Someone explain Chicago's corruption? (ANSWERED BY CECIL)

I understand that that’s “just the way it is here,” but stuff like Daley’s Meigs field destruction is something that would be rejected in fiction as unrealistic. “They’d throw the guy in prison or at least kick him out of office!”

What’s up with the blatant, out-in-the-open corruption and illegality in Chicago politics?

My feeling is that Chicago has been corrupt for so long that lifelong Chicagoans not only expect it, we almost find it charming in a way. It’s as though every time a new scandal makes the news, we collectively go, “Daley, you scamp! Didn’t we talk about you not giving jobs to your friends? You go to your room and don’t come out until supper!”

I think if a politician ran on a platform of cleaning up corruption, the response would be, "If you want to try… " followed by a shrug.

Of course, this is based on absolutely zero facts.

What Valerie said, plus the sad fact that Chicago’s reputation far exceeds its present state. There was much talk before the election about how corrupt Chicago politics were and how that meant that Obama would steal Cook County, just like Kennedy had (or not) in 1960, but they are NOTHING compared with the scampish adventures of Big Bill Thompson. What passes for political corruption these days is piddly stuff like Streets and Sanitation workers taking long lunches. YAWN

I don’t know but Detroit and New Orleans could give you a run for most corrupt.

A run? I was listening to a radio station from NO once and they are MUCH more corrupt.

I hear people when they hear where I’m from, and their first response is about the politics.

I tell them Chicago is the Yankees, or Celtics of corruption - we play in a big league, have been around a long time, and at one time, and still are occasionally, a big deal when something goes south because of the history. We are one of those cities people watch and say a-ha ! when something happens.

Example: There is a fight in the locker room of the locker room of the Yankees - National news, because everyone “knows” that the Yankees have a “history” of that sort of thing.

That fight in the KC Royals locker room? No one cares, it’s the Royals.

The deal is the Golden Rule. The movers and shakers are happy with the status quo, and for them, the city works. So their gold rules. For the folks with no clout - most specifically the folks on the west and south sides, it’s take it or leave it. But if you ask the people who the city attends to, they’ll tell you, “The city works. I don’t care how it works. It works.” The only folks bothered by the corruption are those who don’t profit from it, which is a relatively small group.

Wow. I spent the better part of five years in Chicagoland and I never heard of Thompson OR the Pineapple Primary. That’s great history (if you didn’t have to live through it).

That’s sadly a pretty accurate wrapup of my attitude. When I hear about some scandal involving, say, building inspectors, I usually first think ‘Oh No! What will his family do?’ and then I wonder ‘How I can get his job?’.

It comes as a constant trickle. Fire inspectors bribed. Legally parked cars towed. Federal indictments. 10 county corrections officers arrested. Bid fixing. Ghost payrolling. Licenses-for-Bribes. Promotions and raises for the inept cronies.

You learn to enjoy the stories and roll with it.

It’s a matter of scale. The corruption here is so petty as to be amusing. Jobs for friends? Seriously? In Kansas City, the corruption was more on the scale of giving millions of dollars of TIF money to “blighted” areas like the Country Club Plaza (a shopping area that rivals Mag Mile). Or the astounding corruption of the Bush Administration. What’s the worst any Chicago pol could do compared to sending a C-130 full of cash to Iraq and losing (holds pinky to mouth a la Doctor Evil) NINE BILLION DOLLARS!

At least we have Blago bringing honor back to the state and the city.

Well, Blagojevich won on that platform . . . Heh-heh-heh . . .

I have (somewhere around here) a paper I wrote on the Pineapple Primary, and it is interesting history, especially in its roots.

Then who are the Cubs of Corruption?? :confused:


Now, is this reputation or present state?

Small potatoes compared to the old-school corruption. Another “jobs for contributors/friends” bust.

I’m not saying it’s not relatively small beer - but isn’t it more corruption than seen in most American cities - especially in the aggregate?

Mind you, I come from Pittsburgh originally, which has to be in the running for an honorable mention. But from the looks of it, Chicago still has quite a problem going here.

My family had two large properties taken from us by the city, they don’t have to justify their reasons, they told me “if you don’t like it then sue us, but the city WILL take your buildings”. you can’t win against city lawyers…

I think the reason is that we’re talking local politics here. In national politics, few things actually affect you directly (other than tax rates), so people focus on ideologies like corruption and get all worked up.

But in local politics, as long as your potholes get filled and your garbage gets picked up, what do you care about the other stuff? A simple “they all do it” and a shrug, and you can get on with your life…TRM

This is exactly the problem with the city. For many people - those in the loop, the new south loop areas, the north side, the northwest side, that’s all they do care about. And because Da Mare gets all the buzz about running “the city that works” everyone figures the same thing - my potholes are getting fixed, the garbage is being picked up. If any of them were to spend any time on the south and west sides of the city, where it still looks like a bomb hit (in some cases it’s been that way since the '68 riots), where there are no jobs, no decent grocery stores, no big box stores, where the schools are abysmal, they’d realize that just shrugging your shoulders extends the status quo, for those people, too. We’re all in this together. It’s time to take seriously the idea of promoting the general welfare, even if it means spreading some of the goods and services around. This mayor continues to ignore a good portion of the city.