Searching for political clout's positive pull

October 10, 2011

Eight Forty-Eight

Download Story
(Flicker/pantagrapher)
Chicago's Inspector General drew attention to the ties between city government and a non-profit run by the former mayor's wife.

Last week, the city of Chicago’s Inspector General revealed that over $900,000 was given to After School Matters or its KidStart program by entities that received tax increment financing funds. Eyebrows were raised because of the programs' close ties to Maggie Daley, the wife of former Mayor Richard Daley. The Inspector General did not claim that arms were twisted when it came to where or how these charitable donations were made: It was the lack of oversight and the potential for impropriety that concerned him. But does political pull ever translate to something positive--not just for the clouted but for the whole city? For answers, Eight Forty-Eight reached out to professor Dick Simpson, head of the political science department at the University of Illinois at Chicago and former Chicago alderman.