Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Study: Rahm More Powerful Than Daley

Analysis shows 21 aldermen voted with Emanuel 100 percent of the time

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Chicago City Council famous for voting overwhelmingly in favor of policies supported by Mayor Richard Daley has been even more compliant when following the lead of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, according to a study.

    But the co-author of the report acknowledged Tuesday that Emanuel has won some of the overwhelming majorities after revising his proposals when aldermen complained.

    For example, when the aldermen pushed back on library cuts, Emanuel agreed to lay off fewer employees than he originally proposed and scale back the hours that he originally proposed that libraries should be closed, said Dick Simpson, a University of Illinois at Chicago political scientist and former Chicago alderman.

    "He's compromised more than his usual image suggests and that has prevented some of the conflict from getting out of hand," Simpson said. "But he's only done that when a large number of aldermen push back."

    According to the study of the 50-member City Council, 21 aldermen voted with the mayor 100 percent of the time and another 18 voted with the mayor at least 90 percent of the time. An analysis of 30 divided roll call votes in which at least one member voted against the mayor found only six instances in which seven or more did.

    That level of support for the mayor's position is higher than the support the study found for Daley in the last term, with the council support for Emanuel on divided roll call votes was 93 percent compared to 88 percent for Daley during his last term.

     Click for full-size chart