President Obama’s favorite ballerina, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, is running for reelection, it’s a four candidate primary and it’s ugly. Emmanuel is being cast as too “conservative,” and along with Barack Obama, a tool of the rich. In Chicago these days Obama and Emmanuel are not the progressives darlings. They are not “Hope and Change.” They are the enemy. They are, or at least from listening to Emmanuel’s prime opponent, Chuy Garcia, the two headed monster that runs the Chicago Tea Party.
Chuy Garcia is a rare breed, a legal Mexican immigrant, he’s also a Cook County Commissioner, and a progressive firebrand.
Chuy’s willing to talk about the murder problem in Chicago, Rahm and Barack won’t touch it with a 10,000 foot pole. Well, other than to note the “problem” isn’t Chicago’s black youth shooting one another, it the loose gun laws in neighboring Republican states.
The fun part of all of this, at least for those of us who don’t live anywhere near Chicago, is watching Chuy take on Chicago’s Democratic Machine with no money and scare the hell out of them. Rahm’s got a $6.5 million war chest, Chuy’s got about $800K and is operating out of an abandoned restaurant.
Chuy’s not going to win the four person primary, but he’s likely to throw the race into a runoff when Rahm doesn’t get more than 50% of the vote. How bad are things for Rahm?
Emanuel is promising to build on the policy changes he has made over the past four years, such as increasing the minimum wage, expanding full-day kindergarten and attracting businesses to the city.
“We’re going to continue to make investments throughout the city of Chicago in all parts of the city,” Emanuel told reporters Wednesday.
But Garcia is pushing an even higher minimum wage. Backed by the Chicago Teachers Union, which has clashed sharply with Emanuel, most notably in a 2012 strike, he has blasted the mayor’s controversial decision to shutter more than 50 elementary schools to close a budget deficit.
Chicago is in a race to see which city can be the next Detroit. The Chicago Teachers Union has as their primary goal bankrupting the city and making sure no high school graduate can read above 6th grade level. Rahm and Chuy are competing to see which vision of the Democratic Party can get them there quickest.
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