Congratulations to Rahm Emanuel for his First-Round Win to Succeed Daley as Chicago Mayor.
Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff, will take the reins of the nation’s third-most- populous city in May after defeating several candidates to succeed retiring Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Emanuel’s closest competitor was Gery Chico, 54, a former Daley chief of staff and Chicago school board president, with 24 percent of the vote. City Clerk Miguel del Valle had 9 percent, as did former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun.
The election signals the end of two decades of rule by Daley, 68, who with his father, Richard J. Daley, ran Chicago for 43 of the past 55 years.
The new mayor confronts a declining population, pension shortfalls for city workers and a 2012 budget deficit forecast at more than $600 million. Emanuel will enter City Hall’s fifth- floor mayoral suite with the added burden of troubled labor relations. His White House role in helping President Bill Clinton win passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and comments he made about unions as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff left lingering resentment.
In his campaign, the former Chicago congressman had called for “shared sacrifice” by public workers as the city seeks to address deficits.
Congratulations are in order because Emanuel was the best of the lot by far. Not only was he a free trade advocate (which shows he has something on the ball), but he has picked up the ire of Chicago’s public unions.
Seriously, how much more could one possibly expect from anyone in contention for mayor of Chicago?
A couple of posts will show what I mean.
Seven More Unions Endorse Chico
Feb 8, 2011: More unions endorse Chico, bash Emanuel
Mayoral hopeful Gery Chico on Monday picked up the endorsement of seven more labor unions whose leaders accused rival candidate Rahm Emanuel of threatening their pensions and “demonizing” city employees.
What infuriated the labor leaders is an Emanuel campaign commercial in which the candidate appears to lecture city employees about the meaning of public service.
In it, Emanuel states that City Hall “is not an employment agency. … It is delivering a service to the residents and taxpayers of the city. I want that mind set to be different. … That means making sure that everybody [who] works for city government knows they’re actually a public servant representing and helping the people [who] pay them.”
Emanuel said he was not asking anything from police, firefighters and teachers that he would not be asking from himself as mayor.
“I don’t think it’s a radical idea to express the vision that taxpayers are the people we are all beholden to.”
That is all you need to know right there. However, I have more.
Chicago Unions Leaders Not Thrilled With Rham Emanuel
December 6, 2010: Chicago Unions Leaders Not Thrilled With Rham Emanuel
Most Chicagoans are assuming that former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will become the next mayor of Chicago. But while the perception might satisfy many folks in the Windy City, at least one powerful Democratic sector isn’t so sure they are happy with the whole idea. Chicago’s union leaders are not very fond of the distempered former Chief of Staff.
Big Labor has been put off on Emanuel since he helped Bill Clinton get the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) passed in the 1990s when Emanuel was a Congressman from Chicago’s 5th District.
Emanuel also has a history of dissing Big Labor. At least he’s put other interests ahead of Big Labor enough times that labor leaders are not overly fond of the diminutive candidate.
A book about the Obama White House by Steven Ratner, Overhaul, even quoted Emanuel as saying, “**** the UAW,” when the president was discussion the autoworker’s union in a cabinet meeting.
As an added bonus, the very powerful and corrupt Alderman Ed Burke backed Chico.
Please see Alderman Edward Burke: Top Machine Boss of Obama’s Chicago-Part 1 for details of Burke’s corruption.
You may also wish to consider Part 2: A Top FBI Informant Accused Alderman Burke On Three Occasions of Fixing a Murder Trial For the Outfit.
The election of Emanuel was not the best outcome. However, given the choices, his election was the best outcome possible.
That aside, no one should expect miracles. If Emanuel does not deliver on reining in public unions, it will be time to pour on the criticism.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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