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Emanuel has big lead, but can’t answer a simple question

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* ABC7’s new poll has Rahm Emanuel above 50 percent and Carol Moseley Braun tanking badly and in single digits

A stunning 53 percent of black voters, 57 percent of whites and 47 percent of Hispanics backed Emanuel.

And if that’s even close to being Braun’s final number, then it shows what a joke that “consensus candidate” process was.

…Adding… From the “MayorEmanuel” Twitter feed

We’ve carved out a sledding hill in the shape of Braun’s poll trends, but we’re all scared to try it: too [expletive deleted] steep.


* OK, he’s way ahead, but he also appears physically incapable of answering a simple question

Mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel addressed the subject of the “missing” tape with some of the same language he has used for months to describe his conversations with Rod Blagojevich.

He hearkened back to a two-year-old report by then-President-elect Obama’s transition team that concluded there were “about four” conversations between Emanuel and Blagojevich Chief-of-Staff John Harris, but “nothing inappropriate or any deal-making.”

“It also noted that I was asked at the time by the President’s transition (team) to provide a list of four names for the U.S. Senate: Tammy Duckworth, Jan Schakowsky, Dan Hynes and Congressman Jesse Jackson [Jr.],” Emanuel recalled, noting that there was a separate conversation about Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Trial testimony indicated that Blagojevich and his team considered this list a “BS list.”

“I provided that list. Then, there was a question — The governor’s representative said, `What’s in it for us.’ And I responded, `You’ll get thanks and appreciation‚ [but nothing more]. You also know how the [former] governor responded to the word, `appreciation.’ That’s been detailed over two years ago in the report.”

Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers say there may be a “missing tape” of Emanuel talking to a top Blagojevich aide the day before Blagojevich’s arrest. How about just saying if he talked to the guy or not and what was said, if there was such a conversation? No. Instead, a long soliloquy about nothing.

* The same goes for Emanuel’s budget plans

Speaking at Threadless, the successful and popular West Side T-shirt company, Emanuel said he would initiate changes to Mayor Richard Daley’s final budget to realize $75 million worth of savings.

“I will order a government-wide spending freeze and to ask every department head to review all operations and produce a plan for their dept within 60 days to cut city spending by at least $75 million,” said Emanuel.

But the city’s budget deficit is expected to range between $500 and $600 million. Emanuel offered few specific details, instead pointing to ideas illustrated on his website, on how he would manage that.

That’s it? That’s the big budget speech chock full of details that his aides have been promising for weeks? Seriously?

The Sun-Times tried to gently prod Emanuel today to offer up some specifics. I wouldn’t bet on it ever happening…

Rahm Emanuel walked to the edge of a cliff on Tuesday but refused to jump.

That won’t do.

…Adding… Emanuel’s campaign points to his website, which includes this graph

* I hate it when the Tribune does this

A Tribune/WGN poll conducted Jan. 15-19 showed city taxpayers prefer service cuts to tax hikes. And in the wake of a despised parking-meter lease, they strongly oppose selling off more city assets that could raise billions in the short term.

No response percentages, not explanation of the questions asked, nothing. They provide a bit more detail later in the piece…

Nearly half of likely Chicago voters favor city service cuts over higher taxes and fees, according to the recent Tribune poll. Less than 1 in 3 want higher taxes and fees, the poll found.

So, less than half want service cuts and fewer than a third want tax hikes. Sounds like they want neither.

* Meanwhile, Mayor Daley wants no more live music at Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago can reverse huge losses without charging an admission fee — and even turn a profit — by focusing exclusively on food, Mayor Daley said Tuesday.

“What we’re trying to do is make the Taste of Chicago get back to … the Taste of Chicago — not all the other things around it. We’re trying to get it back to what it was originally. It’s a Taste of Chicago. That’s what we’re trying to rebuild without costing you or taxpayers more money,” Daley said.

“Originally, we never had an admission fee. … The cost [escalated]. All the musicials got so costly that they put money into the musicals forgetting it’s Taste of Chicago. It’s not a music fest.”

Pressed on whether the Taste would be food alone, without any music, Daley said, “Yes. That’s what you do because it was always free. It will always be free.”

* Jim DeRogatis offers up a blistering dissent

1. Taste of Chicago is not, in fact, free; one must purchase not inexpensive tickets if one is going to do anything other than smell the food (or, in the past, listen to the music).

2. Taste of Chicago has not always been about food—in fact, with its start as Chicagofest, it primarily was a music festival, and the music has been at least as important a part of the festivities as the food for the last 25 years.

Go read the whole thing.

* Related…

* ‘Chicago Code’ is silent with debut ratings: “The Chicago Code” was beaten by “Two and a Half Men” (15.13 million viewers) and “The Bachelor” (9.97 million), although it bested “The Cape” (4.56 million) and “Gossip Girl” (1.63 million).

* Rumsfeld wanted Iraq to do things the ‘Chicago way’: “In parts of Chicago where officials threatened the mayor’s authority, potholes were left untended and other services were neglected,” the Winnetka native writes. “In areas where local officials cooperated with the mayor, Daley brought the services of the city government to bear and was generous in his patronage. “My point was that instead of giving Karzai the freedom to throw around the weight of the U.S. military, he should learn to use patronage … to get the local Afghan warlords, governors, and cabinet officials in line.”

* How (and why) those Rogers Park high schoolers made their anti-Rahm/pro-Miguel video

* New jury rule in Blago trial: In the filing, Zagel cited “incidents occurring after jurors names were released” and so he has ordered in the next trial that the names of anonymous jurors will be “publicly released eight hours after the verdict is returned.”

* City overstates furlough savings, inspector general says - Officials failed to account for shortfall in pension contributions from its employees: Under the agreement, city workers were not required to make more than $11 million in pension contributions for the furlough days even though they continued to accrue benefits. The city, meanwhile, gave itself a pass on another $13.5 million in payments for its share of pension contributions for the furlough days, according to the report. That means city pension funds were shortchanged more than $24 million over the three-year period, at a time when the pension funds had reached historic shortfalls that threaten the retirement security of thousands of police officers, firefighters, teachers and other municipal employees.

posted by Rich Miller
Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 9:37 am


  1. That Chicago Code was awfully fictional. The CPD investigating a corrupt alderman? A corporate exec bringing suspicions of a fixed bid to an alderman? Come on. Those things would never happen.

    Comment by Anonymous Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 9:45 am

  2. If Rahm really has 54% of likely voters AND 15% are undecided, he may crack 60% in a six-candidate field.

    How much of that 15% undecided was for CMB before the crack/cult outburst?

    Comment by Boone Logan Square Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 10:03 am

  3. Oh, and I love “Reform TIF” at the top of that graphic. How that would actually work should be the sole subject of a mayoral debate.

    Comment by Boone Logan Square Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 10:05 am

  4. That ABC poll is way off. All 3 major internal campaign polls showed similar numbers. Rahm in the 40-45 percentile, Chico in the low to mid 20’s, and Carol coming in third. Regardless, the real polls are on election day.

    Comment by Sinister Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 10:06 am

  5. Even if the ABC poll is accurate, there is still reason to hope for whoever can come in #2. Rahm’s 54% is at best soft and could be brought back below 50%. A run off is a brand new ball game. Keep in mind, however, I bet on the Steelers.

    Comment by Phineas J. Whoopee Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 10:14 am

  6. If we had real musicals at Taste like South Pacfic,Call me Madam,Cats Etc.Crowd behaivor would not be a problem.Chargee a few bucks at the door and have some music.P.S Mayor Cheap Trick is not a musical.

    Comment by mokenavince Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 10:56 am

  7. Meet the New Boss, same as the Old Boss.

    Comment by amalia Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 11:20 am

  8. I am a Gery Chico guy and I am not the least bit concerned. The action is on the ground and not in the air. That is the key difference between Chico’s firm, Ken Snyder and Associates, and the AKPD Message and Media, Axelrod’s former group. Elections are won and lost on the ground. Just ask Governor Quinn. Lots of union people, policemen and firemen and city workers allying together. The momentum is building. I can feel it.

    Comment by John Presta Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 11:26 am

  9. That Emanuel graph is ludicrous. It looks like some junior staffer was given the task to think up buzzwords and assign random numbers to them, with the requirement that it all add up to $500 million. It is deeply disturbing that the candidate with such a lead is in Fiscal Fantasyland.

    Comment by 42nd Ward Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 11:26 am

  10. Where’s the section in the graph for the magic beans?

    Comment by Anonymous Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 11:41 am

  11. More than nine years in, and Rummy sees the Afghans as a bunch of ward bosses. Perhaps he could do a little reading and learn that they’ve milked every invader dry since before Alexander.

    Why would the Afghan gangsters want to facilitate our leaving? We pump in billions every month and provide protection for them to grow their poppies that supply about 80% of the world’s heroin. They like the current partnership just fine.

    Comment by wordslinger Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 11:42 am

  12. Didn’t Taste of Chicago start with booths on Michigan Avenue? I remember Chicagofest being at Navy Pier. Wasn’t it al Jane Byrne’s idea way back when?

    Comment by What's in a name? Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 12:00 pm

  13. For all you Chico lovers out there - give it a rest as fara as the “status quo” quips go. He is the definition of “status quo” and if you want a complete explanation as to why, well read Mark Brown’s article in the Sun-Times at

    Also note, for those that think Daley is powerless, think again. The idea of a run-off is one that will not come to fruition.

    Comment by GetOverIt Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 12:19 pm

  14. I agree that he should answer some of those questions…

    But given how far ahead he is in the polls, he would be foolish to put anything out there that might impact him negatively. As a strategy he is better off to dodge.

    Comment by Ghost Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 12:30 pm

  15. –That Emanuel graph is ludicrous. It looks like some junior staffer was given the task to think up buzzwords and assign random numbers to them, with the requirement that it all add up to $500 million.–

    Lol, but the colors are nice, no?

    Invest in Wellness and save $60 million? Streamline Bureaucracy and save $110 million? Why didn’t I think of that?

    For a guy who the polls have running away with it, Emanuel is barely phoning it in. He looks disinterested in his TV spots.

    Comment by wordslinger Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 12:31 pm

  16. Just got word that the poll was automated, any truth to that? If that is true, the likelihood of a registered voter answering the robo-poll is slim. As I said before, the real poll is on election day.

    Hey, wasn’t Bill Brady way ahead in the polls a few months ago? And who won?

    Comment by Sinister Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 12:45 pm

  17. Bill Brady was not way ahead in the polls right before the election….the polls right before the election had it as a tight race.

    Comment by Ghost Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 12:52 pm

  18. Funny how the people without the money to dominate the air are always the ones who claim that “the ground game” will be where an election is won. 

    And I am sure that the Emanuel folk feel quite overwhelmed strategically.  Who needs AKP, of Obama lore, when you can have Ken Snyder, the man who brought us Governor John Schmidt?

    Comment by R.P. McMurphy Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 1:16 pm

  19. Could not agree more with - John Presta 11:26 am:
    -I am a Gary Chico guy and I am not the least bit concerned. The action is on the ground and not in the air.-
    Chico has gone to the groups that did the PQ ground game in the last elections. It is too early to say they can win it all, but a lot of people are starting to believe they can get it to a run-off. If it makes it to the run-off Emanuel will have to abandon the rose garden strategy. Then all bets are off.

    Comment by Bongo Furry Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 1:27 pm

  20. Rich,
    Which is the bigger joke: the process/idea of choosing the concensus candidate or the candidate who was chosen?

    Comment by Hyperbolic Chamber Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 2:24 pm

  21. Where are the crosstabs and other important details to help us understand the methodolohy behind this channel 7 poll? For all we know the sample came from Lincoln Park or some such area. The poll seems to build upon the results of other media conducted/paid polling. It is a coincidence that all of the media conducted/paid for polling looks so much alike in terms of results? Surely everyone knows by now that the media are pulling for Emanuel.

    If Emanuel were really ahead by 54% he would have talked about that rather than responding to the Rahm Tax Ad. He quickly responded to that Ad because the numbers are exactly what the internal campaign polls show. Chico is in second place and Rahm can’t get the 50 +1 percent. To let that ad go unanswered, Emanuel’s percentage would have slid down below the 40th percentile mark, which is something he definitely does not want to happen.

    Emanuel is definitely not going to tout Mark Brown’s column today to the masses. Gee, and I wonder why?

    Comment by Anonymous Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 2:48 pm

  22. One positive sign in the ABC poll and others posted in Dec and Jan, is that voters are not supporting candidates along racial lines. That is progress in a city that has been racially divided for a long time!

    Comment by Democratic Voter Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 3:04 pm

  23. “Reform TIF”? Since the bulk of TIF revenues are generally pledged to pay development bonds, and the bonds have been sold over the past decades, it seems that TIF reform would be prospective only. Something like reforming public pensions.

    Comment by Anon III Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 4:08 pm

  24. I saw Rahm on the street last week just strollin’ down Madison Street with a couple of aids in suits (while he was wearin’ jeans) and he had this way over-confident, smug look all over his face like he was just countin’ the days until the Rahm Revolution begins–like on the very day after Chicago’s 3rd Worst Blizzard in History like he has it made in the shade already and like it was a walk in the park…it was scary actually and I got a real eerie feeling about him…
    Yes, Rich–the poeople of our beloved City of Chicago (and of Illinois for that matter deserve to know!)–the questions you raised above about the day before Blago’s arres should be asked of him again and again and again until he gives a direct, thorough answer about it, and indeed, all of his dealings with Blago–dating back to his Congressional days when he took over Blago’s old Seat. If he sees an easy, upcoming coronation of sorts in the midst of this cold, blah winter we’re all battling through, we deserve answers–the People have a right to know beyond the slick TV Commercials and Junior-High level graphs with quick, easy solutions–just who IS this guy–it reminds me of Brady in the Governor’s Race just trying to ride the polls to Election Day while providing little (or no) details about exactly how and where an entire TEN percent of the Illinois’ Budget and vital services could reasonably be eliminated without dismantling the whole thing. People (and the Media)–wake up–now’s the time to start asking the tough questions of this guy and demanding thorough answers instead of smug, conscending looks and well-rehearsed Tv “smiles” and supposedly-genuine “glances of concern.” The Mayor of Chicago has IMMENSE power! People need to give this man a FAR more critical 2nd look before 2-22.

    Comment by Just The Way It Is One Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 4:38 pm

  25. JTWIIsOne….if only. this rush to Rahm without critical thinking from the media, or just plain ignoring that Rahm has major issues, is disturbing. It is a continuation of Daley when he had them all in the palm of his hand, a holdover of the lovefest they had with Claypool, the image that Rahm the insider is some reformer. picture for the people of Chicago, cloudy to gloomy.

    Comment by amalia Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 5:47 pm

  26. Considering the Carol will likely finish 3rd, has ruined her already horrible reputation, it would be nice Patricia, Dock, and any other large figure in the African American community take those who agreed on the “consensus” candidate to the woodshed. To the Mary Mitchells of the world, it’s not the 1960’s. We have a wonderful president of the United States whose father was born in Africa and whose mother is white. We have a smart and intelligent president of Cook County who is an African-American woman who won because she was the best and brightest — not whose fathers’ friends helped put on the ballot that wouldn’t know the difference between his head and his fanny (I would include Mr. Lipiniski too in that category).

    It’s 2011. Wake up.

    Comment by Anonymous Wednesday, Feb 9, 11 @ 7:01 pm

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