Monday, December 3, 2018

Tribune: Why the federal raid on powerful Ald. Ed Burke has left Chicago mayoral candidates quiet #ChiMayor19

Well the discussion over the federal raid on the powerful chairman of the committee on finance Ald. Edward Burke continues:
But in the wake of federal agents raiding Burke’s City Hall and 14th Ward offices Thursday, the 21 candidates running for Chicago mayor — most of them on a proclaimed platform of reform — had very little to say about one of the most astonishing political developments in the city’s recent memory.

There were no news releases, few tweets and little professed outrage.

That’s because many of the race’s front-runners have some form of exposure, serving alongside Burke in the city’s political hierarchy, or counting him as a friend or mentor. And as the Burke investigation plays out in the final months of the Feb. 26 mayor’s race, the political fallout will leave some grasping for how to reconcile their self-professed desire to change City Hall with their ties to an iconic Chicago politician in the crosshairs of federal investigators.

On Friday, at least, few of them were talking.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza got her political start with Burke’s backing and considers him a friend, even celebrating with him as a guest at her wedding. She declined to discuss his federal heat.

City Hall veteran and attorney Gery Chico worked at Burke’s Finance Committee as a young researcher and long has considered him a close friend and mentor. He declined an interview.

Bill Daley is the son and brother of two former mayors who navigated the halls of power with Burke, the two families’ 11th and 14th wards rooted in the Southwest Side. For decades, each represented separate pillars of power with their own fiefdoms within the city’s political structure. He wouldn’t talk about Burke, who has made at least $30,000 in contributions to Daley family political funds over the years.

Neither would Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, a fellow party leader who has benefited from Burke’s support in the past.

Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas and former Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy also wanted no part of discussing how their desire to make City Hall more efficient and businesslike would intersect with Burke’s potential departure.
 Wait what about the man who's mayor now, Rahm Emanuel?
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday refused to weigh in on whether Ald. Ed Burke should step down from representing his ward or give up his Finance Committee chairmanship a day after federal agents raided the alderman’s government offices, saying it’s too early to know exactly what the dramatic episode means.

On the question of whether Burke should run for a 13th full term in February or retire from the council after agents pulled boxes and computers from his City Hall and Southwest Side offices Thursday, the mayor said that’s up to his constituents.

“We live in a country of laws. They haven’t even charged him,” Emanuel said after a downtown jobs announcement. “And so, all I would say is, the decision of what happens in the 14th Ward are to the voters of the 14th Ward. And I think that’s where you should respect that process, in that basis. You don’t need me to guess about what are the implications.” 
The answer is to let it play out?

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