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Primary Pundit Patrol

More notes from the front.


"Ron Szykowny was sitting on his motorized scooter chatting with his 13th Ward precinct captain outside a home at 68th and Springfield when I drove up on Election Day," Mark Brown writes in the Sun-Times.

That would be the heart of Michael Madigan's home turf; he's not just Speaker of the House, he actually represents a district.

"This was one of those unusual precincts where the polling place is in the basement of a house."



"The final unofficial vote tally: 9,498 for Madigan; 2,125 for Piszczor.

Szykowny, 78, understands why those results might frustrate some people around Illinois who would like to see Madigan removed from his Speaker's post but can't find a way to get at him.

"'As the Speaker, he hasn't done much but get us in deeper in debt,' Szykowny complained to my surprise - dissenting voices being few and far between on Madigan's home turf.

"'But don't get me wrong,' he hastened to add. 'Madigan and his people have done us wonders around here. I'm not saying anybody else would have done any better.'

In the end, Szykowny said, he couldn't bring himself to vote against Madigan.

"'For one reason, it ain't going to happen,' he said, referring to what he saw as a half-hearted campaign by Piszczor. 'She hasn't made enough waves to make a difference.'

"Plus, Szyknowny added, he didn't want to disappoint his precinct captains, who are always quick to help if he needs an extra garbage pickup or to have the alley baited for rats."

They get the rat traps, we get the rats.


"Today we're giving out the Moutza of the Month award early because nothing else in March could top Chicago voters casting Democratic primary ballots for a legislator caught on FBI tape allegedly taking $7,000 in bribes," John Kass writes in the Tribune.

"His victory was engineered by the Democrats. The plan was designed to protect the leverage of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who guards his Democratic majority in the state House . . . The other day, at least 7,140 voters cast a ballot for state Rep. Derrick 'Leave It in the Envelope' Smith . . . With Smith vulnerable, the Democrats worried that his Democratic primary opponent, Tom Swiss, was in reality a Republican."

That only seems fair. After all, Michael Madigan's Republican opponents every two years are actually Democrats.


"If Ilya Sheyman's 'progressive' supporters in the city of Chicago had not wasted so much time, effort, and treasure trying to take out Toni Berrios, a pro-choice, pro LGBT progressive Latina, with one of their rich white college buddies from out of town, Sheyman might have been able to pull it off," Cook County Democratic Party political director Scott Cisek comments on Capitol Fax Blog.

I guess defending the Berrios clan is enough to drive anyone insane. From their websites:


Will is a staunch advocate for women's rights, including equal pay, fair treatment in hiring, and reproductive services. Women workers, on average, make 77 cents to every dollar made by male workers. Sexual harassment on the job persists throughout a variety of industries, and women's access to health screenings and reproductive services deserves continued funding and advocacy.

What Will's going to do:

* Work with the Illinois Department of Labor to enforce federal labor law requiring equal pay for equal work

* Partner with 39th District organizations to provide health screenings and reproductive services to women throughout the district.

* Fight legislation designed to dismantle Roe v. Wade


Oops! Nothing on women's issues.

Oh well. What about LBGT issues?


Oops! Nothing on LBGT issues.


Full equality for all, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, is a basic matter of civil rights, and anything short of full equality is unacceptable. The state's Civil Unions Act was the right direction, but it should be viewed as but a small step toward full marriage equality. As State Representative Will Guzzardi will push for full marriage equality and comprehensive legislation to ensure all families in our community are treated equally, protected from discrimination, and respected.

What Will's going to do:

* Advocate for a comprehensive bill granting full marriage equality to all Illinois couples regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

* Encourage employers to offer health plans for spouses regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

* Partner with community organizations to fight disinformation on the ground.

Starting with the disinformation put out by the political director of the Cook County Democratic Party - chairman Joe Berrios. Yes, that's right: Cisek's boss is Toni's daddy.

Cisek continues:

"As a big progressive myself, watching the 'organized professional left' makes me think of Voltaire's comment on the Holy Roman Empire. They are neither organized, nor professional, nor supportive of leftys outside of their clique. Sad."

Well, how big a progressive can you be when you're directing the political strategies of the Machine? Your job by definition is to defeat progressives.

Just check out this tweet from Cisek on Wednesday:

@ScottCisek hears we won everything. EVERYTHING. probably has not happened since George Dunne was chairman. Details to follow.

Outside of the fact that George Dunne is hardly a reference a progressive would favorably cite, I had a question for Cisek. So I tweeted this back to him:

By "we" do you mean the Machine? It was a primary.

Cisek never replied.

Maybe because I'm not in the clique - you know, the one that runs Chicago politics and leaves progressives, independents, conservatives, Greens, libertarians and everyone without a name like Berrios outside. Sad.


"[E]ven though [Toni Preckwinkle] resoundingly and unapologetically defeated the son, she explained to me why she remained loyal to John Stroger, Todd's dad and predecessor, even though he was a Machine man and she was a progressive," Carol Marin writes.

"It had to do with loyalty. When Preckwinkle was a young graduate student, the elder Stroger took time to tutor her in the ways of the toughest game in town. She never forgot that."

Sorry, but putting personal gratitude above the public interest is pure Machine thinking.

"In this primary, that same loyalty in some cases trumped Preckwinkle's pragmatism. It explains why she stuck with Krishnamoorthi when others went with Duckworth in the 8th Congressional District. And why Preckwinkle backed Cunningham for the Supreme Court while Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democratic ward bosses threw huge support to Theis.

"Cunningham and Krishnamoorthi had helped Preckwinkle in the past, so she helped them."

Taxpayers be damned.


Cisek was Preckwinkle's campaign manager when she ran for county board president as a reformer. And then she endorsed both Joe and Toni Berrios.


Rahm Emanuel tried to keep his support for the Berrios clan on the down-lo, but he sent a last-minute letter to voters supporting her, according to district resident Fred Klonsky.

Rahm also - sneer - ran as a reformer.


So many Machine hacks running as reformers only shows you their acknowledgement that the public hungers for reform.


Finally, Public Policy Polling should have known there was something wrong with their models when they came across this statewide result:

Q22. Are you a Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, or St. Louis Cardinals fan?

Cubs . . . 37%
White Sox . . . 20%
Cardinals . . . 22%
Not a fan of any of these teams . . . 21%

Although it makes sense if you figure the White Sox and Cardinals are splitting the anti-Cubs vote downstate.

P.S.: Cubs support was at 44% just two years ago. But neither the White Sox nor the Cardinals gained; those who dropped the North Siders moved into the none-of-the-above category.


See also:
* Primary Points
* The Beachwood Primary Guide 2012


Comments welcome.


Posted on March 22, 2012

MUSIC - The Decade's Top 100 Chicago Rap Songs.
TV - NASA TV's Upcoming Spacewalks.
POLITICS - Lying & The Constitution.
SPORTS - Corrupt IOC Bans Protests.

BOOKS - The Fall Of 1987.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - United's New Carhartts.

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