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When the mayor and City Council talk, let’s hear it all — even the parts that make us blush

If the mayor and an alderman want to throw obscenities at each other, in keeping with a long Chicago tradition, everybody should be able to listen in.

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) traded ugly words with Mayor Lori LIghtfoot during a May 31 conference call that should have been open to the public.
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) traded ugly words with Mayor Lori LIghtfoot during a May 31 conference call that should have been open to the public.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

During a conference call between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the City Council, the mayor and an alderman really got into it, swearing at each other.

This has got to stop.

It is illegal for the mayor and the Council to hold non-public meetings. If the mayor and an alderman want to throw obscenities at each other, in keeping with a long Chicago tradition, everybody should be able to listen in.

The taxpayers of Chicago pay for the entertainment.

When Mayor Richard J. Daley screamed at Ald. Leon Despres, the sole independent in the Council for a time in the early 1960s, he did his screaming at public meetings. He would even turn off Despres’ microphone so as not to be interrupted. Then he’d invite the rest of the aldermen to scream at Despres.

When Mayor Harold Washington got into it with the Vrdolyak 29 — 28 white aldermen and one Latino — the gallery of the Council chambers was full. People lined up early to see the show.

Lightfoot traded profanities with Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) in a May 31 phone call with the Council. She billed the call as an “update” on the city’s efforts to contain looting and violence in Chicago’s neighborhoods.

At one point in the call, as enshrined in a recording that has since been leaked, Lopez complained at length that the city wasn’t doing enough. Then, when the mayor tried to move the conversation along without, to his thinking, addressing his complaints, he insisted that she do so.

“I think you’re 100% full of s—-, is what I think,” Lightfoot said.

“Well, f—- you then,” Lopez replied.

If we’ve learned anything about Lightfoot, it’s that she’s a little thin-skinned.

If we’ve learned anything about Lopez, it’s that Lightfoot can’t do anything to please him.

On Wednesday, nine days after Fran Spielman of the Sun-Times broke the story of the phone call, Lightfoot accused Lopez of “illegally” taping the call. He says he didn’t, but we think maybe he did, and if so, good for him.

We don’t see how the mayor can complain about the illegal recording of what was an illegal meeting. Under the Illinois Open Meetings Act, any gathering of a “majority of a quorum” of the City Council — 14 or more members — to discuss public business must be open to the public.

Just a recorded snippet of the 1 12 hour phone call has been leaked. It’s the good part where Lightfoot and Lopez act like babies.

But any and every recording of the call, in full, should be made public, given that the meeting should have been open to the public in the first place.

We’d like to hear it all, after covering the kids’ ears.

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