Parking Meter Politics Play Role In Aldermen Races
Opponents Try To Blame Waguespack For Meter Deal?
Only five aldermen voted against the parking meter lease deal back in December of 2008.
This short list was comprised of Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), Leslie Hairston (5th), Toni Preckwinkle (4th), Rey Colon (35th) and Billy Ocasio (26th)
Since then, Ocasio left his aldermanic post to join Gov. Quinn’s team as a senior adviser and Preckwinkle was elected to President of the Cook County Board.
All three of the remaining alderman, Waguespack, Colon and Hairston are campaigning on their no vote, which seems to be resonating with a public still angry about Mayor Daley’s meter lease deal.
In particular, Waguespack has campaign signs and literature boasting of his no vote, as well as SEIU PAC has produced mailers supporting Waguespack and his anti-meter lease deal vote.
One in particular is designed to look like the front of a parking meter paybox but replaced the dollar amount needed to purchase an hour of meter time with cartoon drawings of an arm and a leg.
In another, the paybox is portrayed as a robotic monster shaking down motorists for quarters.
But what in what can only be called humorous irony, all three of the Waguespack’s opponents, Brian Gorman, David Pavlik and Brian Lynch have been trying to lay the blame for the meter lease deal squarely on the shoulders of the first term alderman.
At the January 5th candidate forum held at Wicker Park Lutheran Church on January 5th these candidates claim Waguespack could have invoked a virtually unknown rule called “deem and pass” to stop the deal from moving forward and allow 30 additional days to debate the issue.
Waguespack, who loudly opposed the lease deal, is both amused but angry at the allegations.
“I just kept laughing at the debates when they said it,” said Waguespack. “But people aren’t believing it. Those three guys are part of the old vein of machine politics. If you want to believe these outright lies, I could refute these allegations all night long, but we’re trying to talk about the issues.”
Colon too has mailers touting his opposition to the lease deal as well and seems to be hoping to ride this issue to re-election.
However, in the 1st ward race, someone is trying to link alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno to the meter lease deal–even though he didn’t hold office until after the deal was done.
Moreno was appointed alderman in the 1st ward after Manny Flores stepped down from his post to become chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission in January of 2010.
The orange and black postcard resembles a parking ticket, riddled with spelling and grammatical errors points out Flores voted for the deal but somehow makes the feeble connection to Moreno through a spending vote the alderman made after the fact.
“We think it’s pathetic and sad that someone would stoop so low and outright lie,” says Moreno’s Director of Communication Matt Bailey. “And someone needs to make better use of their spell checker.”