* Last night’s WTTW mayoral debate…
As always with that channel, the debate was focused and crisp. The candidates seemed to shy away from too many overt attacks on each other, but they all came across quite well, I thought. Nothing even approaching a knockout punch on Emanuel was thrown. I’m told to expect something far more brutal during ABC7’s Thursday debate. Let’s get to the coverage…
Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel said Monday he would re-organize the Chicago City Council — and strip Ald. Ed Burke of his police bodyguards and possibly his Finance Committee chairmanship — if he is elected mayor.
“There will be reform of the committees. There will be some committees closed, chairmanships will change,” Emanuel said. “There will be a shared sacrifice, including for Ed Burke and all the City Council. If Ed Burke has six police officers, that just can’t continue.”
During an hour-long debate at WTTW-Channel 11, Emanuel was not the only mayoral candidate who talked about reducing the starring role that Burke has played in the City Council.
City Clerk Miguel del Valle said the Council has developed “an unhealthy dependence upon Ald. Burke,” and it has to stop.
“It shouldn’t be one-person rule — you can’t have everything going through one alderman,” del Valle said. “It does not mean that Ald. Burke will not be Finance Committee chairman. It does mean that Ald. Burke will have to give up a lot of that power that he has exercised to make the City Council a more democratic place.”
Burke has put himself out there as Chico’s main backer. “Mess with the bull, get the horn” goes both ways.
Asked what Daley’s biggest mistake was, del Valle listed the mayor’s overnight tearing up of Meigs Field, while Braun said Daley hadn’t done enough to build the city’s neighborhoods. Chico said Daley had too narrow of a relationship with the council. Emanuel said the mayor was overly aggressive about pursuing the 2016 Olympics at the expense of economic development.
* Fox Chicago
* The post-debate spinning was far more harsh…
Chico said he will spend the final days focusing on Emanuel’s tax proposal, which would decrease the sales tax by a quarter-point in return for allowing unspecified services to be taxed. Chico stopped just short of calling Emanuel a liar.
“He is a pathological evader of the truth. We have no answers and the citizens are about to go to the polls in a couple of days,” Chico said in reference to the role Emanuel played on the Freddie Mac board and failing to say what services would be included in his sales-tax swap plan.
“Families are going to be sucker punched with this tax,” Chico said, adding that he has repeatedly asked for a list of services and received “nothing.” […]
On [Emanuel’s] criticism of Daley focusing too much on the Olympics: “Too much of our economic future was pinned on one endeavor and that was the Olympics. And when we didn’t get it, we were left without an economic strategy and I think we need one.”
* Meanwhile, Mark Brown skewered Emanuel’s sales tax reduction…
If Emanuel cuts the city sales tax rate to 1 percent from the current 1.25 percent, how much would his hypothetical “working family” need to spend to save $200 in sales tax? Answer: $80,000. […]
Emanuel’s campaign said it was basing its savings estimate on a median family income of $46,000 and an assumption the family spent about one-fourth of its income on items subject to sales tax. Under that scenario, I told them, that family would realize a savings of just $28.75 in sales taxes. (One-fourth of $46.000 is $11,500, multiplied by .0025) […]
In one sentence he’ll talk about the 9.75 percent overall sales tax rate charged in Chicago and in the next mention his one-fifth proposed reduction, when he’s really only lowering the city’s 1.25 percent portion. Then he throws in the planned half-cent reduction in the county’s portion of the sales tax as if he has something to do with it, when Toni Preckwinkle will be doing all the heavy lifting.
That’s before you even get into the legitimate questions that Gery Chico has raised about what services would actually be subject to Emanuel’s luxury tax.
When you do the math, Emanuel’s tax plan doesn’t add up.
…Adding… Zorn said much the same thing on Sunday.
* And Emanuel took Chico to task for accepting a Chicago tea party endorsement…
Speaking at a Northwest Side luncheon for seniors hosted by outgoing Ald. Patrick Levar (45th), Emanuel also criticized rival Gery Chico for “accepting … with enthusiasm” the endorsement of the Chicago Tea Party Patriots, a conservative activist group.
“The entire purpose of the Tea Party is to stop the president, his agenda, and stop his presidency, and the notion that one would accept it with enthusiasm means that they see the Tea Party as legitimate in what they’re pushing in trying to stop President Obama,” Emanuel said.
Chico issued a news release blasting Emanuel for claiming that Chico had accepted the endorsement. While Chico has not renounced the endorsement, he said, “I am a lifelong Democrat and a fighter for the working families of Chicago. Unlike Mr. Emanuel falsely suggests, I did not seek the endorsement of this group and in reality, have nothing in common with them.”
Here’s the Chico campaign’s prior statement…
“Gery has a record of building coalitions across racial, ethnic and party lines to achieve common goals,” Chico’s Press Secretary Brooke Anderson told HuffPost Chicago. “We welcome their support in addition to the broad range of support we have received from a diverse range of organizations, elected officials and residents as we fight to take Chicago in a new direction.”
Last night, Chico briefly said he repudiated the endorsement, but it was quickly glossed over.
* New poll projects victory for Emanuel: The fourth and final We Ask America poll conducted by the Chicago Retail Merchants Association (CRMA) found Emanuel building onto an already commanding lead among every demographic and geographic category tested. Emanuel was favored by 58.2 percent of respondents, an increase of 6 points since the January 24 poll. His closest rival, former school board president Gery Chico, garnered 23.7 percent. Emanuel’s lead of 35 points is well outside the poll’s margin of error of 2.06 points. [Full results here.]
* Braun’s remarks on HIV funding questioned
* Workers Question Emanuel’s Visit to Secured Airport Warehouse: The Rahm Emanuel campaign describes it as a goodwill visit, but there are questions about whether the mayoral candidate broke rules when he stopped by O’Hare International Airport on the night the blizzard ended. Some aviation department employees told us they were stunned when Emanuel came into their secured building with donuts and coffee. The warehouse, which is on airport property, is surrounded by a tall chain link fence topped with barbed wire and security cameras. You have to show an aviation department credential just to get past the gate.
* Gery Chico’s Success Based on Hardworking Grandparents, Diverse Family