Amid soaring gas prices, the mayor of one of the nation’s largest cities has proposed giving away prepaid gas cards – with her name printed on them. And that has raised some eyebrows.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked the city council budget committee for 12.5 million to give out 50,000 prepaid gas cards worth $ 150 and 100,000 public transportation passes worth $ 50.
Some members of the council opposed the request for the first time earlier this month because they saw it as an attempt to boost Lightfoot’s reelection campaign, local station WTTW reported on Wednesday.
On Wednesday afternoon, the city council budget committee approved a revised request by a 15-12 vote, and the entire council is expected to vote on the proposal next week. according to the Chicago Tribune.
When asked for comment from USA TODAY, Lightfoot’s office said it had nothing to share.
During an interview on Tuesday on “Chicago Tonight,” Alderman Gilbert Villegas said he approved of the mayor’s request to help the people of Chicago with gas costs but rejected her name being on the card, saying it’s “not a good look,” according to WTTW.
David Greising, president and CEO of Better Government Association, Illinois’ nonpartisan watchdog organization, told ABC7 he disagreed with the mayor’s name being placed on the card, saying it looks “politically motivated.”
She’s not the first politician to want her name on cards or checks given out to voters, especially close to election time.
Two years ago, then-President Donald Trump asked the Department of the Treasury to have his signature printed on COVID stimulus checks, and the treasury department agreed to add his name on the checks.
Gasoline prices have already risen sharply this year, jumping 18.3% in an April inflation measure, and may increase yet more.
Lightfoot is running for reelection in February against Raymond Lopez, a member of the Chicago City Council, and Chicago businessman Willie Wilson, who gave away free gas to thousands of people last month before he declared his candidacy.
Contributing: Grace Hauck