Lori Lightfoot, Willie Wilson, Ed Burke discussed on WBBM Programming
My guest this week and include WBZ 'em political analyst Andy Shah of the BGA. He shared the studio with me, Chris cry Dell and Cisco Koto on election night. He is the and he is the former director head of the BJ. I should say also joining me here is Heather Sharon, managing editor of the daily line, which provides online reporting for political professionals. I will say that she and her team have been a great resource to me, and our reporting will welcome to both of you always a pleasure to be back before during and after an election for having me. Well, let's talk top of the ticket. I I'm been thinking of this crowded election is kind of a laboratory a political campaign. So what might we have learned about what works, and what doesn't in in campaigns Heather well, the last name of daily didn't work as well. As I think a lot of people expected it to also. You know, Lori Lightfoot finished in first place, and she spent nearly five times less than daily dead. Twenty preckwinkle finished in second place with the support of the Chicago teachers union, so union support base. It definitely paid off. But the city is definitely up poised for a much more progressive path, and you know, as we discussed on Tuesday night, Craig I think I was shocked by the low turnout in maybe the fourteen candidates so muddled field and the minds of potential voters that they couldn't get through the clutter and decide who to vote for. But when you have such an important election with an open seat, and so many daunting challenges facing city, you think more people would want to participate in yet. It was near record low. Now, I think that's gonna change for April. Second with two candidates. But I think maybe the fourteen candidates. Yes. Historical. But I think it was a turn on. Off a lot of voters. It's been a very cold winter the pre election season was called election day was cold. So I think that's disappointing on the other hand. I think that with two candidates now, I think it's going to warm up both in terms of interest and weather. You know, I'd like to think that but I'm wondering though, you've got a couple of voting blocks that may feel they have nowhere to go right now. The police and fire vote of certainly the F O P, no friends of either Toni preckwinkle or Laurie life. But I think there there may be even more Emily for Lory Lightfoot. And the business community knows where where to go here is it possible that we could have even lower. Now. That's a great question. And when you think about it, this is the first election. I think in the city's history we haven't had a, quote, unquote, white ethnic organization candidate to capture the hearts and minds and votes of the south west side northwest side and parts of the lake front that of course, is going to be really interesting. You have to fairly far left progressive African American women, and that's going to I think as you point out that's gonna cause some real consternation for the more conservative, white ethnic voters. You also may have a lack of interest among Latino voters because there's no Latino candidate. And so you may be right. I mean, I think people were looking at more like fifty percent in April compared to the thirty three percent on Tuesday. But if the people northwestern, south, west, stay home. Without a candidate in the race. It could be very low again. And that of course, means it's going to be decided along the lakefront in the end in the African American wars. So in two thousand fifteen the turnout for the runoff between mayor Rahm Emanuel. And now congressman Luis Garcia was about forty three percent. So that might be where we end up again one thing that struck me about Tuesday's turnout was that the number of millennial voters voters between the ages of twenty five and thirty four I'm really didn't turn out that share their share of the electorate dropped by nearly thirty percents. And that was the group Heather that was supposed to be all excited by the Amara Enya campaign with chance the rapper kicking in and Kanye west. But then if you look they were they were nowhere to be found on election day. I thought some of them would get excited by Susanna Mendoza who's older than they are, but very youthful in her campaigning. And yet when push came to shove again, though. Oh, same people who've been excited it were very excited during the presidential race. A lot of them were Bernie Sanders, folks. They just basically sat this one out. Maybe they're waiting for April. Maybe a nine I would you know, one other thing that I noted the number of African American votes or African-American wards that went for Willie Wilson actually was pretty high what the turnout was low. So if willing one four Willie one fourteen black wards preckwinkle one four Lightfoot one none. And so if you wanna look ahead to April, I think this election is going I think preckwinkle chances of beating Lightfoot are going to depend in large part of what happens in the Willie Wilson wards because I can't help. But think that those lakefront voters who liked the anti-corruption campaign are going to stay with Lightfoot? And she swept the north lakefront. Tony swept the south lakefront in Hyde Park in those areas, but all those big. Big inner city African American wards that went for Willie Wilson, I think it'll be interesting to see if he endorses one or the other. And of course, Lightfoot has a problem in those neighborhoods because there's a there's a big swath of African American churches that still have not accepted, gay men or women. And I think that they're going to have a hard time selling their parishioners on Lori Lightfoot. I thought back to Toni preckwinkle announcement of her mayoral run where she clearly said that she was running to sort of reestablish the Harold Washington coalition of African American voters and lakefront liberals that swept him into office for two terms that did not happen on Tuesday. Lori Lightfoot cut significantly into Toni preckwinkle support on the north west north side. And if Lori Lightfoot Ken sort of bring those nonprofit winkle voters home she has a clear shot at the fifth floor. Like, we were saying the African American wars on the south and west side are going to be. Crucial to Willie Wilson wards. And if you were going to handicap it as we sit here today, you'd have to say that's preckwinkle advantage. Because there still is that widespread anti-gay feeling among more conservative African American voters. I want to turn to another subject since we have mentioned Antioch the anti-corruption vote. Well, I am going to steal a line from a conversation that we had with our colleague, Greg Pratt from the the Tribune. That it's ironic than an association with alderman, Ed Burke, who is facing federal corruption charges prove damaging to every candidate the sad for Edberg. That has to be one of the biggest ironies being award. That's eighty percent Latino the two Latino candidates combined one of them backed by chewy Garcia who is supposed to be the new Hispanic machine, boss. They couldn't even get close to fifty percent between him and Burke hosted even though it's possible that he won't be able to finish out his term if he's indicted and convicted that that that was a, but it also I think shows that constituent service and retail campaigning, which Edberg did makes the difference. It's fundamental quandary of Chicago politics in that Chicagoans expect their alderman to not only legislate, but also, you know, make sure that they've got a garbage can and that the pothole on their street is filled. And if you're somebody who's been voting for Edberg who has been in office for fifty years. I imagine you feel pretty confident about his ability to pull those levers at city hall and make sure that you. You know, what you've gotta do. I'm the two challengers in that race Tanya, Patino and Hymie Guzman never closed the sale that they could do the same. And I think that's fundamentally how it broke down. We talked about this at length on Tuesday night and a couple of things one when you spend that much time in office, and you have as much power as Burke does and Mike Madigan, and some others you're able to reward so many people in your ward with jobs and contracts and favors, and they remember that so to their friends and family members and neighbors, and you have a huge army of built in votes and in a low turnout election that is frequently more than enough to put you over the top. And that's what happened has Heather pointed out, the Latino candidates didn't energize Latino voters. And so it wasn't that they all came out and voted for Burke. They just stayed home Burke got his voters out by virtue of two things the services and the favorites. He's provided over the years the continuity of of the name, and and and as you pointed out. He actually did what he never did before. He actually went door to doing campaign and reminded people of who he wasn't that a matter, then, you know, there's nothing like having somebody show up at your door and letting you know that it matters. I mean, if you're on the fence that could be the difference. I think back to March when Edberg brother, Dan, Burke, lost his seat in the Illinois house, basically because of his association with his brother, who, of course, served as president Donald Trump's property tax attorney here in Cook County, and the fact that Burks challengers didn't make more of an issue of his association with the president boggled my mind, I kept waiting for those ads, and if you look at the fundraising Tanya Pitino who is the best funded. She didn't even crack two hundred thousand dollars and Edberg literally had millions of dollars at his disposal, and I'll give credit to my colleagues at block club. Chicago who found that he was sending voters? Chicago flag winter caps. And that shows you the level of money. He had to spend and sort of the attention to detail. He should have done that. We should have used the Willie Wilson playbook and just basically handed out a hundred dollar bills. Well, I don't think he had the foundation set up already and Willie Wilson does have a legitimate foundation already going. But I'm sure if they could have set it up, they probably would have now Burke Burke pointed out how anomalous his election was in a season in which so many incumbents were forced in Iran offs in three well-known incumbents lost outright and five five five socialists could end up in city council, depending on the final outcome. And here you have a guy who is probably gonna be indicted and could be convicted and sent to jail coasting to another victory. Yeah. And I'm gonna wanna talk about some more of those those automatic racist. But I just want to is this election. Lori Lightfoot to lose or or is this the are are we waiting for the Democratic Party? Political apparatus to shift into high gear at least one of the news accounts over the past couple of days suggested that it was hers to lose. I think it's a little premature to make that kind of a prediction because of what we've just been talking about. Yes. If you if you think this is a change election, and it's an anti-corruption election. She certainly is sitting in a good spot, although preckwinkle with three million dollars available to start tearing her down. And she preckwinkle is going to point out that she's a corporate attorney can claim that she protects banks and that she was doing the bidding of rich daily and Rahm Emanuel and their police forces in her police jobs, they're going to try to taint her in that tier with rich daily and rom either of whom is particularly popular connector with a big silk, stocking law firm that has very high billing rates and his enriched her fairly well to basically say their clients are well well-heeled. One percenters and those kinds of ads are going to undermine the the fresh-faced progressive view that she was able to convey in the limited time she was on the stage in the primary. Money's going to be very big deal now and with the caps busted in the ability of people to write billion dollar checks is Ken Griffin did for Bill Daley in the primary lorries going to need a couple of those checks to basically remind people a of the good things she did in her government jobs, and to remind people about the machine connections preckwinkle has and that if changes really the issue, nobody has a better credential than hers, but she doesn't have a lot of money. I would say it's not hers to lose. It's hers to lose if they're equally funded. I think but that's questionable. She starts out with very little cash. I think prank faces the challenge to explain how she's the progressive choice in the race win. She's the head of the Cook County Democratic Party, and she's. You know, sitting Cook County board president. So that's the needle that she's going to have to thread, Lori Lightfoot going to face a lot of questions about how she will be able to run the city of Chicago never having held elected office before can she, you know, make sure that city services continue the way Chicagoans have expected, and I think those are really the two fundamental questions. They both have to answer and preckwinkle I think is perhaps in a little bit more perilous territory because she is certainly more connected to Edberg than she is. Then Lori Lightfoot is and where that corruption investigation is going to go is anyone's guess, and the other thing we have to keep in mind is that people are going to start to have a little bit away from corruption as the big issue in the fresh face of Lightfoot, and they're going to look at the challenges facing the city going forward the ongoing pension crisis. The city financial struggles policing and police reform school. Calls the future of charter, schools taxation property taxes and others. And I think people are going to want to hear what each of these people have to say about that. Ironically, I think that they're not gonna prove to be very far apart on most of those bread and.