Saturday, February 02, 2008

Daley asked Ald. Stone to resign as vice mayor

Seems that Berny Stone's version of why Mayor Daley is supporting St. Senator Ira Silverstein for Democratic Committeeman is a bit far fetched. The Sun-Times Columnist, Michael Sneed, who tends to be clued in to the comings and goings of the 5th floor, writes:

The snubbing/drubbing of Ald. Bernard Stone, who has been in office for 35 years, is a classic case of "Upset the mayor -- get tossed under the bus."

• • The story behind the story: Sneed hears Mayor Daley's decision not to back loyalist Stone, 80, for 50th Ward Democratic committeeman had its beginning long before Stone's vote against the 2008 city budget.

• • The first shot: Sneed hears rumbles that Daley sent an emissary from the city's Intergovernmental Affairs office to solicit Stone's resignation as vice mayor -- at the start of Daley's present term.

• • The upshot: Considering his long tenure and loyalty to Daley in the City Council, Stone believed the request to be out of line and refused.

• • The buckshot: Word is Daley, who has a long memory, chalked this up as "strike one" against Stone.

• • The backshot: Stone's subsequent "no" votes on the budget and property tax increases -- despite 18 years of tough political support for Daley (including on such issues as the controversial big-box ordinance) -- seem to be strikes two and three. Stone's big-box vote almost cost him his aldermanic seat last February.

Hugh Devlin, who doubles as an information central for many things in the neighborhood, is right when he says:

It is reasonable that Daley had an idea of the current investigation into voter fraud in the 50th, and knew it was actionable and ongoing, at the time Daley asked Stone to step down.

I'd take it a bit further. If the Mayor sent someone from the Inspector General's office to ask Stone to resign, then he definitely understood the implications of the investigation into Stone's criminal organization and was looking to separate himself from it. The Mayor has enough problems with governing the city; he doesn't need Stone's criminal activities to reflect poorly on him or on the city of Chicago.

None of us do.

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