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"Teachers got two types of pay raises. And people in public life got labor peace," He said. "Can anybody explain to me what the children got?" Later, the mayor was more to the point: "Our children got the shaft."
---Rahm Emanuel, Jun. 16, 2011

His greatest achievement? Why education, of course.

But even the Russian interviewer was struck about how Daley referred to his education achievement as some kind of “God complex.”

Isn’t it the teachers who should take credit, the Russian interviewer asked.

“No, it’s not the teachers,” Daley quickly said. “You’re really taking the responsibility. I’m the only mayor in the country that took responsibility.”
---Richard Daley, June 25, 2011, Russia Today

I must say my eyes jumped up when I turned to the TV channel Russia Today this weekend and saw our former mayor being interviewed on the Russian news program. The Russians introduced their esteemed Chicago guest as the mayor who “managed to turn the declining Rust Belt city into a destination city, pushed through immigration reform (he did?) and masterly dealt with the racism issue, winning the support of the black Chicagoans.”

Mayor Richard Daley II is now cashing in on his 22 years of service to the city of Chicago as the longest acting mayor, a fact that has even impressed the Russians who have quickly transitioned from one party to multi-party elections and made those in the party filthy rich in the process.

As our colleague Ben Joravsky from The Reader wrote last week, Daley is making an excellent transition to the private world.

Daley has landed a “gig” with the University of Chicago — which reaped $20 million in TIF money (and millions in other dollars, from charter school money to deals with various University of Chicago experts) during the Daley years. The U of C is paying him $100,000 per year. He is working with the law firm that worked out the disastrous privatized parking meter deal; he cashed in on his $184,000 pension (while telling everyone city pensions cost the city too much); and he has now formed a company with his son Patrick seeking overseas investors for deals in Chicago.

September 15, 2008, at Chicago's Ella Flagg Young Elementary
During most of the years he was Mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley took public credit when the city's public schools made their annual production quotas, much the same way leaders in totalitarian and authoritarian countries took credit for dubious production goals ranging from potato harvests to soccer victories. Above, Daley, flanked by two supporters, announced the annual "increase" in Chicago's reading scores on the ISAT test on September 15, 2008, at Chicago's Ella Flagg Young Elementary School. Flanking Daley are (then) Alderman Ike Carrouthers (left), who is now (2011) in prison for corruption, and (then) Chicago Public Schools "Chief Officer of Research, Evaluation and Accountability" Dr. Ginger Reynolds (right), who was subsequently purged by Daley's school board and dropped from sight. Prior to being purged, Reynolds dutifully provided the Daley administration with the data (such as the ISAT chart on the far right above) proving that the schools were the best ever and getting even better than that. Reynolds also provided testimony at the show trial hearings against "failing" public schools that were later purged of their staffs and made into "turnarounds." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

by Jim Vail

By the way, that’s the same Patrick Daley who graduated with honors from the University of Chicago in 2004, who the Sun-Times disclosed in 2007 held a hidden ownership stake in a sewer cleaning company that won millions of dollars in no-bid contract extensions from City Hall. Patrick allegedly speaks Russian after having worked in Moscow for four years.

In a scene straight from the acclaimed HBO series "The Wire," the Sun-Times reported with a straight face Daley’s red-faced apology for getting caught with his hands in the cookie jar, but he still denied it while dusting off the crumbs.

Richie's Rainbow
No Richard M. Daley media event was complete without what observers dubbed "Richie's Rainbow," a diverse crowd of people who either stood behind Daley and smiled or sat in an audience and cheered on command. At the September 15, 2008, announcement that Chicago's ISAT scores had gone way "up" again (see previous photograph), Richie's Rainbow consisted primarily of Chicago Public Schools bureaucrats, along with a couple of teachers, who cheered on signal. In the group above are more than a dozen men and women whose annual salaries — in positions ranging from "Chief Area Officer" to "Elementary Chief Officer" — were generally at $125,000 per year or above. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

“I did not know about his involvement in this company. As an adult, he made that decision. It was a lapse in judgement for him to get involved with this company. I wish he hadn’t done it,’ the mayor said at the time, reading from a prepared statement.”

“Daley choked back tears as he struggled to continue, “I hope those people understand that Patrick is a very good son. I love him. And Maggie and I are very proud of him.”

Now the two are teaming up to scam with the Russians and other international investors looking to get into the Rahm Emerald City of corrupt contracts, and rigged deals.

Chicago's Young Elementary School
After (then) Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley completed his annual announcement that the city's public schools had exceeded his annual production quotas on standardized test scores at Chicago's Young Elementary School on September 15, 2008, Daley posed with some of the nearly 1,000 children — all of them African American — at the segregated west side Chicago school. One of the signal features of the Daley administration was to increase the number of segregated schools in Chicago by allowing the proliferation of segregated charter schools under a Daley (and corporate Chicago) program called "Renaissance 2010." Under "Renaissance 2010," some charter schools were segregated for white and Latino students (excluding African Americans), while most of the new charter schools (such as the nationally hyped "Urban Prep") were all-black. During the same years, Daley's "turnaround" policies (i.e., closing "failing" schools based on test scores) resulted in the elimination of more than 1,000 black teachers and principals from Chicago and their replacement with (usually) young, intense white female teachers. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

For some reason, the Daley phenomena today is not news to the Tribune or the Sun-Times, while bad teachers and corrupt unions are. But Substance and the Reader feel people ought to know just how much we’re being taken for a ride.

There is one difference between the corrupt third world dictatorships and so-called democratically elected politicians in the U.S.

Take the case of Ben Ali, the former president of Tunisia who was just convicted of massive corruption after being thrown out of office in a people’s rebellion that set off the chain reaction of Mid-East governments falling like dominoes.

empty library at Young school
While the TV cameras in the Young Elementary School library on September 15, 2008, were focused on the Daley show and media event promoting the fact that ISAT scores had gone "up" again in Chicago, no one in the media except Substance bothered to notice that the library was empty, except for the handful of books that had been carefully arranged behind the podium from which Daley spoke. The above photo, which was taken while Daley was announcing that the school's scores had gone "up" again, shows the empty library at Young school. By the final year of Daley's reign, Chicago learned that 160 elementary schools in the public schools system did not have libraries. Additional schools, such as Young, had libraries, but no books. Daley's claims to miracles in improving the schools rested on carefully scripted media events and a supine corporate press corps. Substance photo taken September 15, 2008, at Ella Flagg Young Elementary School in Chicago by George N. Schmidt.

The Wall Street Journal quoted sources that estimated he and his “family” controlled one-third of the country’s wealth. WSJ reported that he would demand a 50-50 partnership with any potential business venture that needed government approval.

So these corrupt dictators steal while in office.

Now here in Chicago, our “democratically elected” leaders collect once they leave office, as evidenced by the revolving door of corporate lobbyists and elected officials.

Daley is merely laying stake to what he feels he’s entitled to, since he did make it possible for the corporations to cash in on the city deals that made them lots of cash.

test scores — always go
Workers in any totalitarian entity, from Stalinist Romania to Daley and Emanuel's Chicago, would recognize the charts showing that production of key commodities — whether potatoes, vodka, or test scores — always go "up" when a Supreme Leader demands that they do. Above, the chart, prepared by "Chief Accountability Officer" Ginger Reynolds, showing how Chicago's public schools proved that Daley's leadership was correct on September 15, 2008, at Ella Flagg Young Elementary School. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

Remember Mayor Emanuel netting about $20 million in “relationship banking” for about a year and a half after working in the Clinton and Obama administrations even though he had no investment banking experience?

That cookie jar is full of gooey chocolate chip cookies, boys.

Now, back to the Daley interview on Russia Today. King Richard Daley the Second, who would perspire notoriously during press conferences where his press aide would quickly wisk him away should he stray from the script, looked quite comfortable sitting in front of softball interviewer Al Gurnov, who loves to joke with Russian ministers and oligarchs about how their vision of the world makes so much sense.

First question, why did you not seek re-election?

Daley begins by saying he could run again and win, obviously thinking his re-elections were pre-ordained in the Russian tsarist tradition, but it was all getting just too easy, he said.

Six terms in office, twenty two years as mayor, how about term limits, like there are for the president of the U.S?

“We have to limit terms?” Mr. Daley gulped. “The public is smarter than anyone else. They can say we like you or we reject you. I wouldn’t mind Obama serving for 10 terms. If they don’t re-elect you, they don’t believe you’re doing a good job.”

Gurnov then asked the obvious question, if he’s in office for so long, maybe Daley has “what we in Russia call the administrative resource (the machine) where you can pull more money and resources.”

“No,” Daley responded. “If you just worry about being re-elected and don’t do your job, you won’t be re-elected.”

Daley claimed to never “micro-manage” people, never carried a cell phone and took notes as he went around the city.

His greatest achievement? Why education, of course.

But even the Russian interviewer was struck about how Daley referred to his education achievement as some kind of “God complex.”

Isn’t it the teachers who should take credit, the Russian interviewer asked.

“No, it’s not the teachers,” Daley quickly said. “You’re really taking the responsibility. I’m the only mayor in the country that took responsibility.”

Corruption seems to be a traditional Russian problem, Gurnov said, so he turns to the master to ask what could be done.

"Well, you have corruption all over," Daley said. "Look at (former Illinois Gov. Rod) Blagovich. He was young."

What - Daley talk about corruption? Wasn't he the guy the FBI was running wiretaps on after the Hired Truck Scandal in which he was rewarding patronage workers with jobs to keep him in office (because the voters love him so much)? Not to mention all the no-bid contracts being awarded to his family and friends that even the feds under the Bush administration had to take note of.

Gurnov’s question would be like asking Hitler to comment on the phenomenon of anti-semitism in the world, and how to combat it. Or asking Ted Bundy how to stop serial killers.

Enjoy the interview if you can stomach almost 30 minutes of this guy with the Russians. If you can't get the hotlink in the first paragraph above, the URL is:

Governing Changes
Richard Daley – Mayor of Chicago, 1989-2011
(education talk starts at 04:00)


"Teachers got two types of pay raises. And people in public life got labor peace," He said. "Can anybody explain to me what the children got?" Later, the mayor was more to the point: "Our children got the shaft."

It was Daley who forced unions to take five years contracts for labor piece during his failed bid for the Olympics.
Incidentally, Rahm's the handed picked Board of Education just reneged on the five year deal.



Substance™ News

by Jim Vail

Originally posted to Hyde Park Johnny on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Daleys should get along very well in ... (0+ / 0-)

    Russia, where the concept of "Potemkin libraries" should be culturally and cynically accepted by the powerless Narod. Chicago is and has been a Potemkin village since the 70's, the only saving grace for the Daleys has been that down state Republicans are even more corrupt and slimy than the "Chicago machine."

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:12:09 AM PDT

  •  Wish Shortshanks would stay in Russia. (0+ / 0-)

    Fat little creep.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:04:24 AM PDT

  •  Personally, I think Daley did pretty good (0+ / 0-)

    considering the really overwhelming challenges facing any large city these days.

    Chicago has not seen the decline like a lot of cities, even in this economy.  

    And, frankly, I'm amazed Chicago schools have done as well as they have considering the changing population.  The number of children with no English spoken at home increased monumentally during his tenure. Yes, the teachers met the challenges.. but he's on a victory tour.  He's gonna blow his own horn.

    I'm sorry, but your entire diary sounds like sour grapes to me.

  •  You'd be writing for five years steady..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hyde Park Johnny

    ....if you wanted to include everything crooked and evil that this mayor did to our town.  That includes his nephew getting away with murder -- literally.  At last, it was the parking meter deal that woke people up, although he probably would have been reelected.  Only in Chicago.  

    I heard an excellent interview with the head of the Teacher's Union with Dick Kay on the radio a few months back.  She had a lot of great points.  Both sides have legitimate issues but she was already pleased that she could actually discuss these things with Emanuel intelligently.  The city and the children were the focus.  And education in Chicago needs some serious work.  

    I know he's reviled here but being mayor is not the same as being CoS.  He is legitimately interested in the governing of this city.  Daley left this town in a shambles.  All cities took hits in the recession, but the enormous amount of money that was funneled from the taxpayer to his cronies is beyond comprehension.  

    Daley is starting out with millions of dollars.  He can pay for his own bodyguards.  Give him a year, but we could use those cops on the lakefront, which is seeing enormous gang activity this summer, instead of paying a cop full time to hold Daley's car door.  

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