Radio Host Kelly: Chicagoans Will Regret It If They Elect Emanuel Mayor

Tuesday, 22 Feb 2011 05:28 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Chicagoans trekking to the polls to vote for mayor will rue today if they elect Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, radio talk-show host William J. Kelly tells Newsmax. In fact, electing Emanuel will be bad not only for the Windy City but also for the nation, says Kelly, a political analyst and Chicago native who even says he may have to leave town if Emanuel wins.

William J. Kelly, Chicago, Emanuel, mayor
William J. Kelly
“The election of Barack Obama has strengthened the Chicago machine. If Emanuel is elected, Obama will have Emanuel at the helm and it will be a more ruthless, vindictive, and more powerful machine than before,” Kelly told Newsmax. “In essence, a new Chicago political machine. It won’t be the old guard that only cared about which of their pals got the construction contracts to fill the potholes. The Chicago machine has gone national.

“Will the Chicago platform be the one that launches the Senate campaign of Rahm Emanuel? Or a presidential bid? In whatever progressive pie is cooked up, Emanuel’s fingers will be in it. Not a happy thought,” said Kelly, a radio talk show host and conservative commentator who writes “Bill Kelly’s Truth Squad” and “The Tea Party Report” for the Washington Times Communities.

Although Emanuel is considered the front-runner, a candidate must get more than 50 percent to win; if none does, a run-off election will take place in April.

With polls showing that the election could be close, Kelly said, “As a Chicago conservative, sometimes all I have at my disposal is force of will — and I am willing a run-off. At this point, Chicago needs all the help it can get.”

Five other candidates are running in the first Chicago mayoral election without an incumbent in 64 years, with polls closing at 8 p.m. Eastern time today. Candidates besides Emanuel are: Miguel del Valle, Carol Moseley Braun, Gery Chico, Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, and William Walls III. More than 73,000 Chicagoans, including Mayor Richard Daley, who opted not to seek a seventh term, cast ballots in early voting.

Emanuel’s mayoral run included victories over court challenges to his residency because he had lived in Washington until he resigned from the Obama administration to run for mayor.

But Kelly continues to challenges Emanuel’s suitability to lead Chicago, saying, “It’s not Rahm for Chicago. It’s Rahm for Rahm. . . . His career has been built on privilege, walking the legal tightrope of the law, and questionable ethics at every turn.”

Kelly also says Obama is helping Emanuel win votes in the black community, noting, “Emanuel has positioned himself as a surrogate for Obama, which is why he has any support at all. I was on WVON radio in Chicago last night – a station with a heavy African-American listenership — and I reminded them that Rahm Emanuel is not Barack Obama. This community is very loyal to the President. However, the callers were very vocal that it was Rahm Emanuel’s ruthless style and contempt for the law that set up Barack Obama for failure in the midterm elections. We shall see how much African-American support Rahm ends up having on Wednesday.”

Asked whether he would leave Chicago if Emanuel were elected, Kelly said, “I’ve been a Chicagoan all my life. It’s easy to forget about politics in nonpolitical cycles and just think about the old school Southside Chicago neighborhoods of Beverly and Mount Greenwood where I grew up. Unlike Emanuel, I am actually a resident of the city. However, my love for Chicago – despite itself – would be ruined beyond repair by the election of Rahm Emanuel as mayor. I don’t know how I could stay.”

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