* Alex Nitkin at the Daily Line…
Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30) defied county and state party leaders on Friday by wrangling the voting power of former State Rep. Luis Arroyo to appoint Peoples Gas official Eva-Dina Delgado as Arroyo’ successor in the legislature.
Reboyras was one of four Democratic committeepeople who showed up to the meeting Reboyras had scheduled to pick Arroyo’s successor, in a process the alderman repeatedly said followed the letter of state law and party rules. But one of the committeepeople in attendance, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35), called the meeting “corrupt” and walked out as soon as proceedings got underway.
Arroyo resigned his House seat Nov. 1, a week after he was arrested on a corruption charge that includes allegations that he bribed a state senator on behalf of a firm that hired him to lobby Chicago officials. But he refused to resign as 36th Ward Democratic committeeperson, giving him the largest share of the vote in the party-driven process of choosing his replacement.
Reboyras suggested during the run-up to Friday’s controversial meeting that Arroyo would assign his votes to a proxy, but the alderman repeatedly declined say who would wield that power. It was not until the meeting had already begun that Reboyras said, in response to a question from State Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), he had Arroyo’s votes, giving him more than 50 percent of the weighted vote and unilateral power to fill the seat.
* Rachel Hinton at the Sun-Times…
Arroyo, who held the largest weighted vote, had called the meeting at the Alliance of Polish Clubs.
But after he did, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan sent letters to the other committeemen, warning them that any involvement from Arroyo “whether a direct vote or a vote by proxy would cause the candidate’s qualifications to be challenged by the full Illinois House of Representatives.”
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, who’s also the 35th Ward committeeman, walked out of the meeting Friday, saying the process had been tainted by the use of Arroyo’s votes.
“I’ve been urging Ariel Reboyras not to use Arroyo’s proxy for weeks — I told him that would put a cloud over the process,” Ramirez-Rosa said after he walked out. “It’s clear he’s hell-bent on filling the vacancy with the support and collusion of the disgraced former state rep.”
* Dan Petrella at the Tribune…
Reboyras said he did not coordinate the selection with Arroyo and that he arranged Friday night’s meeting with him through attorneys. […]
Because Reboyras used Arroyo’s votes to make the selection, other committeemen, including 35th Ward Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and state Sen. Robert Martwick, the 38th Ward committeeman, boycotted the process. Several potential candidates also withdrew from consideration.
“I think it’s a disservice to all of these candidates to allow them to go through this process when it’s very clear that they are unlikely to be seated,” Ramirez-Rosa said before leaving the meeting. “And I would urge any candidate that wants the respect of the community, that wants to be trusted as a candidate to fill this vacancy, to also leave this process because ultimately this process appears to be corrupt.”
Martwick didn’t attend Friday’s meeting but had given his votes to Ramirez-Rosa.
* Shia Kapos at Politico…
Delgado now faces the unusual prospect of being challenged from within the party to hold on to her 3rd District seat before an election is held since House Speaker Mike Madigan is sticking to his guns about ousting any appointment that included Arroyo’s weighted votes.
“The speaker’s position has not changed,” Madigan Spokesman Steve Brown told Playbook on Sunday.
We’re now in uncharted territory because such appointments are usually perfunctory. Lawmakers we talked to don’t know what a challenge might entail.
Delgado, who would hold the seat until January 2021 if she survives Madigan’s opposition, spent the weekend calling lawmakers for their support.