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Countdown to Rahmageddon: Rahm Emanuel, Tea Party Candidate?

By Prescott Carlson in News on Feb 6, 2011 4:30PM

Generally it's the ultra-right wing Tea Party movement that rails against public employees growing rich off the tax payer dime, but Chicago Democrats apparently have their own tea bagger in their midst in the form of Rahm Emanuel.

The Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn points us to this latest campaign commercial from the Emanuel campaign which takes "public servants" to task...

...and the scathing response from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 executive director Henry Bayer:

City workers are public servants, not punching bags. It's very disappointing that, in the wake of a devastating storm through which so many public employees worked tirelessly to aid their fellow Chicagoans, mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel's new campaign ad impugns their integrity and dedication. Fire fighters, police officers, plow drivers, 311 operators, CTA drivers, emergency responders and countless others stood tall in a crisis and kept our city running. They deserve thanks, not a crass commercial that seeks to discredit them. Emanuel should withdraw this ad now and apologize. Chicago voters deserve a campaign focused on the issues that matter to working families--good jobs, good schools, and safe streets among them--not attack politics that try to turn our city against itself.

But the president of AFSCME, Gerald McEntee, last fall jumped on the Rahm bandwagon even before Emanuel officially announced his candidacy, telling Politico, "If I lived in Chicago, I would vote for [Rahm] for mayor." Awkward!

At the time, pro-union U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez told labor journalist Mike Elk the endorsement by McEntee was "a disgrace to the labor movement." He added, "This is the same Rahm Emanuel who said 'Fuck the UAW!'" Looks like Gutierrez is enjoying an "I told you so!" moment this weekend.