Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel on the Hot Seat

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police and the state's largest public service workers union came out Friday afternoon with stern statements admonishing Rahm Emanuel over a new television ad.

    In the spot, dubbed "Service," Emanuel vows to be mindful of taxpayers' wallets.

    "We're going to deliver a service to the taxpayers.  We're going to get them the best price for what they pay for," Emanuel says in the ad.  "And that means making sure that everyone that works for the city government knows that they're actually a public servant representing and helping the people that pay them."

    It's four words in that phrase -- "actually a public servant" -- with which the groups take issue.

      "This past year, members of the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Fire Department lost 8 of their brothers in the line of duty in service to the people of this great city.  This past week our brothers and sisters and the other workers in every city department went above and beyond in their efforts to serve the people of this City by ensuring the safety of their lives and property from one of nature's most violent storms, and they continue to assist in the clean up efforts.  None of these public servants need a lecture from Rahm Emanuel on the meaning of public service." 

    The statement, from FOP President Mark Donahue, concludes:

    "I believe Rahm knows better and should take this offensive ad off the air immediately and concentrate on real issues."

    In a separate statement, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union said Emanuel's ad "impugns [public servants'] integrity and dedication."

    "City workers are public servants, not punching bags," said AFSCME's Executive Director, Henry Bayer.

    Gery Chico's campaign supports the FOP's criticism of the ad.

    "I think it's inappropriate to attack the people who run into burning buildings and who just rode snowmobiles to rescue people trapped in a blizzard.  They certainly don't need Rahm Emanuel to remind them about the meaning of public service," said Chico spokeswoman Brooke Anderson.

    The Emanuel campaign said the ad wasn't meant to describe all public servants.

      "Rahm honors the good work of our men and women in uniform and praised the city employees who helped dig us out of this week’s blizzard.  It's clear that some in Chicago city government have acted on behalf of their own personal gain, rather than in the interest of taxpayers.  Rahm believes it's time for that to change in the interest of the taxpayers of the city of Chicago," campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a written statement.

    The FOP has previously endorsed Chico in the race for the mayor's office,

    Watch the Ad: