Chicago mayoral hopeful Jesus “Chuy” Garcia more than doubled the amount of cash in his campaign fund Tuesday by depositing a single check from a major government workers union, but it did little to close the growing money advantage Mayor Rahm Emanuel has in his bid for a second term.
Garcia, a Cook County commissioner, reported a $250,000 contribution from the Service Employees International Union Healthcare political fund, driving up the amount he’s raised to $477,000.
* Subscribers know a bit more, but here’s Greg Hinz…
News of the big donation came on the same day that the City Council overwhelmingly approved Emanuel’s plan to boost the city’s minimum wage to $13 an hour over the next five years. Some activists had pushed for a $15 figure, including Garcia.
The SEIU Healthcare donation came even though SEIU’s state council a few days ago tentatively decided to remain neutral in the race for mayor.
* And then Greg updated…
In a statement, SEIU State Council President Balanoff confirmed something he wouldn’t tell me earlier: That last week’s meeting resulted in “a formal vote . . . to remain neutral in the Chicago mayor’s race.”
He adds, “The subsequent contribution to a mayoral candidate by SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana is in direct violation of that vote and the constitution and bylaws of the Illinois State Council. The violation will be addressed through SEIU’s official internal processes.”
Looks like the fight is on.
So, the SEIU Healthcare local spends a fortune on voter registration and GOTV for Gov. Pat Quinn’s campaign and his $10 an hour minimum wage proposal, then pushes the state council to endorse Garcia over Emanuel, even though Emanuel is for a $13 an hour minimum wage, but after the state council votes to remain officially neutral, the local violates its own union constitution to give a quarter million bucks to Garcia.
And, from what I’m told, SEIU Healthcare now wants to disband the state council, but that can’t be done, either.
* From SEIU’s constitution…
Any Local Union or affiliated body willfully neglecting to enforce the provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws shall be subject to suspension or revocation of its charter or such other sanctions as may be determined by the International President.