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Tribune poll: Mayor in bad shape, trailing CTU prez

Thursday, Aug 14, 2014

* Check out the downward slide of Mayor Emanuel’s approval rating in the latest Chicago Tribune poll

* He’s in trouble across the demographic board

* He’s aloof and not in touch, say voters


* A majority blames Daley for the city’s current financial problems, but Chicagoans don’t think they’re better off now

* And all that explains why a plurality of Chicagoans are current choosing CTU President Karen Lewis over Rahm

* From the Tribune

Among CPS parents, 57 percent backed Lewis, who led an eight-day teacher strike during Emanuel’s first year in office, while 27 percent supported Emanuel. Similarly, 56 percent of union household members backed Lewis, who has headed the CTU for four years, while 31 percent backed Emanuel’s re-election.

Younger voters tended to back Lewis over Emanuel, with 51 percent of those ages 18-35 favoring the potential challenger compared with 36 percent for the mayor. Those numbers were nearly flipped among voters ages 36-49.

Lewis, a controversial and outspoken union leader, was viewed favorably by 38 percent of the voters, compared with 24 percent who viewed her unfavorably. Another 38 percent had no impression of her, leaving Emanuel room to try to help voters make up their minds if she runs against him.

White voters were divided in their impression of Lewis: 36 percent unfavorable, 31 percent favorable and 33 percent with no opinion. Black voters, meanwhile, considered the African-American union leader favorably — 46 percent, to only 13 percent unfavorably. Parents of CPS students who took part in the survey viewed her favorably by 49 percent to 19 percent who viewed her unfavorably.

There’s a lot of room to move those numbers against Lewis. Go read the whole article.

Emanuel probably knew that this poll was coming, which could explain why some unfavorable stories appeared this week about Lewis and Ald. Fioretti, who is almost completely unknown to voters but is still getting a quarter of the vote.

* Lewis

Lewis isn’t as wealthy as Emanuel, a multimillionaire who made his fortune during a short stint as an investment banker. But she makes more than $200,000 a year and has an ownership interest in three homes, records show.

That includes vacation homes in Hawaii and in the upscale “Harbor Country” area of southwestern Michigan, where Emanuel has a second home, property records show. […]

When she first ran for CTU president four years ago, Lewis promised not to make more than the highest-paid teacher. […]

Chicago Public Schools’ payroll records show no teacher makes as much as Lewis’ $136,890 CTU base salary.

* Fioretti

Ald. Bob Fioretti says he’s thinking so seriously about challenging Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the February election that he plans on hiring campaign staff now. Want ads were posted online last week.

If you’re looking to apply, though, you might want to know this: Two staffers who worked on Fioretti’s first campaign didn’t get paid in full until he was halfway through his first term as the 2nd Ward’s alderman.

Former Fioretti staffers Emily Miller and Jane Deronne didn’t receive all they were owed until appealing to the state agency that helps workers who’ve been shortchanged.

Miller said Fioretti’s campaign stiffed her out of $3,000. An administrative law judge for the state sided with Miller and ordered Fioretti For Alderman to pay up, according to records obtained by Early & Often, the Chicago Sun-Times political portal.

* Fioretti, by the way, has hired Michael Kolenc as his political advisor. You might recognize that name

Kolenc most recently served as campaign manager for Yes For Independent Maps, an organization that ran a failed bid to launch a statewide constitutional amendment referendum on state legislative redistricting. First, opponents challenged whether enough of the group’s petition signatures were valid, then a Cook County judge tossed it from the ballot.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PublicServant - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:12 am:

    Bah. Nothing that Bruce can’t solve with an infusion of cash.

  2. - Leroy - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:15 am:

    Chicago vote a mayor out? And Rahm at that? Yeah right.

    I think this is just a message to the complacent Rahm supporters that, YES you DO have to contribute to Rahm’s re-election fund. So don’t think you don’t have to.

  3. - OneMan - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:17 am:

    I think Lewis could give him a race… If nothing else she would be able to get a lot more boots on the ground who feel the love than Rahm ever could.

  4. - OneMan - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    Also what is the residence threshold to be an out of touch rich guy is it 4 or 5?

  5. - Stones - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    It’s tough for me to imagine Karen Lewis seriously challenging Rahm Emanuel when the campaign gets down to business. Emanuel has too many resources and Lewis just comes off to the average voter as shrill and unlikable. Fioretti is an unknown at this point but I doubt he’ll have the money necessary to be a serious contender too.

  6. - Niles Township - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:20 am:

    I’m a Democrat and I shudder to think what the next four years would like if we have both Quinn as Gov and Lewis as Mayor. Talk about the kast straw for many businesses in this state. Lewis’ commuter tax idea and tax on the city’s big financial services industry would start a movement to get out of the state and/or move to the suburbs.

  7. - The Captain - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:21 am:

    Fioretti has never been a plausible mayoral candidate but he makes noises about it each cycle and the media gives him a bunch of free press for his aldermanic re-elect.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:22 am:

    Bad news for Rahm, but if Lewis thinks this is good for her, I can think of 8 million or so reasons, and climbing, why people might start thinking of her negatively.

    Lewis has the Union base, they would be motivated to show up, and they have spouses, sisters, brothers…

    It would be a heck of a race. She could be in play, but she would need to be able to weather the onslaught.


    You hire the guy whose last gig consisted of one job; to get valid signatures, and they can’t even appeal the ruling against them… it is what it is.

    To be honest, show me more than 3 Aldermen who will stand with Bob and his run, that would impress me more. No matter who Fioretti hires, figure your down $8 million from jump street, and your street crew will be out if the box thinking, against the grain. Big ask for ANY hire, period, given those parameters.

  9. - Wumpus - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:23 am:

    Vallas will run for mayor.

  10. - Anyone - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:25 am:

    I wonder how Rahm would poll against “Anyone but Rahm”?

  11. - Chi - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:27 am:

    “Lewis just comes off to the average voter as shrill and unlikable.”

    She may come off to you that way, but the poll shows the “average voter” doesn’t agree with you.

    BTW, when’s the last time you referred to a male politician as “shrill”?

  12. - OneMan - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:27 am:

    But even if she comes across as shrill at the least she could draw from the old Washington coalition as it were and those numbers I suspect are a larger % of the voting population than they were 20 years ago.

    Convincing a large swath of Chicago that Rahm can give to shakes about your kids education (closed schools and the like) isn’t going to be that hard.

  13. - Stones - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    Chi -

    *** BTW, when’s the last time you referred to a male politician as “shrill”? ***

    Karen Lewis isn’t a politician yet is she? If she is I must have missed something.

    If you are suggesting that my “shrill” comment is based gender then you are barking up the wrong tree. I’m not going to mention specific names on the blog but there are several males I would consider “shrill” and “unlikable”. Just my humble opinion.

  14. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    –Chicago vote a mayor out?–

    Bilandic. Byrne. Sawyer.

    Quinn has to figure out a way to capitalize on Emanuel’s unpopularity. It might be his best shot at beating Rauner.

    Maybe some outside groups that are sweet on him could produce spots outlining Emanuel’s close relationship with Rauner and how they made money together. Promoting a Lewis candidacy now could drive voter registration in the city.

  15. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    Yes, Rahm has been unimpressive, and hasn’t dealt with many of the issues Daley left behind, but these people saying they would support Lewis better be careful what they wish for, or they just might get it. And yes, gender aside, Lewis can be caustic and divisive, just like Rahm.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:44 am:


    If you are going to run Rahm-Rauner connection Ads, do it now, Super PACs, if you wait too long, It will be just noise. Lay it out there, let the message work it’s way through, don’t throw it up and point to it late in the game.

    Important Note: Taxpayers for Quinn can’t run it. Won’t work in political dynamics.

  17. - Steve - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    This poll shows Karen Lewis is a real contender for Mayor. It appears Chicago voters aren’t that into Rahm Emanuel. What’s striking is Mayor Daley, rightly, gets a lot of blame for Chicago’s current problems. Are we at the point that voters just don’t like Rahm Emanuel enough to vote for him again? It appears so.

  18. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    So parents of CPS kids want the city to be run by someone who will plunder the Chicago public treasure to insolvency not to improve the quality of their kids education, but to enrich a small group of her membership. They support electing someone to run the city who was behind the teachers abandoning their kids for no reason other than serving her membership’s greed even though it created incredible hardship for families and would wind up depriving the students of educational opportunity to increase pay for failing staff.

    And they wonder why Chicago is a dysfunctional mess and is dying death by a thousand cuts, as is the state of Illinois.

    If you want to find who to blame, Chicago voters, just look in the mirror.

    One curious question. Do these “who’s to blame” polls ever include “the voters who elected them” as a choice? If they don’t, they should!

  19. - downstate hack - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    When Lewis announces and starts campaigning her numbers will plummet. She will alienate voters with her over the top rhetoric and antics.

  20. - Chi - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    The students were abandoned?! How awful! Did we find any of them, or are they still out there, abandoned, waiting for a teacher who’ll just shut up and teach them in decrepit buildings with no supplies, support, phys ed, art class or recess?

  21. - Chi - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    There are more parents than teachers in Chicago. If parents agree with Arizona Bob’s version of events, then Rahm has nothing to worry about.

  22. - Steve - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    Arizona Bob makes some important points. The voters have no one to blame but themselves. They got what they wanted ,years of Mayor Daley followed by Rahm Emanuel. Chicago is failing . Public education doesn’t work in a big city like Chicago. Chicago’s other failures will become an issue in the coming years. How can Rahm Emanuel keep with Houston for jobs?

  23. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    Today Lewis is the back-up quarterback - always looks good when the starter is throwing interceptions. But can she really risk running? The race would become a referrendum on CTU, this time with taxpayers and voters without kids in the public schools getting a say, and if things go south Rahm would have a legitimate mandate to take a much harder line with them. And Rahm has plenty of weapons that he can unleash beyond paying for get out the vote compaigns - for example, I’m sure Rahm’s corporate friends will start talking very loudly about the potential “unfriendly” atmosphere in Chicago and contingency plans for moving. I hope she proves me wrong simply because I think the voters deserve a choice between two starkly different visions for Chicago, but I’ll be very surprised if she takes the plunge.

  24. - Chi - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Steve- Chicago is failing? I guess my question is what do you mean by “failing”?

    Does public education work in a big city like Houston? As far as keeping up with Houston, oil and natural gas makes up more than 10% of Texas’ GDP. We will never get the jobs associated with that. But come on, no one “wants” to live in Houston. To some extent we can keep up with Houston simply by not being Houston.

    One silver lining in the economic downturn is that people who normally would move to the burbs to put their kids in school were unable to sell their houses. This forced them to use CPS, and many many schools became stronger because of the parental involvement.

  25. - A guy... - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    This poll is a referendum on Rahm and the voters are sticking it to him big time. Karen Lewis is just “convenient candidate X” right now. Rahm’s on TV everyday, often not flattering stories. Put Karen Lewis on TV everyday (and Rahm has the scratch to do it), you’ll find that she will supplant Rahm as the most unlikable cretin in Illinois. She’s tactless, arrogant, often vulgar, and gives a vibe of “ickiness”. Sounds like him, only she’s degrees more of each than he is. Non-starter. Preckwinkle was their best shot and she’s out. Fioretti, not even a footnote.

  26. - Amalia - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    oh, the campaign began yesterday with the revelations of multiple houses for Lewis and stiffing campaign staff for Fioretti. let us not forget that for a time in his career Rahm specialized in opposition research. beware, be really, really aware.

  27. - OneMan - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    But can she really risk running?

    What does she have to lose? If she is going to beat him, now is the time it isn’t going to be easier in 4 years.

    It isn’t like she is the CTU, if anything if she runs and loses it gives the CTU more power next time not less.

  28. - William j Kelly - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    This poll tells me that Rauner’s close personal and financial relationship with Rahm could really hurt him with the black community.

  29. - Leroy - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    –Bilandic. Byrne. Sawyer.

    Allow me to clarify, Word…Chicago voters don’t vote mayors out of office *they have voted in*

    I’ll accept two out of those three: Byrne and Bilandic. Sawyer doesn’t count, as he was never elected to mayor’s office.

    So you have to be at least 40 years old to remember the last time the voters turned on an elected mayor in Chicago.

    You can add two more names to the last if you are willing to go back to 1930: Kennelly was voted out in favor of Daley, Sr, and Bill Thomson was voted out in favor of Anton Cermak.

    4 mayors in 80+ years…Chicago voters do not vote mayors out of office they have elected into office.

    Chicago has voted out three mayors in 80+ years.

  30. - Leroy - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    oops, ignore that last line, in my above post…it was a cut and paste issue.

  31. - pundent - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    A successful Lewis campaign would be contingent upon rallying individuals least likely to vote while demonizing those most likely to vote. Good luck with that strategy.

  32. - Chi - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    The opposite side of that is you have to be over 40 to remember more than one mayor that DIDN’T get voted out of office.

  33. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Actually, pundent, the folks most likely to vote in Chicago are African-Americans. Look at their ward totals.

    So you’re wrong, and probably racist as well.

  34. - Under Further Review - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    Dever was voted out in favor of Thompson (1927) one election before Cermak ousted Thompson (1931). Harrison was ousted in the primary when Thompson won his first mayoral term (1915).

    If we omit Sawyer, who was an appointed mayor, and Kelly, who was persuaded not to seek reelection by the party in 1947, Chicago voters have ousted seven mayors in the last century.

    It does not happen much, but it has happened.

  35. - walker - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Does the Tribune want her to run in the Primary, and fail?

    It appears so. It would drive the final stake between the teachers’ union and the Dem establishment, and cause problems within the union as well.

    Rahm won’t lose, but they can support chaos.

  36. - Goomer - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    The contrast between Lewis and Fioretti when it came to responding to the stories was interesting.

    Fioretti gave the reporter nothing. Basically he said mistakes were made and it has been resolved. That’s how a professional handles it.

    Lewis, on the other hand, went off the cuff and made the story far worse. Defending her salary, she claimed that, in contrast to her membership, she works a full year. Basically, the President of the CTU said CTU members only work part time.

    On top of that, it appears (but it is not 100% clear) that she also volunteered that she has five time shares.

    Rahm’s team must love that response. They once again confirmed that the more Lewis talks, the worse she will do.

    Fioretti, on the other hand, looks like he will stay on point. If he stays out of the weeds, he can be a tough opponent.

  37. - Madison - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    The fact that R’s poll numbers on the income side are inverted.
    I would not have expected that.

  38. - Gooner - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Ok, that last post was from “Gooner” and not “Goomer.” I’m blaming auto-correct again. I need to change my name to something more auto-correct friendly.

  39. - Name/Nickname/Anon - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    These polls are for head-to-head races. Probably we will see 3 or 4 candidates which will likely favor Rahm.

  40. - OldSmoky2 - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    “These polls are for head-to-head races. Probably we will see 3 or 4 candidates which will likely favor Rahm.”

    That could actually hurt Emanuel if it ends up holding him below 50 percent and forcing a runoff.

  41. - C. L. Ball - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    What was the margin of error on the poll? It is odd that union respondents back Emanuel by 31% when CPS parents backed Emanuel by only 27%. I would have expected less union support for Emanuel.

  42. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    To everyone say that Lewis will ruin the city… have you seen what Rahm’s been doing the last three years?

  43. - VM - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    You know, I wonder about all the comments referring to Lewis as abrasive and such. I think that white middle class people may very well find her abrasive (I do sometimes), but it seems like her personality works with her base of supporters. Her brashness is as much a positive as it is a negative, and it remains to be seen how this all plays out.

    But this poll just reinforces, imo, the decision to run that she has already made. And the race will be fun — partly because those two genuinely hate each other on many levels.

  44. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    You gotta think that someone who is thinking about running in 2019 (when it’s assumed Rahm will either not run or be long gone thanks to a Hilary appointment) is seriously considering jumping in now. People do not want Rahm to be the Mayor of Chicago a year from now. Yes he has a lot of money, but he’s very vulnerable.

  45. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    @ Chi
    =The students were abandoned?! How awful! Did we find any of them, or are they still out there, abandoned, waiting for a teacher who’ll just shut up and teach them in decrepit buildings with no supplies, support, phys ed, art class or recess?=

    Fortunately, the kids weren’t typically abandoned by their families as they were by Ms Lewis and her greedy union cabal. The only thing that was “lost” was the absentee CPS crowd, and a ridiculous amount of money for an undeservedly rich contract.

    The simple fact is that the City of Chicago spends more per student than most of the top unit districts in the state such as Naperville 203 and Indian Prairie 204. 204 pays teachers FAR less than CPS, provides the contact hours the students need, UNLIKE CPS,and directs resources where they best serve the students, NOT the self centered, patronage driven CPS administration and overpaid and underachieving instructional staff at CPS.

    The problems at CPS aren’t due to a lack of resources. They’re due to plunder by the political and union interests in the district.

  46. - Gooner - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    From Arizona, Bob is an expert in Chicago schools. Impressive!

    Actually, Bob’s analysis can be summarized as “Bob hates unions.” He could save us some reading by just posting that next time.

    Now Bob, in reality that idea that the union is completely at fault is ridiculous. The funding system for schools penalizes schools in need, which need to divert funds to basic maintenance instead of to educational programs.

    Teachers are highly paid, but recruiting teachers to CPS is a challenge.

    While certainly the union protects bad teachers, the blame for the performance of schools must rest with all involved.

    CPS Admin does a bad job at running schools. The union protects too many bad teachers. And lets be honest — a lot of parents don’t care about education.

    There is blame to go around. Simply pointing at teachers serves no purpose.

  47. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    =But come on, no one “wants” to live in Houston. To some extent we can keep up with Houston simply by not being Houston=

    You’ve obviously never been to Houston, Chi. Summer weather is brutal (just like Florida) but fall, winter and spring are much more livable than Chicago.

    Texas has their oil as a natural resource, and Illinois has agriculture,transportation and USED to have mining before the Dems shut it down. That’s a pretty fair trade off, so don’t complain about an Illinois “disadvantge”.

    Chicago has Lake Michigan. Houston has a lot of beautiful gulf of Mexico Coast Line. Advantage: Houston.

    The biggest differnce between the third and fourth largest US cities is hope for the future and a willingness to make changes when the weight of corruption and governmental dysfunction is too high. The people of Houston have it, Chicago doesn’t. That’s a big part of why Texas is a magnet and Chicago is a dumpster chute!

  48. - Gooner - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    Referring to Chicago as a “dumpster shoot”?

    Not that I speak for everybody here, but I assume most would agree with me in thanking Arizona Bob for moving the heck away.

    Go whine about Gov. Brewer, Bob. We don’t need senseless negativity of your kind around here.

  49. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    @ Gooner
    =From Arizona, Bob is an expert in Chicago schools. Impressive!=

    Actually, I’m a former HS teacher and I spent over 5 years managing fixing those “decrepit” schools for the kids at CPS. I’ve been in over 100 CPS school in one manner or another. I know of which I speak.

    The problem is that principals are chosen for racial and political connections rather than ability to serve the kids, and many are paid six figures and can’t write a coherent paragraph, let alone develop an effective plan to educate the kids.

    There are plenty of the teachers who could make a difference striving to do good at CPS. I often saw incredibly bright, effective teachers who were clearly well educated (WAY above the average 19 ACT intellect of the average CPS teacher) doing tremendous good for the kids. The problem was they were fired after a year or two so that they wouldn’t be protected by tenure or threaten the job of a senior, recalcitrant minority teacher. Did I mention that many of those young, bright difference makers happened to be white teaching in African American schools?

    The unions and politcs drive away the people who can lives better for the kids, and Lewis and her unions are a big part of that. Things will never improve until the CTU power is neutered by the state, IMHO, and voters of Illinois are too dopey to elect people who will make that change.

  50. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 1:04 pm:


    Apparently you’re the product of a CPS education. There’s a big difference between “chute” and “shoot!LOL

  51. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Quinn’s inabilities to resolve State fiscal issues is preventing the State from assisting Chicago. If you want to keep Emanuel Mayor, then you better pray that his friend wins the governor’s race so that he can get some help.

  52. - OldSmoky2 - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    “Quinn’s inabilities to resolve State fiscal issues is preventing the State from assisting Chicago. If you want to keep Emanuel Mayor, then you better pray that his friend wins the governor’s race so that he can get some help.”

    I don’t think Rauner will have any more money to give Emanuel than Quinn does, but I can see him giving Emanuel the leeway to put off making pension system payments as well as allowing Emanuel to accelerate his efforts to sell off public education to the private charter companies that both Rauner and Emanuel favor. The city is in the boat it’s in on pensions because the city for years did the same thing the state did, i.e., put off making the payments it should have been making into the pension system all along.

  53. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    If we would only listen to the brilliant Arizona Bob and his know all approach to education everything would be fine.

    Elect Arizona Bob. I’m starting the petition now.

  54. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    ==Quinn’s inabilities to resolve State fiscal issues is preventing the State from assisting Chicago.==

    Yep. It’s all Quinn’s fault. If it weren’t for Quinn Chicago would be hunky dory.

  55. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    =Elect Arizona Bob. I’m starting the petition now.=

    To what position? Patronage chief and dog catcher are already taken!LOL

    I’ve been asked to run for school board here, but right now I just don’t have time for anything but committees. We also need to elect people in AZ who can work past the border malfeasance of the Obama administration. They’ve got an incredible number of publically dedicated candidates out here. If Illinois was able to get even a fraction of the quality of candidates that they have in Arizona, Illinois might yet be saved.

    But Illinois isn’t Arizona (right OW?), so you’re pretty much doomed to being overpowered by an electorate that too often elects and empowers parasites rather than no-nonsense problem solvers.

    More’s the pity.

    That’s why you’re losing brains, wealth, and income (and tax revenues) from that dying state to places like Texas and Arizona at an incredible rate.

  56. - Ktown - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    LOL Arizona Bob doing all this talking yet he may be enjoying a CPS pension, you know the one that CTU has been fighting to save.

  57. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 4:15 pm:

    Lived in Illinois all my life Arizona Bob and I quite enjoy it here. I’ll take it over Arizona and Texas any day (though this winter really tried my patience).

    And I would love to know what it is that some keep saying I need to be saved from. I didn’t know I needed saved.

    I’m glad you are happy where you are. We all need to be happy. Life’s too short. But you can shove your anti-Illinois rhetoric . . .well, I can’t say that here.

    And I’m not sure about those great candidates out there in Arizona. I don’t think I’d be jumping up and down for that dope Jan Brewer.

  58. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    By the way Arizona Bob, you never fail to disappoint. I look forward to your partisan ranting and your self serving commentary. We must never forget you’re smarter than the rest of us.

    Enjoy that great weather. I’ll give you that one over Illinois.

  59. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 5:02 pm:

    =LOL Arizona Bob doing all this talking yet he may be enjoying a CPS pension, you know the one that CTU has been fighting to save.=

    Me in CTU? Riiiight! I worked as a cloutless professional consultant for them. My teaching pension in private schools was just 401K stuff, just like CTU SHOULD have!

  60. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 5:16 pm:

    =And I’m not sure about those great candidates out there in Arizona. I don’t think I’d be jumping up and down for that dope Jan Brewer.=

    She’s not running anymore, and she’s a little too liberal for my taste, but she’s got more cajones than any Guv candidate I’ve seen in Illinois. Probably smarter, too, except maybe for Rauner.

    One more thing. She’s not a felon like the last two Illinois Guvs (and possibly a third depending on the NRI scandal), and the people of Arizona are too smart to elect a Blago, Ryan or Quinn.

    Oh, we were traveling down the same road of fiscal insolvency as Illinois when we elected that Dem Napolitano (before my time) but we learned our lesson about empowering tax and spend Dems at the state level.

    Maybe Illinois voters will learn that lesson when the state finances collapse entirely in a few years due to GA and Guv inaction, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    And you, Demoralized, don’t think you need to be “saved”? Apparently neither do most Illinois voters. That’s how we got into this mess in the first place.

  61. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 8:26 pm:


    You put me in the rare and rather awkward position of defending the CTU.

    So let me be rather blunt.

    It is not the teachers who are “plundering” CPS.

    If anyone is plundering, by most accounts it is contractors like yourself.

    I marvel that you chose Naperville and Indian Prairie as your example of how things ought to be done.

    According to the most recent ISBE report, top teacher salaries are $111,000 and $106,000 for those schools, respectively.

    Not that I begrudge them that. They are the result of union negotiated contracts, and teachers in Indian Prairie are struggling against a student poverty rate of 19% - compared to a statewide rate of 50% - much tougher than that 13 percent poverty rate in Naperville.

    What is the poverty rate in Chicago again? Oh yeah: 85 percent.

    One in six school children in Illinois is a non-native English speaker.

    One in eight has a learning disability.

    One in 25 Chicago school children is freakin homeless.


    Jeesh, I cannot imagine why we might be spending more money.

    So, the next time you decide to roll in from out West to throw bricks at CPS, and tell us how every other school district is doing so much better, find me another large school district where 85 percent of the children are low income and one in 25 are homeless and tell me what their secret is. We would all love to know.

  62. - Arizona Bob - Friday, Aug 15, 14 @ 8:07 am:

    You obviously know NOTHING about school finance or operations or intentionally seek to deceive. I suspect the latter based on your effort to look up the top salaries of teachers in Naperville.

    You must have also looked at spending per pupil in the districts, correct?

    Indian Prairie 204 spends $10,575 per student, compared to $13,433 per student in Chicago.

    Tell me, YDD what exactly do the students in Chicago get for that additional $3,000 per year spent on their students? Better facilities and learning environments? Absolutely not. The money’s not going there. You’d know that if you ever visited those schools.

    More school days and contact hours? Nope. Chicago has the lowest contact hours with students of any major city school system.

    Tutoring and enrichment programs after school? Extra curriculars at CPS are a disgrace, especially considering the quality suburban districts deliver while spending far less.

    What about low income kids? The school report cards give test score breakdowns by income status. Take a look at how low income kids succeed at Indian Prairie compared to CPS, and you’ll see how the more expensive CPS system in cheating those low income kids.

    In fact, CPS should be doiing BETTER for all those kids from low income families because they can design their programs to serve that groups best since so many students are in it.

    So where are all those wasted resources in CPS going? There is a disproportinately high number of CPS “teachers” who don’t teach and are put on “special assignments”. Thst’s where they hide the dangerously incompetent throough union protection. There’s also abnormal “general” hiring used for patronage purposes, and procurement at CPS has been a wasteful, corrupt mess for generations. You could buy computers for about 20-30% less just going to Best Buy than buying the same computers through CPS vendors.

    Who was behind protecting those non-teaching teachers?CTU of course.

    CPS also has the old bait and switch where they retire an employee at ridiculous pensions, hire somebody politically connected to replace them, find out the poltical hack they hired can’t do the job, then hire back the retiree as a “consultant” at $100+ and hour to do their old job again, with an equal amount given to the company for whom the consultant is given the contract. A lot of these retirees are from CTU.

    The same goes for construction and renovation costs where Daley would only let three general contractors bid on school work, and a list of “minority” subcontractors the generals had to hire, and of course there was that “community contribution” clause in public contracts to kick back contract fees to Daley’s “favorite” charities, like his wife’s.

    BTW, when I worked for CPS as an “outsourced” service, we saved CPS a bundle. They got rid of their entire architects office who were costing them about 4% of constructed cost, first outsourced it to otehr firms who did it for 2% of constructed costs, and we did it, PROFITIABLY, for 1.75%.

    If you think that’s a bad thing, you;re part opf the problem.

    Finally, I’d have little problem with the spending at CPS if they were providing service quantity and quality commensurate with spending. The problem is that despite spending these princely sums, the schoo environments are too often a mess, quality of instruction is pathetic overall, and the low income kids who desperately need quality education to become productive citizens are given nothing but too little contact time by CTU protected low quality instructors (average CTU teacher ACT score was only 19 compared to average scores of 20.6 in Illinois)

    The problem is the administrative, union, and political interests are conspiring to cheat the kikds, and the voters and parents keep on letting them do it for their own greed.

    I find that disgusting, and so should anyone who cares about the kids and future of Chicago.

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