Feb 21, 2007
The checks really are in the mail
from Clout St by Newsdesk
Posted by Dan Mihalopoulos at 1:21 p.m.
After promising a big push against politically mobilized labor unions in this year’s city elections, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce finally is putting some money where its mouth has been.
In recent days, the chamber has delivered checks to the campaigns of embattled incumbents Burton Natarus (42nd), George Cardenas (12th), Darcel Beavers (7th) and Vi Daley (43rd). Natarus and Daley got $10,000 each, while Cardenas received $8,000 and Beavers accepted $7,500.
“Over $80,000 will be distributed by the end of [this] week,” said the chamber’s leader, Jerry Roper.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. gave the chamber $25,000 for its political fund Monday.
The chamber endorsed only one challenger in Tuesday’s election, 49th Ward candidate Chris Adams, whose wife is a former member of the chamber’s board of directors. The chamber on Tuesday donated $5,000 to Adams.
Adams is facing incumbent Joe Moore, who antagonized big business with his leading role in pushing for the big-box “living wage” ordinance and the foie gras ban. Roper said he wants to send a message to Moore because he believes the North Side alderman is angling to succeed U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).
“She has been all over them," Roper said. "They are building their farm team. That’s what they do.Who would have thought four years ago that Barack Obama would be where he is now?”
Meanwhile, the chamber’s foes in organized labor have reported spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund aldermanic candidates. That includes more than $100,000 in the 12th Ward alone for challenger Carina Sanchez and about $200,000 for 15th Ward candidate Toni Foulkes. Labor has almost entirely funded the Sanchez and Foulkes campaigns and heavily supported several other candidates.
The big business bucks largely have gone to Mayor Richard Daley’s re-election bid. None of that money has trickled down to the aldermen who vote almost always as the mayor’s office directs them.
But some observers speculate that Daley is waiting to see which incumbents end up in run-off elections. By then, according to this theory, Daley will be assured another term and he will use some of whatever’s left from his gigantic campaign fund to salvage flailing council allies.