Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ald. Lyle a target for pro Wal-Mart forces

Looks like Ald. Lyle is the target of a political consulting couple who also run an investment firm. They were hired by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce to help install pro Wal-Mart alderman onto the city council:
"Obviously, what we would do is think about the type of help that [candidates] need in an election, and it isn't just throwing money at any particular person, but the type of feet on the ground that they need," he says.

Roper won't reveal which wards the chamber has in its sights. "We'll have to wait and see the evaluation, see who's going to declare, who's going to run, who's not going to run, and then make that decision," he says. But he did say the chamber's political action committee will meet next month to begin planning for the aldermanic races.

Mini wouldn't say whether Walmart is represented on that committee. "That's not something we typically make public," says Mini. "They obviously make sensitive decisions."

The Freeman folks, however, have specified wards they think are ripe for the picking. At the candidates' seminar, Delgado presented an "at-risk" list of incumbents who'd won with less than 54 percent of the vote in 2007 and were sitting on smaller war chests.

Among the targets: Sixth Ward alderman Freddrenna Lyle, who introduced a new living-wage ordinance in April; 24th Ward alderman Sharon Dixon, who signed onto Lyle's living-wage ordinance; 25th Ward alderman and zoning committee chair Daniel Solis; 32nd Ward alderman Scott Waguespack, who's mulling a run for mayor; 46th Ward alderman Helen Shiller, who has since announced she won't run for re-election; Moore, who voted against the Chatman Walmart last month and signed onto Lyle's living-wage ordinance; and 50th Ward alderman Bernard Stone, who supported Lyle's living-wage ordinance while also supporting the Pullman Walmart.

While the City Council was debating the Pullman Walmart, Lyle says, Beale and former mayoral aide turned Walmart flack Gyata Kimmons tried to get her to back off the living-wage stuff. "I was basically warned that Walmart was going to put up $700,000 against the anti-Walmart aldermen. I said, 'OK, thank you very much.'"

Like Roper, Caldero says which wards the Freeman Institute actually does go into will be based on who's running. She insists the Freeman Institute isn't looking for just "pro-business" candidates like the chamber, but she told me the institute would like to continue working with the chamber in the future.
If 2007 was about labor asserting itself. It appears 2011 may well be about Wal-Mart, although I would imagine that since two Wal-Marts have been approved by the City Council, that wouldn't be a huge issue. Unless, the next election was about further Wal-Mart expansion in the city.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah Yeah Yeah. This is Chicago and more importantly this is the Sixth Ward. Going back to Eugene Sawyer the machine hasn't won an election in this ward. The biggest problem with this scenario is that they don't have a candidate who can stand up to her. The only two I can think of would be Karen Norrington Reaves or the new comer Brian Sleet. The other political hacks no matter how much money you put behind them they will never win.


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