* The Sun-Times headline reads: Rosemont rarity: A real race for mayor.
There’s no doubt that Rosemont mayoral candidate Joe Watrach is running a far more visible campaign than has been seen in a long time, if ever, in that town. He’s also pretty feisty, listing $5 million a year in government contracts for people with the name “Stephens” on his website and telling the CS-T…
“Donald E. Stephens made sure that while he took care of his family, all of Rosemont was his family,” Watrach said. “He was making sure the village residents were happy. Before, Rosemont had an endless supply of money. Now we don’t. The difference was his dad never cut the village employees’ health care.”
Watrach argues that before Stephens cuts employees’ health care, he should cut other parts of the budget first, such as contracts to his family members or the $1.3 million for landscaping that goes largely to Krimson Valley Landscaping, which has donated generously to Stephens’ political fund.
“The reason Bradley didn’t want to cut [the] flowers [contract] is they have given him $50,000 over two years,” Watrach said. “In two years, he has raised a million dollars for his campaign fund, all from contractors who hold no-bid contracts at Rosemont.”
But is Watrach viable?
Maybe not so much.
The State Board of Elections website shows that Watrach has raised about $3,200 since he began campaigning.
* Moving on to Niles…
Nick Blase left the helm of this suburb after 47 years as mayor when he was convicted of taking $420,000 in kickbacks from an insurance company to which he steered businesses that wanted to set up shop in Niles.
Running with Blase’s endorsement to succeed him is Acting Mayor Robert Callero, a retired accountant. Callero got some static for creating an ethics committee in a closed meeting that Attorney General Lisa Madigan said violated the state’s Open Meetings Act. He was also criticized when Niles employees used village equipment to tape testimonials for Blase to be used at his trial. Callero said he agreed that was inappropriate and said he was unaware it was happening.
Challenging Callero are: Luigi Nitti, Carol Harczak, Trustee Kim Sychowski Biederman — who runs with the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky and other local Democrats — and Krzysztof “Chris” Hanusiak, a Polish immigrant who owns a Royal Kitchen and Bath Cabinets store.
That Callero ethics committee thing is hilarious. Biederman is the wife of former House Dem staffer Rob Biederman, which the acting mayor is attempting to use against her…
Callero said that Biederman would use the job to “build a political machine.” Her husband, Rob Biederman, who is running her campaign, once was a political operative for Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, and he now is a public relations consultant. “He will really run Niles,” a Callero strategist said.
I’m so sure. What an insult to Biederman to suggest that her husband will be the guy behind the throne.
Ms. Biederman also has some other bigtime support…
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-9th, state Sens. Dan Kotowski, D-33rd, and Ira Silverstein, D-8th, and state Rep. Lou Lang, D-16th, have all endorsed Biederman’s candidacy, according to her campaign. […]
State Representative Michael MacAuliffe is the lone Republican on Biederman’s list thus far, supporting Biederman because he believes she will keep taxes low, according to a written statement attributed to him by her campaign.
That’s quite a list.
* On to Peoria…
The race for Peoria mayor features the incumbent against a challenger who, even if he wins, cannot serve because of a prior felony conviction.
* Are there any interesting local races in your neck of the woods?