Saturday, July 02, 2005

Jr. versus Daley for Mayor of Chicago?

Today Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. called for a massive voter registration drive to target the 650,000-some Chicagoans who remain unregistered while he decides whether to run for mayor in February 2007.

This is a good thing. More candidates make for better electeds. Candidates who run unopposed tend to be less sharp than those who survive a hard-fought election. If Jr. runs, the election will make Daley (assuming he wins) a better mayor.

You have to think that Daley is the favorite over Jr., as Daley remains one of the nation's greatest mayors. The persistent low-level corruption in city government is a significant problem, but perhaps the culture of tolerance that infects lots of voters as well as lots of electeds is finally changing in Chicago. Significant political opposition is a good thing, especially opposition that pushes to change the culture of tolerance.

There is something a bit depressing about two sons of powerful Chicago men facing off for mayor -- an echo of the 2000 presidential election.

3 comments:

Jeff Wegerson said...

Harold's time as mayor made Mayor Daley a better mayor. I so agree that having a creditable opposition would further better him. Not in what's really needed which is a more open administration because Daley holds way too much power in the center, but still better.

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(I accidently posted a message to you at the end of my comment in Rep. Paul Froehlich's post. Oops.)

FightforJustice said...

The only pressure that might change the culture of corruption is Patrick Fitzgerald. It's apparent that Daley has until this year at least seen no great urgency in cleansing the system.

MDS said...

I've been asking all the Daley supporters I know some questions, such as why Chicago has a higher crime rate than New York and Los Angeles, and why Daley won't get behind a smoking ban in city bars and restaurants. If the weak answers I have gotten so far are any indication of what we'll hear during the next campaign, Daley is toast.