Time is running out for Naperville Mayoral candidate Rocky Caylor to close the gap with Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico. With only 23 days remaining until election day (April 2), Caylor fell short in gaining ground during the two-hour candidate forum Monday March 4. If anything changed, it was that the gap widened.
When the bell rang for the forum to begin, Caylor came out strong, but within seconds his focus diverted accusing Chirico of unfairly gathering research against him, when in fact it was Caylor who released information about himself; probably not the best strategy on the challenger’s part. To Chirico’s credit he did not respond to the jab, and stayed on point.
However later in the forum, the question about researching a candidate was asked by the moderator and Chirico used it to his advantage. Watch and listen as Chirico responds:
Anything less than researching a candidate’s background would be foolish. Imagine a baseball manager not using a scouting report a before a game, or a pitcher not researching opposing batters tendencies, or not researching a cardiologist before choosing a heart surgeon.
Later in the forum, the moderator presented the candidates with a question about using tax increment financing (TIF) as a method to subsidize development:
So Caylor, if elected mayor, would not support offering a TIF, but as a business owner in Joliet, he asked for and was granted a TIF for his company.
Other opportunities for Caylor to garner voting support fell flat, partly because of ill-timed humor (using a municipal mayor’s vehicle to let people know he was driving around), to making statements that he most likely fully understood, but those listening (including myself) had no idea what he was talking about.
Rocky Caylor still has 23 days to become Rocky Balboa and win the battle, but it appears he has inflicted a TKO to himself.
I do not support using opponent research to run a negative campaign but I do understand the importance of knowing your opponent and using opponent research for this purpose.
I completely agree that Caylor hurt himself in the way he handled the news of Chirico hiring a firm do to oppo research for his campaign. Caylor’s open letter to voters turned control of the narrative on this issue over to Chirico, which Chirico used well. Caylor’s campaign would have been better served if he had handled this situation with a more reserved response that allow him to control the narrative on this issue.
Caylor’s association with the anti-Chirico group NaperChange also does not help him. This group has been acting as a defacto PAC running a negative campaign against Chirico from day one. It is hard to claim the high ground in negative campaign when you associate with a group that is doing exactly that.
Mike Marek, who runs Naperchange.org, claims on his website “unbiased research and information gathering.” Mike Marek gave $1,000 to Rocky Caylor’s campaign. He is far from biased. Plus he hates information that doesn’t support Rocky. So does Thom Higgins. Both continually back up Rocky Caylor’s contention that he graduated from IU, when that is a complete lie. Mike Marek and Thom Higgins both support a guy who lies on his resume, and LinkedIn page, about graduating from IU yet they suppress that information every chance they get. What else will Rocky lie about?
Meant to say “He is far from unbiased.”
It is my understanding that Cadence, the company in question didn’t build in or become part of a TIF. It is also my understanding that Cadence invested approximately $14.8 million and received a rebate of 50% of the real estate taxes for 5 years. I don’t know what the actual rebate amounts have been, but in a letter from the City Manager of Joliet to the Mayor and City Council dated August 12, 2015, the 50% rebate was estimated at $28,000 a year, or $140,000 in total.