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Braun disses gays, violates Godwin’s Law, then releases own poll

Monday, Feb 14, 2011

* Equality Illinois’ annual gala was widely attended by most of the big players in Chicago and Illinois politics. But one person was missing

Mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun was conspicuously absent; according to a member of her team, she had refused to pay for a table, saying that candidates should not have to pay to interact with voters. Asked about the issue, Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov said that as a 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) organization, free seats would have counted as illegal gifts to a candidate.


* The next day, Ms. Braun tried to make a joke about the Mel Brooks movie “The Producers” and tie it to Rahm Emanuel’s public persona vs. his alleged private reality. The movie is about some Broadway producers in desperate need of money who come up with a scheme to con people out of cash by producing a play called “Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden.’’ There’s a character in the film who loves Hitler, believing him to be a kinder, gentler sort. Anyway, the joke didn’t go down well

Braun asked the 200 people at the rally held at the Parkway Ballroom on South King Drive how many had seen the film. Few, if any, hands went up. She pressed ahead.

She said Emanuel’s “so kind, so nice’’ image in his campaign commercials belied his record as a congressman of voting against 128 bills sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus and reminded her of the character in “The Producers,” who was “still in love with the Furher, which was Adolf Hitler,’’ she said.

She paused, waiting for the laughter.

It did not come.

“You don’t get the joke,’’ she said. “OK. We get the kind man, the gentle man on television and not the person who voted against $5 million for food aid to Africa.’’

And when asked by reporters whether she was comparing the Jewish Emanuel to Hitler, Braun snapped

“OK, you see that’s the problem with making a joke with you all around,” she said to reporters. “I was not comparing him to Adolf Hitler.

“I was trying to say that people can get confused on the concept, and that the kind, gentle concern for the public that’s being portrayed in all these ads does not square with the record. That’s all,” she said. “I was just making a point about the record versus the portrayal.”


And I say “alleged” private reality because I’ve come to the conclusion that Emanuel doesn’t really “lose” his temper. He uses it. Nobody who sat through those hours of questions by the goofballs at his residency hearing has a serious problem with losing his temper.

* Meanwhile, Braun also released her own poll yesterday

Emanuel 44.8%
Braun 22.5%
Chico 16.1%
del Valle 9.6%
Walls 1.1%
Van Pelt Watkins 0.9%
Undecided 5.0%


The poll also shows a little more than half — 55 percent — have made up their minds in the race, while 45 percent feel they could still change their minds.

Also of interest, the poll asked whether people “believe the media has provided fair coverage of all the candidates, or … think that they have been biased toward their endorsed candidate?”

A whopping 61 percent of respondents say they belive coverage has been biased. And those numbers are even higher among those who said they would vote for either Miguel Del Valle, Moseley Braun or Chico.

But Zorn takes a look at the pollster, Rod McCulloch

Tribune, 12-1-2010: Rod McCulloch, a Republican strategist convicted of falsifying signatures in 2008, who acknowledges he recruited workers to circulate petitions for (Rahm Emanuel’s tenant Robert) Halpin.

Tribune 11-30-2010 In 2008, McCulloch was convicted of perjury in connection with the falsification of signatures for a DuPage County political candidate. He was sentenced to probation.

That was quite a weekend she had.

* Roundup…

* Separate, Unequal, and Ignored - Racial segregation remains Chicago’s most fundamental problem. Why isn’t it an issue in the mayor’s race?: When [poverty] is combined with segregation, it means blacks are far more likely than any other group to live in concentrated poverty. It’s hard to be poor; it’s much harder to be poor and surrounded by poverty and all the harmful cultural norms and behavior, such as crime, that accompany it. It’s a kind of poverty whites rarely experience, and one tough to escape. When Harvard sociologist Robert Sampson studied Chicago residents in the most disadvantaged quartile of the city’s census tracts a few years ago, he found that no white families, and only a few Hispanic families, were represented. “Residents in not one white community experience what is most typical for those residing in segregated black areas,” Sampson wrote in 2009, in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. “Trying to estimate the effect of concentrated disadvantage on whites is thus tantamount to estimating a phantom reality.”

* Did Weis’ Controversial Gang Meeting Work?

* Civic Federation: Next mayor should consider privatizing everything: Chicago’s new mayor should consider privatizing everything from the city’s water system, garbage collection and curbside recycling to building management and the 311 non-emergency center to resolve a structural deficit that literally has the city on the brink of bankruptcy, according to the Civic Federation.

* Service Couldn’t Be Better, and at $200 a Ton It Should Be

* Does it matter where city workers live? Rethinking the residency rule

* What the mayoral candidates say about city residency rules

* Residency rule long-ignored until elder Daley cracked down

* Blessed restraint

* The Big Question no one seems to be asking Rahm, but should: Mr. Emanuel, do you see yourself as the indispensable man that Chicago will require indefinitely, perhaps even to the end of your life, or will your administration move quickly to master our current challenges, and will you pledge to serve no more than two terms?

* Braun, Chico get campaign assists

* Chico campaign digs out immigration reform (or lack thereof) to ding Emanuel

* McQueary: Political prank mail hits ‘Pick and JohnnyO’

* Braun criticizes Emanuel’s commercials

* Marin: Black pols aren’t backing Braun: Do a search of Braun’s campaign disclosure reports, and you’ll find only Congressman Bobby Rush rushed to her side. His political campaign gave a $25,000 contribution on Nov. 29.

* Washington: Emanuel’s got a foot in each camp

* Chicago Tea Patriots Endorsement of Gery Chico

* Zorn: Braun came from behind in 1992, it’s true. But she wasn’t this far behind

* City Hall bans company indicted in sewer case

* Sun-Times: Our choice in 38th Ward is Caravette­, not the other guy

* Metra’s tests give agency little room to breathe: Metra’s own testing of toxic diesel exhaust inside its passenger coaches shows the transit agency’s pollution problems are more extensive and worrisome than it has publicly disclosed… Soot levels generally were highest inside the first car behind the locomotive, dropped in the second car and declined substantially in the last car. Moreover, levels were dramatically lower on return trips downtown using the same locomotives… In January, the transit agency announced it is installing more efficient air filters on its train cars and switching to cleaner fuel for its locomotives.

* New county finance chief joined firm’s board after awarding it city pension deals

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 6:40 am:

    The Braun “joke” doesn’t work at all, unless she’s saying Emanuel is a racist. The character in the movie who loves Hitler is an unabashed Nazi.

    Actually, the analogy really doesn’t work that way, either. But it does somehow equate a Jew with HItler to a black audience.

    How bad can this get for her?

  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 6:58 am:

    That was a rhetorical question, right?


  3. - Wensicia - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 7:11 am:

    The next time I hear about a $5000 a plate political speaking engagement/fundraiser, I’m gonna protest saying voters shouldn’t have to pay to interact with the candidates.

    Like with the word Nazi, anytime you introduce the name Hitler, you lose the argument/point.
    I predict, after the publicity of the above less than brilliant remarks, Carol will say her numbers have climbed another 10 percentage points.

  4. - Aldyth - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 7:51 am:

    Carol Mosely Braun compulsively self destructs in 3…2…1

  5. - PublicServant - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 7:58 am:

    When the ministers said “We want you to be our ‘Consensus’ candidate”, Carol thought they said “We want you to be our ‘Densest’ candidate.

  6. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 8:17 am:

    Well CMB, Kiss the entire lakefront and West Rogers Park goodbye. Those comments about Rahm and dissing GLBT, are inexcusable!

  7. - Gregor - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 8:33 am:

    ” you don’t get the joke”… so you keep digging it DEEPER, Carol?
    This was a demonstration of the woman’s judgement. And when she’s wrong, and knows it, she doubles-down. Unbelievable. Her campaign staff deserve combat pay.

    Based on the trends I predict Braun’s next speaking engagement, at a day care, will end with this quote:

    “….the Aristocrats!”

  8. - Way Way Down Here - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 8:41 am:

    I think the line was: “Shut up! I’m having a rhetorical conversation.”

  9. - Because I say so - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 9:37 am:

    I like Kristen McQueary but once again she showed that she is a lap dog for the Joyce’s. The article was just a way of trying to help Pickles get his appointment to the Labor Relations Board. She has been writing articles for the Joyce’s for years. Either she just doesn’t see that she is being used or, she just doesn’t care. Too bad.

  10. - Ivory-billed Woodpecker - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 9:44 am:

    At least CMB had the good taste to cite the original “Producers” and not the re-make.

  11. - Boone Logan Square - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 10:01 am:

    Carol’s comedy set reminds me of another Mel Brooks line (this one from History of the World Part One):

    Boy, when you die at the Palace, you really die at the Palace.

  12. - Esquire - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 10:16 am:

    How does Rod McCulloch continue to get work? Obviously, the answer is because there are enough marginal and fringe candidates that are willing to hire him. Sad to see that a former US Senator is now in that same group.

  13. - Irish - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 10:23 am:

    “the person who voted against $5 million for food aid to Africa.’’
    So when there are so many really needy folks in Chicago, the city for which she is running for mayor, CMB calls out Rahm for not sending money to Africa?

    Has anyone informed her what the job will be?

  14. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 10:30 am:

    Here is a warped scenario.

    CMB’s campaign strategy seems to be a “Springtime for Hitler” campaign. Another words, it seems intentionally designed to implode. But if her poll is correct, right now, she would make a run off.

    What if, for various reasons, Emmanual can’t break 50%? We would have a Mayor Braun in spite of herself.

  15. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 10:32 am:

    If Emanuel doesn’t break 50 and Braun places second, she has a very long way to go to win that runoff.

    But, yeah, it’s almost like she’s running an inadvertent version of the play within a movie.

  16. - Northsider - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 10:32 am:

    RMP @ 8:17,

    She never had those areas in the first place, nor much of the rest of the city for that matter. The only place she had, and still has, is the precinct in between her ears. And maybe not even that.

  17. - Loop Lady - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 10:34 am:

    I’ll wager February 28th can’t come soon enough for Mike Noonan…any takers?

  18. - justbabs - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 10:35 am:

    Since when does a 501(c)(3) NOT give comp tickets to pols? Is the Lincoln Center in violation for allowing POTUS and FLOTUS seats? While many pols/candidates do donate to charities with their campaign funds, there are many, many comps given to them as well.

  19. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 10:37 am:

    justbabs, the Lincoln Center comping the president of the US is one thing. A group that requires all (unelected) candidates to buy tickets is quite another.

  20. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 10:47 am:

    If CMB is truly this much of an idiot I’m surprised the U.S. still has a relationship with New Zealand after her stint as Ambassador there.

  21. - levois - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 11:01 am:

    “Like with the word Nazi, anytime you introduce the name Hitler, you lose the argument/point.”

    I guess you can add make a bad joke to Godwin’s Law as well. :P

  22. - ANON - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 11:02 am:

    CMB has always had an entitlement attitude, like she should be treated as royalty for winning one election. She feels she should be given everything because of who she is. How else could she live the lifestyle she does on supposedly no taxable income.

  23. - shore - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 11:42 am:

    All that’s left for braun is the political obit entitled “what went wrong:how she went from failure to disaster”

  24. - Kielbasa King - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 11:50 am:

    I went through CMB’s D-2’s the other day just because I wanted to see who she had hired as consultants…Not that I was surprised, but I found that she had paid her “organic tea” business $9400 for “rent” and oh wait for it, “office supplies” from out of her campaign coffers. I know it is legal- but still.

  25. - Bill - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 11:55 am:

    Carol has won a few more the one election. Never over estimate the voting public.

  26. - Responsa - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 12:05 pm:

    Well, the good news is that CMB has effectively “reintroduced” herself to another generation of voters who now know what all the rest of us already did. Goodbye Carol, and please leave the political stage for good this time.

  27. - Segatari - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 12:44 pm:

    It’s too bad Rush Limbaugh hasn’t gotten a chance to poke fun at Carol Mostly Fraud giving airplay to the theme of the Jeffersons and doing the funny updates like he did regularly when she had her election-mistake run as a senator. People really did not get to know her before giving her the nom back in 1992 then voting her solely to make her the first elected African-American woman in the Senate. She was a bad senator, and a bad left-wing hack politician.

  28. - Ebert and Braun at the Movies - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 12:57 pm:

    Might make a fun QOTD to guess which other movies Carol will quote to try to hit Rahm with in the near future. Some possibilities to look forward to:

    “Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?”
    “Bring the dog, I love animals. I’m a great cook.”
    “I love it when a plan comes together”

    “Hitler was better-looking than Churchill, he was a better dresser than Churchill, he had more hair, he told funnier jokes, and he could dance the pants off of Churchill!”

    “…Your mother’s in here with us, Karras. Would you like to leave a message? I’ll see that she gets it.”

    “He won’t come after me. He won’t. I can’t explain it. He would consider that…rude.”

    “You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently, my cycloptic colleague informs me that that can’t be done. Can you remind me what I pay you people for? Honestly, throw me a bone here. What do we have?”

    “When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side 1 of Led Zeppelin IV.”

    “Kid, the next time I say, ‘Let’s go someplace like Bolivia,’ let’s go someplace like Bolivia.”

    “It’s GOOD to be the king!”

    “I didn’t get a ‘harrumph’ out of that guy!”

    “Nobody’s looking for a puppeteer in today’s wintry economic climate.”

    “And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper.”

    “Jerry, d’you know the human head weighs eight pounds?”

    “I do not, for one, think that the problem was that the band was down. The problem may have been that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf.”

    And I say, ‘Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.’ And he says, ‘Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.’ So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.”

    “He’s a true warrior-poet”

    “He got a shot at the title; I got a one-way ticket to Palookaville. You was my brother, Charlie!”

    “Have fun storming the castle!”

    “If I’d been a ranch, they would’ve named me the Bar Nothin’.”

    “I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen.”

    “But I’m funny how? I mean, funny like I’m a clown? I amuse you?”

    “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

    - “Inconceivable!”
    - “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    “Why does it cry, Sméagol?”

    We can do this all day….

  29. - Honest Abe - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 1:05 pm:

    How quickly we forget. Carol Moseley Braun managed to toil in obscurity until she reached the US Senate (hat tip to Al Hofeld) and her faults were put on full public display.

    I had a lawyer friend who used to do lots of real estate work. He told me that when Jesse White replaced Braun as the Recorder of Deeds that customer service improved considerably in that officie.

  30. - Ghost - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 1:30 pm:

    So is Braun really saying if you do not support all bills, regardless of substance or purpose, from the Congressional Black Caucus you are discriminating?

    Her point would have a much better preseation if sh identified some bills that protected or benefited minorities which Rahm opposed. The status of the sponsor should be the least important aspect of the bill, and given that the Congressional Black Caucus may have sponsored bills to try and kill them off, sponsorship tells us next to nothing.

  31. - MrJM - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 3:01 pm:

    In the future everyone will be compared to Adolf Hitler for fifteen minutes.

    – MrJM

  32. - PFK - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 3:13 pm:

    Speaking of theatrical analogies, the Braun campaign reminds me of the main character in this film:

  33. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 3:16 pm:


  34. - Ghost - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 3:49 pm:

    PFk that doesnt work, that one was over fairly quickly, Braun’s just keps going and going…like an event in slow motionbut happening in real time…

  35. - Responsa - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 3:59 pm:

    I have a question for anyone who knows CMB, or has worked closely with her: Does she have an inkling (even if after the fact) that because of her off kilter statements many consider her to be a laughing stock? Or does she pretty much go through life thinking everything’s just hunky dory?

  36. - Boone Logan Square - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 4:28 pm:

    ==PFk that doesnt work, that one was over fairly quickly, Braun’s just keps going and going…like an event in slow motionbut happening in real time… ==

    So the appropriate cinematic comparison is to Fellini’s And the Ship Sails On.

  37. - amalia - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 5:14 pm:

    what, is everyone yelling “Noonan!” to try and distract the Braun campaign? ( poor Mike, btw.)

  38. - Gregor - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 6:28 pm:

    The excitement must have been too much for Kenneth Mars: Wikipedia says he passed away today. So, no sequel, I guess.

  39. - Obamarama - Monday, Feb 14, 11 @ 7:33 pm:

    Has anyone ever seen Roland Burris and CMB in the same place at the same time? I’m not saying they’re the same person, but…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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