Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rahm Emanuel's Chicago and the Patronage society

From Kevin Williamson:

The city and the pol deserve each other

It is difficult to believe that Rahm Emanuel is in it for the money, but he is. Just not in the way that one usually means by that expression. Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago and former right hand to President Barack Obama, doesn’t need a Chicago salary or a check from the city’s already overburdened municipal pension system. Political animal that he is, he has had excellent luck finding paydays on Wall Street: After leaving the Clinton administration, Emanuel, who holds no relevant degree and who had no experience in finance, was hired by Wasserstein Perella, where he was paid approximately $450,000 — per month. He had previously enjoyed a generous retainer from Goldman Sachs, which paid him “to introduce us to people,” as one executive put it. On the precipice of 60, Emanuel remains admirably thin, but it isn’t because he’s missing any meals for want of pocket money.

Mayor Emanuel is in a tough spot just now: A Chicago police officer was involved in a controversial shooting, and the mayor appears to have been involved in a cover-up, delaying the release of a video of the incident and a $5 million pay-off to the family of the deceased until after his reelection, which was a historically close one. The calls for his resignation are coming not from the pages of National Review but from those of the New York Times, where Bernard E. Harcourt is demanding a show of accountability. As the critics called for his head, the mayor reiterated that he remained loyal to Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and continued to insist upon his loyalty to the man as he demanded his resignation. McCarthy, who once policed the pacific streets of elegant Newark, N.J., wasn’t ready for Chicago-style politics.

Chicago is corruption itself. If Bill de Blasio’s Manhattan is Dorian Gray, Chicago is the picture: 2,700 shootings already this year, neighborhoods entirely lost, a public-school system that is so deep into piddling corruption that it doesn’t even know what its dropout rate is. In a low blow for the ages, comedian Sherrod Small sneered about another city: “Philadelphia is nothing but Baltimore with electricity.” Perhaps. What is Chicago? Port-au-Prince, eventually.

Faisal Khan — who was hired by the Chicago City Council to investigate municipal corruption and then was nearly chased out of office by the Chicago City Council for doing his job — was flabbergasted by what he saw: “Thirty aldermen over 40 years have gone to jail,” he said in an interview with Politico. “We are the third biggest metropolis in the country. I would describe to you that the oversight in Chicago is comparable to the Wild West — anything goes. I will be honest with you — I could never have envisioned a city like Chicago being so devoid of ethical morals and values when it came to our elected officials. I could not believe how backwards the city was when it came to ethics. It needs to be blown up and started all over again.” Faced with an indictment like that, the Chicago City Council did the only thing it could do when Khan’s term came to a close: It declined to replace him. Khan instead handed over his files to the FBI, which will be taking it from there — with all the rigor that one might expect of Barack Obama’s Justice Department investigating the city run by Barack Obama’s former chief of staff.

Read the rest here.

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