Helpful BGA scorecard holds candidates to short answers

29 Jan

By Courtney Sturgeon

Does the Chicago mayoral election seem like a game show? With more than its share of candidate debates and forums, having trouble keeping everyone’s pledges straight?

“Chicago Mayor for $600, Alex.”

The Better Government Association may have the answer to keeping everything straight in a scoreboard roundup of where candidates stand on issues, an exercise that allows voters to also participate.

Should the size of City Council be reduced?

What areas of city government would you consider privatizing?

Would you consider reducing the salary of mayor and aldermen?

These, and over 20 more questions were posed by the BGA in a recent survey of six mayoral candidates in the Feb. 22 election.  As a political watchdog, the association’s questionnaire featured simple “yes or no” questions and three short-answer questions.

The mayor’s salary, public safety, TIF, property taxes and city board appointees are just some of the categories the competitor’s answered to and differed on—with what may be some surprising responses.

When asked if they would consider reducing the salary of the mayor and aldermen, candidates Rahm Emanuel, Miguel del Valle, Gery Chico and William Walls said “yes,” with Carol Moseley Braun and Patricia Van
Pelt-Watkins answering “no.”

On other issues, like if they think appointees to city boards and commissions should have clients who do business with those agencies, they unanimously agreed “no.”

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