Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Swings Taken, No Knockout Punches at Mayoral Debate

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With the official mayoral ballot finally settled, the four major candidates in the race to be Chicago's mayor took part in a spirited forum Thursday evening.

With the official mayoral ballot finally settled, the four major candidates in the race to be Chicago's mayor took part in a spirited forum Thursday evening.

The hour-long televised debate, put on by the Chicago Tribune, WGN-TV and the City Club of Chicago, covered a bevy of topics: police, jobs, schools, budgets and taxes.

Carol Moseley Braun seemed to be the aggressor, accusing Rahm Emanuel and Gery Chico of being career politicians who don't understand the meaning of public service.

"There's a difference to public service when it is for the benefit of the public versus public service when it endures to the benefit of your own private pocketbook," she said, attacking Rahm Emanuel, who's held two posts in the White House, and Chico, who has gone "from one government appointment to another."

In the candidates' last mayoral forum, Chico agreed with Emanuel when he said he wanted to look at ways to reduce sales tax in the city but include more goods under the tax umbrella.  But on Thursday, he criticized Emanuel for the plan, calling it the "single-largest tax increase" the city's ever seen.

Other headlines from the debate:

  • Chico proposed giving away city land to small business...
  • Emanuel proposed changing the rules so non-profits have to pay for water...
  • Miguel del Valle said city leaders have created an "oppressive climate" for residents...
  • Braun says big box retailers should be mandated to pay a "living wage" to employees...

Video highlights of Thursday's forum are posted on WGN-TV's website.

Additional coverage: Chicago Tribune | Chicago Sun-TimesClout Street

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