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[26 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]

There is an ancient political saying: Don’t let the grass grow under your feet. That means not standing still. It means broadening one’s voter base and universe of support. It means using and maximizing one’s incumbency.
In the Far Northwest Side 41st Ward, where Alderman Mary O’Connor is completing her first term, the proverbial grass under and around her feet is knee-high and choked with weeds. Despite 4 years of incumbency, the bland, colorless and reliably pro-Rahm Emanuel O’Connor has not “grown” her circle of support. Despite facing two unknown, underfunded …

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[14 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]

t’s reality check time in the Chicago mayoral race. Chuy Garcia is not Harold Washington. This is not 1983. The Hispanic base vote is nowhere near the black base vote, then and now.
The result of the Feb. 24 municipal election, which set up an April 7 runoff between Garcia and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, may or may not be a “consciousness-raising” event. “They are energized,” Frank Avila, a longtime political activist, said of Hispanic voters.
Will Hispanic turnout on April 7 be anemic as usual or awesome? Here are a few incontrovertible …

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[24 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

Remember that old verity? You get what you pay for. Oftentimes, you don’t. In Illinois politics, however, you pay for what you get, and the candidate who pays the most is the candidate who gets.
Bruce Rauner (R) is Illinois’ governor because during 2014 he raised $78,191.560 and spent $58,426,802. Of his receipts, roughly $25 million came from his own pocket. Self-funding, in essence, bought him the governorship.
Rauner beat Pat Quinn (D) 1,823,627-1,681,343 (50.3 percent), a margin of  142,284 votes. Rauner’s cost-per-vote was $32.03. Quinn, during 2014, raised $26,373,276 and spent …

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[19 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

It’s “fizzler” time — that dreaded, painful moment, usually about a week before the election, when delusional candidates have an epiphany and realize that defeat is imminent. Their campaigns have fizzled, due to lack of endorsements, workers and contributions, candidate flaws, or all of the above.
With the Feb. 24 municipal election imminent, here’s a recitation of fizzlers and winners.

Mayor: Have no doubt, the entire array of anti-Emanuel candidates have famously fizzled. A bunch of underfunded nobodies cannot topple a mayor like Rahm Emanuel, who will spend more than $25 million. …

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[4 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

Here is another in a series of “scouting reports” on Chicago aldermanic contests. This week, it’s the 50th Ward, encompassing the once-heavily Jewish West Rogers Park, where a total of three candidates are on the ballot.
This column will be scouting to find a “bupkis” (or several of them). Bupkis is a proper noun, an ancient Yiddish term for a person of no consequence, a nobody, or, in contemporary context, a loser. So, by the process of analytical elimination, identifying each bupkis simplifies the task of picking the non-bupkis – namely, …

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[23 Jan 2015 | No Comment | ]

This week I offer up a scouting report on Northwest side aldermanic races in Chicago. But how about a completely different format? Not a sober “Analysis & Opinion.”  but a a column replete with and chock full of gossip, trivia, tidbits, innuendo, stupidities, candidate information and disinformation, phantom quotes, personal bias, unsubstantiated rumors, speculation, insults and early predictions?
Some would call that “trash talk.” I call it a fun read. Let’s irritate everybody. Here goes, beginning with the 45th Ward.
Baseball icon Yogi Berra once remarked, in a famous non-sequitur, that “it …

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[6 Jan 2015 | No Comment | ]

When it comes to understanding America’s black social hierarchy, and, to a lesser extent, black politics, whites have always been, and still are, clueless.
Post-Emancipation, after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery, African-Americans where wholly concentrated in the South, in the Old Confederacy, and the ex-slaves outnumbered whites by 3-1 or more in states like South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, and 2-1 in Virginia and North Carolina. Since the Republicans, the party of Abraham Lincoln, were then the party of “civil rights,” a permanent Southern – and national — majority …

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[12 Dec 2014 | 6 Comments | ]

Here’s a multiple choice question.
Bob Dold (R) won his comeback bid in Illinois’ upscale North Shore/east Lake County 10th congressional district because he:

Got more votes than incumbent Brad Schneider (D).
Spent more money than Schneider.
Neutralized Schneider’s appeal to Jewish voters.
Ran a brilliant, flawless relentless 2-year campaign to regain the seat he lost to Schneider in 2012.
Morphed himself into Mark Kirk.
Uttered the right platitudes in an anti-Obama year.
Democratic turnout collapsed.
All of the above.

The answers are (1), (3), (4). (5), (6) and (7).

According to official Federal Election Commission filings, Democrat Schneider raised and …

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[2 Dec 2014 | No Comment | ]

Blessed are those who expect nothing; for they shall not be disappointed.
That proverb aptly describes the Obama Administration. Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign – remember the “change we need”? – gave rise to great expectations, and has culminated in great disappointment.
What political pundits then hailed as the dawning of the “Obamanation,” a seamless alliance of blacks, Hispanics, white liberals, urbanites and suburbanites, young Millennials, gays and the intellectual elite has, after only six years, evaporated. And, should the president insist on resisting the voters’ anti-Obama mandate of Nov. 4, Obama will …

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[13 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]

The outcome of Illinois’ gubernatorial race, which Republican Bruce Rauner won by an unofficial tabulation of 171,900 votes (50.8 percent), proves anew that any mother’s can grow up to be governor – provided that can self-fund $28 million and raise another $60 million.
Rauner’s win also reaffirms another pearl of wisdom: Bad always gets worse. If Illinoisans thought state government was incompetent and leadership dysfunctional under the Quinn-Madigan-Cullerton Democratic regime, they ain’t seen nothing yet.
The 2018 governor’s campaign started on Nov. 5. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is the presumptive Democratic nominee. …