Best Theo Epstein Alter Ego at City Hall

Transportation commissioner Gabe Klein

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Golden boy Theo Epstein—general manager of the Boston Red Sox when they ended an 86-year World Series drought—was hired last year to bring the grail to the Chicago Cubs, bereft of the title for 103 years and counting. Gabe Klein, Rahm Emanuel's transportation commissioner, doesn't face a benchmark quite as daunting, though getting across town sometimes seems as interminable as the quest for another Cub pennant. Like Epstein, Klein arrives as a young east-coast success story—in his case, as a former transportation head in D.C. And both transplants brought a lieutenant. For the Cubs' president, that's general manager Jed Hoyer, Epstein's onetime intern with the BoSox; for Klein, it's Scott Kubly, his former number two back in Washington, now CDOT's managing deputy commissioner. Both also come with an agenda, Epstein touting organizational overhaul and a "culture of success," Klein pushing expanded bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly initiatives. But while Epstein dispenses the Kool-Aid, Klein and his team appear to have swallowed it. Earlier this year the Tribune found out that a "study" cited by the mayor in support of his controversial speed-camera plan was actually an informal analysis of traffic statistics. As Kubly explained, "We had many meetings to discuss the best and most fair way to gauge the effectiveness." When asked who "we" referred to, Kubly replied, "The royal we." The City Council approved the cameras in April.

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