August 30, 2023

Most people have edible leftovers in their refrigerator which they periodically dump in the trash. This political writer accumulates a bunch of printable leftovers in his brain which he periodically dumps in this column. This week's "leftovers" include: (1) 45th Ward Dem committeeman/Cook out, Rabbitt in; (2) 10th subcircuit judgemaking; (3) Bailey seeks Trumpland congressional seat; (4) Ferguson out for state's attorney; (5) Lightfoot won't be U.S. Attorney; (6) 44th Ward Intra-LGBTQ spat for committeeman; (7) 40th Ward non-aggression pact; (8) Martwick safe in 2024. Full Article...

August 23, 2023

Don’t mess with Toni Preckwinkle. As was made clear at the Cook County Democrats’ Aug. 14 and 15 slatemaking for 2024, what party chair Toni wants, Toni gets. And what she wanted – and got -- was Clayton Harris to replace her protégé Kim Foxx as the state’s attorney candidate and the dumping of intraparty rival Iris Martinez as Clerk of the Circuit Court. Martinez, a Latina who served 18 years as a North Side state senator, had the audacity to run in 2020 for Clerk and beat the slated Mike Cabonargi. Now she will have to beat the slated Mariyana Spyropoulos, an MWRD commissioner with substantial family wealth who can self-fund. Her late father was a major stake-holder in Citgo Oil, which bought its crude from Venezuela. “It was rigged. It was a sham. It was a (Preckwinkle’s) vendetta” against Martinez, exploded an angry Gloria Chevere, an ex-judge and Martinez spokeswoman who is a senior policy advisor in the Clerk’s office. Preckwinkle, according to Chevere, “packed” the subcommittee which made the recommendation for countywide slating (for CCSA, Clerk, MWRD) with suburban committeemen. STATE’S ATTORNEY: Put her in the rear-view mirror. That’s what slating Harris does to the toxic Foxx. He is a UC lecturer, ex-Lyft executive and ex-prosecutor. And he is Black. White retired IAC justice Eileen O’Neil Burke is running, but she won’t crack 35 percent. Harris was slated by acclamation, on a simple voice vote. Full Article...

August 16, 2023

“Shelf life” is customarily used in the food marketing industry to describe perishables on the shelves.  They’re in the compost heap if not timely sold. Think spoiled milk. Think moldy bread.
The phrase also applies to politicians: As a commodity they can easily and sometimes quickly get stale, tiresome, inedible, intolerable and rotten, as in corrupted. This especially applies to aging politicians. But it does not apply to Chicago politicians,  or most politicians actually, especially on the congressional level. For them longevity is a virtue. Seniority is equated with power, despite age-related declining cognitive skills. Some congressmen in Chicago don’t step aside until they are either a few steps from the grave, in it, or like Jesse Jackson Jr., in jail. They don’t get pushed aside, as in getting defeated. Congressman Danny Davis (D-7) has been a permanent fixture in Chicago politics for 44 years – 11 as Chicago’s 29th Ward alderman (1979-90), six as a county commissioner (1990-96), and 27 as congressman (since 1996). Outlook: Presuming the hardcore pro-Davis base is around 50 percent, having 2 female foes should cinch his renomination. But both women start with a 25 percent base, with room to grow. If both crack 30, Davis is in real jeopardy. Full Article...

August 9, 2023

Here’ s a multiple-choice question. How stupid would you be to: (a) Sell your house for 10-15 percent less than current market value and/or forfeit your existing 3 percent mortgage interest rate? (b) Buy a house for full value and pay 7.75 percent interest on a 30-year fixed mortgage?  (c) All of the above? Or (d) none of the above? If  you answered (d) you are certifiably NOT stupid. You understand the current state of the residential and commercial real estate market in Chicago, and particularly on the Northwest Side and in the nearby suburbs. Buyer demand is high, but residential sellers are NOT accepting low-ball offers because buyers are NOT offering market value bids. The result is stagnation. The market is in gridlock. It’s all about the math. Sure, good schools and easy access to mass transit and expressways matter in home choice, but the primary criterion now is AFFORDABILITY. The relevant acronym is PITI – mortgage principal, interest, taxes, insurance. 41ST WARD: “I’m not making any endorsement” for ward Democratic committeeperson in 2024, said Alderman Anthony Napolitano. That’s a smart move. Despite the fact that Napolitano is the ward’s most popular politician, having been re-elected with 72.9 percent in 2023, beating Democrat Paul Struebing 12,714-4,729, and despite the fact that the 41st is the least Democratic, least Woke (Brandon Johnson got 13.7 percent on April 4) and most pro-Trump (47.1 percent in 2020) ward in the city, any Napolitano endorsement would be a “Kiss of Death” in a Leftist-dominated Democratic primary. Full Article...

August 2, 2023

Judges should not be perceived as fountains of jurisprudence, repositories of vast legal knowledge and possessors of God-given insightful brilliance. They are lawyers who have learned the political system, have some minimal merit and morality, and have big egos. And still, some are clueless about HOW to become a judge. It is not some labyrinthine, mysterious process. It requires four things: (1) That the lawyer suck-up to the Democratic establishment and show a history of generous party donations; (2) that the lawyer has the required gender (3) that the lawyer be able to pay the $50,000 fee for being slated;  and (4) that the lawyer must promise NOT to run if NOT slated. In other words, hurry-up and wait for 2026, and keep donating. “It’s a wonderful job,” said judge Lorraine Murphy, who sits in the 2nd District (Skokie) courthouse. She’s got that right. There will be 12-16 countywide judgeships, 5 Appellate and one IL Supreme Court, plus numerous subcircuit vacancies on the March 19 ballot. 15TH DISTRICT: RABBITT OUT. You can’t beat somebody with nobody. And with 2022 primary (D) loser Michael Rabbitt opting out of a 2024 rematch, citing “family considerations,” incumbent state representative Mike Kelly (D-15) has nobody to date running against him. That, of course, presumes that Kelly, appointed to the former state Rep. John D’Amico’s vacancy, is a “somebody.” Full Article...

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