Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Mayoral Candidates Talk Ethics

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While Rahm Emanuel and Gery Chio laid out their plans to clean up government and make it more transparent, Sen. James Meeks' ethical stance had him back on his heels.

Gery Chico, Rahm Emanuel and James Meeks were all talking ethics Wednesday.

Chico said he'd like to implement a single inspector general to oversee all city business.

“You have a Board of Ethics, an Office of Compliance and an inspector general. There’s no need for three agencies, some of whose functions overlap, to exist with separate staffs and overhead. We should combine them under the inspector general to make it simpler and more cost effective,” he said earlier this week.

He also called for an increase in the city's transparency.

"All we have now is FOIA online," he said at an afternoon press conference from Northwestern University Law School.

Emanuel called for similar change.

At an afternoon event with former inspector general and senate candidate David Hoffman by his side, Emanuel said he would ban lobbyists from working with city governments.

"If you deal with the city government," he said. "I won't take your money."

Meeks' ethical stance had him back on his heels.

The State Senator denies playing any role in challenging Emanuel's petitions or in hiring the same petition passer as Emanuel's renter, Rob Halpin. 

"I don't know Rob Halpin, I've never spoken to him," says Meeks.  

Meeks also commented on his no vote on civil unions and reacted to some of his opponents labeling him "the Republican in the race." 

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