The belly of the beast - Chicago

So things around here in Chicago have been *interesting* as of late.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Cook County board president Todd Stroger’s approval rating is down to 10%, something with Stroger himself is now furiously disputing.  After all, after inheriting the position and scandals related to hiring, as well as imposing a sales tax hike which resulted in the city of Chicago having the highest sales tax rate in the country (10.25%), what about him isn’t there to love?  He’s apparently figured that he wants to compete with Rod Blagojevich for most-loved politician.

Speaking of Blagojevich, I know everyone here has run out to get his new book, cleverly named “The Governor”.  I’m sure that before too long, I’ll be able to find overstock copies in the bargain section of any of our bookstores, though even then, they’d be overcharging.  *L*  He assured one of the radio hosts here locally that he went through six boxes of crayons in the writing of this book.  Whether he’ll recoup those costs in book sales remains to be seen.  In the meantime, he’s got another chance to run his mouth to the media with his book tour.  Strange, though, how his former advisor Christopher Kelly just turned up dead from either an overdose or allergy to asprin.    But we all know that his death has nothing to do with the “Chicago Way” of politics…

Mayor Daley is also hurting in the polls, but whether it is enough to keep him from being re-elected remains to be seen.  For some reason, the residents in Chicago aren’t thrilled with the parking-meter mess that’s come about from the deal to privatise the parking meters.  And there’s the increase in property taxes due to the Chicago Public Schools begging for more money.  And this little Olympic bid, which he promised from the beginning the taxpayers would not be liable for, but for which now he got a unanimous vote among the aldercreatures to make the residents of Chicago responsible for unlimited losses.  (We also know that none of those development contracts would be politically connected either.)  It’s not like our police department needs a contract, or that in creating TIF districts, the purpose isn’t to line the pockets of friends…

In any case, there was a 9/12 rally downtown yesterday.  I suspect a lot of people made it to DC (after all, it’s really easy to fly to) or to the regional gathering in Quincy.  I would guess there were about 300-400 people there, and after lining up along Michigan Avenue for awhile, came into Millennium Park for a couple of speeches and “open mic”.

If anybody is interested in some of the photos, mine can be found here: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/linnapaw/sets/72157622225201225″>http://www.flickr.com/photos/linnapaw/sets/72157622225201225</a>