Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Political battle for immigration reform just developed a new front – Chicago mayor

If it is true that potential mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel is snubbing potential opponent Luis Gutierrez, then we can be guaranteed that immigration reform’s failure to advance this year will become an issue in the 2011 mayoral campaign.

If Luis Gutierrez is willing to talk up immigration reform across the nation, what makes you think he won't use it as an issue on his home turf?

WMAQ-TV used its website to report that Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, has not included Gutierrez, a Congressman from Chicago’s Latino neighborhoods, in his talks with local people who might be of use to him.

THEN, WLS-TV QUOTED Gutierrez as saying that Emanuel is to blame for President Barack Obama’s failure to act on immigration reform. “I don’t believe that he has helped facilitate the process to get us comprehensive immigration reform.”

The folks at Eyewitness News declared Gutierrez’ shot at Emanuel to be the first direct shot taken by one political candidate against another in “Mayor ‘11 – the Race to the Fifth Floor.”

This comes after another potential candidate of Latino ethnic origins, Miguel del Valle, became the first mayoral hopeful to put television commercials on the air promoting himself and the job he has done as city clerk.

Could it be that all these political pundits who are anxious to frame the upcoming mayoral campaign as being between a bunch of white guys (Emanuel, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart) and maybe a black guy for some diversity (Rev.—and state Sen. – James Meeks) had better start paying some attention to the Latino candidates as well?

AT THE VERY least, Gutierrez will be hard to ignore if he becomes Emanuel’s most outspoken critic on the campaign trail. He may wind up making Emanuel wish he had allowed Obama to take a shot at advancing immigration reform.

This weblog’s sister site, The South Chicagoan, offers up more details about how bitter the divide could get on this issue.


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