'An affront to democratic process': Chicago's Democrat mayor Lori Lightfoot tells voters who won't support her not to vote at all

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Chicago's Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot has feigned championing democracy in the past, but now that her power is at stake, she is apparently happy to dissuade voters from exercising their rights and performing their civic duties.

Lightfoot is seeking reelection on Feb. 28. Three among the eight other challengers on the ballot pose credible threats to her chances of securing a second term.

A recent poll from the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University put Lightfoot third with 14%.

Rep. Jesús "Chuy" Garcia (D-Ill.), one of Lightfoot's competitors, who ranked second in the poll, noted, "It's looking harder and harder for her. ... It's a hell of a front to be fighting on, from her vantage point."

Lightfoot has begun to lash out, most recently at Brandon Johnson, the Cook County commissioner backed by the Chicago Teachers Union, and admitted over the weekend that "it's impossible not to have a runoff."

Feeling the heat and uncertain to make it to the runoff, the Democratic incumbent has once again taken to employing questionable tactics to get her way.

The mayor suggested to a crowd in Grand Crossing over the weekend that if voters did not intend to vote for her, they should abstain from voting altogether, reported Fox News Digital.

Lightfoot addressed black citizens on the city's South Side, telling them that a vote for "somebody not named Lightfoot is a vote for Chuy Garcia or Paul Vallas," two of the other front-runners in the race.

The Chicago Tribune noted that Lightfoot singled out the only Latino and white challengers among the nine candidates in the race.

Rep. Jesús "Chuy" García is a member of the U.S. House and previously served on the Chicago City Council, in the Illinois state Senate, and on the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Paul Vallas, another Democrat, was previously CEO at Chicago State University, serving also as a superintendent in various school districts in various cities.

Lightfoot said, "If you want them controlling your fate and your destiny, then stay home. ... Then don't vote."

\u201cAt South Side rally ft. Bobby Rush, Mayor Lightfoot reiterates, \u201cAny vote coming from the South Side for somebody not named Lightfoot is a vote for Chuy Garcia or Paul Vallas. \u2026 If you want them controlling your destiny, then stay home. Then don't vote.\u201d\u201d
— Alice Yin (@Alice Yin) 1676741666

In 2020, Lightfoot told WBEZ Chicago that "to be able to cast your vote for our representatives is the most purest, most powerful form of democracy that we have. We can't truly affect the trajectory of our own lives, let alone the lives of people who can't advocate for themselves, if we don't vote."

After casting her vote Monday at Northeastern Illinois University, Lightfoot reportedly backpedaled on her suggestion that voters who prefer another candidate to her should surrender the ability to "affect the trajectory" of their own lives.

"If I said anything other than everybody everywhere needs to vote, then I misspoke in the heat of a campaign rally," she told reporters. "But I’ve been very consistent all along saying everybody everywhere needs to step up, and they need to vote, just as I said today."

Despite the mayor's attempt to downplay her earlier suggestion, Garcia stated, "This is disqualifying rhetoric for anyone hoping to lead a Chicago that is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic city."

Brandon Johnson responded to Lightfoot's call for voters to sit out the election, saying, "Lori Lightfoot telling residents not to vote unless they vote for her shows that she cares more about maintaining power for herself than empowering communities or getting things done for the people of our city."

Ja’Mal Green, an activist also running for mayor, called Lightfoot's comments "an affront to democratic process, where each person’s voice is heard at the ballot box."

"Mayor Lightfoot’s comments are delusional, divisive, dangerous, and disappointing!" said Willie Wilson, another mayoral challenger convinced that Lightfoot was using "race to divide us."

This is not the first time Lightfoot has brushed off a strategic measure as a "mistake."

TheBlaze previously reported that Lightfoot was met with fierce criticism in January after her campaign manager sent emails to Chicago Public Schools teachers, pressuring them to ask students to help the mayor with her reelection campaign by volunteering 12 hours per week in exchange for class credit.

Lightfoot's campaign had sent similar emails to the City Colleges of Chicago in August, prompting at least one teacher to file an ethics complaint.

Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates told WTTW the campaign's emails were "unethical" and possibly in violation of Lightfoot's own ethics ordinances and policies.

After the Lightfoot campaign initially defended its attempt to weaponize the city's youth in a political campaign, Lightfoot ultimately called the emails "clearly a mistake," pinning blame on a "young staffer."

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Rep. Ilhan Omar compares pro-Trump events to Ku Klux Klan rallies

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) compared rallies of President Donald Trump to rallies of the racist Ku Klux Klan organization during an interview on Monday.

Omar made the comments in an online YouTube interview with Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post.

Capehart asked for Omar's reaction to the results of the election when she pivoted the conversation toward comments by Trump that she characterized as an "attack" on Somali immigrants and Somali refugees.

"For me and the community I represent for my children, it's been a four-year assault on everything we believe in and everything we stand for," Omar claimed, "down to our basic identity as American refugees in this country."

Omar went on to say that she has spent much time explaining to her children why the president has been targeting her for criticism.

"On a personal level, I have gotten accustomed to standing up to bullies in my life. And so, on a personal level, it hasn't really impacted me besides having, you know, my children be exposed to it, and for the last two months of this election cycle, waking up every single morning to text messages from my siblings asking if I was safe," she continued.

"Because he chose to speak about me at every single rally, it didn't really matter where he was," Omar said, "sometimes, multiple times in a day as he had held his Klan rallies throughout the country."

Critics of Omar circulated a clip of the exchange on social media and excoriated the Muslim congresswoman after other Democratic leaders called for calm and civility in the wake of the November elections.

Squad leader @IlhanMN calls Trump rallies "Klan rallies." Doesn't seem like ideal way to kick off Dems call for u… https://t.co/izo1BP0h3v
— Alice Stewart (@Alice Stewart)1605550526.0

Omar went on to claim that former President Bill Clinton upheld the respectability of the Oval Office much more than Trump has during his tenure.

She also called it "shameful" for some of her Democratic colleagues in the Congress to criticize progressives and far-left Democrats for the failures of the party in the 2020 election.

A Fox News report, based on Federal Election Commission data, reported last week that Omar's campaign sent more than $2.7 million to her husband's political consulting firm for the 2019-2020 election cycle. Omar also won re-election on Nov. 3.

Here's the full interview of Omar by Capehart:

Rep. Ilhan Omar on the election, 117th Congress and more (Full Stream 11/16)www.youtube.com