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The Moody brothers get their due

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016

* Ed Moody’s appointment to the Cook County Board a few days ago prompted a profile in the Sun-Times

The rise of the Cook County Board’s newest commissioner starts, as so many good political stories in Chicago do, a long time ago in the old neighborhood.

Ed Moody and his twin brother Fred Moody were teenagers hanging out at West Lawn Park on the city’s Southwest Side when they met a politician named Mike Madigan.

The Moody brothers’ mom had died when they were 14. Their dad struggled with alcoholism.

Mike Madigan, then a young state representative and Democratic ward boss, became a father figure to the boys, who followed Chicago politics as avidly as many kids follow sports.

Madigan later welcomed the Moody brothers into his political organization. They quickly became top Democratic precinct captains in the 13th Ward.

Now 52, Ed and Fred Moody have stayed out of the limelight until now. But political insiders long have counted them among the most respected and feared campaign operatives in the state legislative and municipal races where Madigan cultivates his power carefully, one voter at a time.

These two guys are legends, and for good reason. They love walking precincts and they can flip more voters at the doors than just about anyone else alive. Of course, there have also been stories about how, for instance, they describe their candidate as absolutely pro-gun at one door and favoring strict gun control at the next. I saw several Bruce Rauner yard signs when I was in Kankakee back in 2014 right next to signs for Rep. Kate Cloonen (D-Kankakee). I don’t think that was by accident.

I asked the Madigan folks last time around if they’d let me tag along with one of the brothers in a precinct for an hour or so. My request was immediately denied. I was bummed because I’d really like to see one or both of them in action up close.

Anyway, go read the whole thing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

12 Comments
  1. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 4:48 pm:

    Nice job on reporting on this a couple of weeks ago Rich before he got the official nod. Political intelligence at it’s finest.


  2. - Been There - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 5:12 pm:

    I was helping out an elected official who had us helping a state rep candidate. One day I came back from walking a precinct feeling really good because I got about 10 lawn signs and a lot of plusses. Not a bad day especially in a suburban area. One of those two Moody’s came in about 10 minutes later and had 30 lawn sign locations. And I think he was mad he didn’t get more.


  3. - Not It - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 5:36 pm:

    So happy to see that Cook County is being run and managed in such a high and ethical manner, where the needs of the voters are ALWAYS the first priority.


  4. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 6:35 pm:

    –Over breakfast at Petros, the political meeting place that’s cater-corner from City Hall,–

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard or read “cater-corner.” Kitty-corner, or catty-corner, yes.

    I looked it up, and learned that it’s been out there for quite some time. But it’s something different and new to me.

    I should probably get very angry about that, right?


  5. - McGruff - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 7:02 pm:

    The correct word is cater-corner. Kitty corner is slang.


  6. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 7:15 pm:

    Congrats to Ed Moody!


  7. - Spliff - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 7:19 pm:

    Only two other people in this state equally as good at the door: Scott Cisek and Mike Jordan.


  8. - P. - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 7:33 pm:

    Cisek brings a moral compass with his walksheets. There’s a difference.


  9. - Just Me - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 7:51 pm:

    What, was Jordan Matyas unavailable?

    And to the self-imposed term limit issue — let me guess: Cook County Commissioners have a more generous pension then normal Cook County employees, and after 10 years Mr. Moody will have maxed out that pension level?

    Well, I certainly hope at a minimum that Mr. Moody brings the fine level of administrative leadership that has made the Cook County judicial system on of the greatest in the country to the rest of Cook County government. I know I’ll sleep better tonight.


  10. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 8:10 pm:

    In other words, more of the same.


  11. - Michael Westen - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 8:47 pm:

    Ed Moody is a political legend but also has been a dedicated public servant, as anyone who has worked with him at the Bridgeview court house or other places can attest. Congrats to a well-deserving person. They couldn’t have picked a better man.


  12. - Old Timer Dem - Tuesday, Oct 11, 16 @ 8:53 pm:

    Certainly a well deserved appointment. At least it isn’t some politician’s undeserving son or daughter being appointed.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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