Rahm Emanuel’s Republican opponent launches ad: “Chicago’s Dead Fish Blues”


CHICAGO – Chicago Republican candidate William J. Kelly is smacking his opponent Mayor Rahm Emanuel with all the dead fish references he can find, according to a new ad released this week.

The ad plays off Emanuel’s infamous moniker earned after he sent a 2 ½ foot rotting dead fish to a pollster he didn’t like.

The bluesy ad pulls few punches:

“Growing up on Chicago’s South Side, I learned from an early age how to spot when something fishy was going on,” Kelly says in the opening line of the “Dead Fish Blues” ad. “Now in Chicago, if there’s something fishy going on – chances are it has to do with our Mayor, Rahm Emanuel. We shouldn’t have to put up with the stench of Rahm’s insider crony deals. We can do better.”

The ad splices fishy footage with Kelly’s proposals, including “killing” Emanuel’s red light camera program, “gutting” his plan to raise property taxes by $750 million, and “cleaning up” the Mayor’s messy record on crime and pensions.

“I’m William J. Kelly and I approve this message,” he says at the end of the 60-second spot. “Because real Chicagoans know that dead fish belong on Fulton Street and not on the fifth floor of City Hall.”


Kelly is the Emanuel’s only Republican opponent and the two will face off in the Chicago municipal election on February 24, 2015. He was attacked in media headlines last week after he donated $100,000 to his campaign and busted the campaign finance limits in the race.

The longtime Republican activist and Emmy award-winning TV producer is no stranger to controversy. He has been vilified in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times after his interviews with Rahm Emanuel and Dick Durbin went viral.

In 2010, CBS correspondent Jay Levine threatened to “deck” Kelly if he didn’t stop asking then candidate Emanuel tough questions. In 2011, Kelly questioned Sen. Dick Durbin at a press conference and was shouted down by members of the media.

Kelly might not be a favorite of Chicago media but, in the end, Chicago voters are the ones that count.

A Chicago Tribune poll found that Emanuel’s job approval rating is at a low of 35 percent, down from 50 percent around this time last year. Sixty-two percent of voters said Emanuel is out of touch with citizens.

Consequently, the Chicago electorate’s “anybody but Rahm” mood could pay dividends for his opponents.

Including Kelly.

“We have a historic opportunity to defeat Rahm Emanuel in Chicago before he runs for national office,” Kelly says. “For those that want to see him defeated, this is the time to either put up or shut up.”

Chicago municipal elections are non-partisan so Kelly will face off against Emanuel without the obligatory “R” for Republican after his name. A run-off election, in the event that no candidate garners more than fifty percent of the vote, is held on the first Tuesday in April.

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  • Dobraya Utka

    It was another lesser-of-two-evils conundrum.