Emanuel: I don’t even talk to the Cubs! Leave me alone!

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has fired back at charges that his opposition to Gov. Pat Quinn’s selection as stadium authority chief is based on secret plans for a state takeover of Wrigley Field, asserting that he hasn’t even talked to Cubs officials in five months. Using the authority to buy the ballpark and issue tax-exempt bonds for renovations, added Emanuel, is “ridiculous. It’s not even on the table.”

This is still largely an unrelated spat between Emanuel and Quinn, but it’s still entertaining that it’s turned into a game of “Who can distance themselves from corporate welfare for the Cubs faster?” And it’s going to be interesting to see how Emanuel tries to spin it when he finally does propose a new plan for city-subsidized Wrigley renovations — though at this rate, that’s likely to be after Joe Ricketts dies.

2 comments on “Emanuel: I don’t even talk to the Cubs! Leave me alone!

  1. The mayor is a big cub fan and also is main guy behind push to get a college basketball arena built downtown for a team no one cares about except him. Must be nice spending tax money.

  2. There is a whole lot more to this than what it seems from the outside.

    First off, the plan is not, and never has been since the Ricketts family bought the team, to have the authority buy the stadium and issue bonds. When Rahm says this is not on the table, he is (for once) not completely lying out of every orifice on his body. Governer Hairdo was trying to get this kind of deal done with Sam Zell and the Tribune Corp. before the Ricketss bought the team, but it was never more than an idea bounced around in Blago’s head and the press.

    True, Mayor McFcknutz is a huge Cubs fan and wants this done – but this has much more to do with other local political issues – very specifically, after the recent CPS strike, getting the Gov to work with him against downstaters (for non natives, downstate means anywhere not in the Chicago Metropolitan Area regardless of geography) in passing pension funding reform for teachers throughout the state.

    In a nutshell, CPS pays for Chicago teacher pensions AND, through CPS levy and other special levies, residents of the city pay for pensions for most all downstate teachers. Residents and property owners in Chicago (both of which I happen to be, as well as a Cubs season ticket holder) get royally screwed on the deal. This is a state issue, and Rahm wants Pat Q to help on this, while Pat caves to the downstaters every time and won’t push it through.

    Joe Ricketts opening his big mouth and being an idiot was just a fortuitous opportunity for Rahm to put this on ice while he tries to get something from the state on other issues to get this done.