February 21, 2018
CAMPAIGNS OF PRECKWINKLE, BERRIOS ARE APPROACHING FUBAR

As Yogi Berra once iconically said, "it's not over until it's over." The campaigns of both Toni Preckwinkle for Cook County Board president and Joe Berrios for assessor are at a FUBAR stage -- or maybe it should be SNAFU stage. Or maybe both. They are almost over. Polling puts Preckwinkle under 40 percent, due to her soda tax fiasco, and Berrios is under 30 percent -- THAT'S RIGHT, UNDER 30 PERCENT -- due to his office's non-performance. NOT GOOD. Berrios responded that he is "committed to change whatever needs to be changed." Hey, this guy's been around since 1988, and had $1,413,623 on-hand as of Dec. 31. Where did that come from? The abyss looms for both. Full Article...


February 14, 2018
BLACK VOTE MAY DOOM PRITZKER, BUT WILL BOOST McCARTHY IN MAYOR BID

Emil Jones, that old curmudgeon who was once IL Senate president, is a journalist's dream. Who else could put "uppity" back into the political lexicon? And who else could sink J.B. Pritzker's campaign for governor with such alacrity? JB's wiretaps are giving Chris Kennedy and Dan Biss a great opportunity. If you don't say it,, you don't have to later deny saying it. Gov. Rauner really, really wants to have JB as his Democratic opponent, and JB is doing a splendid job of frustrating his hopes. In the 2019 Chicago mayor's race, ex-police supt. Gerry McCarthy ripped Chicago's "economy of gun violence" at a 2/11 event, saying that "not one part of the city is safe," and that every lawsuit against the police is settled, thereby "blowing a hole right through the budget." If McCarthy gets Emanuel into a runoff, the mayor is toast. Full Article...


February 7, 2018
"DISPARATE TREATMENT" NO ROADBLOCK FOR SHERIFF DART

In the Cook County sheriff's race, which will be decided in the 3/20/18 Democratic primary, incumbent Tom Dart is assured of a fourth term, and would-be challenger Eddie Acevedo is assured of maximum frustration. He is in federal court trying to get back on the ballot, using the pretext of "disparate treatment." After objections to his nominating petitions, Acevedo was left with well fewer than the 8,260 signatures required. The lawsuit contends that if a candidate for governor needs only 5,000 signatures statewide, why does a candidate for sheriff need more in only one of Illinois' 102 counties? That's disparate treatment, and a ballot access civil rights violation, he claims. A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) has already been denied. Acevedo is going nowhere. Dart will be sheriff through 2022. Full Article...


January 31, 2018
"UNBECOMING" MAY BE CAUSE FOR SILVERSTEIN'S UNDOING

What you don't say (or text or email) you don't have to later explain. A retired probate judge had a big sign on his bench: SILENCE IS NOT BAD. The campaign of beleaguered St. Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-8) got two boosts in late January. First, he was not knocked off the ballot. He filed 1,996 nominating petition signatures, and 994 were ruled invalid, putting him two over the minimum threshold; that decision is being reviewed by the Circuit Court, which will stall his fundraising for most of February -- after all, who gives money to a candidate who may not be on the ballot? And second, the legislature's Inspector General (IG) made a finding that a deluge of emails between Silverstein and a female lobbyist did not constitute sexual harassment, but were instead just flirtatious -- but nevertheless "unbecoming conduct" for a legislator. Silverstein has been cut adrift by his party, and faces a tough primary against Ram Villivalam, a former SEIU Healthcare lobbyist who is campaigning diligently and had raised over $133,000 in 2017. Full Article...


January 24, 2018
"TATTLER" DURBIN CUTS WIDE SWATH IN WASHINGTON

Some belated, albeit useful advice for President Trump: Never, ever put US Sen Dick Durbin (D-IL) in the chair next to you at any important White House meeting -- because he will immediately tattle to the news media anything you say, said off the record, or even didn't say at all. Witness the flap about so-called "____-hole nations." Durbin is the Senate minority whip, and his sole goal in life is to score points for the Democrats. In contemporary Washington, there is no negotiation, no compromise. Durbin has been senator since 1996, and before that 14 years as a House member. His is Illinois' longest-serving senator since 1912. His critics call him "Tricky Dicky," but Illinois voters don't seem to be concerned. Full Article...


January 17, 2018
ANTI-TRUMP "ANGER" FUELS 2018 CHALLENGE TO ROSKAM

Hell hath no fury like a liberal -- who are now known as a "progressive" -- scorned. US Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sputters that her voters are "angry." Well, didn't President Trump get elected in 2016 because his supporters were "angry"? But it is important to note that "angry" liberals are righteous, while "angry" conservatives are stupid and bigoted. We all know that. Democrats are down 193-239 in the US House, and need to win in 25 Republican-held seats in 2018 to get a majority and make Nancy Pelosi speaker again, thereby gridlocking Trump for the remainder of his presidency. The top Illinois target is US Rep Peter Roskam (R-6), although 3 others are targeted. A huge anti-Trump "wave" is needed to  beat them. Full Article...


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