"Daley scoffs at worries of political purge," reads a August 20 Chicago Sun-Times headline recording the dismissive reaction of the city's Democratic mayor about how his city worker firing spree could turn into a political purge. Only Daley's Democratic Party affiliation was nowhere mentioned in Fran Spielman's nine paragraph story:
Mayor Daley on Tuesday scoffed at a federal hiring monitor's demand for guarantees to prevent the threatened layoff of well over 1,000 city employees from turning into a political purge.
"A layoff is done because of union rules. I don't know where you get that" concern about firings based on politics, Daley told reporters after a firefighters graduation ceremony at Navy Pier.
Federal hiring monitor Noelle Brennan could not be reached for comment on the mayor's remarks. Earlier this week, she said she was negotiating with the city's Office of Compliance on the procedure for the biggest layoff of Daley's reign.
"We are aware of the potential for abuse. We're talking about how we can prevent that from happening -- what sort of process and procedures we can put in place to make sure layoffs happen in a nonpolitical way," she said.
By contrast, the Sun-Times has been pretty clear on the party label of Emil Jones (D-Chicago), the state senate president who is under fire for hoping to anoint his son as his replacement when he resigns from his legislative post. As Lynn Sweet blogged last Friday, Daley and Jones, along with other Illinois delegates to the Democratic Convention, will have prime seats thanks to hometown hero Obama securing the nomination:
WASHINGTON -- Illinois delegates will have the best seats when the Democrats meet later this month at the Pepsi Center in Denver to make Barack Obama the party nominee. It's traditional for home state delegates to get prime position on the floor.
Mayor Daley will host a delegation party Tuesday at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and state Senate leader Emil Jones, Obama's Illinois political godfather, hosts a delegation celebration Aug. 27, after the convention proceedings.
Gov. Blagojevich will attend the convention, said spokesman Doug Scofield, though his schedule of activities was still in the works when we talked. While other governors will be speaking, Blagojevich, the first governor to endorse Obama, will not. Blagojevich has taken a no-profile role in the Obama campaign in the wake of the Tony Rezko corruption proceedings.
On August 14 I noted that Sun-Times rival paper the Chicago Tribune likewise omitted a party label for Daley, who has faced criticism for authorizing bonuses for Streets and Sanitation superintendants even as he plans to cut the city's payroll:
"Despite budget deficit, 50 Streets and Sanitation superintendants to get raises" read the August 13 Chicago Tribune headline. Apparently the water bottle-taxing, (formerly) foie gras-banning Windy City has a nasty budget deficit and rank-and-file labor union guys have been asked by liberal Mayor Richard Daley (D) to make sacrifices in pay and benefits for the city's good.
So you can imagine the ire of union leaders when politically connected bureaucrats are getting bonuses despite a whopping $425 million shortfall. Surely the Tribune would dutifully note the Democratic party affiliation of the city's chief executive.
Of course not.