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Check out the excuses on that guy

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013

* If this is Mayor Emanuel’s idea of getting “very involved” in the gay marriage debate, then maybe he’s unclear on the concept

After the November election, Emanuel ranked legalizing gay marriage as his No. 3 legislative priority in Springfield–behind pension reform and a Chicago casino—and said he planned to get “very involved” in passing a gay marriage bill.

The mayor followed through on that promise, by turning up the heat on state lawmakers in a failed attempt to put the bill over the top in the Il. House.

In an e-mail to the vast network of supporters he created during the mayoral campaign, Emanuel created a vehicle for gay marriage proponents to pressure their state representatives with the click of a mouse.

“The clock is ticking,” Emanuel wrote then.

You’re kidding me, right? This is how he followed through on his promise? A blast e-mail? Really?

* And what about pension reform?

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday blamed the Legislature’s failure to grant pension relief to the Chicago Public Schools and resolve the pension crisis for devastating school budget cuts that threaten the enrichment programs he touted as cornerstones of his longer school day.

“Your own paper and you have written about the fact that we have deferred choices for years and that this day of reckoning would come to our classrooms, which is why I pushed so hard for pension reform,” said Emanuel, who was in Israel when 48 schools closed and surviving schools got wind of their bottom lines. […]

“I went to Springfield [in May, 2012] and I said, `If we don’t reform our pension, there are gonna be some very difficult choices to be made. I warned everybody….I said, `This is a critical decision.’ …[Lawmakers said], `Not now. We won’t deal with this.’ Small problems became big problems. When we all debate the choices around pensions, that’s exactly what’s happening.”

The mayor noted that nearly 45 percent of the $1 billion shortfall at the Chicago Public Schools is tied to pension payments.

He “pushed so hard for pension reform” by making one visit to Springfield, last year? So impressive.

I can’t wait to see how hard he worked to put a gaming bill on the governor’s desk.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Steve - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 11:31 am:

    Rich Miller confuses people with the facts on Rahm! It’s like telling people public education is important but not important enough to send your kids to school there.

  2. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    Rahm suddenly and urgently cares about these issues?

    Could’ve fooled me based upon his actions.

    Nice of him to “turn up the heat” by sending out an email, though.

    So much unfulfilled leadership potential there.

  3. - just asking - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    Is Rich going to be in trouble?

  4. - Anonner - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 11:42 am:

    Meh…an email and a visit to Springfield is more than Daley every did for these two issues.

  5. - Esquire - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    Has Rahm Emanuel ever actually spent more than a single day in Springfield lobbying? I recall he paid a visit some time ago, but I cannot recall him doing so recently. In fact, I do not know if the mayor has named a designated floor leader in the legislature. Mayor Washington had such a person (Carol Moseley Braun).

  6. - MrJM - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    Anyone remember who was Assistant to the President for Political Affairs when Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law?

    – MrJM

  7. - Been There - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    ===I can’t wait to see how hard he worked to put a gaming bill on the governor’s desk.===
    I’d settle for at least an email on this issue

  8. - Dan S. - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:09 pm:

    Rahm needs to clean up the cesspool he is mayor of and stay out of State Government.

  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:10 pm:

    –Anyone remember who was Assistant to the President for Political Affairs when Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law?–

    Indeed he was. Considered good politics at the time, to their shame and those of us like me who didn’t raise the roof.

    For the record, from the House Report on DOMA:

    “… ‘Congress decided to reflect and honor of collective moral judgment and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality.”

    Bubba and Newt, the great defenders of heterosexual monogamous marriage.

  10. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    Two things.

    1) The Sun-Times piece is on the Pride Parade and I do not get the sense it was intended as a comprehensive report on the mayor’s total efforts on SB 10.

    2) Do you perhaps have any concrete suggestions regarding who he should speak to/who, where and when he should visit?

  11. - Fed up - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:15 pm:

    I wonder why Rahm doesn’t man up and place the cps budget shortfall where it belongs. Daley and TIFS. If all the property tax money wasn’t being diverted into TIF funds their would be plenty of money for schools. But Rahm likes having a slush fund( TIFs) with no real over site. Maybe if Daley didn’t skip so many pension payments the funds would be solvent. But Rahm won’t say anything about them.

  12. - Don't Worry, Be Happy - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    He has also been pointing the finger at the failure of the CPS pension holiday bill. Since that was such a major priority, of course they naturally didn’t introduce it until the final day of the session.

  13. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:21 pm:

    Fed up: That is not correct. Were TIFs to be abolished tomorrow, it would produce about $250m/year for CPS. That is not nothing, but it is not even half of this year’s deficit.

    It’s not hard to look these things up.

  14. - Esquire - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:21 pm:

    If Rahm would take the wife and kids to spend a single day at the Illinois State Fair it would be making progress. I am not suggesting that he open a satelite office in Springfield, but he seems positively disconnected from the state capital.

  15. - J - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:27 pm:

    Fed Up, additionally CPS receives extra federal funding because of the TIFs, the calculation is way more complicated than X many hundreds of millions of dollars were pulled out of schools.

  16. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:30 pm:

    === Anyone remember who was Assistant to the President for Political Affairs when Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law? ===

    Or the Chief of Staff who counseled Barack Obama against pushing another assault weapons bill?

    === Were TIFs to be abolished tomorrow, it would produce about $250m/year for CPS. ===

    Sold! CPS students will gladly accept an additional $250/m year. Combined with the cost savings from school closures and teacher layoffs, it just might add up to some “real” money for students.

    === It’s like telling people public education is important but not important enough to send your kids to school there. ===

    Or like claiming to care about public safety while reducing police manpower to some of the lowest levels in decades.

    Meanwhile there’s plenty of money for expanding the Riverwalk, building special bike lines at over $1M per mile, Navy Pier design cost overruns, a new Maggie Daley park, etc.

    Funny how there’s money for the things Rahm wants there to be money for.

    He sure makes some odd choices.

  17. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:34 pm:

    The city of Chicago has a fulltime lobster or two on the payroll, let Rahm eat cake if he so desires. Rahm is an elitist. Daley was not.

    Emanuel runs with a way different crowd than Richie did. These guys don’t want to get their hands dirty and mess up their manicures.

    Can you say lipservice?

  18. - John on the spot - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:34 pm:

    Here’s the Mayor’s 2013 pension plan-SB 1920—a pension holiday for the Chicago Teacher’s Pension Fund—that went down in flames on the last session day (Lost-39-78-1):

    It always irks me that he spends a lot of time triathloning to keep in shape. Maybe he could cut some workouts and devote that time to, uuhm, well, 1) reducing gun violence on Chicago’s South and West sides, 2) not closing so many schools and 3) putting together a real pension for Chicago public employees. Sb 1920 was also, I believe, the last bill called in the House before Greg Harris’ magnificent speech on marriage equality.

  19. - Who's gonna run against this guy? - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:39 pm:

    Fed Up was actually right on as far as the TIF question. It’s not really that complicated at all. They divert about $250 billion a year from CPS and there’s well over a billion that could be tapped to deal with the current “crisis”. Rahm is doing his level best to alienate anyone associated with the Chicago Public Schools: staff, parents, students, etc. If he’s so concerned about the current round of cuts, why has he essentially kept them secret, shoved them off on principals to manage, and spun it all as local control over school spending? Not exactly the textbook way of enlisting parents to action, except, in my case, working hard as soon as possible to get rid of him.

  20. - anon - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 1:02 pm:

    But the national press will love Rahm’s statements.

  21. - MrJM - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 1:02 pm:

    Were TIFs to be abolished tomorrow, it would produce about $250m/year for CPS. That is not nothing, but it is not even half of this year’s deficit.

    Chicago Public Schools’ projected deficit is $1B.

    Crain’s Greg Heinz reports that CPS has developed the outline of a plan to completely eliminate a projected $1 billion deficit for the school year that begins July 1. Heinz also adds, “the very fact that the CPS has been able to eliminate such a large deficit will raise some questions about how real the projected $1 billion figure really was.”

    Heinz is right to be skeptical. The CPS isn’t exactly know for accurate budget projections.

    Diane Ravitch:

    Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports from the school years 2011-2012 and 2010-2011 show that CPS has a recent history of overstating their budget troubles. In the 2011-2012 school year, the Chicago Board of Education (BOE) approved a budget with a $214 million deficit. However, CPS ended the school year with a $328 million surplus. And again, the BOE approved a budget anticipating a $245 million deficit for the 2010-2011 school year, but the district ended that school year with a $328 million surplus. In both cases CPS’s budgeting was off by $500 million dollars.

    So there is plenty of reason to believe that the quarter-billion dollars (or more) that TIFs siphon from Chicago Public Schools could have a substantial effect on the budgets (and quality) of those schools.

    – MrJM

  22. - Fed up - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 1:17 pm:

    You seem to be taking Rahms word for the amount of the budget shortfall. Every year these games get played where a huge dollar amount is thrown around. Yet it really isn’t that number. Not all budgeted positions will be filled not every budgeted expense will be paid. Every year the short fall amount is thrown out there and the media eats it up yet no real reporting how much is just fluff for political purposes. Some how the short falls always seem to shrink. Also the amount of TIF money taken away from the schools has a compounding effect if we were shorted $250 million this year , and say $225 million last year, 215 million the year before, we’ll this shorting of tax dollars adds up over time. We just keep digging the hole deeper and deeper. Still believing anything Rahm says when it comes to the short fall amount is being as gullible as buying ocean front property in the desert.

  23. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 1:21 pm:

    - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    Do you perhaps have any concrete suggestions regarding who he should speak to/who, where and when he should visit?


    Saputo’s. Back corner. Bring an apple for the teacher…

  24. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 1:21 pm:

    ===The Sun-Times piece is on the Pride Parade===

    Um, no. It was about both issues…

    ===Sunday’s Gay Pride Parade in Chicago will take on added political significance because of what didn’t happen in Springfield, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday.===

  25. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 1:25 pm:

    Again I say, I do not get the sense that it was intended or researched as a report on the full extent of the mayor’s advocacy on SB 10 and/or lack thereof. I am open to correction on this point.

  26. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 1:26 pm:

    ===Saputo’s. Back corner. Bring an apple for the teacher===

    7 o’clock sharp. But check ahead first, he may be at Sangamo or Alexander’s.

  27. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 1:26 pm:

    Fed up: Make up your mind, is the CPS structural deficit all a big lie or have TIFs caused a cumulative massive structural deficit.

    Both statements are kind of silly but they are at any rate contradictory.

  28. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 1:27 pm:

    === is the CPS structural deficit all a big lie or have TIFs caused a cumulative massive structural deficit===

    It can actually be both.

  29. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 1:28 pm:

    === I do not get the sense ===

    I don’t either, but that’s what the mayor himself chose to highlight. You’d think he’d choose his most effective effort.

  30. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    - You’d think he’d choose his most effective effort. -

    Didn’t he threaten to burn down Harris’s house over pension reform? I guess the gap between second and third on his list is pretty large.

    Perhaps Harris would have been more supportive of the second if Rahm actually put a little muscle behind the third.

    I guess he just prefers screaming and profanities.

  31. - Anon. - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 2:04 pm:

    ==You’re kidding me, right? This is how he followed through on his promise? A blast e-mail? Really?

    . . . .

    He “pushed so hard for pension reform” by making one visit to Springfield, last year? So impressive.==

    Rahm E and Pat Q — twins separated at birth.

  32. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    Emanuel’s a fundraiser, a spinmaster and a national politico-celebrity schmoozer.

    Those are good things to be as a politician, but I don’t know that he has either the will, inclination or talents to really get down in the streets to try to run the city.

  33. - Frank - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 3:05 pm:

    Here’s what Rahm has done to solve the pension crisis during his 2+ years as mayor: 1. Show up in Springfield for a few hours and appear before a committee to testify that the situation is bad and gonna get worse if nothing is done (boy, we’ve never heard that from anybody!) 2. Propose and lobby hard on the last day of session for a bill that would have extended the policy that created the CPS pension problem — the payment holiday.

    Don’t get me wrong, Chicago’s pension crisis is not Rahm’s fault, but he has a ton of nerve to complain about the GA’s inaction when the only real action he has taken was to push a bill to preserve the status quo — and do it unsuccessfully. Did anyone in the City Hall press corps call him out on this?

    Rahm should have grabbed the IFT-endorsed SB 2404 and proposed a similar reform plan for the CPS pension. Given that Chicago teachers make up about a third of the IFT membership, it would have been awfully hard for Karen Lewis to say no. They could have lobbied together for a real reform bill instead of akwardly uniting in favor of the pension holiday bill.

    Rahm probably wants more cost savings than an SB 2404-style plan would offer, but he could have engineered a political breakthough that would have proven him to be a real problem solver. And it would have given him CPS budget relief at a time when he needs it the most.

  34. - Rod - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 3:26 pm:

    Well Rich is correct Mayor Emanuel made one trip to Springfield supposedly to lobby for a resolution to Chicago’s public sector pension problems. That was on May 8th when he testified at the House Committee Hearing on Personnel and Pensions. His proposal consisted of raising pension contributions of city employees by 1 percent each year for the next five years as well as increase the city employee retirement age to 67, and suspend the cost-of-living adjustments for retirees for 10 years. The plan also didn’t say whether the retirement age would be raised for current employees or just new hires, or some combination. The plan offered newly hired city employees a “choice” between a defined benefits plan and the 401(k) plans. I was at that hearing and as I recall Tom Cross asked the Mayor if this general proposal for Chicago’s public sector workers was going to be presented to the Assembly in the form of a bill. He replied that it would be.

    A few days later on May 12th Mayor Emanuel was joined by nearly 30 Mayors of municipalities representing over 3.2 million Illinoisans who traveled to Chicago to express their support of pension reform. What happened to the proposed legislation for Chicago and other municipalities? It was never filed. Why? Because his plan had almost no support amongst members of the Chicago delegation to the General Assembly.

  35. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 9:36 pm:

    In Rahm’s defense, Mayor Daley liked to talk about education funding reform and n violence but spent his political clout in Springfield elsewhere instead of doing heavy lifting.

    Wait, is comparing Rahm’s to Daley a defense? Oops.

  36. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 9:38 pm:

    I recall Madigan saying that he flipped 20 Democrats to vote for his pension reform bill. I don’t recall him crediting Mayor Emanuel for his help, but I suppose someone could ask.

  37. - chitownmom - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 10:05 am:

    “You’re kidding me, right? This is how he followed through on his promise? A blast e-mail? Really?”
    Why yes I guess you’ve caught on that this is the Mayor’s way of doing things. That is he talks (yells) to people and expects people to do it. Hey that’s how it works in City Council, are you telling me it works differently in Springfield? You mean the people in Springfield might have their own ideas?
    Fed up and MJM are exactly right-there has been NO TRANSPARENCY on anything related to CPS so until proved otherwise, yes, I am going to say they are LYING. ABOUT. EVERYTHING. On top of the school closings there are BRUTAL cuts to nearly every school in CPS. There was a Chicago Board of Education meeting yesterday and they had “no questions” for CPS regarding pension issues. Apparently, the Mayor and Springfield are working on it so its all ok.

  38. - chitownmom - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 10:06 am:


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