Talking tough, acting soft | Bleader

Talking tough, acting soft

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You should have heard the aldermen talking their stuff at today's City Council meeting.

Tops on the agenda was Mayor Daley's proposal to spend about $86 million to buy and demolish Michael Reese Hospital so the site can be used for the Olympic Village.

This council vote came on the heels of Monday's revelation that only 6 percent of contracts awarded this year by the 2016 Olympic Committee had gone to minorities. Six percent! In addition, only nine of the 50 full-time employees of Chicago 2016 are black or Hispanic.

I think the city did better than that with the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

So when it came time to vote on the Reese deal, the aldermen let Mayor Daley know exactly how they were feeling: Mad. Hurt. Insulted. Unwilling to take it anymore. Ready to stand up for the people.

I figured, yes, here it comes: The long-awaited aldermanic revolution! The aldermen rise up in rage to vote against the Olympics once and for all! And leading the charge would be the fiery-tongued Bob Fioretti, Pat Dowell, Leslie Hairston, Freddrenna Lyle, Walter Burnett, Ed Smith, and Ray Suarez. 

And when push came to shove, what was the vote? 47-0. In other words, they rolled over. Just like always. If these guys had a backbone, it would be made of rubber.

Usually, Daley sits at the front of the chamber during contentious debates, ready to glower at any rebels who might dare to vote against him. But he didn't even bother hanging around for this baby--he handed the gavel to alderman Danny Solis, the president pro tempore, and took off. Who knows where he went--probably to his office to work on a deal to sell off council chambers to raise money for the Olympics. 

If the Olympic bid committee doesn't do a better job of listening to the council's concerns, "there will be consequences," vowed Hairston, before acknowledging that she was voting with the mayor.

Yeah, right ....

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