Munoz: Democratic Party effort to help Rahm premature

SHARE Munoz: Democratic Party effort to help Rahm premature

Not all Democratic committeemen in Chicago are happy that the Cook County Democratic Party is helping Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election effort.

The party sent an e-mail Tuesday to the 50 Chicago ward committeemen telling them nominating petitions to get Emanuel on the ballot in the February 2015 election can be picked up at the party’s Loop headquarters.

Emanuel was glad for the help from Cook County Democratic Party chairman Joe Berrios, who is also county assessor.

“The chairman offered his assistance, and the campaign accepted,” Emanuel campaign spokesman Steve Mayberry said Wednesday.

But Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) says Berrios had no right to put the party’s resources at the disposal of the mayor.

“The Cook County Democratic Party’s Chicago contingent has not voted to endorse anybody yet, and the party cannot circulate until there is an official endorsement,” says Munoz, who is also ward committeeman and hasn’t endorsed Emanuel or anyone else yet for mayor. “Joe Berrios is overstepping his authority as chairman.”

Asked Wednesday whether the party can aid a candidate who doesn’t have its formal endorsement, Alex Alanis, the party’s operations manager, said, “That I wouldn’t know. I can check on that.”

The recipients of the e-mail from the party included Ald. Bob Fioretti, the 2nd Ward alderman and committeemen who’s trying to unseat fellow Democrat Emanuel.

Four years ago, before Emanuel won the mayor’s office, Berrios’ 31st Ward Democratic organization circulated petitions for Emanuel’s opponent Gery Chico. And a top aide in Berrios’ assessor’s office was involved in the unsuccessful effort to have Emanuel disqualified from running for mayor because he had been working in Washington.

Emanuel’s re-election campaign recently placed ads online offering to pay operatives to help gather the signatures required for him to seek a second term, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Early & Often political portal reported.

Candidates need to turn in 12,500 valid signatures from voters by November to appear on the February mayoral ballot.

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