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Countdown to Rahmageddon: Union Stumbles

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 8, 2011 4:40PM

The Rahmformer's latest campaign is 30 seconds of Emanuel talking tough, letting voters know he considers all city employees, from the Mayor down to the lowest garbage collector, city servants, while metaphorically about cracking the whip on city workers who are just collecting a paycheck. Some of the more choice quotes.

"City government is not an employment agency."
"It is delivering a service to the residents and the taxpayers of the city."
"We're going to get them the best price for what they pay for, whether that's protecting a street, cleaning a street, or plowing a street. And that means making sure that everyone that works for the city government knows that they're actually a public servant representing and helping the people that pay them."

Naturally, organized labor took offense to the ad. Fraternal Order of Police president Mark Donahue said Emanuel should "know better" than to have run the ad, adding that "none of these public servants need a lecture from Rahm Emanuel on the meaning of public service." Firefighters local Union 2 chief Tom Ryan told Capitol Fax.

"On behalf of the firefighters of this city, we find Rahm Emanuel's latest ad attacking city workers including for political gain incredibly insulting. "We dedicate our lives to protecting and serving the citizens of this city. We run into burning buildings. We ride snowmobiles in the middle of blizzards to save lives. We don't Emanuel to remind us that we are 'actually' public servants."

The timing of Emanuel's ad, on the heels of Blzzaster 2011, isn't good. Still, Emanuel spokesman Ben Labolt defended the ad;

"Rahm honors the good work of our men and women in uniform and praised the city employees who helped dig us out of this week's blizzard. It's clear that some in Chicago city government have acted on behalf of their own personal gain, rather than in the interest of taxpayers. Rahm believes it's time for that to change in the interest of the taxpayers of the city of Chicago."