A study by TUA on Chicago police and firefighters pensions was mentioned by Crain’s Chicago Business in a story about endorsements on the campaign trail.
Some bits and pieces from the campaign trail on endorsements, a 2nd Ward poll, police and firefighter pensions, and aldermanic debates.
The Chicago Federation of Labor is out with its endorsement list and, while there are no shockers, I found a few eyebrow-raisers.
The group backed no one for mayor, which represents a victory of sorts for incumbent Rahm Emanuel. For alderman, it endorsed some prominent independents such as Rick Munoz, 22nd, Ameya Pawar, 47th, and Leslie Hairston, 5th, but left off the list Scott Waguespack, 32nd, and Joe Moore, 49th, making no endorsement at all in the latter two contests.
In absolutely not surprising news, CFL endorsed the latest standard-bearer for the Daley clan, Patrick Daley Thompson, in the 11th Ward. But it dumped 44th Ward incumbent Tom Tunney in favor of alternative culture entrepreneur Mark Thomas of “The Alley” fame. It also voted against Michele Smith in the 43rd Ward, backing Jennifer Kramer instead.
Also on the CFL’s list was 27th Ward incumbent Walter Burnett. But he probably doesn’t need the help, even though the ward’s demographics are changing quickly and he faces a challenge from businessman Gabe Beukinga.
According to a poll prepared for the Burnett campaign by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, 60 percent of voters back or lean toward Burnett to 11 percent who back or lean toward Beukinga, with more than 1 voter in 5 undecided.
The benchmark poll of 340 votes was conducted in late November, so it’s a bit old, but Beukinga at a minimum needs to get a lot better known.
Meanwhile, look for a new report issued by anti-tax gadfly Jim Tobin on pensions for Chicago police and firefighters to spark some chatter.
Among other things, the study finds that the pensions paid to retirees—thousands of “top” pensioners are listed by name—include payments of $100,000 or more to scores of retirees.
With the average cop now retiring at age 57, “the top 1,000 pensioners for the Chicago Police Department are collecting nearly $88 million from taxpayers annually, and the top 1,000 Chicago Fire Department pensioners are collecting nearly $90 million from taxpayers annually.” That, in his view is not sustainable.
Finally, I’m going to be hosting two candidate debates for aldermen in the North Side 2nd Ward, which lacks an incumbent, and the 43rd Ward, where Ald. Michele Smith faces several foes.
The first will be held tomorrow evening at 7:30 at Latin School, Clark Street and North Avenue, and is sponsored by Carl Sandburg Village. The second is at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, Jan. 27, at the DePaul University Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave., and is sponsored by the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Diversey Harbor Lakeview Association.
I’ll try to keep things interesting.