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Lewis takes next step, files D-1

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* Illinois Review

CTU boss Karen Lewis officially files to run for Chicago mayor

Actually, no. She merely filed a D-1 for a new campaign committee, Citizens to Elect Karen Lewis Mayor of Chicago.

* Lewis talked about this last night in Beverly. “I did file my D-1 in order for us to comply with campaign finance laws in Illinois.” She also said she’d be passing petitions. “The decision will be based on what the people want,” she said. Watch

She’s obviously putting some thought into this campaign and issues that will come up, and appears to be inching forward. “I am so seriously considering this,” she said. “Before, I was just thinking about it.”

* Meanwhile

Karen Lewis said Tuesday that a $1 million pledge of support from the American Federation of Teachers “automatically changes the calculus” of a potential mayoral campaign.

But apparently not enough to push the Chicago Teachers Union president any closer to deciding whether or not to actually challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“I want to run things on my time line,” Lewis told a capacity crowd of union members at Morgan Park’s Beverly Woods Banquet Hall.

It was her third “conversation” with Chicagoans.

And she’s got 74 more to go.

* More

“I speak to rank-and-file cops and firefighters who tell me all kinds of things,” Lewis said. “What we have is a demoralized city work force that doesn’t feel appreciated.”

Lewis said if elected mayor, she absolutely would put more police on the streets, but didn’t mention how’d she pay for such a move. She also said she’d put an end to hiring workers from outside of Chicago to run city departments. Lewis wouldn’t say whether she’d oust Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, but said she would get “rid of the title CEO. Call it what it is: superintendent.”

Asked how she’d handle Chicago’s financial mess, including massively underfunded public pension systems, Lewis said the city would “have to get more creative about revenue,” including considering a commuter tax and a tax on financial transactions in the city. But she offered up no specifics beyond that.

Lewis didn’t shy away from criticizing Emanuel directly, at one point saying he’s intent on lying about his record. “Rahm Emanuel thinks Chicagoans aren’t very bright,” she said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


30 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    Hmmm.

    Police, Fire, Teachers, anti-Rahm sentiment…there is a sweet spot base there(?)

    It’s not a Fool’s Errand for her, but it still might not be wise to take on Rahm. It will get bare-knuckled dirty pretty quick.

    That D-1 is just one step, but that step is a step, and a “moving the ball” step too


  2. - regular democrat - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    Willy is right on about that base of teachers cops and fireman Just ask John Garrido who lost by 28 votes last time in 45 ward when hundreds of his police brethren failed to vote


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    - regular democrat -,

    Can’t blame the voters for not voting, even cops;

    It’s up to the campaign to vote their “pluses”, not the voters to make sure they help the campaign.

    John Garrido’s Crew lost by 28 votes. Voters have never let a campaign down. Doesn’t work that way. It’s an excuse.


  4. - Steve - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    Karen Lewis is much smarter than Rahm Emanuel. She knows how to build a coalition. This race is going to be better than the best circus. I can’t wait for super-rich, murder Mayor Rahm Emanuel to politically attack unions and a black woman who’s intelligent. This race will symbolize the struggle of Chicago Democrats: how to you deliver when your place can’t compete? Will Karen Lewis call Barack Obama an Uncle Tom for supporting Rahm Emanuel? Stay tuned because Arne Duncan’s stand on teacher tenure is sure to become an issue in the coming months. I’m sure Karen Lewis is going to remind Chicago voters of where Arne Duncan and Rahm Emanuel have been on public education.


  5. - William j Kelly - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    Perfect! My plan is working!;) williamjkellyforchicago.com


  6. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    My heart may not be able to handle a Lewis vs Emanuel matchup in the aftermath of Quinn vs Rauner.

    The campaign hysterics would be phenomenal. But the stress of watching another set of candidates duke it out for months over nothing but negativity and distractions just might be too much to handle.

    Give me Amara Enyia or Robert Fioretti over Emanuel or Lewis any day.


  7. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Many folks are going to be disappointed when they see an Emmanuel Lewis race and realize it does not involve Webster


  8. - Steve - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    If Karen Lewis runs will Rahm “hide” from debates? Will he get CNN to give him some more free propaganda air time on what a great job he’s doing while he attacks Citizens United? Anyway, can Rahm debate Karen Lewis without answering questions like he’s talking to a fourth grader? Maybe Rahm can answer when he thinks Chicago’s public schools will be good enough for his children to go to ?


  9. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    People fawning over Lewis might want to pay attention to what’s happening in New York City, where Lewis’ ideological soulmate quickly turned into, well, Rahm, once he faced the reality of a budget deficit and pension reform. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/20/nyregion/de-blasio-encounters-rising-friction-over-liberal-expectations.html


  10. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    Would those Mt. Greenwood city workers really cast a vote for Lewis?


  11. - Apocalypse Now - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    Oh, that will be fun to watch. Bring the popcorn! Lots of it.


  12. - Belle - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    How to save money? Easy Peasy but the future City workers won’t like it.
    Change the compensation package for all new employees, Include current workers who are not in the Unions who tend to be at the higher end of the salary spectrum. City workers used to make below average salaries so they were well-compensated in benefit. Now that there are so few jobs and the ones that exist are much lower pay, being a city worker is a total bonus since the salaries are better than corporate jobs. The benefits are stunningly cheap and very complete since they include plastic surgery, vision, etc. This is a no brainer.


  13. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    Emmanual-Lewis. Isn’t that the answer to the trivia question, “Name an African American child TV star and two mayoral candidates for Chicago in which the citizens lose either way.”?


  14. - Not it - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    When you’re a union boss making 7 times more money then the average citizen it is easy to talk about raising taxes to fund your programs. When you’re a candidate for mayor it all of a sudden gets very hard very fast.


  15. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    Transactions taxes? Commuter tax? She just painted herself into a corner as being antibusiness. She may not care, but that will not help with fundraising. If she somehow won the mayoralty (SHE WILL NOT), she could easily be the most detrimental mayor for Chicago’s economy ever.


  16. - Rod - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    Yes lake county democrat if Ms. Lewis did become Mayor she too will have to raise taxes, cut services, or a combination of both.


  17. - Gooner - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    Wonder if Rahm will be listed on her D-1.

    I don’t think he could choose a better opponent for himself.

    The money behind her will clear the field, but she’s so out of control that she has no chance of winning.

    Also, money is going to flow to Karen, who cannot win, rather than to aldermanic candidates who back unions who need that money to have a chance.

    Reporters are going to love her, because she’s going to continue to make stupid comments (i.e. in a question about her wealth, volunteering that she also have five time shares).

    This is going to be entertaining. Rahm’s going to have a great time.


  18. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    –a capacity crowd of union members at Morgan Park’s Beverly Woods Banquet Hall.–

    That got my attention.

    Daley always gave that crowd the back of his hand because he calculated that they wouldn’t go for any black candidate for mayor.

    If that calculus has changed, things could get very interesting.


  19. - North Shore Joe - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    ===Would those Mt. Greenwood city workers really cast a vote for Lewis?===

    No.


  20. - So. ILL - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 2:48 pm:

    Wonder if Rauner will contribute to Rahm’s run for Mayor.


  21. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    The race will be interesting for sure. If Lewis wins reality will be a harsh pill to swallow. Having bargained with teachers unions on many occasion, I can honestly say their grasp of the numbers is often tenuous at best. Karen Lewis probably has a more developed understanding of the numbers than most in her position but there is no magic money tree and cuts will keep coming in Chicago along with more taxes.


  22. - phocion - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    President Obama remains wildly popular in Chicago’s African American community. Visit the home of a working class African American, and you will find the President’s picture displayed, just as you once found Kennedy and King’s pictures. Now, if the President goes all in for Rahm, Karen Lewis will have a tough time pulling close. If there is any sense of equivocation from Obama about this election, and the Mayor will have a real battle on his hands.


  23. - ZC - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    Further evidence that political elections are more thermostatic / reactionary than ideological, less an endorsement of a coherent ideology and more a “well this isn’t working, let’s try … something else.”

    Funny to think that Bruce Rauner and Karen Lewis might win with such fundamentally similar strategies - I Am Not The Incumbent; Don’t Ask Me Anything Else - while pursuing such different ends.


  24. - Chi - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    The teachers strike and the mayor’s relationship with police and fire changed the calculus for a lot of those cops and firefighters who might not have voted for an African American woman ten years ago.


  25. - Jerry Hubbard - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    Chicago lost a Mayor to a heart attack in 1987. I’m simply making an observation, not trying to be personal, but Karen Lewis is not the perfect picture of health, plus add the stress of running a city with all the problems it has, I don’t think this is good combination!


  26. - ZC - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    Also, anyone vaguely familiar with union politics knows labor isn’t a remotely monolithic entity. Rahm might be a strong appealing unifying foe, but if anyone can find cracks between the CTU and other unions, it will be Rahm’s political squad. This will be a contest in some ways whose political smarts people underestimate more, Lewis’s or Rahm’s. It’s too early to underestimate either. I’m personally impressed so far by the quality of Lewis’s sound bytes.


  27. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 5:45 pm:

    I am reflexive in support of female candidates in my party. the bolder the better. I like gutsy, But Karen Lewis? nope. and I am no Rahm lover. Lewis tires me out with too much yelling, too much angst. It feels juvenile.


  28. - jerry 101 - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 6:15 pm:

    Just a couple of more thoughts before I sign off.

    This city, this county, this state has elected African American women to high office several times. Senator Carol Mosely Braun and County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Karen Lewis certainly can win (though I still hold out Hope that Preckwinkle will decide to run for Mayor).

    It seems like Karen Lewis has already offered up more specifics than Bruce Rauner’s offered.


  29. - Emily Booth - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 7:22 pm:

    I don’t see Karen Lewis managing the city council with it’s 50 alderman and 50 wards. She may see herself as another Harold Washington going against the establishment but Mr. Washington was an attorney with many years of state & federal legislative experience before he became mayor. If she runs, her platform will be very narrow. She can only run on education. I just don’t see it.


  30. - Modest Proposal - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 8:02 pm:

    Jerry Hubbard -

    I take issue with your statement. While I prefer that the mayor is not Karen Lewis, I think your attack against her body image is wrong.

    Taft was able to be president,Christie is able to be Governor, and even stroke victims Sens. Kirk and Johnson are able to effective execute the duties of the office.


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