Tags: | Rahm Emanuel | Chicago Forward | City Council | Progressives

HuffPo: Super PAC Couldn't Save Rahm Emanuel's Allies

Image: HuffPo: Super PAC Couldn't Save Rahm Emanuel's Allies
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By    |   Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 01:01 PM

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel may have handily won his runoff election race against Democratic Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia earlier this month, but his support on the City Council has dwindled away after strong allies either lost their re-election bids or fought recount battles of their own despite efforts by a supporters' super PAC.

The group, Chicago Forward, was created in 2014 to support Emanuel and protect his supporters on the council, but its mission failed, reports The Huffington Post.

The races won by the candidates Chicago Forward backed were decided without the need for runoff elections, but in the three incumbent races the super PAC challenged, the incumbents won.

In addition, other candidates backed by the super PAC either lost their bids or are behind in recounts in six of 10 runoff races where Chicago Forward backed Emanuel-friendly incumbents.

Such losses will create at least a 50 percent higher opposition to Emanuel's policies
by progressives, The Huffington Post reports.

"Basically, they did pretty poorly," Dick Simpson, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a former Chicago alderman, said. "They focused on trying to defeat incumbents and they lost all of those races."

Meanwhile, the city's Progressive Caucus is expected to number about 11 after the results come in, an increase from the eight in the council's last term.

Chicago Forward's strategy in the election may have been the root of the problem. Two sources with the super PAC said they found the group's approach lacking, echoing progressive opponents' thoughts.

"Some of the strategy was confusing to me, at best," David Miranda, campaign manager for Alderman John Arena, the leader of the Progressive Caucus, told The Huffington Post. Arena won his race with 54 percent of the vote, even though Chicago Forward spent more than $40,000 trying to defeat him.

Arena's campaign saw data that showed undecided voters would choose him, and Miranda said Chicago Forward should also have seen that and shifted funds to help a different incumbent. Instead, the super PAC increased its spending against Arena during his runoff election.

Chicago Forward said spending money on the Arena race would draw money from unions and take it away from other races.

The super PAC also reduced support for several other candidates, including Aldermen Deborah Graham, John Pope and Natasha Holmes when their runoff elections came up and they needed the funding more than they did during the primaries. All three either lost their races or plan to seek recall elections.

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's support on the City Council has dwindled away after strong allies either lost their re-election bids or fought recount battles of their own despite efforts by a supporters' super PAC.
Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Forward, City Council, Progressives
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2015-01-16
Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 01:01 PM
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