Bill Daley is running for governor of Illinois, and the last thing he wants voters to do is tag him a “Daley.” Recent polling has showed that the “Daley” name is a big negative. Bill Daley is from the famous Chicago “Daley” family. His father was Richard J. Daley, mayor from 1955 to 1976. His brother, Richard M. Daley, was mayor of Chicago from 1989 to 2011. Bill Daley has made a concerted effort to separate himself from the “Daley” name, most especially the most recent mayor, Richard M. Daley.
However, listening closely, Bill Daley sounded very much like his brother, Richard M. Daley, when it came to the issue of building a “third airport” in Peotone.
On the day that Governor Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 20, the bill authorizing a “third airport,” Bill Daley blasted the bill. Bill Daley, like his brother, questioned the viability of a “third airport” in Peotone. Bill Daley, like his brother Richard M. Daley, questioned whether there was a “detailed plan put forth to pay for it.”
Governor Pat Quinn says there is a plan and that is the rub. Bill Daley wants Pat Quinn’s job. The Peotone airport looked like a pretty big target in attacking Governor Quinn.
Is there a plan?
Is there a need?
According to Phil Kadner of the SouthtownStar, “The FAA identified a need for a third Chicago airport more than 30 years ago.”
In the mid to late 1990’s, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., had been lobbying heavily for the “third airport.” According to Phil Kadner, Congressman Jackson became convinced that Bill Daley, the mayor’s brother, current gubernatorial candidate and commerce secretary in the Clinton administration at the time, had scuttled the project.
That was his suspicion and the suspicion of many others that favored the airport at the time. Bill Daley was carrying the water for his brother, the then mayor of Chicago.
Yesterday, Bill Daley told CBSLocal2 News his views about this airport at Peotone. “There must be some economic plan, obviously, for the southern suburbs. They are struggling mightily, but every election cycle we get somebody dangling this airport thing that somebody else is going to pay for – and allegedly not the taxpayers of Illinois – that I think often times has been a cruel hoax on people.”
Bill Daley also questioned how the cash-strapped state could afford to borrow money to fund construction of an airport when its credit rating is the worst of any state in the nation.
“I don’t think they’re going to be able to float $5 billion worth of bonds to build an airport,” Daley said. “So, once again, we have politicians running around saying to people of the south suburbs ‘don’t worry, this is coming. … The plane’s going to be going down the runway soon.'”
However, Bill Daley has not presented a plan of his own on revitalizing the south suburban region. Or a plan that would be equivalent to the economic jolt of a new airport. The feeling is that Chicago politicians have long ignored the south suburban area.
Dating back to 1990, shortly after the FAA identified the need for the airport in the south region. Leading the opposition was none other than then-Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Just like his brother Bill Daley, Mayor Richard M. Daley said then that there was no plan.
Just like his brother Bill Daley, Mayor Richard M. Daley said there was no money.
It was clearly not about a plan or about the money back then. It was about the power.
In 1995, Governor Jim Edgar very much wanted the Peotone airport and places it under a regional airport authority. Governor Edgar wanted the power. Mayor Daley would not yield to Edgar. The proposed Edgar airport authority would also control O’Hare and Midway airports. Mayor Daley called it a “power grab.”
In one of his trademark one-liners, Daley said to the Chicago Tribune on Feb. 15, 1995, in a story bylined by John Kass and Gary Washburn. “The next week, they’ll take our (water) filtration plant. They want water.”
Mayor Daley even went as far to propose a Lake Calumet airport, a plan that many did not take seriously but was thought to distract attention from the Peotone airport plan.
But Mayor Daley is no longer the mayor of Chicago and Bill Daley wants to be governor of the entire state of Illinois. Like his brother, he will have none of this airport business.
In spite of the growing support for the “third airport.” Governor Quinn is leading the charge. State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-40), a rising star in the Democratic Party, is supporting the plan and is credited for shepherding the bill through the Illinois Senate. Compromising with the Mayor Emanuel forces by adding the DePaul stadium to the bill, making it difficult for that group to oppose the bill.
The balance of political power in the state of Illinois has changed significantly since either Daley was mayor.
The Chicago City Hall Examiner attempted to contact Bill Daley, but several attempts went also went unanswered. Attempts to reach Governor Quinn’s office and Mayor Emanuel’s office also went unanswered.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns. John is an unpaid volunteer and social media advisor at Robin Kelly for Congress.