Rahm Emanuel, the foul-mouthed Clintonista cum Obama acolyte, never gained the popularity of Chicago’s other lifelong, machine mayors during his rakish tenure as mayor of Chicago. Saddled with the typically poor finances of a liberal metropolis upon entering office, Emanuel crossed teachers unions by only offering them a 17.6-percent raise over four years in a sop to sane budgeting. As a result, he will face a serious runoff challenge in Jesus “Chuy” Garcia April 7. Emily Zanotti outlined the progressive backlash in the Wall Street Journal:

As far as success stories go, Mr. Emanuel’s could be better. One reason he is having such a hard time is that he has failed to inspire Chicagoans’ true belief. People like Mr. Emanuel, or at least they tolerate him. They might even be willing to forgive his plan to install speed cameras citywide—getting a ticket is known as “getting Rahmed”—if he can lower the rates on parking meters and snag Mr. Obama’s presidential library. But no one really loves Mr. Emanuel…

Part of the mayor’s troubles stem from the dissatisfaction of progressives, who expected a better deal from President Obama’s former chief of staff. Before the first votes were even cast, MoveOn.org had lent Mr. Garcia its Chicago email list. Democracy for America, a group founded by former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, is also sending emails for Mr. Garcia. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is raising money under the headline “Defeat Corporate Democrat Rahm Emanuel.” It seems as if every teachers union in the country is focusing off-year election efforts on Chicago to teach Mr. Emanuel a lesson.

Ya don’t say.

MoveOn.org:

MoveOn

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Democracy for America:

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And, Progressive Change Campaign Committee:

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But whatever could these groups need with a blueprint for knocking off a seemingly inevitable, Third Way-ish, corporate crony Democrat with Clinton ties? Godspeed for now, my strange bedfellows. Hillary, of course, doesn’t have the concentrated liability of a potent enemy like the teachers unions in Chicago, but she has oh, so many liabilities to exploit, both old and new. Enjoy this coalition of lefties running war games in Chicago before they take on the big target. Will they succeed and, if so, will their success be applicable nationally?

Meanwhile, this hot blue-on-blue action is having unexpectedly salutary and libertarian effects in that very blue town. Garcia has been hitting Emanuel on speed cameras in the city, which bring so much revenue safety to the people of Chicago:

CHICAGO (WLS) — In the race for Chicago mayor, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia promised to get rid of the city’s red light cameras if he defeats Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the runoff election.

Seizing on the unpopular red light cameras, Garcia promises to end the program. However, the candidate did not offer any ideas on how he would make up for the program’s lost revenue. Garcia says his position is about safety not the city budget.

As for the controversial red light cameras, polls have shown Chicagoans don’t like them. And now, with five weeks until a runoff, neither does Garcia.

“It’s time to end the red light rip off, I will do it on day one no more tickets,” Garcia said.

Garcia’s promise to end the program is a change of position on the issue. A few months ago, he said he would only keep the cameras that proved to reduce accidents. The candidate says his change of heart follows a published report that links a Rahm Emanuel former congressional aide to the company that operates the cameras.

“He can’t end it because he is joined as the hip with the same special interests who are making millions on this deal,” Garcia said.


No matter who wins, this is great:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has ordered the removal of 50 red-light cameras at 25 more Chicago intersections where the number of accidents has fallen, apparently determined to put out a political fire that could burn him in the April 7 runoff.

The red-light cameras at the 25 intersections haven’t been taken down yet, but they stopped spewing out $100 tickets at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

That will leave Chicago with 302 red-light cameras at 149 intersections — a 20 percent reduction in what’s been the nation’s largest red-light camera program.

At a Sunday news conference, Emanuel also proposed plans to allow first-time red-light offenders the chance to take an online safety class to avoid paying a $100 fine.