Mary Ann Ahern
Carol Moseley Braun was back on message Wednesday, a day after reluctantly releasing her income tax returns from the past two years.
The candidate called a press conference at 69th and Marshfield where three young men were shot just hours earlier. She was anxious to criticize and slam police Supt. Jody Weis' statistics indicating that Chicago's murder rate is down.
"They're misleading in a couple of regards. One, the level of violence has not decreased. And the number of drive-by shootings and the amount of random violence has not decreased," she said.
"We will do everything we can to connect these families to jobs. I'll bet you they were unemployed. We can fix the problem," she said.
Reporters, though, wanted to know more about the income tax returns that Moseley Braun made public on Tuesday. The records show that her business, Ambassador Organics, hadn't fared well. In 2008, she reported the loss of more than $224,000. A year later, her income was reported as being just under $16,000.
"Some of you may work for the Tribune or the Sun-Times, and last time I looked, the Tribune was in bankruptcy," Braun said. "We did fine. I struggled. We didn't fire anybody. I didn't lay anybody off. I did the best I could and I made that little business work. It's still working."
At a separate event, mayoral candidate and City Clerk Miguel del Valle refused to swing at Moseley Braun's financial struggles.
"The reason for transparency is to allow the voters to draw their own conclusions," he said after a meeting with small business owners.
He called himself the poorest candidate with the most to offer, pointing out that he's raised just about $150,000 during the campaign.
"My candidacy is a grassroots candidacy," he said.