CHICAGO – The Chicago Tribune and the Sun-Times Editorial Boards are throwing their support behind Mayor Rahm Emanuel in his re-election bid.
Both papers cite challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s lack of a clear budget plan for their endorsement of Emanuel.
They both admit Emanuel’s personality many rub people the wrong way, but they credit him with making tough decisions to help the city improve its finances.
The Tribune wrote:
“We’ve seen [Rahm] make tough decisions and take unpopular steps to stem the city’s financial slide and build a vibrant business environment. More Chicagoans are working. The public schools and community colleges are on a better course. What he’s done gives us confidence in what he’ll do. And Garcia? We’ve always admired his political independence and basic decency. With the race down to two candidates, we looked forward to getting a better sense of what he’d do as mayor. But that picture hasn’t come into focus. Garcia has zigged and zagged on some hot-button issues. […] On crucial questions of how he’d repair the city’s finances, Garcia has been worse than inconsistent. He has offered no clues at all. Where would he find the $120 million to hire 1,000 new police officers? How would he replace the $70 million generated each year by the red light cameras? How would the city come up with that looming $550 million payment to its police and fire pension funds? What about the $700 million due for teacher pensions? What possible sources of new revenue are on — or off — the table? What would Garcia ask union employees to give up to help rescue their retirement funds, and what’s his Plan B for when they say no? […] The information needed to make these decisions is readily available. Why is Garcia still waffling? As a candidate, he clearly has trouble making decisions and delivering bad news. As mayor, you could expect more of the same from him.”
The Sun-Times wrote:
“[Rahm] has been a bold and effective mayor, willing to do what is unpopular but necessary to get Chicago back on track. […] More disappointing yet, Garcia has offered no realistic plan of his own for moving Chicago forward. He has not explained how he would solve the city’s financial problems, or pay for those 1,000 extra cops he says he would hire, or improve the schools. He has ridden a wave a discontent and that’s about all. […]Chicago has a mayor, Emanuel, who may have the hardest job of all — getting this town back on its feet — and he’s going at it the only way he seems to know how, full force. We’ll take that in a leader any day.”