Greising: Can Chicago's Mayoral Candidates Stomach Powerful Inspectors General?

Chicago mayoral candidates need big ideas for reforming how the city’s inspector general is utilized.

Mayoral hopeful Lori Lightfoot plans to broadly expand the power of the city inspector general.

BGA President David Greising writes a biweekly column for the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago politics is filled with unwritten rules befitting the city’s clout-drenched history.

One such classic was once directed at a young Abner Mikva, who went on to become a federal judge and presidential adviser. As the story goes, Mikva, then a law student, showed up unannounced to volunteer at a Chicago ward office, and a committeeman asked who sent him. “Nobody,” responded Mikva, to which the incredulous committeeman retorted, “We don’t want nobody nobody sent.”

Then there is the old political chestnut: “Don't make no waves, don't back no losers."

Another unwritten rule came into play Tuesday when Lori Lightfoot, a candidate for mayor, announced her ethics plan — an antidote to the aforementioned clout culture. Apparently, it turns out, a mayoral wannabe with an ethics agenda must have a human prop as proof of good intent. Lightftoot deployed Dick Simpson, a former Chicago alderman, at her ethics press conference.

Read the rest at chicagotribune.com.