How to win Rahm’s love if you’re running for alderman

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As part of my ongoing effort to be more civic-minded, I figure I should help aldermanic candidates correctly answer Mayor Emanuel’s endorsement questionnaire.

Technically, it’s the endorsement questionnaire of Chicago Forward, a political action committee run by a former mayoral aide who wants everyone to believe it’s not—repeat, not—controlled by Emanuel. Even though no one—especially the mayor—believes that.

Chicago Forward is run by my old pal Becky Carroll, who used to be the mayor’s chief spokeswoman at the Chicago Public Schools. In the last few months, it’s raised more than $1 million from some of the mayor’s closest and richest chums, including Michael Sacks, Kenneth Griffin, and other gazillionaires.

As Carroll explains in her cover letter to potential endorsees, Chicago Forward will use the money it raises to “launch a series of targeted communication campaigns ward by ward and city-wide to get our message out to voters through television ads, radio ads, mail and phone communications.”

So if you don’t want Chicago Forward to pound you like a pinata, you have to answer these questions and answer them right.

As Carroll puts it: “We plan to use your answers to evaluate your candidacy in comparison to other aldermanic candidates.”

That’s as subtle as a visit from Luca Brasi.

The questionnaire is in a yes-or-no format, which seems appropriate, given how much Mayor Emanuel appears to like multiple-choice standardized tests. In fact, Carroll makes it clear that “we will not accept any written statements or explanations sent to us as a follow-up to the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses.”

As you can see, a lot is riding on this baby.


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