Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Miguel del Valle Could Sure Use 25 Bucks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Miguel del Valle attempting a trick that, as far as I know, has never succeeded in politics: he’s trying to win by being the candidate with the least money.

    Before the campaign even started, del Valle promised not to take money from donors with city contracts, and asked the other candidates to take the same pledge. None did.

    “Isn’t that an underfunded candidate trying to level the playing field?” Ward Room asked del Valle, suspecting that he knew he wasn’t going to get money from city contractors, so he wanted to make sure no one else did, either.

    “When I was in the legislature, I supported a bill to prohibit contributions to legislators and constitutional officers by people who contract with the state,” del Valle said then. “In my four years as City Clerk, I have not accepted campaign contributions from people who do business with the city.”

    Now, del Valle is carrying on as the John the Baptist of this mayoral campaign, by asking his supporters to send in $25 before New Year’s Eve, to fund his “Chicagoans vs. Special Interests -- People’s Donation Drive.” It’s a drive that emphasizes both del Valle’s virtuous poverty and the left-wing rhetoric he’s adopted. (Political experts have found that voters associate such terms as "justice" and "people's" with radical causes.)

    “The people who are co-chairing and leading my campaign are actively involved in issues that matter to Chicagoans,” del Valle said. “This election belongs to the people of Chicago, not the Hollywood fundraisers or city contractors.”

    Those were shots at Rahm Emanuel, who attended a fundraiser thrown by his Hollywood agent brother, and Gery Chico, whose law firm has earned millions of dollars lobbying City Hall.

    “When all is said and done, I believe Chicagoans will reject those who have served the special interests of the few at the cost of our neighborhoods,” del Valle said.

    Of course, the problem with turning down special interest money is that you can’t buy ads to let the voters know you turned down the money. You have to hope you can get publicity on a local political blog, during a slow news week.

    Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!