Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Hoffman, N’Digo publisher endorse Emanuel - Mail war - Debate silliness - New poll shows residents approve of city’s blizzard response
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Hoffman, N’Digo publisher endorse Emanuel - Mail war - Debate silliness - New poll shows residents approve of city’s blizzard response

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011

* David Hoffman had almost a cult following among reformers during his primary race against Alexi Giannoulias. So, I’m assuming the heads of many of those same reform-minded types are exploding right about now

David Hoffman, who often infuriated retiring Mayor Richard M. Daley as City Hall’s inspector general, said Thursday that he endorsed Rahm Emanuel to succeed Daley. […]

“He has the potential to be quite independent of the political power structure, perhaps more so than some of the other candidates,” Hoffman told the Chicago News Cooperative on Thursday. “He is very smart. I think he has great potential.”

* Speaking of heads exploding, N’Digo’s publisher has endorsed Rahm Emanuel and blasted Carol Moseley Braun in the process

She is the black candidate, but she is not the best candidate.

Her campaign has not gotten off the ground. There simply is no buzz. Black women have come together to provide voice and reason to her candidacy, but she has failed to promote a positive message, or present her solutions to the city’s problems


* As well all know by now, Emanuel has taken a lot of heat for his service tax proposal. He’s attempting to turn the issue to his favor with a new mailer

The campaign flyer features a Photoshopped image of rival Gery Chico in front of a limousine. The mailer takes Chico to task for criticizing Emanuel’s sales tax plan.

“Gery Chico wants you to pay more and let the rich to pay nothing,” the flyer being mailed out to Chicago voters says.

Chico hasn’t proposed hiking any taxes, but he does oppose Emanuel’s plan which would lower the overall sales tax rate by a quarter point by imposing a new service tax on “luxury” items for the “rich.” So, by Emanuel’s logic, Chico favors the wealthy and is against the hard-working middle class. Mailers can be so fun, can’t they?

* All six mayoral candidates debated for the first time yesterday. I didn’t watch it because I was otherwise occupied. Apparently, there wasn’t much substance because the focus of most of the stories was over the fantasy issue of slave reparations

With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, the candidates for Chicago mayor veered Wednesday from debating city issues to talking about whether they support reparations for descendants of slaves.

They all supported the notion of reparations but had different ideas about what reparations were, gave no details about who would pay them or where the money might come from at the forum sponsored by the Chicago Defender, the city’s historic black newspaper.

They might as well have discussed whether unicorns existed. This, apparently, was not a major topic of debate

The City of Chicago and related local governments like the Chicago Park District collectively under-funded their worker pension plans by $5.1 billion in the past decade, according to a new report by the Civic Federation.

As a result, the retirement plans now have as little as 36.5% of the assets needed to pay promised benefits, the taxpayer watchdog group says.


* And the Tribune has a new poll out which shows Chicagoans thought the city’s response to last week’s blizzard was OK by them

Nearly three-quarters of the Chicagoans surveyed — 73 percent — gave the city an overall passing grade for how it handled the storm.

In fact, when it came to the storm’s most conspicuous consequence — the hundreds of vehicles snowbound along Lake Shore Drive — respondents were more likely to blame the stranded drivers than the city.

Overall, Chicagoans said they were satisfied with how the city removed snow from their neighborhoods, with 59 percent saying it was cleared as well as could be expected, compared to 38 percent saying it wasn’t up to par. North Siders believed the city did a better job clearing their neighborhood streets than did South Siders.

African-American residents were the most critical of snow removal in their neighborhoods, with those in areas that had a majority of black residents saying snow removal was not as good as they expected.

* From the poll


* Related…

* All 6 mayoral candidates meet

* All six mayoral candidates spar for first time

* Mayoral debate gets heated when slave reparations come up

* New police superintendent, more cops on street at top of new Chicago mayor’s crime list - All 4 top contenders say they won’t renew Jody Weis’ contract

* New report details scope of public pension shortfalls - Deficit now equal to more than $11,000 per Chicago resident

* 50th Ward last, not least in drama

* City Council Postpones Sweet Home Chicago

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Louis Howe - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 8:59 am:

    Interesting that Hoffman claims Emanuel “has the potential to be quite independent of the political power structure,” when Emanuel represents and gained his fund-raising power from the political power structure. It’s nonsense…but very much the Alice-in-Wonderland explanation we should expect from Rahm.

  2. - Living in Oklahoma - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 9:03 am:

    == Candidate Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins lashed out at Emanuel for talk about budget deficits when discussing reparations.

    “When I hear Rahm Emanuel talk about a budget deficit when he talks about reparations to me that’s offensive,” she said to some cheers from the audience at a South Side museum. ==

    What reality were the Mayoral Candidates living in last night? I have to remember that line for my next candidate forum. I am offended that your talking about budget deficits! What?

  3. - shore - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 9:10 am:

    Hoffman and Rahm-7 year age difference, same high school (new trier)…this is a shock?

  4. - SR - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 9:16 am:

    The LGBT forum was last night too. All the candidates were there except for Walls and Watkins. Video is up here:

    ===but very much the Alice-in-Wonderland explanation we should expect from Rahm.===

    That was Hoffman speaking, not Rahm.

  5. - tired of press - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 9:19 am:

    This reparations thing is a painful turn in a race that keeps us cringing. Sometimes I think I will brome a libertarian and found the “Snow Removal Party.” Our party would limit government to that function.

  6. - Meanderthal - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 9:26 am:

    Hoffman and Rahm. Its a New Trier thing.

  7. - Rule of Law - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 9:32 am:

    As far as snow removal, the City and Streets & San did the best they could considering the amount of snow and their resources.

    That being said, I wish the city would handle “dibs” better. One week later and we still have spots being illegally claimed. It’s pretty simple- no one owns the streets and we live in a nation that respects property rights.

    The city should have announced they would ticket those littering in the thoroughfares, and at the same time, encouraged the garbage pickers to add to their haul.

    If you shoveled out your spot, congratulations (I did too) but you don’t own a legally un-ownable street because you performed what amounts to a self-interested act (removing snow to aid in your own initial egress post-storm). The City is complicit by staying mum, pandering to the idiots who do this every year, and promoting hostility among neighbors and disrespect for the rule of law. We’re better than that.

    OK. End rant.

  8. - Esquire - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 9:36 am:

    It seems inappropriate that the City of Chicago, which nominated and supported Lincoln, supported the Union against the Confederacy and abolitionism, should be faulted for not approving slave reparations. This type of debate seems to be something out of fantasyland. The debate should have been about taxes and parking meters and pension funds.

  9. - Louis Howe - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 9:39 am:

    SR…When one politican endorses another it’s understood that the endorsement “Stays on message” with the endorsed candidate. That’s a given.

  10. - Jasper - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 9:42 am:

    I was one of those who was called by the Tribune. Of course, they also asked about the mayor’s race. Interesting to see the results. One footnote — I honestly answered “no opinion” as to both Chico and Rahm (they both have positives and negatives and for both I’m not sure one outweighs the other) and answered “undecided” on who I support. I still could support either of those two (ruled out the rest). I’m interested to see how many others feel the same and exactly how strong is the perceived support for Rahm.

  11. - Fed up - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 9:43 am:

    I wonder how the six mayoral hopefuls feel about the holocaust or the egyption protests plenty of non city of Chicago items for them to stake out positions on.

  12. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 9:50 am:

    Other cities do a much better job of snow removal than Chicago.

    Boston, for example, gets cars off the street before a big storm, then allows dibs only for 48 hours after the snow emergency ends.

    Minneapolis doesn’t mess around, plowing on alternate sides of the street and towing vehicles in the way:

    Chicago needs some “reinventing government” on this issue.

  13. - Quinn T. Sential - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 10:03 am:

    {New report details scope of public pension shortfalls - Deficit now equal to more than $11,000 per Chicago resident}

    This issue deserves its own post. In addition, while some are familiar with the details, additional information relative to the CTA Pension fund bail out legislation could be worth providing. The changes made there; in exchange for the bail-out might serve as a model for state and other municipal pension fund bail out efforts to come. At 26% funded, the Judges Retirement Fund is probably next on the list to implode, and chances are that will be before the next Governor’s election.

  14. - Fed up - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 10:05 am:

    Plowing on alternating sides of the street is long overdue and would be a great way to end the dibs crap.

  15. - Responsa - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 10:08 am:

    The most recent presidential election and the consistent results of the polls in the current mayoral race seem to suggest that the rank and file of citizens have largely moved beyond “race” and want to be part of a broader, more inclusive post racial American community. Unfortunately, the old school AA candidates who were, and are, running embarrassing old school campaigns in Chicago’s mayoral race seem not to have gotten the message. It’s really too bad.

  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 10:12 am:

    Sorry to be cynical, but Hoffman is still looking for his next good job. Rahm can help him get a job in the City, DC, or on the bench.

  17. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 10:21 am:

    Hoffman on Emanuel:

    –“He has the potential to be quite independent of the political power structure, perhaps more so than some of the other candidates,”–

    Was he wearing a bright red nose, greasepaint, oversized floppy shoes and tossing cream pies when he said that? Too funny.

    Dude, he was Daley’s fundraiser, White House Chief of Staff and has more campaign money than Jed Clampett. He IS the power structure.

    If the train’s leaving, you might as well get on. I guess Hoffman figures it’ll help his chances for a top job if Fitz ever leaves or a federal judge retires.

  18. - Quinn T. Sential - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 10:46 am:

    {If the train’s leaving, you might as well get on. I guess Hoffman figures it’ll help his chances for a top job if Fitz ever leaves or a federal judge retires.}

    There vacancies on the federal bench in the Northern District of Illinois now, and Dick Devine is heading the panel to vet and recommend applicants to Durbin. If he’s even interested (which is suspect) his application is already in.

  19. - Robert - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 10:47 am:

    Might “political power structure” be Hoffman’s euphemism for organized labor?

  20. - amalia - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 10:56 am:

    Hoffman, very disappointing.

  21. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 10:59 am:

    “own a legally un-ownable street”

    Better get that news to LAZ Parking…..:’)

    What a pander fest. Reparations the most important topic, really? Shows you that there will always be an audience who will line up for anything that will give them ’something for nothing’

  22. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 11:13 am:

    I remember telling a top Democrat that I wished Hoffman was a Republican back when he was running for U.S. Senate in the Democratic Primary.

    Now I’m glad my wish didn’t come true.

  23. - Honest Abe - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 11:35 am:

    @Wordslinger: Get serious! He was spraying the press with a bottle of seltzer water and smashing watermelons like the comedian Gallagher while he made the endorsement!

  24. - Esquire - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 11:38 am:

    Other cities in Cook County have alternate day parking plans in place for snow plowing, but I cannot see Chicago putting such a plan into operation. The idea is a good one, but I do not think that the Department of Streets and Sanitation has the leadership or enough competent employees and the necessary tow trucks to make it work.

  25. - amalia - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 12:53 pm:

    Anonymous at 9:50 and Esquire are right to think of other ways of doing things. Talked with a manager of a huge university campus who confirmed that they have written plans and protocols for snow removal. Pittsburgh has a road salting plan. The Boston link is a standard one. Chicago’s snow notice on web? It appeared on Wednesday, after anything should have been planned.

    Tom Byrne is a nice man. But he is a retired (with pension) Chicago Police Officer. He is not a facilities professional. Management and tactics need to be changed. but, as I’ve ranted about before, the City also did a very poor job of communicating about much of anything, including the parking meter holiday. They could have planned for folks to relocate cars from tight streets, plowed those streets, let folks come back. Professionals needed to make it better.

  26. - Quinn T. Sential - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 1:14 pm:

    {Sorry to be cynical, but Hoffman is still looking for his next good job. Rahm can help him get a job in the City, DC, or on the bench.}

    Just got an e-mail blast from the past from Forrest Gump supporting RAHMBO too.

    Forrest Claypool []

  27. - dave - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 1:18 pm:

    Well, I guess I’m now done with Hoffman.

    Time to move on. Next story please.

  28. - 10th Voter - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 2:21 pm:

    Rule of Law:

    I may legally reside in the 10th district, but I sleep at my fiance’s in the 48th ward pretty much every night, and parking is enough of a pain already. I’m not trying to claim I own the spot I cleaned out, but I’m saying that I spent an hour shoveling my car out and would appreciate if others would respect that. If someone moves my dibs chair, I have no legal recourse, so all I can do is be upset, but as an unwritten rule, I don’t take someone else’s spot and I appreciate that they don’t take mine. I don’t want to have to spend an hour every night to get a spot because lazy people did not do their part right after the storm. Whys hould the city waste their time policing this?

    However, if the city wants to sell a legal “dibs cone” that is registered to me, I would gladly pay for one and it could generate A LOT of revenue :)

    /end rant

  29. - amalia - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 2:23 pm:

    10th….at least you are respecting dibs. those folks who are venturing over to Bridgeport to dig out spaces, those, what, Chair Free Chicago nuts, have no respect for culture.

  30. - amalia - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 2:31 pm:

    is Kevin Lynch of Chair Free Chicago the same Kevin Lynch from Chicagoans for Rio?

  31. - jerry 101 - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 2:32 pm:

    esquire - they do when it comes to street cleaning from April 1 through October 31. Lots of cars get ticketed and towed every time they do the street cleaning.

    If they wanted to do it, they could, and it would make life better. Of course, they’d have to dig out cars for those who don’t bother digging their own out, and then tow ‘em (or they could ticket them, and then push a whole lot of snow up and around the scofflaw’s car).

  32. - Bill F. - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 2:34 pm:

    Has anyone advocating these “clear the streets of cars” plans ever been to a Chicago neighborhood?

  33. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 2:34 pm:


    Good point, BF

  34. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 3:06 pm:

    Bill F.

    Yes, I’ve been to Chicago neighborhoods. Born in one. Lived in a couple.

    In other cities, school and church parking lots are opened before snow emergencies so people can move their cars off the streets, and commercial parking lots give discount snow day rates.

    But you’re right. In addition to reinventing Chicago government, we might have to get rid of some Chicagoans, too, to change the culture.

    Starting with Kass?

  35. - Paddyrollingstone - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 3:30 pm:

    “Starting with Kass?” He lives in Western Springs. Not a lot of “dibs” there but plenty of beer can chicken.

  36. - Abandon Ship - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 3:36 pm:


    There was a mayor who told us to move our vehicles to school parking lots. His name was Michael Bilandic. His snow removal plans did not work out too well.

  37. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 3:38 pm:

    Kass had it all figured out.

    He would have kept the drive open, at rush hour, with 20 inches of snow, 60 mph winds, 25 foot waves, plus broken down buses blocking lanes and stalled cars clogging ramps. A couple guys from the South Side told him.

    Plus, he would have had every alley plowed out in a day or two. No problemo.

    Cheese fries are like brain food.

  38. - Corduroy Bob - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 3:46 pm:

    Wordslinger, that was choice.

  39. - Lundstrom - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 3:47 pm:

    Why would someone supposedly up 54% in the polls and well ahead of everyone else resort to negative campaigning and on top of it negative ads that are flat out lies? So, that ABC7 poll couldn’t have been accurate. The Emanuel camp is behaving like the race is too close for comfort and that Rahm has no where the the simple majority he needs to win outright on Feb 22nd.

  40. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 4:11 pm:


    You’re right. There’d have to be detailed plans, resources, management, and a culture change. That’s a lot to ask for.

  41. - PortageParker - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 5:52 pm:

    Confounded (well, not really, given the New Trier/Northshore/Blue dog connection)…that Hoffman endorsed Rahm, over the true independent and reformer in this race - Miguel del Valle…
    Of note: Miguel del Valle, bravely and early on endorsed Hoffman’s Senate run…Alas, the endorsement was not reciprocated, and Hoffman chose the exact opposite of reform, independence in endorsing the ultimate insider and all-powerful, Rahm Emanuel.

  42. - amalia - Thursday, Feb 10, 11 @ 6:01 pm:

    @Bill F, yes, been to, had family in, still do. old school dibs, and new school yuppie. the point is to try and figure something out. right now the City is not doing that. they need professional plans.

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