Sunday, January 30, 2011

For Bob Fuller

Bob Fuller asks:

What evidence links Joe to this flyer and the organization? Could you post the scanned copy of this flyer? Plenty of people are against TIF's, Brian White and inclusive housing. Please clarify what about the flyer makes Joe so bad.

Well Bob, let me spell this out for you and recap that I am not a TIF/RIF supporter.  First of all, I walk the Jarvis area fairly frequently since I use that EL stop.  I notice stuff and presumably you do too in the neighborhood you frequent.  I also notice Facebook entries and I also notice that there are additional flyers, different color paper but from the Alderman's office, also hanging up a day or two later, and the anti-TIF/RIF signs are still up.  The issue and color of the paper is different, but otherwise it looks the same.  I am not buying coincidence as an explanation.  I personally know Friends Of Joe, one of whom is a ward heeler, and I am very much aware of their perspective on the issue.  Based on conversations I have had with some of White's supporters, the TIF may be the defining issue for him.  Moore doesn't make that claim, but he certainly makes his views clear;

Mr. Moore maintained that Mr. White had always wanted his job. “I view this TIF proposal as part of a long-term strategic plan on his part to run for alderman — a flawed strategic plan,” he said.

Can you spell a-g-e-n-d-a?  Add to the foregoing the experience of those who participated in the 2007 campaign, who immediately recognized the tactic when I described it (heads bobbing in unison is quite the sight to see), and I am hard pressed to look beyond Moore and his campaign flunkies.  As to what it is about the flyer that makes Joe so bad - can you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e?  Probably not because if you paid attention to the original post you would have noted what I said, which I will repeat for you:

Go back and read that reference about keeping buildings up to code.  Clearly the writer of this flyer wants us to know that there is out of code property out there that our tax dollars will be used to fix up.  Really?  Well if we have enough out of code property to worry our writer, then I want to know what Joe is doing about it besides putting out anti-TIF flyers and waiting for service calls to his office.  Anyone who can pay a ward heeler to flyer on this issue can pay a ward heeler to work with the city on out of code buildings and make life uncomfortable for those owners.

Somehow I just don't think Joe is up for that.  He has been knocked on in the past for accepting donations from developers and landlords.  Westgard recently did a post about the campaign finances and alludes to contributions from slumlords.  On the one hand we have a flyer complaining that the TIF would be used to pay the landlords to get their buildings up to code, and on the other we have the sitting alderman accepting donations from landlords viewed as slumlords.  What are the chances that these same donors have out of code property?  What are the chances that Joe will seriously consider forcing them to clean up their respective acts?

What is it about the above that you find so difficult to understand?  The TIF/RIF is not a good idea at this time.  Decaying, out of code buildings are never a good idea.  Joe would better serve his constituents by leading a public effort to clean up out of code buildings instead of accepting donations from known slumlords and promulgating FUD via this flyer.  Is that clear enough or should we meet for coffee at Charmers and discuss further?  And because you missed it, here is the flyer.


Thomas Westgard said...

Kheris, your position doesn't make sense to me. We have a contest between two men, and you have always been focused on gathering hard facts on which to make a decision. Now this flyer comes out and suddenly your position changes radically. Now it's all about whether this flyer is classy or something. Who cares if it's classy?

Look at the policy issues and compare the candidates. True, we have run-down buildings. As far as I can tell, neither Brian nor Joe is advocating a mass fining of building owners. Aside from it being political suicide, I'm not sure it would work. Some of these people are broke, and many don't know how to operate a building properly. There's a knee-jerk conservative reaction to advocate draconian punishment for everything bad, but we need look only at drug policy to see how well that works. Anyway, if Joe isn't threatening to fine slumlords, Brian is recommending that we give them money, so isn't that worse?

The big picture is that bad buildings are a complex problem that isn't solved with simple answers. Access to credit would help some, but you also have to ask how they got into trouble and address that. Fines are useful for motivating people who are resistant to change, but fines themselves don't fix a pipe or evict a bad tenant.

Both Brian and Joe could do a much better job explaining what their plan is for bad buildings. With Joe, there are existing programs and a track record that we can look at (for better or worse). With Brian, all I have is a one-page outline of some untested concepts that aren't even fully fleshed out.

I can't really tell what Brian's plans are. Mike Luckenbach has been shrill (and nothing else) about "overconcentration of poverty" in the North of Howard" area for years. Now Luckenbach says he had private conversations with Brian that make him think Brian will reduce low-income housing NOH. That doesn't match Brian's public position that what we need is MORE low-income housing in the ward. So what exactly did Brian say to Luckenbach? What are these plans for NOH? Can't find it on the campaign site.

I could go on, but there are plenty of policy issues to parse. The flyer is a distraction.

Hugh said...

This has Joe written all over it. He will do anything to try and keep his job. Anything. Unfortunately, he won't go to the same extremes to DO his job and improve his community.

Kheris said...

I agree, this a difficult policy issue to deal with. Draconian responses are usually one size fits all, which, in my opinion, is worse than no response. I would point out, however, that Joe himself takes credit for taking on slumlords;

Recognizing the link between criminal activities and irresponsible landlords, Moore took on slumlords in the 49th Ward, a neighborhood with older housing stock, 75 percent of which is rental housing. He forced slumlords to improve their tenant screening and property upkeep or sell to responsible property developers. He designated one staff person in his Ward Service Office to handle tenant complaints and take irresponsible landlords to housing court. As a result, problem buildings, such as "Reside on Morse" at Morse and Glenwood and the Broadmore Hotel at Howard and Bosworth, are now neighborhood assets.

I personally like the idea of using existing TIF money to work the issue of maintaining/developing affordable housing. The money is already assessed and needs to be put to work. I understand that the Sweet Home Chicago ordinance, which Joe supports, is currently bottled up and may not go anywhere but Joe's support is important to this discussion.

Where does TIF money come from? Taxpayers. Our tax money winds up going from our pockets into the pockets of other property owners and developers in order to achieve the stated purpose of the TIF (a vastly simplified explanation). The statement in the flyer takes issue with this transfer and specifically the use of money from the proposed TIF/RIF to fix out of code property. If the writer is going to be consistent, then the proposed Sweet Home Chicago ordinance is equally suspect because it allows the use of TIF funds for the "preservation" of existing affordable housing. In both cases we are talking about the use of taxpayer funds to potentially fix up out of code properties. But the writer is not consistent about it because what s/he wants to do is paint Brian as the point person for people who will pick our collective pockets for their own enrichment.

The flyer is not about the use of TIF money to fix up property. If it was, then Joe's support for Sweet Home Chicago would also be questioned and on exactly the same basis. Pot meet kettle.

Hugh said...

It's a bit off topic, but hell has offically frozen over and the Cubs have won the world series.

Crazy Craig, the loudest, most insane critic in the 20-year history of the Joe Moore debacle, has officially endorsed Joe on his Gay Chicago web site. He literally gushes about what a great impact Joe has had on Rogers Park.

Who knows, maybe he's started taking his meds?!?

Even more hilarious is that Joe sent out an email blast bragging about the endorsement. The topper, however, is that he omits the fact that Craig is in any way involved.

Lord, we should have these elections every year rather than limit this kind of side-show fun to every four years.

Somebody get a picture. Craig is a Joe Moore supporter!

Fargo said...

hell has offically frozen over...Craig, the loudest, most insane critic in the 20-year history of the Joe Moore debacle, has officially endorsed Joe...

Yes, hell truly has frozen over. Never in my life did I expect to see Craig endorsing Joe after all the years of anything but.

Even more hilarious is that Joe sent out an email blast bragging about the endorsement. The topper, however, is that he omits the fact that Craig is in any way involved.

This whole thing seems like April Fool's Day, doesn't it?

Somebody get a picture. Craig is a Joe Moore supporter!

Yep, now I've seen everything. ;)