Chico Supporter Stirs Controversy, Calls Emanuel ‘Judas’

UPDATED 2/16/11 7:32 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A key supporter of mayoral candidate Gery Chico has raised some eyebrows by saying something about Rahm Emanuel that the Emanuel campaign called blatantly ugly.

Jim Sweeney, head of of Operating Engineers Local 150, was endorsing Chico Tuesday night at a labor rally when he called Emanuel a “Wall Street Judas.”

Some might call it a simple political jab, but Rahm Emanual’s campaign rejected the values behind the comment.

Sweeney was getting ready to introduce Chico and was talking about the financial problems facing the city when he made the remark.

“We don’t need to be told that there’s an economic problem, we live it every day,” Sweeney said. “Rahm Emanuel doesn’t live it, he’s nothing but a Wall Street Judas [with] a bag of silver that he collected when he went and passed NAFTA. That’s exactly what he is.”

After Sweeney said those words, Chico took the podium a short time later and hugged Sweeney, but said nothing about Sweeney’s comment.

Emanuel’s campaign didn’t like any of it.

In a statement Wednesday, Emanuel – who is Jewish – said “I have absolute confidence that the people of the city of Chicago will see this comment for what it is and reject the values behind it. And the ugliness behind it.”

The Anti-Defamation League also lashed out at Sweeney for his comment, saying calling Emanuel “Judas” and mentioning a “bag of silver” plays into age-old stereotypes about Jews.

Dan Elbaum, regional director of the American Jewish Committee, said “A statement of that nature really has no place in a political campaign. The reference to Judas, which is a biblical reference to Judas selling out Jesus for material gain has been used against Jews throughout Jewish history.”

According to the Bible, Judas betrayed Jesus to the Romans for a bag of silver, leading to Jesus’ crucifixion. For centuries, anti-Semitic prejudices have blamed Jews in general for Judas’ betrayal, thus calling any Jewish person “Judas” is easily seen as anti-Semitic.

Sweeney denied his comment had anything to do with Emanuel’s religion.

“When I referred to a Judas, that’s no different than a Benedict Arnold or any of the great traitors in history who traded on the people that believed in them,” Sweeney said.

He said that Emanuel betrayed labor unions by supporting NAFTA, which led to American jobs moving overseas.

Chico’s campaign also said it didn’t see Sweeney’s comment as anti-Semitic.

A spokesperson said the remarks were about Rahm Emanuel betraying the Labor community by supporting the North American Free Trade Agreement. Big Labor has long opposed NAFTA, claiming it led to thousands of American jobs being shipped overseas.

“The definition of Judas, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, is ‘traitor: one who betrays under the guise of friendship,'” Chico spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said in a written statement. “Gery is the father of three Jewish children and it didn’t once occur to him that Jim was implying anything besides the fact that Rahm betrayed the workers of this city.”

“Let’s call this what it is- signature Rahm-style, divisive politics,” Anderson added. “He is trying to divide the city along religious lines. It’s cynical, it’s wrong and it’s certainly not mayoral, but given Rahm Emanuel’s history of divisive attacks to grow his power, it comes as no surprise.”

CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman and CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall contributed to this report.

  • Cheryl Weintraub

    Here we go Channel 2, just whose camp are in you. As broadcasters it’s your job to report the news not take sides. That comment, as someone who is Jewish had nothing to do as a anti-Semitic slur, Rahm Emanuel does not have what’s best for Chicago, it’s just another feather in his cap. The cold hard facts is that Rahm Emanuel, is a slimy, over political, worm and probably the worst thing that could ever happen to Chicago. Walter Jacobson…..time to retire

    • David

      This is the best comment I have ever heard. The only reason this slim ball has a flying chance to win the Mayoral elections is because Obama calle din a few favors. I reside on the Northside and nobody wants this Suburban ballerina in Chicago!

      • Steve

        You clod. I live on the north side and I would appreciate you keeping your opinions on how I think to yourself. You do NOT speak for everyone.

      • Philip J. Wayne

        You have proved that you are truly a moron by your comments….Chico is going down to defeat in a landslide next Tuesday…and you Davil are a low life just like Sweeney.

      • Smooth

        Your speaking on behalf of everybody I take it when you say nobody? I don’t think so. lIke it or not Rahm will be our next mayor and lets at least give him a chance to do right for the city and not take cheap shots from individuals like youl

    • source

      I disagree. Channel 2 NEWS is probably more open and better than channel 5, 7, 9, and Fox. They don’t allow you to post comments. Channel 5 Ward Room is controlled who support emanuel Channel 7 over does it with its anchors. Channel 9 is own by the Trib. who also support emanuel. The clear choice for me is now Channel 2. This comment is like giving emanuel a fish in the newspaper.

    • Taxpayer 2

      You are right. I agree with you whole hardly. The media probably agree with you as well. But might be too scare to tell the truth. Looking at the picture above, I’m sure that they could have taken a better picture of a more confident Gery Chico. But time after time again the media seem to be the problem when giving the news. Any spiritual person know that satin is controlling the media.

      Satin uses television to tell you a vision, only the vision is from the dark side. That is one the pillars that he controls.Same game is being played, spiritual warfare. When you operate in the flesh, it will be impossible to beat satin. The only way to beat satin is by God’s Word which is spiritual. The Word of God is the light to a dark society.

      The facts is Rahm does not act spiritual when he doing all that lying and cussing. He does like Black Americans. He does know the city of Chicago that well to be any mayor. Going along with NAFA was a big mistake The other shady deals that he made in the Clinton administration.Having Rahm for mayor is a crazy idea period.

      In the political agenda is another one of satin pillars that he controls. There should have been better candidates running for mayor. Still Gery Chico seem to the better candidate to be mayor.

      We all know that Rahm is a slim ball. If he happen to be Jewish, so what. There probably good Jewish people, but we all know Rahm is slim. The ex governor knows Rahm is slim too. And its time for people to vote these devils out.

      • Falconnetti Kilraven

        What is the “he does like Black Americans” statement all about, Taxpayer2? You talk about Satan, spiritual warfare, and Rahm not acting spiritual with all that “lying and cussing”, then say that “he does like Black Americans”. Can you explain in more detail what you meant by that?

      • jho

        you are an idiot, as evidenced by your spelling and grammar. Do you mean whole0heartedly? And who is Satin? Do you mean Satan? ANd what is wrong with being slim? Do you want a fat mayor?

  • Alex

    This is ridiculous! Jews are the only race who cry Anti-Semite when they don’t get there way. YouTube “it’s a trick we always use” The only reason Rahm is offended is because his loyalty is to only Israel. He served in the Israeli military not the US military. By using the “Anti-Semite” is as childish as using any racist insult. Gery Chico 2011!!!

    • Salvadore

      Wow, Alex. You yourself are the true definition of an anti-Semite. And you don’t spell well. Since you are an anti-Semite and you can’t spell well, I can now assume that all anti-Semites spell poorly. Thank you for letting me use your logic on this one. Gee, it’s fun to generalize about people, isn’t it?

  • joe

    Boy, Chico and Braum must hate Jewish people now that is the second comment Mr. Emmanuel has not said one thing about their religion

    • N

      Chico’s wife is Jewish and their 3 children are Jewish… He did not take any offense to the comment, but instead hugged it out with the guy… Everyone is over- reacting…

      • Philip J. Wayne

        I listened to the comments a couple times….and don’t agree with you….it was clear what sweeney and chico were doing…..ethnic slurs and mud slinging….not acceptable….Chico’s campaign ended on Tuesday.

      • rissa

        If his children are Jewish, he should have understood how his supporter’s remarks were offensive. But he didn’t. This shows me Chico’s character is questionable.

    • Taxpayer 2

      No one said who hates who. We all know hate is wrong. We just stating the facts. Gery Chico is the mayor for all the people. Not just for the fat cats. God bless.

      • city contracts

        Um, Taxpayer 2- just to let you know, Gery Chico IS a fat cat. Just look at his tax records and how he made a killing off of contracts secured through the city. Time for you to do your homework before you comment.

    • Jack Milton

      Correction. Chico cannot control what other people say, but he should have apologized.

      • Philip J. Wayne

        He can control correcting garbage like this on the spot after comments from Sweeney were made……His poltical career ended yesterday….the electorate is not stupid like they used to be.

  • Bob Hamilton

    The comment is just one of many desperate last minute slurs you will be hearing directed at Rahm. The part I do not understand is why everyone does not see how lucky Chicago is to have a person like Rahm Emanuel as Mayor. I think anti-semitism has to be a factor in those that choose to only see their own failures when they look at Rahm. Don’t be mad, just admit it.

    • Taxpayer 2

      A Jewish wish to be mayor is fine. But not that lying Rahm. Gery Chico is the mayor for all the people. Commonsense.

      • Ranman

        Common Sense? (which is two words) I don’t think half the people who wrote these comments have working, capable brains, let alone, common sense.
        Chicago is the great city it is because of the way it works (runs). N.Y.C., L.A., have much bigger problems than us, and Chicago is cleaner & more citizen friendly!
        Chico may be a good candidate, but he doesn’t have the experience or the savvy to make Chicago work any better or different than it has. Emmanuel does.
        Leave out the religion, the race card, the anti-whatever comments and look at skill, experience and clout. That means Emmanuel IS the next Mayor of Chicago.

      • Lewis Freeman

        The leading candidate keeps stealing ideas from Miguel Del Valle, Susana Mendoza, Gery Chico, Dock Walls, and CMB. Have you notice in previous debates how he was taking notes and rebuffing those ideas back to the media simply emanuelizing it. Since the rest of the candidates before didn’t get the media to cover their ideas.

      • Philip J. Wayne

        Dream on …..Emmanuel has more class as a human being that the old hack politician Chico….you guys are so frustrated that Chico is about to get ditched by the voters that you are slinging immigration mud and racial slurs…I will truly enjoy the landslide that Emmanuel is on the verge of taking on Tuesday…good riddens to the three stooges, Chico, Carol Mostly Fraud and Da Da DA Da Del Valle.

  • Marie

    Ridiculous! Chico needs to get off his soap box and talk issues, not class. Rahm is the best qualified candidte and I hope he wins with 50% + 2. As a retired
    CPS teacher, Chico did nothing for the schools and will do nothing for the city.

    • Warren Smith

      The facts are that he inherited 1.3 billion dollar budget deficit with schools that has lead paint, broken windows, asbestos, and teacher union strikes. Results: 375 schools were remoldeled, 65 new elementary schools, 7 new high schools, and there wasn’t any teacher strike during his position, and he left it with a 345 million dollar surplus. GET your facts together.

    • Philip J. Wayne

      Marie… can tell these Chico and Del Valle supporters are desperate… is starting to sink in that they are on the way out the door…thank God. Their friend Luis needs to go as well.

  • Taxpayer 2

    Everybody know how Rahm is. That is not being anti-Semitic. Any person who agree with NAFA and what NAFA has done to this country is a fool. Taking our jobs away with just to filling your pockets with monies is wrong. iChina, Japan, Brazil, etc are probably rolling over laughing how stupid the United States become.

    The middle class here is really China middle class, because everything is made from China. Their people working for low wages, but they sell Lexus and everything else over here.

    Black Americans know that the president doesn’t have to be involved in Emanuel’s campaign. Black Americans also know for a fact that Rahm has not been a friend to the black community whatsoever. Now Rahm wants to beat everybody down with more taxes. Tax dog care, tax barber shops, taxing everything while lining their pocket up. Sounds like satin playground to me.

    Gery Chico knows Chicago well. Gery Chico has done wonderful things in the city of Chicago. Gery Chico is the mayor for all Chicago.

    • Ranman

      Who’s buying that Lexus and other chinese made stuff? Not me. Not my friends or family. IF Americans didn’t buy that stuff, things could be different. But as long as my and YOUR fellow americans buy foreign stuff… we have a problem. It is about choice. Too many choices are made to keep up images with friends/family – that is not Emmanuel or Chico or even Mayor Daley’s fault, that is “our” choices.

      • Taxpayer 2

        Our middle class has become China middle class. China caters to our middle class. Not just Lexus, but electrical products automotive part, you pretty much name it. And the China is laughing their way to the bank. All of our jobs has left, thanks to NAFA. Rahm went along with NAFA in the Clinton administration.

    • Falconnetti Kilraven

      Are you black, Taxpayer2? You seem to be acting as a spokesperson for black Americans in general, and black Chicagoans in particular. I am requesting that you please stop referring to “Black Americans” in your comments and speak for yourself as an individual, regardless of your race.

  • Wallace Gator Bradley

    The world knows the games that Rahm, don’t play fair, have no respect for rules, don’t care about African- Americans, poor folks or the working class, we the voters must show him that this is not the mens shower. Elect CHICO 4 MAYOR, February 22, 2011 , he can bring respect to this City and UNITED front will win.

    • Philip J. Wayne

      No respect for rules….He is the only one following them….you think the other candidates care about POOR FOLKS….what a joke….Chico is going down to a landslide defeat Tuesday……and I am going to have a great time celebrating the victory.

  • Chicago

    Rahm Emanuel was voted the second MOST CORRUPT POLITICIAN in Washington DC 2010 by

    Ask what has Rahm Emanuel done for Chicago / Chicagoans while he was in the White House with Obama.

    He talks about what he did 11 years ago with Clinton but not what he has done with Obama.



    • Philip J. Wayne

      Baloney….more baloney….more and more baloney……..more and more and more baloney…..Chico is going down to defeat…Yeah.

  • Nightrider

    So your telling me that all Union Members are dumb enough to support Chico. Remember whoever is elected Mayor of Chicago will have the Budget issues. If people think Chico is going to walk on water then you better wake up and smell the coffee. Chico is an insider and is part of the problem. Wake up Union members and do not let verbiage about one commercial change your vote

    • LightRider

      It’s a fact that the Daley Machine, White House, Hollywood Brother, and the Media, have chosen their crum, but it’s up to the voters to decide — LightRider

  • bill

    these candidates are worried, must hate Mr. Emanuel the unions are worried, because they might have to work they tried to stop him on residence and now these people are throwing religion slurs and jokes to stir the pot the candidates should run on what they will do for the people not attack each other

  • Brenda Babjak

    It is unfortunate that Mr Chico is connected with divisive supporters besides the negative campaign he has been running. This is not what Chicago needs.

    • Philip J. Wayne

      Yes Brenda.

  • gail

    Why don’t people who leave comments check their spelling? And their facts?

  • wayne capinegro

    None of the aspirants have said what they would do to solve the city’s problems. DeValle seems like a simpleton, and Braun is a giggling idiot. Chico will put the mayor’s office up to the highest bidder. Emanuel is an out and out politician but that’s what the Daleys are.

  • James

    All Chico and the Man can come up with are negative ads aimed at Emanuel. That is what desperate and feeble-minded people do. He might get a couple of Mexicans to vote for him if he promises to get green cards for their relatives. Chico and the Man is BAD for Chicago.

    • Loser James

      You are as ignorant as the union leader with a foolish life.

  • Ruby

    As a Jew in Chicago, and someone who knows Gery Chico’s background well, I know that he would never support anything that was said in an anti-semetic or inflammatory nature, in any way. Ever! He has my vote and continued support and I know that he will make an outstanding Mayor!

    • Philip J. Wayne

      Ruby… don’t now him well enough….he blew it yesterday buy not pulling away from Sweeney’s comments on the spot……game over.

      • on the fence

        To “T”: What kind of a man, who has kids that are Jewish, is ok with an anti-semitic phrase? What kind of values does Chico have, anyway? I was on the fence about who to vote for, but this really makes me not want to vote for him.

      • T

        Phil, Chicos’s children are Jewish….

  • Anthony Steven Warnelis

    Rahm Emanuel jokingly admits in a recent forum that he was “out of town the past two years”. THIS is what we are most concerned about, with you, Rahm–that you “get it” and think it’s all so laughable.

    SPEAK TO THE ISSUE, Rahm–you voted for NAFTA and SHATA’d labor, and they’re telling you they remember, and do not intend to forgive NOR forget.

    Beat him at the polls; Rahm is WRONG FOR CHICAGO!!!!

    CHICO…because if we can’t be a great city with a true CHICAGOAN–not someone from Winnetka–then we don’t deserve outside help.

    • Philip J. Wayne

      Most of us would disagree with you …….The majority that has made up their minds weeks ago ……will come through with a landslide for Emmanuel on Tuesday….there is absolutely no one but a total moron that would buy the garbage you desperate people are dishing out.

  • Gerald Spencer

    The Chicago CBS news celibrities who just MUST put their personal comments in the news, making it commentary NOT news, have been anti-Emanuel consistently. This 6PM news had that woman with Bill and Skippy vehemently defending Sweeney and Chico, it was appalling.. For the clip of Sweeney, the man was lying through his teeth. Rob Johnson appears to be the only person on those “news” shows that seems to avoid making personal comments in lieu of news.

  • Philip J. Wayne

    The comments made by the group that support Chico were out of bounds for good taste and were anti-semitic….Chico….time for you to be past history…which will happen next Tuesday…what a loser you are.

  • Ana

    Shame on you, Gery Chico, for not issuing an apology with regard to Sweeney’s remarks and disassociating yourself from the man. I would have never pegged you as someone who would go along with those remarks, but the fact that you are refusing to recognize and admit that Sweeney’s comments were absolutely anti-Semitic puts you in the same boat as Sweeney. I was going to vote for you, Chico, but not anymore.

    • Megan

      It’s unfortunate, that Gery Chico has no control over what people say or what they do, but I think he should have apologized and moved on. Therefore, he still has my vote for a RUN-OFF. Chicago needs choices and not one sideed powered individual.

  • john kesrouan

    Heh Chico borrowing the Sarah Palin playbook are we.

  • Chuck_Y

    The Judas comment is more meaning Rahm sold out to Wall St. by getting millions. (ie. 8.5 million, and the 320k from Freddie Mac)

    • Philip J. Wayne


      • Chuck_Y

        Facts speak louder than opinion. Do you mean baloney or mafia style ‘dead fish’ sent Rahm style.

  • john kesrouan

    James Watts in the 1980s became infamous with his comment about rock bands attracting the wrong element, drugs and alcoholism. He got a trophy with a hole in the foot. Then “he mocked affirmative action by saying about a coal-leasing panel: “I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple. And we have talent.” The award then was called the James G Watts award. Now it should be renamed the Watts, Palin, Chico award. Or maybe we can really insult Chico by just calling it the Pachico award and see how he feels.

  • Chris

    FAIL! You can’t put the words “Rahm” “Judas” and “bag of silver” in the same sentence and not call it anti-semitic. Come on people!

    • Myra

      I agree – and I am a Jew and a historian AND I AM offended.

    • Irma

      Maybe so, but Emanuel is Anti-Immigrant. He voted against the Dream Act and refused to lift a finger for the Immigration reform when he had the chance. There was even a immigration protest outside his campaign office. Where was the media to cover this.

  • Marlin Jones

    Forget Wall St., what happened at Freddie Mac?

  • The BatMan

    In fact it wasn’t rahm is was the Republicans

    • Marlin Jones

      Uh, you’d best check who was working there, who appointed them, who blocked investigations and who got the campaign donations. It must be wonderful to be blindly ignorant of the facts and yet be so prescient of the future. Just for starters: who has been running Chicago for the past what 60 years? Has it really gotten any better? Maybe we need a mayor who can see over his desk and into the streets.

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