Emanuel, Rauner in war of words
AP Photo/M. Spencer Green
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner are turning up their heated political rhetoric against one another.
The two have been in a public war of words recently, as each politician tries to get something from the other.
Emanuel has promised Chicagoans relief on property taxes, and he needs state lawmakers’ help.
His plan includes protections for residents whose homes are worth less than $250,000, and a doubling of the homeowners exemption, two things that can only be done in Springfield.
Emanuel also wants Rauner to sign off on a measure changing how the financially-struggling police and firefighters’ pensions are funded.
Rauner meanwhile has said he wants Emanuel to sign off on
some of his priorities, including limits to collective bargaining.
Emanuel and Rauner, who are friends privately, have gone back and forth publicly for weeks, but on Wednesday and Thursday, they cranked up the heat.
“It’s a very strange economic strategy to try and hurt your economic engine, that’s how you’re gonna grow the economy,” Emanuel told reporters Wednesday. “Let me ask it this way, to all of you: Name me a governor in the other 49 states that is attacking the economic engine of their state. Is the gov of Washington state going after Seattle? Is the Gov of Oregon going after Portland?”
Rauner spokesman Mike Schimpf, sent an email to reporters in response:
“It's clear that less than 24 hours after passing the largest property tax hike in city history, the mayor is already laying the groundwork for another tax hike because he is refusing to engage in passing structural reforms that will save Chicago taxpayer (sic) hundreds of millions of dollars,” Schrimpf said.
“The mayor needs to get serious about whether he is going to be a reformer or just another tax-and-spend politician who wants to blame someone else for their failures."
Tony Arnold and Lauren Chooljian cover politics for WBEZ. Follow them at @tonyjarnold and @laurenchooljian.