Friday, June 18, 2004

Updated on June 18, 2004, 2:10 pm: Carlos Hernandez-Gomez, Chicago Public Radio [WBEZ- 91.5 FM Radio] political reporter visits the set of "Public Affairs," and talks about corruption, Mayor Richard M. Daley and his dad (Mayor Richard J. Daley): Like father, like son?

Carlos Hernandez-Gomez:...The Mayor's become...

Jeff Berkowitz: The Mayor's become___?

Hernandez-Gomez: more and more autocratic since his most recent election--

Berkowitz: The Mayor's become___ what else?

Hernandez-Gomez: Well, I think--

Berkowitz: Let's fill in the blank, here...A fill in the blank quiz. He [Mayor Daley] has become more and more autocratic. Would you go a little further.

Hernandez-Gomez: Well, I don't know if I want to go further. I think--

Berkowitz: Has he become an embarrassment to the City of Chicago?

Hernandez-Gomez: I can't say that, Jeff, and it is not my place to say that.

Berkowitz: Whose place is it to say that?

Hernandez-Gomez: I think it is the People's place to say that.

Berkowitz: Okay, so you are a member of the 4th Estate, right? But, it is not your place to express that kind of a viewpoint?

Hernandez-Gomez: Well, it is not my job to express viewpoints, but I think you can accurately say- use the word autocratic and while the Mayor may disagree, you can look at certain things he has done and say, yes, he has become more autocratic: trying to put a casino in and not talking to the City Council about it- the way he did last year; tearing up Meigs field without having any sort of--

Berkowitz: He has no opposition. He has appointed 20 of the 50 City Council members to their positions. They are pretty beholden to him, would you say?

Hernandez-Gomez: Certainly the ones he appoints, I mean--

Berkowitz: There is only one entity or one force for the Mayor to worry about, right? and what would that be? Come on.

Hernandez-Gomez: Well, I mean [pause]

Berkowitz: What would you be worried about if you had this corruption all around you and your name was Mayor Daley?

Hernandez-Gomez: I think the Mayor is so-- and we don't know that the Mayor has ever himself taken a dime, and I don't know that he has and I don't believe he has. I think he is probably too smart to have done it himself.

Berkowitz: So, you think he is clean.

Hernandez-Gomez: Well, I don't want to say that someone is clean or not clean-- it's not-- I don't want to do--

Berkowitz: Well, you just said, he [Mayor Daley] didn't take a dime-- so, doesn't that mean clean? What are you going to say? He took a penny?

Hernandez-Gomez: But, Jeff, if you are willfully ignorant of what's going on--

Berkowitz: Then you are not clean. And, he [Mayor Daley] may be willfully ignorant? Is that what you are saying? He may be willfully ignorant. He may not want to know some things so he has deniablity, is that what you are telling me?

Hernandez-Gomez: Well, that is the way it worked with his father...[Former Ald.] Tom Keane once told a reporter...the way it was with the first Mayor Daley was-- I don't want to know....But, if you get caught, you are on your own, and that's the way it is.

Berkowitz: So, you think that is what this Mayor Daley, Mayor Richard M. Daley, may be saying?

Hernandez-Gomez: I don't know about that-- that's stuff from what his father did.
Carlos Hernandez-Gomez, taped on June 16, 2004 and as will be cablecast in the suburbs on "Public Affairs," during the week of June 21, 2004 and through-out the City of Chicago on Monday, June 28, 2004 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21.