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GOP leader: Rahm recall effort disingenuous

State Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno spoke to the City Club of Chicago Monday. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

A top state Republican leader on Monday dismissed as disingenuous bluster the Democratic led effort to pass legislation allowing voters to recall Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“It’s amazing to me to see some of the Democrats, even those in the Legislature, disingenuously embracing the efforts to recall the mayor,” state Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno said at a City Club of Chicago luncheon.

“As you know, I think that [Emanuel] has failed in many ways, but even they acknowledge that most likely these recall efforts aren’t going to effect the current mayor,” the Lemont Republican told the packed banquet hall at Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant.

“And at the same time, they’ve turned their back on a legitimate effort to allow people to decide on term limits for their elected officials.”

Term limits are one of several “turn around” measures on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s agenda for the state — in addition to measures to weaken unions. Disagreement on the issues has lead to an impasse that’s left the state without a budget for seven months.

Radogno said Emanuel’s leadership could help end the impasse — potentially resulting in a windfall of sorely needed state funding for Chicago Public Schools.

But Emanuel’s role in the process, she said, has been weakened by recent crises his administration is facing.

“The corruption in the police department and potentially with City Hall has taken over and has significantly weakened the mayor, who I thought would have played a much bigger role in this,” she said.

Emanuel and Rauner are pals, but their relationship — publicly at least — has been strained in recent weeks as the two have exchanged barbs.

“He’s frankly failed the people of this city and lost the confidence of the voters,” Radogno said.

When asked by a moderator to pretend Emanuel was calling her on the phone for advice, Radogno responded: “I would tell Rahm ‘You are whistling past the graveyard if you don’t get to your Democratic brethren and get them into the room to negotiate some real long-term solutions for the city and the state.’ “