Just when I thought the mayor's race couldn't get any weirder, into the fray jumps a Daley.
William M., to be exact. As opposed to—well, I'll get to the Daley clan in a bit.
There were already 11 announced candidates when, on September 4, Mayor Emanuel dropped a "Rahm-Shell," as the Sun-Times
headline put it, announcing he wouldn't seek reelection
Now 20 or so relatively high-profile pols—including Toni Preckwinkle, Susana Mendoza, and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia—are talking about running.
If this keeps up, the Tribune
may have to rewrite its recent story about how tough it is to run Chicago. If being mayor is so "grueling,"
how come so many want to do it?
In Bill Daley's case, his mayoral announcement seems like some bizarre experiment to determine whether the Chicago electorate has developed a case of political dementia.
Bill Daley is banking on us having forgotten what happened the last couple times we turned Chicago over to a Daley. Many voters of the millennial persuasion are too young to remember.
So allow me to offer this brief reminder/history lesson. Bill Daley is . . .
- The son of Mayor Richard J. Daley, who built the great Chicago Democratic machine and ruled the city from 1955 to 1976.
- The younger brother of Mayor Richard M. Daley—oh, even my millennial readers remember him.
- The older brother of John Daley, finance chairman of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
- Uncle of Robert Vanecko, who was in the Sun-Times just this weekend. Investigative reporter Tim Novak filled in the details of how Vanecko's former investment firm put together real estate deals that lost $54.2 million for various Chicago pension funds.
- Uncle of Richard "R.J." Vanecko, who pleaded guilty to killing David Koschman with a single punch during a late-night altercation on Rush Street in 2004. It took almost ten years of articles before Vanecko was punished because—oh, c'mon, you think it's easy for cops or prosecutors to build a case against the nephew of a mayor named Daley?
Bill Daley, meanwhile, made millions as an executive for SBC Communications (now AT&T) and JP Morgan Midwest. Basically, he was the guy in charge of lobbyists, who were lobbying government on deals, regulations, and taxes so the companies could make even more money than they already were making.
As such, Bill Daley was working for SBC when, in 2001, it sold a company called SecurityLink to GTCR Golder Rauner, a Chicago-based investment firm.
For what it's worth, Mayor Rahm and Governor Rauner were in on
that baby as well. Rahm was the investment banker who helped put the deal together. And Rauner was an owner of GTCR Golder Rauner—as its name suggests.
Rahm made about $6.5 million
as an investment banker in 2001, the year he helped broker that deal. As for Rauner, his company sold SecurityLink for about $1 billion, roughly six months after it was acquired for about $500 million.
So Rauner owes a portion of his fortune to a couple of Democrats named Emanuel and Daley—something to remember the next time you hear Rauner raging against the machine.
In the last year or so, Rahm and Bill Daley have been feuding
. Mayor Rahm has taken to blaming Chicago's financial woes on Rich Daley, though never by name.
Rahm says Rich kicked the can down the road by coming up with expensive financing schemes to avoid raising taxes to pay the city’s mounting pension obligations.
To which, Bill Daley says—man, stop crying like a little baby. Or words to that effect.
For my part, I think Bill Daley makes a good point. Almost all of Rich Daley’s can-kicking schemes were supported by the city's political elite (Rahm among them) as well as the voters, who probably would have reelected Daley in 2011 had he run.
Speaking of can kicking, I forgot to mention that Bill Daley is the father of William Daley Jr
., an executive for Morgan Stanley, the investment firm that put together the consortium that bought the parking meters.
Just in case you forgot, that's the deal in which Rich Daley basically sold an asset worth about $10 billion to a Morgan Stanley consortium for about $1.15 billion.
I think I've had enough reminiscing about the Daley years for the moment.
On the other hand, say what you will about Rich Daley, but he did build Millennium Park. OK, he did it with hundreds of millions
of our tax dollars. But still.
Also, no Daley father, son, brother, or nephew has ever concocted a scheme as diabolically devious as the one devised by Paul Manafort—Trump's former campaign manager—and his Ukrainian and Russian oligarch friends.
They stole the identity of a Ukrainian hairdresser named Yevgeny Kaseyev
, set up Belizean bank accounts in his name that he didn’t know about, and eventually left him with a tax bill of roughly $30 million.
Proving once again that when it comes to sleaze and corruption, Chicago's still got a ways to go to catch up with the Trump crowd.
(I realize this has nothing to do with the Daleys, but it's always good to have some perspective.)
And the crazy way things are going with our mayor's race, I half expect Trump to throw his hat into the ring any day now.
Correction: This post has been emended to correctly reflect the name of the Daley nephew who pleaded guilty to murdering David Koschman. It is Richard "R.J." Vanecko, not Robert Vanecko.