Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Daley McKenna Combine?

The daily [Daley] Act of doing business in Chicago.
Bob Crawford [WBBM-780 AM Radio Political Editor Emeritus]: The problem Mayor Daley has is that he deals with corruption the way his father did. He tries to contain it and when he reforms he tinkers around the edges, but he never changes the fundamental system that is—

Phil Ponce [WTTW Chicago Tonight Interviewer]: And what is the fundamental system?

Crawford: The fundamental system is one that allows corruption to be a part of the daily [Daley] act of doing business. That’s what Carol [Marin, of the Sun-Times] means when she says systemic-- the roots are very deep. It is the way business is done. Almost to the point where people think it’s legit.
Chicago Lite, oops, I mean WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, February 9, 2005
Bob Crawford, apparently unintentionally, got off a really nice pun [or double entendre] on Chicago Tonight [See above] when he discussed the DAILY act of doing business,which of course in Chicago has come to mean the DALEY act of doing business, with a Mayor Daley OCCUPYING the Mayor’s chair for 37 of the last 50 years.

So, the state GOP Chairman, Andy McKenna, Jr. has had almost a month, since he was elected to the Chairman’s post, to get into this issue. He has been on about a dozen weekend political talk shows, including two this past weekend. Have you heard Andy talk about Mayor Daley and the sea of corruption in which his administration swims, daily, so to speak?

I don’t think so. I know I haven’t and I don’t think I have missed a show. McKenna had at least two very good opportunities this past weekend to do that and he fumbled both. I don’t think he said the name Daley, even when prompted by questions. Of course, we have been trying to schedule Andy for “Public Affairs,” for almost a month and his aides have more excuses for his unavailability [e.g., he wasn't doing or scheduling such shows, that was a good one, huh?] than Carter had little liver pills.

Chairman McKenna is not shy about raising the issue of corruption and the State Democratic Party-- and the Guv. But, as to Mayor Daley, Mckenna almost can’t say his name within a country mile of the word “corruption,” without breaking out in hives. Same with McKenna’s supporter and good friend, Cong. Ray Lahood, who last time he was asked about this [prior to Eric Zorn's call of yesterday, that is] couldn't compliment Da Mayor enough about how well Da Mayor runs the City. Probably the same with Cong. Mark Kirk, although I have to say Kirk seems to focus mostly on foreign policy of late, except, I guess, when he is hosting his weekly DC Club for Moderates, not to be confused of course with the Club for Growth.

And, folks, this was all predicted. Not by me. No, sir. I am fair and balanced. But, it was predicted by Republican partisan Gary Skoien, aka Cook County GOP Chairman, and for a while a competitor of Andy McKenna, Jr. for State GOP Chairman. Skoien said, in December, that Mckenna would not be able to bring himself to raise the issue of corruption in Chicago, indeed, as Crawford put it, the corruption that is a part of the Daley act of doing business. Moreover, Skoien made it clear that he thought McKenna could not object to a Chicago owned and managed casino-- nor, indeed, to much of anything having to do with Da Mayor.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, it appears that shortly after those Skoien comments got some play, Jim Edgar, who was touted as a supporter of Skoien for state GOP Chairman, became less of a supporter, and shortly after that the Skoien drive for State GOP chairman veered off the road.

All of which makes you wonder whom Mayor Daley was supporting for State GOP Chairman. I think I know.

Which then leads us to ask what has happened to the Daley Ryan Combine that the Chicago Tribune’s John Kass discovered and so cherished as an object of his scorn.

Replaced by the Daley McKenna Combine?

Now, that would be irony—right, John?
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at