The [Tuesday] Papers
"Election Day is off to a slower-than-usual start today, with some precincts in the city and suburban Cook County seeing only one voter as of 8 a.m., two hours after polls opened, election officials reported," the Tribune reports.
"'It's scary quiet,' said Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners."
"The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners predicts fewer than one in four voters will turn out in the 14 wards around the city where run-off elections for alderman are scheduled," the Sun-Times reports.
"Absentee and early voting ballots are running highest in the far Northwest Side 41st Ward, where longtime Ald. Brian Doherty, the city council's lone Republican, is retiring."
"The Irish-American Catholic schools grads, just six months apart in age, work just around the corner from each other near Devon and Northwest Hwy. in Chicago's leafy northwest corner," the Sun-Times reported last week.
"Mary O'Connor runs O'Connor's Market and Catering and the Blackthorn Manor banquet facility. She has run the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce and the Edison Park Turkey Trot.
"For the last 15 years, Maurita Gavin has been a top administrative aide to Ald. Brian Doherty - the go-to person in his office for getting things done in the ward.
"These success-story, girls-from-the-neighborhood might be the kind you'd expect to see sharing laughs over a cup of tea at Le Flour Bakery across from the Edison Park Metra station. Gavin even held her mother's birthday party at O'Connor's banquet hall a few years ago.
"But the two - who face off in the 41st runoff [today] - aren't exchanging pleasantries anymore, particularly as the field of candidates narrowed from 11 to two."
"Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel today said his support of a slew of incumbents in Tuesday's aldermanic runoff election doesn't mean he backs business as usual," the Tribune reports.
And then Emanuel burst out laughing.
"Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel won't say Tuesday's City Council runoff is all about him - but he comes close," AP reports.
"'I need a new partner,' Emanuel told reporters on the eve of the election in which 14 members of the City Council will be picked. 'That partner is a City Council that wants to work in the spirit of reform and change the way business is conducted in city government.'"
Except in the eight of 10 races in which he's supporting his - or Daley's, I guess - old partner.
"Emanuel has spent nearly $250,000 on the races, contributing to the campaigns of seven candidates, including six incumbents. He also endorsed - but did not give money to - two other incumbents, including Alderman Willie Cochran, a former police officer who faces Grammy-winning rap artist Che 'Rhymefest' Smith."
All you need to know about Willie Cochran, from the Tribune on May 5, 2010:
"Cochran paid his daughter about $19,000 from his expense account between January and August of last year to work as an aldermanic aide in his ward office. She was later moved from the expense account to the city's regular payroll, according to city officials.
"Cochran's daughter is a college graduate who previously ran a coin laundry owned by her father.
"'In this job, it is very important that you surround yourself with people you can trust,' Cochran said."
Isn't that what Todd Stroger always said?
In the spirit of reform: "Emanuel Endorses Cochran in 20th Ward."
"Voters in the Northwest Side 45th Ward have a clear choice in Tuesday's aldermanic runoff," the Sun-Times reports.
"John Arena, 44, who owns a graphic design company, has been active in the Portage Park Neighborhood Association for more than a decade, trying to steer what he thinks is the right kind of pedestrian-friendly development to the Six Corners business district. Arena is a Democrat running with strong support from unions.
"John Garrido, 43, a police lieutenant and lawyer, says he would be far less picky about development in the ward, green-lighting just about any business that wants to come in. A Republican, Garrido is endorsed by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce."
"Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, who had close ties to [retiring Ald. Patrick] Levar, has remained neutral in the 45th Ward race," the Chicago News Cooperative reports. "Garrido said he met with Emanuel and does not expect him to issue an endorsement in the runoff.
"But Garrido's supporters include Juan Rangel, the charter-school executive who had a prominent role in Emanuel's campaign. Garrido participated in a leadership program conducted by Rangel's United Neighborhood Organization, a powerful Latino community group."
Also in the spirit of reform:
"Ald. Danny Solis (25th Ward) reports two in-kind donations yesterday that showcase his ties to the city's most powerful politicians: Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's political committee ponied up more than $7,700 for a mailing supporting Solis while House Speaker Michael Madigan's committee paid for around $1,000 in staff time to help the incumbent," Progress Illinois reports.
Solis is a founder of UNO. He's also a creep of the first order.
"The incumbent worked 19 years at a Jewel grocery store bakery. The challenger is a Southwest Airlines skycap.
"But a working-class background is about the only thing the two candidates for 15th Ward alderman in Tuesday's election have in common," the Sun-Times reports.
"Ald. Toni Foulkes, a 39-year resident of the ward, left her bakery job to run for an open seat in 2007 and sought the help of her union, the United Food and Commercial Workers. The UCFW and other unions have since poured tens of thousands of dollars into Foulkes' campaign chest. Foulkes said Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel has helped too . . .
"Her challenger, Ray Lopez, 31, has lived in the ward four years. He was a precinct captain in the 23rd Ward organization run by former U.S. Rep. Bill Lipinski and was a local school council member at Kennedy High School - not in 15th Ward. By the end of the year, his campaign had only taken in about $7,000, with most of it coming from Lopez himself.
"The 15th Ward covers some of the poorest and most crime-ridden areas in the city, including parts of Englewood and Chicago Lawn. Its black population, while shrinking, remains the majority at 61 percent. The Hispanic population has grown from 26 percent in 2000 to 34 percent in 2010, according to the recent U.S. Census."
"Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel [Saturday] added the personal touch to his financial support and endorsement of 17th Ward Ald. Latasha Thomas, appearing with her at a get-out-the-vote rally in advance of Tuesday's runoff election," the Tribune reports.
"Thomas, an 11-year City Council veteran, faces David Moore in the head-to-head contest. Moore says Thomas has let things slip in the ward, which includes parts of Englewood, West Englewood and Gresham.
"But in his first announced appearance at a campaign event hosted by a candidate in one of the 14 aldermanic runoffs, Emanuel told a crowd at the New Friendship Baptist Church in Englewood that he likes the work Thomas has done, particularly in bringing several grocery stores into the area."
I can't resist bringing this up from a 2006 Sun-Times story ("CHA Chief's Former Ward Rakes In Contractor Cash"):
"A 17th Ward official who responded to a call to [Ald. Latasha] Thomas asked that questions be e-mailed. No one responded to the e-mail."
The CHA chief in that Sun-Times story, by the way, was Terry Peterson. Which is what makes this current reporting from the Tribune so interesting:
"Latasha Thomas . . . is backed by Burke and Emanuel. Thomas was the chief of staff to predecessor Terry Peterson, now a political force in his own right and an Emanuel political operative."
From the same Tribune report:
"Many of the contributions defy the notion that Burke and Emanuel will go to war to control a majority of the 50-member council . . . A prime example of this phenomenon is the campaign of Ald. Freddrenna Lyle, who has represented the South Side's 6th Ward for 13 years. She's backed by Emanuel, Burke, the unions and even a number of business interests.
Lyle faces a fierce challenge Tuesday from Roderick Sawyer. He's the son of Eugene Sawyer, the former alderman the City Council picked to replace Mayor Harold Washington after his death in office."
Voting herself a pay raise in 2006, Lyle said "I know I work very, very hard."
As opposed to the taxpayers from whom her salary derives.
Meet Rahm Emanuel's new partners. Same as the old partners.
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Posted on April 5, 2011
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