December 3, 2015

Illinois Dem Senate Candidates Silent On Rahm Resignation

After questions from the press went unanswered for most of the day, Hillary Clinton was finally forced to say something late last night about the ongoing scandal engulfing her longtime political ally, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel:

However, the three Democrats seeking to represent Chicago voters in the U.S. senate are keeping noticeably quiet. Former Chicago Urban League president Andrea Zopp, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, and State Sen. Napoleon Harris called for the firing of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and have supported investigations into the police department, but haven’t weighed in on calls for Emanuel’s resignation.

On Wednesday, several prominent African American members of Congress joined activists demanding Emanuel resign. The Hill reported:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel should resign if it’s found he was involved in a cover-up of a video showing a white police officer fatally shooting an unarmed African-American teenager, several leading black members of Congress told The Hill on Wednesday….

…The harsh remarks from black lawmakers — many of whom served with Emanuel in the House — come as prominent members of the black community call on the Chicago mayor to step down.

Yet Duckworth, Zopp, and Harris all stayed silent – as did President Obama, who also has deep political ties to Emanuel.

Like Obama, Duckworth and Zopp are both in a tough spot, politically speaking. Emanuel appointed Zopp to her position on the Chicago Public School Board, and some of his closest allies are funding her campaign. As for Duckworth, Emanuel helped engineer her first run for Congress in 2006.

As calls for Emanuel’s ouster mount from key forces in their base, Duckworth, Zopp, and Harris risk facing major blowback if they keep their silence – especially if they seem to be siding with political backers over grassroots activists.