Next year, Illinois will celebrate the 200th anniversary of our state gaining statehood, and, as a proud Illinois Democrat, there is no better way to celebrate our state’s bicentennial than a fight for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Well, we’ve officially got one, and it’s in the Democratic primary for governor:
“I am running because we’ve gotten to a point in this country where wealth worship is the only qualifier for public office, trumping public policy. Chopping benefits or declaring strategic bankruptcy or selling companies off in pieces for profit is somehow seen as the secret ingredient for an Illinois utopia,” said (Ameya) Pawar.
Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar is officially running for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Illinois, joining businessman and former University of Illinois Board Chairman Christopher G. Kennedy, who intends to formally launch a gubernatorial bid later this month. CGK and Ameya are probably not going to be alone:
Does Pawar have the wherewithal to go up against the potential primary election cash of Democratic billionaires (Chris Kennedy & JB Pritzker)? Or to take on, maybe, a couple of state senators (Kwame Raoul & Andy Manar), a pair of congresswomen (Robin Kelly & Cheri Bustos) or an Attorney General named Madigan?
A note to gubernatorial candidates and potential gubernatorial candidates: don’t ask me if I want to be your lieutenant-gubernatorial running mate, because the answer is going to be no, and I’m currently serving a two-year term, which includes the spring 2018 primary, as an election judge in Vermilion County.
Patti Blagojevich, the wife of disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, is pulling dirty political tricks in a Chicago aldermanic race between Rahm Emaunel-appointed incumbent Alderwoman Deb Mell, Patti’s sister and Rod’s sister-in-law, Tim Meeghan, and Annisa Wanat:
(33rd Ward of Chicago) Aldermanic challengers Tim Meegan and Annisa Wanat said someone has been putting anti-Mell fliers on car windshields in the Northwest Side ward printed on orange paper to make them look like parking tickets.
Meegan and Wanat said they had nothing to do with the fliers and suspect it’s a political set-up by the Mell campaign — akin to throwing a rock through the window of your own campaign headquarters.
Both challengers also claim to have gotten phone calls complaining about the fliers from a mystery woman who sounds an awful lot like Mell’s sister, former Illinois First Lady Patti Blagojevich.
In the call, the woman identifies herself as a Ravenswood Manor resident who was “leaning toward voting for Tim.” That is, until she saw the orange flier on her windshield dissing Deb Mell as a puppet of her father, retired-Ald. Richard Mell, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel — “with no attribution” about who was responsible for the insult.
“If that was you doing that, it was incredibly cowardly and it really turned me off,” the woman says in the recorded call.
If you’re not convinced that Patti Blagojevich is behind the political-set up of Tim Meegan and Annisa Wanat, this should convince you it is a political-set up of Meegan and Wanat that is being orchestrated by the wife of one of the most corrupt elected officials to have ever held elected office in this country:
Meegan, a social studies teacher at Roosevelt High School and a member of the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, said he has no doubt who placed the call.
“I’m confident it’s Patti Blagojevich. Annisa got the exact same message from the same person,” Meegan said.
“We are alleging that the anti-Mell flier that looked like a parking ticket was produced by the Mell people in order to try and smear her challengers. It’s laughable. It’s a dirty trick. I just can’t believe they would resort to those tactics in order to hang onto the seat.”
Meegan said he didn’t “put two-and-two together” until he heard the recording of another call in which Patti Blagojevich identifies herself by name and asks a neighbor with a Meegan sign on her lawn to consider voting for her sister, Deb.
I call shenanigans on this.
I find it downright ridiculous that Deb Mell’s sister, Patti Blagojevich, would feign consideration of someone other than her sister in an important aldermanic race in Chicago, even going as far print fliers designed to look like parking tickets and attacking her own sister and sending out phone calls to try to frame Tim Meegan over the flyers. This is a blatant political set-up by the wife of a former governor of our state who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for, among other things, trying to sell a vacant U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder and extorting a children’s hospital.
Deb Mell and Rahm Emanuel should publicly denounce Patti Blagojevich’s dirty political tricks, and Patti Blagojevich owes the voters of Chicago’s 33rd Ward an apology.
In addition to an ongoing federal criminal investigation, Chicago (IL) Alderman George Cardenas of the 12th Ward, a close ally of embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is now facing a lawsuit in the Cook County state circuit court from Maria Chavez, a City of Chicago employee who was terminated after she reported Cardenas’s use of city property and employees to campaign for re-election to law enforcement.
Here’s the details of why Cardenas is under federal criminal investigation from the state lawsuit filed against him by Chavez (Chavez is identified by her first name, Maria, in the lawsuit):
12. Throughout her employment with the City of Chicago at the 12th Ward Public Service Office, Maria received multiple positive employment reviews as well as letters of appreciation from local citizens, non-profit organizations and businesses for her efforts for the citizens of the 12th Ward.
13. During the course of the February 2011 Municipal General Election, in which citizens of the City of Chicago elect municipal officers including Mayor, Clerk, Treasurer and Alderman, the City of Chicago’s Office of the Legislative Inspector General received complaints against Cardenas related to allegations that Cardenas was using city property, namely the 12th Ward Public Service Office, and city employees, namely the 12th Ward Public Service Office’s employees, to gather registered voters’ signatures and notarize petition sheets seeking the nomination of Cardenas as 12th Ward Alderman.
14. The City’s Legislative Inspector General’s Office interviewed most but not all of the 12th Ward Public Service Office’s employees. News of the investigation became publically known in mid-2013 through news and radio media reports.
If it is true that George Cardenas used city property and employees for his re-election campaign in violation of federal, state, and/or local laws, than Chavez did the right thing by reporting that to the authorities and Chavez should end his re-election campaign and resign from the Chicago City Council immediately. In any case, voters in the 12th Ward of Chicago should vote for Pete DeMay, Cardenas’s opponent, in the upcoming city council election. DeMay will fight to rebuild Chicago’s middle class.