CHICAGO NEWS CONFERENCE: “Sole surviving” 1977 mayoral candidate Andy Martin says Mayor Jane Byrne was a disaster
Contrarian Commentary editor and Chicago political corruption fighter Andy Martin will hold a Chicago news conference today, Saturday, November 15th, to remind Chicagoans that Jane Byrne was a terrible mayor who did long-term damage and accelerated the decline of the city. Andy is the last candidate alive who ran for mayor in the special election to succeed Richard J. Daley in 1977, the election that set the stage for Byrne’s win in 1979.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Attention Chicago, National daybook/assignment editors
Announcement of Chicago news conference Saturday afternoon
Andy Martin says Jane Byrne was a total disaster as mayor and Chicago does not need any more public spaces named after her
Andy says Byrne “came from the Machine and she returned to the Machine”
(CHICAGO, IL) (November 15, 2014) Chicago corruption fighter Andy Martin will hold a Chicago news conference today to set the record straight: Mayor Jane Byrne was a disaster and she accelerated the decline of the city. Andy says it is disgraceful that politicians who should be in jail, such as Alderman Edward Burke, want to name even more public spaces after Byrne.
“Somewhat uncomfortably,” Andy says, “I realized recently that I am the last mayoral candidate alive from the 1977 special election held after the death of Mayor Richard J. Daley. All the other candidates have died.
“It is a sign of how far Chicago has fallen in recent decades that we now trot out ‘Taste of Chicago’ as a mayoral accomplishment of Jane Byrne. On balance, Jane Byrne was a total disaster as mayor. She exacerbated racial tensions. She came out of the Democratic Machine and shortly after taking office she returned to the Machine. She empowered crime syndicate hoodlums and sleazy politicians such as John D’Arco, Edward Vrdyolak and Edward Burke. Burke, who is a survivor, now wants to name even more public spaces after Byrne. What a disgrace.
“It is said we should not speak ill of the dead, and I wish Byrne the best in her final resting place. But facts are facts. The media do a great disservice to this formerly great city when they pretend Byrne produced any seriously positive accomplishments. Byrne’s antics disrupted many lives and she left a wave of corruption and incompetence in her wake.
“During the Richard J. Daley years (1955-1976), Chicago was known, perhaps with some exaggeration, as ‘The City That Works.’ Chicago has not ‘worked’ for decades and the decline of this formerly great metropolis is accelerating. Taxpayers are funding massive public expenditures that produce paltry results.
“Law enforcement is in a shambles. African-Americans live in a share of the city that is a killing field, with conditions that are worsening as I predicted they would way back in 2009.
“Byrne’s personal habits were also far from exemplary. Perhaps her erratic behavior was due in part to alcoholism. I don’t know.
“So what really happened 1977-1979?
“First, you have to go back to 1975. Alderman Bill Singer was the first mover in beginning the decline of the Daley machine. Singer ran a credible race for mayor against ‘Duh Mayor.’ Richard J. Daley was already in decline, largely due to his performance and the performance of city officials during the 1968 Democratic national Convention fiasco. Daley had been toxic for years when he finally died in 1976.
“When aldermen set a special election for 1977 and appointed Michael Bilandic as interim mayor, change was in the air.
“The 1977 special election brought forth a series of serious candidates. Alderman Roman Pucinski represented the north side ethnic wards. Harold Washington stepped up for the disenfranchised south and west sides. Eddie Hanrahan was the mayoral successor who was not to be. And then there was me, a long shot who acted as the ‘glue’ that held the warring candidates together during the campaign. I had stumbled into the mayoral succession primary largely by accident, after Alderman Singer startled everyone by refusing to run again.
“When the dust cleared, Bilandic had won the primary because his opponents split the vote. But something very surprising had happened. Bilandic’s opponents collectively had received half the primary vote. The Machine suddenly appeared vulnerable.
“In 1979, Byrne got lucky. She was Bilandic’s sole opponent and she was able to ‘roll-up’ the opposition after Bilandic’s disastrous snow storm performance.
“But Byrne ‘peaked’ on primary day and her performance in office thereafter was sinister and incompetent.
“Please no more statues, no more naming of public spaces and the usual blarney for Byrne. She didn’t deserve the Chicago Circle naming and she doesn’t deserve the current accolades. The damage she did lives on after her.”
November 15 Chicago News Conference Details:
Chicago crime fighter and Contrarian Commentary editor Andy Martin
Andy Martin says Jane Byrne was a disaster; please no more naming of public space for her
Sidewalk news conference, SE corner of Huron and Wabash Streets, Chicago (weather permitting; otherwise indoors)
Saturday, November 15, 5:30 P.M.
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Andy is a legendary New Hampshire, New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, talk television pioneer, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. Andy’s family immigrated to Manchester 100 years ago; today his home overlooks the Merrimack River and he lives around the corner from where he played as a small boy. He has forty-five years of background in radio and television. He is the author of “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [www.OrangeStatePress.com] and he produced the Internet film “Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” [www.BoycottHawaii.com]. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” http://www.ContrarianCommentary.com. He comments on New Hampshire, national and international events with more than four decades of investigative and analytical experience both in the USA and around the world. For more, go to: http://www.AndyMartin.com
Andy has also been a leading corruption fighter in American politics and courts for over forty-five years and he is executive director of the National Anti-Corruption Policy Institute. He is currently sponsoring http://www.AmericaisReadyforReform.com. See also http://www.FirstRespondersOnline.us; http://www.EnglishforAmerica.org
He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).
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