CHICAGO (CBS) — Toni Preckwinkle launched her first campaign commercial in the race for Chicago mayor.
And it didn’t take long for the ad to cause an uproar.
In her first mayoral campaign ad, Toni Preckwinkle highlights her role in exposing the police cover-up of the Laquan McDonald shooting. But organizers who were on the front lines of the McDonald protests insist Preckwinkle’s ad is in poor taste and exaggerates her role.
“It kind of disrespects the moment to profit off of the pain of Laquan McDonald’s tragic transition, ” said protest organizer Jedidiah Brown.
“I’m saying she’s trying to capitalize off this. I’m saying she’s wrong,” added protest organizer William Calloway. “I’m saying she’s only doing this because she’s in hot water with that (Ald. Ed) Burke situation. That’s the only reason that she’s doing that.”
They say Preckwinkle’s ad seeks to change the subject after federal prosecutors alleged that Ald. Ed Burke illegally squeezed a businessman for a $10,000 campaign contribution for Preckwinkle.
“I stand by the role that I played,” Preckwinkle said. “It was the release of the autopsy report for the family and to the activists and to the folks who were suing to get the video released that made it possible for us to know the truth about Laquan McDonald’s murder.”
But activists insist the ad wrongly gives no credit to the young people in the streets who forced the issue on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city establishment.
“If she does not discontinue that ad, we will orgranize and make sure that we have a ‘Bye Toni’ campaign,” Calloway said. “We want her completely out of this race.”
Preckwinkle privately told investigative reporter Jamie Kalven that McDonald had been shot 16 times. That led Kalven to pursue a Freedom of Information request for the autopsy report. But Preckwinkle had no response when a reporter asked why she simply didn’t make that information public herself?