I often wonder why the eff people put up with the corrupt crap that goes on in Chicago. And I'm always glad to find out I am not the only one. From the blog cockroach people - The Mystery of Corruption:
Everyone involved in politics in this city knows that the system of fines and permits is used by the Machine to maintain its power. Who hasn’t heard about a business that refused to put up the campaign sign of a machine candidate only to be “visited” by a team of inspectors from every department imaginable? Who hasn’t noticed a brand new business that had no problem getting started because it happens to be owned by the alderman’s daughter? The bureaucracy is not merely inefficient and bad for business, it is also one of the many ways that the City perpetuates corruption. If the City were to alleviate the bureaucratic bloat, then what would happen to the time-honored tradition of bribing your alderman for a permit or zoning change?
It’s a mystery to me that Chicagoans–tired of all the scandals, tired of having their cars towed after two parking tickets, tired of being taxed for bottled water, and tired of their small businesses being shaken down–have yet to wake up and throw the bums out! When times were good, some may have looked the other way with regard to corruption and excessive taxation, but now, when every penny counts, I hope that Chicagoans will ask themselves...Is Chicago really the city that works?
Speaking of bureaucratic bloat, I also came across this great post regarding today's "reduced service day" for the city of Chicago. Chicago City Government Closed Today - Yet City Still Claims it can Afford 2016 Olympics:
It feels like the City has a lot of fat it can trim from the payroll so that it doesn’t have to shut EVERYTHING down for a whole day every once in a while. We’ve worked on projects for the City, and many people collecting checks from the government don’t do any actual work. There are people whose parents are political Ward Captains and other kinds of operatives in the Daley Machine who sit at a desk and read the newspaper all day. One friend of ours who works for the City has one of these “legacy” workers assigned to her team. His father is a well-known member of the black community loyal to Mayor Daley. So, the son collects a very large salary to sit on his legacy butt during the day, reading magazines, never doing any of the work he’s supposed to do. Our friend can’t say a word about him. His performance reviews are filled out by someone above her. He takes up space in her department and is technically on the books as being part of her team, but he’s free to do as he pleases, collecting big City checks.
How many of these guys are on the payroll?
How many other jobs out there are redundant, particularly in the Parks Department, where City workers are notorious for taking a crew of six guys out to dig a hole: one guy with a shovel, three guys leaning against the truck to keep it from flying away, another guy to supervise the shoveler, and a final guy to make sure the three guys holding down the truck don’t fly away with the truck.
The author also brings up some interesting points about the Olympics, so be sure to check out the full post.
I think former Alderman Dick Simpson really nailed it with this great quote about all of the corruption surrounding Mayor Daley (from the New York Times circa 2004):
Richard Simpson, a former Chicago alderman who teaches political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said political corruption had been an almost unbroken tradition in Chicago since the 1860's, including the two decades the mayor's legendary father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, was in office.
''To list all the scandals he's faced would be a book-length project,'' Mr. Simpson said of the younger Mayor Daley. ''Each time there's a new one, he makes a little change to the ethics ordinance or fires someone. His theory is that there are only a few rotten apples, but the real truth is that the barrel is rotten, and he's not ready to replace the barrel.''