Sunday, October 01, 2006

The More, The Merrier?

In what could be yet another interesting twist in the upcoming February municipal elections, the Sun-Times today reveals that the Service Employees International Union is going to include the name of Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley in polling about Chicago's mayoral election.

In my opinion, Quigley has bravely taken on some issues that nobody else was willing to touch, and in today's climate, that should carry some weight in some sectors of the electorate.

But given that in the post Big Box world, SEIU and other unions are lining up behind Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., one can't help but wonder if they are just viewing Quigley as a convenient straw man for their purposes. As S/T writer Abdon Pallasch notes:
The union, Jackson and the other challengers reportedly would love a high-profile Irish-American challenger to jump in the race and siphon white votes from Daley to push the mayor below a majority in the February election and force an April runoff.
In any event, for myriad reasons, the February elections could heat up an otherwise cold and dreary winter.


At October 1, 2006 at 10:00 AM, Anonymous rbd said...

I would never ever suggest I understand the actions of labor union officials but I can say that last winter, when Mike Quigley was making the rounds of citizen groups and neighborhood coffees, it was common for someone to say to him "you should run for Mayor."

I was at several of those events and when the comment was made, Mike talked about all of the people who had mentioned it to him already.

This was all very much a casual aside because the focus of his effort was the County Commissioner presidency.

There may have been a lot of people who walked away going "I'm supporting [someone else] but Quigley should run for Mayor."

At October 1, 2006 at 10:09 AM, Anonymous Former Minion said...

Quigley's a good official, but let's face it Rep.; in the 'white reformer' demographic, you would have a much broader base of support and better shot at the prize.

At October 1, 2006 at 10:21 AM, Anonymous My 2 cents said...

I don't think it would be in either of your benefits to be seen as a spoiler in this race. Quigley should run for Board President in 2010 and you should run for Mayor in 2011.

At October 1, 2006 at 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As to taking on tough issues, Quigley is one of the few to point out the harmful effects on TIF districts to education funding. As one of your nain concens, I'm curious as to your thoughts on the mayor's favorite tool for development.

At October 1, 2006 at 11:12 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

When used correctly, TIFs can be effective development tools. But like most everything else, they are subject to abuse. One of the problems is that the public doesn't really pay attention to their implementation and impact, making them that much more likely to be misused.

Through the actions of Mike Quigley, and some great articles by Reader reporter Ben Joravsky, people are beginning to understand the nature of TIFs and their potential to be used as a under the radar property tax increase.

That is why I recently met with Mike to try to implement some of his ideas into legislation at the state level.

Unfortunately the public's inclination to focus on the salacious tends to reduce their attention on issues that may have a much greater impact on their lives.


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