Ald.[Anybody but Rahm] Fioretti endorses Rahm Emanuel and denies a quid pro quo for his endorsement

Jeff Berkowitz: Alderman, didn't you say, "Anybody but Rahm," before February 24. Anybody but Rahm. Didn't you say that?

Mayor Emanuel held a press conference with Ald. Fioretti yesterday afternoon at Nia restaurant in Chicago's West Loop to showcase Ald. [and former Chicago mayoral candidate] Bob  Fioretti's endorsement of Mayor Emanuel.  

Ald. Fioretti has been a consistent critic of Mayer Emanuel and thorn in his side over the last four years.

Indeed, the early criticism by Bob Fioretti of Rahm Emanuel may have been a major factor in provoking the re-districting that essentially blew up Ald. Fioretti's 2nd ward, ironically making it more attractive for Fioretti to run for Mayor than for re-election as Alderman.

Ald. Fioretti came in 4th out of 5 candidates with 7.4% of the vote in the Feb. 24, 2015 Chicago Mayoral election [Go here to watch Ald. Fioretti interviewed in December, 2014 as a Mayoral Candidate on "Public Affairs," where he said, among other things, he wanted a suburban commuter income tax and financial transactions tax "on the table." ].

Based on that history and what Ald. Fioretti said during the 2015 Chicago Mayoral Campaign, most pundits were anticipating, until recently, a Chuy Garcia endorsement by Ald. Fioretti. Yesterday's press conferences ran about 20 minutes and a partial transcript of the press conference is included, below.

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Ald. and former Mayoral Candidate Bob Fioretti: ... I will be casting my vote for Rahm Emanuel for Mayor of our city and if you are worried about the financial health of this city, you should do the same. We need not only our financial health of our city to be fixed but also the budget for CPS and you only have one choice...Clearly some of the unions who did not support me in the fall want somebody, a public servant, who will do whatever they want...we have budget problems in this city and we have a candidate who is proposing all kinds of additional spending to the tune of 2 billion dollars and then he will form a task force the day after the election. I think it is irresponsible. I think it is dangerous for our city...granted Chuy is a nice person but I don't think he should be the person to run the city after the election.

Rahm Emanuel: Thank you Bob. Thank you very much for your support. I would say not only your support and also your vote ...But also as the four of us, Nicki [Pecori, Ald. Fioretti's long time partner and fiance] included, were having lunch, I said, and I do believe, there are a lot of ways to continue to shape, to build our city...and it doesn't come as a surprise to anybody, Bob has been one of my fiercest, strongest critics,  but never in our disagreements has he been disagreeable and our disagreements were not about our shared vision for the City of Chicago--maybe about different ways to get there, but his passion and love for the City of Chicago were self evident...

Jeff Berkowitz [Public Affairs] : Alderman, would you accept any political appointments or other appointments or political favors from the Rahm Emanuel administration, should he win on April 7?

Ald. Bob Fioretti [2nd Ward]: I don't think that's the issue before us and I think as the Mayor said, there are [other] ways to serve the Public here in this city, and he brought it up today during lunch. That hasn't been an issue. I want to continue to serve our city  and our state...you know I think the Mayor hit it right on the head. Maybe we have different courses on how to achieve what's great for the city but if you look at my record: in 2008 on the floor, I addressed the issues about the pensions, 2009, I was talking about broadening the sales tax; 2010, I talked about the casino and cooperative services between the County and the City, which believe it or not, the Mayor has been doing that with [the Cook] County Board President. In 2011, I talked about surplusing the TIFs and he did that for many of the other reasons, too, so you know, it's my ideas, too; his ideas- we believe in trying to move this City forward, broadening the middle class and what we need to do here.

Mayor Emanuel: ... Another example is, my whole life I have fought for an increase in the minimum wage...

Charles Thomas [ABC-7 News]: Alderman, did you or any of your representatives solicit help from SEIU in retiring your campaign debt?

Ald. Fioretti: I talked to SEIU, yes. I am reaching out to everybody in retiring my [Mayoral race] campaign debt, not just one union or any other unions. I have considerable campaign debt and slowly and surely I will get there and pay it all off.

Charles Thomas: Did he promise you any help, the Mayor-his campaign-- in retiring your campaign debt

Ald. Fioretti: No, no, but I will ask some of his supporters. I am going to go thru everybody and people, I think, respect me. I have had a lot of promises from everybody in the last few days--not just because we are here today.

Charles Thomas: Is this a quid pro quo? Did you ask some of his supporters--

Ald. Fioretti: No, I would be endorsing the Mayor, anyway. And, even, whatever, I am here to endorse the Mayor, here, today.

Charles Thomas: Mayor--

Ald. Fioretti: Because I do think [Rahm Emanuel] is the right person,  As I said, I was going to stay neutral on this. It has taken a lot of effort and a lot of criticism from other people on what is going to happen here.

Charles Thomas: Mayor, would you counsel your donors to help Ald. Fioretti retire his campaign debt?

Mayor Emanuel: Of course, I don't have a problem with that. I did that for Carol Moseley-Braun and Gery Chico [after the 2011 Chicago mayoral election]. Because I don't want him to be burdened in any other way. The intention of your question--of what you are trying to suggest is not why Bob and I are here...I did it in the past. I know what it is like to have campaign debt where you owe other people who are on your staff. There are financial-- you know, getting paid...I did it before and I will do it again. That is not the reason [Ald. Fioretti] is standing here. It is about the future of the City of Chicago.

Jeff Berkowitz: But, you are more likely to do it now [Go to your donors for him], you would acknowledge that-- because he has endorsed you. Wouldn't you. Wouldn't you acknowledge that?

Mayor Emanuel: I did it in the past for other candidates.  But, you are putting words and actions and motivations and ascribing in a way that I won't accept and Bob won't.

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Jeff Berkowitz: Alderman, didn't you say, "Anybody but Rahm," before February 24. Anybody but Rahm. Didn't you say that?

Mayor Emanuel: He said, "Anybody but Rahm," but then he finished-- "Rahm Emanuel." [Round of laughter from the media, and Mayor Emanuel and Ald. Fioretti exited and then the press conference was over]

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  • Fioretti is a big phony, including when he is consistently slapped down by the courts.

    As I said last night, he brings maybe 12 votes to the Emanuel campaign.

    The commuter tax issue highlights that, as about the only jobs Rahm claims to have created are a result of moving headquarters from the suburbs. Whoever owns Droid, back to Libertyville here we come if that happens.

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