The good government group Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO) recently released its endorsements for Chicago's February 2011 municipal election. City Clerk Miguel del Valle got the group's backing for mayor, a perhaps unsurprising choice given the progressive positions that del Valle has staked out. You can read del Valle's answers to IVI-IPO's 88-question endorsement application here, as well as those submitted by mayoral contenders Carol Moseley Braun, William "Dock" Walls, Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, and Frederick White. The questionnaires answered by ex-candidate Congressman Danny Davis and a number of aldermanic candidates are also available.
The questionnaires make for interesting reading; they bring up issues that haven't gotten a lot of play on the campaign trail so far. Like, for example, a question about the candidates' position on public financing of city campaigns and whether they think discretionary funds for ward services should be allocated according to ward need, ward size, or distributed equally across the city. Mayoral candidates are asked to rank their priorities for CTA expansion and describe how they'd stop the "schools to prison pipeline."
Most of the 27 candidates IVI-IPO endorsed for alderman would be freshmen to council should they be elected next month. Che "Rhymefest" Smith in the 20th Ward, State Rep. Will Burns in the 4th Ward, Burl McQueen in the 34th Ward, and Greg Brewer in the 50th Ward are among the candidates in this group. In terms of incumbents, several of the first-time aldermen elected four years ago got the organization's seal of approval. IVI-IPO made no endorsement in the remaining 23 council races.