Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Where's Daley?

There he is. 
Carol Felsenthal at Chicago Mag asks an interesting question: "Where in the world is Rich Daley?" She asks because the former Chicago mayor has seemingly "disappeared from public life." Since leaving office when his public ratings bottomed out after his selling off of the city's parking meters (and anything else that wasn't nailed down), there hasn't been so much as a peep or a malaprop.

Daley made his mark as the nation's first big city mayor to be handed autocratic control of the public school system which, with help from his former city hall budget director Paul Vallas, he turned into a patronage wing of City Hall. Vallas became the first school supt. to be called, CEO. Daley replaced him with Arne Duncan who sat atop Daley's disastrous Renaissance 2010 plan, a miserable flop when it came to producing any measurable school improvement. It was quietly dropped and never publicly evaluated. But Ren10 did become a national model for closing public schools and turning them over to private charter school management companies and propelled Duncan to the top education post in the Obama administration.

But back to Felsenthal's question -- where's Richie? As pay-back for the parking meter give-away, Daley was given a job at the law firm that swung the deal, Katten Muchin Rosenman where he gets to travel to "do deals" in China. He also was made "an adviser" to JP Morgan Chase, where his brother Bill is a VP.

So don't worry about Richie. Chicago's schools may be in chaos and the murder rate climbing in his wake. But he's doing just fine. Don't they take care of their own?

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