Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Lightfoot’s giveaway is a reprehensible stunt

By Ray Hanania

Prices have been skyrocketing at every level and on every item in a large part because of the heavy toll the pandemic has had on businesses and workers.

The Russian invasion and accelerated war crimes in Ukraine have aggravated the economic impact on everyday citizens.

That’s what inspired Dr. Willie Wilson last month to decide he would take a part of his wealth and do something to ease the burden on the economically oppressed citizens. So, he announced a gasoline giveaway.

RayHanania

Ray Hanania

The first giveaway was so popular, he upped it to $1 million and paid for the gasoline for motorists who lined up at several dozen gas stations, not just in Chicago but throughout Cook County for a second wave of gasoline assistance.

Wilson didn’t just come up with the idea because he is running for mayor of Chicago. He has been donating money, food and PPE to safeguard and help residents who have been severely affected by the pandemic.

The money he donated was hard-earned money taken out of his own pocket.

Contrast that to the unimaginative and controversy-plagued mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot. After Lightfoot saw how popular Wilson’s gasoline giveaway was, she announced she was going to top his $1 million and giveaway $12.5 million in prepaid gas and public transit cards.

Lightfoot’s giveaway is not for everyone suffering because of the economic hardships, like what Wilson did, but just for the people in Chicago.

The difference between what Wilson did and what Lightfoot is doing is so transparent and selfish.

Wilson did it out of the goodness of his heart.

Lightfoot is doing it purely for votes, to bolster her sagging image as a failed mayor. Lightfoot can’t do a thing about the rising crime that has worsened under her leadership. She can’t stop herself from insulting segments of the city’s constituents by pandering to some minority interests while ignoring others.

Remember when she said she would only grant interviews to non-white journalists? Can you imagine how that would have gone over if a white mayor had announced they were only doing interviews with white journalists?

But that’s not the worst part of what Lightfoot is doing. Wilson dug deep into his own personal wealth and used money that was his.

Not Lightfoot, who instead is using taxpayer money to ease the economic burden to give her parallel credit to offset Wilson’s popularity. Lightfoot is envious of Wilson. She has a poor record to run on.

What Wilson did was a genuine expression of concern for the challenges facing residents. What Lightfoot is doing is purely political, and, in my opinion, utterly honestly reprehensible.

Instead of doing what’s right, Mayor Lightfoot continues to dig herself into a self-made shameful political hole.

THE POLITICAL GRAPEVINE: I am happy to announce I am re-launching my live weekly English-language political talk-radio show focused on Arab American issues. It’s the only Arab American radio show in the country partnered with the popular U.S. Arab Radio Network based in Dearborn, Mich. The radio show will be broadcast on Wednesdays through four radio stations: 4 p.m. on WNZK AM 690 in Detroit, WDMV AM 750 in Washington, D.C., and WTOR AM 770 in New York, including Ontario, Canada. It will be rebroadcast on WNWI AM 1080 out of Oak Lawn at noon Thursday. This is Arab American Heritage Month and Arab Americans deserve the same voice and equal status as every ethnic and national group in this country. I hope you listen.

Liz Gorman received the largest single campaign donation of $100,000 from a supporter in any race outside of the statewide race for governor, in her bid to return to the 17th Cook County District. Gorman wants to restore the fight for taxpayer rights that was abandoned by her successor four years ago, the beleaguered Sean Morrison … Property tax bills are going to be six months late in Cook County this year, coming out probably sometime in September. Getting the blame is Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, who is being challenged for re-election by Kari Steele, currently a member of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. The election is on June 28, and Kaegi doesn’t want taxpayers to see how your property taxes have skyrocketed this year and undermine his fight to stay in office against Steele, a tough challenger.

In the weekly “Two Guys on Politics” podcast, which is available on iTunes, former Congressman Bill Lipinski and I discuss Ukraine’s strength pushing Russia’s war crimes forces back, and problems facing the Republican and the Democratic parties nationally. We also get insight from producer Brian Broeking, who explains Bitcoin and crypto currencies.

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

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