John Curry: Candidate for Republican Committeeman in 32

 

Ever since William Hale Thompson, possibly the most corrupt politician in America’s history, ended his term as Mayor of Chicago in 1931, Republicans have become nothing more than an afterthought in the city. As political junkies and insiders prepare for several interesting

Former Chicago Mayor William Thompson

committeeman races among Democrats, including one in 32, the Republican races are largely ignored, or worse mocked.

That’s a view that even long time 32nd Ward Republican Committeeman John Curry agrees with. “The party unfortunately has been run down over a number of years with no money in the bank,” said Curry in an exclusive interview with the Welles Park Bulldog. Curry continued with a hopefuly sign to the future, “I’m very encouraged by the new leadership.”

Curry singled out the relatively new Cook County Republican Chairman, Sig Vaznelas, saying, “He’s worked hard at assembling a new leadership team.” Curry also said a number of new North and Northwest Side Republican Committeemen are injecting the kind of new blood that he believes will carry the party forward. Curry mentioned a number of relatively new committeemen that he’s confident in: Adam Robinson in 48, Dave Ratowitz in 47, Scott Davis in 44, Jason Cordova in 45, and Chris Cleveland in 43.  He called all these folks, “the nucleus of new Republican party going forward.”

Curry named three main responsibilities for any committeeman: getting out the vote, reach out to people to expand the part, and appointing election judges. The third is of extra importance with the notorious history of Chicago because election judges are, “the first line of the defense against vote fraud,” says Curry.

Curry says that the traditional source of power for committeemen is patronage. “In the past, patronage has been the fuel of a committeeman.” Of course, if you are a Republican committeeman, there’s not much patronage as Republicans control almost nothing in the city. “That’s a good thing,” says Curry because it gives the party an opportunity to grow without getting involved in the practice that has corrupted much of the state.

For Curry, he says five broad goals for the Republicans going forward: improved city wide leadership, development of the party as a reliable institution, an organization that is able to raise funds, one that is respected by the media, and one that can recruit good candidates.

While those goals are worthwhile, lately the only time anyone is talking about the Republicans in Chicago it was for all the wrong reasons. Last summer, a scandal exploded as Chicago Republican Party Chairwoman, Eloise Gerson, accused then Cook County Republican Party employee Jeremy Rose of a sexual assault. She also accused then Cook County Republican Party Chairman, Lee Roupas, of covering up for Rose. The incident in question occurred a year prior and it happened after a party held by the Chicago Young Republicans, of which Rose was President. According to Rose, the incident was investigated and settled internally by the CYR’s and no one was covering up anything. His supporters accused Gerson and her allies of ginning this up in perverted attempted to wrestle control of the party. Gerson and her allies accused their opponents of protecting Rose and also accused many, Curry included, of secretly being Democrats.

“The incident is in the past,” Curry said, “but the blowback has not.” Curry said that the Chicago Republican Party has not held a meeting since the Summer of 2010 and fundraising has been zero. “There were no winners,” he continued, “scome of the dvisive people are on the ballot. I don’t see these people as a positive force for the party.”

In fact, Curry’s opponent, Steve Boulton, was one of those that sided with Gerson and accused Curry and others of secretly being Democrats and protecting Rose against legitimate accusations. Curry refused to speculate on why Boulton is challenging him, “I don’t know what his interest is in this race,” but continuing, “he filed to run in the last day.”

Curry has repeatedly dismissed any accusation that he is sympathetic to Democrats, saying that a couple times he supported Democrats in races where no Republican was running and continuing, “I’ve been involved in Republican politics since the 1970′s.” Curry points out that the 32nd Ward is regularly in the top ten of the fifty wards in terms of Republican turnout.

While Curry believes that such scurrilous accusations only contribute to the divisiveness that he believes is counter productive and hurts the party, he’s not the only one that will face accusations of being a secret Democrat during this campaign. Catherina Wojtowicz, a Tea Party organizer and candidate for Committeeman in 19, is leveling a similar charge against her Republican opponent, Jim Parrilli. In a recent email to supporters, Wojtowicz said this, “One such committeeman is 19th ward GOP Committeeman Jim Parrilli, friend and financial contributor to some of the biggest names in the Cook County Democratic Party!  The GOP committeeman to one of the biggest republican enclaves in the city is a democrat bank roller.  Awesome, huh?”

Republican insiders believe that if only 23% of the City of Chicago went Republican, then the state would turn Red. Curry thinks that is very doable, “I think that’s very doable. Not in one cycle,” continuing, “If the party were to deploy people to do target outreach.”

Welles Park Bulldog is currently working with Curry’s opponent, Steve Boulton, to set up an interview and hopes to bring you that soon.

Budlong Principal critical of CPS, Lack of Support for Longer Day

Principal Al Solomon used his Principal’s Report to the Budlong Local School Council Tuesday to criticize the Chicago Public Schools push for a longer school day telling the council there was a lack of coordination and information coming from the central office about the topic.

Most CPS schools will add 90 minutes to their schedule starting with the 2012-3 school year. The plan for an extended school day was a central feature of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s education plan and also of CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard.

“The Longer School Day Pioneer Program is built on a simple fact – Chicago Public School students spend 15% less time in the classroom than the average American public school student,” according to the CPS web site It is a fact that is disputed.

Solomon started by noting the school had a refugee position that is filled. But the school has not received funding for the position for six weeks, he noted.

Then he noted that Budlong has been reporting truancy of five days and ten days as required, but has discovered that there isn’t a truancy office at the CPS central office.

“Support departments such as Truancy and Refugee are not being funded,” he noted.

Which brought him to the extended school day.

“The plan for the extended day is to use if for recess and lunch,” Solomon said.

“Where is more educational time?” Solomon asked.

Solomon pointed to webinars presented by CPS that extolled the extended day in other districts without giving guidance on how to use the new time in CPS. The webinars lack specifics he said.

What is the plan for the older CPS building, such as Budlong, that lack adequate indoor facilities for recess during inclement weather, Solomon asked.

Budlong was originally constructed in 1907, with additions in 1913, 1955 and 1996, according to the Chicago Public Schools. Its age actually puts it on the younger half of the scale of age for area public school buildings. McPherson, built in 1888, is considered the oldest school building in the area. However it has had a substantial addition to its facilities.

The most recent building in the neighborhood is Courtenay, built in 1949.

Adequate indoor facilities to accomodate recess requirements is a concern for many area schools. However Solomon is the first to address the issue in a public manner.

Solomon said the extended day will have the following effects:

  • Student day extended by 90 minutes.
  • School year extended by 10 additional days (two weeks).
  • Students will receive a 45 minute lunch/ recess each day.
  • Teachers will receive longer lunch periods.
  • Teachers will work 60 additional minutes on class preparation each day (this will take the place of early morning preparation).

 

Examine the CPS site promoting the extended school day.

The Chicago Teachers union Addresses the push for an Extended Day.

Catalyst says extended school hours have a casual relationship with improved test scores.

Read a just released report by teachers on how to use the extended hours.

Read Eric Zorn’s Webliography of resources on the debate about the extended school day.

Read Whet Moser’s analysis of the argument.

Read about the pettiness of CPS and the Union.

The North Side High School Initiative FaceBook Page.

Raise Your Hand for Illinois Education web site.

Grow 47 Web site.

PURE Parents Blog on the longer school day.

 

Transparency Note: Jane Rickard, a Welles Park Bulldog founder, is a CPS employee and member of the Chicago Teachers Union. She works at Budlong and other schools. Rickard is married to the writer, Patrick Boylan.

 

Interview with Paul Rosenfeld: Democratic candidate for Committeeman

Emails go back and forth for about ten days between The Bulldog and Paul Rosenfeld. We are seeking an interview and it isn’t that Rosenfeld is reluctant to meet as it appears he is so busy.

Finally, we nail down a date, late night at Fountain Head on Montrose and Damen.

When Rosenfeld arrives, he explains that he likes to spend his evenings with his children. His politics, he explains, take place after they are in bed.

“I don’t believe you get unless you give,” he says. “By nature you are perpetually giving to your community.” But, his life is centered around his children he says.

With a week to go before the actual nominating petitions are submitted, Rosenfeld predicts the community will see broad support for his candidacy, especially among the parents at Bell School. “More than 50 circulators were active from the ward,” Rosenfeld says.

An active member of Grow 47, Rosenfeld says he thinks his work on developing education initiatives in the ward are more important than becoming Democratice Ward Committeeman.

“My core values,” he says,

  1. “are collaboration in the slatemaking process based on a belief of openness and inclusiveness;
  2. fairness, to give a fair deal to everyone in the ward;
  3. looking out for our neediest neighbors.”
    1. “Help,” he says, for the neediest citizen “is what Democrats have always done.”
  4. Finally, he says, he will support progressive, reform candidates for office.

Rosenfeld says he plans an evaluation committee to assist him in the slate making process. It is this process that largely determines judicial candidates in Cook County. It is the committeeman’s responsibility to select the party slate and build support for it in the community.

When former US House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Jr. said “all politics is local” Rosenfeld heard that call. It is, he says, the reason you give people to affiliate with your party. “Determine their core values and give back to the community,” he says.

But what about Rod Blagojevich, we ask, how do you explain your role as “Lobbyist 2?”

In the indictment of Former Gov. Blagojevich Lobbyist 2, Rosenfeld, is discussed in a recording by Blagojevich.

On November 13, 2008, at approximately 10:05 a.m., ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Fundraiser A. The discussion concerned the status of fundraising efforts. During this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked about Highway Contractor 1. Fundraiser A stated that Lobbyist 1 is still working with Highway Contractor 1. Fundraiser A also advised ROD BLAGOJEVICH that he will be meeting Lobbyist 2 to meet with an individual at Weiss Memorial Hospital. ROD BLAGOJEVICH states: “Yeah, now be real careful there. I mean, the FBI went to see [Lobbyist 2]. You understand?”

Piecing together what happened, the FBI visited Rosenfeld’s home, but he was not there. Rosenfeld called Blagojevich associate Lon Monk about the visit. That alerted Blagojevich to the net that was about to snare him.

“This is old news,” Rosenfeld says. “There have been two trials. I’ve never been a witness, a defendant or even mentioned in the trial.”

“I worked hard to get him elected,” Rosenfeld admits. “It was a huge disappointment.” Rosenfeld points to a public break with Ald. Dick Mell as a key point in his disenchantment with Blagojevich.

“It was the first time in 30 years to elect a Democrat governor,” he says. “We all worked for him.”

 

Review list of clients for Paul Rosenfeld from City of Chicago, Board of Ethics (screengrab) (original).

See a list of political contributions made by Paul Rosenfeld and recorded by the Illinois State Board of Elections * (Page 1) (Page 2) (* Contains any person named Paul Rosenfeld)

See the lobbyist registrations with the Illinois Secretary of State by Paul Rosenfeld

See Government Navigation Group, Inc. Expenditure Summary (Illinois Secretary of State)

See PAR Solutions, LLC registration and list of clients (Illinois Secretary of State)

See Cash America International, Inc. registration (Illinois Secretary of State)

See Government Navigation Group, Inc. Partial Client List (registered with Illinois Secretary of State)

  • Ameresco
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Cash America International, Inc.
  • Childress Duffy Goldblatt, Ltd.
  • Citizens Utility Board
  • Elmotech Inc.
  • Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
  • Fuhrman Engineering, Inc.
  • Global Solutions Group
  • Health Care Service Corporation
  • Illinois Community College Board
  • Illinois Pavement Preservation & Maintenance Assoc.
  • Illinois Restaurant Assoc.
  • Knight E/A, Inc.
  • Leinenweber Baroni & Daffada Consulting LLC
  • Medimmune, Inc.
  • Parsons Transportation Group Inc.
  • Pickering & Assoc LLC
  • Professional Towing & Recovery Operators of Illinois
  • Public Sector Solutions
  • Springfield Consulting Group, LLC
  • The Buona Companies, LLC
  • Wheaton Park District

2nd Ward Map Proposal introduced

A second remapping proposal was submitted to the Chicago City Clerk Friday. The proposal is in opposition to a proposal submitted by about 16 aldermen on Thursday.

Signing on to this proposal are area Aldermen Ameya Pawar, Dick Mell, Pat O’Connor, Harry Osterman and James Cappleman. A total of 32 aldermen have sponsored the second map proposal.

Alderman Scott Waguespack has signed on to sponsor a map largely supported by the Latino aldermen that was submitted on Thursday.

Passage through City Council by December 31 by 41 votes would preclude a public ballot on the proposal. That seems very doubtful now.

A simple majority vote of the Council, 26 votes, will cause adoption of a map. However, if that happens, the map would still require approval of the voters.

 


View Map for a Better Chicago in a larger map

Map boundaries are approximate. Credit: Welles Bulldog Graphics

O’Connor: Another map expected tomorrow

Ald. Pat O’Connor, in an exclusive interview with The Bulldog, said he expects another map proposal to be put forward tomorrow with consideration by the City Council of the competing proposals at its January 18th meeting.

December 31st is not a drop-dead date, O’Connor noted. While 41 votes are required for a proposal with no public referendum, only 26 votes, a majority of the council, is required for a map to be adopted, he said.

[Editors note: The Bulldog had said in earlier stories that 41 votes are required to pass a map, with Dec. 31st as the deadline. Passage can happen with a majority even after Dec. 31st. However the voters would then get a chance to vote on the map.]

“We didn’t want to file a plan till we had an agreement,” O’Connor said. O’Connor said the 16 aldermen who proposed today’s map felt they had to get their side out. However, a proposal that he said will have 32 supporters will be filed tomorrow.

“We’ve been working on the boundaries for four weeks,” O’Connor said. These aldermen who filed the map today “didn’t think the talks were going quick enough.”

“This is a fluid process,” O’Connor said. “Everyone needs to see how it develops.”

O’Connor said none of the North Side aldermen had signed on to the map filed today. Cappleman, who co-sponsored the map ‘Taxpayer Protection Map’, will support the proposal being put forward tomorrow, O’Connor noted.

Calls were left for Ald. Fioretti, Cochran, Mell, and Waguespack. Ald. Cappleman’s office returned our calls before O’Connor’s statement about him supporting the map to be filed tomorrow.

 


View Taxpayer Protection Map- Northside in a larger map
Map based on filing with Chicago City Clerk. Boundaries may not be exact.

Remap proposal puts Roscoe Village in 20th Ward

A map proposal filed with the Chicago City Clerk today suggests that Roscoe Village would join the 20th Ward. The map was also Twittered by Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey and Ald. Bob Fioretti.

Proposals for the remapping must pass City Council by a 41 vote majority before year end or two proposals will be put to a vote before the voters in the primary election in spring 2012. No remap proposal has yet been put before City Council. The council could still meet before the end of the month. However, no meetings are currently scheduled.

The map is called the Taxpayer Protection Map. It was sponsored by Ald. Proco Joe Moreno, Bob Fioretti, John Pope, James Balcer, George Cardenas, Marty Quinn, Ricardo Munoz, Daniel Solis, Roberto Maldonado, Ariel Reboyras, Regner Ray Suarez, Scott Waguespack, Rey Colón, Michele Smith, John Arena and James Cappleman.

The picture of the ward is dubbed an Hispanic draft by Fritchey. 20th Ward is currently a South Side ward represented by Ald. Willie Cochran.

Population shifts have caused historically black wards to lose population, largely at the expense of a growing Hispanic population.

If the picture is close to what is proposed what amounts to a new ward would be created on the North Side. Its borders would generally be Addison Street on the north, Western Avenue on the west and what appears to be Ashland Avenue on the east. (Read the legal description of the new 20th Ward).

Two ‘panhandles’ would reach out from the ward to catch parts of Lakeview and Logan Square.

Fritchey told The Bulldog at least two proposals seem to call for a new ward to be created from the 32nd Ward. The picture shows a proposal calling for the 20th Ward to be inserted, but Fritchey noted that another proposal calls for the 2nd Ward, currently represented by Ald. Bob Fioretti, to be centered in Roscoe Village.

Fritchey, who noted he is not involved in the city process, said the area will need to rely on the new alderman to address its needs. “They’d have a new alderman,” Fritchey said, represented by an alderman and committeemen elected by another part of the city until the next election.

Fritchey said Cook County remapping would start next year. He told The Bulldog he does not expect the county process to be as contentious as the city process.

The 32nd Ward would migrate south, finding a more rectangular shape centered in the Bucktown neighborhood. (Read the legal description of the 32nd ward).

The 47th Ward would retain most of its current territory, with a northern boundary meeting the 40th Ward near Foster. (Read the legal description of the 47th Ward).

 

Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey twittered a picture of what he calls a draft Hispanic Caucus map.

On the right, a 'draft' Hispanic Caucus remap proposal for the Chicago City Council. Credit: John Fritchey

 

Two Charged in Three Saturday Home Invasions

Chicago Police arrested a South Side man and a South Bend, Ind. man Saturday, charging the pair with a series of armed home invasions on the North and West Side, including in the 1800 Block of Cuyler on Saturday.

Charged was Aaron Smith, 22, of South Bend, Ind. with four counts of Home Invasion. Also charged was Joe Parker, 20, of the 5500 Block of South Aberdeen. Parker was charged with four counts of Home Invasion.

An early morning invasion in the 900 Block of West Sheridan Rd at 1.30A Saturday started the crime spree according to News Affairs officer Veejy Zala. After kicking in the door to the residence, the perpetrators threatened the occupants with a gun.

The North Center home invasion started about 5.30A when the perpetrators kicked in the door to an 1800 W Cuyler residence. A shot was fired into the floor and a victim claims to have suffered “flash burns” according to Chicago Police.

The final home invasion started about 4.22P Saturday. The two perpetrators claimed to be having car problems, gaining entry to a building in the 1100 block of West 13th St.

The perpetrators fled the scene, according to police, in a blue vehicle with out of state plates.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, a University of Illinois Chicago Police Officer activated a GPS monitoring device in a phone taken during the heists. The device brought police to the 100 block of West North Ave where Smith and Parker were observed in a stolen vehicle about 5P, the Tribune says.

One of the suspects was arrested after a foot chase. The second suspect was arrested near Belmont on Clark St. Police say they recovered one victim’s wallet and a .357 long-barrel revolver.

The Cook County States Attorney said Smith was denied a bond. Bond for set at $300,000 for Parker.

*** Update Mon., Dec. 11 @ 9.10P  Why did we strike the words ‘long-barrel’?

We reviewed the police release and other material and found that it was drawn from a report in the Chicago Tribune about the arrest. The story said ‘officers recovered a long-barrel .357 Magnum revolver’.

The words Magnum in the description set our alarms off. The Bulldog asked police and the states attorney about seizing such a weapon. In most cases a Magnum is not a type of weapon, but a type of casing or ammunition.

A ‘long-barrel’ is also a weapon description. Such a weapon is typically used in sporting competition for target practice.

The inclusion of the description of the weapon as a .357 Magnum set off our alarms. But, we should not have included the words ‘long-barrel’ in the description as that is also a technical weapon type and the weapon is described by police as a loaded .357 revolver. It also means that we borrowed from the Tribune story without attribution.

Police confirmed the remaining details. However we feel, in retrospect, that this story is sensational enough without the extra words.

We apologize for our error. ***

Sheriff’s Office Mum on Prior Spokesperson’s Controversial Statements

The Cook County Sheriff’s department refused repeated attempts by the Welles Park Bulldog to confirm or deny several very provocative comments by Steve Patterson, who was the official spokesperson for the department until November 2011. Patterson made it clear that the Sheriff’s Department did NOT support a very controversial ordinance passed by the Cook County board ending its cooperation with ICE detainer program. Patterson also claimed that the costs cited in the ordinance are significantly inflated. The Cook County Board cited a cost of $15 million yearly as a reason for no longer cooperating with ICE. Patterson said the true cost was $250-500,000. He also said the Sheriff’s Department stopped cooperating with those crafting the ordinance, namely Jesus Garcia and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, when those two made it clear that the ordinance would be far more sweeping than Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office wanted.

The Sheriff’s Department has declined to respond confirming or denying several statements by Patterson including, “During our initial conversations with county officials about it, we suggested they look to San Francisco for a basis, have public hearings, take detainers on a case-by-case basis, etc. When they refused to do any of those, we were no longer involved in discussions,” and, “The fact that you have local governments interpreting and enforcing federal policy differently all across the country is pretty frightening. It’s pretty insane that federal policy and whether you get deported could be decided by which side of Lake-Cook Road you get pulled over right now,” and finally, “When they wanted a more sweeping ordinance that would let everybody go free no matter what their criminal charge was, we just backed away from the conversation.”

The Sheriff’s Department refused repeated attempts for comments on these comments by Patterson, who left the office in November, even though its current spokesperson, Frank Bilecki, was very helpful and responded to numerous local and national media when it was revealed that Sharon Bialek was being evicted. The Sheriff’s Department is responsible for serving any eviction notices and Bialek lives in Cook County.

Back in June, Dart sat down with an interview with Chip Mitchell of WBEZ that seemed to start the ball rolling on this ordinance when he told Mitchell he was reconsidering cooperating with ICE on detainers. In the piece, Sheriff Michael Hennessy was mentioned. That’s because back in May, Hennessy decided that its office would not cooperate with ICE detainers in the case of non-violent offenders like those picked up for traffic violations and possession of small amounts of drugs.

The difference between the action of Hennessy and the Cook County Board was in the case of San Francisco County the Sheriff gave himself discretion about which detainers to comply with. The Sheriff chose not to comply with those of non- violent offenders especially those picked up for traffic offenses. As such, Peter Kramer, Chief Legal Counsel for the Sheriff’s Office, simply said this at the Board meeting prior to the passage of the ordinance, “If the ordinance passes, and the state’s attorney says it’s a valid exercise of your budgetary authority, we will enforce it,”

That’s of course something the Sheriff’s office would say of any ordinance, a point not lost on Commissioner John Fritchey, of Chicago’s Northwest Side, who responded, “Your initial statement has me somewhat perplexed,” continuing, “that’s going to be your position on anything this board passes.”

Kramer wasn’t the only person in the Sheriff’s office to offer statements skeptical of the ordinance. Former Dart spokesperson Steve Patterson told the  Welles Park Bulldog, “During our initial conversations with county officials about it, we suggested they look to San Francisco for a basis, have public hearings, take detainers on a case-by-case basis, etc. When they refused to do any of those, we were no longer involved in discussions.”

This wasn’t the only provocative statement made by Patterson.  He once told the Daily Herald, “The fact that you have local governments interpreting and enforcing federal policy differently all across the country is pretty frightening,” Patterson said. “It’s pretty insane that federal policy and whether you get deported could be decided by which side of Lake-Cook Road you get pulled over right now.” He told the AP, “When they wanted a more sweeping ordinance that would let everybody go free no matter what their criminal charge was, we just backed away from the conversation.”

Worse yet, Patterson told multiple news outlets that the cost of holding detainers is not $15 million yearly to the County but somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000.

Those are assertions that have no basis in fact, say proponents of the ordinance. Viviana Martinez, Chief of Staff to Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia, said that the $15 million figure came from the Sheriff’s office. Meanwhile, both Garcia’s office and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle say that representatives of the Sheriff’s office were involved every step of the way in crafting the ordinance.

Garcia staffer Alvaro Obregon, responded in the Welles Park Bulldog to Patterson’s assertion, “that’s factually inaccurate,”

Following a recent Cook County Board meeting Preckwinkle sternly said, “The Cook County Sheriff’s office was in the room the entire time this ordinance was crafted.”

Without a response, it’s impossible to know if the entire County Board is lying or if the Sheriff’s Department had a rogue spokesperson that was allowed for weeks to make false and misleading comments with no action taken. Both have significant consequences especially since this ordinance has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster since the moment it was passed, and even before then.

Before it was passed, the Sheriff’s Department surprised the County Board when the office refused to back the ordinance when it came up for debate in front of the Cook County Board.

When Peter Kramer, Chief General Counsel for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, spoke in front of the Cook County Board on September 7th regarding the controversial ordinance that the board would pass refused to offer an opinion. “If the ordinance passes, and the state’s attorney says it’s a valid exercise of your budgetary authority, we will enforce it,” said Kramer.

A stunned John Fritchey, a Cook County Commissioner from the Northwest Side of Chicago responded by pointing out the obvious, “Your initial statement has me somewhat perplexed,” continuing, “that’s going to be your position on anything this board passes.”

From there, Joan Murphy claimed that felons wouldn’t be let, only to have the Sun Times embarrass her the very next day by highlighting the case of Eduardo Sanchez, a very mean looking criminal felon who was released because of the ordinance.

mug shot of Eduardo Sanchez

That was followed by a story in the Northwest Suburbs, broken by the Daily Herald, which highlighted three other criminal illegal aliens who beat up a cop that were let go. From there, there was a number of finger pointing as the ordinance became a toxic public relations nightmare for all involved.  Now, the Sheriff’s Department can’t confirm statements made by a former employee.

 

Three vie for 47th Dem committeeman spot; Races in 32nd Ward Dem and 3 GOP positions

On the final day of filing two additional persons entered petitions to create a three-man race in the 47th Ward Democratic Committeeman race. There were also races for the GOP and Democratic Committeeman race in the 49th Ward, and the 32nd, 33rd and 40th Ward GOP Committeemen races.

Scott Waguespack and John Fritchey were already contesting the 32nd Ward Democratic Committeeman position.

Richard Mell, Pat O’Connor, Tom Tunney and James Cappleman are running for Democratic Committeemen unopposed in the 33rd, 40th, 44th and 46th Wards.

Scott Davis and Diane Shapiro are running unopposed for Republican Committeeman in the 44th and the 46th Wards.

Incumbent boss Eugene Schulter faces two challengers in the 47th Ward. Former Alderman Schulter gave up on what promised to be another term as alderman in January to seek selection to the Cook County Board of Review. That effort was to end poorly as Michael Cabonargi was selected for the Board of Review spot and the aldermanic position was lost by the regular organization to newcomer Ameya Pawar.

Schulter, first won the committeeman spot in 2004.  He backed ward residents Tom O’Donnell for alderman in 2011, Dan Farley for Statehouse in 2010, Independent Forrest Claypool over Cook County Democratic boss Joe Berrios in 2010 and Dan Hynes for US Senate in 2004.

Schulter first sought the post in 2000, but lost that year to his mentor, Ed Kelly. Kelly ran a candidate against Schulter in the 2003 municipal elections, Jack Lydon. After Schulter’s victory, Kelly stepped down in 2004.

Lydon contributes to The Bulldog as a sports writer.

Opposing Schulter is Paul Rosenfeld and Peter Coffey, both of the East Horner Park neighborhood.

Coffey is the Director of Government Affairs at DePaul University and, according to LinkedIn, was the past Director of Government Affairs at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Rosenfeld and his family are active members of the Bell School community and Grow 47. His role in the Blagojevich scandal as “Lobbyist 2″ was acknowledged in an exclusive interview with The Bulldog.

His candidacy is backed by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, according to the Chicago News Coop. “It is an endorsement of Paul,” Preckwinkle said of her attendance at (a) fundraiser for Rosenfeld. “I worked with Gene. I just think that Paul will bring the kind of energy and progressive vision that I share” the CNC said in a September article.

In the 32nd Ward, a race between Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey and Alderman Scott Waguespack promises fireworks.

As reported by The Bulldog, Fritchey criticized Waguespack for his vote on the city budget last month. Waguespack was opposed in his reelection bid by two candidates associated with Fritchey. Both Fritchey and Waguespack have reformer credentials, with Waguespack leading the opposition to former Mayor Richard M Daley in City Council and Fritchey leading efforts to reform Cook County government since his election to the Cook County Board.

Incumbent Republican Committeeman John Curry faces challenger Stephen Boulton to be boss of the 32nd Ward party.

Curry has been active in the Republican Party since he was in college at Northwestern. He reports he is a third generation Chicago Republican. A lawyer, Curry is a resident of the Bucktown neighborhood.

Boulton is a partner at McCarthy Duffy, according to his LinkedIn Profile.

Scott Campbell and Gregory Eidukas are both running for the 33rd Ward GOP boss slot. In the 40th Ward Rafael Chagin is opposing Bill Powers for the post.

New services rolling out: Email, donations and a store

Over the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out additional services we hope will enhance your experience and also resolve a key issue here: How do we get paid?

This morning The Bulldog rolls out an email service and a store. In addition, we’ve made it easier to donate to The Dog. There is a place in our NAV Bar and at the bottom of the page for donations. The bottom of the page also includes a Kachingle widget for small regular and automatic donations.

For some time it has been obvious that we are not addressing your need to get our information in all the ways you want to receive them. We are small and struggle with providing the Tweets, FaceBook updates and other interactions required. It is tough to write good stories and be out there selling advertising and interact with readers too.

However it is part of our mission to provide you with award-winning local journalism. And the new services all address that mission.

The email service creates a new channel for you. We’ll deliver the news you want in a format you want. Unlike our competitors email lists, we are drilling down, looking for the interaction of location and news by asking you about what school you live near, what neighborhoods you reside in.

We’ll be issuing the first email this week and we’re interested in your feedback.

Our store also launches today. It only features a few items at the moment. However we’ll add more. The store items generally do not prominently say “BULLDOG” on them. It was not our intent to be wearing our marketing on our sleeve. We wanted to offer you merchandise you’d proudly use as an expression of the neighborhood.

The store features the normal stuff: coffee mugs, hoodies, hats, dog bowls (really? Yes, I guess so.). You can show your neighborhood pride and support The Dog too. Pretty cool.

We expect the store to provide you with high quality merchandise and the opportunity to find very local products. We don’t expect the store alone or the donations alone to support our efforts. However this revenue issue calls for many answers.

Our editorial is not changing much. We’ll still showcase our local journalism in the top area we call the Carousel. Local Sports will remain on the right column and Other Local News will share its spot in what we call Column Two.

Together these simple columns have collected seven journalism awards this year. That’s pretty exciting for the citizen journalists who make up this site. You can join the Bulldog too. Contact Patrick (at) WellesParkBulldog (dot) com.