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[2 Sep 2015 | No Comment | ]

Once an office goes black, it can never go back. Believe it or not, that’s the Law of the Land, at least for some offices.
It’s called “non-retrogression.” Under the federal Voting Rights Act, once a black or Hispanic is elected to a legislative office – congressman, state legislator, county commissioner, alderman – the boundaries of that majority-minority district cannot be altered. And that means forever.

“Non-retrogression” is also the unofficial policy of the Democratic Party in Cook County and, to a lesser extent, in Illinois. Once a minority (especially a black) …

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[26 Aug 2015 | No Comment | ]

For decades, “Just Say No” has been the mantra of drug counselors.   Does anybody subscribe to the notion of “Just Say Yes”?
Well, the Cook County Democratic Party does. Their mantra is “Just Say Aye,” as was aptly demonstrated at the Democrats’ Aug. 18-19 slatemaking session, where 80 elected Democratic committeemen – 50 from Chicago’s wards and 30 from the county’s suburban townships – did their duty, shouted “aye” when instructed, fulfilled all expectations, wasted two days of their lives, and went home with their egos in a sling.
“It wasn’t …

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[14 Aug 2015 | No Comment | ]

The great myth surrounding U.S. presidential elections is that the “best and the brightest” invariably prevail. That’s nonsense. The candidate with the most stamina, most persistence and least personal flaws emerges as the winner.
Happenstance — being the candidate of the right party, in the right year, with the right image — will dictate Barack Obama’s successor.

The 2016 election is still 15 months away, and there are 17 Republicans and five Democrats in the race, with Vice President Joe Biden likely to join soon. Two of them will be nominated, and …

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[10 Aug 2015 | No Comment | ]

In Washington, D.C., “safe” is every politician’s, lobbyist’s and campaign fund-raiser’s favorite four-letter word, physically and politically, especially in the U.S. House, where the Republicans hold a 245-188 majority (with two vacancies).

Of the 435 seats up for election in 2016, according to nonpartisan prognosticators like the Rothenberg and Gonzales Political Report, Rollcall, Sabato’s Crystal Ball and the Cook Political Report, only 32 are “in play,” which means susceptible to a party switch next year. Of those 32, 24 are occupied by Republicans and eight are occupied by Democrats. They are …

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[7 Jul 2015 | One Comment | ]

It is often remarked, not facetiously, that squeamish people don’t want to know how sausage is made, and intelligent people don’t want to know how judges are made. The “best and the brightest” on the bench? Not a chance.
This article is not about sausage. In Cook County, it’s judge-making time, and it ain’t pretty. On June 25-26, at the Democrats’ “pre-slating,” 41 lawyers appointed judges appeared, and begged and groveled for party slating. There are two 1st District (Cook County) Appellate Court vacancies, and 10 countywide Circuit Court vacancies (which …

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[30 Jun 2015 | No Comment | ]

I remember a George Carlin comedy skit about “pre-boarding.” How does one pre-board an airplane? You either get on, or you don’t, he joked. You can’t pre-eat, pre-vote, pre-drive, pre-sleep, or have pre-sex, he said.  (The latter is an interesting concept, but let’s not go there.)
But one can, however, pre-pay at the gas pump.
In Cook County, the Democrats have pioneered “pre-slating.” That means getting slated before you’re slated.  Almost magical. That occurred June 25-26, when the 50 Chicago and 30 suburban township committeemen convened a dog-and-pony show, wherein prospective 2016 …

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[30 Apr 2015 | No Comment | ]

For Joe Berrios, the 2015 city elections were an “Apocalypse Now” moment. In 2014, despite spending close to $750,000, daughter Toni Berrios lost renomination for state representative. This cycle, despite spending $750,695 (with cash-on-hand of $1,540,672 as of April 1), Berrios and his allies lost aldermanic races in the North Side 31st and 36th wards. Berrios also intervened but failed to defeat the 1st Ward incumbent, and sometime ally Ray Colon lost in the 35th Ward.
Poor image combined with poor judgment is to blame.  Berrios stuck with Rahm Emanuel in …

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[23 Apr 2015 | No Comment | ]

“Mr. Diversity” he’s not. The “Bleach Man” would be more appropriate. Five words describe Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s underwhelming victory in the April 7 runoff: Whites, whites and more whites.
It was a $30 million Laundromat Election:  Lots of scrubbing, lots of dirt removal, lots of whitening, and lots of fabric softener to make Emanuel soft and fluffy. And, of course, lots of Drano to eradicate and flush Chuy Garcia’s credibility down the drain. The Rahmster won because he made Garcia more odious that he. The mayor did what was necessary …

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[17 Apr 2015 | No Comment | ]

Most people have heard the acronym ASPCA – the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Their goal is to prevent owner abuse.

After the April 7 Chicago runoffs, rumors abound that there is a burgeoning movement to Create an APSCP – American Society to Prevent Cruelty to Politicians. Its goal would be to prevent voter abuse. In other words, salve the pain of defeat. The loser grouses: How dare the voters reject me? I’m special. I have feelings. I’m devastated. They’re ingrates. What’s wrong with them? Now I have to finda real …

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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 …