May 3, 2023


Those of my dwindling generation still vaguely remember the old Revolutionary War yarn about Paul Revere’s midnight ride through the streets of Boston shouting “the British are coming.”

I’m sure there was some crazed but patriotic, anti Marxist-Leninists who galloped through the streets of Moscow in 1917 yelling “the Bolsheviks are coming.” That was right before he was greeted by the friendly neighborhood firing squad.

But nobody need have driven their non-EVs up along DuSable Lake Shore Drive from screaming “the Leftists are coming.” And that’s because they already arrived thanks to the political imbecility of Donald Trump. As proven in the April 4 Chicago runoff, those wards (see chart) on the far north Lakefront (49, 48 and 46 and to a limited degree 44) and those a bit west into Ravenswood, Andersonville, Bowmanville and Budlong Woods (47 and 40), have the temperament to form their own union of Socialist wards.

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson was the 2023 vessel for those who demand fundamental societal reconstruction and system economic change. In other words, anything but capitalism and up with equity, collectivism and wealth redistribution. Johnson got 63,110 votes in those 6 wards, a majority of 22,226 over Paul Vallas. That, along with his 91,892-vote majority in the Black wards, gave him a 26,448-vote citywide win.

And quite ironically, the seminal catalyst for this collapse of the “Chicago Mensheviks” was  Trump, who will go down in history as America’s Czar Nicholas, the enabler of the revolution.

I recall something once quaintly known as the Pledge of Allegiance, and that stuff about “…one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” You can’t make anybody recite that or even think that anymore. Half the country totally disbelieves it. And many of them live on Chicago’s north Lakefront.

Appalled by Trump’s 2016 win (and infuriated by Clinton’s loss) a contingent of early wokesters, then called “progressives” started the Indivisible Project, with Indivisible Illinois (II) creating chapters throughout the state. The group flourished as Trump stumbled through his first term, providing ideological sustenance and hope to Chicago Lakefront and north suburban voters. And it exploded after the Roe v. Wade takedown.

Indivisible Illinois’ mission statement (on its Web site) is “to stand against hate, resist oppression…and protect fundamental rights” such as those of abortion, women and LGBTQ. It has a military-style chain of command and vast social media presence. One e-mail from the top can unleash hundreds of texts, tweets, forwards, impressions, hits, likes and shares from others in the chain, bombarding public officials, the media and fellow progressives. Indivisible is an influencer, and that makes them very powerful – as demonstrated by the 878-vote upset win of Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth in the 48th Ward’s) April 4 aldermanic runoff.

Manaa-Hoppenworth, who is a Filipina and owns a business in Andersonville, defeated Joe Dunne 9,289-8,411, who was backed by retiring alderman Harry Osterman and the ward’s entire  Democratic establishment. Partisanship has been eclipsed here by political correctness, identity politics and virtue signaling. Manaa-Hoppenworth spent $120,000, got 52.5 percent, but ran 2,114 votes behind Johnson, who beat Vallas 11,403-6,631, getting 63.2 percent.

The two cross-endorsed each other and she was buoyed by Johnson’s big win.  Johnson won 25 of the 48th’s 33 precincts and Manaa-Hoppenworth 18, but the game-changer was her 6 years of networking. Her web site claims Manaa-Hoppenworth was a co-founder of Indivisible Illinois and founder of three local chapters. That provided a committed base. In a ward where 2/3rds of the voters live in multi-unit condo and apartment buildings, any campaign must include mailings, digital texting, on-street field canvassing and, more than ever, in-building contacts where neighbors can door-knock other neighbors. Manaa-Hoppnworth had that. And it worked.

Farther south is the 46th Ward, consisting of Uptown (to Montrose-Argyle), Buena Park in the middle and northern Lakeview in the south (from Addison to Irving). Single-family housing is less than 20 percent. Here, as in the 48th, the Democratic establishment was soundly slapped down. Johnson won the ward 10,999-6,981, a solid 61.2 percent, carrying 16 of the ward’s 23 precincts. Johnson ran as a team with Angela Clay, who easily beat Kim Walz 9,963-7,772 in the open alderman race. Clay got 56.2 percent and won 16 precincts.

Clay is a social worker and organizer, and was endorsed by Chicago Democratic Socialists of America as a “committed socialist champion.” She also got backing from CTU, United Working Families, AFSCME and ONE Northside, and spent over $300,000. Her base is Upown, and she won 16 precincts. Walz, a staffer for Mike Quigley in the 2000s, got absolutely no traction. She turned out to be yesterday’s candidate.

In the past decade the north Lakefront has become much younger, much more diverse ethnically, and much, much more liberal. The polarizing advent of Trump was also a causative factor.

South of Fullerton is a whole different planet. It’s Keep-My-Wealth Town. Here, wealth is something to be earned and nurtured, and nobody trusts Johnson. Vallas won the Lincoln Park (43), Gold Coast (42), River North/Greektown (34), Wicker Park/Bucktown (32) and Chinatown/Bridgeport (11) and North Loop (2) wards with 67.3, 74.3, 58.4, 58.5, 73.3 and 73.4 percent, respectively. Vallas won those wards by 31,231 votes, offsetting his 22,226 north Lakefront loss.

Johnson will govern from the Far Left, as he proved with his comments on the recent Downtown weekend riot. He knows nobody can stop him. His side is winning.

2024 STATE’S ATTORNEY UPDATE: We all resoundingly applaud Kim Foxx for her wise April 25 decision not to seek re-election, likely prompted by the fact that she would not be re-elected. And we can all prepare to resoundingly cheer Democratic slate makers who this summer will likely choose Clayton Harris as her anointed successor. Harris, a Black man, does not subscribe to Foxx’s Woke/Left, soft-on-criminals, no-bail, no-jailtime criminal justice mythology.

Harris was an ASA (courtroom prosecutor) in the narcotics division back in the 2000s under Richard Devine and Anita Alvarez, then became executive director of the Illinois Port Authority, then a top executive of Lyft, the ride-sharing company. He is now an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago. He is the perfect Dem choice because he provides separation from the toxic Foxx. It was thought Foxx was grooming Risa Lanier, her first assistant, for CCSA, but Lanier is now shopping herself to get an IL Supreme Court appointment to a county Circuit Court vacancy and then party slating for 2024. Pre-slating starts June 14-15.

The prospective candidacy of ex-FBI agent Brendan O’Leary fizzled with Vallas’s defeat. There’s no way he could win a Far Left-dominated Democratic primary, even with a suburban majority. Certain to run is White Appellate Court (AC) justice Eileen O’Neill Burke, who is retiring in July. She starts as a huge underdog to Harris and will need to raise $3 million real quick.

ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT (SC), 1st District (Cook County): The window is rapidly closing for AC justice Jesse Reyes, who wants to move up and be the SC’s first Latino justice. Anne Burke retired in 2022 and AC justice Joy Cunningham got her seat, giving the Court three Blacks of 7 members. Justices have 10-year terms, so Reyes needs to run now (and is). Blacks heavily outvote Latinos, as shown on April 4, so Cunningham, who will be slated, is heavily favored.

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