Mayor Daley on Thursday denounced as an anti-Semitic “disgrace” a union leader’s reference to Rahm Emanuel as a Wall Street “Judas” with “bags of silver” who sold out union workers when he helped muscle NAFTA through Congress.
Daley called on Gery Chico, his former chief of staff, to “refute” the remarks made by a union leader who has endorsed Chico, formerly an all-purpose mayoral trouble-shooter who also served Daley as school board and park board president and chairman of the City Colleges board.
“Everybody should refute it. I think it’s a disgrace,” Daley said. “It’s wrong for a campaign. Win on the issue and not on the ethnic origin or the religious [background] of anyone. Do not take that point. That lowers the campaign for the city of Chicago. It’s a disgrace.” […]
Asked if he considers the remark anti-Semitic, Daley said without hesitation, “Yes, I do. Definitely. Definitely. Yes. To refer to somebody because of their ethnic or religious heritage? Yes. It doesn’t matter who they are. We don’t refer to people dealing with their religious or ethnic origin. We do not do that. That is unacceptable. They should apologize.”
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* Gery Chico’s latest TV ad talks about his hard-scrabble upbringing and contrasts that with how Rahm Emanuel “grew up in suburban safety and privilege. Maybe that’s why Rahm has a plan that hits our working families with the largest sales tax in history.” Rate it…
The Emanuel campaign’s response…
“What a sad note for Gery Chico to close on: instead of outlining his vision for the city and his plans to meet the challenges we face, he resorts to personal attacks against Rahm for growing up in another neighborhood. Rahm will stand up for every neighborhood: he has introduced detailed plans to make our streets safe and our schools and economy strong across the city and he’s got the strength and experience to deliver those reforms.”
* Back in 1984, Paul Simon was endorsed by several kooky folks on the far Right. They despised Republican US Sen. Chuck Percy’s middle-of-the-road ways and wanted him purged from the party at any cost. Simon refused to accept the endorsements.
That bit of history came to mind the other day when Gery Chico’s campaign “welcomed” the endorsement of a small splinter faction within the Chicago Tea Party. “That’ll come back to bite them,” I thought. Chico eventually repudiated the endorsement, but it was too late…
Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel’s campaign is sending robo-calls to Hispanic voters around Chicago, telling them that rival Gery Chico has been endorsed by an “anti-immigrant group, The Chicago Tea Party.” […]
“He was endorsed by the Tea Party and he did accept the endorsement of the Tea Party,” Emanuel said at the former USX plant Wednesday. “For 24 hours it was not considered a mistake. It was welcomed and and and appreciated.” […]
Emanuel’s robocall notes the Tea Party opposes immigration reform and supports Arizona’s crackdown on undocumented residents. The call says Emanuel supports a local version of the proposed federal Dream Act to provide college scholarships for children of immigrants.
Chico’s campaign is fighting the robocalls with a Spanish-language television ad featuring immigration reform champion U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez. Gutierrez praises Chico’s stance on immigrants’ rights and notes that when Emanuel had the chance to push reform as Obama’s chief of staff, “He turned his back on us.”
Chico apparently learned from that mistake. He refused an endorsement from Dick Morris this week.
* Meanwhile, when Carol Moseley Braun kinda/sorta compared Rahm Emanuel to Hitler the other day, Emanuel, who is Jewish, brushed it off as no big deal and accepted Braun’s explanation that she wasn’t trying to compare him to Hitler.
But then a Gery Chico supporter called him a “Judas”…
During a union rally for Chico Tuesday, Jim Sweeney, president of Operating Engineers Local 150, said union workers don’t need Emanuel to tell them about the economic struggles people live with every day, and he blamed Emanuel for his role in passing the North American Free Trade Act.
“Rahm Emanuel doesn’t live it,” Sweeney said. “He’s nothing but a Wall Street Judas, with a bag of silver he collected when he went and passed NAFTA. That’s exactly what he is, and he’s going to come here and tell us what to do.”
“We all know the history of that comment, and we know the history of that reference. Which is why I have absolute confidence in the people of the City of Chicago and what they’ll see it for and they will not accept it or any of the connotations or the values behind it,” Emanuel said.
Sweeney indicated he wasn’t trying to imply anything offensive.
“My reference to Judas is like Judas would be to anybody else — like Kleenex is to tissue paper. He’s a traitor,” said Jim Sweeney, Operating Engineers Local 150.
Chico’s campaign issued the following statement:
“Gery is the father of three Jewish children, and it didn’t once occur to him that Jim was implying anything besides the fact that Rahm betrayed the workers of this city. Let’s call this what it is — signature Rahm-style, divisive politics.”
* So, what does all of this tell us? Emanuel wants to avoid a runoff by keeping Chico down as much as he can. He also doesn’t want to rile up African-American voters by whacking Braun’s campaign. She’s doing that all by herself. Chico is seen as the real barrier to avoiding a runoff. And the fewer votes Braun gets, the better, because Emanuel’s campaign is tirelessly working the black wards. Fairly simple stuff.
* But Braun is hoping to get some publicity today by attacking Emanuel again. From a press release…
Senator Carol Moseley Braun will hold a press conference to call on Mayor Daley to investigate how Rahm Emanuel obtained names and addresses of City workers for a political mailing.
She will also ask that United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, investigate the Emanuel campaign’s access to secure locations at O’Hare International Airport.
Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel has sent a personal letter to the homes of city employees — and to other households, he says — in an attempt to clarify his position on the city’s pension crisis, but the tactic may have backfired.
City employees and union leaders are demanding to know how Emanuel got their names and home addresses.
They’re wondering aloud whether someone at City Hall might have leaked the sensitive information to Emanuel to benefit the mayoral candidate with the closest ties to Mayor Daley.
The Emanuel campaign claims that this was a broad mailer to lots of households. The city denies any involvement. Not mentioned is the possibility that somebody at the campaign might have a union mailing list.
And so not only have union leaders begun to take on front-runner Emanuel on their website, the I-Team has learned that AFSCME has begun a robo call campaign-against Mr. Emanuel, with recorded anti-Rahm messages being phoned to the thousands of AFSCME members in Chicago.
It’s a call that says we’re calling from your union to make you aware of the city election coming up on February 22nd, and talking about those services that our members provided particularly during blizzard that is so fresh in people’s minds,” said Lindell.
“So it was very incongruous that in the immediate aftermath of that storm, that Rahm Emanuel was up with a television commercial attacking city employees, impugning their integrity and trying to discredit them for his own political gain. That was disturbing to our members,” he went on to say. “At the conclusion of the call it says that although Emanuel is the front runner, he’s not won yet, and if we vote together we can impact this election.”
The Chicago News Cooperative reported the other day that AFSCME was having trouble raising cash for a TV ad.
Kinda odd for Rahm to be attacking Chico for a tea party endorsement when he took $50,000 from Donald Trump, who spoke last week at the CPAC tea-party fest in Washington and all but announced a run for President against Obama.
Gery Chico has had fewer commercials, but they do pack a lot of bang for the buck. The city versus suburb business registers people as a form of carpetbagging. Overall: B+.
Watching Rahm Emanuel attempt to label Chico as a bigot or Anti-semite reminds me of how he attacked Nancy Kazak about ten years ago when he wanted to replace Blago in Congress. Same set up, a third person makes an endorsement and disparaging remark and Emanuel blames his opponent.
It will all be over in a few days. Rahm wins big and avoids a run off. I’m sticking with my prediction of 54% even though I won’t be surprised if he gets more. Emanuel’s opponents have all done an impressive job shooting themselves in the foot.
Emanuel should also send a fruit basket next Wednesday after the win to Burt Odelson. That ridiculous petition challenge was a big boost.
The “carpetbagging” meme is one of the most ridiculous things Chico has come up with. Just going off the 2000 census (2010 data is not available yet), 42 percent of Chicago residents were born outside Illinois, and 15 percent did not live in Chicago five years prior. This is the 21st century, not the 12th. Mobility is a part of life.
The commercial is effective. Chico is good on camera. He seems more genuine while Emanuel sometimes comes across as someone who is merely “acting.”
About the “dust ups”:
Rahm Emanuel had been running a carefully scripted campaign and everything had been going as well as possible for him. Once again, however, in the late innings, his “go for the jugular” instincts seem to have gotten the better of him.
It never seems to be enough for Rahm to simply win, he relishes crushing and humiliating his political foes too much.
I appreciate the fact that he is trying at all costs to avoid a run-off election, but during the past week I am picking up a weird vibe that achieving 50% of the vote plus one may be a closer call than has been predicted for weeks and months.
I think Rahm Emanuel would have been better served to stay “positive” for the entire campaign rather than engaging in this needless overkill. Nastiness does not serve Rahm well, but he seems to delight in it. After spending months cultivating a new image, Emanuel seems to be reverting to his prior form. Obtaining private mailing lists from the city reminds me of when he used the city water department employees as his political precinct organization.
Chicago political campaigns ain’t ready for reform, I guess.
I predicted the new trier card a long time ago. Nancy Kacszak also played it in 2002 and no one’s heard from her since. Chico’s flak made a very bad boo boo and it’s the final nail in his coffin. He and braun could have escaped this with their dignity and reputation in tact but like so many before them have chosen the ugly and bloody exit.
The Chico ad is actually the perfect note on which to end. The whole “Stop Rahm” thing led by Burke is fueled by the sentiments expressed in the ad– Rahm is not one of us… he’s a spoiled rich kid… We’ve been here running the city while Rahm has been off becoming a Washington/Wall Street big shot… etc. That’s what Burke and his crew think, and it’s actually kind of nice to see Chico just SAY that, even if the actual content might be petty.
Soccermom beat me to it. Father Coughlin mention is indeed worth extra credit!
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Feb 17, 11 @ 1:11 pm:
I am not in tune with the Mayoral but I am in tune with a couple Aldermatic races which has brought me into contact with many voters. Not one has voted for Emmanual. I think he is going to need very strong support in the black community to avoid a run off.
Ok so I have a ward by ward list of voters. volunteers on their own time go through and note the names they think work for the city get entered for a mailer. Or, maybe a review of voting records note all people who vote in municipal elections and in democratic primaries, etc hit 65-80 of city workers. What is the mystery here? he has enough money to buy data from a lot of places and mix it with voter records to get really close without ever having had filed a FOIA of all employee names, which he could also do and obtain it without a problem. Wake up people Welcome to the future. Maybe Zuckerman gave him the list from facebook. I bet they could know more then the union who works for the city.
For whatever it is worth, Chico may have picked up another unsolicited endorsement. Robocalls have started urging Chicago Republicans to vote for Chico.
The message criticized Emanuel for his “Rahm Tax” proposals and compared him to the unpopular Todd Stroger, the past County Board President who sponsored a sales tax increase that was met with much vocal opposition. The message concluded with the statement that Chicago needs “a manager, not an emperor.”
I am not sure how much weight such an endorsement would be worth. Sometimes, Republican votes may amount to 15% of the citywide total in certain election years, but the Republicans have had a history of sitting out primaries and local races and turning up to vote in general elections for the presidency or the governor’s office.
Agree with Dirt Digger and Jeff. Burke and his ilk haven’t yet come to grips with the fact that many Chicagoans really don’t care about which neighborhood you’re from, or about maintaining hereditary committeemen and aldermen positions.
I also agree with Honest Abe. Rahm slimed Nancy in his initial campaign, and his attack against Chico has a familiar ring. That being said, Sweeney deserves whatever will be coming to him.
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Feb 17, 11 @ 1:33 pm:
OK call me crazy but at the very beginning of the Chico spot it looks like he is giving the crown gang sign. King love.
Back of the yards indeed. lol
Rahm is working tirelessly in African-American neighborhoods? Do the African-Americans know this? I don’t think so. Bigger question is: if he is working tirelessly, will it really help him with African-American voters? No. Detailed information about Rahm’s voting record and polices that he pushed in the Clinton administration has started hitting the streets and none of it is suggest anything good for him where African-American voters are concerned. African-Americans who do not vote for CMB won’t necessarily vote for Rahm. If he thought he got a chilly reception at the one and only African-American community forum he attended, just wait ‘til he sees the results on Election Day. The Obama factor has been overblown, and Rahm has overplayed his hand on that one.
The unions blew all of their money on Quinn? BTW…African-Americans came out big for Quinn and he STILL has not made good on any promises to them, and just yesterday he screwed a lot of them. Yet, he has found time to do a lot of other things for other people. Still fresh in the minds of a lot of African-Americans, this won’t help Rahm either. Another white guy who comes around making empty promises, seeking our support and working tirelessly in our neighborhoods ONLY during election time when their rears are on the line? Spare us. Please.
Daley should be concerned about which city employee gave the Emanuel campaign a city employee database, or the fact that he left the new mayor an $700M budget hole to plug, or why he is transferring employees out of the mayor’s office into jobs in city departments with 30% raises, not this. But Daley always had a weird sense of what is really important.
Well, if anybody can take on city employees and city unions unions, it’s Rahm. And if he wins, which seems likely, he probably won’t be beholden to same, unlike our governor. That could work out well for both the taxpayers and Rahm if he wins, which seems very likely.
Daley the PC police. Sure. Daley needs to pipe down and be quiet. He’s been staying out this publicly and he should continue to do so, for Rahm’s sake. The head of the Anti-Defamation League has already spoken and he doesn’t hold Chico responsible for the remark and admits that Chico has been a friend of the Jewish community, and his opinion on this matter carries a great deal more credibility than Daley’s.
On Sunday, CMB likens Rahm to Hitler. On Monday, Rahm, who is Jewish, brushes it off as no big deal and accepts her explanation that her comment was not meant to offend him.
A day or so later…
Chico, who was married to a Jewish woman, and who has children who are being raised Jewish, makes no comment, but someone supporting him likens Rahm to Judas for selling out American workers with NAFTA. Rahm blames Chico and feigns wounded feelings. Given his temper and background, I have a hard time believing that Rahm is thin-skinned. Rahm’s brushing off CMB’s comments a few days ago aided me in this belief.
Other than the fact that Rahm is more worried about a runoff with Chico than Braun, have I missed something?
Rahm has come off as very sure of himself and with all the money that he has, the prospect of a runoff troubles him. That is very interesting and very telling—not in good way. What the media fail to acknowledge is that a lot of polling has been of likely voters, not registered voters. For someone so “up” in the polls Rahm’s behavior last week and this week reveals the truth. He doesn’t have this race locked up. He will get the highest percentage, but he won’t be able to avoid a runoff.
Rahm has pretty much been given a pass by the media and there is a lot that Chicagoans do not know about him, beyond his carefully scripted narrative of having served the president and been a member of congress and his being “feisty” when it comes to advocating for the people and their interests. *we can put the violins away now*
If nothing else, a runoff with Chico would force that smirk off of Rahm’s face.
Chico and Braun need to be on their best behavior tonight. They need to smile slightly as they attack so as not to come off as angry.
Wordslinger: It’s tricky to directly link census data because it’s in queries but you can get it from here: http://factfinder2.census.gov/ by selecting “Origin” as the query and Chicago as the location. One of the data sets is where people lived five years prior and where they were born.
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Feb 17, 11 @ 3:18 pm:
Well, well well, Chico must be rattlin’ in the bushes if the guys behind the curtain like Daley start coming out. BTW, that ad is very good. And concise. It will get votes.
Just a another note. Daley is also one of the most anti-labor mayors in the country and his brother Bill working with Rahm were the chief backers of the anti-union North American Free Trade Agreement which has cost us thousands of jobs, encouraged businessed to bolt for cheap labor countries. Rahm and Daley should be doing the apologizing, not Sweeney.
===Honest, Abe, references to Judas have been at the heart of anti-Semitism for about, oh, the last 2000 years.===
Not just Judas, but a Wall Street Judas. And the bag of silver thing? It reads like the narration of an anti-Rothschild poster from the 19th Century. Whether he meant it that way or not, the majority of folks will read that comment in print. Overall it was just a plain stupid thing to say.
- Concerned Voter and Mom - Thursday, Feb 17, 11 @ 7:14 pm:
Dear Gery Chico Campaign -
Do not robo-call my 12-year old son’s cell phone, urging him to support you. FYI, he isn’t old enough to vote. Bad.
Alderman Bernard Stone (50th) has been active in Chicago politics for many decades. I think that he has served as a member of the City Council for about thirty-eight years. As a candidate, Rahm Emanuel has probably complained about Anti-Semitic bigotry and discrimination more often during less than a decade in elective politics than Stone has in almost forty years.
A digression. Stone’s aldermanic predecessor, Jack Sperling, affiliated with the Republicans for much of his career because the Democratic ward organization refused to slate a Jewish candidate for alderman. He held office for almost eighteen years. He became a judge and Stone took succeeded to the vacant aldermanic position.
There is something self-serving about how Emanuel manages to find his opponents guilty of religious bigotry whenever it suits his purposes. Why didn’t he go off on Carol Moseley Braun? Because her clumsy joke about Rahm and the inane views of a Hitler worshipper in the Mel Brooks comedy film “The Producers” did not threaten his candidacy. It is worth noting that Rahm has utilized aggressive opposition research tactics to discredit others. I do not think that he has ever apologized for his methods.
By all means call for Sweeney to apologize, but do not hold Chico accountable for what someone else said.
I think someone else had it pegged correctly. Rahm’s selective outrage may have something to do with internal polls. Chico may be gaining ground and may be in a position to force a run-off election unless he can be stopped.
Rahm and Chico are spending big money on Black oriented media for the Black vote who has over 600,000 registered Black voters, but there has been a conscious effort NOT to remind Black voters that this election is being held during Black History Month and that this election is being held on the exact same date that Harold Washington won the 1983 Democratic Primary on February 22nd and that this will be the first elected Mayor since Harold and that a current Black History maker Braun could be elected Mayor in Black History month and make women and Black history on February 22nd as the first women Mayor since Jane Byrne and the first Black since Harold. Harol and Carol both elected on February 22nd??
Too funny! What is Stewart’s batting average as to predictions? South of the Mendoza line. lol
- Concerned Voter and Mom - Friday, Feb 18, 11 @ 4:57 pm:
@Slow Things Down Chicago:
Actually, my son’s cell is one of several under my husband’s account, and yes, my husband is a registered voter.
However, my husband nor I (who are on the same account) received the same call, and my son’s number is not the primary number. I find that strange. Maybe there’s a simple explanation….? Curious to find out where the campaign got that number.