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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 …

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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, …