Thursday, January 18, 2007

* Joe Moore: Senior Back-bench Alderman

Moore likes to portray himself as a rebellious, reform-minded "boat-rocker" in our City Council. Let's look at the FACTS of Joe Moore's leadership record in our City Council.


Don't let his boyish good looks and immaculate quaff fool you. In Chicago's most exclusive club of rubber-stamp legislators, Alderman Joe Moore stands out as a SENIOR rubber-stamp legislator. Moore was elected in 1991. Moore has been an Alderman of the City of Chicago for 16 YEARS. Moore is running for re-election to a 5th TERM. You may be surprised to learn that only 14 of the 50 Aldermen have more seniority than Moore:

Ward Name Elected/Appointed Year
14 Burke Elected 1970
42 Natarus Elected 1971
50 Stone Elected 1973
33 Mell Elected 1975
47 Schulter Elected 1975
28 Ed Smith Elected 1983
36 Banks Elected 1983
40 O'Connor Elected 1983
3 Tillman Elected 1984
45 Levar Elected 1987
46 Shiller Elected 1987
48 Mary Ann Smith Appointed 1989
19 Rugai Appointed 1990
20 Troutman Appointed 1990

Just 19 of the 50 Aldermen have the same or more seniority than Moore. Moore is in the top 38% of the Chicago City Council in terms of seniority.

Moore loves to spin a recent re-awakening of independent voices in the Chicago City Council. But
Moore's long tenure in the Chicago City Council adds a special burden of responsibility on him for the Council's utter failure as a legislative body.

Moore's City Council "Leadership"

One way to evaluate Moore's leadership role in the City Council is to ask him. A more principled approach would be to look at leadership posts. The City Council votes their own leadership, so this approach offers an assessment of Moore's leadership skills by his peers.

The City Council has 19 standing committees. Here is a list of the City Council committees, their leadership, and membership. A baroque array of committees, with a Chairman and at least one Vice Chairman for each, ensures an opportunity for anyone who is interested to assume a recognized leadership role. Well, just about anybody.

Ward Name Chairman Vice Chairman
14 Burke Finance Committees, Rules and Ethics
42 Natarus Traffic Control and Safety
50 Stone Buildings
33 Mell Committees, Rules and Ethics
47 Schulter License and Consumer Protection
28 Ed Smith Health Zoning
36 Banks Zoning
40 O'Connor Education And Child Development Finance
3 Tillman

45 Levar Aviation
46 Shiller

48 MA Smith Parks and Recreation
19 Rugai Energy, Environment and Utilities Police and Fire
20 Troutman Historical Landmark Preservation Housing and Real Estate
4 Preckwinkle

16 Coleman
Energy, Environment and Utilities
31 Suarez Housing and Real Estate
41 Doherty
Traffic Control and Safety
49 Moore

Of the 19 Alderman who have the same or more seniority than Moore, only Moore, Preckwinkle, and Shiller are not the Chairman or Vice Chairman of a City Council committee.

Moore's Cohort: The Class of '91

Moore was elected in 1991, along with Aldermen Preckwinkle (4th), Coleman (16th), Suarez (31st), and Doherty (41st). Of these 5 aldermen, 3 (60%) are Chairman or Vice Chairman of SOMETHING, but Moore is not, never has been. Even a REPUBLICAN Alderman (Doherty), elected at the same time as Moore, has a leadership position in the Chicago City Council by now.

Leadership Among "Junior" Aldermen

Among the 31 Aldermen with LESS seniority than Moore, we find many (13) aldermen in leadership roles in the Chicago City Council.

Ward Name Elected/Appt. Year Chairman Vice Chairman
2 Haithcock Appointed 1993 Special Events
Education; Licensing
38 Allen Appointed 1993 Transportation

26 Ocasio Appointed 1993 Human Relations Ethics
39 Laurino Appointed 1994 Economic Dev
34 Austin Appointed 1994
Ethics; Transportation
23 Zalewski Elected 1995
Aviation; Economic Dev
27 Burnett Elected 1995
11 Balcer Appointed 1997
Parks and Recreation
10 Pope Elected 1999
Special Events
9 Beale Elected 1999
29 Carothers Elected 1999 Police and Fire
17 L. Thomas Appointed 2000
Buildings; Human Relations

In addition to these committee leadership posts, the Aldermen elected Danny Solis (25th; appointed 1996) as their as President Pro Tempore, chairing City Council meetings in Mayor Daley's absence.


Moore has been passed up for leadership roles in the Chicago City Council many, many times; in fact, at every opportunity. And who can blame the aldermen? Who would want to attend meetings chaired by Joe Moore, if they had a choice? Moore's peers know him well. They know that no matter what the written agenda says, Joe Moore's only agenda item is Joe Moore.

A Tribune editorial recently said of Ald. Troutman, "Since her appointment to the City Council in 1990, Troutman has distinguished herself mostly for her lack of good judgment." ("What do I get out of it?," January 9, 2007). Troutman's career in City Council is more distinguished than Moore's - Troutman is Chair of one committee (Landmarks) and Vice Chair of another (Housing & Real Estate).

Moore's leadership in the Chicago City Council is mainly in his own mind. Every month for 16 years, Moore has shown up at City Council meetings, and has been counted on by his peers only to mindlessly vote in rubber-stamp lockstep with the majority 99.999% of the time, irresponsibly throwing away his precious vote, his most solemn duty. Moore is the ultimate back-bench legislator.

When US Representative Dan Rostenkowski, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, was indicted, there was much talk about the impact the loss of so senior a legislator would have on Illinois and the Chicago area. The good news for residents of Rogers Park is that we need have no such worries over the end of the Moore administration.


jeff o said...

ok i take it back,
it is interesting to learn about city politics through the INTENSE study of joe moore,

he has been around for awhile,
he is even in the rogers park history book, i forgot the name of the book, but there is a picture in it showing him with da mayor and bill murray,
probably where the gale field house was supposed to go up,
lo this many years ago.

collegeboundonlunt said...

"The City Council votes their own leadership, so this approach offers an assessment of Moore's leadership skills by his peers."

The city council may vote its own leadership - but the city council votes along the lines that Mayor Daley chooses.

In my estamation, Moore hasn't been passed up by his peers, he's been passed up by the Mayor.

Depending if you're pro or anti Daley - this is a plus or minus for Moore.

Full disclosure: I'm not a fan of Daley. To me - this is a plus for Moore.

Paradise said...

Keep in mind that while Daley doesn't favor Joe Moore, the two are NOT exactly polar opposits.

JoMo has mindlessly rubberstamped all but 3 of Da Mare's TIF boondogles and hasn't not lifted a finger to increase CTA funding, which is at the same level it was in the early 80s. At the same time, the Mooron voted YES for the obscenely extravagant Block 37 superstation.

Moore leads the council only in introducing ridiculous ordinances.

Randall Sherman said...

Excellent posting! The only thing your comments didn't detail is the fact that Joe Moore is undoubtedly the biggest hypocrite on the City Council.

Hugh said...

> ... the city council votes along the lines that Mayor Daley chooses.

That's a cop-out. This is loser think. This type of shallow analysis is exactly why our City Council is so very sick.

If you believe Daley controls City Council votes then you must believe Joe Moore is a co-conspirator, because Joe Moore votes "go along, get along" 99.999% of the time.

You guys may be thinking, there he goes again, old Hugh is exaggerating for effect. I'm not. The City Council votes on many hundreds of issues every month, thousands every year, and in this 4-yr term there have been a few dozen votes that were NOT unanimous. Educate yourself.

Chicago City Council Archive

The difference between Moore's voting record and that of the most Daley hack alderman you can think of is on the order of 0.0001%. To support Joe Moore is to support someone you KNOW, based on a documented 16 year record, will support Daley in his domination of City government.

The only rational position we can take as citizens is to HOLD OUR ALDERMEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR VOTES. ALL the aldermen, ALL their votes. We have no choice.

Throw the bums OUT. ALL of them. Every one.

Hugh said...

> ... all but 3 ...


Thanks again for your vocal opposition to TIF.

One point of clarification, though. Chicago uses a volley of 3 ordinances to establishing a TIF district:

1. Approve the "eligibility study" and "plan"

2. Establish the district boundaries

3, Initiate the diversion of property taxes

The three "no" votes Moore cast in November on the issue of the LaSalle St. TIF were opposition to ONE TIF.

When Moore took office in 1991, Chicago had just 16 TIFs. We now have about 150. Each was sillier than the last, but Moore voted for them all, until the LaSalle St TIF vote, 3 months before a close election.

Moore's record on TIF is approximately

149 for, 1 against

Paradise said...

Really? He said he'd voted against three- but let me reread his letter, which I am shortly going to post on my blog with my belated reply, before you hold me to that.

Margot Hackett said...

Great article Craig. You should post that as a letter to the editor in the News Star. Thanks Hugh for the link. That was what I was looking for.

Hugh said...

And for more FACT-based, on-the-ground, neighbor-initiated de-spinning of Moore's incompetence and neglect, don't forget to drop by

24/7 North of Howard Watchers


No DNC, union, corporate or developer dollars were used in the preparation of these posts.

Hugh said...

> I'm not a fan of Daley

Then don't support aldermen who support him.

Hugh said...

> Moore hasn't been passed up by his peers, he's been passed up by the Mayor.

Daley hates Moore, see, that's why he has no leadership role in City Council.

> ... this is a plus ...

Moore's lack of a leadership role in the City Council CONFIRMS that he is reform leader?

No, sorry. Moore made his own bed.

Which is it? If Daley has mind control over the aldermen, then maybe you think your choice of alderman doesn't matter. If you DO think aldermen matter, then you need to ask your guy about his 16 year record of rubber-stamp votes.

Pamela said...

The situation with Joe is even worse. He's a rubber stamper but manages to stick his finger in the Mayor's eye on really stupid stuff so that RP gets short changed. So. . . our guy gives the Mayor what he wants but "challenges" the Mayor in unimportant but annoying ways so that da Mayor doesn't give to RP. We kinda get screwed both ways as a result. It's craven of Joe, really.

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