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WSJ:Who Will Save Chicago?

Great overview. My thoughts again, from story I sent previously today:

The runoff race for mayor will pit Paul Vallas, an extremely experienced, competent and honorable guy, against a complete dirtbag.


Dirtbag? That seems pretty strong. Actually, he's worse than that. 1. He supported defunding the police (a position he conveniently tries to hide now) 2. His chief financial supporter is the Chicago Teacher's Union, who are the biggest bunch of slime-sucking leaches I can think of. That group has repeatedly thrown kids under the bus and tried to kill Charter Schools. 3. He's ultra progressive and will tax the crap out of business which will accelerate the flight of employers from Illinois.


So will the best man win? I don't know. Vallas has one big character flaw, which may be impossible to overcome. He's white. Fortunately, Johnson (aka. the Dirtbag doesn't suffer that problem).


Whoever wins will have the opportunity to preside over a bankrupt City pension system, an insolvent municipality and gets to work under the thumb of the Cook County Board President Tony Preckwinkle (who controls all the money) & who, among other things, plucked Kim Foxx to be our States Attorney. Have I personally met anyone more racist (against whites) than Tony? Not yet.


I need to learn to be more direct!


Who Will Save Chicago?

The April mayoral runoff between Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson is a contrast between revival and further decline.

By The Editorial Board, WSJ

March 1, 2023 6:54 pm ET


There’s a great deal of ruin in America’s big cities these days, but on Tuesday in Chicago’s mayoral primary the voters sent a message that they may have had enough. By denying Mayor Lori Lightfoot a spot in the April 4 runoff, they delivered accountability for failure and provided some hope that the city might arrest its decline.


Mayor Lightfoot blamed race and gender bias for her loss, but it’s hard to pin that on a city that voted for her overwhelmingly four years ago. In 2019 she swept all 50 city wards because she campaigned as a feisty outsider who would challenge the Chicago machine. Once in office she lost her way when she focused on progressive identity politics rather than solving the city’s problems. She finished with a humiliating 17% of the vote, as of Wednesday’s tallies.


Paul Vallas, the former schools superintendent, was the big winner on Tuesday with 33.8%, and his success shows how much voter priorities have changed. Chicago is a progressive city, and when things are going well voters have the luxury of picking candidates who massage their values. In 2019 Mr. Vallas was an also-ran in the mayor’s race, while Ms. Lightfoot went over well at Lincoln Park cocktail parties.


This year Mr. Vallas’s vow to stop the city-wide crime wave and fix broken schools resonated with voters. In 2022 Chicago’s homicide rate was five times higher than New York City’s and two and a half times higher than in Los Angeles. Those numbers don’t include the other felonies such as carjacking and theft that now plague the city’s streets.


On schools, Chicago voters are waking up to the damage from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) that has become a political colossus focused on wielding progressive power instead of improving outcomes in city schools. About four-fifths of high-school students in Chicago Public Schools are not performing at grade level, but the system keeps graduating them. The union resists reform while using the threat of walkouts and strikes to extort higher salaries and bigger pensions. It resisted reopening schools for months during the pandemic—despite pleas from Ms. Lightfoot. No wonder Chicago has seen public-school enrollment fall by more than 80,000 students in the last decade.


Mr. Vallas will square off in April against second-place finisher (20.3% as of Wednesday) Brandon Johnson, a former union organizer who promised higher taxes and even more money for teachers and failing schools. It’s no exaggeration to say he is a wholly owned subsidiary of the CTU. The teachers current labor contract expires in 2024, and if Mr. Johnson wins the union will be on both sides of the negotiating table.


Mr. Johnson has received $931,308 from the CTU, as well as $1,557,846 from the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers, according to the Illinois Policy Institute. Other unions gave him $1.3 million, but the total of all his non-union contributions is less than $200,000.


Crime is a form of tax, and Mr. Johnson’s plan to tax the rich even more will make it easier for more businesses to follow the example of Citadel and Boeing and leave town. The real-estate firm Redfin says Chicago is among the top five metro areas in the country that people are trying to leave.


The Vallas-Johnson showdown is as clear a contrast as voters could get, especially among candidates of the Democratic Party. It will test whether Chicago can start on the road to recovery or continues its tragic fall.



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