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Friday, Feb 9, 2007

* I did something today in my Sun-Times column that I’ve never done before. I endorsed a political candidate.

I debated this step a long time with myself, but my editor at the paper approved the idea so I went with it because: 1) The incumbent is a ridiculous dud who I observed closely while I lived in his ward; and 2) His challenger is a good friend who, in my opinion, would be a great alternative.

“Downtown, we have more dogs than people. Everybody’s got to have a dog. You know why? They’re lonely. The young women don’t have kids yet. They’re not married. So, they have a dog as a child. And some of the fellas who don’t want to get married — they want to have kids around, so they have a dog. That’s a substitute.” –Ald. Burt Natarus, Oct. 21, 2006

Natarus said he’s witnessed numerous problems outside the [Ice Bar], including people with guns. When asked why he never called 911, Natarus said: “I could be in court all day. I could be cross-examined all day, and I’m not that certain. I’m not at all certain, I don’t think the courts regard an alderman as a good witness.'’ –Sun-Times, Dec. 22, 2006

Real estate interests contributed $1.7 million — more than any other industry — to the campaign coffers of 20 Chicago aldermen over an 18-month period, and 13 percent of that money went to one politician: Ald. Burton F. Natarus (42nd), a study shows. –Sun-Times, Jan. 30

It’s been obvious for a long time now that Ald. Burt Natarus needs to go. Natarus, who recently described himself as a “buffoon,” outlived his usefulness decades ago.

The city’s election board sent out a notification late yesterday that the third challenger in that aldermanic race had dropped out, but he will remain on the ballot because he made his move so late. Brendan Reilly has a new TV ad (Natarus is said to be finally checking ad rates) and you can see it here.

* What does your alderman do? And why are there 50 of them?

* Solis gets ballot lawsuit tossed

* Three running for 10th ward alderman

* Beavers takes on Jackson, newcomers - ‘Am I running against the congressman or . . . his wife?’

* Ward races zone in on development plans - Rivals target North Side’s hot real estate market

* Chicago community leader eyes council seat

* Challengers accuse Matlak of pay-to-play politics - Zaryczny calls on alderman to pay back city for patronage army

* Another forum, but no Haithcock in sight - Columbia journos grill Second Ward challengers

* SJ-R: “Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom said Thursday if he is elected [Springfield] mayor, it’s unlikely he would retain Springfield Police Chief Don Kliment.”

This is a local elections open thread.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

54 Comments
  1. - Levois - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 8:45 am:

    I just posted about the 9th ward race. Now it’s all about a vacant lot. Here’s another link for you…

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stories/ourtown/070209/aldermania/


  2. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 8:50 am:

    I am really looking forward to the 49th Ward race. Hopefully the voters toss Joe Moore out. He’s been too busy passing foie gras bans and anti-Iraq war resolutions to notice that Rogers Park is in bad shape.

    Meantime, I am supportin Martin Cooney in the 47th Ward over Gene Schulter, who failed to support Forrest Claypool.


  3. - Niles Township - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 8:55 am:

    Rich,

    I’m not a big fan of columnist endorsements. A column listing all the wacky Burtonisms would have seem fine, but an actual endorsement to me crosses the fine line that newspaper columnists should watch after.


  4. - Tom - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 8:56 am:

    Good article about Reilly/Natarus, but Natarus is dead on about singles using dogs as substitutes for children. I’ve seen quite a few singles use baby talk with their dogs, dress them up in elaborate outfits, and pose them for Christmas cards.


  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 9:00 am:

    Niles, I completely understand and would normally agree with you.

    If columnist endorsements happen at all, they should be rare and for good reason. This was the only time I’ve done it (in 17 years) and there was obviously ample reason.

    Plus, the paper approved the endorsement concept, so there was ample consideration given.


  6. - Pat Hickey - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 9:01 am:

    Alderman Ginger Rugai in 19th Ward had my vote when she took Peoples Energy Corp. to the woodshed a few years back. The 19th Ward is well served -clean, efficient, and safe.

    Now, ther are some folks who have a beef with the Alderman, fair enough, vote for someone else.

    There is a great guy running against Ginger in Tim Sheehan and he is making pretty tough showing.

    There is another guy who lost last go around - a third generation political insider - who is ‘disgruntled’ - code for ” not enough” and backed by business investors from largely outside of the Ward. This guy is goofy and also a pretty mean guy - which in Irish translates to ’small spirited, petty, self-absorbed.’ His ooperatives have slandered the local community newspaper. the local political organization workers, the local community development association ( a 501(c)3 not-for-profit agency) engaged in race baiting and any thing else that it takes to get attention.

    This race will get real ugly in the next two weeks and the ugliness will be coming out of one third of the candidate field. John Somerville is a good reason why the electoral process is a goodthing, because you ‘can’t fool the people.’


  7. - phocion - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 9:17 am:

    Shouldn’t you have disclosed your personal friendship with the candidate on this blog as well? This race and Natarus have long been the topic of criticism here (well deserved, I might add). Still, I think blogging ethics should start coming to the fore and full disclosure by Rich Miller about his relationship with Reilly should have been disclosed some time ago.


  8. - 45th Ward - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 9:27 am:

    Does anyone know what is happening in the 45th ward? I heard it is a close race but no one writes about it.


  9. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 9:30 am:

    phocion, I’m pretty sure that I did disclose this before, but it doesn’t matter. I didn’t finally decide to endorse him until this week. Friend or not, Burt got the coverage he deserved.


  10. - newtochicago - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 9:33 am:

    What is going on in the 50th Ward? I moved to the ward about 6 months ago and the race here seems pretty intense. Greg Brewer looks like he has a lot of volunteers walking precincts, but the incumbent, Bernard Stone, seems to have a pretty good record to run on. And he just received the endorsement of six elected officials according to the radio this morning. Any thoughts?


  11. - anon - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 9:45 am:

    Pat Hickey,
    I too am 19th Ward resident. I have financially supported and voted for Ginger Rugai in the past. She has done some good for the ward but I feel very strongly that it is time for change. I don’t like what I see with Somerville or his campaign. Tim Sheehan on the other hand is running a very positive campaign and refuses to sling mud like Rugai and Somerville. The guy genuine and I hope he wins!


  12. - Skeeter - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 9:54 am:

    Rich has always been pretty unfront with the fact that he knows Reilly from Reilly’s Springfield days. He never hid that. That campaign has been covered here since at least last summer, and Rich usually pointed out that he knew Reilly pretty well (and also pointed out that Natarus did not have a clue what he was in for in this race).

    Rich did leave out one of the best quotes by Natarus, in which he praised Rex Grossman and bashed Olin Kreutz:

    “Ald. Burton F. Natarus (42nd) was the Wednesday-morning quarterback, defending the erratic and much-maligned Bears quarterback Rex Grossman.

    “I’m a Grossman fan,” Natarus said. “And I’ll tell you why I’m a Grossman fan, Mr. Angelo. Next year, you’ve got to build a better forward wall for him and give him a pocket. . . . Rex Grossman was rushed. And tell [center Olin Kruetz] to have a little softer [snap]. He twisted that ball back very hard.”

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/248611,CST-NWS-bears08.article


  13. - Loyal Whig - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 9:59 am:

    Rich,

    Finally a political reporter says what most people know. Naturas is a joke. He proves that longtime committeeman George Dunne had a great sense of Humor.


  14. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 10:00 am:

    When I saw my Alderman Gene Schulter 47th standing up with Todd Stroger I really felt sick.
    I understand Todd and Gene are both Democrats but sometimes you just gotta stand up,be a man and do the right thing. Take care of the taxpaying constituents in your ward instead of licking Daleys boots.
    Gene deserves to be thrown out but that’t not going to happen with all the dirty money the developers contributed to him.


  15. - Tom - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 10:01 am:

    I’d pay to see Natarus criticize Kruetz’s snaps to his face.


  16. - Bill [not the "real" Bill] - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 10:22 am:

    To me, fear mongering talk about developers is old tired and shallow. It’s being used to avoid many real issues. This city needs professional planning and rule of zoning law -end of story. New construction represents high paying jobs and tax revenues. Our city is famous and loved for architecture and tall buildings, so why bash those that finance it?


  17. - Skeeter - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 10:32 am:

    Bill,

    It is a matter of making decisions for rich developers as opposed to making decisions for hte good of the residents.

    Brendan Reilly is not against all development. He is against the sort of development that we have in the 42nd where there is no real regulation and where there is no consideration for the people that already live here. He is against the idea that there is an implication that if you have enough money, you can do whatever you want. Developers gave Natarus over $500,000 and I’m sure they think their money was well spent. Brendan has promised not to take a dime from them, so when it comes to development, no questions will be raised.

    To see what Natarus has brought upon us, take a drive through Streeterville. He has approved some of the ugliest high-rises you will find anywhere. Last night my wife and I were driving past Ohio and Michigan, and saw the Marriot. On a prime corner, Natarus allowed an incredibly ugly structure that brings that corner down. That is what we have after 30 years of Natarus.

    Think all development is good? Let’s put an 80 story building with parking for 10 cars right across from your home. You won’t mind. Development is good, right?

    This is not fear-mongering. This is the residents showing a real concern for the long term future o our neighborhood.


  18. - Pat Hickey - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 10:44 am:

    To anon - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 9:45 am:

    No arguemnet. There are two very good candidates in the 10th Ward and Somerville is not one of them.

    I like Ginger Rugai and she will have my vote and my daughter’s as well - so that’s two. I really admire the way Tim Sheehan has campaigned. It will be close.

    There is a candidate’s forum on Wed. February 21st at Bethany Church at 7PM and also the Illinois Police Athletic League Boxing Night at Bourbon Street featuring the Leo Boxers - try and make both. Somerville never responded to the LWV’s so it would seem that he’s a no show - no loss.


  19. - Pat Hickey - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 10:45 am:

    Paul - sorry! for the above -that’s 19th Ward


  20. - irishpirate - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 10:47 am:

    The race in the 46th Ward in Chicago has gotten even more bizarre. Now Helen Shiller is openly “dissing” the League of Women Voters. She posted a debate video which she agreed not to post.

    http://www.lwvchicago.org/newsevents/ChicagoRelease.pdf

    Check out http://www.whatthehelen.com for more info.

    By the way. I hate the word “dissing” but when talking about Shiller it seems appropriate. I am also involved in that What Da Helen business. As Levois might tell you.

    He covers da sout side and we cover da nort side.

    ARRRRRRRRGH


  21. - irishpirate - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 10:49 am:

    One last thing. Natarus is going to lose.

    Reilly seems to have a real political operation and the anger in that ward, for those that pay attention, is easy to see.

    Reilly should poll 55-60 percent of the vote.

    Ya herd it hear firrrstus.


  22. - Bill [not the "real" Bill] - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 10:59 am:

    Skeeter,
    I’m no fan of Natarus, and I will likely support Reilly; and I hope that he supports rule of law.
    You say … “there is no real regulation”. Then what do you call our zoning ordinance?
    You say …”Let’s put an 80 story building with parking for 10 cars”. Everybody knows that would be illegal and would never happen. Your comment is fear mongering.
    In a free society, there will be some bad buildings and some great buildings. We like it that way. Talk to any former Soviet block citizen about the kind of overly regulated architecture that they had to suffer with.
    Aldermen have the ability to use influence and persuasion to improve bad proposals -nothing wrong with that. Knee jerk condemnation of everything new is ignorant.


  23. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 11:06 am:

    Ravenswood Right Winger,

    There are plenty of reasons to vote against Gene Schulter. But the one you offer isn’t true:

    “Meantime, I am supportin Martin Cooney in the 47th Ward over Gene Schulter, who failed to support Forrest Claypool”

    Schulter was arguably Forrest’s top supporter in the primary. Yes, he endorsed Todd afterward, but so did most of the Democratic party establishment.

    Try again, but this time find a better reason to vote against Schulter.


  24. - ZC - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 11:10 am:

    I would like to hear the argument stated why columnist endorsements _shouldn’t_ be a more common phenomenon. Obviously there is the danger of the columnist getting too cozy with certain politicos, but that risk exists automatically for any columnist who writes extensively about public officials (see: Steve Neal, who to my knowledge never actually endorsed). John Kass endorses all the time. And while you can find plenty of fault with Kass, I don’t think it stems to his enthusiastically backing favorites. I see _commercial_ concerns (a newspaper’s desire not to alienate half its readership), but in an ideal world the money people and the editorial people shouldn’t be having that talk, right?


  25. - Just Observing - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 11:16 am:

    I agree that Natarus is a nut case and is time for him to go, but I still can’t get out of my system my disgust for Brendan Reilly.

    I only met him once — at Rep. Fritchey’s Chicago PAC event — I was interested in meeting Brendan because I knew Natarus was vulnerable and nuts.

    Brendan Reilly was so arrogant and rude to me, that I’m still bitter. When I have brought this up to friends of his and individuals who work on his campaign — not once has anyone disagreed that he can be a jerk — and these are his friends and staff.


  26. - Skeeter - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 11:17 am:

    Bill,

    The 80 story building with 10 parking spots was NOT fear mongering. In fact, if you look at the Peninsula Hotel that is almost an exact description.

    Actually, my description was off by 10 spots. And it has fewer than 80 stories. Natarus allowed a massive hotel to go up with ZERO on-site parking spaces.

    What impact do you think that had on the people who lived in that area? Do you think the impact was positive?

    And if you think that all a Chicago Alderman has is “influence and persuasion” with regard to development, then you must be new here. In Chicago, the Alderman has just about absolute power over development in the ward and Natarus has used that power for the benefit of those rich developers and without any regard for those of us who live in 42.


  27. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 11:43 am:

    I agree with ZC, political columnists are opinion writers, just as sports columnists are. A political columnist to cover the controversy surrounding Burt Natarus and then not weigh in on whether he should stay or go, that would be like a sports columnist covering the controversy surrounding Sammy Sosa and not weigh in on whether he should stay or go. Irresponsible and intellectually dishonest.

    Let’s hope that the Chicago Tribune, which first published reports of Burt Natarus reveling in his status as the City Council’s “buffoon”, does the responsible and intellectually honest thing.


  28. - Hugh - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 11:55 am:

    There’s a lot of mythology surrounding the Chicago City Council.

    From the Sun-Times:

    “City Council typically meets twice a month throughout the year.”

    This overstates our City legislature’s industriousness. The currently seated City Council met 54 times since they were sworn in in May, 2003 and the end of 2006, that’s 44 months for an average of 1.2 meetings per month. They often take August off but meet more than once a month in the fall for the annual rubber-stamping of the Daley budget.


  29. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 11:55 am:

    Bill, the problem is not fear-mongering about developers. The problem is an alderman who can’t say no to them. They have a right to do business, and development should be encouraged. But they shouldn’t be handed a blank check.


  30. - Fedupinthe50th - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 12:03 pm:

    NEW TO CHICAGO: Burton Natarus 0f the 42nd and Bernard Stone of the 50th are soulmates.As for Mr. Stone’s record, about the only thinh he hasn’t claimed credit for are the parting of the Red Sea and the building of the pyramids. Speaking of accomplishments, does anyone else remember Stone’s erection (at taxpayer’s expenswe) of concrete barriers to block access to the Howard-Kedzie Shopping Center? Or the fairly rapid demolition (also, at taxapayer’s expense) of those same barriers?


  31. - Hugh - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 12:05 pm:

    From the Sun-Times:

    “Paul Green, director of the Institute for Politics at Roosevelt University … Left to their own devices, all of these alderman could run the city into the ground, Green said. So “what you wind up with, what you need is a politically strong mayor to keep the alderman in line.”

    this is seriously twisted

    very strange for a poli sci prof

    what we need is a real legislative branch to check the executive


  32. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 12:05 pm:

    Bill -

    Anyone who follows the real politics of development in Chicago knows that Aldermanic perogative rules the day. Anyone who follows Burt Natarus knows that he is ruled by developers.


  33. - Bill [not the "real" Bill] - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 12:11 pm:

    YDC
    I know all about aldermanic perogative, and I don’t like it. It’s probably the biggest cause of corruption in our city council. If Natarus is inappropiately handing out upzones and variances, then he’s wrong; but when he gets out of the way of someone who is merely building something by right under the existing zoning, then there’s no problem.


  34. - Hugh - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 12:13 pm:

    From the Sun-Times:

    “Under the Rules of Order, the recommendations of the committees require two-thirds vote of the City Council for approval.”

    wha????

    this is atrociously sloppy reporting and editting


  35. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 12:21 pm:

    47th Ward-you are correct that Gene supported Claypool in the Primary. That part got cut off from my post.


  36. - Original Bill - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 12:28 pm:

    This is a disclaimer. That new Bill is not me. Ill be working the phone banks for Brendan Reilly tommorrow. Burt has stayed on about two terms too long and isn’t even funny anymore.
    Reilly has secured important endorsements, including mine, and is very well funded.
    Start packin’ Burt. Rich and I are in total agreement on this one.
    Great column!!!
    As for the 50th, stop by Brewer headquarters tommorrow at Western and Lunt and get some exercise canvassing for Greg. Get some exercise, meet new friends, and get involved in the process. It is time for a change in the 50th ward!


  37. - Hugh - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 12:54 pm:

    From the Sun-Times;

    “Most of the nitty-gritty work is done in 19 standing committees [of the Chicago City Council].”

    This is what they tell you when you attend a Council meeting and notice,

    “Gosh, I thought there would be more, you know, DEBATE and stuff.”

    Then you attend a committee meeting and discover there’s precious little government going on there, either.

    Committee of One - Berny Stone don’t need no stinking quorum

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stories/ourtown/061215/bernystone/


  38. - Bill-not real Bill - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 2:20 pm:

    Original Bill

    Sorry. I didn’t know about any previous Bills. There was no attempt to deceive. In the future, I’ll invent a new name. By the way, since Greg Brewer is an architect, I’ll bet he agrees that fear mongering should be removed from development debates and that there should be rule of law. I hope he wins.


  39. - Original Bill - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 2:59 pm:

    We just put an enlarged copy of Rich’s article in our street level window next to our Reilly posters. Miller, you are now famous!


  40. - Bubs - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 4:10 pm:

    The 32nd Ward is a potential sleeper.

    Ald. Ted Matlak would normally be a very heavy favorite, as an entrenched incumbent, protege of Terry Gabinski, and loyal Daley ally, but there is substantial and growing resentment in the Ward over his practices, and his opponents are both idealistic and enthusiastic.

    It may well be a runoff.


  41. - Hugh - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 4:19 pm:

    Chicago aldermen would certainly prefer we focus on their self-adopted “constituent service” role rather than their record as legislators or their role as an independent branch of City government, and sadly this Sun-Times article goes along hook, line & sinker.

    From the Sun-Times:

    “All aldermen are formal liaisons between residents and the city.”

    No, FORMALLY an alderman is a legislator. INFORMALLY they are a liason to city services.


  42. - Bubs - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 4:43 pm:

    Whether a journalist can endorse a candidate is a non-issue, as a blessing to this country is that the press can pretty much do as it pleases.

    Whether a journalist should endorse a candidate is up to him, and depends on what image he wishes to have. Endorsing friends who are candidates, even with the clear disclosures in this column, is not the short path to credibility, particularly in a column that is overtly demeaning to the opponent. Also, considering that this column has appeared for but a few months, not a few years, it can legitimately asked whether loyalty has outweighed judgment.

    This is said by a person who would vote for Captain Kangaroo rather than vote for Burt Natarus.

    But three fair questions for Mr. Reilly’s supporters:

    Is it true he rents, and does not own or pay property taxes, in the Ward?

    Is it true that he is not currently an employee of AT&T, or anyone else, and not on leave?

    Has he been endorsed by his purported mentors, Mr. Vallas and the Speaker?


  43. - ex-staffer - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 4:47 pm:

    Can someone please tell me what, exactly, Brendan Reilly has done in the community which makes him qualified to become Alderman? His website mentions he is a “member of Holy Name Cathedral”. Big deal. Has he volunteered for SOAR (Streeterville Organization of Active Residents)? Or the Grant Park Advisory Council? These organizations have been around for years, yet Reilly apparently has not bothered to get involved.

    I think Brendan is in this for the image. He is used to being behind the scenes. He does not realize the being Alderman is a 24/7 job, weekends and holidays. How well does he know the community? How long has he lived in the ward? In the city?

    He may very well win, in which case I will wish him luck. But, I fail to see what in his background qualifies him to be an Alderman. A state legislator or even Congressman, perhaps. But Alderman is grass roots local. It is working with community organizations. Whatever you say about Burt, he works with all these groups. I am even more curious in that Rich didn’t mention any tangable accomplishments Reilly can point to.

    According to the Sun Times column, we should vote for Brendan because he is a “swell guy”, is a friend of Rich Miller, and knows his way around Springfield. What this has to do with being an Alderman in Chicago I have no idea.


  44. - Bubs - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 5:25 pm:

    Memo to Reilly Campaign:

    Hope the lesson is learned for the future about standing up TV interviewers on three hours notice after promising for weeks to appear. Jeff Berkowitz’s resulting “Public Affairs” cable show interview with an empty chair (”. . . and we would have gotten an answer to that interesting question if Mr. Reilly had decided to appear”) is a classic.


  45. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 5:27 pm:

    Bubs–

    If you have questions about rumors being circulated by the Natarus camp, the sensible thing to do would be to call or e-mail Reilly, rather than repeating the rumors with scurrilous posts on blogs.

    So, to answer your questions:

    1. Everybody who lives in the City of Chicago, whether they rent or own, pays property taxes. There’d probably be alot more middle-class families owning in Chicago, including the 42nd Ward, if Alderman Natarus hadn’t voted for every single proposed property tax increase that crossed his desk.

    2. Reilly has taken a leave-of-absence from his fulltime job at AT&T in December, as their youngest Vice-President in the country, so that he could campaign fulltime. That job is waiting for him when the election is over, but Reilly has indicated that if elected, he will leave his job at AT&T and be a fulltime alderman.

    3. As a condition of his employment with the Philadelphia school system, Paul Vallas is barred from making endorsements. However, the Vallas Family has endorsed Brendan, and Dean Vallas was chair of a recent fundraiser for Brendan that took in over $40,000 in one night.

    Madigan, who serves as a Democratic Committeeman with Burt Natarus, did endorse Natarus, as one would expect. Both Natarus and Madigan also endorsed Dan Hynes over Barack Obama, but Obama got 69% of the vote in the 42nd Ward. Reilly, by contrast, was one of Obama’s earliest and biggest supporters.


  46. - Bubs - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 5:32 pm:

    I did ask. Guess that puts me on a par with Berkowitz.


  47. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 5:36 pm:

    ex-staffer:

    If being alderman is a 24/7 job, please explain to me why convicted felon Mickey Segal gave Alderman Natarus over $100,000? Natarus claims it was for legal sevices rendered. Even if Natarus is billing $400 an hour, that means he would’ve spent 250 hours — six solid weeks — doing legal work that year.

    I suspect the cash was just another one of those complicted Natarus schemes to line his own pockets at taxpayers expense; Natarus claims otherwise, but he certainly can’t have it both ways.

    As for qualifications, Reilly has much more experience under his belt now than Natarus had when he was installed as Alderman by the Machine 36 years ago. Over those 36 years, Natarus has racked up alot of experience catering to every whim of developers and other political insiders, and very little experience actually serving the people he’s supposed to represent.


  48. - Bubs - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 5:43 pm:

    Glad he has “experience!” How sad none of it has anything to do with the 42nd Ward.

    But, all is not lost. “Stepping stone” guys often do a good job, as a resume builder for the next step.


  49. - Goodbye Napoleon - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 9:50 pm:

    If anyone thinks Natarus has made good zoning decisions all they need to do is look at Rainforest Cafe. WTF? How would you like that in your front yard.

    Brendan Reilly will make a great alderman. Change is good, I agree with the Stone / Natarus comment above too. They are both old useless windbags.

    Who cares if Rich discloses who his only three friends in the world may or may not be, this is his blog. Effectively, his property. Don’t like it? Go get your insider political news someplace else!


  50. - Gerald - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 10:05 pm:

    Everyone I know regrets voting for Todd Stroger


  51. - Randall Sherman - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 11:13 pm:

    Regarding the 50th Ward race… even my mother, who served as President of the Sisterhood for the largest synagogue in the ward (and had the late wife of Alderman Stone as the Sisterhood Secretary back then) doesn’t want Stone re-eelcted, because it will mean his daughter will become the Alderman.

    Brewer is unacceptable, because his election would bring the political cancer that has ruined the 49th Ward to the east for years (is it any wonder that Lying Joe Moore supports Brewer?). As for Golar, she has come up with little in the way of her own ideas. Many suspect that she is just a plant to either help Stone out.

    That leaves the fourth candidate, Turkish-American businessman Salman Altab, who has been endorsed by the Illinois Committee for Honest Government. Altab has pledged not to accept the aldermanic pay increase. In addition, he has promised to donate 25% of his salary to local charities.

    If you want to know about the rest of the ICHG endorsement, come on over to PLUSH Chicago on Sunday between 2 and 5 pm (PLUSH Chicago is located at 1104 W. Madison St., a mile west of Chicago’s Loop). At that time, during our Distinguished Service Awards Reception, we will release our Endorsement Guide for the February 27 elections.

    RANDALL SHERMAN
    Secretary/Treasurer, Illinois Committee for Honest Government


  52. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 9, 07 @ 11:53 pm:

    Bubs, bite me.


  53. - Skeeter - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 5:30 pm:

    In response to “Reilly’s Daughter on Western”:

    Either you are on Natarus’s payroll or you aren’t from the 42nd.

    The Rainforest Cafe is SURROUNDED by condos. It is an incredibly ugly structure and again, has no parking.

    That is a theme for Natarus: Ugly places with no parking. Fill the streets with idiot valets who need to drive four blocks to park creating even more unnecessary congestion, and then fill the spaces that should be taken by residents.

    Want to have a good time? Try driving down Delaware some time. Two blocks can take 1/2 hour. Or Walton, which is even worse. But the developers got what they want. Who cares about the people who have lived here for 30 years? They don’t have the developers cash, so they don’t count.


  54. - Tom DeLay's Mom - Sunday, Feb 11, 07 @ 5:52 pm:

    Bubs - I have to disagree with your last post. You are not on-par with Jeff Berkowitz…Jeff might be crazy, but you’re an idiot.

    You seem impressed with Natarus’ involvement in the 42nd Ward…what impressed you the most - the alderman’s ability to pocket $140,000 in bribes…er, loans…or was it legal fees from a convicted federal racketeer? Or was it the “local activism” he displayed when he traded liquor licenses for political favors from alleged mob figures?

    Keep on keeping on with your ridiculous whisper campaign, Bubs…sounds like you’re suffering from a bad case of sour grapes…

    But your argument that Natarus’ local involvement has served his ward well is falling on deaf ears…those of us who are familiar with the alderman’s routine abuse of the public trust (and his constituents) are voting for Brendan Reilly.


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