Despite internal SEIU dispute, more cash on the way for Chuy Garcia

SHARE Despite internal SEIU dispute, more cash on the way for Chuy Garcia

Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia talks to a reporter on Feb. 25, 2015, at his campaign headquarters in Chicago. | Kiichiro Sato/AP

Jesus “Chuy” Garcia received another influx of cash from SEIU Health Care, despite calls from a leading Service International Employees Union local for its sister organization to “cease and desist” supporting the mayoral candidate.

SEIU Health Care, one of the largest contributors to Garcia’s campaign, made another $250,000 donation late Wednesday to aid Garcia’s runoff against Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

That comes amid an internal dispute within SEIU, chiefly from Local 73, which represents 14,000 city workers and has complained that campaign contributions from SEIU Health Care — a union that represents no city workers — runs contrary to the SEIU State Council’s decision last year to remain neutral in the mayoral race.

Last week, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the deep-pocketed Local 1 was reconsidering the neutrality vote now that the mayoral contest has moved to a second phase.

“Now that we have a runoff, we are going to take a very close, serious look at the race,” Jerry Morrison, a top political operative to SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff, told the Sun-Times last week.

Having that influx of cash, data sophistication and ground troops could be a game-changer for either candidate with just five weeks before the April 7 runoff.

That Local 1 was reconsidering ruffled Local 73, which argued the neutrality vote should remain in place for the duration of the election.

“I think what SEIU has to do is decide whether they’re going to stand by the principles of unionism that they purport to support or whether they’re going to allow renegade locals” to take matters into their own hands, Local 73 Secretary-Treasurer Matt Brandon told the Sun-Times on Monday. Brandon said he filed charges against SEIU Health Care in January.

The state council meeting tentatively scheduled for Thursday was canceled indefinitely, a Local 73 representative said Wednesday.

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