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Things Looking Extremely Good for New Chicago Machine

By Kevin Robinson in News on Feb 5, 2007 2:50PM

You remember back in November, when the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce announced that it was going to develop some clout of its own. Claiming that they wanted to make sure they could protect their interests and take out aldermen that threatened those interests, they had announced that they were going to build their own political machine, including having employees of their members canvass neighborhoods.

2007_2_indigestion.jpgNow it seems that the ghost of corruption past has found a new machine to call home. The Sun-Times is reporting that the Chamber has hired former intergovernmental affairs chief John Doerrer as its lobbyist. Besides knowing his way around the political landscape of Chicago, Doerrer is also a "person of interest" to the feds, for his role in the scheme to hire Andy Ryan, the unqualified 19-year-old city building inspector.

Other than that, though, the Chamber hasn't done too much to back their new best friend, Richard M. Daley. Fourty-ninth Ward Alderman Joe Moore told the Sun-Times "I've seen no sign of business money yet. And no precinct workers wearing three-piece suits." The Chamber of Commerce has, however, come out with a hard-hitting survey that is sure to strike fear into the hearts of communist sympathizers on the City Council. Assessing candidates on 13 issues, from wages and benefits to charter schools and charity care, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper tells the Sun-Times that the survey is part of a broader plan to build a foundation to work with aldermen. If the labor movement in Chicago is successful during this election term, however, that foundation may not have much footing. "We're doing more in this election cycle than I've ever seen in my tenure here," said CFL President Dennis Gannon. Building a veto-proof majority on the council, and having the union muscle to back it up, will make talking to aldermen about business' needs and wants much more difficult.