Del Valle: Sanchez’s clout army aided Chico, Emanuel
By Abdon M. Pallasch Political Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org February 3, 2011 7:12PM
Updated: May 26, 2011 6:15AM
City Clerk Miguel del Valle on Thursday tried to connect former Streets and Sanitation czar Al Sanchez to two of del Valle’s rivals for mayor of Chicago: Rahm Emanuel and Gery Chico.
“I’m using today’s sentencing of Mr. Sanchez to remind everyone that we have a long history in Chicago of patronage politics,” del Valle said.
Sanchez was a godfather of the pro-Mayor Daley Hispanic Democratic Organization [HDO}, which prosecutors said he used to reward politically loyal precinct workers with hiring and promotions.
Citing testimony from the trials of other Daley administration officials, del Valle walked through which political troops were dispatched from City Hall to help Rahm Emanuel get elected to Congress in 2000.
“Rahm Emanuel would have had a difficult time getting elected congressman without the patronage armies helping him,” del Valle said. “HDO worked in the Emanuel campaign for congress in 2000. [Sewer Dept. Official Mary Jo] Falcon testified she orchestrated a show of support for Emanuel at [convicted former Daley Patronage Chief Robert] Sorich’s request. These people demonstrated a show of support for Emanuel, and Emanuel is, of course, supporting the status quo.”
Emanuel has said that “thousands” of people volunteered to work on his campaign for Congress and any sent from City Hall would not have been what made or broke the race.
Regarding Chico, del Valle said, “Gery Chico was chief of staff [to Daley] when HDO was first established in ‘93. There were a lot of city contractors who contributed to HDO to build the war chest. He went to a lot of HDO events that I wasn’t at.”
Chico spokeswoman Brooke Anderson responded, “Gery never had anything to do with them, and HDO actually fought Gery in his run for U.S. Senate.”
Del Valle said he has returned campaign funds from a fund-raiser thrown for him by a partner of HDO co-founder Victor Reyes.
“I have a long history of having HDO oppose not just me but people that I supported,” Del Valle said. Del Valle did not point an accusatory finger at former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, for whom Reyes is now a paid campaign adviser.