I was walking down my block on a lovely Saturday afternoon—talking to the colorful political operative Frank Coconate on my cell phone—when I saw two canvassers for Mayor Rahm going door-to-door.
One was old, the other young. Both were wearing "I'm with Rahm" buttons.
I knew then and there this was going to get interesting.
"Are you really with Rahm?" I asked. "I know a lot of people voted for him, but usually they're too ashamed to admit it."
"Fuck off," the older guy said.
Clearly, he got his warm and winning ways from the mayor himself.
I'm tempted to blame what ensued on Coconate, a notorious agitator, who's always egging me on.
But actually, I've been having quite a few to-dos lately—a sure sign that this campaign season is driving me bonkers.
Why, just the other day I got into a great TIF debate with Greg Hinz, my old poker-playing pal who writes about politics for Crain's.
With all this feuding, I may have to resort to some marijuana gummy bears—just to chill me out.
What set me off with these canvassers is their assertion that the mayor had a plan to save our city from financial ruin without raising taxes.
As opposed to Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who was going to "raise our taxes and give it to the unions."
As the older guy, who was sort of the brains of the operation, put it.
I told them that of course Chuy was going to raise taxes. But so was Rahm. Hell, he's been raising them every year as it is, even if he swears up and down that he hasn't.
For that matter, Greg Hinz would raise taxes if he were elected mayor.
Now there's a thought—Mayor Hinz! Greg, I'd definitely vote for you over Rahm.
The point is our next mayor—no matter who he is—will have to raise taxes because we're facing millions and millions of dollars worth of obligations.
Why, it was only last year that Mayor Emanuel proposed raising property taxes by $250 million over five years to pay for the pension deal he cut with his pals in SEIU Local 73, which represents crossing guards and other municipal employees.
A proposed tax hike you don't hear the mayor talk about these days, what with him fighting for political survival.
In short, Mayor Rahm's great plan to save us from economic ruin is much like Chuy's: hold off on the details until he gets through this election so he doesn't piss off too many voters.
When I tried to explain this to the canvassers, the older guy said Rahm had a plan to stick it "to the unions."
"Which unions?" I asked.
"All of them."
"Even the firefighters?"
That will undoubtedly come as a shock to leaders of the firefighters' union, who endorsed the mayor and donated $25,000 to his campaign with the expectation that he won't make pension cuts.
I suggested that the fellas drop in on my neighbor—who happens to be a firefighter—so they could personally tell him that the mayor's planning to cut his pension.
"Fuck off," said the older guy once again.
You know, logic like that is hard to refute.
We'd been having this exchange as we made our way up the block. Eventually, they found their way to my porch, where they rang the doorbell while I watched from the sidewalk.
It was something about seeing them on my porch, ringing my doorbell, causing my dog inside the house to go berserk that—well, I couldn't help myself.
I told them to get off my porch before I called the police and had them arrested for trespassing.
They dropped another F-bomb or two before moving on, thus bringing our enlightened debate to a close.
Watching the whole thing was my neighbor and her ten-year-old son. Glad to be the day's entertainment.
In any event, folks, prepare yourself for hikes in all kinds of fees and taxes. Unless, of course, we figure some way to make this glorious mayoral campaign last forever.