With five weeks to go until Election Day, the Chicago mayoral race is continuing to heat up, with one of the frontrunners hitting the airwaves with ads for the first time and several others ratcheting up their criticisms of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García released his first television ads on Tuesday, focusing on public safety as he looks to stave off the momentum of former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas.
“It’s time to get back to a safer Chicago, by getting more cops on our streets,” he said in the ad.
García is also facing criticism from Lightfoot after he was named as a member of Congress that former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan wanted to “rely on” in newly-disclosed documents tied to the ComEd bribery scandal. García has not been charged with wrongdoing, and dismissed the criticisms.
“Do I look like a worried man? Of course not,” he said.
Lightfoot meanwhile is facing her own controversies over an email her campaign sent out to CPS teachers seeking out student volunteers. The email, which Lightfoot has characterized as a mistake, led the Chicago Board of Ethics to recommend that the Inspector Generals of both the city and CPS launch probes into the situation.
“We will cooperate with any investigation that’s out there,” Lightfoot said. “We said that, we will do that, and I’m confident that what any investigator will find was that it was a mistake.”
Vallas and other opponents of Lightfoot’s have called for ethics probes to continue in the case.
“Chicago elected her because she said she was going to bring the light,” community activist Ja’Mal Green said. “Because she said she was going to operate differently than regular politicians. That’s why they elected her over a Preckwinkle and a Daley, and she turned out to be just like them.”
Brandon Johnson, the Cook County Board Commissioner in the race, is defending a new plan he released to help address financial shortfalls in the city.
Johnson pledged not to raise property taxes, but has included tenets in the plan that would raise hotel taxes by up to 66%, as well as to assess a 3.5% income tax for earners making more than $100,000 in the city.
He also proposed to push for a “Metra surcharge” in the Illinois General Assembly, which he says would generate $40 million from suburban communities that benefit from the train system. He also proposed nearly $100 million in payments from airlines to compensate the city for pollution.
“The business of Chicago is the education of Chicago,” he said. “You cannot have a thriving business community if you don’t have a workforce.”
While Johnson characterized the proposals as a needed dose of “truth” from city officials, Vallas one of several candidates who criticized the tax increases.
“We have the highest hotel/motel tax in the country. It’s an industry that’s barely recovered from COVID. It’s an industry that’s struggling,” he said.
Green also blasted the plan.
“We don’t have a revenue problem,” he said. “We have a spending problem, and that’s how we must focus our administration.”
The election is now just five weeks away, with votes taking place on Feb. 28. If no candidate gets 50% of the vote, then a runoff between the top-two vote-getters will take place on Apr. 4.
Soruce : https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-politics/garcia-hits-airwaves-vallas-and-green-attack-lightfoot-on-ethics-in-chicago-mayoral-race/3054104/