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All rise!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

* Mark Brown

This is as good a time as any to pick a fight with Chicago aldermen — the public thoroughly disgusted by a federal investigation that has left the City Council’s most powerful member severely wounded and threatening others.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot pushed to take full advantage Monday on her first day in office.

She started by using her inauguration speech to give the aldermen a visual demonstration that the public is on her side in her call for reform, employing the audience at the Wintrust Arena to help make them squirm. […]

But the more interesting part came a minute later when Lightfoot called out public officials who “cut shady backroom deals.”

“Stopping it isn’t just in the city’s interest. It’s in the City Council’s interest,” Lightfoot said.

When she delivered that line, she struck a tough guy pose, turned around and looked at the aldermen directly — among them Ald. Edward M. Burke, currently facing federal charges.

The crowd went wild, seeing exactly what she was doing. Then Lightfoot began a slow clap and raised her arms to instruct the aldermen to get to their feet, too.

This was how she led up to her comments on taking away “the worst abuses of the so-called aldermanic privilege.”

* Video clip


* After reading a few stories quoting aldermen whining about how Lightfoot has treated them, I texted a buddy of mine who is also a Statehouse lobbyist…

Me: So, do you think I could away with writing: “Most politicians come across as dominant people, but they’re really submissives”?

Buddy: Better than fragile ego maniacs.

Me: Probably so.

Buddy: Better framing is politicians are mortal. No amount of popularity or ascension on the political ladder will ever be enough to mask their insecurities.

Me: That’s pretty good. I think I’ll steal it

Buddy: Have at it. I’ll be spending the next 2 weeks exploiting those insecurities.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:13 pm:

    Exploit the exploiters. I like it.

  2. - Steve - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    Mayor Lightfoot will have more talk on the subject of corruption after Memorial Day. Mark your calendar, it’s coming soon.

  3. - Interested Observer - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    All I can say is—awesome way to begin

  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    That was serious b-a. What a real tough person looks like, not twitter whiners pretending to be.

  5. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    I am sure with the indictment of Alderman Burke set for the beginning of June, her momentum will just ramp up.

  6. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:26 pm:

    The showhorses in the General Assembly really are insecure, watch how they treat state agency staff or legislative liasions in committee. The love to belittle them and play the tough guy, they have no interest in working an issue, they only want their ego massaged.

    The workhorses in the General Assembly seem to view their work as a temporary gig and willing to work with others to get something done.

  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    From Brown’s column on aldermanic privilege:

    –Under current practices, a restaurant can’t operate a sidewalk café or beer garden without an aldermanic sign-off. Aldermen also are allowed to override departmental decisions about who gets disabled parking spaces in front of their homes, or whether a corner gets a stop sign, he said.

    Sposato and others say nobody at City Hall knows more about how those types of decisions affect their communities than they do.–

    I find it astounding that aldermen would cite these ridiculous examples in defense of aldermanic privilege. I view them as indictments of the practice.

    Aldermanic veto power over a parking spot? A stop sign? Citizens have to kiss the ring for such mickey-mouse stuff?

    These guys think they’re medieval barons lording it over their subjects, not elected representatives.

  8. - Montrose - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:40 pm:

    One or two of the alderman have said that if you take away Aldermanic prerogative, you are essentially taking away their job. If you think that the job of Alderman is at best micromanaging minor decisions within your boundaries and at worst a gig to hold unwarranted control over your constituents, then you probably should find another gig.

  9. - Ben Gazzara - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    I absolutely loved the turnaround/crowd rising. Some aldermen are good, yadda yadda yadda…..they need to be checked and this was an awesome moment.

  10. - JP Atlgeld - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:14 pm:

    Very funny to listen to some of now less-favored aldermen squak in the the news about all of this. Opposition will need a leader and an issue on which to oppose and gain support.

    They definitely don’t have a leader - the City Council rarely has - and aldermanic prerogative is detested by essentially every Chicagoan (to the extent they know about it).

    Going to be rough sledding for a lot of aldermen that have been used to easy street. The fact that now, for the first time, a Mayor is really taking that on shows just how much Rahm abdicated as a leader.

  11. - Wensicia - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:14 pm:

    Begin as you mean to go on.

  12. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:19 pm:

    Less interactions with Alderpersons over minor issues equals less touchpoints for possible corruption. I suppose your view on whether or not that is a good thing depends on your motives and on what side of the transaction you are on.

  13. - Griggs - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    I like Brown’s exchange about pols being insecure people. I had an older neighbor who used to look at the special and vanity license plates that one local pol and his family had and remark about how insecure someone would have to be to have to announce to the world how important they are by placing on their car a piece of stamped metal made by a person in prison.

  14. - 10th Ward - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    love love love it… thos self centered egomaniacs will FINALLY have some restrictions. Do they still have a “badge” and are allowed to carry a gun? I know back in the day of Edddie V the City Council were allowed to have both?

  15. - Leslie K - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    ==Aldermanic veto power over a parking spot?==

    Awnings, disabled parking, sidewalk cafes, etc. all have to go through City Council for approval. Until that changes, they will continue to wield power over the minutiae of their wards. And that’s only going to change if at least 26 aldermen want it to…

  16. - Bavette - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    This is all good. I like what Lightfoot is saying. But we also need to reduce the size of the City Council. NYCs Council has 51 members and over 5,000,000 more people than Chicago.

  17. - A guy - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 3:05 pm:

    Win the crowd Maximus…

    She did. As I stated yesterday. There seems to be something rather extraordinary about this woman, and I think we’ve only seen the start of it.

  18. - Bogey Golfer - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 4:52 pm:

    If it complies with City Code requirements, a permit should be issued, an inspection made, and done. Only if a variance is needed/requested should it need the approval of an elected board. If that is what Lightfoot is advocating, long overdue.

  19. - Hamilton - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 5:13 pm:

    I’m still in awe at the courage it takes to create that moment - to work the crowd in your favor and stare them down and then encourage them to stand and clap with you.

    A fragile ego maniac would not have that courage. Or, someone with insecurities on par with the usual politician.

    I’m with A guy - it’s a sign of depth that I suspect is the start of something worth watching.

  20. - Ebenezer - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 4:18 am:

    She’s impressive.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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