This morining Chicago's Inspector General released his official report confirming what everyone already knew: Chicago's parking-meter lease deal was, not to put too fine a point on it, galactically stupid. Apparently, though, Mayor Daley can't fathom why this scandal hasn't quietly disappeared like all the others.
Here's the Trib:
While Inspector General David Hoffman put an official seal on what critics have been saying for months, the scathing report comes amid public outrage. Anger over the parking meter meltdown has yet to subside in a rare case where a blunder is sticking to a mayor who has outrun many controversies during his two decades in office.
Though Hoffman declined to single out Daley for criticism, the report will resonate at City Hall, where the mayor's tight rein is legendary and aldermen almost always are expected to back his agenda with little scrutiny. The report takes the City Council to task for ratifying the deal by a 40-5 vote in December, just a day after Daley aides briefed aldermen on it.
... Hoffman's report calls the lease a "dubious financial deal," arguing the city could have raked in at least $2.13 billion if only it had kept the meters after raising rates -- minus the cost of collecting the money and maintaining the meters.
Top Daley aide Paul Volpe immediately fired back at what he called a "misguided and inaccurate" report.
"Misguided and inaccurate?" Dude, you guys messed with our cars. This is America. If you'd sold the CTA for 25 cents the outrage would have ended in a few hours, but this—this is parking, fer crissakes.
 It's hyperbole, Richie. Please, for the love of all that's holy, do not sell the CTA.