CHICAGO (CBS) — State comptroller Susanna Mendoza is reportedly mulling over a run for mayor of Chicago.
Meantime, she’s campaigning for re-election, positioning herself in TV ads as a champion for the underserved.
But are those claims accurate?
CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley checks the facts.
In her latest campaign ad, Susana Mendoza calls herself a fearless fighter for the little guy.
That’s partially true. Which means its also partially false. As Chicago City Clerk, Mendoza did fight Mayor Rahm Emanuel on hiking city sticker fees, was a cheerleader for the impeachment of former governor Rod Blagojevich and has been a vocal opponent of current Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.
Blagojevich once slammed lawmakers who hold two government jobs. Double-dippers like Mendoza, who made $73,000 working for Mayor Richard Daley’s planning department while also getting paid as a state representative.
It’s a practice Mendoza defended back in 2008.
“Unless the governor believes that every legislator who had any other source of employment should have that outlawed, including his wife now has a job that is paid for through state funds, I mean the level of hypocrisy is just unbelievable.”
But Mendoza hasn’t done much standing up to powerful Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, who she has called her mentor. By all accounts, Madigan helped squeeze state senator Daniel Biss out of a 2016 comptroller’s primary, clearing the way for Mendoza.
And even now, out of the 1.7 million dollars Mendoza has in her campaign fund, more than a third, $650,000, is from the Illinois Democratic Party.
In other words, from Mike Madigan.
Mendoza has said she instructed the city not to pay her planning department salary for the days she spent in Springfield as a state representative. However, she funded pensions for both positions which still qualifies as double-dipping.
CBS 2 reached out to Mendoza for comment but she was not available.