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Ald. Stone sued for calling former rival a “terrorist” - Lashes out at Emanuel - Funded by Scott Lee Cohen

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* It’s never quiet in the 50th Ward. Ald. Berny Stone is now being sued for calling a former opponent a “terrorist“…

According to the lawsuit, Stone said in a March 10 editorial board meeting with the Sun-Times that [former aldermanic candidate Salman Aftab] was affiliated with the American Muslim Task Force, and further stated that the organization’s members could be found on the attorney general’s terrorist list.

The lawsuit further states that in a March 22 “Chicago Tonight” forum, Stone said his current competitor, Debra Silverstein, takes “monies that come from a terrorist who preaches the downfall of Israel,” referring to Aftab.

The suit also claims Stone said, “Let’s take the terrorist, Simon Aftab,” in the same televised interview.


* Stone’s run-off opponent Deb Silverstein has racked up the endorsements, including bigtime help from Rahm Emanuel

Silverstein is also getting support from Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, state Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg and County Clerk David Orr. Ald. Joe Moore’s 49th Ward Democrats have been phone banking for Silverstein and reportedly finding support in the 60 to 70 percent range. (An exception: when a phone banker accidentally called Berny himself.)

On Friday, Stone held a press conference to condemn Emanuel for funding fliers that attacked him for allegedly voting against the interests of veterans, and in favor of the parking meter deal.

During that presser, Stone said this

Along the way, he swiped at Emanuel’s statement that “he’d be a mayor who is Jewish, not a Jewish Mayor.” Stone said: “I’m a Jewish alderman.”

* But Ald. Stone is not totally fending for himself. Our old buddy Scott Lee Cohen has contributed $5,500 directly to Stone and another $9,500 through a company called Jacob M. Cohen LLC, which appears to be owned by Scott Lee Cohen.

Stone supported Cohen during the primary last year and was proud of Cohen’s victory even after all the stuff hit the fan.

* Related…

* Emanuel, Burke, big labor pour money into runoffs: One race where Emanuel and Burke are going head to head is in the 50th Ward, where longtime Ald. Bernard Stone is being challenged by accountant Debra Silverstein, who is married to Sen. Ira Silverstein, the Democratic ward committeeman.

* Stone: “I’m the aggrieved party” in attack ad campaign: 50th Ward Alderman Bernard Stone testified under oath Wednesday that he had no idea his reelection campaign was paying an outside committee to attack his opponent. Stone testified in a public hearing at the Illinois State Board of Elections as part of an investigation into Concerned Citizens of the 50th Ward, a political action committee that originally filed as independent of any candidate. But Stone’s campaign manager, Abrar “Adam” Quader, admitted he directed about $13,000 from the Bernard L. Stone Campaign Committee to pay for mailers, robocalls, and other communications that explicitly attacked Debra Silverstein, Stone’s opponent in this year’s city council race. Quader said he was responsible for the content of those materials and for the funding of the PAC, even though its papers were filed under the name of a 22-year old student at Truman College.

* Hearing examines whether ald. broke election law

* 50th Ward Ald. Stone set up secret fund to attack rival Silverstein

posted by Rich Miller
Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 10:44 am


  1. Stone has really mellowed since he hit 80, lol.

    Comment by wordslinger Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 11:17 am

  2. Mellow doesn’t run in the gene pool of the family Stone…

    Comment by Loop Lady Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 11:22 am

  3. In your 2nd starred entry, you state:

    * Silverstein’s run-off opponent Deb Silverstein has racked up the endorsements, including bigtime help from Rahm Emanuel…

    It’s confusing because it looks like there’s a Silverstein v Silverstein race going on.

    Comment by cermak_rd Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 11:24 am

  4. Oops. Fixed.

    Comment by Rich Miller Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 11:25 am

  5. It’s amazing when a committeeman installing his wife as alderman is actually reform.

    Comment by Draznnl Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 11:37 am

  6. Draznnl, you forgot to include “a committeeman installing his wife as alderman backed by the mayor-elect is actually reform.”


    Comment by Rich Miller Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 11:39 am

  7. I saw that Chicago Tonight show and it mouth-dropping. Nobody came off good: Stone was shameful, though Ponce (or whoever was interviewing him) let him get away with evading questions with tripe like “that’s neither here nor there.” And while I’d vote for Deb S. in a heartbeat, she didn’t come off very sharp either — maybe because she’s a neophyte, but she was the proverbial deer in the headlights.

    Comment by lake county democrat Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 11:43 am

  8. Reform? This town ain’t ready for reform!

    Comment by Anonymous Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 11:48 am

  9. I cringed watching that too LCD. It was not good television.

    Not to be ageist or anything, but maybe it’s time to put an age limit on aldermen. We can’t seem to lower the number of wards, this might be the best way to infuse new blood into the city council while ending the fiefdom mindset that is so pervasive there. Stone acts like it’s his seat on the Council, not the voters’ seat. That’s a problem for me, and Stone isn’t the only Alderman who thinks like this.

    That’s not to say Ald. Stone is too old to serve. But if you saw Chicago Tonight, it’s hard to overlook the fact that he’s in the twilight of his career.

    Comment by 47th Ward Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 11:52 am

  10. Any news on the 25th ward race?

    Saw this in the Huff Post:

    Comment by JBilla Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 12:01 pm

  11. 47th Ward said,

    “… but maybe it’s time to put an age limit on aldermen.”

    I agree. They must behave older than 5 years…

    Comment by Cincinnatus Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 12:18 pm

  12. That’d be a good start Cinci.

    Comment by 47th Ward Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 12:28 pm

  13. “It’s amazing when a committeeman installing his wife as alderman is actually reform.”
    Agreed– but then, look at the inept buffoon she is challenging. Try looking around the 50th ward for an hour or two, and then comparing it to *any* of the surrounding wards, and you will quickly see the impact of his do-nothing incumbancy (with the notable exception of the 49th which is equally bad, since Moore continues to be more focused on his grandstanding than quality of life for his residents).

    Comment by Anonymous Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 1:09 pm

  14. ~Stone acts like it’s his seat on the Council, not the voters’ seat.~

    This is exactly right. And my alderman is Dick Mell. There needs to be some way of limiting terms, either a retirement age or actual term limits. Plus we have about double the number of alderman we need.

    Comment by Cheryl44 Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 1:13 pm

  15. I need to come up with a plan to seperate Scott L Cohen from his money. He seems to have way too much of it for his own good.

    Comment by Wumpus Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 1:29 pm

  16. Here’s your plan in two words Wumpus: campaign consultant.

    Comment by 47th Ward Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 1:34 pm

  17. Actually, 47th, I think you just have to say something nice about the guy in public.

    Comment by Rich Miller Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 1:45 pm

  18. Good point Rich.

    Wumpus, try this: “Hey Scott, I think you’d be a great Cook County Recorder of Deeds.”

    Petition filing begins in August Wumpus. Don’t delay.

    Comment by 47th Ward Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 2:28 pm

  19. I love this story.

    Just a month ago my daughter and I were discussing Stone’s terrorist charges and I remarked that one day a candidate is going to sue an opponent who makes such false and inflammatory claims. I guess today is the day.

    I think the practice of suing opponents who make false claims should become de rigueur in politics. Especially in the current climate where over the top, hyperbolic and specious charges have become the foundation for so many campaigns.

    Candidates should be forced to either back up their claims or face expensive tort action.

    Comment by Nona in Chicago Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 5:35 pm

  20. Stone is one in an extended line of elected officials who simply stayed too long. Not that he ever had much to offer, but he’s a parody of his old mediocre self now and it’s neither funny nor sad. Let’s hope the voters retire him this time.

    Comment by DuPage Dave Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 6:14 pm

  21. Illinois doesn’t have a maximum age for drivers or judges, so I don’t think we’ll see one for aldermen anytime soon.

    Comment by Anonymous Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 6:41 pm

  22. We really need term limits in the city and state…it’s getting to be a real problem-Mell, Schulter, Madigan, Stone and many others are gleaming examples all for various reasons.
    Cheryl 44 is correct. These are our jobs and we do not take enough responsibility for electing these people.
    The last time I saw Stone in public, which was at least 6 years ago, he was pitiful.

    Comment by Belle Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 6:47 pm

  23. Stone is one of those guys like Burke and Fast Eddie (he has some time on his hands) who would do the community a great service by writing a book just simply telling us all what really happened and how things really get done.

    Consider Stone. He’s a walking, talking history book of the amazing Chicago Jewish experience, and one of the last links to the extraordinary figures in politics, government, entertainment, business and organized crime that came out of that cramped West Side ghetto (when ghetto still had the Old World meaning) back in the day.

    He should make like a macher and recount the old stories of Paley, Korshak, Goldberg, Yates, Arvey, Goodman, Crown, Pritzker, Klutznick, Stein, Patrick and Ruby.

    Comment by wordslinger Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 7:29 pm

  24. Stone is the victim of Alinskyization.
    Instead of being honored for long ,honest and dedicated service to the city he loves,and add to that the fact that Stone outworks any three Aldermen combined,he deserves better from your readers/commentors..

    Comment by Timberwolf104 Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 8:53 pm

  25. Schulter would have won, on the other hand, had he run again, but there is a reason for that: the 47th ward is lovely. Walk around Lincoln Square. It’s one of the nicest, safest neighborhoods in Chicago these days. You can walk around those Brown Line stops any time of night, alone, and not feel at all afraid. The housing stock is pretty good. Schulter occasionally made controversial zoning decisions but genuinely backed off fast if the community advocates raised any hell with him. He wasn’t an inspirational figure, but I know why he hung around forever.

    Comment by ZC Monday, Apr 4, 11 @ 9:29 pm

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