On Monday, mayoral candidate Ed Bus, alderman of the 53rd Ward, released a video of himself personally shoveling the city, to the theme from "The Karate Kid." Bus boasts that he can clear three-and-a-half blocks an hour. Ward Room spoke with the alderman this morning.
Q: I’m taping this. You’ve been taped before, haven’t you?
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Q: By the FBI?
A: By the FBI.
Q: Hold on. I’ve got to get rid of another call. I’ve got Rahm Emanuel on another line. Hey, Rahm, I gotta go! I got an important call here! All right, I got rid of him. So, we saw Ed Bus shoveling Chicago. I read that you can shovel three-and-a-half blocks an hour. Is that faster than a front-end loader works?
A: Yeah, well it is, because a front-end loader is going to have to obey stop lights, they’re going to have to obey the common laws of the road, where an Ed Bus doesn’t have to.
Q: Do you have aldermanic immunity in that instance?
A: I have aldermanic immunity wherever I go. I’m a city alderman. I can pretty much do whatever I want to do.
Q: If Ed Bus were cleaning up Chicago by himself, what would the streets look like now?
A: I’m still in the process of doing it, so it’s not over. My whole idea is I’m going to get rid of the walls. I’m going to get rid of the drips. My job is to make sure that all that stuff is out of the way by springtime. I usually like to start the Southwest Side, go up, block by block, hour by hour, pretty much taking no breaks. You take breaks, you die. You just keep going and hopefully, by May, the snow’s gone.
Q: Where are you putting all your snow?
A: I’ve got lots for that. Some stuff left over from Silver Shovel. Any good alderman has a couple of empty lots to store either snow, trash, concrete, waste, trucks, whatever. I don’t want to give away my aldermanic secrets here.
Q: Tell me what you would have done on Lake Shore Drive last Tuesday? Would Ed Bus have lost Lake Shore Drive?
A: We would have not had any problems with Lake Shore Drive. I would have been out there the day before, directing traffic, salting roads, so when the winter came in, it would almost be like putting a ton of vaseline on your face. When it hits, you can’t really feel it. It would have been like a force field on Lake Shore Drive. It would have been a force field around it, with salt, trucks, maybe invest in some garbage to put up like you do in your apartment when there’s a draft. Pretty much, there wouldn’t have been a problem, because people would have known Ed Bus had their back.
Q: What do you think of people saying there should have been gaps in Lake Shore Drive, to let the cars turn around? Could you have knocked those out with a sledgehammer?
A: It’s really issue to armchair quarterback. Daley wanted to do it a certain way, we did it a certain way. All hail Mayor Daley. If any of us were in there in any other situation, we couldn’t have done it as good as he did. He’s the man, he’s the mayor, he’s God, he’s our Allah, so I’m not going to go on tape with you and say he did it wrong, because that’s bull----.
Q: If he’s so powerful, why did it snow 21 inches in Chicago?
A: Maybe there’s a reason. Maybe he needed to clean some stuff out. Maybe the psyche of the city needed some snow to remind us that we’re all human. You ever think of that? You ever take philosophy class?
Q: I did take a couple philosophy classes.
A: You should go over to the Discovery Center and take another one.
Q: Are you teaching one?
A: I’ll teach you one. The philosophy of getting paid.
Coming soon: Ed Bus on his mayoral campaign.