Sunday, December 31, 2006

Season's Greetings

First salvo goes to Aftab.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

No Objections in the 50th

No objections (PDF) were filed against any of the four candidates who filed petitions earlier this month. This may be seen as a stunning result. While we can understand why Ald. Stone would not object to his numerous challengers (Conventional Wisdom says that the more challengers on the ballot, the better for Stone), I expected Naisy Dolar to challenger "Sal" Aftab - who afterall divides the Asian American vote - and Greg Brewer to challenge Dolar. But the deadline passed yesterday with nothing but a whimper for the 50th.

Candidates have until the first week of February to remove their name from the ballot, but if all four remain in the race, your ballot will look like this (PDF):

  • Bernard L. Stone
  • Naisy Dolar
  • Greg Brewer
  • Salman Aftab

Consider this an open thread on where this race stands at the end of 2006. Understand, as some commenters have observed, that outlandish (or unsupportable) claims and inappropriate comments will be removed. I don't want to discourage idle speculation, but this blog has seen several rather outrageous statements that I knew to be untrue. They were (and will continue to be) removed.

Lady and Gentlemen! Start your engines!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Naisy's expanded web presence

Perhaps we should we call it a cult of personality?

Like most of you, I am on Naisy's email list. I didn't want to be on it, but they kept bugging me. "It's the best way to stay informed about Naisy's campaign," they said. Now I've been on awhile, since I attended an early coffee, but I can't really say that I was ever "informed about Naisy's campaign." I've been asked for money, or to volunteer. I just never heard about Naisy's campaign.

That's probably too harsh, because I may have expected too much. I wanted to hear about her plans for the future, about her goals as alderman, about how she would address the pressing needs of the ward. Her only response to that was, "I'll listen." She's what I'd call a "blank slate." That worries me.

From the beginning, Naisy's campaign has been all about Naisy. "I want to be the first Asian American Alderman!" It seems to me that it's never been about the 50th Ward. And that's too bad.

The latest missive from Naisy's campaign only reinforces my impression that her campaign is slipping into a cult of personality:

"Naisy has expanded her web presence in an effort to keep all of you informed of the goings on in the campaign. This expanded web presence will make it easy for all of you to share news, announcements, photos and even videos with friends and family who are interested in Naisy. Many of you already have accounts with Facebook, MySpace and YouTube so please be sure to add her as a friend or subscribe to her videos."

Naisy on Facebook:

Naisy on MySpace:

Naisy on YouTube:

There you have it! Now, if you can find
her plans for the future, or her goals as alderman, or how she would address the needs of the ward, please comment! Everyone would all be interested in that.

We already have an alderman who is centered around himself. Ald. Stone, like Naisy, seems to have no plans for the future of the ward, just personal goals like becoming the oldest alderman ever - and passing the position over to Ilana. What I like about Greg Brewer's site is that there are plans for the future, ward needs identified, initial steps towards solutions offered. I'll be accused of shilling for Brewer, but maybe that's because Naisy wasn't the person I need to be.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Otherwise, this would be one of the hottest races in the city."

My dad is real smart politically. He likes to point out that all of Ald. Stone's election opponents have since left the ward. That is the power of Berny Stone. My dad, who's watched ward politics for longer than I have, says that Stone likes to "set people up," before he knocks them out. It's a boxing analogy. Maybe Stone fancies himself a street fighter.

I watch this race from that perspective. We now know that 4 people have filed, including Stone. I, like the reporter, wonder why Stone hasn't retired. His health is a tremendous concern. But that's another conversation. I worry that voters may be losing the nerve for this race. Concerns in the ward have been echoed by Rich Miller: "That fight in 50 is gonna be interesting. The best news for the broken down warhorse incumbent Bernie Stone is that he faces two strong opponents, who could cancel each other out. Otherwise, this would be one of the hottest races in the city."

More telling, I have neighbors who say they want to remain neutral until "We know who Stone's opponent will be." If my dad is right, Stone's opponent will be no one. The other people on the ballot will be beating up each other. That's no good. We need some heroes.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ye Olde Aldertrack

Aldertrack has moved.

The old version had this on its 50th Ward page:

50th Ward – Alderman Bernie Stone

50th Ward – Committeeman Bernie Stone

Potential Challengers

Greg Brewer, co-founder of Citizens for Responsible Development,

Funds ~ June 2006 (“Citizens for Brewer”): $17,450

Salman Aftab,

Funds ~ Oct. 2006 (“Salman Aftab Campaign Fund”): N/A – Filed on paper” 10-10-06

Naisy Dolar,

Funds ~ June. 2006 (“Neighbors for Naisy Dolar”): $4,035

The new page is better, but without this information.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Signs of the Times

Sunday, December 10, 2006

SEIU and the 50th

The big stalking horse in the upcoming alderman elections is SEIU, the Service Employees International Union. Naisy Dolar tells us that she has the backing of SEIU and that she already has SEIU people working for her. This is a big boost for her campaign.

But Ald. Berny Stone is not convinced. He tells the Sun-Times that "He expects most labor unions involved in the building trades to continue to support him as they have in the past. He even predicts that the 50th Ward candidate being groomed for SEIU backing [ie, Dolar] won't emerge as his main challenger."

The reason that Stone isn't worried about SEIU is that he's got his eyes firmly on Greg Brewer. That crafty old devil has been attacking Brewer at every opportunity. Berny plays dirty. He's as mean as they come. He literally revels in it. But he's so afraid of Greg Brewer that he accuses Brewer of having someone "planted in the dept. of planning." He is that paranoid. Brewer's reponse to one of Berny's attacks can be found here.

The thing I don't understand is why SEIU wants to split the anti-Stone vote. As much as I like Naisy Dolar (she's cute!), even I can't imagine her as my alderman. She's only 30 and just had her second child. With two small children in her house, she won't have much time to be alderman. She's just not ready to be our alderman. Her family has to come first-and we should respect that.

Dick Simpson, dean of Chicago's reform wing, says that "You have to have a credible challenger," someone who's spent the "time to position themselves and do the early fundraising." There seems to be general agreement in the ward that the only credible challenger in this race is Greg Brewer. He has "the best organized and well-funded campaign of the three."

Berny Stone can afford to be cocky about his re-election as long as Dolar and SEIU are intent on splitting the anti-Stone vote. Multiple candidates allow Stone to play his game of whispering in the ear of one campaign about how the other campaign has dissed them. The community really needs to coalesce around one candidate. That candidate should be Greg Brewer in his battle with Berny Stone. If beating Stone is your goal, then Brewer is your candidate. I only wish I could explain that to SEIU.