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[22 Mar 2017 | No Comment | ]

Marty Maloney, the current acting mayor of northwest suburban Park Ridge, is over-worked, underpaid, unappreciated, unknown and, according to his April 4 opponent, Lucas Fuksa, is inept, devious, disingenuous, non-transparent and unaccountable. That’s a huge mouthful of negativity.

The conundrum confronting Fuksa is simple: How do you convince voters to throw out an “acting” incumbent nobody knows, in an election where nobody cares? Maloney is “Mayor Nobody,” which makes attacking him dicey: It either makes him better known, or negatively defines him. Fuksa is doing neither.

Park Ridge is economically booming. There …

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[29 Dec 2016 | No Comment | ]

Illinoisans have no cause to be modest. The state’s legislators are unquestionably the best that money can buy, and Bruce Rauner, Mike Madigan and John Cullerton spent a combined $100 million to purchase them in 2016.
The second most underreported Springfield political story of 2016 is that the governor got more bang for his bucks while the speaker got his proverbial clock cleaned, losing his precious House super majority. Madigan’s Democratic majority dropped from 71-47 to 67-51. The Madigan-funded Democratic candidate lost to the Rauner-funded Republican in seven of the nine …

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[8 Dec 2016 | 2 Comments | ]

As the hapless Mark Kirk fades into oblivion after one forgettable term as a Republican U.S. senator from Illinois, he will be remembered for two reasons.

First, Kirk is the worst beaten senator in the state since 1948. Kirk lost to Democrat Tammy Duckworth 2,908,363-2,150,099 in November, an astounding margin of 758,264 votes. If there is any consolation for Kirk, he did top Donald Trump’s 2,140,595-vote performance, if only by 9,504 votes.

Kirk made a gargantuan effort to separate himself from Trump, claiming to be an independent senator, pointedly withdrawing his endorsement …

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[23 Sep 2016 | 3 Comments | ]

The 2016 contest for Cook County Circuit Court Clerk is one of mind over matter. In short, for the great bulk of voters, it’s out of mind and doesn’t matter.
For any politician or political candidate, a quick indictment is good to have…as long as the indictee is your opponent. For Diane Shapiro, the 2016 Republican candidate for the office, an indictment of 16-year incumbent Dorothy Brown before Nov. 8 is potentially the difference between victory and defeat. Or maybe not.

Brown manages – or, as many suggest, mismanages – the county’s …

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[21 Jul 2016 | One Comment | ]

Here’s a multiple-choice question: If you are one of 110 elected Democratic legislators in Springfield, 71 in the House and 39 in the Senate, to whom are you subservient and from whom do you take your orders?

(a) House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.
(b) Legislative staff.
(c) Political campaign staff.
(d) The Democratic Party of Illinois.
(e) Your constituents.
(f) None of the Above.

If you answered (a), (c) or (d), you are a shrewd observer of the Illinois political scene, and you probably suspect that (a) is a bit more blameworthy than …

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[15 Apr 2016 | No Comment | ]

In the past, at least through the mid-1990s, judicial aspirants in Cook County lusted after some magical letters, such as HQ, Q and R. Those letters indicated qualification ratings from various bar associations, signifying highly qualified, qualified and recommended. An NR – “not recommended” – usually was the kiss of death.

Not any more. The only letters which currently matter in getting elected judge are XX, as in the female chromosome. XY, the male chromosome, is now the kiss of death. Twenty of the 29 countywide or subcircuit judges nominated in …

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[30 Mar 2016 | No Comment | ]

There comes a “tipping point” in every politician’s career. It’s when the end is nearer than the beginning. It’s when one’s career has become indelibly, irreparably, irretrievably tarnished. In short, you’re unelectable.
For Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s beleaguered mayor, March 15 was his “tipping point.” Two candidates with whom Emanuel is politically and personally joined at the hip – Anita Alvarez and Hillary Clinton – fared poorly, if not disastrously, in the Democratic primary.
It will be remembered that Emanuel won an unimpressive 329,701-257,101 April 2015 runoff, after spending upwards of $25 million. …

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[15 Mar 2016 | No Comment | ]

Chicago doesn’t need a new police superintendent. It already has one: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). They are “Superintendent ACLU,” and the “ACLU Rule” governs all on-street activity and monitors all police conduct.
Did you know that every time a police officer makes a traffic stop, questions a “suspect,” or talks to anybody on the street, a 7-page “stop card” must later be prepared and filed – and that a copy is forwarded to the ACLU? Did you know that every “contact” must be given a written receipt, with an RD number, which goes …

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[3 Mar 2016 | 3 Comments | ]

To be dumped or not to be dumped, that is the Shakespearian question. In a year where political insiders are increasingly reviled, the fates of Dorothy Brown and Anita Alvarez in the March 15 primary will answer that question.
If the Cook County Clerk of Circuit Court race were to be scripted, the screenwriter would be nominated for an Oscar for the best off-the-wall documentary. “Brown Is Not Down” would be an apt title. Or “Risen From The Dead.”

The county Democrats’ 2015 carnival of slating, non-slating, unslating, re-slating and dumping has …

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[4 Feb 2016 | No Comment | ]

Who would have thought it? Eight years of George Bush begat Barack Obama — remember “change we need”? — and eight years of Barack Obama has begat — what?

Voters in 2016 are even surlier, angrier, more disconsolate and more disenchanted with the U.S. political system than they were in 2008.

The choices are stark: It’s Clinton Inc. versus Trump Inc. versus Bloomberg Inc. versus none of the above. The first three will each spend a billion dollars or more to win the presidency, but the last, if the Feb. 1 Iowa …