Saturday, November 27, 2004

Roeser: Wealth tolerates Chicago corruption because they fear the next mayor

Tom Roeser is a good columnist. His latest here is another 'tell it like it is' from the perspective of rich white men in the Chicago suburbs.

Roeser asks these men why they tolerate City Hall corruption which Mayor Daley certainly could stamp out if he wanted to. The only way that corruption exists is if the establishment permits it to exist, and in Chicago, the establishment shows very little concern about it.

In the column, the titans of wealth explain that they tolerate the corruption because they fear Mayor Luis Gutierrez or Mayor Jesse Jackson, Jr. would be unable to run the city nearly as well as Mayor Daley has (ignoring the wasted dollars burned up from corruption).

One major problem with the column: I doubt Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is interested in running for Mayor of Chicago. His book, A More Perfect Union, lays out his political philosophy very well, and it is centered on amending the U.S. Constitution for all American people. I suspect Congressman Jackson, Jr. will want to remain in the House of Representatives for a very long time. The 'sources' that tell Roeser's unnamed lunch companions that Congressman Jackson, Jr. tells everyone in D.C. that he is interested in running are likely wrong (if not fictional).

But the basic premise of fear from the 'deluge' that would inevitably engulf the City if anyone new were to sit in the 5th floor office of City Hall apparently inculcates loyalty to Mayor Daley, no matter how negligent the management of corruption-stained city workers and contractors. That's a shame. And I hope the establishment will expect more from our Mayor, and finally put an end to the puzzle over why one of the nation's best mayors in so many ways still permits such intolerable embezzlement to occur on his watch.

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