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Today’s quotable

Monday, Jul 8, 2019

* Block Club Chicago

Back in 2012 and 2013, history buffs Daniel Pogorzelski and Jacob Kaplan were on a mission to get inside a nondescript brick building at the northwest corner of Diversey and Drake avenues.

Longtime city clerk and former 35th Ward Ald. John Marcin, one of former Mayor Richard J. Daley’s closest political allies, had worked out of the building for years. There were rumors all of his stuff was still in there, virtually untouched since his death in 1984. […]

And, much to their surprise, the rumors were true: Marcin’s office at 3534 W. Diversey Ave. had been left untouched. Old photos, campaign literature (some dating back to the 1930s when Marcin ran for congress), meticulously compiled scrapbooks, oil paintings and even neon signs were all sitting there, collecting dust.

Wow.

* Scroll down for the quote

After Daley died in office, his successor, Mayor Michael Bilandic, tossed Marcin out for the next election cycle after it was revealed he was “holding city funds in a non-interest-bearing account in a bank on whose board of directors he sat,” according to the Reader.

Marcin ran for alderman of the 35th Ward, knocking off former ally Ald. Casey Laskowski. During that race, Laskowski made public an open secret that Marcin may have listed the Diversey Avenue building as his home address but he spent much of his time at a lavish, Thomas Jefferson Monticello-style mansion near the Wisconsin border, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Asked why he went public after knowing about Marcin’s home for years, Laskowski said, “He wasn’t running against me before,” the Tribune reported.

Funny how campaigns work.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

10 Comments
  1. - Keyrock - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    This is a great story. It has pictures of another era, the unusual twist of Michael Bilandic being the good guy, and that wonderful quote.

    I’ve always noted the City’s very special exception to the “no snitch” practice. In Chicago politics, it’s the “no snitch, unless he’s running against you” rule.


  2. - George - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    In grade school, our basketball uniforms had Casey Laskowski Funeral Home on the back. His brother,, Anthony, was pastor at St. Stanislaus B & M parish. His Sunday sermons were mostly berating the congregation (in Polish) for not giving enough money. Casey played the organ at the Polish mass. They still had pew rental back then. After collecting the donations, the ushers went around and collected 10 cents from every adult. They even made change.


  3. - Bourbon Street - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 3:01 pm:

    Stories like these are the reason why Illinois politics is endless entertainment.


  4. - Groucho - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    Kotlarz unseated Marcin as Alderman in 1983. While on the ballot in 1984 for re-election as Dem Ward Committeeman, he died a few days before the election.


  5. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 3:51 pm:

    Two questions, why didn’t the owner dispose of the stuff? And how did Daniel Pogorzelski and Jacob Kaplan get legal possession of the stuff to donate it?


  6. - JoanP - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 4:16 pm:

    I saw that, and thought it was very cool, indeed. Nice that they’ve given the stuff to UIC.

    =Eventually, the two want to open a Chicago political history museum of their own.=

    Now that’s an interesting idea. I wonder if you’d be allowed to come in if nobody sent you.


  7. - NIU Grad - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 4:33 pm:

    A Chicago political history museum would be a runaway hit, I think. So many people would have little knick-knacks to donate to it.


  8. - Sonny - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 5:59 pm:

    Magicians don’t share their tricks Wolf.


  9. - low level - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 6:08 am:

    The richness of Illinois political history. Such a cool story for political geeks like us


  10. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 6:59 am:

    Broke my heart to read that the neon sign got busted.

    – MrJM


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