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Poll: Emanuel Job Approval 25%, Weighs on 3rd Term Hopes; Mell Explains “No” Vote; Paid to “Thumb Twiddle”

Poll: Emanuel Job Approval 25%, Weighs on 3rd Term Hopes; Mell Explains “No” Vote; Paid to “Thumb Twiddle”

LEGAL EDUCATION... Judge Eve Marie Reilly attended a fundraiser for Alderman Pat O'Connor last night at John Barleycorn in River North

LEGAL EDUCATION… Appointed Cook County Circuit Court Judge Eve Marie Reilly (right) attended a fundraiser for 40th Ward Alderman Pat O’Connor at John Barleycorn in River North on Wednesday night. Reilly, whose district straddle’s Chicago’s Northwest Side, could face as many as five opponents in the March 2016 Democratic primary. On Tuesday, she was at a fundraiser for State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) at Sidetrack.

(Chicago) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel now says that he wants a third term, but a new poll suggests that Chicago voters want to see his backside by end of his second.

EMANUEL SAYS HE “LOVES” HIS JOB… “On the same say that the City Council approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $7.8 billion 2016 budget, he says he wants to keep his job when his current term is over.

The mayor sat down with CBS 2’s Chief Correspondent Jay Levine.

“You know its gonna stand the test of time of having been right for stabilizing what was bleeding, and that’s what you would want out of public service: a selfless act,” Emanuel said.

The mayor sat down with Levine just hours after passing a painful budget. He admitted that he is now reconsidering an earlier pledge not to seek a third term.

“I’m going to prepare and run for a third term and I’m not going to be caught flat-footed,” Emanuel said. “I’ve said I really love this job and I love this city and can really make a big difference…I thought about it when I went swimming and I’ve come to this conclusion.” Read more here…

EMANUEL MAY LOVE HIS JOB, BUT VOTERS HAVE LITTLE LOVE FOR THE JOB HE’S DOING… A September 19 survey of 671 Chicago voters conducted by Chicago-based Ogden & Fry found that Emanuel has an approval rating that is 25 points underwater. The survey, commissioned by The Illinois Observer’s paid-subscription e-newsletter, The Insider, reveals (subscribe here), says just 25.0% approve of the job that the mayor is doing while 50.8% disapprove. 24.1% were undecided.

Oof.

The survey, had a 3.86% margin of error, came after voters learned that the mayor was proposing a $500 million property tax increase to salvage the City’s police and fire pension funds, but before they discovered that the final price tag would be $588 million, which includes a school construction financing component.

And despite the threatening warning that the retirement security of first responders was at stake without the property tax increase, Chicago voters still overwhelmingly reject it.

The poll found that 62% of Chicago voters oppose the property tax hike plan while just 12.5% support it. 25.5% of voters were “undecided” about the proposal.

In fact, Emanuel sagging job approval numbers even give hope to Jesús “Chuy” García were he to seek a rematch in 2019. In the poll, García leads Emanuel 40.1-31.7% with 28.2% undecided.

García’s support in the poll nearly matches his tally on April 7 – 43.8%. It’s Emanuel’s backing that has toppled – by approximately 25-points.

In 9 polls by Ogden & Fry before the April 7 mayoral runoff, the closest that García came to Emanuel was in the February 25 survey where he trailed Emanuel by four-points, 42.7-38.7%, but he never lead the contest.

That makes this survey significant, but not for García’s strength, but Emanuel’s weakness.

When it comes to his love affair with Chicago, it’s a one-way street at the moment.

MELL EXPLAINS BUDGET “NO” VOTE… 32nd Ward Alderman Deb Mell, an otherwise staunch ally of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, was the most prominent of the 14 alderman who broke with the mayor over his FY 2016 budget which houses a political hornet’s nest in the form of a $588 million property tax hike.

She explained why in a newsletter to Ward residents on Thursday:

“Ultimately, my opposition to this budget centers around the impact these fee and tax increases will have on working class residents in my ward. I’m concerned about the young family that has purchased their first home, the senior citizen living on a fixed income, the small business owners who are struggling to stay afloat, and the renters who are finding it more difficult to make ends meet in this great city. This property tax increase asks too much of these residents and not enough of those in Chicago who have the means to absorb a larger share of the tax burden.

In the weeks since this budget was unveiled, a great number of residents have contacted my office to express their concerns. While opinions about how to move the City forward are certainly mixed, there is one common theme-the people of Chicago aren’t convinced this city council has exhausted all other avenues to generate revenue before levying the largest property tax increase in Chicago’s history. On this point I am in agreement.” Read more here…

BYE, BYE RENTERS… “Residents, landlords and community organizers are warning that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s property tax hike will accelerate gentrification on Chicago’s Northwest side.

[…]
An analysis of Census data by the coalition group Communities United concludes that  the higher assessments will drive low-income renters out of Albany Park, Belmont Cragin and Lincoln Square, because building owners will most likely pass the additional cost on to their tenants.” Read more here…

FRERICHS HAS $80 MILLION READY TO GIVE AWAY. JUST ASK. SERIOUSLY… “The Illinois Treasurer’s Office has identified nearly 1,000 companies with $25,000 or more in unclaimed property, totaling more than $80 million.

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs recently announced a partnership between the state’s I-Cash program and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) to get the money and/or property returned to retailers.” Read more here…

HELLO? CAN YOU HERE ME?… “State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, said he’s listening even though the legislative leaders aren’t talking.

Brady told WJBC’s Scott Laughlin he’s watched as thousands of people have protested for different causes at the Illinois capitol this year and he’s seen plenty of petitions urging lawmakers to pass a budget.

Brady said it helps to understand the extent of the problems the budget impasse has created.

“Do I know every daycare provider is having trouble because of the state budget? Yes,” Brady said. “Do I know what degree they are having that problem? It helps to hear that from those in your district.”

Brady said contrary to what you might believe, those efforts make a difference, even though no one has hardly budged on their budget stance.” Read more here…

PAID FOR “TWIDDLING THEIR THUMBS”… “More than 40 employees of the shuttered Illinois State Museum are finishing up their first month of reporting to an empty building.

And, based on the lack of a state budget, state labor law and an ongoing court case, it could be a lengthy wait before they’ll be sharing their workplace with visitors again.

Although the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the employees are indeed working, there are questions about exactly what they are doing each day without visitors or a management team in place.

On Wednesday, the lights were on in the locked building’s upper floors. But Illinois State Museum Board chairman Guerry Suggs of Springfield said workers who formerly dealt with the public wouldn’t likely have much to do.

“Twiddling their thumbs? I don’t honestly know,” Suggs said.” Read more here…

CAUGHT IN THE NET… State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) gives a shout out – or a meow? – to her kittens on National Cat Day.

CAMPAIGN CASH REGISTER… The Democratic Party of Illinois disclosed $30,000 on Thursday from Operating Engineers Local 649… House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) reported $28,500 on Thursday, including $25,000 from the United Steel Workers… 4th Ward Alderman Will Burns banked $9,400 on Thursday, including $1,500 from the law firm Chico & Nunes.

GOT A TIP?… E-mail us at newsdesk@illinoisobserver.net

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(*Note to Political Insiders: The Illinois Observer also offers our exclusive, subscriber-only e-newsletter – The Insider – to, well, Illinois political insiders. Each Tuesday and Friday at 7:00 a.m. The Insider arrives in e-mail boxes with the choicest Illinois, Cook County, and Chicago political gossip, insider information, and news tips. For more information and a free, 4-week trial subscription to The Insider, please go here).

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