RAHMWATCH: 'That sludgy sea of mendacity...' since Rahm started at City Hall more than 20 years ago... The lies shift as the months pass, but Rahm's 'Mendacious Scripts' began in June 2011 -- the new 'Rahm Board of Education' began lying about its budget and stealing a raise from CPS workers...

Looking back on it after four years, it's clear that the lies of the Emanuel administration began as soon as Rahm had installed his "new" Board of Education and executive team in May and June 2011 -- and have continued to this day. The main qualification of the Board members and the bureaucrats brought in at that time was their ability to follow a carefully prepared script from month to month with a straight face.

Almost everyone with power at the nation's third largest school system was replaced after Rahm Emanuel became mayor in May 2011, and by the time of the June 15, 2011 Board of Education meeting (above) the Emanuel Team consisted of Board members committed to privatization and union busting and bureaucrats from out of town who knew nothing about Chicago's schools and could have cared less, since their jobs were to read the scripts produced by Rahm Emanuel's scriptwriters. Above, during the June 15, 2011 Board meeting are (read, left to right, Penny Pritzker, Rodrigo Sierra, and Andrea Zopp). Foreground, "Chief Education Officer" Noemi Donoso and "Chief Executive Officer" Jean Claude Brizard. Within two years, after the Emanuel administration forced the CTU into the first strike in a quarter century, only one of those in the above photograph (Zopp) was still at CPS. A revolving door of sycophants was lined up to read the Emanuel scripts on command, and continues arriving and departing as quickly as Brizard (who was replaced by Barbara Byrd Bennett in October 2012) and Donoso (who was ousted even before Brizard) were disappeared. By February 2015, when Rahm Emanuel suffered a major defeat in the Municipal Election, only Andrea Zopp, the CEO of Chicago's Urban League, was still at CPS. The main thing about the Emanuel scripts is that they fulfill the "diversity" rainbow that is a substitute for integrity and understanding in the 21st Century. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.But as a matter of history, it was no surprise to anyone who had watched the curious career of Rahm Emanuel all the way back to the days when he got his first job at Chicago's City Hall under Mayor Richard M. Daley. Despite Emanuel's suburban background and unusual college training, ambition and the ability to raise money and create a story line were there from the beginning and continued with unusual success -- until February, March and April 2015. Whether the final crash comes on April 7, 2015, when Chicago votes on who will be its mayor after May 2015, remains to be seen. But the lies and bullying that have characterized the career of Rahm Emanuel within the local and national Democratic Party deserve to be reviewed as one of the more important local elections in recent memory unfolds here.

Also very worthy of noting, for the historical record, is the long list of cronies and enablers who brought Rahm to the heights of power and kept him there in that sludgy sea of mendacity that was always surrounding his career.

In addition to massive fundraising from the days when he began working for Richard M. Daley at City Hall through his years with Bill Clinton in the White House, Rahm Emanuel also utilized what is called "opposition research" -- which means digging and spreading as much dirt as possible against an "enemies list" that would be as robust and anti-democratic as anything imagined by the entire staff of the Richard M. Nixon White House 20 years earlier. But the relentless way in which Rahm pursued the slanders and libels he produced and disseminated would have been impossible in the 1970s, when the USA still had a press corps that had been trained (in some cases the hard way, the the realities of World War II and Vietnam) to check the facts and not simply play "He said, but she said..." word games.

Barely had Rahm Emanuel become Mayor of Chicago in May 2011 than he appointed the seven members of the Board of Education and they began lying for him. At its first meeting, the Board approved a "Board Report" that basically said that that the Board didn't have enough money to pay the meager four percent raise that had been promised in the fifth year of the contract signed by the Chicago Teachers Union and Marilyn Stewart with the Board (then, the Board of Richard M. Daley) in August 2007. The cost of the four percent raise due in the year from June 30, 2011 and June 30, 2012 would have been about $100 million, a paltry percentage of the Board's $5 billion budget.

The Board of Education called on the newly appointed "Chief Administrative Officer" Tim Cawley to present a fictional version of CPS finances in Power Point to supposedly justify the vote of the Board to reneg on the promised four percent raise to all school workers. Above, the fifth page of Cawley's first script, which showed an increase in "CPD" costs of nearly $60 million and helped justify stealing the $100 million pay raise from unionized school workers. By the end of the year, the Board of Education that had voted in favor of the lies above was awarding major and expensive privatization contracts to favored corporation. The Board was also doling out secret bonuses to principals and other administrators out of a budget that supposedly didn't have any extra money six months earlier. Substance graphic photographed from CPS overhead projectors during the June 15, 2011 Board meeting by George N. Schmidt.Yet, with a straight face, David Vitale, Jesse Ruiz, Henry Bienen, Mahalia Hines, Penny Pritzker, Rodrigo Sierra, and Andrea Zopp voted in favor of a Board Report they knew was not true: claiming the money wasn't there for the raise promised to the school system's workers. And so the union workers in the nation's third largest school system began the new age of Rahm Emanuel by being insulted by (a) a lie and (b) the deprivation of their four percent raise.

Substance was reporting the facts day by day during June 2011, with a lengthy report (by this reporter) on the June meeting of the Chicago Board of Education: The URL for that report is:�ion=Article

In that and several other reports, Substance and the CTU demonstrated that the Board was lying when it claimed that it didn't have the money to pay for the raise. Among the other reports were the testimony by Kurt Hilgendorf, who had been part of the CTU budget research team during the previous years, and others (including this reporter) who debunked this first round of the mayor's lies with the facts.

As Substance reported at the time, in June 2011, in order to begin the Big Lie approach to his attack on the city's public schools and unions, Rahm Emanuel had to create an entirely new "leadership team" at CPS. Not only were the members of the Board of Education all replaced, but all of the top level CPS bureaucrats also went out the door. Rahm's speciality became hiring people from out-of-town who were completely subservient to him and dependent upon him for their jobs because they had not local political base. Foremost among them were the new "Chief Executive Officer," Jean-Claude Brizard, who was being ousted at the time from his job as superintendent of the Rochester New York school system, and Tim Cawley, the new "Chief Administrative Officer," who had been a management person at Morotola, and then with the "Academy for Urban School Leadership," (AUSL), the biggest purveyor of attacks on the city's "failing" inner city schools.

NEXT: The propaganda campaign about the so-called WORLD'S SHORTEST SCHOOL DAY...