Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Debating Rahm's viability

Asked the next day about when he first learned of the McDonald case and who informed him, the mayor responded, “Probably read it in the paper. Uhm and some of the staff, uhm could have informed me. -- NBC5 News
Even among my friends (across the political spectrum) there's widely varying estimates about Rahm Emanuel's continuing viability as mayor of Chicago. They range from -- resignation is imminent -- to -- this too will pass -- and he'll be able to hang in there until the next election.

Rahm's now polling at around 18%. Former Mayor Richie Daley decided to hang it up when his ratings dropped to 31%.

The fact that, when/if Rahm will resign has become the most hotly-debated question in political circles far and wide, is testimony to the depths of the crisis in Chicago following the street execution of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke and the ensuing political cover-up.

The relentlessness of the Black Lives Matter movement, combined with the threat of another teachers strike, could put enough pressure on the national Democratic Party leadership (Hillary has enough to worry about without having to carry Rahm's baggage into 2016) and on Rahm's Chicago patrons, to have them pull the plug early.

Then there's the Justice Dept. investigation of the CPD which could lead to a steady drip of info about Rahm's role in the cover-up. This despite Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch's assurances that the feds will limit the investigation to the culture and conduct of the police department.

But as a host of former pols here have learned the hard way,  once you begin turning over rocks, you find all kinds of nasty things crawling around. An active press, both main stream and new (social) media will play a big role in determining the outcome.

Protester thanks Carol Marin
There's been some great and some crappy local reporting. The great includes NBC5 News Carol Marin and Don Moseley, City Hall Emails Show Trail to Top Emanuel Aides, doing what a free press is supposed to do. Holding public officials accountable.

 Their story results from an FOIA request which uncovered emails from Rahm's inner circle which not only reveal that the mayor knew about the McDonald 16-shot execution way before he said he did, but that his people had actively worked to keep the video and other news about the shooting quiet until after the election. For me, the most damning evidence is that Rahm and his crew heavily redacted the report, showing that the cover-up was politically motivated and not as Rahm claims, due to concern about the "ongoing investigation."

The crappy includes S-T's Dan Mihalopoulos, whose column yesterday mainly targeted 16-year old Lamon Reccord who's become a visible leader in the street protests calling for the resignations of Rahm and State's Atty. Anita Alvarez. Mihalopoulos' piece goes after Reccord for, of all things, his past membership in Chicago Votes, a youth-led, non-partisan voter registration project and his support for Kim Foxx, Alvarez' main opponent in the upcoming election.

He writes:
According to his LinkedIn networking profile, Reccord began helping Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s challenger Kimberly Foxx in September — well before the release of the police video of McDonald being shot. 
Reccord also has worked as an intern for a nonprofit group called Chicago Votes. The organization’s former executive director is Foxx’s campaign manager, and one of its longtime board members is the campaign’s spokeswoman. 
He should be commended for getting involved in civic life even before he’s old enough to vote, at an age when many peers appear more interested in video games. [Patronizing crap--m.k.]
But Reccord’s recent trajectory makes me wonder if the protesters include many newly converted critics of the local political powerhouses or largely the same players who couldn’t unseat Emanuel in last spring’s unprecedented runoff election.
Along the way, DM does his best to belittle the current youth protest movement and prop up a stumbling Rahm.

He's also the hack who tried to paint CTU Pres. Karen Lewis as a supposed real estate tycoon, for her family vacation cottage in Michigan and time-share in Hawaii (enjoy Karen). And then there was his pathetic Enlace budget deficit "expose" aimed at boosting Emanuel's image as a financial leader and damaging Chuy Garcia's credibility as a Rahm opponent. Rahm's liar-in-chief at the time, Becky Carroll had ads out on DM's story, one day later.

Fast forward a year and we can see that it was Rahm, and not Chuy, who was blowing smoke on solutions to the city's financial crisis. Never has a political reporter had his head stuck so far up his butt.

I don't think he's a Rahm toady. More like a scoop-hungry reporter looking for an easy target and unwilling or unable to dig beyond the surface.

None of us can say for sure how all this will play out in the months ahead or whether Rahm will resign or be removed from office or who will replace him. But whether his stays or goes, his credibility as a political leader is gone.

I may be wrong, but I'm betting on (joining with) the young activists like Lamon Reccord and the new civil rights movement out in the streets. Not Rahm and his cronies up in the suites.

1 comment:

  1. What about all those redacted emails in regards to Barbara Byrd Bennett? Didn't the fed investigation on the 20 million dollar no-bid contract break right after Rahm was elected also?
    Somehow everyone has forgotten about that. I guess nobody's lives matter when you're the other 99 percent.


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