* Recently, a couple of Tribune reporters have wondered aloud about Mayor Daley’s almost complete silence on the mass transit issue and the property tax assessment caps debate.
My column in today’s Sun-Times attempts to answer those questions and more. The bottom line for Daley, his raison d’être, if you will, is his quest for the Olympic games…
Politicians love it when a fellow politician wants something really big. They’re called ‘’pigeons'’ because they’re ripe for the plucking.
Mayor Daley is now a pigeon.
Daley’s overriding lust to land the Olympic Games has put him at an extreme disadvantage in dealing with Gov. Blagojevich, who is playing the mayor for all he’s worth.
Several months ago, Daley used both barrels to blast Blagojevich’s proposed gross receipts tax on business, saying if the tax were enacted we could all wave goodbye to businesses as they moved out of state. The two men went out to dinner not long afterward, and Daley subsequently toned his comments way down.
I’m told on high authority that Blagojevich laid it out for Daley. The mayor needs strong support from the state to convince the Olympics committee that Chicago is a viable siting option. The governor knows the same thing and told him so. The implication was clear: ‘’Mess with me and I mess with you.'’
Anyone who has watched this governor for any length of time understands that Blagojevich is just crazy enough to go all populist on the Olympics and announce that the cost is not worth the benefits.
So, despite the occasional mumbles and grumbles about the lack of comity in Springfield, Daley has done his best to stay mum.
Please, go read the whole column before commenting. Thanks.
* Part of my analysis has to do with Daley’s weakened political organization. There are a couple of articles today that provide more info on that…
* Sun-Times: Shakman monitor objects to Daley-run hiring office -Federal Watchdog cites ‘history of noncompliance’
* Tribune: Nobody in Mayor Richard Daley’s administration can be trusted to keep city hiring free from politics except the inspector general, a court-appointed official has concluded.