Four Mayoral Candidates Square Off In Forum

CHICAGO (WBBM) – It was second to last debate between the four main candidates for Chicago Mayor and the forum was relatively civil and at times jovial.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding Reports

Each candidate was asked about pension reform, crime and whether Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weiss should remain in office.

“I think we need a fresh start,” said Rahm Emanuel. “He’s constantly battling with his officers. I think it would be better for morale.

“It’s not about morale, we need more officers,” said Gery Chico.

“He’s done some good things in the last few weeks so I’d be open to revisit the issue,” said Miguel del Valle.

Carol Mosley Braun talked about better transparency in city government. “I think we should put the budget online. Taxpayers need to see where their money is going.”

Everyone agreed that there needs to be pension reform for city employees but many differed on ways to fix the problem.

“It would be unconstitutional to reduce city employee benefits,” said Del Valle.

Gery Chico said it needs to be a shared sacrifice. “Employees may have to contribute more and the city definitely needs to contribute more.”

Emanual agreed, “The city hasn’t made its contributions.” The former White House Chief of Staff said he’d take no pension and require his staff to take a pay cut to balance the budget.

When asked what the candidates though Mayor Richard Daleys’ biggest mistakes were?

“I wouldn’t have shut down Meigs Field,” said del Valle.

“I think he did good things for some parts of the city but left some out,” said Mosley Braun.

“Putting too many eggs in the Olympics basket instead of job creation,” said Emanuel.

The top two vote-getters will advance if no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote.

“I’m praying for a runoff,” laughed del Valle.

The final debate will be held Thursday night. The election is Feb. 22.

Earlier Monday, Chico drew fire from his mayoral rivals after he received an endorsement from the Chicago Tea Patriots, a group aligned with the Tea Party movement that criticizes President Obama. Chico said he did not seek the group’s endorsement but didn’t outright reject it.

“I’m more concerned with bringing people together to move our city forward,” Chico said in a statement.

That didn’t stop del Valle and Emanuel from piling on.

“The notion that somebody would accept the support of an entity built around one premise – to stop President Obama – I do not accept,” Emanuel said.

More from Lisa Fielding
  • Philip J. Wayne

    To Del Valle …….who the heck cares that Meigs Field was closed….it belongs to the public not a group of elite plane owners…I am a supporter of Emmanuel all the way…but I think Superintendent Weis is doing an outstanding job….he should be kept with a renegotiated salary. To Carol Mostly Fraud and Chico …you have been slinging too much mud. Game is about to end.

    • Johnnie M. Jones

      I too, think Supertinendent Weis should continue as the Superintendent of Police.

  • Joe Shmoe

    I hope Rahm Emanuel doesn’t win. The guy stinks just like the dead fish he mailed. This hot head is too much for me I will vote for anyone of these guys over Rahm.

  • Cbunch

    Hey! Is there anyone here who is getting tired of every single news crew treating the DEOMCARTIC PRIMARY for the off if mayor as the NOVEMBER election?

  • Tweets that mention Four Mayoral Candidates Square Off In Forum « CBS Chicago --

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  • Wallace Gator Bradley

    RAHM , left the President when he needed him the most, now we have the Tea Party and the REPUBLICANS running the House, when he was in Congress he voted against more than 120 bills that were sponsored by the Democratic Congressional Black Caucus, including a bill that would have brought money to Chicago State University, I guess that make’s him a closet Tea Party member, one thing for sure he wouldn’t turn down that endorsement.

    Why do he keep lying about that RAHM TAX:

  • Emanuel Defends Robo-Calls Linking Chico, Tea Party « CBS Chicago

    […] for Chico himself, he initially did not seek the group’s endorsement but didn’t outright reject it. “I’m more concerned with bringing people together to move our city forward,” Chico said in a […]

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