Lightfoot threatens to veto any Chicago city council card protecting the accused Ald. Edward Burke


Mayor Lori Lightfoot is ready to veto any new community map that protects her long-standing political nemesis, Ald accuses. Edward Burke (14th), her ally on the city council, has been informed.

The mayor’s threat of veto is not surprising, given her longstanding political animus towards Burke, her repeated calls for resignation, and the fact that Lightfoot owed her election to the Burke corruption scandal.

But it complicates an already controversial situation that goes right to the wire, as the rules committee abruptly cancels a meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m. The direct introduction of a city-wide map, which would allow immediate scrutiny at the entire council meeting on Wednesday, would require 34 votes.

The new citywide parish map created for the Rules Committee by Mike Kasper, who spent decades serving as an electoral law expert for the deposed President of Parliament of Illinois Michael Madigan, goes to great lengths to protect Burke.

It would address an explosion of the white population in the city center and along the lake shore by creating a new district in the city center that would take up “parts of the West Loop and parts of the South Loop above the 25th district”.

That would protect Burke by keeping its 14th district out of Little Village.

Kasper’s card would also help Marty Quinn, Madigan’s hand-picked councilor and longtime political agent. This is being done by relocating Ald’s Midway Airport. Silvana Tabares’ 23rd ward in Quinn’s 13th ward.

It doesn’t matter that Madigan was deposed as spokesman and chairman of the state’s Democratic Party and resigned his seat in the House of Representatives in the wake of the Commonwealth Edison bribery scandal.

For Lightfoot, who announced her reform skills with the promise to “bring the light”, these two established protections are abhorrent. The rules committee’s failure to release a final card with enough time to open to the public is compounded by the abrupt cancellation of Tuesday’s meeting.

However, sources said it is the decision to save Burke that gets in the way the mayor the most and sparked the threat of veto.

“She came up with this reform agenda and she’s still very much on it. You cannot deviate from it, “said an ally of the mayor, who wanted to remain anonymous.

“It still puzzles you why he’s still here. Protecting someone who may not be there and not their ally at all – why should she be helpful in this endeavor? And it offends her that we’re still doing backroom deals that she loathed from the start. “

Another source familiar with the negotiations said Lightfoot made it clear at the beginning of the reorganization negotiations that it was “not interested in protecting Burke. She wants him to be gone. “

“To see a card that does the exact opposite of what it wants to see – it probably blown a seal,” the source said.

Lightfoot is desperate to avoid a referendum, Chicago’s first referendum in 30 years, because it would be extremely costly, “leak” the mayoral election and have the potential to be viewed as a “leadership failure” on its part, the source said.

Barring a mayoral veto confirmed by the council, the source said, “All of your allies, and possibly you, must wear the jacket of having a card that protects Burke and Madigan and hurts Latinos.”

The mayor’s office refused to confirm or reject the threat of veto.

Its statement merely reiterated that Lightfoot “stated several times that the reassignment process required transparency and encouraged public participation. The mayor urges the city council to work together and compromise. “

If Lightfoot complied with the veto threat, 34 votes would be required to overwrite. That is the same threshold that is required to penetrate a citywide map at the council meeting on Wednesday.

If the council overruled Lightfoot’s veto, Kasper’s citywide map would become law. At least 10 Hispanic councilors who voted no on this card would then petition a referendum within 15 days.

Voters would then choose between the city-wide map, which protects Burke and Quinn, and includes 17 black-majority counties and 14 Hispanic-majority counties, and the map created by the Latino Caucus, which includes 15 Latin-majority counties, during the June 2022 primary election and comprises 16 predominantly African American boroughs.

Both maps show Chicago’s first Asian-American majority community.

If Lightfoot’s veto is upheld, there will be no card and the issue will be headed for a referendum as well.

But there is a fold: Lightfoot could veto and, in its vetoed message, instruct the council to keep trying to forge a compromise. Nothing prevents city councils from continuing negotiations after the December 1st deadline.

So the whole situation is clear as mud.

On Tuesday, sources said Kasper approached the Latino caucus with an offer: No city-wide card will be approved as long as the Latino caucus signs a “standstill agreement” promising not to hold a referendum while negotiations continue.

“We don’t even know what we’re into. We haven’t even seen a map, ”said a source close to the negotiations.

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