Wednesday, February 25, 2015

RUNOFF: Rahm vs. Jesus Chuy Garcia

By Robert Wenzel

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel failed to capture a majority of the vote Tuesday in his bid for a second term, and now must facec a runoff against Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.

Rahm was forced into the runoff despite a $16 million campaign war chest and a last minute visit from President Obama. With nearly all the votes counted, Rahm has 45 percent, Chuy 34 percent, and three other candidates divided the rest.

Chuy was born in Mexico and raised in Chicago and bills himself as the "neighborhood guy." He drew strong support from community organizers and support from the Chicago Teachers Unions .

Chitown residents are apparently upset with Rahm for two things. The first was signaled by Reuters last week in a story titlrd: Scandal-plagued red-light camera program may cost Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel his job

Reuters explained:
Chicago is hardly the only U.S. city to install such cameras. But the cost of the tickets, and whether the scandal-plagued program makes the city’s streets safer, has become a hot topic for Chicago’s Feb. 24 mayoral election.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who supports the nation’s largest automated camera system, is polling slightly under the 50 percent plus one vote he needs to avoid a run-off against the second-highest vote-getter. Three of the four challengers seeking to topple Emanuel say the cameras should go.

Emanuel’s closest rival, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who is polling at about 20 percent, said he would only keep cameras that have been proven to reduce accidents.

“It’s one more way Chicagoans are pickpocketed every day,” said Garcia, adding that the Emanuel administration is burdening the “little guys” in neighborhoods with regressive fees and fines.

Chicago has red-light cameras at 174 intersections and 144 speed cameras near schools and parks around the city. They have brought in $500 million since 2003, according to media reports, a figure Chicago has neither confirmed nor disputed.

Nearly three in four Chicago voters want to eliminate or reduce the camera program, according to a January Chicago Tribune/APC research poll.

“They’re certainly a widespread source of irritation and anger and will be a factor,” political consultant Don Rose said.

Robert Chiarito, 40, is among the skeptics who think the cameras cause more accidents than they prevent. He said he cannot pay the $750 in red light tickets and fines he owes and as a result, will not park on Chicago streets for fear that his car will get booted.

“Do I pay these stupid tickets or pay my rent?” Chiarito asked...A federal grand jury has indicted a former city official, a former Redflex Traffic Systems Inc chief executive and a former Redflex consultant of taking part in a $2 million bribery scheme over the program.
There is also the feeling among residents that Rahm spends too much time with crony connections and too much time being a national celebrity, rather than taking care of Windy City business.

The Sun-Times said the Obama visit backfired:
It reminded people that the former White House chief of staff is a national celebrity who’s as likely to turn up on the “Tonight Show” or “Meet the Press” as he is in Englewood.
“He needs to leave all the high-flying Obama and Washington stuff. People bought it once. They’re not gonna buy it again. Washington is broken. You can’t fix it. Detach from Washington, come home and pay attention to the neighborhoods,” the alderman [ Bob Fioretti, who also challenged Rahm] said.
Which is no to say that Jesus is going to be the savior Chicago citizens deserve.

The George Soros-backed lefties are crowing about the Chuy victory, which included lefty strength beyond the mayoral race, at the city council level.A letter went out immediately after the election results were clear, from Soros-backed Democracy for America. It included this:
Progressives not only forced Rahm Emanuel to become the first mayor in Chicago history to face a runoff election, we also beat back his SuperPAC and his wealthy funders' campaign to defeat the progressive champions he attacked on the Chicago City Council.

Five of Democracy for America's seven endorsed progressive members of Chicago's City Council -- who we called the Chicago Seven -- have WON their primaries outright and two are the leading candidates in their impending runoff elections on April 7.

This a HUGE victory for progressives -- and now we need to finish the job. Will you chip in $3 or more to build the campaign to defeat Rahm Emanuel in the runoff on April 7?

DFA dedicated national resources and organizing power to defend seven progressive City Council members because we knew how important they were to defending the working families of Chicago against union-busters and big corporations. Rahm Emanuel and his corporate cronies have awoken a massive grassroots army across the city committed to ending his agenda of privatization, public school closings, and pension cuts.

In the weeks ahead, Democracy for America -- alongside our friends at United Working Families, MoveOn, and the Chicago Teachers Union -- will go all in to defeat Rahm Emanuel in the runoff on April 7 and elect Jesus "Chuy" Garcia as Chicago's new mayor.
Rahm, for his part,  hit the campaign trail Wednesday morning, shaking hands at commuter-train stops.

"We will get back out there, talking to our friends and families and neighbors as they make a critical choice about who has the strength, who has the leadership, who has the ideas to move this great city forward," Rahm said.

So it comes down to this, it's going to be established elitist crony support for Rahm versus Soros-funded lefties. I can forecast ahead of time, before the April 7 runoff, it is going to be the good people of Chicago that are going to lose, regardless of who is elected..

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher at and at Target Liberty. He is also author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics

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