CN Feb 21 2019

The “March to Inevitability” edition

Two of Chicago’s most knowledgeable political reporters join us this week for a head-spinning discussion about the crazy municipal election we’re all enduring.

WGN-TV’s Tahman Bradley and the Daily Line’s Heather Cherone say there’s never been an election like this in Chicago – literally. That’s because this is only the second runoff-style election we’ve ever had, and the other one was headlined by incumbent Rahm Emanuel. He led decisively enough that there was never doubt that he and challenger Chuy Garcia would be the two runoff contestants. But this time, with fourteen candidates, the percentages are being sliced so thinly that the final outcomes may be determined by mail-in ballots, and those won’t be counted until perhaps a week after the election. Add to this the fact that at least ten of the aldermanic races are highly contested, and several well-entrenched aldermen could find themselves losing to upstarts.

We talk about how a much younger and more inexperienced Council, possibly in conjunction with a less-experienced mayor – will face the responsibility of redistricting the Council immediately after the 2020 census, and that the widely reported vast reduction in the population of black Chicago could mean the loss of two African-American-majority wards this time.

There’s also an interesting discussion about whether the new Council could become more progressive in its politics as newer, younger aldermen come into their own. But that’s something that very much has to play out over the next two years or so.

Cherone tells us that as she and her colleagues at the Daily Line have interviewed the Mayoral candidates, all have changed the subject or swerved deliberately away from any discussion about specific measures to deal with the looming billion dollar obligation that the next Mayor will have to settle during this next term. And since the solution will require significant tax increases and/or important reductions in benefits, there’s no up-side in discussing the situation in detail at this point (althoughPaul Vallas is given credit for offering some detailed plans.)

Bradley, when discussing the steady, well-funded rise of Bill Daley, utters the phrase that we’ve honored as the title of this edition. Daley’s “March to Inevitability.”

And Cherone, in her own explanation for Daley’s apparent rise to the top, says we all have an innate sense that Chicago is not governable, and that it takes a strong-man figure to hold things together. And that, she says, has a lot of people thinking – hey, maybe we need another Daley.

At the end of the program we ask producer David Resnick to come to the table to explain in detail why there’s so much concern that this election’s results might not be apparent until days after the polls close. We can’t explain it all in this written document, but it’s well worth your time to hear Dave lay it out piece by piece. His appearance begins  at about the :40 minute mark in the program.

You can watch the show by tapping the image above.

You can listen to the audio of the show here:

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About Ken

Ken's the host of Chicago Newsroom. A former news director, reporter and radio program host, he's also a past Vice President of the Chicago Headline Club.
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