A Choice Between a Political Boss or Political Democracy
The Chicago political machine derives its power from doling out city contracts, jobs, and services in exchange for campaign contributions and votes. According to Chicago’s unwritten political rules, the mayor of Chicago also serves as the de facto boss of Chicago’s infamous political machine. Now with Mayor Daley set to leave office in May, 2011, Chicago political insiders are searching for a new boss to run their vote getting machine. The machine’s white establishment is working behind the scenes to anoint Rahm Emanuel as their new boss.
Emanuel who is 50 years old is the perfect age to take over the machine. Daley started serving as mayor and Chicago’s political boss at the age of 47. Unlike all the other major cities in the country, Chicago has no mayoral term limits. This means that if the machine succeeds in electing Emanuel mayor, the machine won’t have to find a new boss for 20 years or more.
There is no such thing as voting one time for Emanuel to see if he is a good mayor. Because Emanuel’s political allies in Chicago and Springfield will insure ethics and voting laws eliminate his political competition, if you vote for Emanuel on February 22, in essence, you are voting him in as mayor for the next 20 years. A vote for Emanuel also perpetuates the allied political machines that will control Cook County and Illinois state government for 20 years or longer.
The Chicago political machine is so proficient at garnering votes, it elected one of its own, Barrack Obama, as President of the United States. But unlike national politics, Chicago has neither a two party system nor a press that will hold Emanuel accountable for his administration’s wrong doings. If Emanuel is sworn in as mayor, he will receive nearly 100% support from other local politicians and the media. There is little political dissent in Springfield, and even less in Chicago. Electing Emanuel mayor in 2011 is the same as electing him mayor for life.
Emanuel’s Slimy Chicago Political Past
Emanuel learned how to consolidate political power and co-opt political enemies from his political mentor, Mayor Richard M. Daley. Emanuel is one of Daley’s most accomplished political insiders and players. As a former aide to Mayor Daley, Emanuel already has experience in crafting deals and policies in the back rooms of city hall. With Emanuel as mayor, the people of Chicago will have little or no say on how Chicago is run.
Emanuel was involved in two of Chicago’s biggest political scandals, the Hired Truck scandal, and the 15 year job rigging scheme that resulted in federal court Judge Wayne A. Anderson assigning a monitor to watch over city personnel from 2004 to the present. Emanuel accepted campaign contributions from some of the politically connected Hired Truck companies that were collectively paid $40 million a year to sit idle in parking lots. When Emanuel ran and won his U.S. representative seat, many of his precinct workers were city employees who unlawfully campaigned on his behalf. The money to pay for Emanuel’s precinct workers came from Chicago taxpayers, not from Emanuel’s campaign funds.
Electing Emanuel mayor guarantees dictatorial decisions on the magnitude of bulldozing Meigs Field runways in the middle of the night without proper authority, a failed Olympic bid that a majority of Chicagoans don’t want, or a 75 year parking meter lease deal that shortchanges taxpayers billions of dollars. A vote for Emanuel as the next Chicago political boss is a vote for more corruption, government waste, and higher taxes. The political machine that Emanuel plans to lead is known all over the world for graft and rigging elections, not for its good public service or good will.
You have your best opportunity in 22 years to elect a mayor who will support a more transparent, honest, and efficient government. The question you must ask yourself, do you want Mayor Emanuel to reign for 22 years as Mayor Daley has done, or do you want a mayor who first and foremost represents the people of Chicago? A more fundamental question is, “Do you want a political boss or political democracy?
Electing Rahm Emanuel mayor will end what little political democracy or decency there is left in Chicago. Emanuel has a history of using every means possible to destroy his political opponents and the lawful channels through which they operate. Fortunately, Jay Stone knows how Emanuel will try to trample on your rights. Jay’s plans for political accountability, political competition, transparency, ethics reform, and ban on pay to play politics will stop Chicago from having dictators like Daley or Emanuel as mayors for life.