Wal-Mart decision entombed in a different City Council committee

Without explanation, the decision to allow a second Wal-Mart into Chicago has been sent to molder in Ald. Ed Burke's Finance Committee, a Tribune story reported.

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Leon Finney: "What happened?"

Rev. Leon Finney, head of the Woodlawn Organization and a revered Chicago activist, appeared to be stumped by the move. After the decision was lateraled to the Finance Committee, Finney stood up in the audience and yelled, "What happened?"

Well, Rev, it's not for you to know, or for any of the rest of us, either. What  happened is democracy as it is practiced in Chicago. Instead of an above-board decision, the whole matter has been sent underground for the benefit, not of Chicagoans who could use a second Wal-Mart for its jobs and shopping opportunities, but for the powers that be.

Among them, of course, is organized labor, which has a particular hatred of Wal-Mart and apathy toward the beneficaries of the Wal-Mart project. Gov. Pat Quinn has weighed in on the side of the unions, not wanting to risk ticking off the unions, whose support he needs to get elected.

Let us pray, that some day a decision in Chicago will be made on its merits.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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