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Emanuel Allies: Garcia Budget Plan As Real As 'Leprechauns And Unicorns'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Allies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel have criticized challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for refusing to offer detailed plans to reduce the city's pension debt and balance its budget.

At a City Hall press conference, City Clerk Susana Mendoza and three aldermen who back the mayor rolled out a couple of hand trucks of budget books and audits they claim Garcia could use to craft his budget plans.

Garcia has said he and a blue ribbon panel should look at performance audits before getting into what new revenue or spending cuts would be needed to balance the operating budget and address underfunded city employee pensions.

Mendoza scoffed at that.

"A committee can't be made up of leprechauns and unicorns, but that's about as realistic as his plan has been so far," she said. "People deserve to know, they demand to know, what his details are."


Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) who is vice chair of the Budget Committee, said the information Garcia is talking about is easily available.

"Based on the lack of specifics from Mr. Garcia, I don't have the confidence that he knows how to balance a budget," he said. "Platitudes do not balance budgets, and so I'm going to be making my own in-kind contribution today to Mr. Garcia's campaign. I am going to be sending him a calculator."

Ald. Rick Munoz (22nd), who backs Garcia, said the mayor's surrogates are making light of a serious issue.

"It's an obvious political stunt," he said. "We have those records. We have the financial audits. What we're looking for is the performance audits."

Munoz said those are needed to plan specifics.

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