Newsroom, meet Ed Page. Ed Page, meet the people who in their view are trying keep you honest. Let's you two fight.
Chi Trib and the Paul Vallas story, 2023 mayor's race.
In the ‘70s, Daily News City Hall reporter Jay McMullen leaned (Richard J.) Daley-ward with anything he wrote, had no use for reformers, made no bones about it. Let ‘em have their good-government, goo-goo editorials, he had the news stories. (I heard him say it.)
So it is with today’s fractious couple at Chi Trib, where working stiffs are leaning far, far away from him who the polls are saying will be the people’s choice. Tomorrow! The day is upon us already! Last day of the shortest month coming up? Yes, my hearties, wherefore consider this.
The Ed Page is all in for the odds-on winner, the honesty cops are out to defund him vote-wise.
Take this: Mayoral challenger Paul Vallas has promoted his schools resume, but blemishes garner scrutiny Vallas promotes himself as a change agent but his history also shows a leader who has faced questions about the results he has left behind.
And this: Paul Vallas’ Twitter account liked offensive, racist posts. He denies doing it himself and denounces ‘abhorrent’ views. Paul Vallas said he doesn't “personally manage” the account and was “shocked when this was brought to my attention."
And this: Paul Vallas blames unnamed hackers for his Twitter account’s likes of offensive posts Former CPS CEO's comments follow Tribune story detailing that Vallas’ social media account liked a series of offensive tweets
And this: Mayoral candidate Paul Vallas insists he’s a lifelong Democrat. But he’s backed by conservative donors and the FOP. Yuck!
None of which can give offense to any Vallas opponent. Wow. Grist for opponents’ mill! Clears up mendacious claims by the V-man and his sycophantic hangers-on. Yes!
On the other hand, what of ye olde Ed Page — ever to be doubted, ever in need of being kept honest? What do these misguided people have to say for themselves having cobbled together their screaming message in favor of the V-man?
Nought. They let their words speak for themselves. On their very own front page:
Chicagoans tend to be weather-hardened stoics and scandal-scarred realists. Yet we’re mostly an upbeat crew, fiercely proud of our beautiful city. But if you read the most recent Harris Poll, you’ll see that most voters are profoundly pessimistic about postelection Chicago. When thinking about the key issues that face us, such as public safety, most of us apparently believe things are going to keep getting worse.
Demonstrably, Chicago is a city in need of a turnaround, and, in Paul Vallas, we’re endorsing a smart, passionate and experienced candidate for mayor who long has specialized in doing precisely that.
Unapologetically wonkish, the Chicago-born Vallas, who was CEO of Chicago Public Schools from 1995 to 2001 and of the School District of Philadelphia from 2002 to 2007, has successfully positioned himself as the candidate with detailed plans and fresh ideas, and has nationally recognized expertise in city financing, policing and public education, the three components of city life most in dire need of attention.
Note “detailed plans and fresh ideas . . . expertise in city financing, policing and public education, the three components of city life most in dire need of attention.” Compared with others’ presenting selves as largely good ol’ guys and gals.
Vallas has the ear of rank-and-file police officers on the street. We will expect him to use that trust to improve police conduct and the abysmal clearance rate for violent offenses.
Similarly, we will hold him accountable to implement his many plans for improving the education of CPS students, young people who suffered greatly during the COVID-19 crisis and now deserve to be at the top of the list of the next mayor’s priorities.
And we expect him to use his experience as municipal budget director under Mayor Richard M. Daley from 1990 to 1993 to run a tight fiscal ship and bring property tax relief to cash-strapped Chicagoans.
Well-organized argument here, you must admit, reflecting well on endorsers’ level-headedness and common sense.
Even-handed, as well, dealing with other candidates fairly and squarely.
Da Mayor? They give her very kind treatment.
She would be our No. 2 choice, and, should there be a runoff, she should be the one facing off against Vallas.
But despite her formidable intellect and command of the issues, Lightfoot has been reluctant to see this moment as time for any kind of leadership reboot. . . . She does not see the need, and we sympathize, given all the noise she faces. But we also think she is not fully reading the moment.
Too kind. But on to others. They have “heard little . . . from Jesús “Chuy” Garcia that gives us confidence he can transform this city for the better. We’re also troubled by his association with former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s unsavory, clout-oriented ways, which went beyond necessity.”
“Willie Wilson’s pronouncements on the campaign trail . . . have been either ridiculous or harmful.”
Brandon Johnson? “Smart and loquacious, but many of his radical proposals to raise taxes would result in further erosion of Chicago’s tax base because people with the ability to leave would pack their bags.
“And he has not acknowledged the harm done to kids by prolonged school closures, in part because he does not want to annoy his CTU benefactors.”
That last is a killer, for my money. A vote for Brandon is a vote for the CTU.
Ald. Sophia King and Ald. Roderick Sawyer both get kind words sans endorsement. Ditto 27-year-old Ja’Mal Green, whom they consider “among the city’s best and brightest, a young man who already has done much to mitigate danger on our streets.”
And their closer:
Some have mocked Vallas as an illusory “shining white knight” whose candidacy says more about his backers than the candidate himself. Other opponents have argued that while he has reams of bullet-pointed plans under his hat, he won’t do as well in the day-to-day business of running a city, when it doesn’t always help to see yourself as the smartest person in the room. These will be potential traps for him, and he will need to pay attention and surround himself with a confident, diverse, transparent team. One filled with turnaround specialists.
Confident, diverse, transparent, eh? Let’s hope competent.