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Because… Burke!

Monday, Feb 11, 2019

* He’s the new Chicago bogeyman. From a press release…

Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot released the following statement in response to recent news regarding Alderman Ed Burke.

“Every day, it’s a different mayoral candidate connected with Ed Burke in a different way,” said Lightfoot. “Just in the past few days, we’ve read about Gery Chico defending his decision to serve as Ed Burke’s chief of policy during Burke’s racist Council Wars, Garry McCarthy certifying six ex-Chicago cops as special police officers for Ed Burke, and Toni Preckwinkle ally Joe Berrios giving Ed Burke a property tax break just for asking.

“Voters don’t want a mayor bought and paid for by Ed Burke. While an endless stream of news stories shows mayoral candidates tied to Ed Burke and his broken political machine, I stand apart as an independent reformer ready to lead our city in a new, progressive direction.”

The past is always fair game, of course, and so she’s well within her rights to go after her opponents on this stuff. It would be malpractice not to do so.

But even if Burke wins reelection he’ll be a shell of his former self. And there’s nobody in the city council who can easily fill those shoes.

* Related…

* Sun-Times Endorsement: : Lori Lightfoot for mayor — and a new Chicago Way: Mayoral candidates and re-election-seeking aldermen have been tripping over each other in a rush to condemn Burke and propose ethics reforms. Lightfoot was way ahead of them. She targeted Burke for removal as Finance chairman even before the unprecedented Nov. 29 raid on his ward and City Hall offices. She also released an ethics plan that would prohibit aldermen from holding paid side jobs that conflict with the city’s interests.

* Lori Lightfoot’s new ad takes aim at the issue that’s redefined the Chicago mayor’s race: Public corruption: “Candidates try distancing themselves from Ed Burke,” Lightfoot says in the ad, titled “Light,” before photos of City Hall veteran Gery Chico, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza and former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley appear on the dimly lit screen. “The truth is, they’re all tied to the same broken Chicago machine. Except me.”

* Lightfoot TV ad shines light on ‘Burke Four’ she says are ‘like cockroaches’: According to Lightfoot, the commercial was filmed at the Palmer House Hilton in a room with an “escape exit” where Al Capone used to play poker; he could sneak out that secret door when his lookouts in the lobby told him the police were on their way up.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

22 Comments
  1. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 11:01 am:

    I don’t care what she says about Burke, but she wants an elected school board unlike Daley, Chico and Vallas. That’s a step in the right direction.


  2. - Huh? - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 11:01 am:

    Is association with Alderman Burke the “black-face” of Chicago politics? So past association is current and future disqualification to political office?

    Mr. Burke has been around for a very long time. Anyone who wanted to get a leg up in Chicago politics genuflected to the longtime political powers of Burke, Madigan, and Daley. It is probably safe to say that all of the current candidates sought the blessing of Burke.


  3. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    I voted for Lightfoot today and it felt good. I don’t care if she “can’t win” or whatever else the front runners will say about her. It just felt good to vote for a decent, thoughtful candidate for a change.

    If you want things to change in Chicago, stop voting for the same old candidates with the same tired campaign rhetoric.


  4. - Keyrock - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    Ms. Lightfoot’s analogy is apt.

    A federal corruption prosecutor one said that corruption investigations are just picking up the rocks, exposing some roaches to sunlight, squishing what roaches you can, and putting the rocks back down — after which more roaches come crawling back. It needs to be done, but that effect doesn’t last,

    Let’s hope the Burke investigation is different. And that this election is different.


  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 11:08 am:

    I think there are many ways Lightfoot can make Burke an issue without calling her opponents “cockroaches.”

    That’s how Tony Montana talked about the Diaz Brothers in “Scarface.”

    There’s no good reason to go that way. It’s just low-rent, dehumanizing.


  6. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    Do you know what a haza is Word?


  7. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    == And there’s nobody in the city council who can easily fill those shoes. ==

    His shoes aren’t that big.

    Burke was a bully. He bullied people around for years, and the media protected him by building a false personality cult around his intelligence and cunning. Like all bullies, as soon as some stood up to him a little, and wired him up, he crumbled like a house built on sand.

    Lightfoot served in the Daley administration, so her attacks on Bill Daley are pretty hypocritical. I don’t like calling people cockroaches either. But Preckwinkle’s, Mendoza’s, and Chico’s ties to Burke make me think twice about them.


  8. - Responsa - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    Elections have consequences. Yes. It’s important to keep that firmly in mind the same way when the person you *didn’t* want does win the election as when the person you supported is the one who wins.


  9. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 11:36 am:

    –Do you know what a haza is Word?–

    Yeah, well, we all know what happened to Frank.


  10. - Roman - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    == It is probably safe to say that all of the current candidates sought the blessing of Burke. ==

    Yep. And there’s a good chance some of them are on tape asking for his blessing (or a favor for a client, or support for a judicial candidate, etc.)


  11. - Been There - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 12:10 pm:

    ===But even if Burke wins reelection he’ll be a shell of his former self. And there’s nobody in the city council who can easily fill those shoes. ===
    I’m an old school guy and didn’t mind Burke but this will be a good thing. In the end he had enough power, perceived or real, that as long as whoever is mayor has him on their side they could pretty much get a majority of the council.


  12. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    ===She is a lightweight===

    Maybe so, but it’s not like the political heavyweights have been doing such a bang-up job over the years, has it?


  13. - Steve - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 1:26 pm:

    Alderman Burke running for election is a monumental waste of time. He’s going to be indicted by May 3, 2019. He’ll have to step down after he’s indicted and prepare for his coming federal criminal trial.


  14. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    Lori is right though.

    Chico and Mendoza are the tightest connects of the Burke 4. Mendoza looks dirtiest because she was also extremely tight with Solis and Moreno and all of that money she took from Hynes.

    Preckwinkle is connected, but not to the extent the other two are.

    Ironically it is Daley who is least connected. The only time those Daley’s had anything to do with Eddie was when Johnny D invited him to the Boys and Girls Club golf outing.

    None of these four should be elected mayor.


  15. - Colin O'Scopy - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    =He’ll have to step down after he’s indicted and prepare for his coming federal criminal trial.=

    Don’t be so sure he’ll step down if indicted.


  16. - low level - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 2:27 pm:

    “Hard to fill those shoes”.

    Please, Rich. All along the way he has had very capable civil servants not only in the executive branch (Dept of Finance - Comptroller’s, Law Dept) but also many Committee staff that did the hard grunt work for him.

    There has already been one finance committee hearing w O’Connor as chair. Not only did the sky not fall but many commented on the more collegial nature of the meeting. Expect more of that, regardless of who the Finance Committee chairman is.


  17. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 2:37 pm:

    === Not only did the sky not fall===

    Wasn’t saying that at all. What I was saying was that he cannot be replaced as the top dog.


  18. - Shytown - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 3:35 pm:

    “Anon” 1:45 PM. Sorry, but you are really behind on your news here:

    Chico and Mendoza are the tightest connects of the Burke 4. Mendoza looks dirtiest because she was also extremely tight with Solis and Moreno and all of that money she took from Hynes.

    Let me fix that for you: Proximity to someone doesn’t equal anything. Burke endorsed Chico for mayor, not Mendoza. She’s also not “tight” with Solis (he gave her one max out donation; big whoop) and Moreno, please let’s not go there because they dated 12 years ago. Mendoza is only guilty of knowing the guy.

    Preckwinkle is connected, but not to the extent the other two are.

    Let me fix that for you: Took $10k in extorted Burke money exposed by FBI that she failed to legally disclose until it was uncovered; she hired ed burke’s son for a $100k job after speaking to his dad; he held a fundraiser at his home for her raising $116k. Now, who’s more connected to Burke?

    Ironically it is Daley who is least connected. The only time those Daley’s had anything to do with Eddie was when Johnny D invited him to the Boys and Girls Club golf outing.

    Let me fix that for you: he and Danny Solis came up with the idea for HDO (google it); Daley gave UNO $100k from Fannie Mae and helped appoint Solis to that board (google it!). His spokesperson lied to the sun times saying Bill and Danny never met til after he was appointed alderman by Rich Daley. Now, who;s the least connected?

    To the post, Lightfoot is a lovely person but no chance of winning. A vote for her is a vote for Preckwinkle or Daley and for the love of god those two cannot reach City Hall. She shouldn’t be the spoiler.


  19. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    Chico started working at the city when he was 19. He’s gotten $1,000 in donations, and renounced Burke’s support. He didn’t get married at Burke’s house and Burke has never held a fundraiser for him. So tell me, “Anonymous,” how do you figure?


  20. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 4:29 pm:

    ===A vote for her is a vote for Preckwinkle or Daley===

    Rubbish. If that’s true about Lightfoot, it is equally true of Vallas, Joyce, Wilson, McCarthy and Chico too.


  21. - Huh? - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 4:42 pm:

    Perhaps I should rephrase my AM post -

    Is association with an alderman under federal investigation and/or indictment the “black-face” of Chicago politics? So past association is current and future disqualification to political office?

    Burke/Solis/Merino/et al have been around for a very long time. Anyone who wanted to get a leg up in Chicago politics genuflected to the longtime political powers of their choosing. It is probably safe to say that all of the current candidates sought the blessing of a political godfather.

    All of the mayoral candidates have some odor of unsavory political relationships and closeted skeletons.

    Had none of the news of the investigations into Burke, Solis, pick your alderman, ever come out, would any of this have been news?

    Giving away or returning a tainted donation doesn’t erase the original political gift. It is still on the books.


  22. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 6:50 pm:

    Someone who was reprimanded by the Seventh Circuit for lying to the court when she was a prosecutor is no sweet thing and has her own serious ethical issues.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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