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The Rahm ‘Rubber Stamp’ Report Is Out: Who Voted With And Against Mayor The Most

Former Ald. Dick Simpson's annual look at the votes of Chicago's aldermen includes which ones voted with Rahm Emanuel 100 percent of the time.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Ted Cox/DNAinfo

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CITY HALL — South Side Ald. David Moore (17th) and North Side Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) voted against policies and projects backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel more than any other alderman from April 2017 to November 2018, according to the most recent “rubber stamp” report from former Ald. Dick Simpson.

Simpson, who is now a political science professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, issued the 10th report analyzing votes taken by Chicago City Council that resulted in a divided roll call.

Although Simpson’s last report found that aldermen were more willing to buck the mayor, the report released Thursday found that Emanuel recorded a level of support on par with that enjoyed by former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

“The persistent rubber stamp has returned with a vengeance,” Simpson said, crediting the mayor with “iron-fisted” control of the City Council.

Simpson has endorsed and is advising Lori Lightfoot in the 2019 race for mayor, and has been critical of Emanuel throughout his tenure in office.

However, Moore rejected that calculation, telling The Daily Line he voted not against the mayor, but based on whether the projects and policies benefit the residents of the 17th Ward, which includes parts of Englewood.

“Rahm has done some good work, and some not so good things,” Moore said, crediting the mayor for improving his ward’s roads — but adding that he did not do enough to bring new development to the neighborhoods.

In recent months, Moore said his relationship with Emanuel — who is not running for re-election — had improved with better communication.

Moore voted with the mayor 73 percent of the time, according to Simpson’s analysis.

“That’s a C-average, and that seems right to me,” Moore said.

Moore cast two high-profile votes against the mayor’s wishes in May 2018, including the lone vote against the Obama Presidential Center in May, saying he could not vote to approve a project that needs an estimated $175 million in infrastructure improvements when he had roads in his South Side ward that have not been repaired for decades.

The state budget approved several weeks after the City Council vote included $172 million to cover the cost of closing the roads through Jackson Park to make way through the center.

Moore also joined forces with Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) to delay a vote to partially fund the mayor’s proposal to build a new training facility for police officers and firefighters. The No Cop Academy Coalition contends the $95 million slated for the new academy would be better spent on jobs, education, youth programs, and mental health services.

However, when aldermen considered the measure again two days later — the minimum period of time they had to wait to act, under the state’s Open Meetings Act — Moore voted in favor of the training facility.

Moore said he favors the construction of the facility, but delayed the vote because he wanted to know it would be funded. In October, Department of Fleet and Facility Management Commissioner David Reynolds told aldermen his department had identified about $53 million out of the $95 million cost of the facility.

“The current training facility is not suitable,” Moore said.

Simpson’s report initially recorded Moore as voting against the facility during the final vote. However, Ramirez-Rosa and Ald. Ricardo Muñoz (22nd) cast the only no votes against the facility. Simpson told The Daily Line that he will revise the online version of the report.

When the Obama Presidential Center returned to the City Council for another vote in November, Moore enthusiastically voted to give the $500 million project final approval.

Waguespack is the chairman of the Progressive Caucus, which is frequently a thorn in the mayor’s side. He also voted against the mayor’s policies and projects 73 percent of the time.

Waguespack was the only alderman to vote against the mayor’s 2019 budget, saying it did not do enough to address the looming pension crisis, drinking water polluted with lead or the need for more mental health services.

Waguespack did not return a phone message from The Daily Line Thursday.

On the other end of the spectrum, 11 aldermen voted with the mayor 100 percent of the time, according to Simpson’s analysis. They are:

  • Ald. Carrie Austin (34th)
  • Ald. Howard Brookins (21st)
  • Ald. Ed Burke (14th)
  • Ald. Walter Burnett (27th)
  • Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th)
  • Ald. Michelle Harris (8th)
  • Ald. Margaret Laurino (39th)
  • Ald. Emma Mitts (37th)
  • Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th)
  • Ald. Danny Solis (25th)
  • Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th)