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A missed opportunity

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

* The mayor has to stop doing this

Political insiders say Gov. J.B. Pritzker was completely blindsided by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s new proposal for a publicly-owned city and state Chicago casino and first read details of her plan in the newspaper.

“This strikes me as a uniquely amateur view of how governing functions,” one insider said.

I mean, doesn’t she already have enough on her plate? The CTU is about to strike, which is going to really complicate her relationships with elected Democrats. The Black Caucus is threatening to hold up the city’s legalized cannabis rollout. She has to unveil and then pass a very difficult budget soon.

I’m pretty sure the governor and his team want to be an ally. And yet, this stuff keeps happening.

* More

State Sen. Terry Link, a key sponsor of the gambling bill, said he warned the mayor this fall during negotiations that the governor was not on board with a city-and-state-owned Chicago casino.

“I told them, ‘The governor is still opposed, so why do you keep bringing this in? Let’s focus on some different ways that we are working on. Let’s focus on that.’ And now the mayor comes out and makes this statement,” Link said. “I can’t figure it out.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments
  1. - 32nd warder - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 9:48 am:

    i find the whole #spitestrike effort interesting. I think that chicagoans want lightfoot to be successful, and i think that she will ultimately be the winner in the strike battle. But she needs to get smart about comms and creating alliances. if she doesn’t navigate this coming year well, she will definitely have a difficult reelection.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 9:51 am:

    === “I told them, ‘The governor is still opposed, so why do you keep bringing this in? Let’s focus on some different ways that we are working on. Let’s focus on that.’ And now the mayor comes out and makes this statement,” Link said. “I can’t figure it out.”===

    Sen. Link is spot on, 1,000%

    === I’m pretty sure the governor and his team want to be an ally. And yet, this stuff keeps happening.===

    You keep blindsiding allies, you won’t have any in the long term game.

    Do the doable.

    This rank amateur hour shop that is the Mayor’s Office better get this Mayor to understand she is in a world of hurt; budget, strikes, no “allies”… what do y’all do?

    If you’re not helping the Mayor, you’re hurting the Mayor.

    If the Mayor won’t listen to you, you don’t have her trust.

    Sorry to be all blunt, but if you don’t think she’s failing herself and you are helpless, then you understand my questioning.

    Be better, do the doable, stop blindsiding allies.


  3. - LakeCountyCenterRight - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 9:53 am:

    Link has sold out his state senate district by introducing a casino into a low income community that will likely be preyed upon. His personal pet project complete, one can only hope that Link retires so that a democrat that is more service driven can represent this community.


  4. - Montrose - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    She is her own worst enemy. She needs to stop making everyone that pushes back on her her enemy. Meet folks in the middle early and communicate with them. Not everything needs to be a blunt power play.


  5. - Responsa - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 10:02 am:

    Both the governor and Lori survived their party primaries and were elected (in part I think) because they were viewed as relative outsiders–i.e. political novices without a lot of past baggage. This current mess is the hopefully temporary result of the relative inexperience within both offices. Both the governor’s office and the mayor’s office have exhibited some growing pains and miscues particularly in the comms area since they have assumed office. It would be good for everybody in the region if they could figure out how to work together to govern.


  6. - A guy - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 10:04 am:

    These two seriously need to “get a room”; a conference room.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 10:08 am:

    === within both offices===

    Huh?

    Lightfoot apparently is clueless, and “everyone and their brother”, including the Governor and his Crew, is trying to help the Mayor grasp governing. This is on a Mayor and her Crew, clueless to how to make deals and collect allies.

    ===Both… have exhibited some growing pains and miscues particularly in the comms area since they have assumed office.===

    Huh?

    The governor got passed and got signed a budget and arguably the most ambitious agenda in his first session, not seen in many years. Maybe you’re thinking of the past governor, his wife, the purge, the second purge…

    === It would be good for everybody in the region if they could figure out how to work together to govern.===

    “Everyone” is trying to help the Mayor and her Crew. You can’t help the stubborn or clueless.


  8. - Just Me - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    Didn’t the Mayor just hire a new staffer to help her with State Government relations? I would say that person didn’t do their job.

    Perhaps they hired a former Sandoval staffer? Where can I send my resume?


  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    Also, where is Leader Durkin in all this?

    You’d think these two friends, even if Durkin and his caucus won’t help, they could talk about how “allies” work or “60/30, 71/36” and process.

    Can they meet for a cup of coffee or something, lol


  10. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    She seems thin skinned. It is like she thinks if you don’t agree with me you are my enemy. Maybe it is the prosecutor in her. I thought she would do well and be a breath of fresh air but her negotiating skills seem lacking. If the aldermen start feeling bold she will have problems


  11. - Jocko - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 10:50 am:

    Maybe it’s me, but Lightfoot (and Rauner before her) seem to feel like their victory exempts them from having to ‘play’ politics. Like OW said, “do the doable” behind the scenes and don’t go before the cameras until it’s a done deal.


  12. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 10:51 am:

    Seems like a boneheaded attempt to line up state reps and senators against the governor and their leaders.

    Whomever hatched this plan should raise their hand.


  13. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    To paraphrase the great Elmore Leonard: “If you run into an unreasonable jerk shortly after your election, you ran into an unreasonable jerk. But if you run into unreasonable jerks for the entirety of your administration to date, you’re the unreasonable jerk.”

    – MrJM


  14. - WH Mess - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    Look, if I were her, I would have briefed Pritzker’s team in parallel. But the complaints here are a bit rich from the folks who said “nice ideas, we understand you’ve got problems, but you’ll have to build support for your ideas from the legislature first.”

    JB’s folks don’t want to carry her water, fine, but getting Chicago legislators on board with her agenda is EXACTLY what they told her to do.


  15. - Roman - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 11:21 am:

    Fran Spielman writes:

    “Political insiders say Gov. J.B. Pritzker was completely blindsided by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s new proposal…”

    But the mayor says:

    “We’ve constantly brought the governor and his team along on the journey regarding casinos. … I’ve spoken directly with the governor about what options are on the table.”

    Geez. Completely blindside vs. spoken directly. You don’t get a more dramatic disconnect than that. Someone needs to ask the Guv if the mayor has ever personally pitched him on state/city ownership.


  16. - GA Watcher - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    Mayor Lightfoot’s former employer, Mayer Brown, has a crack cadre of attorneys who know Springfield better than most. They’ve been in the thick of discussions on key pieces of legislation over the years. Maybe the Mayor ought to invite some of the partners from that group over for a strategy session.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    - Jocko -, my hope is after some political self-inflicted pain the Mayor and her Crew will look for solutions and not blame or untenable outcomes.

    === “We’ve constantly brought the governor and his team along on the journey regarding casinos. … I’ve spoken directly with the governor about what options are on the table.”===

    Just guessin’, but what the Mayor thinks as options, the Guv keeps pointing out the unworkable realities.

    You can listen and still not hear. I’m afraid the Mayor and her Crew listen, but rarely hear anything they deem not if they’d liking.


  18. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    The mayor has to communicate with and notify the major political players and not blindside them.

    She did get a win today, with the legal marijuana zoning ordinance passing.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    === She did get a win today===

    … and the park district strike has been averted. That’s good news too.


  20. - la dictadora - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 12:33 pm:

    Does anyone know why the mayor didn’t hire Ra Joy? Heard he was hoping to get a job in the administration but that didn’t happen so he went back to Seattle. Someone like him would be helpful to advise her on not being so shortsighted. He’s not overly experienced but he’s reasonable, understands politics, and people seem to like him. He could’ve also helped her with CTU.

    I think it’s a really big sign that he’s nowhere to be found while she and her inept IGA and comms teams are tripping all over themselves. Though I’ve heard he’s got an ego like her so who knows if that would have worked. Either way, she needs to let in smart advisers ASAP.


  21. - Roman - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 12:54 pm:

    Is this a product of the mayor and her team having an unrealistic view of how much clout she has in Springfield? For decades, if the mayor pulled a couple of dozen Chicago legislators together and said “this is my plan,” they would mostly fall in line. But it hasn’t worked that way for a while — since maybe halfway through Richard M. Daley’s tenure. But the City Hall press corps consistently over-hypes mayoral influence in the capitol. Maybe Team Lightford believes the hype?

    Rahm actually benefited from the Rauner years. It brought all the Dems — city, suburban, and downstate — together in Springfield. And the supermajorities could usually roll the governor. That dynamic is gone. Now, in a pinch, the safe play for a Chicago legislator is to side with the governor over the mayor. It’s an easy decision. When the last time you could say that?


  22. - Telly - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    == Does anybody know why the mayor didn’t hire Ra Joy? ==

    My understanding is he was offered a big job but decided to go to Seattle with his family because of his wife’s job.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 1:23 pm:

    I don’t think it falls (fell) upon Ra Joy or *any* 5th Floor Crew to help the Mayor grasp governing.

    If the Mayor doesn’t respect sound governing advice or trusts the process to get help from allies, that’s on *any* mayor, as we learned with the previous governor too.

    My question to the Mayor’s Crew is simple.

    “What is it you exactly do?”

    If the Mayor ain’t gonna listen or blows up any hard work you’re doing, why ya there?


  24. - R A T - Wednesday, Oct 16, 19 @ 3:05 pm:

    I have not met her and cannot claim to know her but I get the feeling this is an appropriate way for her to be introduced.

    Here is Mayor Lightfoot, the smartest person in the room. If you don’t believe me, just ask her.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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