An upstart People's campaign is upsetting Chicago's mayor
1 min read
If you're in a big political race, you know you're doing poorly when your campaign resorts to warning local voters that electing your opponent would upset Wall Street bond dealers.
If you’re in a big political race, you know you’re doing poorly when your campaign resorts to warning local voters that electing your opponent would upset Wall Street bond dealers.
Amazingly though, that’s the panicky claim of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election campaign. A preening prototype of plutocratic politics, the one-term mayor has delivered the goods for the moneyed establishment, so – richly backed by campaign cash from that elite – he assumed he’d easily be re-elected. But to Rahm’s shock, Jesus intervened.
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Not that Jesus, but Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a popular county commissioner who challenged Emanuel’s coronation with a broad-based, overtly-populist, people’s campaign. Though he was outspent 12 to one, Chuy had the vision, issues, grassroots organizers, and enthusiastic volunteers to rally middle-and low-income voters to the polls, forcing the Royal Rahm into a runoff. Moreover, polls show that Chuy has already pulled even with Rahm and may now be leading the mayor’s race as the two approach the April 7 election.
That stunning reality spurred US Sen. Mark Kirk – another faithful servant of the establishment – to rush forth in a bumbling attempt to rescue Emanuel. “The people who are running against Rahm,” lectured the learned solon, “don’t have the gravitas with the bond market.” Kirk’s underlying message was that no one named Jesus “Chuy” Garcia could “command the respect of the bond market.” You could practically hear workaday Chicagoans saying in unison: “Well good!” The Chicago swells who are respected by the Wall Street clique have wrecked the city’s budget with corporate giveaways, and now they expect the people to suffer cutbacks and job losses to pay for the budget mess.