With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Friday, July 18, 2014

Greg Hinz has more sage advice for Karen Lewis. Really?

Harold Washington's 1987 victory speech at Navy Pier.
Although I rarely agree with his take on Chicago politics, I have generally found Greg Hinz  to be a knowledgeable, dispassionate and relatively sane pro-business commentator. That was, until he started writing about a possible Karen Lewis run for mayor. There's something about a Karen Lewis campaign for mayor that pushes Crain's main corporate blogger over the edge.

No sooner had she hinted that she was "seriously considering" taking on Rahm, then Hinz jumped out with a patronizing, borderline racist column, warning Lewis to rethink the prospect. In that post, Hinz portrayed Lewis as the stereotypical angry black woman who "needs to dial down her public persona."

Will Karen be standing alone on those bus stops?
In today's column, Hinz outdoes himself, debasing Karen's supporters and offering her some strange advice (coming from him at least). Instead of telling her to "tone it down", this time around Hinz asks Karen to "be more like Harold" and tell her supporters to "put up or shut up."
Right now, all kinds of folks are whispering in her ear that she's the one to take out Rahm Emanuel. Some mean it, some are hyperventilating, some just enjoy a good race. Whatever their motivation, Ms. Lewis' response ought to be the same: Charlie, how much can I count on from you? Five grand, ten? Will you work these five precincts in the 12th Ward? How about your colleagues?
If can get pretty lonely out there on those bus stops at 6 a.m. in January. For Ms. Lewis' sake, she'd better figure out if there will be anyone there standing with her.
Does the patronizing Hinz have some secret desire to become Karen's campaign manager? Is he suffering from delusions of grandeur? White, male entitlement syndrome?

As for the advice itself, it's downright silly. First, I don't know who the "all kinds of folks" are or who Charlie is, but I doubt anyone's whispering in Karen's ear, to run for mayor. Everywhere I've been, from Texas to New York and back to Chicago again, it's been more like a loud roar -- "RUN KAREN, RUN!"

Does Hinz really believe that nobody will be "standing with her" out on those bus stops at 6 a.m.? Has he forgotten the great Chicago teachers strike? Her landslide victory in the CTU election? The tens of thousands of parents and community activists who rallied with her against the school closings. Doesn't he read the polls? Did he miss Will Guzzardi's grass-roots campaign win over the Berrios Machine?

As for that Harold Washington thing -- All I can say is: Greg, you don't know Jack (or Charlie) about Harold or about his campaign(s). If you did, you'd be able to separate myth from reality. Not only that, but your people, the city's corporate interests, opposed Harold every step of the way. "Anybody but Harold" was their cry. But Harold won anyway. He didn't win with big money. He won by relying on a strong, unified peoples movement.

A lot has changed since then but that last part remains the same. Nobody is going to outspend Rahm. He's got more money in his golden war chest than he can use on his own re-election campaign. If history is any clue, Rahm will sprinkle enough of it around to pay for a few other phony candidates (See Sneed's column in today's S-T) to jump into the race to try and take votes away from Karen.

My advice to you, Greg Hinz, and whoever's whispering in your ear -- save your advice for Rahm. From what I can see from the polls, he needs it more than Karen does. Unless of course, you change your mind and want to support Karen Lewis. If that's the case, take your own advice and put up or shut up.


  1. Good for Kwame--Sneed's "source" was wrong (Evening online Sun-Times--Kwame bows out.) Honestly, after having met the man after the July 3rd public pension hearings, some of us had a nice talk with him.
    He seems like a reasonable person, & proved it today. Not everyone is on to the "next, best thing." Some people (Preckwinkle, e.g.) like to serve in the office to which they were elected---you know, BY the people (& not BUY the people, like some others...)

  2. Let's hope Sneed's source was wrong. But I wonder who the source was and why she ran with it at the very time when Kwame was denying in the same newspaper?
    Make sense to you?

    1. Makes no sense whatever, but then, how much of what the papers write today (Zorn, Sneed, etc.) make sense? As I'd commented on Bro Fred's post about the Detroit water situation, all the news that's "fit" to print is ONLY news the oligarchs who have bought out the papers WANT us to read. Thus, making little or no sense at all! In fact, I expect to hear--any day now--that ALL newspapers will be published by...Pear$on (& we'll only be able to access them online--for a fee, of cour$e!).


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