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Garcia Hits Emanuel Where It Hurts Most In Latest Campaign Ad

By aaroncynic in News on Mar 18, 2015 6:05PM

Just two days after sparring with Rahm Emanuel in the first of three televised debates, mayoral challenger Chuy Garica is back on television with a new campaign ad. The ad, which his campaign titled “elect,” takes a shot at one of Rahm’s biggest strengths weaknesses— his presiding over the closure of 50 schools. “This used to be a school, until the mayor shut it down,” says Garcia, standing in front of a shuttered elementary school on Chicago’s West Side.

Documents provided by the Garcia campaign show that Emanuel took in more than $700,000 in campaign contributions by people or companies affiliated with charter schools. “Unlike Mayor Emanuel, Commissioner Garcia opposes the continued privatization of Chicago’s public schools,” said Campaign Manager Andrew Sharp in a press release. “And, unlike Mayor Emanuel, Garcia opposes Mayoral control of Chicago’s public schools and supports allowing the people of Chicago to elect the School Board.”

Emanuel’s camp trotted out a familiar criticism, accusing Garcia of lying about the mayor’s track record on education to “cover up his own lack of a plan.” In a statement to the Sun-Times, Campaign Manager Steve Mayberry said:

“Since Chuy himself says he can’t make any commitments on schools, maybe he’ll appoint another commission after the election to study the question?”

While Garcia’s ad hits Rahm at his weakest point— the school closures and later his opposition to an elected school board— much like his last ad, the read into the camera fails to make the candidate look like the “neighborhood guy” he’s trying to be. Fortunately for Garcia, voters know the truth about Emanuel’s track record on education. It takes more than four years to forget one of the largest school closings in national history and it’s well known Rahm likes his appointed school board like he likes his TIFs— as investment opportunities for the wealthy.

The ad buy, which Aldertrack reports in combination with a radio ad, cost the Garcia campaign $766,045 and comes at a crucial time if he hopes to take the runoff. NBC5 reports a weekend poll by Ogden and Fry gave Emanuel a 10 point lead, and a poll commissioned by the Chicago Retail Merchants Association put the mayor ahead of his challenger with 51 percent to Garcia’s 36 and 12 percent undecided.