Emanuel Defends Robo-Calls Linking Chico, Tea Party

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayoral frontrunner Rahm Emanuel is defending his use of robo-calls to call out challenger Gery Chico for having received the endorsement of a Tea Party group.

In the recorded, Spanish-language phone call, Emanuel slams Chico for receiving the endorsement of the “anti-immigrant” Tea Party. The calls refer to the Tea Party as a “right-wing group fights against President (Barack) Obama’s agenda and supports the Arizona (immigration) law,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

In Feb. 1 letter, the Chicago Tea Patriots group endorsed Chico. The letter attacked Emanuel as a “progressive liberal” who would raise taxes, and said “bringing the American tradition of free markets back to Chicago so that small businesses are free from the tyranny of Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel’s hostile tax and spend agenda” is Chico’s top priority.

The letter also pointed out that the Chicago Police and firefighters’ unions had both endorsed Chico, and lauded Chico for his willingness to consider doing away with the law requiring city employees to live within the city limits.

But on Tuesday, another note by a different person on a separate Web site said contrary to what was reported in “media outlets,” the Chicago Tea Party Patriots had not endorsed Chico. The new letter said Chico did not espouse the values of “limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and economic freedom.”

As 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 statement earlier this week.

But he then did outright reject the endorsement. He said Wednesday, “I repudiate the platform of the Tea Party of Illinois,” and said he has long been a defender of immigration reform, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

But Emanuel said the robo-calls linking Chico and the Tea Party are fair, given that Chico’s endorsement didn’t come for 24 hours after the endorsement made headlines, the Sun-Times reported.

  • Drew


    Since Illegal Immigrants Have no voting rights…why pander to them?

  • hank

    because in Chicago they can vote

    • resident

      Yes they can. And Yes they do.

  • Jim

    I would vote for any candidate that did not bash the other contestants. If you are trying to win an election based on the fact that you are better than someone else that is dirty politics and shows that you will have no morals while in office. If you run for office state the facts; I will do X, Y, Z, and don’t worry about the other candidates. Let the people choose who is best.

    • L Stop

      If only it were like that, Jim. Those idiots are the lowest common denominator.

      Anybody who becomes Mayor, Governor, Cook County Commissioner…all have a prepared script to follow: get nothing done and grab all the “under-the-table” money you can. Then run for re-election and read from the script.

  • Barbara Warren

    The leading candidate is an Optortunist thinking about HIMSELF ONLY: with Freddie Mac, placing a wreath at the Fireman’s casket, visiting the O’Hare airport when iemployees are allowed, recently sent letters to city hall workers about pensions, and now this http://www.salem-news.com/articles/january262011/emanuel-palestine.php

  • Tom

    How pathetic… I grew up in Chicago, and felt true pride in being a Chicagoan. Now, the town is simply a joke, and an embarrasment. Why bother with the cost and expense of staging an illusion of democracy? Deadfish has already “won” the election. To be fair, there isn’t much in the way of choices anyway. Politicians here, like Emanuel, don’t give a damn about ethics and principled behavior. In fact, they’re actions seem to indicate those concepts are a hinderance, rather than a virue. The political climate here in Chicago (and the state at large) is just another reason why business growth is stifled.

  • grossed out

    Really getting beyond “SICK” of the mudslinging, fearmongering for this Beauty Contest.

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