Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Debate Problem

The group that attempted to sponsor the debate between Ald. Stone and Naisy Dolar is apparently a new group to our community. This was one of the groups who organized a prior debate (the one held at Boone School). My neighbors had never heard of them before (and don't really know what they are about).

What is interesting about this group is how they have taken credit for forcing Greg Brewer into their last debate. This isn't how Brewer explained it, in either of his public communications, but they seem to be a braggy lot. The problem is that this approach will not work with Berny Stone, and it shouldn't.

This group is trying to publicly shame Stone into a debate, which he may or may not have agreed to in the first place. It's really hard to tell. Dolar didn't communicate with us about the debate until after Mike Moses (Stone's campaign spokesman) had already publicly declined to participate (on Stone's behalf). Just from the public information available, it sounds like the WRPCO got ahead of itself in announcing the debate.

But the alderman would show extraordinary weakness if he did participate in this debate. He would be giving power to a group nobody ever heard of before. And he would demonstrate that his word is worthless, something we all suspect but don't have a lot of proof for.

I don't believe that Stone will ever debate. I've stated my reasons below. But if he does debate, I would hope that the debate would be in a neutral setting and sponsored by people who weren't trying to influence the outcome of an election. That's the only fair approach. If you believe in justice and fairness, then you will join me in calling for a public debate between the two candidates in a neutral setting, sponsored by neutral parties. Even if the WRPCO would have fit this standard before, they no longer do. Time to let it go, and push for a different debate sponsored by a different community organization.

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30 Comments:

At March 14, 2007 7:38 AM, Anonymous willow9 said...

Jay:

I attended the Boone school debate on Feb. 7th and found it to be impartial. The WRPCO seemed to do a good job of providing the questions and moderating. I don't know how long the group has been around (I know it is young though). I do not think they should be ruled out for inexperience, they are just "getting their feet wet".

 
At March 14, 2007 7:48 AM, Blogger Jay said...

I don't think they should be ruled out because of inexperience, but because they no longer appear impartial.

Here's the rub: Stone is unlikely to debate anyway, but as long as this controversy exists about the Boone School debate, no progress will be made towards a debate more likely to occur. In other words, if we want a debate to occur, no matter how unlikely, it needs to appear as fair and impartial as possible. Otherwise, Stone will refuse.

I'd like to see someone make an offer he can't refuse. The WRPCO is in no position to do this. But someone else still can.

 
At March 14, 2007 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This group is neither registered as a non profit organization with the Illinois Attorney General Office nor is incorporated in Illinois according to the Secretary of State's Office.

 
At March 14, 2007 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that WRPCO should not become the subject of the debate, but I also think that controversial position fits the group's agenda, which is mainly to promote itself. As a relatively new and little-known community organization, WRPCO would like to use the debate to increase its visibility. It may seem opportunistic, I don't see anything really wrong with that. Planning and hosting two candidates forums is a real service to the ward and the group deserves credit. However, I do agree with Jay that they seem to think too much of themselves and their influence when they think they can publicly shame candidates into participating. I also agree that once that kind of maneuvering starts they've lost their neutrality and there's little chance of reaching agreement.

It's too late for WRPCO, but I'd like to see some other organization simply ask Stone for his conditions and then accept them without change. Where would he hide then?

 
At March 14, 2007 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what other organization in the ward can host the forum? if you can't name orgs, then they don't exist.

 
At March 14, 2007 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said "what other organization in the ward can host the forum? if you can't name orgs, then they don't exist."

I'm not sure to which side this this question is addressed, but one of the problems in the 50th Ward is the lack of a broad-based community organization. I know this is a gap the WRPCO is trying to fill, even though it covers only about half the ward.

Still, there are other groups that could take this on. Mike Moses said without naming names that the alderman was going to participate in a forum hosted by "three or four" community organizations. Likely candidates include the North Boundary Home Owners League (NBHOL), the Peterson Park Improvement Association (PPIA), and the Indo-American Democratic Organization (IADO). Any of these could take on the task. The fact that their memberships are mostly sympathetic to Stone makes it more likely that he would actually participate ... but, of course, he won't.

 
At March 14, 2007 10:28 AM, Blogger Jay said...

To the North Boundary Home Owners League, I would also add West Ridge Historical Society, Rotary Club at Devon Bank and Jewish Community Council of West Rogers Park. Looks like there are lots of candidates for sponsoring a debate.

 
At March 14, 2007 10:40 AM, Anonymous willow9 said...

I received a sheet with the following info on it:

Cook County District Coordinator
University of Illinois Extension
(312)698-7096
Mike Stiehl

They are having a focus group tonight on the needs of the West Ridge Community at St. Timothy Catholic Church, 6326 N. Washtenaw at 7:00 p.m. Perhaps this group setting will be able to suggest a host for an impartial forum since they are not part of the ongoing election.

 
At March 14, 2007 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's get a sanity check on the WRPCO. It's actually a block club and nothing more. Active members of course will tell you a different story that WRPCO is the center of all change in the 5oth.

Baloney!

Many feel that if Brown ever comes out of hiding they would bet money you'll hear a Stone tape play.

There are a number of block clubs in the area any of which could host a debate. Stone only honors WRPCO with an audience because he can control them.

What does that really say to you?

The facts prove that he won't talk or debate with anyone that might cause friction in his little empire.

If by some miracle Stone manages to pull off another 4 years and decides to honor the referrendum, WRPCO at a minimum might gain a patronage seat on the community oversight board,under the guidance of Stone or Illana.

Be careful of this wolf in sheeps clothing!

Stone must go, so must his croanies old AND new.

 
At March 14, 2007 11:07 AM, Anonymous Paddy Bauler said...

Willow is disingenuous when she says the Boone School gathering was impartial.

It was organized by Brian White, a long-time leftist activist from the 49th Ward, who works for a city planning org. which is affiliated with Dawn Clark Netsch.

White was the campaign manager for anti-Moore, anti-Daley candidate, Harrington in '03.

The event was crawling with wine and brie type (Evanston-style) lefties, many from the 49th ward, and all of Naisy's husband's cop buddies were there.

Stone probably sensed a setup and didn't go for that reason.

Wish the Naisyites would stop thinking that we're all blind or mentally deficient. Is that the way their candidate sees the voters?

There are certainly more neutral venues than that.

 
At March 14, 2007 12:28 PM, Blogger Hugh said...

According to Stone's campaign, WRPCO is not impartial enough, oh, and, by the way, no one is.

Moses has been tasked by Stone with providing a series of excuses that will stretch from now until April 17.

Stone will not debate.

 
At March 14, 2007 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why can't the League of Women Voters or another civic organization be the sponsor?

 
At March 14, 2007 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you who just tuned in, Stone rejected the League of Women Voters the first time around. Apparently, they're too activist for his taste. You know, all that talk about voting.

 
At March 14, 2007 2:13 PM, Anonymous Jim in Chicago said...

Jay,

It's not about the WRPCO, it's about Bernie. He would find a reason to object to ANY organization sponsoring a debate including, as has been pointed out above, the League of Women Voters. Sad to see you carrying Stone's water on this one.

And beyond the organization, Bernie would put restrictions on the format. Remember, he only wants "professional questioners". No taking questions from unwashed constituents!

As I understand it, the WRPCO forum is happening on March 21 with or without Alderman Chickensh*t. And the organization is more impartial than you give them credit for: I talked to one of their organizers on Monday and he flat-out rejected my suggestion that they put up the infamous "sleeping Berny" picture in Stone's place if he doesn't show.

 
At March 14, 2007 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not have Hugh Moderate the Debate and Sponsored by Blameeverthingonstone.com

 
At March 14, 2007 2:44 PM, Blogger Jay said...

The point was to stage a debate where Stone would actually show. We all know that he won't because he doesn't have to, but let's make it impossible for him to say no.

It is sad that some people think their alderman doesn't have to be accountable, for anything. So sad.

 
At March 14, 2007 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Paddy Bauler
Thanks for the post. Your rite on the Money with willow9, she is full of BS just like her candidate dolar. She lies thru her teeth as well. With willow9 as I have seen is previous posts this is a personal vendetta for her and a place to vent as well. She worships the devil. Its sad reading some of the posts and the people we live around. Thanks again.

 
At March 14, 2007 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a side note - the North Boundary Home Owners League is an apolitical organization. So while their constituency may be of Stone supporters (and that is in doubt by me personally) the organization itself would be an impartial host.

One other consideration that no one seems to have brought up, is that of logistics. Its only a few weeks until the runoff, and most of these organizations are staffed by volunteers. It seems a lot to ask of them in short time. No doubt, it would be a huge community service, but demanding in time, effort, and communications - not to mention venue procurement and publicity.

 
At March 15, 2007 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not the Democratic Club of the 50th Ward host the debate?

 
At March 15, 2007 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said about willow9 ... "She worships the devil."

I'm confused. I thought she was opposing Stone.

 
At March 15, 2007 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...AKA WILLOW9
Anonymous said about willow9 ... "She worships the devil."

I'm confused. I thought she was opposing Stone.

Willow9 you are correct, you do oppese stone, and all he stands for. get a life!!!

 
At March 15, 2007 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Willow opposes Stone because of a personal animosity to members of his family.Every statement Willow posts is motivated by that ,and WENDY(Willow)is using the campaign as HER personal vehicle to grind her ax.

 
At March 15, 2007 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay,time to check the company you keep--your fellow former Brewer supporter ,on Coyle,just posted a link to a NEO-NAZI web-site on Morris' moderated(censored) WRP site--The poster is TOO intelligent not to know exactly WHAT the site IS!

 
At March 16, 2007 2:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so?

 
At March 17, 2007 8:33 PM, Anonymous SO YOU SAID!! said...

SO!,now the BIGOTRY is no longer being denied--SO! a NEO_NAZI web site is linked to on HENRY MORRIS' "wonderful neighbor" wrp site by none other than MORRIS'SITE PARTNER,SO!,now the public sees HOW two electronic LEADERS of the HATE STONE crowd REALLY THINK AND FEEL---

 
At March 18, 2007 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so?

 
At March 18, 2007 11:47 AM, Blogger Hugh said...

Stone Vows Not to Shave, Starts "Debate Beard"

Alderman Bernard L. Stone has REFUSED TO SHAVE until challenger Naisy Dolar agrees to debate him, Stone announced Thursday at a press conference at his 50the ward office.

After Stone took office in 1974, his first priority was ousting the ward Democratic Committeeman and ward Streets & Sanitation superintendent he inherited, so he could replace them with pals. The committeeman Stone inherited was Jerome Huppert, a sitting Cook County Commissioner, firmly ensconced as chair of the County Board's powerful Finance Committee. The long-time ward super was Joseph Myers, who was nearing retirement, boosting his pension with every additional year on the job. Neither man was inclined to going anywhere anytime soon. Their refusal to tender their resignations to the new alderman cramped Stone's style.

The Great Blizzard of Chicago of January, 1979 was back in Stone's 2nd term as Alderman. Stone used this natural disaster as an opportunity to embarrass his Streets & San sup. On January 12 Stone vowed not to shave until the streets and alleys of the 50th ward were cleared of snow.

Stone's facial bloom was 13 days young when his best friend, made-man Alderman Fred Roti (1st) and Alderman John Madrzyk (13th), annoyed at his scraggly appearance, surprised Stone in his City Hall office and forcibly shaved him. Madrzyk held Stone down while Roti did the deed with an electric razor.

"He was an ungodly sight," Madrzyk said. "It [growing the beard] was just a publicity stunt."

The beard gone, Myers remained on the job.

This week, in honor of the 28th anniversary of his "snow-beard," Stone has once again vowed not to shave - this time until Dolar agrees to face him in a public forum before the citizens of the 50th ward!

 
At March 18, 2007 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Willow is a devil worshipper? If I recall, one of her posts was a definition of "alderman" in Ambrose Bierce's "Devils Dictionary". Does quoting Ambrose Bierce make one a devil worshipper?

 
At March 18, 2007 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

About stealing signs:it has a fascistic quality to it. What will be next?

 
At March 18, 2007 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the 8:33 PM post from yesterday. Westgard's article is anti-Nazi. It helps to read the whole article, not just the first sentence.

 

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