Daley Is Unfit to Be Mayor

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.”
–Frederick Douglass, former slave and statesman, 1853

Federal Court Restrictions Prevent Daley from Fulfilling His Duties as Mayor

When Richard M. Daley was campaigning for his first term in 1989, he and his campaign staff deliberately violated the Shakman Decree in order to gain an unfair advantage over the other candidates running for mayor. The Shakman Decree specifically states that city employees can’t be hired, fired, promoted, or transferred based on any political reasons or affiliations.

One would think that Daley would have obeyed the law, given his law school education and former job as Cook County States Attorney. It is quite ironic that a Cook County States Attorney masterminded Chicago’s greatest conspiracy to defraud voters.

According to federal court testimony, when Daley ran in 1989 he promised city jobs to Hispanic Democratic Organization (HDO) members if they helped him get elected. During the next 15 years in office, Daley unlawfully enlarged his invincible political army by using city jobs to recruit HDO members and others willing to electioneer for Daley.

Because of the unlawful manner in which Daley won his first election, Daley was unfit to be mayor from the first day he took office. What’s worse, since his army of unlawful campaign workers helped reelect him five times. Daley has been unfit to serve as mayor of Chicago every single day he has held office.

As mayor, it is Daley’s duty and responsibility to manage city employees. Daley’s idea of managing city employees is to rig the hiring system so that city employees turn into his campaign workers come election time.

The mayor is also Chicago’s chief executive officer (CEO). The scandals in the Daley administration under the mayor’s leadership have cost the city over $170 million since 2008 alone. How many American corporations would have retained Daley as CEO for 21 years if he had cost their companies more than $170 million through illegal activity like Daley has cost Chicago taxpayers? Would you hire Daley if it meant a monitor, assigned by a federal court judge, would be needed to make sure he obeyed the law?

In 2008 Shakman monitor Noelle Brennan announced 1,400 people would receive financial compensation as a result of the Daley administration civil rights abuses. Nearly all the civil rights victims were city job applicants or employees. One week after Brennan disclosed the names of the civil rights’ victims, Daley spent $153 million on contracts with private firms for testing, recruiting, hiring, and promoting city employees. Daley expected the contracts would get him out from under the federal court’s supervision. The contracts were for five years, which means they don’t expire until 2013.

In 2007 Daley spent $4 million on a new department called “Office of Compliance,” which deliberately took recruiting and hiring away from the Inspector General’s office. The newly created Compliance Office was meant to take power away from Inspector General David Hoffman who was doing too good of a job exposing corruption in the Daley administration.

In 2010 Daley reorganized again and gave back recruiting and hiring to the Inspector General’s office after Hoffman resigned. But what about the $4 million Daley spent when he created the Office of Compliance? His frequent need to restructure city departments to comply with the Shakman Decree shows that Daley is incapable of managing the city’s workforce.

Daley’s Illegal Activity Cost Taxpayers More than $170 Million

When Daley announced his new hiring plan in June, 2010, he said, “I am determined that we get our hiring procedures right.” Daley has been mayor for 21 years. Don’t you think 21 years is enough time to get the city hiring procedures right? If Daley hasn’t gotten the hiring procedures right in 21 years, he is never going to get them right.

Daley’s latest plan calls for an outside firm to hire most city employees. The new plan is an admission that handing out $153 million in contracts to get rid of the Shakman monitor was a failure. Furthermore, most of the firms that Daley awarded human resources contracts to in 2008 have five-year contracts, which will have to be paid off. These companies are only in year two of their five-year contracts. This means that much of the $153 million dollars Daley spent on personnel contracts will be completely wasted.

Let’s add up what Daley’s unlawful hiring practices and civil rights violations have cost you, the taxpayer. In 2008 Daley spent $153 million on personnel contracts to correct hiring abuses. In 2008 Daley cost the city $12 million in payments to Shakman civil rights victims. In addition, the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Shakman suit received another $3 million. Daley spent over $4 million moving the hiring process back and forth between the Office of Compliance and the Inspector General’s Office.

So far, that is $172 million of your hard-earned tax dollars going to pay for Daley’s mismanagement.

Let’s put Daley’s $172 million waste of taxpayer money in perspective. Daley claimed the leasing of the parking meters was a great deal for the city. The city received $1.1 billion for a 75-year parking meter lease. In a span of less than 3 years, Daley’s hiring scandal cost at least $172 million, or about 16% of what the city took in when it leased the parking meters for 75 years. At that rate, the entire $1.1 billion will be wasted in less than 20 years.

The $172 million isn’t the total cost for Daley’s use of city workers to elect him and his favored candidates. God knows what Daley and the city have spent on legal fees pertaining to Daley’s job- and election-rigging schemes. In addition, for five years the taxpayers have had to pay the cost of the federal court monitoring Daley and his minions.

Also, there are millions of dollars in hidden costs to taxpayers. Many of the people Daley hired were incompetent and unqualified. For example, Daley appointed Angelo Torres, an ex-gang member, to run the Hired Truck program. Daley never explained why he promoted Torres in two years time from a $27,000-a-year car booter to a $78,000-a-year Hired Truck chief. Had Daley chosen an honest professional to run the Hired Truck program, there is a good chance the city would not have wasted $40 million a year on trucks that sat idle in parking lots.

To sum it up, Daley is unfit to be mayor because he has mismanaged city employees from the first day he took office. Daley’s mismanagement and unlawful hiring scheme has cost taxpayers at least $172 million. If the federal court will not let Daley manage city employees—the mayor’s core job–without its supervision, why should you vote for him? If the federal court won’t trust Daley to do his job, why should you!