RAHMWATCH: The hypocrisy of Barack Obama's support for Rahm Emanuel shows in the 'Historic Pullman' announcement as looming Rahm publicity stunt nears

The support for Rahm Emanuel by President Barack Obama in the 2011 Chicago municipal election was decisive in bringing in the vote from Chicago's African American wards for Rahm. Despite the fact that the candidacy of Carol Mosely Braun was endorsed by the "leadership" of the Black Community, Rahm turned out to have been the candidate who won those wards. But 2011 is history, and Rahm has continued in 2015 to draw on the support of the President of the United States, even when that support exposes another example of the hypocrisy of that president.

As voting in Chicago began (early voting on February 9) and election day (February 24) drew near, the records of the candidates drew more and more attention. As Chicagoans know, the leader for years of the work on "Historic Pullman" has been Bob Fioretti. But Barack Obama apparently intends to give a pre-election boost to Rahm Emanuel via Historic Pullman.

And so I hope our readers will read Fioretti's response and consider the current realities of Chicago politics now that the early voting has begun and Election Day looms on February 24.


Fioretti Statement on Obama's Pullman Announcement

Chicago, IL The following is a statement from mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti on the Pullman announcement:

I have a special connection to the Pullman area my dad worked there after he emigrated from Italy and I have the honor of serving on the Historic Pullman Foundation Board. I was the President of the Foundation at the time of the fire and I worked to get millions of dollars to repair the clock tower. I have been an advocate for making it a national park for years and offered legislation with Anthony Beal in 2013 in the City Council asking President Obama to make Pullman a national park or historic monument. As a current board member of the Historic Pullman Foundation, it is surprising to see the news today. It is even more surprising that President Obama is coming days before the mayoral election to make this announcement. Hopefully the Mayor and the President will both highlight and credit the five decade grassroots effort that led to this, because right now it just looks like politics.


CHICAGO President Obama is headed to his hometown next week to announce that he is naming the Pullman historic district a national monument.

Although the decision is being applauded in the Windy City, one local politician is complaining about the timing of the president's visit just five days before former White House chief of staff and current Mayor Rahm Emanuel is up for re-election.

"It is even more surprising that President Obama is coming days before the mayoral election to make this announcement," said Alderman Bob Fioretti, one of four candidates challenging Emanuel in the Feb. 24 primary. "Hopefully, the mayor and the president will both highlight and credit the five-decade grass-roots effort that led to this, because right now it just looks like politics."

The White House hasn't officially announced the president's travel, but a White House official, who asked not to be identified because the trip hasn't been announced, confirmed that the president plans to travel to Chicago to make the announcement.

Neither the White House nor Emanuel's office responded to questions about Fioretti's criticism.

The Pullman area on Chicago's far South Side dates to the 1880s and was home to the Pullman Palace Car Co., which manufactured sleeper cars for rail passengers. It will become the city's first National Park Service property. Pullman was where the first African-American labor union was formed, and the area around the factory was where the first model industrial community was developed.

During his more than six years in office, Obama has bestowed the designation on the Csar E. Chvez National Monument in California, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland and the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio.

The designation is likely to help speed up the redevelopment of the Pullman district, which has some run-down and dilapidated sections.

Obama likely will appear with Emanuel and members of the Illinois congressional delegation to make the announcement.

The president has already endorsed Emanuel with a radio advertisement in which he lauds his former chief of staff as a mayor "who does what's right, not just what's popular."

Polls show Emanuel with a significant lead over his four challengers in this month's primary. But it is uncertain that he will be able to win 50% plus one vote that he needs to avoid an April runoff election.


President Obama To Designate Pullman Neighborhood a National Park, By Mark Konkol on February 10, 2015 5:55am , @KonkolsKorner

PULLMAN The neighborhood once hailed as The Worlds Most Perfect Town will become Americas next national park.

Late Monday, the National Park Conservation Association sent word neighbors have longed to hear after more than a year of lobbying, two stalled bills in Congress and months of nervous waiting, President Barack Obama will use his executive powers to mark railroad mogul George Pullmans factory town a national monument.

The people who are part of the Pullman legacy helped to shape America as we know it today. Pullman workers fought for fair labor conditions in the late 19th century, and the Pullman porters helped advance Americas civil rights movement, association Midwest director Lynn McClure said.

The designation of Pullman as a national monument will further showcase the commitment of President Obama to diversify our national parks and preserve the places that define who we are as a nation. Thanks to the president, Pullmans story will soon be remembered and recounted for the millions of people that visit Americas national parks each year, McClure said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office said early Tuesday that Obama whose career as a community organizer started with coffee klatches at the Pullman McDonald's will travel to Chicago on Feb. 19 to announce the historic South Side neighborhoods new national park status.

It will become the city's first national park, the mayor's office said.


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