I was at press conference this morning, to publicize one courageous Alderwoman's efforts to pass an ordinance banning elephant cruelty. You might think this would be a non-issue in Chicago. (After all, where would you put an elephant in a city of 3 million people?) However, there ARE elephants in the windy city. Every year, Ringling Bros. Circus plays at the United Center (think Bulls and Hawks).
The ordinance - which seeks to prohibit the use of chains - has already been watered down to remove the prohibition on bullhooks. But in a city that just had to have its foie gras, if you ask me, even this milquetoast proposal is unlikely to go anywhere.
Why, you might ask. Why? Seriously? Well, ok, for the handful of readers who actually live under a rock and just come up to surf the internet... this is Chicago politics we're talking about. All those stories, that reputation Chicago has for corruption? That kinda reputation doesn't happen by itself. No no no. It's real. (I've seen it at work, actually, but that was in relation to a proposed condo development in my neighborhood, not a relevant post for this blog.) Here, a number of key aldermen (aka: city council members) have apparently been getting donations from Ringling Bros. And now - surprise, surprise - they are opposed to the ordinance! Who would've thunk?
Read more in this recent Chicago Sun-Times article by Fran Spielman. Oh, and if you happen to have a spare $40,000, I know a bunch of elephants who could use the change to outspend the animals currently peddling their influence at City Hall.