Meeks denies anti-Emanuel tricks, while Emanuel would limit asset sales
Mr. Meeks is flatly denying he's behind a series of challenges to Mr. Emanuel's campaign that some consider political low blows — even though two key figures involved in these efforts also have worked for the preacher and state senator.
In an interview, Mr. Meeks says, "I don't know anything" about a homeless man who was a top petition-gatherer for both Mr. Meeks and Robert Halpin, Mr. Emanuel's house renter-turned-rival.
Mr. Meeks says he believes the gatherer, Arthur Hardy Jr., effectively worked as a subcontractor for someone else whom his campaign had hired at the end of his petition drive to collect signatures on his nominating petitions.
Mr. Meeks says he does not know the name of that person but adds, "There was no coordination at all with Halpin. I don't know him. I never met him."
A challenge to Mr. Emanuel's residency is being handled by Burt Odelson, the same election lawyer who is representing Mr. Meeks on any challenge to his petitions.
Mr. Odelson, who typically works for several candidates at a time, has denied there is any connection between his work for Mr. Meeks and against Mr. Emanuel.
Meanwhile, Mr. Emanuel apparently believes that all proceeds from further long-term asset leases should be used strictly to fund capital projects, rather than for operating expenses.
In an appearance Monday night on WTTW-TV/Channel 11's "Chicago Tonight," Mr. Emanuel said it was "a mistake" to use proceeds from the parking meter and Chicago Skyway leases to fill holes in the city's operating budget.
"If you're going to do anything that relates to the meters, the airport, the Skyway, those resources have to be dedicated toward investing in Chicago's future," Mr. Emanuel said. And that means "capital investment."
I've asked the Emanuel campaign to clarify whether that statement is as categorical as it sounds, and will add that in when they respond.
* * * 1:45 p.m. update: Team Emanuel has gotten back to me and, yes, the statement is categorical: proceeds go just for capital projects and not toward, say, filling the hole in the city's employee pension plans, on which the candidate has some other funding mechanism in mind that he's not yet disclosing.
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