WLS-7 special on Mayor Jane Byrne's first year in office, reported by Hugh Hill. Only contains the first three of five parts.
0:03Copy video clip URL Introduction by Fahey Flynn and Hugh Hill.
0:53Copy video clip URL The program begins with highlights of Jane Byrne’s first year in office: Byrne’s inaugural address, CTA shutdown, school shutdown, fire strike. Calling her “fightin’ Jane,” the focus is on the way in which “confrontation has been her constant companion.”
3:30Copy video clip URL Hill: “Chicago is a complex urban society which needs as its leader the most skilled practitioner of politics: a person of strong and unshakeable will, a person who knows when silence is sometimes more eloquent than the spoken word, a person who realizes above all else: you don’t govern alone. The one friend who remained steadfast throughout her first year in office was the city council. And on her anniversary day, the council and the Mayor acknowledged the need for one another.” Followed by footage of Byrne’s address to the city council on this day.
4:45Copy video clip URL Call for viewer input into the ongoing series on Byrne, which can be done through a mail in “report card” included in the local newspapers, plus a computer surveys at five different locations, a different one each day that week during the special. Chuck Goudie shows the TELLUS electronic polling machines installed by WLS at Sears Roebuck at 4730 W. Irving Park Rd. Selected results from that day: If the mayoral election were held today, 53% would vote for Richard M. Daley. 70% felt that in 7 years, Byrne would be totally forgotten. 52% felt that in the next three years, Byrne would make the city worse.
7:25Copy video clip URL Part 2 of Good Jane, Bad Jane. From the office of the mayor, Hill summarizes on the skills needed to be a successful mayor of Chicago: “control of City Hall politics (Mayor Byrne has that), a good rapport with business and commerce and industry (give her high marks on that), and friendly relations with labor (that Mayor Byrne had when she was elected).” Tonight’s report will focus on how that good relationship with labor has rapidly deteriorated over the last year. In 1979, she received endorsements, money, and support from unions around the city. One year later, she had burned her bridges with organized labor through the CTA strike, the firefighters dispute, the school crisis, and the police scandal. Byrne has also been accused of manipulating police officers at the request of “reputed underworld figures.”
10:54Copy video clip URL Illinois Senators Harold Washington, Jeremiah Joyce, and Richard Newhouse criticize the mayor. Byrne denies the popular opinion that she was elected only as a knee jerk response to the 1979 blizzard, saying she was elected due to the long term dysfunction of the city government.
12:01Copy video clip URL Information on how to participate via the WLS report card and TELLUS computer surveys. Chuck Goudie reports today from the TELLUS station at Lake Meadows at 35th and King. 77% say the Mayor’s relations with blacks is poor. 68% would vote today for Richard M. Daley.
14:28Copy video clip URL Part 3 of Good Jane, Bad Jane. Hill reports from Springfield, where an imminent vote on the Equal Rights Amendment did not occur that day. “Byrne is convinced Chicago never really deserved the title ‘the city that works.'” List of the many staffers she has run through in her first year of office. We are reminded of Byrne’s biggest political gaffe–her initial public endorsement of Jimmy Carter for the 1980 democratic nomination and subsequent switch to Ted Kennedy. Another troubling issue is her public fights with the beloved Daley family.
16:58Copy video clip URL However, “the city council has remained a cooperative lamb, subservient as always to the direction of the chief executive of the city of Chicago. Why do they follow her instructions?” 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke explains: “The seat of power in Democratic politics in Chicago is in room 507 of City Hall: the office of the mayor. And the Mayor’s going to be there for three more years.” Hill: “For many years, it’s been accepted at City Hall that the mayor really rules through fear, fear of reprisal.” Byrne is asked if she believes the city council shares this view. Byrne: “I think that they may, but it isn’t because I’m telling them that they should… I ran against all that.” Hill expresses doubt that Byrne does not retaliate against her enemies.
18:55Copy video clip URL Results are in from TELLUS poll at Treasure Island at 75. W. Elm, very close to Byrne’s home. Chuck Goudie reports. Those polled report slightly less disapproval than at the other two locations, although results are similar.
20:44Copy video clip URL End of tape.