Boss Shiller | Bleader

Boss Shiller

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After reading a couple of Mick Dumke's latest blog posts, I'm starting to wonder: What's the difference between aldermen Berny Stone and Helen Shiller?

Yes, yes, I know. One's a man, the other's a woman. One wears a suit, the other a dress. One supported the police during the Days of Rage. The other's heart--if not body--was in the street with the radicals. And, of course, during Council Wars, Stone was a member of alderman Fast Eddie Vrodolyak's band of 29. When she joined the council in 1987, Shiller was on Mayor Harold Washington's side.

But nowadays, not only are they both faithful members of Mayor Daley's City Council amen corner--they're both condemning the transgressors who dare to talk about reform.

I can understand why Berny Stone would be disdainful of aldermen Joe Moore and the other independents. He's been in the Democratic machine his whole life. He's never going to change. Plus, he and Moore have been sitting next to each other in the council for almost 18 years, and I think they enjoy taunting one another.

But I expect more from Shiller. I realize she stopped being a reformer years ago, dropping out of the fight so she could keep the Wilson Yard TIF money flowing. But there's no reason to malign her old reform colleagues. 

She's starting to sound like former alderman Tom Keane, the first Mayor Daley's right-hand man, when he used to make fun of reformers like Dick Simpson and Leon Despres. Next thing you know Shiller will be wearing a pinky ring and smoking cigars.

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