Emanuel, Garcia battle as huge cuts linger

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CHICAGO -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel offered a mea culpa to Chicagoans recently. But the mayor's opponent, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, isn't buying Emanuel's softer side.

Emanuel addressed his "prickly" personality in a new campaign ad, in an attempt to prove he's a regular guy.

“[Emanuel's] gonna try everything he can to sell himself,” Garcia said. “He came up short in the first round. Now he's gotta do what he's gotta do.”

Meanwhile the mayor also released another video questioning Garcia's plan for Chicago's fiscal challenges.

And Wednesday, just five weeks before the election, Garcia says he's still putting together that plan.

“What I'm telling you is that we are consulting with experts on financial matters of the city. I will not be pressured by [Emanuel's] time frames,” Garcia said.

The city has even bigger problems if Governor Rauner's budget cuts pass: $104 million in cuts to the fire and police departments that would lay off 1,000 police officers; massive cuts to early childhood education and after school matters to keep kids off the streets; public transportation money would be cut, stopping projects like modernizing the Red Line at 95th street in their tracks.

“I don't believe the hard work has been done. Why are none of the tax loopholes part of this discussion?” Mayor Emanuel said.

Mayor Emanuel said the race is about leadership and who can bring big corporations and projects to the city -- like the Obama library, a position Garcia has flip-flopped on, now supporting the library on park district land.

“As I said before and I've been clear from day one: It can be on the South Side of Chicago, the West Side, but it can't be on the upper west side of Manhattan. That's not allowed.  Because it's too much of a big thing economically and job wise,” Emanuel said.

The runoff election is April 7.

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  • Michael Payne

    The Governor has cut funding to Public Transit, now they may not have funding for their big expensive projects like the stated 95th St., the Ashland BRT, and the Belmont Flyover.
    Alternative ways of accomplishing the same goals more cheaply should be throughly investigated, and compared; not only by the candidates – but by the media also, to see what could be done with how much in funds — and where! And also with them speaking of raising fares, and cutting service — they need to see about eliminating any types of waste, and any way to combine or coordinate transit services for the most efficiency.

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