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That toddlin’ town roundup

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Personal PAC goes for Brandon Johnson…

Today, Personal PAC, one of Illinois’ leading organizations dedicated to protecting reproductive rights, endorsed Brandon Johnson for mayor.

“Personal PAC is proud to stand with Brandon Johnson for mayor and to support his vision to ensure abortion remains safe, legal, and accessible to all in Chicago,” said Sarah Garza Resnick, CEO of Personal PAC. “In a post-Roe world, this race is too important. After meeting with both Mr. Vallas and Commissioner Johnson, it is clear to us that Brandon Johnson is the only candidate who will protect and champion reproductive rights in Chicago.”

“We were troubled by Paul Vallas’ failure to comment at all for months following the leaked Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade,” said Garza Resnick. “Further, we take him at his word—based on his own statement that he fundamentally opposes abortion—that we cannot trust him to protect our reproductive rights.”

Commissioner Johnson has committed publicly to maintaining and increasing, as needed, the current level of funding in the City budget for reproductive healthcare support and is committed to continuing to use City resources to ensure the security of abortion clinics.

* Paul Vallas brings out the receipts…

Brandon Johnson has carefully avoided discussing his radical political past during the campaign for Mayor, often dodging questions about his public support for defunding the police. But today he took it a step too far and was caught in a blatant lie. Johnson told ABC 7 that he “never said defund the police,” despite the clear fact that he has openly discussed his support for defunding numerous times.

“There’s nothing Brandon Johnson can do to change the fact that he has publicly embraced the radical “defund the police” movement that would put Chicago at risk of even higher crime,” said Vallas spokesperson Phil Swibinski. “Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas’ visions for public safety could not be any more different, and every Chicagoan who is concerned about rising crime should be aware of one thing — Brandon Johnson will defund the police, Paul Vallas will put crime reduction and public safety first.”

Johnson’s support for defunding the police is clear and absolute:

    • In July 2020, Johnson was the Chief Sponsor of a Resolution calling for the Cook County Board of Commissioners to “Redirect Funds From Policing and Incarceration to Public Services Not Administered By Law Enforcement.”
    • In July 2020, Johnson signed onto a statement with other elected officials that stated the officials were ready to “Work To Defund The Chicago Police Department Immediately”
    • On WCPT Radio 780 in July 2020, Johnson said: “there are some folks who are offended by this idea of defunding the police. There are folks who are afraid of that terminology…we’re shipping money away from police and incarceration. What do people not understand about this demand? (Sunday Mornings, WCPT 780, 7/26/20, 38:10)
    • On WCPT Radio 780 in December 2020, Johnson said that he viewed Defund the Police “not as a slogan, but as a real political goal” and that it was “not just an admirable effort, but a necessary one.” (Santita Jackson Show, WCPT 780, 12/4/20, 16:50 and 59:18)

* More from Vallas…

The Vallas for Mayor campaign will announce major endorsements from three City Council members, who will lend their support to the Vallas public safety plan as well as Paul’s commitment to equity for all Chicago communities.

WHO: Mayoral candidate Paul Vallas, Alderwoman Silvana Tabares (23rd), Alderman Felix Cardona, Jr. (31st), and Alderman Ariel Reboyras (30th)

* A little bit of history from political consultant Delmarie Cobb

Nearly 40 years ago, mayor Harold Washington was elected Chicago’s first Black mayor. His grassroots campaign mobilized more than 100,000 new registered voters for the mayoral election in 1983, defeating Republican candidate Bernard Epton by a slim 51.7 percent to 48 percent majority. Washington’s win dealt a stunning blow to Chicago’s machine politics.

Though we’re 40 years removed from that moment, Cobb said this election is reminiscent of the 1983 election.

“When Harold Washington ran, you had Black elected officials who came out for him, but then you had an equal number of Black elected officials who came out for Jane Byrne and Richard M. Daley. So this is exactly a mirror of the same thing that happened 40 years ago,” Cobb said.

* Crain’s

A new independent super PAC has been created in support of former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas that will likely allow a new wave of dark money to flow into the April 4 mayoral runoff campaign. […]

[Greg Goldner, founder and manager of Resolute Public Affairs] registered a not-for-profit, likely for that purpose, on March 7 named Priorities Chicago, according to a filing with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. […]

In recent days ahead of the creation of Goldner’s super PAC, the Vallas campaign fine-tuned the “media” portion of its campaign website, a process known as “redboxing” that campaigns use to publicly signal to outside groups how to spend money without crossing the loose legal definition of coordination.

On Monday, the Vallas campaign media page says “Frequent Chicago municipal voters urgently need to learn NOW that Brandon Johnson wants to defund the police and raise taxes, including a new city income tax on broadcast television and digital.”

Priorities Chicago has now also created an independent expenditure committee.

* Um

If you are Bruce Rauner, Playbook would like to know your tips for working with Chicago’s mayor.

Do you then do the exact opposite?

* Press release…

Around 9 p.m. on Friday night, Chicago Police responded to an attempted burglary in the Mid-North district of Lincoln Park. While police were still gathering the facts, Brian Comer was sharing unverified, inaccurate information in a video he shared on his political campaign page.

“Several residents and police officers have expressed grave concern in my opponent’s behavior at a critical time for our community,” said Alderman Timmy Knudsen. “As always, I am in constant communication with CPD leadership in the ward, and when I heard about this incident, I offered my full support while allowing them to do their jobs. My focus will always be supporting our police and spreading facts, not fear.”

“Brian Comer touts his experience as a beat facilitator, but his decision to campaign at a crime scene clearly demonstrates that he lacks the sound judgment that residents expect from their alderman,” said Alex Hanns, Knudsen’s campaign manager. “Comer should know better than to rush to a crime scene and share misinformation while police are still conducting their investigation. Especially when residents are rightfully concerned about their safety, the last thing we need is for an uninformed civilian to stoke fears while police are trying to do their jobs.”

WATCH HERE

In his campaign video, Comer wears his campaign button while saying “an officer was shot” and was “in stable condition” on Friday night, despite the fact that no one was shot nor injured in the incident, according to vetted communications by the Chicago Police Department. “We just buried an officer who was killed in the line of duty earlier this week,” continued Comer, deepening the sense of fear that residents have since voiced.

As his campaign video concludes, Comer shifts to his campaign platform. “I have a plan to help public safety,” he says while the lights of three police vehicles illuminate the area and an officer walks behind him. The Chicago Board of Ethics has warned candidates of the “prohibited use of Chicago Police Department personnel and logo in electioneering communications.” Despite Comer’s claim, his website only lists five half-sentences of his “priorities” and is completely devoid of any plan on public safety that he references.

Comer’s inaccurate campaign video is still on his Facebook page five days after the incident despite several claims being debunked by police. The Knudsen campaign put Comer’s statements side by side with the facts in a new ad so residents can hear it for themselves.

* Isabel’s roundup…

       

36 Comments
  1. - Stuck in Celliniland - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 12:11 pm:

    ==WCPT Radio 780==

    Just got done looking out the window to see if pigs were flying. /s

    It would help if Vallas got his radio stations right.


  2. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 12:13 pm:

    ===His grassroots campaign mobilized more than 100,000 new registered voters for the mayoral election in 1983===

    This part of history is also overlooked. There do not appear to be many demographic changes between the 2019 and 2023 Chicago mayoral electorate.


  3. - Roadrager - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 12:17 pm:

    Silvina Tabares is a firm believer in police infallibilty, so no surprise with that pickup.


  4. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===“When Harold Washington ran, you had Black elected officials who came out for him, but then you had an equal number of Black elected officials who came out for Jane Byrne and Richard M. Daley. So this is exactly a mirror of the same thing that happened 40 years ago,” Cobb said===

    Sorry, but there is HUGE difference between a three candidate race and a head-to-head matchup.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 12:20 pm:

    ===Sorry, but there is HUGE difference between a three candidate race and a head-to-head matchup.===

    Ball game.

    Either purposely dishonest to the dynamic or ignorant to the political realities of actual understanding how campaigns work with multiple candidates and race.


  6. - Kimberly - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 12:45 pm:

    The contrasts are pretty stark here. I’m not sure how a Mayor in any City in Illinois can impact a woman’s right to choose but it’s pretty clear how a Mayor can impact public safety.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 12:50 pm:

    ===I’m not sure how a Mayor in any City in Illinois can impact===

    As Rich ably points out often, zoning is a big one, then there is access

    Not understanding municipal powers is a thing I guess, but boy understanding “other” things…


  8. - New Day - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    “* Paul Vallas brings out the receipts…”

    What a depressing campaign. Vallas is awful. It’s absolutely reprehensible how he cozied up to the far right wing and condoned some of their more heinous personal attacks. Nobody knows what he really believes because he’s a chameleon.

    Buuuutttt….

    Brandon Johnson is equally awful. He clearly was on the side of the Defund the Police movement at a time when very, very few people in Chicago were. So he’s on the radical left-wing fringe in a campaign almost solely funded by CTU and it’s fellow travelers. He will massively increase taxes and lead to the gutting of the downtown economy.

    So our choice is between a right-wing wannabe with a questionable relationship with the truth or a left-wing radical who will destroy our economy and make everyone less safe? Just super. Ughhh.


  9. - Google Is Your Friend - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 12:58 pm:

    - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 12:18 pm:

    Sure there is, but you’re smart enough to know her point was that the establishment types, including Black politicians, were not with then Congressman Washington.


  10. - Not So New - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 12:59 pm:

    Is Brandon organizing a voter registration drive? Not aware of one. Maybe he is. If not, not sure what the point of mentioning it is today unless it is to make a negative comparison to Harold Washington.


  11. - New Day - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 1:01 pm:

    “Either purposely dishonest to the dynamic or ignorant to the political realities of actual understanding how campaigns work with multiple candidates and race.”

    I’m sorry but it’s an intellectually disingenuous comment. This is not by any stretch of the imagination “exactly a mirror of the same thing that happened 40 years ago” though she’d like you to think it is.


  12. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 1:07 pm:

    Excuse me, but this endorsement is directly tied to Vallas stating several years ago that he was personally pro-life.
    It’s on video.

    I respect both of these candidates; but abortion is now banned in so many States that we need a Mayor that will sign on to the right for a woman to choose after the State codified it to be available and legal.


  13. - This - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 1:09 pm:

    Wow - that’s “rich” as they say. Alex Hanns who was photographed stealing yard signs is now sending a press release about Comer’s campaign? Audacious to say the least.


  14. - PF Flyer - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 1:20 pm:

    “Defund the Police” has been one the most misunderstood and politicized slogans ever. Most supporters of it are not supporting the complete defunding of police. We want some of the massive amounts dedicated to policing to go to mental health issues, to hire people with expertise to deal with the calls that require those skills, because the police don’t. Even the police complain that they’re required to handle these calls they aren’t equipped to. Meanwhile, these people keep dying at the hands of them. I’ve never read Johnson’s statements to ever call for total defundment; only the extremists call for that. Likewise the quotes printed today. I think he got caught up in the same deliberate slogan-mangling by the opposition that Black Lives Matter did. He has lately been clarifying that stance, probably too late. Slogans often do more damage than good.


  15. - Techie - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 1:26 pm:

    “Even the police complain that they’re required to handle these calls they aren’t equipped to.”

    And who wouldn’t complain about being asked to respond to situations they’re not trained or equipped for? Would you ask the cashier to fix the sprinkler system?

    Defund the police is a bad slogan, but investing more in mental health services, and violence and crime prevention is indeed part of an effective public safety plan.


  16. - Montrose - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 1:35 pm:

    What techie and PF Flyer said. Defund the Police, woke, etc. has become shorthand detached from any substance. Johnson has pointed that out, but I don’t know that it will help him with folks. As is often pointed out, voters don’t do nuance.


  17. - Socially DIstant watcher - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 1:39 pm:

    I’m not Bruce (trust me) but I can answer Shia’s question: tell him what to do and get rilly rilly steamed when he ignores you.


  18. - ChicagoBars - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 1:40 pm:

    I did not have the Lincoln Park 43rd Ward race getting as weird as the Uptown 46th ward races used to a decade ago. Good…times?


  19. - low level - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 1:48 pm:

    Paul Vallas is not Bernie Epton. Not even close.


  20. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 1:51 pm:

    === Not even close.===

    Epton’s own son begs to differ. https://www.chicagotribune.com/opinion/commentary/ct-opinion-paul-vallas-bernard-epton-message-to-chicago-20230312-2a4ka5brfjbh5oqd5a2vinczce-story.html


  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===Paul Vallas is not Bernie Epton. Not even close.===

    You can make the case Vallas is worse and more overt.

    I know it’s inconvenient…


  22. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 1:58 pm:

    ==“Defund the Police” has been one the most misunderstood and politicized slogans ever. Most supporters of it are not supporting the complete defunding of police.==

    In which case they’re backing a slogan that doesn’t accurately reflect their beliefs. That’s bad enough, but add in that some supporters really *do* mean it and it all becomes kind of a hopeless thicket.


  23. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 2:00 pm:

    ===Most supporters of it are not supporting the complete defunding of police===

    You say that now when your words are used against you and it appears to be having an effect.

    A bit late.


  24. - Anon324 - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 2:09 pm:

    ==add in that some supporters really *do* mean it and it all becomes kind of a hopeless thicket.==

    And it’s hard to argue that Johnson isn’t one of those who truly believe it given this from the post: “Johnson said that he viewed Defund the Police “not as a slogan, but as a real political goal” and that it was “not just an admirable effort, but a necessary one.””

    Lakefront liberals concerned about crime don’t have much of a problem with “in addition to”–they know there’s a lack of adequate resources for mental health, etc. But there is significant unease (to put it mildly) with “instead of,” and Johnson’s past statements suggest he’s the latter more than the former, especially given the number of times he’s been given the opportunity to clarify the statements and he’s just sidestepped instead. As Rich said, it’s a bit late in the game to now try to shift.


  25. - low level - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 2:10 pm:

    Interesting letter by Jeff Epton. I dont get the sense lvoters are equating his dad’s campaign with Vallas, especially along the lakefront which was such a key voting bloc in 1983, but we will see.


  26. - New Day - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    PF Flyer,

    That took you a paragraph to explain what he meant by defund the police. Politically, it was pretty clear that it was toxic for Democrats the moment it was said. It still is even among Democrats. And yea, I know what’s being said by some people now to explain it. The problem is some mean it literally and really do want to defund the police. As you say, voters don’t do nuance.


  27. - Roadrager - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 2:58 pm:

    ==That took you a paragraph to explain what he meant by defund the police. Politically, it was pretty clear that it was toxic for Democrats the moment it was said. It still is even among Democrats. And yea, I know what’s being said by some people now to explain it. The problem is some mean it literally and really do want to defund the police. As you say, voters don’t do nuance.==

    Funny how when it’s a progressive turn of phrase, everyone takes it as its most literal and extreme extrapolation. But get Willie Wilson saying he want police to hunt down suspects like rabbits, and suddenly everyone’s like “well, of course he doesn’t mean that literally.”


  28. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 3:13 pm:

    ===“well, of course he doesn’t mean that literally.”===

    He insisted that he meant it. And he got less than 10 percent of the vote. You wanna jump in that boat with him now?


  29. - Amalia - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 3:15 pm:

    yes, it’s two people and not 3 like in 1983 but Delmarie may be on to something. I did hear that Brandon Johnson is doing voter reg focused on young people and the Black community. And he’s gained a bunch of electeds who are Asian American as endorsers. things seem quiet for him in my world, which does not mean it’s not loud elsewhere. and I think it is. the Personal Pac endorsement is a clear call to the lakefront….Vallas is not pro choice.


  30. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    ===I did hear that Brandon Johnson is doing voter reg focused on young people and the Black community.===

    That’s nice, but Harold did it before he ran. In fact, it was a condition he demanded of supporters before he ran in 1983. It’s late in the game now.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 3:44 pm:

    Both Johnson and Vallas trying desperately to find a spot closer to the middle has been quite the watch.

    Johnson has significant headwinds to his words that he stands by that Vallas reminds and reminds.

    Vallas runs away from the very folks that spend day after day chasing him to give him a big hug, while Johnson reminds of things from way back, with not the measure of repetition Vallas enjoys with his ads.

    These choices…


  32. - Amalia - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 3:47 pm:

    That letter from Epton makes it crystal clear that the Vallas people are sending up a giant dog whistle bat signal with their take back message. wow.


  33. - northsider (the original) - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 4:59 pm:

    Further to Ms. Cobbs’ point, in Mayor Washington’s 1987 re-election race, the ‘liberal lakefront’ 43rd ward was carried by Ed Vyrdolyak in the general election.
    People aren’t always who they seem to be.


  34. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 5:07 pm:

    ===Further to Ms. Cobbs’ point, in Mayor Washington’s 1987 re-election race, the ‘liberal lakefront’ 43rd ward was carried by Ed Vyrdolyak in the general election.
    People aren’t always who they seem to be.===

    Mayor Washington in 1983 also got up to 99% of the votes in predominately black precincts. Melvin Holli and Paul Green detail it in the book Bashing Chicago Traditions. It is something that I just think will not happen again. A different moment in history.


  35. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 5:19 pm:

    Comfortable-with-racists Vallas vs. dishonest DSA’er Johnson. I wonder if Lightfoot is looking better to some people right now.


  36. - Leslie K - Tuesday, Mar 14, 23 @ 6:46 pm:

    Johnson’s stated plan to promote 200 detectives seems very odd to me. The detective position is definitely extremely important, and the steady increase in detectives over the last several years has been improving the clearance rates. But those detectives come from the police officer position. So he is also basically saying he will take 200 officers off of the street (with little discussion of how to replace them, as far as I’ve seen).

    Is he intentionally trying to appeal to both defunders and public safety traditionalists, or did he just stumble into that?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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