Mayor Rahm sends me a kinder, gentler version of a dead fish | Bleader

Mayor Rahm sends me a kinder, gentler version of a dead fish

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Love, Rahm
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  • Love, Rahm
With a few weeks and counting to the epic mayoral showdown, Mick Dumke and I thought we'd apply a little truth serum to the campaign, as part of our February 3 talk show extravaganza at the Hideout.

In addition to obsessively discussing the ins and the outs of the race, we'll take a look at some recent campaign mailings to see if any of them offer anything vaguely resembling the truth.

Other than the correct spelling of the candidate's name.

This, of course, means looking at Mayor Rahm's mailings because, at the moment, he seems to be the only candidate who can afford them.

Lesson for mayoral challengers Fioretti, Garcia, Walls, and Wilson: if you want to raise more money, it helps to take about $17 million from our dead-broke public schools and give it to a bunch of wealthy bankers.

For exhibit A, I'll bring in the flyer the mayor recently sent to my home, in which he congratulates himself for having had the courage to raise the city's minimum wage.

This is fertile ground for discussion. Is it courageous to do what 88 percent of the electorate wanted you to do? That's roughly the percentage of Chicagoans who voted yes when asked in last year's referendum whether we should raise the minimum wage.

In retrospect, it would probably be more courageous if the mayor were to brag about closing mental health clinics in poor neighborhoods—if by courage, the mayor means doing what people don't want him to do.

He closed those clinics back in 2011, during his Republican phase. Which apparently ended at roughly the same time this current campaign began.

We can also discuss why Mayor Rahm would bother sending me, of all people, a campaign mailer. Since he's got about as much chance of winning my vote as Rick Santorum.

There's always the possibility that the flyer is his kinder, gentler version of a dead fish—which, I believe, is what he used to send people he wanted to mess with.

On hand to help us decipher this and other mysteries of local politics will be an august panel of political experts, including Dan Mihalopoulos.

In addition to being one of the best dressed reporters in Chicago, Dan is Rainman-like in his mastery of Chicago politics.

I will personally buy a beer for the first member of the audience who can stump Dan with a trivia question about, oh, the 10th Ward.

Also on hand will be Jen Sabella, senior editor at DNAinfo, the online newspaper that happens to be owned by Joe Ricketts.

We promise not to tease her about her boss if she doesn't tease us about Bruce Rauner, who once owned a piece of the Reader.

Little known fact: in another lifetime Mick was Jen's journalism teacher and newspaper adviser at Columbia College. Nevertheless, she not only stayed in the business but flourished.

Last but not least, our panel will feature the great Perri Small, talk show host at WVON.

Another little known fact: back in 1984, Perri, Laura Washington, and I partied like rock stars while ostensibly covering the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.

One night we got smashed on Mai Tais and started doing "Copacabana" at a Barry Manilow sing-along contest in a North Beach karaoke bar.

That bit about the karaoke bar is not true—I just made it up.

Just like Mayor Rahm does with his campaign flyers!

The show starts at 6:30 PM. It's $5 at the door. And the Hideout is located at 1354 W. Wabansia.

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