“Hey, Benny, who you voting for?”

The Daily Reader

Strolling through my neighborhood one fine afternoon, my mind on Patrick Beverley and the Bulls, when what did I see?

A house bearing (not one, but two) Vallas-For-Mayor signs. Including one of those jumbo signs that’s at least three feet high. My first thought was along the lines of . . .

What kind of dimwit would want the world to know they are so proud to be for Vallas?

Oh, gentle readers, I humbly apologize for that thought. It was wrong, wrong, wrong of me.

Something you should know about the Reader . . .

It’s a nonprofit newsroom, like WBEZ and the Sun-Times. As such, we’re not supposed to make anything resembling a candidate endorsement. 

I won’t even tell you who I’m voting for. No, when it comes to elections, I’m like Switzerland. Neutral as can be.

Not that some people don’t try to trick me into revealing who I support. Oh, my life’s crawling with them, like this dude I’ll call “sneaky guy.”

Sneaky guy: Hey, Benny, who you voting for?

Me: Not saying!

Sneaky guy: Does he have the same first name as the actor who played Joey in the western, Shane?

Me: I will never tell!

Sneaky: Does he have the same last name as the legendary Lakers point guard?

Me: My lips are sealed!

There’s even a journalist I’ll call Charlie. He sends me emails assuring me that, according to his understanding of the law, it’s perfectly permissible for me to reveal who I’m voting for.

To which I respond by quoting Abraham Lincoln . . .

“Any journalist who takes legal advice from another journalist has a fool for a client.”

Well, that may not be Lincoln’s exact quote. But you get the gist.

Anyway, back to the rest of the story . . .

Curious about the identity of my neighborhood’s most passionate Vallas fan, I went to my computer as soon as I got home and found the property index number for his address on the 
County Clerk’s website. Then I took that PIN to the Treasurer’s site to find his identity, where I discovered to my horror . . .

The dude was paying way less in property taxes than me! Even though his house was bigger and on a nicer block.

Suddenly, I forgot all about the guy with the Vallas signs as I erupted in anger at Mayor Daley and his then Revenue Department sidekick (Paul Vallas) for inventing the TIF program in Chicago.

Which has added billions of untold dollars to our property tax bills over the years, untold because it’s kept off our property bills so we don’t know we’re paying it.

Not that my anger at Daley & Vallas in any way suggests who I might be voting for in this year’s mayoral.

Oh, no, this is to be construed as an endorsement—you hear that, Charlie?! Remember, when it comes to elections, I’m neutral. Just like Switzerland.

🎙Listen to The Ben Joravsky Show 🎙

What Ben's Reading

  Every Man A King, the latest novel by Walter Mosley. Another great book from the master. Like most Mosley novels, the plot’s hard to follow. But there are so many witty lines and sagacious observations that I just don’t care. 
 Emily McClanahan on the latest collection of essays from S.L. Wisenberg
 Ben Joravsky on Paul Vallas’ obsession with high-stakes testing.

Best of the Ben J. Show

  Alderwoman Jeanette Taylor tells it like it is about the mayor’s race & more
 Denali Dasgupta deconstructs the misleading budget narratives we have been fed
Dave Glowacz on the latest City Council antics 


The Girls shows Chicago, warts and all
Edna Ferber’s 1921 novel traces the constrained lives of three generations of women.

by Dmitry Samarov Read here 

Beckettian summit
Kayla Boye is a force to be reckoned with in Happy Days.

by Jack Helbig Read here 

Something new is on the way…

This Thursday, we’re launching a bi-monthly newsletter spotlighting the best of Chicago’s performing and visual arts!



Issue of
Mar. 23 – April 5, 2023 
Vol. 52, No. 12

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