By William J. Kelly -
CHICAGO - There are special perks that come with the job of being Mayor of Chicago. For Rahm Emanuel, those perks include starring roles on million-dollar scripted CNN TV shows, speeding his convoy near parks and through special children-filled school safety zones, and regularly blowing red lights.
Rahmbo’s two-car motorcade was caught on tape in February speeding 10 miles over the speed limit near Gompers Park. In March, the Mayor’s SUV was captured on video plowing 18 miles over the speed limit in a school zone with its police lights turned on. The Mayor was actually out-of-town at the South by Southwest Music and Media Festival that day.
For reasons unknown, the lack of an emergency did not prevent the Mayor’s security detail from violating the speed laws in a safety zone designed to protect kids.
See the video here from ABC7′s I-TEAM
It is yet one more “gotcha” moment for Emanuel over the last few weeks. After all the attempts at image control, the Mayor’s reputation has suffered severe third degree burns.
And the burn of political hypocrisy leaves visible scars, scars that the voters will see and remember for some time to come.
For years, Emanuel has defended the pervasive red light and speed cameras to Chicagoans as necessary to “protect children.”
“The first goal — as I said when we created the child safety zones — was to deter people from speeding near our schools and our parks. And it has been incredibly effective at slowing people down,” Emanuel said in March 2014.
That hasn’t deterred the Mayor’s convoy from breaking the same laws that apply to everyone else.
According to ABC7 I-Team unit, the Mayor’s motorcade has racked up 20 speeding and ticket citations since 2012 – a total of $1700 in fines that made the vehicles “boot eligible.” Instead, all the citations were dismissed.
The 622,000 drivers who received and paid more than $71 million in fines in Chicago must be ecstatic to hear that.
All of this raises more questions about Emanuel’s already “fishy” character.
Voters are wondering: Why doesn’t the Mayor live by the same laws that we live by? When Rahm talks about protecting the children, are those just talking points?
The release of 200 emails between Mayor’s senior aides and CNN also prove ‘Chicagoland’ TV series was staged to make remake Emanuel into urban hero, a 21st century political fighter worthy of re-election or even the Presidency (at least according to executive producer Robert Redford).
Millions of dollars were spent by CNN on the Orwellian advertising campaign to plaster Emanuel’s face on giant billboards and buses around Chicago and other cities.
Voters wonder: Is Mayor Emanuel a dishonest man? Is he just manipulating the people of Chicago? Was this CNN show just a way to help him win re-election? Did he violate campaign finance laws?
Not even a ‘Chicagoland’ sequel could easily fix this public relations mess for ‘Red Light’ Rahm.
William J. Kelly is a television producer and conservative columnist.
This story was first published in Communities Digital News, LLC.