New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is butting his way into Chicago politics like some Mayor Buttinski.
Bloomberg, the billionaire, news mogul and despiser of large soda drinks, is spending at least $2.1 million here to determine which Democrat in the 2nd Congressional District gets to replace the troubled and criminally charged former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Bud Light.
Bloomberg is pro-gun control. So he's running gun control ads, demanding assault weapons bans and so on, peeling the political skin off candidates who support the Second Amendment, proving one thing:
He's from New York. He doesn't eat in Chicago.
Because had Bloomberg bothered to actually speak with the African-American residents he's seeking to re-educate — in communities where young men with gang ties or teenagers walking home from school aren't safe — he might be surprised to learn that things aren't so simple.
South and West siders in neighborhoods that plead for additional police know that gangbangers don't use assault rifles. And that banning assault weapons won't stop the shorties from packing those handguns.
Many law-abiding residents don't want to give up their own guns.
But the Bloomberg political action committee is all about using the gun issue to shape the 2nd District race. He's already driven one candidate out, and he's hammering Debbie Halvorson, a former Democratic member of Congress who is running for the seat.
What's odd is that Bloomberg is playing in the Chicago political sandbox of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Emanuel's office and Bloomberg's Independence USA PAC say it's no big deal, and there is absolutely no collusion.
If you believe that, you're even more of a chumbolone than the rest of us chumbolones.
That's because Chicago mayors historically don't like it when New York mayors — or any mayors, for that matter — try to exert their influence in Chicago.
"Let me be clear," said Stefan Friedman, spokesman for Independence USA, which expects to spend $15 million in campaigns across the country. "It was in California, it was in New York. It is in Chicago.
"This is an independent operation in its entirety. There (were) no conversations beforehand."
Of course there weren't any conversations.
And, of course, if this is true, it also follows that I am the king of France.
"We're not coordinating with them," said Sarah Hamilton, press secretary to Emanuel. "There was no coordination."
But, of course, I believe her.
And may I have a croissant with that and various cheeses?
Meanwhile, Halvorson is beside herself with rage. Another candidate, Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th, is also shaking with outrage. I'm not taking their sides, but I can understand why they're peeved.