* 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…
del Valle 9.6%
Van Pelt Watkins 0.9%
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.
* 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