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Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Mayoral Debate. Refresh for updates

Last Chicago mayoral debate, Oriental Theatre, Chicago (photo by Lynn Sweet)

Chicago Sun-Times mayoral coverage team at the debate: City Hall Reporter Fran Spielman, Political Reporter Abdon M. Pallasch (photo by Lynn Sweet)

CHICAGO–The four major candidates for Chicago mayor are doing one minute opening statements.

7:01 Chicago time

Miguel del Valle, Gery Chico bland openers.

Rahm Emanuel–the front-runner–nothing special

Carol Moseley Braun–in a new hairstyle and new highlights (I would note a new look for a man)…crisply summed up her biography…and makes the best pitch in the opener.

All Emanuel has to do in this debate is play it safe–he is the front-runner.

7:10 Chicago time…

Question on taxes

Chico attacks…not strongly…Emanuel…for his sales tax plans…Emanuel ignores Chico when it is his turn….and….recaps his tax-the-rich plan–increase taxes for corporate jets, animal grooming and country clubs–he singles out Saddle and Cycle on the North Side…

Braun used the question to recap her credentials….was on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, ran budgets at U.S. Embassy as ambassador and at the Record of Deeds…

Del Valle gently aiming at Emanuel, says the Illinois General Assemby will never approve Emanuel’s tax policies…..

7:20 Chicago time…

The question is do the candidates support a head tax and city residency requirements.


head tax…no

residency rules…keep

Del Valle….

head tax for big employers

did not say his position about residency


head tax…would eliminate

residency…not sure, would take a look at arguments for and against.


head tax..would eliminate

residency….not clear from his answer what his position is.

7:34 Chicago time…

Will get back with answers to questions about who the contenders would put in their kitchen cabinet…but first…Emanuel was asked just what he did to quickly make at least $18 million when he left the Clinton White House…..”What was he doing for people to make that kind of money?”

Emanuel gave a fairly lame answer here….mentioned that he helped create Exelon ….and kept their headquarters in Chicago…(did not mention the folks who got laid-off in the deal) and then quickly switched to mentioning he was the vice chair of the Chicago Housing Authority…which was a non-paying job (and thus not responsive to the question) and he taught at Northwestern..(but that was just a course and not the basis of his fortune)

….Chico notes that Emanuel did not mention that he was on the Freddie Mac board…(and made a bundle for just attending meetings)…..Braun wonders what skills Emanuel brought to these deals since he was not a MBA or CPA and then pivots to Emanuel voting against the Congressional Black Caucus position 128 times …..

7:45 Chicago time….

Who would put in “kitchen” cabinet

Del Valle…”people in the neighborhoods” and open up to more people than Mayor Daley…”that’s why Gery Chico got appointed to everything.”

Chico…Paul Vallas, B. Herbert Martin, Luis Gutierrez…

Emanuel…Mike Koldyke…Rev. Brazier, Dave Mosena…

Braun…her sister, a Cook County States Attorney, brother who is a cop, Renee Ferguson, her spokesman and John Rogers, chief of Ariel Investments.

7:56 Chicago time….

There was an immigration question…rivals hit Emanuel gently on his record in Congress and in the Obama White House, Emanuel defends slam as blocking immigration reform, noting no one since former President Ronald Reagan was able to overhaul the law.

Updated…Emanuel is accused of putting the Dream Act on the back burner as President Obama’s White House chief of staff….Emanuel says he would back a Chicago dream act and making Chicago a sanctuary city…This is an area where Emanuel is vulnerable…

Closing statements…

Del Valle…calls for change “It’s time Chicago!”

Braun….Egyptians demanded democracy …”and they got it”…asks voters to “fight the power,” a presumed reference to Emanuel. “We will bring democracy to Chicago…

Chico..the city “is not working for you”

Emanuel …”denial is not a long term strategy”

Closing statements…

Del Valle…”It’s time, Chicago” a call for change

Braun…refers to Egypt, time to “have democracy in Chicago”

Chico.. city “we love” is not “working for you.”

Emanuel… “denial is not a strategy.”

All four candidates are doing post debate interviews now…

Braun, Del Valle, Chico..Emanuel next…