Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The FUD Returns

To date, Joe Moore has issued two glossy mailers attacking Brian White.  The first one is labeled "Top Secret" and accuses Brian White of having "The Plan That Will Take Down Our Neighborhood".  I will comment on that one later this week.  The most recent one refers to Brian as "The Smartest Man In Chicago" and proceeds to attack his responses to the IVI-IPO's questionnaire, which you can read for yourself here.

The key to a FUD campaign is to limit what you share about the opposition in order to paint them in the most unappealing light so the voters will bypass them as alternatives to the status quo.  Joe is a pro at that.  Let's face it, it's a whole lot easier than dealing with the issues.

So the first fact that Joe Moore wants you to know is Brian's response to Question 27:

Will you institute participatory budgeting to allow ward residents to vote on discretionary spending in your ward?

Joe reports that Brian responded "No" which is correct.  But Joe left out the reason, which is equally, if not more, important.

Brian responded "No" because, as the essay portion of his answer points out -  Participatory budgeting already exists in the 49th ward.  (bold in the original)

The question was about INSTITUTING participatory budgeting, not maintaining it.  Had the question been worded differently Joe might have had a bone to pick.  He didn't, so he created one.

Joe also takes Brian to task about Question 39 -

How do you propose to replace property tax revenue for CPS and other taxing bodies that is lost to TIF development?

Joe reports that Brian responded "I would support an increase in property taxes."

Joe treats that as Brian's full answer.  It isn't.  Brian's full response is "I would support an increase in property taxes to pay for schools and/or a revenue swap that increases education funding through a progressive state income tax" (emphasis mine)

If Brian's response had ended as Joe depicts it, I would be pretty annoyed with Brian too.  But he does offer up an alternative, which Joe doesn't discuss because his whole point is to diss Brian for supporting a raise in property taxes.  We will never know if a revenue swap is a good idea, unless Joe happens to bring it up later.

So the FUD is in full swing.

P.S. Given that Chicago is now on the hook for funding the pension funds at a rational level, a property tax increase is all but assured, regardless of the outcome of the vote in Ward 49.

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