August 10, 2022

The MWRD is MIA. That’s a mouthful of pithy acronyms, but aptly reflects the reality that the nine elected Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioners and the $1.3 billion-budgeted agency is perpetually out-of-sight and out-of-mind. But it’s more like “MIIA,” which is missing-in-inaction. Nobody knows who they are, what they do, or why they’re needed and why those people need to be elected.The 2022 6-year winners (see chart) were incumbent Spyropoulos, Yumeka Brown, and Theresa Flynn, the candidate backed by IUOE Local 399 (stationary engineers). The IUOE has been sulking since 2018, when their incumbent/employee Martin Durkan, lost to Garcia. GET THOSE WIPES OUT OF THE PIPES: For the 2-year Shore vacancy, history was made – or maybe it was predictable – when a man, the slated Dan “Pogo” Pogorzelski, defeated two women – the Pritzker-appointed incumbent Chakena Perry whose husband is a top aide to the governor, and Elizabeth Joyce, part of the Avila slate.  Full Article...

August 3, 2022

WIMP is an acronym for "World of Identity and Minority Politics," which aptly describes the process of judgemaking in Cook County. A few non-inhabitants of the WIMP world were victorious. How much is a Cook County judgeship worth? I don’t mean how much it pays, which is $207,000 plus benefits and pension. I mean how much will a lawyer spend to win the robes? For Stephen Swedlow (D) in Chicago’s Loop/Lakefront 8TH SUBCIRCUIT the cost was $719,520 (through June 30), which came in the form of a $950,000 loan from himself. Luckily for him there remains $230,362 unspent.Inasmuch as Swedlow defeated Jennifer Brae 29,972-22,160 on June 28 with 57.5 percent, a margin of 7.802, the tab came to exactly $24 per vote.Eight factors determine outcomes: (1) slating, good for 40 percent, (2) name ID from a prior run or gender ID, with a female surname good for nearly 50 percent, (3) saturation advertising (like Swedlow) and money, (4) ethnicity, with Irish surnames helpful, (5) bar ratings and media endorsements, (6) number of opponents, (7) subliminal negative perceptions, as certain names can be off-putting, and (8) wedge constituencies, such as built-in votes from gays and marginalized others. Full Article...

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