August 10, 2022
STEELE'S DEFEAT PROVES MWRD IS STILL MIA

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
"IDENTITY, MINORITY POLITICS" DID NOT PREVAIL IN ALL JUDICIAL CONTESTS

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...


July 27, 2022
NO COLUMN THIS WEEK


July 20, 2022
SUPERSIZE MATTERS: MARTWICK, LaPOINTE, OLICKAL AMONG AREA'S "BIGGEST WINNERS"

In our contemporary world it is invariably presumed that bigger is always better. Like housing square footage, king-size mattresses, SUV capacity or menu portions. Nobody wants a “Little Mac” or a mini-Whopper on their plate. In political terms, it’s about how big was one’s most recent winning margin. The larger the size of the victory – especially in the realm of a robust 60 to 40 percent to a blowout 75 to 25 percent – the safer is a politician’s job and the less encouraged are future opponents. As set forth in the chart, two area Democratic state legislators really bulked-up their numbers. State Senator Rob Martwick (D-10) surged from 52.9 percent in the 2020 primary to 66.8 percent on June 28, and state Representative Lindsey LaPointe (D-19) leaped from 42.5 percent in 2020 to 76.1 percent. Attached is a CHART with the results in legislative primary contests. Full Article...


July 13, 2022
SLEW OF "BIGGEST LOSERS" AND "LOSING STEPPINGSTONE INCUMBENTS" EMERGE FROM 2022 PRIMARY

Elections have consequences. And the obvious corollary is that losing an election has both personal and political consequences. And that defeat, especially as it applies to a “steppingstone” officeholder – an incumbent trying to upgrade to a more powerful office without risking the current office – usually portends future problems. There are four causations for defeat: (1) A superior opponent; (2) an inferior campaign; (3) previously unknown but now unconcealed flaws and baggage; and (4) bad positioning or mis-positioning on key issues. Here are the “Biggest Losers” in the June 28 Democratic primary election. They are Martinez, Villegas, Steele, Valencia, Stoneback and Willis. Attached is a CHART listing "Losing 2022 Steppingstone Incumbents. Full Article...


Previous Articles