It appears that the city is out to sell ad space on everything it controls. Some gut reactions: 

* Of all the things in the world to carry one’s message–a dysfunctional, historically corrupt, underfunded city government is appealing? Really? When celebrity spokesmen do something bad, like getting indicted on dogfighting charges, sponsors drop ’em like they’re hot so no brand images are sullied. I hope this standard applies to civic departments too, and that we get ledes like “Starbucks dropped its sponsorship of city snowplows yesterday in the wake of the latest Chicago cronyism scandal.”

* “Chicagoans have been relatively blase lately about the fates of our most cherished icons. For example, fans adjusted fairly quickly to the renaming of old Comiskey Park.” First Weeghman Park, then Comiskey. Is nothing sacred?

* Perhaps we could compromise in the manner of other famous public institutions and hold a couple city pledge drives a year. The city could contract WBEZ talent to ride around on the el. “Our goal is $20,000 before the doors open on the left at Clark and Lake . . . “

* Mike Ditka’s Chicago, Harry Caray’s, and Walter Payton’s Roundhouse–I don’t think a Daley’s Steakhouse is too much to ask.