Mayoral candidate Ed Bus, alderman of the 53rd Ward, held a City Hall press conference at 10:30 this morning. Ward Room talked to Bus on the phone, so we wouldn't have to waste $4.50 on the "L." During our coversation, we learned that Rahm Emanuel shovels snow in a fur coat, and Miguel del Valle is really an Italian named Mickey diVale.
Q: Did you watch "The Chicago Code" the other night?
A: No. Steven Seagal was on FX.
Q: They had a portrayal of a corrupt alderman.
A: What, did they say my name?!
Q: No, it was played by Delroy Lindo. He was a corrupt alderman from the West Side. Everybody said he was based on Ike Carothers. Now, you served with Ike Carothers, and he went to jail. How have you managed to stay out of jail as an alderman?
A: I’m a clean guy. I’m an honest alderman making $6.5 million a year. But that’s honest work for the other businesses I have: Ed Bus Truck and Tow, Ed Bus Snow Removal, Ed Bus Service, Ed Bus Travel, Ed Bus Chop House. I keep my business outside my government. There’s a subtle art to how you converse in City Hall and with contractors. You don’t tell ’em, ‘This is the deal, sign on the line, we’re all going to get rich.’ You do things in code. You say, ‘Hey, how’s that bubble gum? Is it lasting long enough, like maybe four months?’ Or, ‘Hey, do you by chance have a doughnut this morning? Is that something you think you can get done by Tuesday, that doughnut?’
Q: You said you made $6.5 million. The Sun-Times said Rahm Emanuel made $6.5 million a year working for a bank.
A: You want a mayor who worked in a bank? Get out of here.
Q: People have criticized Emanuel for not coming to any of these mayoral forums, but I haven’t seen Ed Bus at any.
A: I don’t do mayoral forums.. You want to vote for me based on what I do, not what I say. What I do is, I do work. I show up to a couple Council meetings a year, I visit the stores in my ward once or twice a month. I’m a guy that’s a man of the people. They see me.
Q: You were out shoveling in your shirtsleeves. I saw Emanuel and Chico, they were wearing heavy coats, wearing hats.
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah, the fur coats. You want a mayor who’s got fur on? I’m out in shirtsleeves ’cause it’s not done. I’m not taking a break to warm myself up. I am a person who was getting this job done first, then I’ll warm up. I don’t need a coat, and neither do the voters when they vote for mayor. Here’s the thing, Rahm Emanuel’s going to get the yuppie vote. Maybe him and Chico will split the yuppie vote, but I got the Grabowski vote, I got the people who are sick and tired of the yups with their little condos and their little doggies, and their Audis. If you have a Buick Skylark, I’m your candidate.
Q: Have you ever danced ballet?
A: I don’t dance ballet. I dance polka.
Q: People say Emanuel’s losing the blue-collar vote because he wants to take away the union’s pensions.
A: You said that, but put that down that I said that. That’s true, he’s trying to take away all the Grabowskis. This week, what I’m asking all the Grabowskis to do is wear your mustaches proud. Make ’em bigger, make ’em stronger, make ’em fluffier before the Election. I don’t care how cold it, get your windbreakers out. Let Chicago know that we’re keepin’ it like it was.
Q: What are you going to serve at your mayoral inauguration?
A: Probably steaks and chops, maybe a couple cutlets from the Ed Bus Chop House on West Irving Park Road.
Q: I heard that got one star in Time Out.
A: The only people that matter to me is the 53rd Ward Times. Who looks at websites?
Q: I’m interviewing you for a website right now.
A: Ah, you gotta start with that. I thought this was TV. I thought you were going to put a picture of me up there like they do when there’s a problem with IDOT and they’ve got Monique Bond on the phone.
Q: This is going to raise the profile of Ed Bus by at least 20 voters.
A: I’m not concerned. I think this is going to go to a runoff. Me and Rahm. I haven’t seen much from the other guys. Miguel del Valle, or as I know him, Mickey diVale, now he changes his name.
Q: He changed his name to get the Latino vote? Was he Italian when you were growing up?
A: Half-Italian, half-Polish. And it’s Gerry Chico. I don’t why you guys keep calling him Gery. We know him as “Jer.” Why are we messing with our names so much? Rahm Emanuel’s another one. His first name’s Ron. It’s Ron Manson. Everybody’s changing their names to get the vote.
Q: What was Ed Bus’s real name?
A: Ed Buzynski. I was going by Buzynski and then Mayor Richard J. came over and said, “We’re going to call you Bus. Buzynski’s too hard.” And then he goes, “Go down to Grant Park, because a bunch of hippies are s---in’ in the lake.” So I beat [up] a bunch of hippies.
Q: That was you?
A: There are a lot of historians who say I escalated the whole thing singlehandedly.
Q: What parish is the 53rd Ward in?
A: I don’t know.
Q: Ah! You’re not a real alderman!
A: It’s the Franklin Delano Roosevelt 14th Parish.
Q: He wasn’t even Catholic.
A: You know, McClelland, that’s the problem with you guys: You just like to divide us religiously.