The Substitute for the Substitute | Bleader

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Substitute for the Substitute

Posted By on 09.01.09 at 04:58 PM

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I'm under no illusion that the 2016 Olympics—should we be so unlucky as to host them—will be anything but a waste of money, as the well-connected gorge themselves at the public's expense.

So the best the City Council could do for the masses would be to effectively kill the games by passing First Ward alderman Manny Flores's original proposal to cap public spending at $500 million.

But since Mayor Daley has made it clear that he won't let that legislation come up for a vote, much less win approval, the council's next best bet is to pass Flores's new proposal calling for strict oversights. (You can check out a PDF of it here.)

Now it's clear the mayor won't let them do that either.

Flores introduced his substitute proposal today and the mayor quickly countered with his own variation [PDF], which offers next to nothing in legitimate oversight. Click here for a chart that the alderman put together comparing the two proposals.

“This ordinance will ensure greater public transparency about the Olympic finances as well as provide further protection to our taxpayers,” Mayor Daley said in a prepared statement. Right.

So here's how tough things are for open government in Chicago: Mayor Daley's pushing a substitute for the substitute for the real legislation our aldermen ought to pass.

Hang tough, Manny. I guarantee you'll get votes from aldermen Scott Waguespack and Joe Moore and maybe even Roberto Maldonado—that is, if he can get his mind off his real estate holdings.

Just kidding, Alderman M.

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