Reporting John Cody
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel has received mixed reviews from two high-profile Chicago politicians for recent TV ads featuring the mayor commenting on the new contract for Chicago Public Schools teachers.
WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Bill Daley — the former White House chief of staff and brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley — said Tuesday he switches the channel whenever the Emanuel ads show up.
“I must say, I hope they end soon. I’m just tired of changing channels,” he said.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports
However, Daley said he doesn’t object to Emanuel and the group Education Reform Now running the ads in the first place.
“He has laid out how he views it – not in a divisive way, not in a confrontational way, not in a negative way towards the union,” said Daley, a co-chairman of the Advance Illinois education group. “He has the right. Obviously, free speech allows him to express his opinion.”
Attending an education conference with Daley on Tuesday, former City Clerk and former State Sen. Miguel del Valle — who ran against Emanuel in the mayoral race last year — said the money used for the ads could have been better spent to actually help some public schools.
“I think that money should have gone to air condition some schools, instead of on TV,” he said.
Emanuel discusses the teachers’ contract in the ad, which was funded not by the city or the mayor himself, but by Education Reform Now, a group which has battled teachers’ unions across the country.
“Change is never easy, and this contract certainly wasn’t. But more time in class and more accountability is the right deal for our kids,” Emanuel says in the ad.
The Chicago Teachers Union has said the mayor’s ads could be seen as divisive, at a time when individual teachers are still voting whether to ratify the tentative contract deal with CPS, following a strike that lasted seven school days. Teachers still have a week left to complete that vote.