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Local races abound

Tuesday, Jan 2, 2007

I don’t really know what kind of ground game that Naisy Dolar is putting together in Chicago’s 50th Ward, but she is actively using the Internet, including posting videos on a regular basis. She also has a MySpace page. Dolar is hoping to defeat broken-down aldermanic warhorse Bernie Stone.

Dog Fight in the 50th seems to have an anti-Dolar bent, but is doing fairly frequent updates on the aldermanic race.

Greg Brewer , an architect and community organizer, is the other major candidate in the contest. He’s also posting videos on YouTube.

Meanwhile, Dick Simpson has the coming aldermanic campaign just about right.

The intersection of several factors could lead to 15 or more competitive races involving incumbent aldermen, according to Dick Simpson, a former alderman and current political science professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago. These factors include a strong pool of candidates and increasingly active unions and community organizations, he said. […]

According to Simpson, the strong showing of Republican Tony Peraica in a number of city wards during his heated contest against former alderman Todd Stroger for the Cook County Board presidency is one indication of this disruption. Peraica won 12 of the 50 wards outright, and carried a significant percentage in many others. Stroger beat Peraica in the contest for president of the Cook County Board.

While not directly linked to the city elections, the unusually strong support for Peraica could be taken as a sign that voters are seeking a change in the status quo within local government. […]

“You have to have a credible challenger and there are better challengers than there have been since the ’80s,” [said] Simpson. “Most of them have had time to position themselves and do the early fundraising, which is different from most years.”

And as I’ve told you before, SEIU is gearing up for battle.

The Service Employees International Union is one organization trying to flex its muscle in February. It has targeted incumbents in several wards -including Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) for opposition to the Big Box ordinance - and plans to place its support behind candidates considered more supportive of key union issues. SEIU officials are still in the process of determining which candidates will receive their attention. The SEIU is also recruiting “block captains” from its 78,000 Chicago members to canvass their neighborhoods for the elections, the first time the union has done so.

Do you have any local races in your area? If so, give us an update.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. Pingback ArchPundit » Blog Archive » The Real Impact of SEIU in the Aldermanic Races - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 3:12 pm:

    […] (h/t Rich for the article)   [link] […]

  2. - Pat Hickey - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 4:26 pm:

    The Cadilac Commies are best hope for the working person? These clowns are great for T-shirt sales but what will they do for working people? Social engineering students pretending to be a labor union is laughable in itself - look at how well the ‘went to war in the Big Box’ giggle.

    Next they’ll drag poor old Peter, Paul, & Mary off their Rascals to do some old timey folk/radical/howling - It is a giggle.

  3. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 4:43 pm:

    On the topic of Net-savvy aldermanic candidates in Chicago, a few questions that seem worth exploring are:

    1) Is it entirely legal and/or ethical for someone (such as a Dolar campaign staffer) to post a Chicago Tonight segment on You Tube? I seem to recall the refrain “any reproduction of this broadcast without the expressed permission…is strictly prohibited”.

    2) Is it entirely legal and/or ethical for a sitting alderman (such as Aldermen Shiller, Moore, Daley, and Mary Ann Smith) to post a campaign site link on their official City of Chicago alderman website? That seems wrong.

    3) Given the ease with which anyone can create a website or blog these days, wouldn’t you think every aldermanic candidate–but particularly sitting alderman–should have some type of Web presence? AlderTrack seems to have a good list of candidates and their websites, yet there are still so many candidates without any type of Web presence. To me that seems irresponsible, like choosing to not have a phone.

  4. - Squideshi - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 5:28 pm:

    Don’t forget that the Green Party can now “fill vacancies” in nomination by certifying candidates to be placed on the general election ballot, following the primary. I think that there’s a good chance that we’ll see this happen in aldermanic races in Chicago.

  5. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 5:50 pm:

    Greens? Aren’t the working on their database on other geek stuff instead? What are they doing in Chicago?

  6. - bored now - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 5:54 pm:

    general election ballot?

  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 6:15 pm:

    Squid, aren’t those non-partisan races? I don’t think you can appoint party people to that ballot.

  8. - DeepBlue - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 9:09 pm:

    Rich, Naisy Dolar will have a very good field operation — count on it. Her crew has been working the area since the ‘04 elections and her campaign manager just managed the Illinois Immigrant Coalition’s voter program in 18 communities around Chicago.

  9. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 9:46 pm:

    Squid, thank you for demonstrating a glaring ignorance of Chicago elections or non-partisan elections in general.

    And everybody else, watch the 32nd and 45th wards for a major changing of the guard and dumping of old-school aldermen.

  10. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 10:36 pm:

    Who is Niasy Dolar’s campaign manager, DeepBlue?

  11. - babs - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 10:41 pm:

    I don’t think that the aldermanic web-sites are necessarily campaign sites. Most are just better than the ones the city offers and have been in existence for years. They also offer city services - not campaign info - others - not the ones you mention do campaign stuff but there is a big difference between the sites of Smith and Daley (I haven’t checked out Moore or Schiller) as opposed to - oh let’s say Natarus. That’s a campaign site and always has been.

  12. - bearfan - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 10:59 pm:

    Dolars campaign manager is Marissa Graciosa and she absolutley knows what she’s doing in terms of ground game. The race in 50 will be tight with three real candidates and a fourth vanity candidate in the race. but i think Dolar has the intestinal fortitude to win a run off, something stone and brewer lack.

  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 11:16 pm:

    So who is SEIU going to back in the 50th race?

  14. - ebgg - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 11:31 pm:

    Naisy seems to make the most sense for an seiu endorsement. She’s a community activist, a woman, a non-white woman at that, and she’s probably the most liberal…the other guy is a big business guy who’ll just gentrify the place. Not very SEIUish.

    Says on her site that she registered voters with the immigrant coalition in 2004, and from capfax we know that SEIU is a big backer of that group. Why wouldn’t they back someone they’ve been grooming all this time?

  15. - thebrewcrew! - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 11:42 pm:

    bearfan, MG cannot hold a candle to Brewer’s Alan Cottrell. He’s a gunslinger who won’t back down to anyone. Check his response to the opposition when they asked him who he is:

    i’m not a neighbor, i’m a “gunslinger. ”
    i’m alan cottrell, greg brewer’s campaign
    manager. snowbored is a nym that now has a
    considerable reputation around the country for
    winning elections and especially for defeating
    incumbents. in 2002, i developed and consulted
    on field operations for 4 senate campaigns
    against sitting incumbents (us senators) and
    won 3 of them. in 2004, i did the same for
    the minnesota dfl house caucus, winning 16 of
    20 seats. forces in the ward, and the city,
    expect me to do the same here.

    you can find me around the ward in my greg
    brewer t-shirt that says “stone crusher” on the
    back, another nym given to me by a political
    friend. feel free to introduce yourself.
    i doubt you will remember my name (and that’s
    ok); but you probably won’t forget me…


    we have intestinal fortitude to spare, bf!

  16. - rediron - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 12:10 am:

    What? I hope for this candidate his camp manager can door knock as well as he talks. That’s what all of this will come down to anyway, youtube aside, if the candidate is likeable works hard and hits the streets, s/he wins.

    That said I think naisy is the most interesting, its about time these campaigns get creative and fresh.

  17. - Bridget Dooley - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 1:34 am:

    Alright, I don’t usually do this, but this is getting ridiculous. So I’m going to put my other hat on for a moment and defend my candidate.


    If the “big business guy” who will “just gentrify the place” that you are referring to is Greg Brewer, you are mistaken. Either you just have no idea or you’re perpetuating a myth about Greg Brewer to further Naisy Dolar’s agenda. Sadly, I suspect it’s the latter since we have heard this from Naisy herself and are aware of her supporters saying the same.

    Greg Brewer is an architect, planner, and project manager with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, one of the most accomplished and high-profile architectural firms in the world. Think the Sears Tower, the Hancock building, the forthcoming Freedom Tower and possible Olympics in Chicago. SOM does not deal in neighborhood “gentrification” and Greg Brewer is not interested in tearing apart the 50th ward.

    In fact, Greg is a founder of Westridge Bungalow Neighbors, a bungalow appreciation and preservation group. He is the founder of Citizens for Responsible Development, a group formed in opposition to Berny Stone’s irresponsible zoning and development practices perpetuated without the input of the community. Greg was fighting for residents’ rights and the integrity of the community long before his neighbors urged him to run for alderman.

    Greg Brewer has gone head to head with Berny Stone over poorly planned development on several occasions and has successfully stopped several disastrous projects in the ward. He is interested in long-term, responsible planning in the ward formed with the input of the folks who live there. He is running to represent everyone in the ward equally without regard to race, ethnicity, or religion. Given that he has planned, designed, and managed projects all over the world with many diverse communities and teams, Greg Brewer is highly qualified to manage the ward’s business and plan for a brighter future for the neighborhood.

    It’s disappointing that Naisy Dolar feels the need to attack Greg Brewer in such a dishonest manner. It really reflects badly on her and causes one to wonder what little she has to offer that she has to resort to such transparent and childish tactics. Greg’s strengths as an architect, planner, and project manager and as a community activist are obvious to many, both inside and outside the ward. Additionally, his campaign is well-organized and well-funded with a sophisticated campaign plan designed to beat Berny Stone.

    I suspect that Naisy Dolar and her supporters realize Greg Brewer’s tremendous strengths and are feeling rather intimidated. And, given that we have stated plainly that Greg is running against Bernie Stone and Stone has responded by positioning Greg as his main challenger, I suspect she’s also feeling rather ignored. Bernie Stone even accused Greg Brewer of “having a spy in the planning department” (due to some information he gained through a FOIA request) on a local CAN-TV program! Berny knows that Greg Brewer is the only candidate in the 50th ward who poses a significant threat to him and continues to respond accordingly.

    We wish Naisy Dolar well, but wish that she would choose to conduct herself in a more ethical manner in the future. The 50th ward has seen 33 years of corrupt, unethical government and really doesn’t need more of the same.

    Bridget Dooley
    Field Director
    Greg Brewer for Alderman
    Office: (773) 559-5848

  18. - Bridget Dooley - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 1:36 am:

    Oops, my video link didn’t link properly. Here it is:

  19. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 2:05 am:

    Glad to see we got your attention, Bridget. :)

  20. - Bill Baar - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 7:38 am:

    Has SEIU announced for anyone yet? I looked yesterday and it seemed like they were all up in the air althought there seemed some obvious matches.

  21. - JSinthe50th - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 8:46 am:

    Thanks for the link, Rich. One correction: I’m anti-Stone, not anti-Dolar. It seems to me that Dolar’s presence in the race increases the chances of Ald. Stone’s re-election. My antipathy towards Dolar stems from that.

    It’s hard to say whether she has a real ground game. Naisy has been sending out people, just like the Brewer campaign. The Brewer campaign started earlier, whatever that gets you. But they also seem better organized - or better prepared. Now that the Dolar volunteers wear their yellow hats, it’s easier to see this.

    A couple of them were on my street recently, looking at their clipboards. Then they looked around (they were not from the neighborhood, probably not even the ward), looked back down. Started up one way, then returned back my direction. It was comical. Seems to me that the Brewer volunteers acted with greater precision. They seemed to know where they were going and what they were doing. Much better organized.

  22. - bearfan - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 9:43 am:

    you know, I hate it when straitforward opininating becomes just another space for hacks to post. I have no horse in this race, I just called it like I saw it. and I gotta say, anyone who writes that much about themselves (Cottrell), well… let’s just say that the proof is in the pudding. And for the record, i don’t see a three candidate race ensuring stone’s victory, i think it leads to a runoff that dolar, who clearly has more widespread (if not more rabid) support will win.

  23. - babs - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 2:30 pm:

    Hacks post here? I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you. How could this happen? After all this time I thought only Greenies were allowed. This is news, big news.

  24. - Not Helen Shiller - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 5:01 pm:

    The 46th Ward is interesting too. Seems to be a tremendous amount of activity against Helen Shiller.

    She has a link on her official website to her campaign website.

    She also has a son who is involved in interesting legal activities as a lawyer.

    See this post.

    It amazes me that the big media ignores an alderman’s son who sues the city over police shootings that apparently didn’t take place, works as the “lawyer of choice” for liquor businesses before the city, and defends groups in Federal court that have been found liable for financing Middle East terrorism. Check out the link for other links.

    Ignore the stuff on mama’s lack of fashion sense.

  25. - Not Helen Shiller - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 5:05 pm:

    One other thing. I think Brendan Shiller is fair game because last time he was his mom’s campaign manager and was paid out of her campaign funds.

    The state campaign website shows the payments.

  26. - Say No to HDO - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 6:37 pm:

    look for a hot contested race in the 12th ward. Round 2!

  27. - JJSpringfield - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 8:17 pm:

    :… i’m a “gunslinger. ”
    …a considerable reputation around the country for
    winning elections
    …expect me to do the same here.
    …you can find me around the ward in my greg
    brewer t-shirt that says “stone crusher” on the
    back, another nym given to me by a political
    friend. feel free to introduce yourself.
    …but you probably won’t forget me…


    Is this a joke?

    I am disappointed that this ridiculous post has been on this site for more than a day, and it’s barely drawn a comment.

    I hope I get the chance to meet Stone Crusher the gunslinger in the street. Not to introduce myself, but simply to make fun of him.

    In the words of the great American philosopher Nelson Muntz, “Haaa-haa.”

  28. - Hispanic Democrat - Wednesday, Jan 3, 07 @ 9:33 pm:

    It appears that Aldermans Ocasio,Colon and Munoz are in for very tight races. All three are known in progressive cirlces as having sold out to builders and yuppies and now there respective communities are being mobilized by challengers who plan to expose these three corrupt and lazy aldermans.Congressman Luis Guitterez will try to protect these three but Luis has lost alot of credibility with his “I will run for Mayor” “or I won’t anymore”. Watch for fireworks in these three races.

  29. - Naisy Supporter - Thursday, Jan 11, 07 @ 9:56 pm:

    Bridget, I have liked the different things you have posted online until now. You cannot accuse Naisy like that. She is an extremely ethical and effective advocate.

    She did not post anything about “big business” — somebody did, but not her. Using your logic, you’d have to assume that JS in the 50th is one and the same as Greg Brewer.

  30. - 5th estate - Thursday, Feb 22, 07 @ 1:09 pm:

    i don’t know whether it’s more funny than tragic: the 50th ward incumbent, getting the crap beat out of him by a political neophyte, clinging desperately to his office so that he can will it to his daughter who doesn’t want to look for a real job, either, produces some unverifiable piece of anit-semitism and implies that the frontrunner, who has already garnered the endorsements of BOTH major newspapers, is responsible! how desperate the incumbent must be - producing unverifiable documentation that a 1st grader could have authored and inferring the neophyte/frontrunner is a racist! to the incumbent’s daughter: get a real job. i hear they’re hiring at walmart. and your dad could work there with you - as a greeter.
    too funny and too tragic.

  31. - Uptown Gal - Thursday, Mar 22, 07 @ 2:47 am:

    How has Brendan Shiller managed to skate away from his long history of drug overdoses? How can anyone consider him a potential alderman? The fire department carried him out of 827 West Lakeside to Weiss Hospital to have his stomach pumped so many times, it was ridiculous. And all at taxpayers expense. His back porch was so filled with rotting diapers and piles of trash while he lived there that city workers were complaining about having to go in there for health reasons. And we, his neighbors all know they tossed triaged patients out of the Weiss Emergency Room so that he could be brought in in privacy - as they stood out in the cold. This is a future alderman? THen it was cocaine. Now can you say METH?

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