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CFL takes a pass on mayor’s race

Monday, Mar 4, 2019

* Fran Spielman

The Chicago Federation of Labor decided Monday to remain neutral in the historic April 2 mayoral runoff in a move likely to be seen as a boon to Lori Lightfoot and a major blow to Toni Preckwinkle. […]

On Monday, the CFL met with and questioned both candidates and discovered little difference between their positions on labor issues. […]

Sources said IBEW Local 134 and Operating Engineers Local 399 are leaning toward endorsing Preckwinkle.

Laborers Unions that provided heavy support to Susana Mendoza in Round One are leaning toward Lightfoot. So is Local 9 of the Electricians Union.

Operating Engineers Local 150 — another union with a Sun-Times Media ownership stake — will either endorse Lightfoot or remain neutral, sources said. That union has ties to a dark-money PAC that spent $1.2 million to blanket the television airwaves with ads blasting Bill Daley as “Bruce Rauner’s mayor” and as a “Wall Street banker who got rich off working people.”

You’d think some of these unions would be open to backing Preckwinkle because she’ll still be county board chairman if she loses the mayor’s race. But her campaign was pretty heavy-handed with Mendoza, and that angered some of the comptroller’s institutional supporters. SEIU may have over-played its hand with other unions (and the CFL) as well.

There’s usually plenty of time to heal wounds inflicted during the primaries for countywide and statewide offices (unless you’re Bruce Rauner, but he’s the outlier with a lot of things). Chicago’s runoff day is just four weeks from tomorrow. It’s simply way too soon to forgive and forget and Lightfoot apparently isn’t a threatening presence to most unions.

* I think Preckwinkle’s biggest problem is that people who voted for everyone else in the first round did so at least partly because they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the purported “front-runner” - and that would be 84 percent of those who voted. Few really know who Lori Lightfoot is, which as a commenter pointed out earlier today is most definitely a big help at this point in the campaign. It’s hers to lose right now because she’s 1) not Toni Preckwinkle; and 2) a blank slate.

Preckwinkle has to firmly and quickly take Lightfoot down, gin up the aldermen with the warning that Lightfoot will take away their outside income and their ward prerogatives, hand out as much patronage as she can lay her hands on, get the church ladies on her side and otherwise rehabilitate her own image (although the latest poll found that, despite it all, she still has a 53-37 fav/unfav rating). All in four short weeks.

Whew.

Not to mention that yet another self-inflicted wound could prove politically fatal. She’d also better hope that nothing happens with the federal case against Ald. Ed Burke in the next few weeks.

* On the other hand, Lightfoot didn’t even have a campaign manager until now

Lightfoot’s team has hired Manuel Perez, the campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, as campaign manager. […]

Perez also ran Garcia’s 2015 campaign against Mayor Rahm Emanuel and more recently ran Tanya Patino’s campaign for the 14th Ward seat won by disgraced Ald. Ed Burke.

Preckwinkle didn’t endorse Chuy when he ran for mayor, so this might be a little payback without having to get directly involved.

I’m curious whether other candidates who ran real campaigns held anything back from their Preckwinkle oppo books that they could now share with Lightfoot. Stay tuned.

* This should give you an idea of the direction Preckwinkle is going

Meanwhile, Preckwinkle has hired three veteran African-American campaigners to her team. They reflect “the diversity and values” of the campaign, according to a release. Jessey Neves becomes campaign manager. She’s a longtime aide to Preckwinkle, who first served as director of communications and policy for her 2010 campaign for Cook County Board president. The Preckwinkle campaign has also hired Jason Lee as deputy campaign manager. Lee has served as political director of United Working Families and before that with the Chicago Teachers Union and AFSCME’s International Union. And Ty Cratic has been named director of operation. He currently is chairman of the Cook County Young Democrats and sits on the executive board of the Cook County Democratic Party.

Cratic’s LinkedIn page says he’s been Preckwinkle’s Director Of Operations since November.

* Meanwhile

Lightfoot reported nearly $360,000 in campaign contributions between Wednesday and Saturday, with $100,000 alone coming from Chicago philanthropist Leslie Bluhm, $50,000 from Phillip Peters, of Chicago, and $10,000 from Northwest Side Ald. Scott Waguespack, 32nd, according to state election data. During that same stretch, Preckwinkle reported $6,500. Heading into the Feb. 28 election, Preckwinkle had reported raising about $4.6 million — second only to Bill Daley who raised $8.3 million. Of the 14 candidates, Lightfoot was in the middle of the pack. She reported raising $1.5 million.

The latest spending report from Comcast shows Preckwinkle just bought $42K in ads compared to Lightfoot’s $1,287.

* Related…

* In race for mayor, Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle court the 2/3 of Chicago that didn’t vote for them

* Laura Washington: Two black women running for mayor? For some black men, that’s a nightmare

- Posted by Rich Miller        

31 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 5:05 pm:

    Surprised, bur good news for sure. We can’t afford more Prekwinkle in the County or the City


  2. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 5:07 pm:

    Mendoza lost because of Mendoza. Any hard feelings her backers may have towards Preckwinkle shows a lack of introspection.


  3. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 5:11 pm:

    Ty Fahner from the Civic Committee was listed in Lightfoot’s top 25 donors going into the primary. She told Crain’s that she wanted to eliminate pension for City new hires after January 2020 which seems in line with the Ty Fahner agenda. They should be going after Lightfoot for being a protege of one of the most virulent anti-Union anti-public employees public figures.


  4. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 5:16 pm:

    ===She told Crain’s that she wanted to eliminate pension for City new hires after January 2020===

    That’s one way to spin it, lol. Another way is that Lightfoot proposed creating a Tier II system for city employees, as the state did under Pat Quinn. Did any other Democrats vote for Tier II in Springfield? Anyone? Bueller?

    Does that make Pat Quinn and the rest of them virulent, anti-Union, anti-public employees public officials? Or, does that mean Lightfoot, like Quinn, Madigan and Cullerton, and many others, recognizes that this is one of the only legal ways to reduce the long-term financial exposure facing the city?

    Your comment is worthy of your nickname too.


  5. - Sonny - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 5:17 pm:

    Preckwinkle needed to step it up in a major way and at best that’s a step sideways on the campaign staffing front.


  6. - Jesus - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 5:19 pm:

    lol, how can somebody call Manny Perez a progressive when he runs a PAC connected to machine dudes? This looks to me like the move of a disgruntled political operative (Chuy didnt take his bait to run for mayor) and now he’s trying his luck with another horse. Will be VERY interesting to see Chuy’s next move given the news that he didn’t stand with Bernie in Chicago because of the pressure from Congressional Hispanic Caucus.


  7. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 5:21 pm:

    –Preckwinkle has to firmly and quickly take Lightfoot down, gin up the aldermen with the warning that Lightfoot will take away their outside income and their ward prerogatives, hand out as much patronage as she can lay her hands on,….–

    … and remind people she’s a lifelong “reformer,” lol.

    Yeah, she’s in a tight spot.


  8. - Shytown - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 5:23 pm:

    Yeah, those are some heavy hitters that preckwinkle hired…not. That campaign remains a hot mess. In other news, the CFL not endorsement is definitely not the news that team Preckwinkle was hoping for. If she couldn’t secure that endorsement it speaks volumes about her political muscle at this point, or lack thereof.


  9. - SaulGoodman - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 5:28 pm:

    LOL at those complaining about Lori and future workers? Toni worked very hard and spent a lot of political capital trying to cut the pensions of CURRENT workers at Cook County. Even after SB1 was ruled unconstitutional.


  10. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 5:56 pm:

    Manny Perez is a Chuy guy and would not be managing Lightfoot’s campaign if Chuy had asked him not to.

    Manny with Lightfoot tells me Chuy is either endorsing Lightfoot or staying neutral.


  11. - Truthteller - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 6:42 pm:

    — That’s one way to spin it, lol. Another way is that Lightfoot proposed creating a Tier II system for city employees, -

    News flash Chicago already has a Tier II. Please tell Lightfoot she’s not needed for that


  12. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 6:52 pm:

    Preckwinkle’s position on aldermanic prerogative was a negative for me and probably other people as well. What’s more important: getting the support of a bunch of ham fisted alderman or maintaining credibility with people? Kind of sums up the position she is in.


  13. - Roman - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 7:01 pm:

    == pretty heavy-handed ==

    That’s a spot-on description of Toni Preckwinkle and her campaign on many different levels. Preckwinkle has a real likability problem, among both labor leaders/pols who have dealt with her personally and rank-and-file voters who haven’t. It’s no accident that she is smiling in every single frame of her television ads.


  14. - Sis Deny - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 7:04 pm:

    In much the way the Daley’s have been vanquished, so to will Preckwinkle.


  15. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 7:28 pm:

    People who don’t like either of them may vote for Toni because if Lori wins, Toni stays at the County and you’re stuck with both for the next four years.


  16. - Notasubscriber - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 7:34 pm:

    @47th ward, there is already a Tier2 for city workers. Tier3 also


  17. - Glass half full - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 7:50 pm:

    I’m sure the federales weren’t too happy with Burke’s 1 finger salute on election night. I’m also confident Lightfoot is’nt on any future pre indictment leaks. 19 & 41 both endorse lightfoot along with a couple of African American Committeeman. Toni’s toast but doesn’t know it yet and John Daley stays the perennial bridesmaid


  18. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 7:53 pm:

    Lightfoot is the moderate. Prekwinkle probably has a very narrow path to victory. Unless something big happens I don’t see how she can win. She is not popular.


  19. - Ok - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 8:08 pm:

    The anony-mouses are about the house today…


  20. - West Wing - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 8:10 pm:

    Not sure the Mendoza folks are capable of introspection … they remain in shock over a 5th place finish when Axelrod was right about their campaign.


  21. - Centennial - Monday, Mar 4, 19 @ 9:33 pm:

    My two cents, this has little to do with Mendoza and everything to do with Toni and her lack of relationships.


  22. - James the Intolerant - Tuesday, Mar 5, 19 @ 7:36 am:

    -”19 and 41 both endorse Lightfoot”-
    I have not heard of 19 endorsing Lightfoot


  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 5, 19 @ 8:24 am:

    Here is the quote from Crains. Nothing about Tier 2 or 3 which the City already has but elimination of pensions entirely. “We will have no choice, if we want to act in a fiscally responsible way, but to explore alternatives to a city-funded pension for people hired on or after January 1, 2020. Just as pensions are a promise, we cannot make promises that we have no ability to keep.”


  24. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 5, 19 @ 8:33 am:

    It is completely reasonable to stop offering defined benefit pensions to future workers. Lightfoot has my vote.


  25. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 5, 19 @ 8:42 am:

    It seems as though Lightfoot understands basic math and we can’t continue to “promise” things that are unreasonable and defy math.


  26. - Christopher - Tuesday, Mar 5, 19 @ 8:42 am:

    The fact that Lori Lightfoot said “alternatives” to a city-funded pension plan means that she will still be looking out for new City workers, just not in the way it is for current employees. How is that anti-union?


  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 5, 19 @ 8:45 am:

    It’s not anti union. It’s probably reality .


  28. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 5, 19 @ 8:54 am:

    As discussed frequently, closing off the entry of new hires would further erode the financial stability of the existing systems for Tiers 1-3. And of course the City then would be faced with having to pay Social Security taxes and either higher wages or other benefits to remain competitive. No real solution there. She is either just parroting from her Civic Committee donors or is woefully uninformed about basics.


  29. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 5, 19 @ 8:58 am:

    The pension “promise” has destroyed the city’s finances and of course the state’s as well. The sooner new e.ployess are not granted these benefits, the sooner we move towards solvency.


  30. - Christopher - Tuesday, Mar 5, 19 @ 9:17 am:

    No, the pension promise has NOT destroyed the City’s finances. What has hurt the finances was not making regular, necessary payments to the fund.


  31. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 5, 19 @ 9:47 am:

    If we didn’t have pensions in the first place it wouldn’t be the fiscal disaster.


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