The City File | City File | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » City File

The City File


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


If you don't mind, I prefer a ballot. National Pork Producers Council director of retail merchandising Joe Leathers: "My advice to consumers today is to vote early and vote often with their forks this fall."

"There was an irony to the Republicans' attacks that was not lost on me," writes Matthew Rothschild in the Progressive (October). "They denounce Clinton not for what he is but for what I and others on the Left wish he were. They attack him as too reluctant to use force, while we attack him as too eager to use force. They attack him for being too willing to use Government to right the wrongs of this society, while we attack him for being too reluctant to do so. They claim his health-insurance proposal is too socialistic; we only wish it were."

Nobody will vote for me if I do what they want! James H. Lewis of the Chicago Urban League, writing in favor of the education amendment to the state constitution in Catalyst (October): "Elected officials trap themselves into offering better government for less, then find it almost impossible to support any tax increase, even for things their constituents clearly support."

Reformers blow it again. In 1980 the "Cutback Amendment" passed, reducing the size of the state House of Representatives by one-third and ending the three-reps-from-one-district system that had allowed downstate Democrats and urban Republicans to survive politically. Proponents--among them current state treasurer and gubernatorial wannabe Patrick Quinn--claimed that the cutback "would create more competition by a substantial tax increase and/or giving the voters more understandable one-on-one battles," writes Paul Green in Illinois Issues (October). "Unfortunately, the opposite has happened. Even this year with all new districts, most House seats are noncompetitive."

Fair enough, John, provided that you disavowed all association with Bush in 1988. John Holowinski, Republican candidate for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner: "I am deeply upset that there seems to have developed a prejudicial mindset in some people against all Republicans because of their feelings regarding the national ticket."

Hey! You're taking away my villain! part one From Stratagem (September-October), published by Dean Witter Reynolds Inc.: "The 'debt-induced, profligate, supply-side binge' of the Eighties had little to do with Ronald Reagan, in our opinion. Rather, it was primarily the result of massive overriding demographic change. The 77 million baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, reached their peak household-forming, credit-using, goods-consuming years during the Eighties. The number of spenders (age 25-34) was growing 10 times faster than the rest of the population."

Hey! You're taking away my villain! part two "It is difficult to argue that the effects of presidential policies on poverty over the last 30 years have been substantial," writes economist Susan McMaster in Illinois Business Review (Summer). "The poverty rate, the proportion of people in poverty, declined overall, with much of the decrease during the 1960s. During the 1970s the poverty rate was relatively unchanged on balance, but during the early part of the 1980s it moved upward. Since 1983 the poverty rate has drifted slowly downward.... In general, the poverty rates have followed the trends in the economic conditions, rising as the economy has done poorly and falling as the economy has grown and prospered."

We like schools, but we like free money better. According to Greg Kurth in the IVI-IPO Action Bulletin (September), early polls showed that 80 percent of likely voters support the proposed education amendment as worded on the ballot. (It would place on the state the "preponderant responsibility for financing" Illinois public schools.) But "when told that the amendment would require a substantial tax increase and/or cut in services, that support dropped to 55 percent, which is not enough for passage (60 percent is required)."

Luckily for her. Faith Popcorn, promoting the paperback edition of her futurology book: "Trends never end."

How cool was it this summer? Com Ed sold seven-eighths as much electricity as in the summer of 1991, and the Chicago Park District's outdoor pools had only 1.1 million visitors instead of last year's 3 million.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →