Lewis said she got her answer about Emanuel’s character rather quickly.
“In that conversation he did say to me that 25 percent of the students in this city are never going to be anything, never going to amount to anything and he was never going to throw money at them.”
She said the comment took her aback, and she looked at him askance.
“Even if you feel that way, you can’t say that to me,” she said. “And he sort of poo-pooed it and we moved on.”
The Mayor’s Office said Lewis made up the anecdote.
“That’s simply false,” said Emanuel Press Secretary Sarah Hamilton. “The Mayor is committed to making sure that every single child in Chicago has access to an excellent education, which is why he is fighting so hard to transform the Chicago public schools that have failed our children year after year.”
Lewis, by the way, is Karen Lewis, president of the local teachers union. A quick glance of her union’s web site suggests that she’s among the usual suspects who stand in the way of effective reforms, favoring union power above all other considerations. So this fight with Emanuel is very much a case of having no one to cheer for. If both Emanuel and Lewis could lose, the Chicago kids might win.