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Emanuel's Winter of Discontent Chills $3 Billion Bond Plan

  • Rubber-stamp approval no longer assured from restive council
  • Probe into police misbehavior undermines mayor's power
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks on Dec. 30, 2015.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks on Dec. 30, 2015.

Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images
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The Chicago way of borrowing works like this: The mayor asks city council members for bonding authority, and they give it to him.

That’s changing now that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is under siege from a federal investigation into the misconduct of his police department. A sign of just how much the scandal has undermined the mayor’s influence came this week when the council trimmed a $3.2 billion bonding plan by $600 million and delayed voting on another $200 million.