The author and a no-show

I was hoping Mayor Daley would show up for last night’s TIF town hall meeting at the Chopin Theatre.

After all, Mayor Daley pretty much invented the TIF program as we practice it in Chicago. You might say he turned it into a work of art—of the corrupt Chicago variety. The least he could have done is show up to defend it.

But Mayor Daley was most definitely not one of the 200 or so people who packed the theater to discuss what could be done to reform this monstrosity, in a meeting sponsored by the Tax Integrity and Fairness Alliance, a coalition of activists.

In the mayor’s absence, I thought about defending the program. The idea being that if I praise tax increment financing, Mayor Emanuel might really reform it.

Instead of pretending to reform it in the hopes that people will forget it exists.

It’s like a form of reverse psychology. I’m thinking of doing the same thing with political candidates, since the ones I vote for—or tell you to vote for—generally lose.