March 29, 2023

The consensus among some political insiders is that Paul Vallas, despite poll numbers in the 44-46 percent range, is going to lose to Brandon Johnson in the April 4 mayoral runoff. Chicago is not the Chicago it used to be, they muse, and the Far Left is storming the proverbial barricades. I don’t think so. Not yet. ONE:  The age, gender and racial composition of the runoff turnout is critical for Vallas. TWO: The four most recent polls show undecideds at 10-16 percent. That seems high at this late date. But both candidates seem to have locked-in their base, with Johnson having slightly more momentum. 45TH WARD: The self-evident consensus is that as goes Vallas so goes Alderman Jim Gardiner. Vallas will win a majority in the ward, as he did on Feb. 28, getting 52.3 percent and 8,453 votes. There are times when the LEAST WORST candidate wins, not the best. This is one of them. Full Article...

March 22, 2023

It does not yet resemble the Politburo of the Soviet Union of the Communist Party, but there will be a lot of “comrades” among the 50 alderpersons in Chicago’s new city council. According to my calculations, and depending on the 14 April 4 runoffs, there could be as many as 18 Far Left “tovarisch” alderpersons. That will make them a dominant force in the council, as they will be two-thirds of a majority (26). “It’s a scary situation,” said Alderman Nick Sposato (38th), part of the body’s dwindling conservative/law-and-order faction, which could number in the 6-10 range. Ideologically-driven and dedicated to a democratic socialistic agenda, these Leftists and their public sector union allies view themselves as transformers, disdaining the conventional role of ward housekeeping. Of 18 ward races, a UWFer either won or earned a runoff in 15 wards. Of the unions’ direct endorsees, AFTers won 9 of 11, CTUers won 4 of 7, SEIU-backed candidates won 16 of 16, and CFL endorsees won 18 of 18. The Chicago Democratic Socialists of America (CDSA) backed 6, losing in wards 30 and 48, but winning in 25, 33, 35 and 46. Here's my analysis of Leftist wins in wards 1,12,20,6,33,36,25, Leftist losses in wards 15,10,4,30, and my analysis of 4/4 runoffs in Lakefront wards 43,46,48. Full Article...

March 15, 2023

“Hapless” is an adjective defining somebody who is unfortunate or unlucky. In politics it’s somebody who puts themselves in a situation beyond their control and then loses. Hapless should not be confused with clueless, jobless or dumb. Cynthia Santos, the now former $127,000-a year member of the Illinois Pollution Control Board and defeated 38TH WARD aldermanic candidate (she got 10.7 percent), is not hapless. She did NOT put herself in a situation beyond her control, which makes her somewhat clueless. Also, how Team Vallas performed in NW Side wards, how Lori Lightfoot was resoundingly repudiated, getting under 19%, how Napolitano won massively in the 41st Ward, and an update on the 45th Ward runoff. Full Article...

March 8, 2023

A bust-out is a politician who spectacularly under performs. Like losing when expected to win. Or like losing hugely when expected to lose narrowly. That is in contrast to a breakout, when a politician through craftiness, design or just sheer dumb luck spectacularly over-performs. MAYOR: You’d need most of your fingers and toes to count all of 2023’s bust-outs – and among them are Lori Lightfoot, Chuy Garcia and Willie Wilson at the mayoral level. All spectacularly under-performed (see chart), with the mayor getting an anemic 16.8 percent, less than 2019’s 17.5. Her vote shrank from 97,667 to 93,888. Wilson, getting beat a third time, got just 9.2 percent, less than 2019’s 10.6 and 2015’s 10.7. His vote grew from 50,960 to 51,099, but shrank from 2019’s 59,072. Garcia proved himself a faded powerhouse with just 13.7 percent, barely a third of his 33.6 percent in 2015; his vote shrank from 160,414 to 76,475. But the mayor’s race produced two breakouts – Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson. In 2019 the “Four White Guys” (Daley, Vallas, Joyce, McCarthy) running got a cumulative 166,413 votes, or 29.1 percent. It was déjà vu all over on Feb. 28. Vallas, the only White candidate, got 184,526 votes, or 33 percent. Johnson, running as an unabashed Leftist progressive and CTU cheerleader got Amara Enyia’s 44,580 2019 vote and slashed into Lightfoot’s 2019 North Side and North Lakeshore White base. Johnson got 120,612 votes, or 21.6 percent. The 60-70 thousand Lightfoot lost she picked up in the Black wards, particularly the West Side, from among Toni Preckwinkle’s  89,343 2019 base. 45TH WARD: On the cusp of a bust-out is Alderman Jim Gardiner, who got 48 percent, amassing 7,656 votes in a 15,942 turnout. That’s almost identical to 2019, when Gardiner topped John Arena 7,570-5,382 in a 14,858 turnout. Despite his 2021 texting controversy, which many voters neither know about nor care about, Gardiner’s base is rock-solid. On the cusp of the cusp is attorney Megan Mathias, who eked into the 45th Ward runoff with 16.9 percent (2,688). Mathias has been campaigning for 2 years, since 2021, has raised over $175,000, claims to have knocked on 10,000 doors, had seven mailings, was endorsed by the Chicago Tribune, Equity Illinois, the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, got a bundle from the Operating Engineers’ union and told me her polling put her at 35 to 36 percent. Plus, she went negative on Gardiner’s crude texting. Despite all that, she finished only 415 votes ahead of James Suh (14.3 percent), who campaigned for 4 months, and 810 ahead of Susanna Ernst (11.8 percent). Full Article...

March 1, 2023

Chicago police officers can’t “rough-up” suspects anymore or even chase them. Forget about all those pat-down, in-your-face, creative expletive-laden stops. Cops need to be nice. They need to be non-confrontational. They need to have the mentality of a social worker, not a SWAT team. But the city’s 11,000 officers and 6,500 retirees do NOT want their Federation of Police (FOP) union president to be nice – especially not to the bunch of politicians who run Chicago.  And current FOP president John Catanzara has been especially “un-nice” during his 3-year term, which ends March 3. Veteran CPD detective Bob Bartlett is contesting Catanzara for a new term, which will be 4 years and  pays $175,000. IL Appellate justice Eileen O'Neill Burke is running for state's attorney. There will be 22 new Associate Judges appointed after March 10. The county's 15 subcircuits will increase to 20, effective June 1, and the NW Side's 10th subcircuit was reconfigured to include Skokie, Glenview, Niles and Lincolnwood. The IL Supreme Court has a vacancy. There will be 7-10 countywide judges on the 2024 ballot. 41st Ward aldermanic loser Paul Streubing will run for Democratic committeeperson next year, and current committeeperson Joe Cook will run in the 45th Ward. Full Article...

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