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 ?
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.