Election Day is just eight days away and the mayoral campaigns are getting in their latest digs. In what is being described as her latest "gaffe," Carol Moseley Braun, at an event with Princeton professor Cornel West, said Rahm Emanuel's campaign commercials reminded her of the 1968 Mel Brooks film "The Producers." Moseley Braun compared Emanuel to one of the film's characters, who believed Adolf Hitler was a good man. Moseley Braun's comments came after her campaign touted a poll showing the former U.S. Senator in second place in the race for mayor.
The other candidate seemingly vying for second place, Gery Chico, is also directing shots at Emanuel. In a press release (PDF) sent out on Monday, Chico complained of Emanuel's "hypocrisy" on ethics issues, saying the former White House chief of staff was the "least likely" of all the mayoral candidates to change the culture of corruption in City Hall. Chico pointed to the disgraced ex-water department boss Donald Tomczak, whose pro-Daley patronage army helped Emanuel get elected to Congress; his tenure on the board of Freddie Mac; and his ties to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Chico's criticism of Emanuel on ethics came as the former school board president was endorsing a 15-point ethics plan by good-government leader and University of Illinois-Chicago professor Dick Simpson. The report (PDF) lays out a reform agenda and calls on each of the mayoral candidates to endorse its proposals. The agenda challenges candidates to, among other things, work to elect reform candidates, enact public financing, and strengthen the role of the city's inspector general. As of this posting, the plan has been endorsed by Chico and William "Dock" Walls.
Speaking of Emanuel, in the midst of heavy criticism from organized labor for an ad in which he appeared to criticize city workers, the front-runner told the Chicago News Cooperative that the furlough program for city workers should end. Emanuel's comments came in the wake of Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson's latest report, which found that the Daley administration's use of furloughs will cost the pension funds
more than $24 million, making current funding shortfalls that much
The mayoral candidates square off in a debate tonight on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight."