“It is more about Springfield and not about Chicago,” Daley told me. “Springfield is away from the big city, there is not a lot of press down there, it is incestuous — all one club — and can be a cesspool.”Never mind that Gov. Blagojevich and his family refused to move to Springfield to live in the Governor's Mansion.
Meanwhile, Mayor Daley is facing a nearly-half billion dollar deficit, even after a new round of tax increases this past year. He tells reporters that he's going to straight to Obama to get his share of bailout stimulus dollars:
"Mayors are going directly to the federal government. They have to. We can't wait. You can't allow Springfield to take your money, hold the interest, then eventually give it to you in the middle of winter. You'll never get the job done in the middle of winter," Daley told reporters.
"You just go straight to the federal government and say, 'We have all the construction ready to go. We have matching funds. Let's go with it.' You cannot layer from the federal government to the state government. By the time it gets back to local government, it's after the construction season. We can't allow that."
And we don't want to keep all of those campaign contributors of Daley waiting that long to get their hands on your money.
On another front, the country's worst school system in the country just purchased $67,000 worth of cappuccino/express machines, skirting the competitive bidding rules. Most of the machines are going unused because the schools never requested them. The head of the school system, Arne Duncan, will become our nation's Secretary of Education when Obama takes office later this month.
Why so much news about Chicago? Because the Chicago Way is now the American Way. Get used to it.