Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1), who is under investigation for filing a false police report after the car he said was stolen was found in the possession of a former girlfriend who said the alderman lent her the car, is now himself being accused of taking something without permission.
Moreno’s latest mailer features the pictures of state Rep. Will Guzzardi, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and Assessor Fritz Kaegi — three of the area’s best-known and most successful progressive politicians.
“Our Alderman Proco Joe Moreno stood up to pressure – backing the progressive outsider candidates who beat the machine,” the mailer reads. “He knew Will Guzzardi’s fresh, progressive approach was needed in Springfield. He knew Kim Foxx’s dedication to criminal justice reform was needed in Cook County. He knew we needed Fritz Kaegi to beat Joe Berrios — to stop the unfair property tax assessments that were burdening low-income and minority communities.”
Guzzardi took to social media to rebuke Moreno for making it appear as though Guzzardi endorsed him.
“The alderman did not receive, nor did he request, my consent to appear in this mailer,” Guzzardi wrote. “And while the statement made in the piece is factually correct — he did support my campaign in 2014 — I believe the mailer makes a misleading implication. I have not endorsed Alderman Moreno’s re-election campaign. I have been increasingly troubled in recent years by both his personal and his professional conduct. I urge voters in the First Ward not to confuse my appearance in Moreno’s literature with my support for his candidacy.”
Robert Foley, a spokesperson for Foxx, said Moreno did not seek the state attorney’s permission to use her picture on his mailer.
“State’s Attorney Foxx has not endorsed Alderman Moreno for re-election or any other elected official this cycle,” he said.
“Fritz has not made an endorsement in the 1st Ward race. Any assertion otherwise would be inaccurate,” Kaegi spokesperson Joanna Klonsky said.
Kaegi gave Ald. Moreno permission to include on his mailer that the alderman had endorsed Kaegi in his run against Berrios, Klonsky said, but the two did not discuss using a photo.
Moreno did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Daniel La Spata, who is vying to unseat Moreno in the 1st Ward contest on Feb. 26 election, noted that Moreno has been in the news this week for less than positive reasons.
“It’s shameful that he’s trying to mislead 1st Ward voters and distract from his record of selling out our ward by engaging in the machine-style politics that have held this city back,” La Spata said. “But he’s not fooling anyone.”
Earlier this week, mayoral candidate Susana Mendoza said she would not attend a Feb. 20 fundraiser for Moreno — although the alderman’s advertisements for the event said it would feature Mendoza as the “honored guest.”
This isn’t the first time a popular candidate has cried foul about others cashing in on their popularity or progressive bona fides. In the 2018 midterms, then-Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s picture or name appeared on campaign literature for several candidates he had not endorsed.
Garcia, who supported Alma Anaya in that race, demanded that candidate Angie Sandoval stop, and told reporters she intended to mislead voters. Despite Garcia’s objection, Sandoval used Garcia’s name on her palm card in the 7th District race.
Moreno told WGN-TV he reported his Audi stolen because of a “misunderstanding” between him and the woman, whom he used to date. Although the woman spent the night in jail after being charged with a misdemeanor, police have dropped all charges against her.