Annals of Daley: The Fuel of a New Machine | Bleader

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Annals of Daley: The Fuel of a New Machine

Posted By on 09.07.10 at 08:01 PM

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In 1989, David Moberg wrote a prescient piece on Daley the Younger and what he represented for the "Chicago Machine":

There's long been an intimate, curious, and even sordid relationship between money and politics in Chicago. But this election marks an important turn: Even though he is not the incumbent, Daley has raised an unprecedented amount of money in a very short time (about $6.1 million as of Monday and still growing), thanks especially to a high number of very big contributions. Some observers fear that this phenomenon portends the consolidation of a new political force in Chicago—a "new machine." Not a machine of pinky rings and tavern owners, but one of alligator briefcases and law-firm partners. In some cases, especially in the big law firms, there may be a hope of quid pro quo attached to these big donations; compared with the past, however, the payoffs for most of the political contributions are likely to be less direct, but more lucrative.

Also of note:

Beitler says he supports Daley "so we can return to a city that works." When I argued that Chicago is in the midst of its biggest downtown building boom since the Great Fire—nearly $10 billion in new construction between 1979 and 1991—he countered, "That's in spite of city government, not because of it."

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