Reporter corners Rahm

He can run, but he can’t hide. Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel is facing a nightmare as sections of his city descend into lethal violence, and he is on the hook. Charles Lipson, writing in the Chicago Tribune, aptly compares last weekend’s death toll to the world-famous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre:

 In 1929, when rivals killed seven members of Bugs Moran's gang, the world was shocked. Chicago's image as a corrupt, violent city was emblazoned in memory around the world.

More than eight decades later, if you stroll around Europe and tell people you are from Chicago, some still pretend to shoot with a submachine gun. They have never visited the Art Institute or strolled the Magnificent Mile. They don't know the modern, vibrant city or the miles of greensward along the lakefront.

No, when they think of Chicago, they think of Al Capone, organized crime and violence.

Sadly what's old is new again. Today the image of gang shootouts applies with more deadly force than ever. On Independence Day weekend, Chicago street gangsters (and the police fighting them) killed twice as many people as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

That’s a startling matter to contemplate. Why, it’s as if Chicago is the murder capital of America. And wouldn’t you know it, the moniker is starting to stick.  William J. Kelly of Chicago Now cornered the mayor, as he was trying to claim a different title for his city (video below):

An embarrassed Mayor Emanuel wanted to talk corn on the cob – not Chicago’s murder epidemic. But things did not work out as the Mayor planned thanks to one persistent reporter.

 

 MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (2:40): We did a study last year after the Taste of Chicago, there was over a $100 million of economic impact creating hundreds and hundreds of jobs throughout the City of Chicago. We are making sure that people from all over the country, the City of Chicago, in the suburbs come see why Chicago has become the ‘Culinary Capital of the United States.’ Just this year we announced the James Beard – a very famous foundational dinner recognizing culinary expertise is leaving New York to come to the City of Chicago. They are going to come and bring the recognition that Chicago is now the ‘Culinary Capital of the United States’ with the great chefs who are competing against people in New York and Tokyo but compete with our skyline as the reason people want to come to our city. They want to come taste what we all know to be: that Chicago is now the ‘Culinary Capital ‘with some of the most creative chefs in the country who are bringing people, creating jobs, bringing people from around the world, creating jobs locally in the City of Chicago, in our neighborhoods, and throughout the City of Chicago…I cannot wait myself to go enjoy the food, the music, and have tremendous family fun as part of our entire season.”

 WILLIAM KELLY (REPORTER): Mr. Mayor, can you address the ‘Murder Capital’ moniker. We’ve been called the murder capital as well as the ‘Culinary Capital. ‘Can you please address the ‘Murder Capital’ moniker please?

EMANUEL PRESS AIDE TO REPORTER: I’m not…

REPORTER TO MAYOR’S AIDE: Is there anyone from the Mayor’s Office that can address the ‘Murder Capital’ moniker?

During Mayor Emanuel’s tour through the Taste of Chicago, Kelly continued to grill him on his failure to find a solution to the city’s murder epidemic.

The fireworks begin at 4:57.

REPORTER: Mr. Mayor, could you please address the murder crisis question that many Chicagoans are asking? Chicago has been called the murder capital, could you please address that question?

MAYOR EMANUEL: (Unintelligible)

REPORTER: It’s a very serious crisis that faces many Chicagoans. I think that it deserves a moment of your time.

MAYOR EMANUEL: I appreciate that. I’ve addressed the question and I will continue to address it. OK?

REPORTER: We’ve heard that you have a lot of experience and a lot of connections but that doesn’t seem to be helping the people of Chicago at all.

MAYOR EMANUEL:  Can you do me a favor? Let me do this and we will find a time to address the question with you.

REPORTER: You’ve been in office three years and you haven’t addressed the question yet. Is there anyway you can address the question? Will you answer the question before the election?

REPORTER: (unintelligible)

REPORTER TO MAYOR’S BODY GUARD: Totally inappropriate.

MAYOR'S BODY GUARD: I’m sorry. I didn’t know.

REPORTER: Now you do.

MAYOR’S AIDE: He’s not taking questions.

REPORTER: He works for me. He’s the Mayor.

REPORTER TO EMANUEL: If it really comes down to guns, why isn’t there a murder crisis in Skokie or Evergreen Park? Or even Cicero for that matter? Why don’t we have a similar murder crisis in Evanston?

MAYOR’S AIDE: Put your microphone away. The Mayor’s not taking questions today. You received a public notice that there is no media availability.

REPORTER: You are assaulting me right now and if you touch me again I will call the police.

What makes all of this such a nightmare for Rahm is that he is inheriting the legacy of decades of the Chicago political machine, leaving the city flat broke, mortgaged to the hilt, and unable to spend enough money on cops and courts and jails. Lipson:

…we simply don't have enough police to perform the most basic function of any government: to preserve public order and keep people safe. The reason is simple: We're broke. For decades our city's budget has been a giant punch bowl where special interests drink deeply. When the punch was running low, Mayor Richard Daley sold off city assets or floated a bond issue to buy more punch. He distributed large ladles to his friends, who returned the favor by funding his political operations. The parking meter deal was horrendous not only because the city received so little but because the mayor took decades of future parking revenue and spent it in a few years. Future be damned. That's the rum hand dealt to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, public-sector workers and the rest of us.

I think Professor Lipson is being kind to the government employees. Their lavish pension deals are part of the fiscal problem facing Chicago and the State of Illinois. And they were part of the same machine as the Daleys and the Emanuels (and not to forget the Obamas) that has taken care of its friends so well that the rest of the public is left up a creek.

The United States is led by a president who chose to make his political home in this same machine, and now all of us face the same sort of issues Chicago leads in.

 Chicago remains one of my favorite cities in the world, largely unpretentious, full of energy and drama, exultant in its status as the inventor of the skyscraper and modern urbanity. But it is also decaying rapidly, strangled by the Democratic Party that pretends to watch out for the interests of its people while looting the public treasury for the benefit of its insiders. And thanks to Obama, we all live in Chicago to some degree now.

He can run, but he can’t hide. Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel is facing a nightmare as sections of his city descend into lethal violence, and he is on the hook. Charles Lipson, writing in the Chicago Tribune, aptly compares last weekend’s death toll to the world-famous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre:

 In 1929, when rivals killed seven members of Bugs Moran's gang, the world was shocked. Chicago's image as a corrupt, violent city was emblazoned in memory around the world.

More than eight decades later, if you stroll around Europe and tell people you are from Chicago, some still pretend to shoot with a submachine gun. They have never visited the Art Institute or strolled the Magnificent Mile. They don't know the modern, vibrant city or the miles of greensward along the lakefront.

No, when they think of Chicago, they think of Al Capone, organized crime and violence.

Sadly what's old is new again. Today the image of gang shootouts applies with more deadly force than ever. On Independence Day weekend, Chicago street gangsters (and the police fighting them) killed twice as many people as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

That’s a startling matter to contemplate. Why, it’s as if Chicago is the murder capital of America. And wouldn’t you know it, the moniker is starting to stick.  William J. Kelly of Chicago Now cornered the mayor, as he was trying to claim a different title for his city (video below):

An embarrassed Mayor Emanuel wanted to talk corn on the cob – not Chicago’s murder epidemic. But things did not work out as the Mayor planned thanks to one persistent reporter.

 

 MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (2:40): We did a study last year after the Taste of Chicago, there was over a $100 million of economic impact creating hundreds and hundreds of jobs throughout the City of Chicago. We are making sure that people from all over the country, the City of Chicago, in the suburbs come see why Chicago has become the ‘Culinary Capital of the United States.’ Just this year we announced the James Beard – a very famous foundational dinner recognizing culinary expertise is leaving New York to come to the City of Chicago. They are going to come and bring the recognition that Chicago is now the ‘Culinary Capital of the United States’ with the great chefs who are competing against people in New York and Tokyo but compete with our skyline as the reason people want to come to our city. They want to come taste what we all know to be: that Chicago is now the ‘Culinary Capital ‘with some of the most creative chefs in the country who are bringing people, creating jobs, bringing people from around the world, creating jobs locally in the City of Chicago, in our neighborhoods, and throughout the City of Chicago…I cannot wait myself to go enjoy the food, the music, and have tremendous family fun as part of our entire season.”

 WILLIAM KELLY (REPORTER): Mr. Mayor, can you address the ‘Murder Capital’ moniker. We’ve been called the murder capital as well as the ‘Culinary Capital. ‘Can you please address the ‘Murder Capital’ moniker please?

EMANUEL PRESS AIDE TO REPORTER: I’m not…

REPORTER TO MAYOR’S AIDE: Is there anyone from the Mayor’s Office that can address the ‘Murder Capital’ moniker?

During Mayor Emanuel’s tour through the Taste of Chicago, Kelly continued to grill him on his failure to find a solution to the city’s murder epidemic.

The fireworks begin at 4:57.

REPORTER: Mr. Mayor, could you please address the murder crisis question that many Chicagoans are asking? Chicago has been called the murder capital, could you please address that question?

MAYOR EMANUEL: (Unintelligible)

REPORTER: It’s a very serious crisis that faces many Chicagoans. I think that it deserves a moment of your time.

MAYOR EMANUEL: I appreciate that. I’ve addressed the question and I will continue to address it. OK?

REPORTER: We’ve heard that you have a lot of experience and a lot of connections but that doesn’t seem to be helping the people of Chicago at all.

MAYOR EMANUEL:  Can you do me a favor? Let me do this and we will find a time to address the question with you.

REPORTER: You’ve been in office three years and you haven’t addressed the question yet. Is there anyway you can address the question? Will you answer the question before the election?

REPORTER: (unintelligible)

REPORTER TO MAYOR’S BODY GUARD: Totally inappropriate.

MAYOR'S BODY GUARD: I’m sorry. I didn’t know.

REPORTER: Now you do.

MAYOR’S AIDE: He’s not taking questions.

REPORTER: He works for me. He’s the Mayor.

REPORTER TO EMANUEL: If it really comes down to guns, why isn’t there a murder crisis in Skokie or Evergreen Park? Or even Cicero for that matter? Why don’t we have a similar murder crisis in Evanston?

MAYOR’S AIDE: Put your microphone away. The Mayor’s not taking questions today. You received a public notice that there is no media availability.

REPORTER: You are assaulting me right now and if you touch me again I will call the police.

What makes all of this such a nightmare for Rahm is that he is inheriting the legacy of decades of the Chicago political machine, leaving the city flat broke, mortgaged to the hilt, and unable to spend enough money on cops and courts and jails. Lipson:

…we simply don't have enough police to perform the most basic function of any government: to preserve public order and keep people safe. The reason is simple: We're broke. For decades our city's budget has been a giant punch bowl where special interests drink deeply. When the punch was running low, Mayor Richard Daley sold off city assets or floated a bond issue to buy more punch. He distributed large ladles to his friends, who returned the favor by funding his political operations. The parking meter deal was horrendous not only because the city received so little but because the mayor took decades of future parking revenue and spent it in a few years. Future be damned. That's the rum hand dealt to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, public-sector workers and the rest of us.

I think Professor Lipson is being kind to the government employees. Their lavish pension deals are part of the fiscal problem facing Chicago and the State of Illinois. And they were part of the same machine as the Daleys and the Emanuels (and not to forget the Obamas) that has taken care of its friends so well that the rest of the public is left up a creek.

The United States is led by a president who chose to make his political home in this same machine, and now all of us face the same sort of issues Chicago leads in.

 Chicago remains one of my favorite cities in the world, largely unpretentious, full of energy and drama, exultant in its status as the inventor of the skyscraper and modern urbanity. But it is also decaying rapidly, strangled by the Democratic Party that pretends to watch out for the interests of its people while looting the public treasury for the benefit of its insiders. And thanks to Obama, we all live in Chicago to some degree now.