Now, I know finding a Republican in Chicago city government is probably less likely than spotting a nudist in a porcupine convention, but is it asking too much for the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times to add a D-tag when reporting on six-term (and freshly re-elected) Mayor Richard M. Daley's push for an 11 percent city sales tax and a 10-cent-per-bottle bottled water tax?
It's particularly puzzling given the Sun-Times excellent reporting by Tim Novak and Fran Spielman on the "hidden tax" imposed by corruption within the Daley administration:
When Mayor Daley asked Chicagoans to cough up $293 million more next year to finance the cost of city government, there's one tax he failed to mention: The Corruption, Waste and Mismanagement Tax.
It's almost impossible to calculate the cost of the Hired Truck, city hiring, minority contracting and police corruption scandals.
It's even harder to determine how much more it costs taxpayers when employees and contractors with clout are hired over more qualified competitors and then watched less closely.
But one thing is certain: Chicagoans pay a price for corruption, waste and fraud.
If they didn't, Daley would never have agreed to establish a $12 million fund to compensate victims of the city's rigged hiring system after the conviction of his former patronage chief. And the mayor would not have abolished a $40-million-a-year Hired Truck program so tarnished by scandal, a federal investigation has already resulted in 45 convictions, 29 of them city employees.
"There's still a corruption tax in Chicago," said Jay Stewart of the Better Government Association.
One-party machine politics and corruption go hand-in-hand, particularly in urban settings. So why do the Trib and Sun-Times -- even as they take issue with Daley's tax proposals in their editorial sections -- refuse to tag the pol by his party affiliation?