August 28, 2019

He that giveth, like Lou Lang, can taketh away. And he that voteth "wrong," like Mark Kalish, can be voteth out. Or dumped. Kalish, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, was appointed to Lang's 16th Dist. Illinois House seat in Jan. 2019. "He violated his commitment to vote as I voted," fumed Lang, the Niles Twp. Democratic committeeman and 32-year state rep. Lang promised to do what it takes and spend what it takes to beat Kalish in the 3/17/20 primary, Given that Lang has $1,071,782 on-hand, that is no idle threat. Lang has recruited and endorsed Denyse Wang Stoneback. Kalish's unforgivable transgression was his 5/28 "present" vote on the Reproductive Health Act, which reaffirms and codifies abortion rights in the state. PersonalPAC accused Kalish of lying to get the appointment. Kalish said it was "a personal decision based on conscience," admitting that he "made a mistake" by not disclosing his misgivings earlier. "God forgives true repentance," he said. Voters may not. In the 9th subcuircuit, ex-State Sen. Ira Silverstein may run for judge. Full Article...

August 21, 2019

White men may not still rule, but they came pretty close at the Cook County Democrats' Aug. 15-16 slatemaking session. Of 22 candidates slated, 6 were white men -- or 27%. White men got the Clerk of Court, 2 Appellate justices, one Circuit Court judge, a MWRD spot and the 1st Dist. Board of Review. Of course, slating does not guarantee nomination on 3/17/20. To counter-balance, slatemakers chose women, blacks and Hispanics for everything else, with African-Americans for state's attorney and Supreme Court, 3 Hispanics for judge, and 12 women overall. To achieve DIVERSITY, quotas must eclipse qualifications. Full Article...

August 14, 2019

(columnist Russ Stewart is taking the week off. This is a re-run from July 10, 2019)
Who would have thought that the conservative-dominated U.S. Supreme Court would give Mike Madigan the gift that keeps on giving – namely: perpetual Democratic control of the Illinois legislature? And with it the opportunity to eradicate more Republicans from the state’s congressional delegation, further cementing Nancy Pelosi’s control of the U.S. House. Speaker Madigan is a longtime master of the arcane art of gerrymandering, a phrase coined in 1812 when Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry and his Jeffersonian Democratic legislature drew legislative and congressional district lines in a politically advantageous way. Gerry invented the concept of “packing,” which back then meant stuffing a maximum number of opposition Federalists into a minimum number of districts. One district looked like a salamander. The practice continues to this day, with the party in power staying in power by crafting post-census maps which “pack” and “bleach” the opposition. Full Article...

August 7, 2019

Cook County's 80 ward and township Democratic committeemen will assemble Aug.15-16 to endorse 21 candidates for their 2020 slate, of which 16 are for judgeships. The marquee contests are for state's attorney, Clerk of Circuit Court and a state Supreme Court vacancy. Kim Foxx will be re-slated, but three serious contenders seek slating for the Clerk's post -- Iris Martinez, Mike Cabonargi and Mariyana Spyropoulos. The Martinez bid will test the "clout" of Hispanic committeemen, who hold about 10% of the weighted-vote. If nobody gets 50%, there will be no endorsement and an "open" primary, with black incumbent Dorothy Brown also running. Cabonargi has over $500,000 and Spyropoulos over $700,000. Given the poor Mendoza and Chico Hispanic showings last Feb. 26 for mayor, Martinez starts out as a definite underdog, and Brown as the favorite in a multi-candidate race. Full Article...

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