Chicago’s proposal,” Carney, who is Amazon’s senior vice president of corporate affairs, wrote January 18. “As I think I mentioned before, everyone here was impressed with the proposal your team put together. Many thanks, Jay.”

Emanuel responded with a reference to a real-estate rankings list published by Redfin.

“Yes aware. Thanks,” he wrote. “Hope you saw the recognition of our neighborhoods (7) that have it all!”

Carney wrote back: “I did. Good stuff.”

Then Emanuel replied: “Whose (sic) your daddy? Talk soon. Hope family is good.”

Rahm to Amazon’s Carney: “Who’s your daddy?”

Compared to Rahm, Willie Wilson is a small time piker.

Random thoughts. Rahm’s toast.


I watched the DNC raw feed last night. I wasn’t interested in any talking heads explaining to me what I was seeing or what I heard.

I am not going to review the speeches. Content aside, speaking ability aside – I must say I don’t understand what Tim Kaine brings to this campaign other than a video of constantly changing bad haircuts – the Democrats seemed to understand that they should stop talking about Russian emails and get back to their game plan.

My favorite moments were when delegates chanted No More War to Leon Panetta – which apparently displeased Rachel Maddow, I am told – and the video intro to President Obama.

Go to 2:30 of the video.

It shows Rahm Emanuel and quotes him as advising President Obama not to pursue the Affordable Care Act.

You want evidence that Rahm Emanuel is toast?

The Obama people chose to screw Emanuel by name in the video.

I know there is no love lost between the Obama people and Rahm.

There are plenty of reports that Michelle can’t stand him.

But in the prime time intro to the President’s endorsement speech of Hillary Clinton, Rahm – who had no other presence at the Convention – was called out by name for being a cowardly dick with no political principles. It’s not like there aren’t others they could have named. They chose to name him.

Don’t let the door hit you, Mr. Mayor.

What was Rahm doing at the memorial honoring Pullman workers?


Rahm went after the Chicago Teachers Union in 2012. 

– Posting from Brooklyn.

President Obama came to Chicago to dedicate the Pullman national monument.

The monument is not there to honor capital’s robber barons of industry. It’s not there for George Pullman. It is there to honor its workers, labor unions, the African American union of sleeping car porters.

Much is being made of the fact that Governor Private Equity was kept off the stage when the President was signing the paper establishing the monument.

Capitolfax posted these tweets:

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Even Crain’s pro-business Greg Hinz was forced to admit that Governor Private Equity appears to be in the tradition of George Pullman.

Rauner acted like a rich guy protecting his class in one key area: While poor people and middle-class people and workers and transit riders and just about everyone else is being asked to take it in the ear in the name of “shared sacrifice,” people of means get off scot-free. In fact, they’re actually better off.

Yet everyone agrees that the timing of Obama’s trip to Chicago had more to do with saving Rahm Emanuel’s behind than honoring labor.


The very same mayor who used the most offensive gutter language to the country’s most beloved teacher union leader?

Also kept off the stage was Rahm’s primary opponent, Alderman Bob Fioretti.

Ald. Bob Fioretti, 2nd, questioned why he was not granted a ticket to attend the event, given his history as a past president and current member of the Historic Pullman Foundation board.

Considering the mutual contempt with which Governor Private Equity and Rahm hold unions, they both should have been kept behind the velvet ropes.

But honoring labor, unions and the Pullman porters wasn’t really what today was all about.

No cuts, no butts, no coconuts.

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– Posting from Brooklyn.

Crain’s is reporting an increase in voter interest in Tuesday’s mayoral primary. Registration is easier and their numbers are up (thank you, Chicago Votes).

“Everybody seems to be under the impression that this is going to be a low-turnout election. I am not sure of that,” says long-time Chicago election watcher, Don Rose.

My buddy Glen Brown has a good collection of responses to the Private Equity Governor’s budget address.

It includes this from the Chicago Teachers Union.

There is only one equitable solution to Illinois’ budget: Generate revenue from those most able to pay. A report issued this week from the Center for Budget and Tax Accountability pointed to the real impact of the reduction of the state’s income tax level – a massive transfer of wealth to the richest Illinoisans. Illinois is “broke” because the governor and his biggest supporters do not pay their fair share. The solutions continue to be clear. Rauner should advocate for a surcharge on millionaires. He should support a graduated income tax. He should propose eliminating tax loopholes that allow corporations to avoid hundreds of millions in Illinois taxes. He should assist municipalities’ finances by pledging to withhold state business from any bank that refuses to renegotiate toxic interest swaps. The governor provided practically no detail and proposed none of these revenue proposals.

Illinois’ success depends on the collective support of public services to fuel the entire state economy.

Taken collectively, Gov. Rauner’s proposal only worsens Illinois’ economic challenges and unnecessarily harms working people across the state. Evidently, successfully shaking up Springfield means more of the same discredited 1980s economic theory to benefit the wealthy. Way to go, ‘overnor.

Glen also includes the response from our IEA President Cinda Klickna.

The governor’s plan to drastically cut pension benefits for active employees is obviously unconstitutional and does nothing to address the state’s pension debt. Cutting retirement benefits would only make it harder to attract and retain the people we need to teach our children.

The good news about today’s speech is that Governor Rauner cannot autocratically impose his dark vision for Illinois. We will share our ideas with the governor and we will work with the members of the Illinois General Assembly, both Republicans and Democrats, to develop a plan to move Illinois in the right direction.

Fine words.

Cinda Klickna is absolutely right. Rauner is no king.

What I look forward to is the plan to fight the Private Equity Governor.

Certainly, every member of the Illinois General Assembly must be reminded of The Quinn Rule.

If you desert us, we will desert you.

But sharing our ideas with Rauner and members of the Illinois General Assembly will not nearly be enough.

Membership in all the state public employee unions and impacted communities must be moved into action: In the voting booth, on the internet and in the streets. Mobilized, not paralyzed.

And lastly, if you want to know why interest in the Chicago election is up, you need look no further than my 35th ward where Carlos Rosa is charging hard against the Mayor’s current water carrier, Rey Colon.

Polls show that it is in contested aldermanic races like ours where there is the greatest interest.

Piso mojado.


Photo: Fred Klonsky

The alarm went off at 3:30 AM this morning.

We had a 4:15 cab to Midway to catch a 6:15 flight to Tampa.

To the warm. We hope.

To see the grandkids for sure.

Anne and I grabbed an egg sandwich and coffee at the only place open at the airport before 5AM –Potbellies. A bagel at Potbellies is a sad thought and an even sadder reality.

No matter. I’m still working off the buzz from yesterday.

The neighborhoods responded to Chicago’s wealthy north shore-born mayor and his nuclear plan to blow up Chicago’s neighborhood schools.

His plan is for a scale of urban destruction this city hasn’t seen since the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the intellect behind the banning of the acclaimed graphic novel Persepolis is no Mrs. O’Leary.

Mrs. O’Leary and her cow were innocent of any wrongdoing. She was a victim of anti-Irish prejudice. Her cow was an innocent bystander.

BBB on the other hand is guilty as charged.

The bigger (but shorter) target of yesterday’s mass outrage was the one-term Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

An online NBC poll asked whether Chicago’s citizens supported Rahm or teacher union president Karen Lewis. The last time I looked, Lewis was beating Rahm handily.

The rap against Lewis is that she needs a better PR rep. But everywhere I go she is a rock star. So, I was not surprised by that poll response.

Not nearly as big a surprise as the Bulls beating the Miami Heat last night.

Rahm is in big trouble.

The rumor all last week was whether County Board President Toni Preckwinkle would run against him.

Two years from now.

Preckwinkle is no lefty. A some-time progressive Democrat, she aimed some sharp barbs at Rahm’s school closing plan. That was enough for the media to start handicapping the race.

Preckwinkle is an African American woman from the south side with broad city-wide support. She easily won her election as County Board President with a reputation for honest good government.

Odds do not favor the current mayor.

That is If Preckwinkle decides to run.

All of Rahm’s poll numbers are in the toilet. The conventional wisdom is that things might change once he has an actual candidate to run against. For the time being however, ABR (anybody but Rahm) is doing pretty well.

I think that will be decided by what happens in the street.

Yesterday Chicago’s streets were full of protesters.

I don’t think it is for the last time.

The sign in the airport men’s bathroom warned piso mojado.

I was warned.

Yesterday, so was The Mayor.