Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Three Weeks From Today-- Showdown In Chicago


When Republican Senator Mark Kirk warned Chicagoland voters that they should support corporate Democrat Rahm Emanuel against actual Democrat Jesús Chuy García or risk the wrath of the Wall Street barons, he was hardly the first Illinois Republican to get behind Emanuel. The state's billionaire governor, Bruce Rauner, like Rahm a private equity predator before running for office, has been working behind the scenes to help Emanuel against the mounting support for Chuy. Rayner and Emanuel have even staged a little kabuki-theater dispute to show Chicago voters that Rahm will "stand up" to Rauner.

The Chicago mayoralty election is 3 weeks from today, April 7. Is it too late to help Chuy replace Emanuel? Absolutely not! Thanks to ActBlue and their system of electronic contributions, grassroots donors can still have a significant impact on the outcome of the race. No one ever thought Chuy would have the ability to raise as much money as Emanuel, who had already spent $30 million in the first round to Chuy's $1.2 million. But no one thought Chuy needed to match Emanuel either. Emanuel's record as mayor has devastated Chicago's neighborhoods and many voters have soured on him. Chuy's campaign was designed from the beginning to be a person-to-person operation-- street politics, door-to-door, friend-to-friend, neighbor-to-neighbor.

Money contributed today isn't going to be wasted on expensive network TV ads-- which Rahm is spending $10 million on-- but will be spent on real community outreach efforts. If you're thinking about donating, remember that it costs the campaign $6 to provide a box lunch for a volunteer out in the field. This campaign is going to be won because of a get-out-the-vote effort. That's what Chuy's operation is all about right now. Providing 50 buttons for distribution at an event is $25. It costs $100 to print 1000 copies of an 8½x11 piece to pass out on street corners, outside grocery stores, on subway platforms, in front of churches and synagogues and community centers, outside high school basketball games, at parades and rallies. Money contributed today--even small amounts-- can help somebody else make a difference.

If Rahm loses, it will shake up Democratic politics to its core, a shake-up that is long overdue. Please consider contributing what you can-- today, 3 weeks out-- via ActBlue. There is no such thing as a contribution being too small to make a difference.

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