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*** UPDATED x1 *** Chico pranked over tax talk

Monday, Jan 31, 2011

* It hasn’t reached Dick Tuck levels yet, but Rahm Emanuel’s campaign has been pulling some political pranks on Gery Chico lately. All of the pranks are related to Chico’s claims that Emanuel wants to raise taxes by expanding the sales tax to services, along with a proposed quarter-point cut in the overall sales tax rate. The other day, Chico held an event a a barber shop, claiming that Emanuel’s new service tax would be imposed on those who cut hair (never gonna happen). Emanuel’s campaign was also there

Outside Ron’s Barber Shop on South Harper, someone toyed with Chico’s campaign by sending a stretch limousine with posters on it that read, “Gery’s tax-free ride.”

The limo driver would not say who sent him. Asked if Emanuel’s campaign sent the limo, Emanuel spokesman Ben Labolt said, “Can you quote me winking?”

* And when Chico spoke out again about the sales tax plan, the Emanuel folks were present and accounted for

As Chico talked, speakers from a rented truck blared a Web video produced by the Emanuel campaign, accusing Chico of distorting Emanuel’s plan to cut the city’s sales tax in exchange for broadening the tax to include some services.

The video rolled several news clips under a 1965 hit by the Lovin’ Spoonful, “Did You Ever Have to Make up Your Mind?,” to illustrate Emanuel’s contention that Chico supported a similar idea before turning against it.

Chico called that “a bunch of bunk,” explaining he’d previously suggested adding “e-tailing” or Internet purchases to the sales tax rate, not the “entire new swath of taxes” that Emanuel backs.

* The Lovin’ Spoonful video

* The dispute was rather more intense among the campaign’s two African-American female candidates, however

“Carol Moseley Braun hasn’t been around for 20 years,” said [Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins], a community activist, prompting a verbal response from the crowd in the church. “We haven’t seen her.”

Moseley Braun, allowed to answer later, listed her public service and told Watkins, “You were strung out on crack. I was starting a business on the South Side. I was hiring people.”

Watkins has said that she used drugs from ages 19 to 21 — more than 30 years ago — but said Sunday she has never used crack.

“She has a way of embellishing her own history and other people’s experiences,” Watkins said.

Oof.

*** UPDATE *** Video of the spat

Apparently, things got pretty rough later in the day on the West Side.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* Meanwhile, Braun still has money trouble

Braun traveled to Washington and New Orleans last week to raise money so she can air television spots she has already shot but can’t afford to air. Her campaign posted a nearly three-minute video called “On the Issues, In Every Neighborhood” on YouTube.

* Braun’s Internet video

* Related…

* Sun-Times: Rahm Emanuel for mayor

* Ballots without Emanuel’s name under lock and key

* Brown: Emanuel vague on luxury tax, Chico adds it up

* Marin: Emanuel owes voters some answers

* Washington: African-American biz leaders don’t pony up for Braun

* Emanuel as the independent, reform candidate?

* Ernie Banks celebrates 80th birthday with Jeff Garlin, Rahm Emanuel

- Posted by Rich Miller        


46 Comments
  1. - GoldCoastConservative - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 8:53 am:

    Calssy as always Carol.


  2. - How Ironic - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:10 am:

    Braun is awful. I can’t stand her, and look forward to her single digit placing in the race.


  3. - Responsa - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:15 am:

    The video of the Moseley Braun and Van Pelt- Watkins love fest at the church is truly amazing to behold. Poor Chico and Del Valle just sat there looking straight ahead like stone figures either afraid or unable to show any reaction. That Carol said what she said, and in the way she said it–inside a house of worship no less– has to leave some serious doubt as to her state of mind. Her performance yesterday won’t help her fund raising efforts much, or endear her to the AA community. Lashing out in such a personal way at her weakest opponent just seemed weird.


  4. - 42nd Ward - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:21 am:

    Emanuel is up 51-14, he has five times the money of any opponent, he has the President doing everything but robocalls for him, and yet he feels the need to pull this stuff. It’s revealing.


  5. - dupage dan - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:22 am:

    Really, now, is it necessary for Emanuel to play such schoolyard pranks as far up in the polls as he is? I know all is fair in war and politics. I also wish I could avoid this mess since I don’t live in the city and have no electoral stake in the outcome.

    On the other hand, CMB’s trash talk adds a surreal quality to the race that balances out the RE stuff. Doesn’t she know people are watching? Does she care? Can she care? Does that kind of spew make her tea taste better?


  6. - just sayin' - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:24 am:

    I think my last prediction was 99.99% chance of Emanuel becoming next mayor. I’m upping that to 99.9999% probability.

    The objection circus only helped Emanuel. Nice going Burt.


  7. - J - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:25 am:

    42nd Ward, at this point these stunts constitute an insurance policy for Rahm. On the chance that there is a runoff they clearly don’t want Chico as an opponent.

    If they can neutralize Chico the election is over. I think that this is representative of a candidate who actually is going to keep driving hard through election day, as opposed to just waltzing through the remainder of the cycle.


  8. - Rod - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:27 am:

    The video of the interaction played on all Chicago TV stations this morning where Ms Braun called Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins a crack head and has effectively destroyed what little support she had out side of the African American community. It was ghetto politics at its worst.

    Van Pelt-Watkins raised a legitimate point relating to Ms. Braun’s lack of a community based role in the African American community. Its fairly clear that while ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa she had very limited contact with the community. While Senator she was outside community level politics. I think it is fair to say her deepest last contacts with the community were when she was Cook County’s recorder of deeds in the late 1980s.


  9. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:36 am:

    The charge that Braun has not been visible helping the community since leaving public office is a valid one, given that it appears that her own financial troubles may be motivating her return to politics. It’s a fair comment that she seems to be trying to take care of herself rather than others. On the other hand, a baseless charge of crack use in a church is simply disgraceful. Makes you question who is really on crack here, the one accused of it or the one acting like it.


  10. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:40 am:

    Chico obviously doesn’t know squat about sales taxes. No city can go ahead and expand taxable categories on its own without the state. Illinois has a narrow sales tax base because of state law. And if Emanuel lobbies the state for such a change I’ll be right behind him; Illinois needs to lower the rates and broaden the base.


  11. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:41 am:

    How insecure is this Emanuel fella? All the money in the world, huge lead in the polls, yet he feels the need to ask the president to step up for him (an outrageous request) and pull childish stunts.

    When he wins, is he going to do the Icky Shuffle in the endzone? Are his supporters going to storm the court like the Hoosiers did the other night when they beat the Illini in a regular season game?

    Class shows.


  12. - bdogg - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:46 am:

    this would all be hilarious if it was not so sad. wow, 2011 in the United States of America and this is how far we have come? with stupid stunts and ignorant attacks on people in a church? i am glad i just moved out of chicago and don’t have to vote for any of them


  13. - 42nd Ward - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:46 am:

    J- you call this class president election stuff “driving hard”?


  14. - Patrick - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:47 am:

    It is still not clear to me why Watkins hasn’t been allowedvto participate in these debates. I attended a forum with her and I can honestly say she was the most poised and articulate. With some media exposure, I think she would have had more numbers. She has real potential. Shame on the black leaders for picking Braun. They had to know she couldn’t win, and they had to know about her temper and ego. I still can’t understand that decision. But, if they keep pushing down good leaders then they are going to end up with the same old guard options.


  15. - Hank - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:47 am:

    Braun traveled to Washington and New Orleans last week to raise money ,,,,,,I’m confused, I thought Rahm was the Devil from outside Chicago accepting non Chicago money? Must be a lot of Chicago residents in NO and DC these days LOL


  16. - Montrose - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:50 am:

    *How insecure is this Emanuel fella? All the money in the world, huge lead in the polls, yet he feels the need to ask the president to step up for him (an outrageous request) and pull childish stunts.

    When he wins, is he going to do the Icky Shuffle in the endzone? Are his supporters going to storm the court like the Hoosiers did the other night when they beat the Illini in a regular season game?

    Class shows.*

    Word - 99.44% of the time I agree with your comments, but I have to disagree on this one. I see these moves as not taking anything for granted. He runs the risk of coming across as the anointed one, so bringing in the pres, his Chico shenanigans, etc., all show that he is going to fight for this job. I think that is a smart move.


  17. - chi - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 9:55 am:

    =Chico obviously doesn’t know squat about sales taxes. No city can go ahead and expand taxable categories on its own without the state.=

    Um, Rahm is the one proposing to expand taxable categories.


  18. - Loop Lady - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 10:00 am:

    Montrose: At least Rahm hasn’t lost his sense of humor, cause God knows he’s gonna need it when he’s Mayor…


  19. - 42nd Ward - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 10:03 am:

    Loop Lady- more like we will.


  20. - GetOverIt - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 10:07 am:

    Let Emmanuel have a little fun. After all, has he not just been through election law hell!? I welcome the change…and the entertainment.


  21. - Montrose - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 10:09 am:

    Loop Lady & 42nd - I agree completely with both of you.


  22. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 10:21 am:

    You can’t make this stuff up.


  23. - SR - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 10:24 am:

    ===Word - 99.44% of the time I agree with your comments, but I have to disagree on this one. I see these moves as not taking anything for granted. He runs the risk of coming across as the anointed one, so bringing in the pres, his Chico shenanigans, etc., all show that he is going to fight for this job. I think that is a smart move.===

    I agree. He has always said he knows it will be hard to crack 50% in the first round, and this election won’t be won with money.

    That said, I’m not a fan of negative campaigning and they run the risk of elevating the other candidate. However, I do appreciate that it’s being done with humor and not the over the top theatrics of Chico or the mean-spiritedness of Moseley Braun.


  24. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 10:26 am:

    Montrose, I think it’s incredibly selfish to ask a sitting president to spend a penny of political capital to weigh in on a race among supporters in his own party. I wonder if Chief of Staff Emanuel would have even let a similar request get to the president. I would hope not.

    As far as the stunts, I’d suggest that in addition to being childish, they’re counter-productive as they reinforce an image of pettiness and nastiness that he should want to shake.

    With all the media channels available today, you can immediately counter an opponent’s message without crashing an event and causing a ruckus in the street.

    And seriously, does he need to be engineering confrontations at events, given our rather anxious political environment? He should show some leadership and shut that stuff down.


  25. - Loop Lady - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 10:27 am:

    It’s like Colbert said, “Rahm’s been thrown off the ballot, in Chicago, that means he won”…


  26. - amalia - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 10:35 am:

    it’s not at all surprising that Rahm would head to Dick Tuck land, heck, he’ll go to Gordon Liddy land soon enough if Gery gets into a runoff. Remember, Rahm ran an opposition research firm back in the day so his personal focus runs to this kind of activity.


  27. - SR - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 10:43 am:

    Emanuel’s rep said former President Clinton offered to help, they did not and would not ask. Maybe President Obama did the same? Other candidates have made negative charges about his service under both. How does one respond to that? Ignore it, speak for them, or let the Presidents speak for themselves?

    Chico is going all out with his publicity stunts. A haircut is a luxury? I don’t know that it’s smart for the Emanuel campaign to respond the way they have, but screaming “He wants to raise your taxes!” has always been a potent political tactic and today is the first day of early voting. It looks like they want douse any sparks before they have a chance to catch on. It could backfire on them, but so could not responding in an equally forceful way.


  28. - Montrose - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 10:53 am:

    Word - I am not going to fight for Rahm and his tactics, but I don’t think they are unreasonable.

    *With all the media channels available today, you can immediately counter an opponent’s message without crashing an event and causing a ruckus in the street.*

    True, but would we be talking about his rebuttal if her had used those more conventional tools?


  29. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 11:02 am:

    Upon viewing the Braun spat, I had to refrain from chanting, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!


  30. - Aldyth - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 11:16 am:

    It will be a big relief when CMB fades back into obscurity, which is where she belongs.


  31. - formerpolitico - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 11:17 am:

    I assume that Rahm got copyright clearance to use the Lovin’ Spoonful song. Wanna bet?


  32. - amalia - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 11:37 am:

    time for a Black Swan spoof starring Rahm?


  33. - Wumpus - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 12:13 pm:

    What’s next CMB, tell us how fat Van Pelt-Watkins momma is.

    Doc Walls is looking like a viable candidate.


  34. - Loop Lady - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 12:14 pm:

    Amalia: Great idea, call Colbert now…


  35. - Bill - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 12:54 pm:

    I’m going to vote today and I am still undecided on the mayor race. I know it won’t be Ram or Chico but I can’t decide between Walls, Watkins or DelValle. Any suggestions?


  36. - Irish - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 1:03 pm:

    CMB - she is who we thought she was.


  37. - Responsa - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 1:14 pm:

    ==can’t decide between Walls, Watkins or DelValle. Any suggestions? ==

    Bill, my advice is to wait to vote until closer to election day in case anybody else implodes between now and then. Hey, it could happen!


  38. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 1:27 pm:

    Bill, Watkins has a heckuva life story. Why not? Plus, she’s nobody nobody sent — points for that.


  39. - amalia - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 2:20 pm:

    @Loop Lady, you are right, maybe Colbert could figure out which of the two stars Rahm would be. oh, wait, he’s BOTH of them!!!


  40. - Patrick - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 2:28 pm:

    Bill, you should look up some video of Watkins on YouTube and see her speak. Seriously, she is an intelligent impressive person.


  41. - Loop Lady - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 2:30 pm:

    LOL! yes Amalia!


  42. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 2:39 pm:

    Rahm is smart to use those tactics. Who cares how much money he has or how big his lead is? You do what it takes to win and don’t stop until the polls close. That is the strength that attracts people to him. This is Mayor of Chicago, not Village President of Pawnee, IN.


  43. - Esquire - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 3:01 pm:

    Rahm is all about playing childish pranks. It is his nature.

    Read the Sun-Times “endorsement” that had a weird Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde take on Emanuel. The editorial board admitted that he has a deserved reputation as a bully and a lack of familiarity with the entire city (sort of makes you appreciate the reason for the “one year” residency requirement), but hopes that he will work things out.


  44. - K3 - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 6:24 pm:

    God help this whole state if CMB is elected Mayor of Chicago.


  45. - Loop Lady - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 7:30 pm:

    K3: Never. Gonna. Happen.


  46. - Springfieldish - Monday, Jan 31, 11 @ 11:15 pm:

    There is only one rule: You can not over-win an election. Emanuel should lay into his opponents in every way he can, as often as he can until the polls close. He is running for Mayor of Chicago, for Pete’s sake. Both his current opponents and his future city council members need to believe he is omnipresent, even if he only shows up for snark’s sake.


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