By John Ruberry
The competition for worst big city mayor is fierce, New York’s Bill de Blasio and Eric Garcetti typically lead the pack but don’t overlook Lori Lightfoot of Chicago.
How did America’s third-largest city get there?
Lightfoot’s victory in last year’s election was a fluke. She and Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle, the president of the Cook County Board emerged as the top two candidates after a 14-candidate first round of balloting–she collected only 17-percent of the vote. Lightfoot, used her endorsement by the Chicago Sun-Times and her time as chair of the Chicago Police Department Office of Professional Standards to fashion herself as the reform candidate. Her predecessor, Rahm Emanuel, decided not to run for a third term; it’s widely believed his blocking the release of a video until after his 2015 reelection of the shameful deadly police shooting of Laquan McDonald led to his bowing out.
Now there is a another video. Late in Emanuel’s second term Chicago police officers raided the apartment of social worker Anjanette Young. But they busted into the wrong home. Guns were drawn and Young was handuffed naked while she screamed. “You’ve got the wrong place.” She said that 43 times. Lightfoot’s campaign slogan was “Let There Be Light” and this was her opportunity to be transparent in a time of crisis.
City lawyers sued to block CBS Chicago from airing the video of the botched raid. Lightfoot later called that a mistake.
Let There Be Light.
Then the woman often derisively called “Mayor Beetlejuice” claimed that she wasn’t aware of the raid on Young’s home. But emails show that Lightfoot learned about the raid in November of 2019, around the time CBS Chicago began reporting on it. She says she “focused on budget issues” at that time and the could explain why she has no recall of the emails.
Lightfoot also admitted that she was wrong when she said that Young hadn’t filed a Freedom of Information Request for the video of the raid. The victim had in fact done so.
At best, Lightfoot’s Chicago is circling the drain. Yes, she inherited a mess. Even before the COVID-19 epidemic Chicago was losing residents. Chicago’s public-worker pension worker plans are the worst-funded of any big city. But Lightfoot’s lockdown orders are best draconian, she hasn’t been taken to task as much as she deserves for that only because her fellow Democrat, blowhard governor JB Pritzker, has been all over local media almost daily trying to frighten Illinoisans into compliance with his own lockdown orders.
What are Lightfoot’s priorities?
The day before the second round of widespread looting and rioting, deemed “unrest” of course by the mainstream media, Lightfoot followed through on her threat to close the vast Montrose Beach to visitors because she thought too many people gathered there on a gorgeous late summer afternoon.
In the spring Lighfoot scolded Chicagoan by declaring “getting your roots done is not essential.” During that first lockdown, which closed all hair salons, the mayor got her stylist, maskless, to do her hair.
When confronted with a predictable uproar for her hypocrisy, Beetlejuice doubled down, “I’m the public face of this city, I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye.”
Last month a few days before imposing a second COVID-19 lockdown, Lightfoot appeared, maskless, outdoors at a spontaneous rally at an unsafe distance with many others as she celebrated the media calling the presidential election for Joe Biden.
Chicago, a failed city, has the perfect person to represent it in the public eye.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.