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Todd Stroger is absolutely right

Thursday, Mar 21, 2019

* Bet you never thought you’d see that headline, eh? Anyway, I thought for sure this was a political prank on Toni Preckwinkle when I heard about it, but she has fully embraced an endorsement by Todd Stroger

The former County Board president, who lost an ugly 2010 campaign to Preckwinkle, is now backing her, he tells The Spin.

“Yeah — what’s the saying? ‘There are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests.’ And my interest is in seeing things get done in the neighborhoods that are typically overlooked. If I can bend the ear of the mayor to get something done, then so be it,” Stroger, who lives on the city’s South Side and works for South Side Chicago Ald. Howard Brookins, 21st, said Wednesday. […]

The two have “spoken about three times in the last week and a half — about the campaign and what my role could be. And I gave her some unsolicited advice, of course. What I told her was I thought that the campaign should start focusing more on the future, not on the past — we know who she is, (time to tell people) what is her plan. There’s no use sitting and fighting with your opponent.” […]

“Toni is proud to have the support of Todd Stroger because of their shared commitment to the community. He joins a growing coalition of community members who know she has the experience and vision to lead the city as the next mayor of Chicago,” campaign spokesman Chris Meagher said in an emailed statement.

Stroger is absolutely right about the need to focus on the future instead of constantly talking about her and her opponent’s pasts. Check out this debate story with that frame in mind

Lightfoot then posed a question to Preckwinkle, noting how one of them will become the first African-American female elected mayor of Chicago and asking her to discuss the race’s significance.

Preckwinkle took her answer in a different direction, again trying to draw a distinction between her long career in public service as a teacher, alderman and county board president and Lightfoot’s background as a City Hall appointee and corporate attorney.

“You know, I think it’s true that this is a historic time. But it’s also true that we took very different paths to get where we are,” Preckwinkle said. “I worked to bring change, to actualize change, to transform the institutions I represented and the communities I represented. And let me just say, that’s hard work. Resolve isn’t good enough. It takes patience and courage to do this work.”

She went on to criticize Lightfoot for her work at Mayer Brown saying, “While I was transforming our health care system, increasing access and improving the quality of care, my opponent was working for a law firm that defends tobacco companies and polluters.” […]

“Well, I will actually answer the question,” Lightfoot said. “I hope this campaign and the fact that one of us as African-American women is going to be the next mayor of the city really gives hope to young girls that are out there and young men that are out there to know what my parents taught me: that anything is possible if you actually have the opportunity and take advantage of it and use it as a ladder up.”

* Even Chance the Rapper’s endorsement focused on the past

Flanked by black activists with whom he consulted before making the endorsement, Chance said, “The resounding voice has been that they don’t necessarily feel comfortable or safe going into a city where Lori Lightfoot sits on the fifth floor” of City Hall.

“Her past record as a prosecutor has not been in the best interest of young black people in Chicago, hasn’t been entirely truthful. And even her campaign and the image that she’s created since the February election has been … very untrue,” he said.

Those same activists — from groups like Black Lives Matter and Assata’s Daughters who have rallied around the #NoCopAcademy label — “appreciate Toni Preckwinkle,” Chance said. […]

“The truth is that the most qualified person in terms of somebody who’s gonna look out for all the people of Chicago [and] account for the police, victims of gun crime, victims of economic crime is Toni Preckwinkle. So, I’m fully behind her,” he said.

* But no cash

This isn’t his first entry into the mayor’s race. He and rapper Kanye West poured hundreds of thousands of dollars and ample hype into former candidate Amara Enyia’s campaign.

Chance may have given Enyia a $400,000 contribution in January, but said he wasn’t planning to open his wallet again.

“I don’t have any more money for Chicago politics,” Chance said, when asked if he would bring fresh cash to Preckwinkle’s campaign.

…Adding… Lori Lightfoot…

I have great respect for Chance and the community activists and organizers across the city who are fighting for social justice,” said Lightfoot. “I share their passion and commitment to pursuing true police accountability because we have not had nearly enough progress to date. That’s why I’ve fought for police reform throughout my career. As mayor, I will take my efforts to the next level by working with stakeholders who’ve been engaging in this fight from the get-go. My campaign is about delivering change, which means working together to enact new paradigms and new policies. I would create a robust youth committee to incorporate the perspectives and policy ideas of these activists into our city government. Young people have a voice, we just need to listen.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Grand Avenue - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    “Experience” just isn’t a winning issue.


  2. - GOP Truth Squad - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    No more Doritos commercials for Chance?


  3. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    Prosecutors who wield their discretion appropriately do more for defendants than any other government agency. Whether Lightfoot did or did not, I cannot say; but to suggest that because one was a prosecutor, one was a burden on the black community, is the height of ignorance.

    And I’m a big fan of chance. I’m also a prosecutor, which, sure, I’m biased; but I know how far backwards I bend to give worthwhile defendant’s a chance to keep their records (relatively) clean if they show a willingness to do even slightly more than the bare minimum.


  4. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    Todd is right, and I don’t think Chance helps Toni enough to matter.

    Nothing will happen I’m sure, but someone should probably advise Chance against having political press conferences in government buildings and using the city seal on political announcements.


  5. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    When I say “government agency” above, I really mean within the courts. Poor word choice, apologies.


  6. - Just another Anon - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 2:59 pm:

    I have an old Tribune article blown up on my office wall. It features “Professor Stroger Teaches Taxation 101″. When discussing taxation, Todd Stroger was quoted as saying “That is the American Way, and the way that it’s generally done is, you find some group that is small enough where they can’t beat you up, and you tax them and you tell everybody else, ‘See? We didn’t tax you.’” I’m not sure that his endorsement is all that relevant anymore.


  7. - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    ==I’ve fought for police reform throughout my career==

    Unsolicited advice to the otherwise well-run Lightfoot operation: buy your candidate a pint at the Jefferson Tap and then ask her to stay away from bald-faced lies.


  8. - Water is Wet - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    ==ask her to stay away from bald-faced lies==

    That’s news to me. Care to elaborate?


  9. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    Lightfoot literally tossed her a soft-ball to show a lighter side and rise above the fray…but swinging hard and following talking points is all she knows.


  10. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:11 pm:

    I would not totally count out Preckwinkle yet. There seems to be some coalescing around Preckwinkle in the far left activist parts of the City.


  11. - lakeside - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    ==Todd Stroger is absolutely right==

    This election has absolutely everything.


  12. - Amalia - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    not my race to support, but lately I have heard a couple of folks talk about Lightfoot not being good at her job in the Procurement Department. don’t think she was there long so who knows if the interpretation of moving on was that she was not good and it was just moving up. but lord knows that moving up the lightweight has happened before in government. Lightfoot lightweight?


  13. - Christopher - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 4:03 pm:

    That’s funny. I heard that she was very good at her job with Procurement and worked closely with Mary Dempsey, former Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library.


  14. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 4:12 pm:

    I support lightfoot in this race, but I’ll admit that I’ve spoken to two people that worked with her who were less than impressed. Toni just has too many friends to look out for. Same old song.


  15. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 4:34 pm:

    –Lightfoot literally tossed her a soft-ball to show a lighter side and rise above the fray…–

    Yes, she did. And Preckwinkle just whiffed.


  16. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 4:35 pm:

    –Chance may have given Enyia a $400,000 contribution–

    And Buddy Guy gave half a million to Fioretti.

    Might as well have just set it on fire in an alley.


  17. - Biker - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 5:45 pm:

    I think we all saw how the youth vote felt dismissed in round one. If Chance entering the fray makes young voters relevant I think that’s a positive for the City, as generally younger voters care about the environment and believe in the science of climate change in ways many older voters don’t. Would like to see a full court press on environmental issues the rest of the way as internationally vetted projections indicate the next ten years may be the most important dollars spent. Billions in solar and free CTA and Metra need to move from the margins to the mainstream.


  18. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 6:41 pm:

    Billions in free solar and CTA? Where does the money come from? The city has massive pension debt just like the state.


  19. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 6:42 pm:

    Biker - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 5:45 pm:

    Gee, I have to vote for whomever you are against


  20. - Biker - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 7:13 pm:

    Anonymous(es), would love to chat through the climate data if you want to pick a name(s). It’s difficult to approach an all hands on deck scenario without first believing it’s a serious issue, so happy to start with the fact that the last 10 years are the hottest in recorded history and see if we have agreement there.


  21. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 9:46 pm:

    ===I thought for sure this was a political prank on Toni Preckwinkle===

    Lol. My first reaction too. I thought it was the Onion.


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