When asked to, mayoral candidates quick to criticize Daley

February 15, 2011

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(WBEZ/Sam Hudzik)
Miguel del Valle takes reporters' questions following the debate Monday evening.

Criticism of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley came easily to the candidates for mayor during their latest major debate.

This election has been largely free of direct attacks on Mayor Daley. But Monday night the candidates were asked to name Daley's greatest mistake, other than the controversial parking meter lease.

"He's done a good job for parts of the city and just kind of let other parts go with benign neglect," said former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.

Miguel del Valle, the current city clerk, said he disagreed with Daley's night-time destruction of the Meigs Field runway.

"I would have done that very differently," del Valle said.

Gery Chico, a former Daley chief of staff, said the mayor didn't work enough with aldermen, "miss[ing] an opportunity to bring in a lot of bright people into discussions."

Ex-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said Daley relied too heavily on the 2016 Olympic bid for job creation.

"While it was worth trying to try for that, you have to have a more robust, more agressive strategy that's long-lived besides just one goal, one objective," Emanuel said.

Two other candidates on the ballot for mayor, Patricia Van Pelt Watkins and Bill "Dock" Walls, were not invited to Monday night's debate hosted by WTTW public television and the City Club of Chicago.