Saturday, January 29, 2011

Okay, now we know where Rahm lives...

What about Burge torture case?

The good news is that hopefully now, with the where-does-Rahm-really-live issue behind us, Emanuel will finally be facing some tougher questions.

In Thursday's debate for example, both Rahm and Gery Chico got ripped pretty good. Most everyone I talked with or read, who witnessed the debate, (including Huffington's Will Gizzardi) thought that Miguel del Valle came out on top and that Emanuel seemed lost and ill-prepared. 
NBC Chicago came out with a "scorecard" of the debate: Miguel pulled down an A, Chico got a B, Emanuel scored a C, and Carol Moseley Braun came in last in their estimation with a C-.
What I find most interesting and disturbing has been the lack of any mention of the Jon Burge case. The Burge trial should be a campaign issue, not only because it has divided the city along racial lines (all of Burge's torture victims were black or Latino), but because the cash-strapped city, along with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), continues to pay for Burge's defense. It is also an issue that indirectly connects to Chico, because he sought and won the FOP's endorsement.

The Burge case also connects in some ways to Mayor Daley himself. The only reason Burge had to be tried for perjury instead of for the torture of more than 100 of his prisoners is because then-states attorney Daley took no legal action against him, allowing the statute of limitations to run out.  So far, throughout the campaign, neither Chico nor Rahm has dared utter Daley's name and not one reporter has asked either of them to comment on the Burge trial. 

Now the police commander convicted of concealing torture of suspects under his watch will continue receiving over $3,000 a month in pension payouts for life after a Police Board vote Thursday morning.
G. Flint Taylor, the Chicago lawyer who has represented Burge’s alleged victims, says it’s outrageous. "Clearly he was acting as a cop; the city was defending him as a cop,” he said. (CBS)
On  Friday, del Valle became the only major candidate to speak out on the pension decision. He told Gizzardi:
"I thought it was a terrible decision, a terrible decision. Awful, awful, awful. I think it sends the wrong message. There are a lot of people who lost their pension -- you've got a governor in jail who lost his pension, a governor of the state of Illinois. For this man to keep his pension after what he did... I think the individuals who voted for that made a big mistake."
Del Valle could have also mentioned the thousands of teachers and other public employees who tortured no one, but  whose pensions are also being threatened or eliminated due to state budget cuts.

So now, with less than a month remaining until election day, it looks like Rahm Emanuel's easy path to victory may become a little more rocky--especially if reporters start asking him the tough questions.


  1. And the time to start asking questions is now! What about Rahm's ties with Blagoevich? Finally there has been some inquiry into his association with Fannie Mae, the mortgage meltdown and massive foreclosures across the city of Chicago, but its just a tiny scratch. I agree that reporters need to start asking tough questions especially on his position in promoting health and business development for women.
    This is where I disagree with the "score card." Carol Mosley Braun is the only mayoral candidate who has a clear vision and an articulated plan that would make Chicago work for all families in every neighborhood.

  2. Rahm can't say anything about the Burge case without being asked about Daley's role. Chico can't say anything about Burge case without being asked about Burke and the FOP. So don't hold your breath.

  3. With Rahm or Chico as mayor, we taxpayers will be supporting this torturing S.O.B. for the rest of his life.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.