This is a long and damning roundup of the sleazy ways Rahm does business. From bribing schools into supporting his plan to make teachers work 20% longer without pay raises to rewarding allies with lucrative no-bid contracts to using the possibility of hosting the G8 conference as an excuse to dramatically increase police powers without any sort of democratic process.
I'm glad he is out of the White House.
Rahm Emanuel Has a Problem With Democracy | Rick Perlstein | Politics News | Rolling Stone
Consider the seemingly mundane matter of speed cameras. Rahm wants to make Chicago the world's capital for systems that automatically send motorists tickets that start a $100 for going five miles over the speed limit within an eighth of a mile of schools and parks. That covers 47 percent of the city's streets. Chicagoans balked, suspecting a revenue grab to help close Chicago's budget deficit of three-quarters of a billion dollars. The mayor said, no, it was all about safety: He claimed that traffic deaths had fallen by 60 percent near the city's already existing cameras that cite people for running red lights. The Chicago Tribune tried to verify the numbers – but City Hall claimed they were "confidential." They used publicly available source data instead, and found a 26 percent reduction in traffic deaths "that mirrored a broader accident trend in the city and around the nation." When confronted, a city bureaucrat "acknowledged the claimed reduction in fatalities was based only on an informal analysis of traffic statistics." "Study’ is a bit of a term of art," he dodged. "We had many meetings to discuss the best and most fair way to gauge the effectiveness," he told the Tribune, including a "judgment call" to count fatalities as far away as a quarter mile from red-light cameras. "He declined to say who was involved in the meetings," noted the paper. "Asked who he meant by 'we,' he said he meant 'the royal we.'"
Lovely. The kicker? The manager of Emanuel’s 2002 congressional campaign consults for the company that will supply the cameras, Redlex Traffic Systems of Australia. His name is Greg Goldner, and he currently runs For a Better Chicago, an Emanuel-aligned political action committee that raised nearly a million dollars in secret cash to funnel to Rahm-friendly candidates for alderman.He also runs something called the "Traffic Safety Commission," which is funded by … Redflex Traffic Systems. Emanuel refused to answer questions about the relationship. Instead, a spokesman replied, "As the mayor has said, this is about doing the right thing for our children and keeping them safe."
Ah, the children. Rahm Emanuel just loves the children. "I'm going to stick with it. Because it's the right thing for our children" – that was his response when the state labor board criticized his plan to extend Chicago's school year and stretch the school day to seven-and-a-half hours and pay teachers only 2 percent more for 20 percent more work. After teachers at three elementary schools agreed to consider the plan, he said, "I can't be prouder of people who decided to do what's right finally for our children." That was in the face of accusations from Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis that the teachers were offered extra cash and iPads for their schools in exchange for their support. Meanwhile, the Chicago Public School's inspector general is investigating allegations that a local pastor paid busloads of people $25 to $50 each to pack public hearings in favor of Emanuel's education plans, and that the pastor, Roosevelt Watkins, has received cash from Greg Goldner's consulting company. Goldner denies knowing anything about payoffs. "What [community groups] use the money for and how they do it is their business, not ours."