Monday, April 30, 2007

It was a Turn-Out Election

Ald. Stone was right to credit Mike Noonan and the Daley forces for his victory. As Dick Vitale would say, It Was All About Turnout, Baby!

The 50th Ward had a net increase in registered voters (24,709 > 25,287) as well as people who voted in the April 17th election (10,489 > 11,269). The additional 780 people who voted in the April runoff increased turnout from 42.5% to 45%. But what is interesting is where this increase in turnout came.

Of the 24 precincts that gained in turnout above the ward average, all but 6 (Precincts 15, 42, 35, 13, 4 and 7) of them gave Ald. Stone a majority of their votes. The top 12 precincts that gained in turnout all went to Stone, and the top 3 (45, 39 amd 40) each voted more the 73% for Stone. These 18 precincts gave Stone an additional 564 (out of his gain of 896) over what he got out of them in February.

Red: Turnout > 65% (4): 38, 12, 16, 14
Dark Green: Turnout 55-64% (10): 1, 3, 31, 27, 41, 15, 45, 11, 5, 40
Light Green: Turnout 45-54% (12): 30, 7, 42, 21, 36, 2, 39, 25, 18, 44, 35, 10
Light Blue: Turnout 35-44% (12): 4, 19, 37, 20, 6, 9, 33, 28, 29, 34, 23, 43
Yellow: Turnout 25-34% (7): 13, 17, 26, 22, 8, 24, 32

The difference between the Stone campaign's to turnout voters and Dolar's is clear. Outside of Precinct 15, all of the dark hues are west of California, in Stone precincts. This is why Stone won. Stone had a much better Election Day than Dolar. Given the charges that Dolar supporters are making, it appears that Stone was much better prepared, as well.

In contrast, Dolar only got 86 (out of 432) additional votes out of the six precincts that gained in turnout above the ward average. This column combined the votes that Dolar received in February with those of Greg Brewer, who endorsed Dolar in the run-off, which was then subtracted from the April numbers. The working assumption is that a vote for Brewer was also a vote against Stone and thus would transfer to Dolar (if they came out to vote).

Despite gaining 432 more votes than the two received in February, Dolar still suffered a net decline in some precincts. Nine precincts, all but two west of California, gave Dolar fewer votes than she and Brewer combined received in February. Another three, only one west of California, gave Dolar no net increase but exactly what the two of them combined did in February.

Blue: Dolar Decline in April Vote over Feb Dolar+Brewer votes
Green: No Increase in Dolar Vote in April over Feb Dolar+Brewer votes

Finally, seven precincts, all but two east of California, showed actual declines in voter turnout in April. While the rest of the ward was showing up in greater numbers, these precincts (6, 34, 17, 24, 21, 37, 32) had fewer voters turn out.

What we see here is that the SEIU poll correctly predicted that some Brewer voters would not vote for Naisy Dolar. For whatever reason, some voters who were drawn to Greg Brewer could not come out and vote for Dolar. That same poll also predicted that Dolar's voters would turn out for Brewer, which is why SEIU tried to convince Dolar to drop out of the race. The April results seem to support SEIU here.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Brewer Announces 50th Ward Independent Alliance

Greg Brewer, who was the primary thorn in Ald. Stone's side for all of 2006, seems committed to stay there. Today, he announced the formation of an independent political organization:

Even better than dealing with issues as they occur is carrying forward the lessons of each election to plan and prepare for the next. As individuals we can help ensure fair elections by working as election judges or volunteering as pollwatchers in each and every election. But we can be even more effective by working together as a group, pooling our resources and building a knowledge base.

With that as our goal, I propose creating an independent political organization for the 50th Ward. Early next week I will announce the details of an organizational meeting to take place the week of May 7. In the meantime, please feel free to send me your ideas or post them here.

Let's not lose what we've started. Thank you.

This is an exciting prospect, allowing those people who are interested in watching the alderman and the Chicago Machine vigilantly a credible vehicle. This is terrific news for the residents of the 50th.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Vote Divided

April 17 exposed the wounds. The 50th Ward is unusually divided, and this election showed that.

The final result, with Stone getting 53% and Dolar receiving 47%, seemed like a close election, but that was true mostly in the totals. Close elections tend to bunch up in the middle, with a large percentage of electoral districts returning results between 55% to 45% for two candidates. For example, the 2004 Presidential Election followed the normal pattern, with fully 20 states bunching up in the middle. The April 17th runoff election, in contrast, had 4 precincts bunched up in the middle, between 55% to 45% for Stone (or Dolar).

The 2004 Presidential Election saw one "state," the District of Columbia, with the winner over 75% of the vote in that electoral district. The April 17th election had 14 precincts where the winner had 75% or more of votes (seven for Stone and seven for Dolar). Instead of the Bell Curve that we are all familiar with, the April 17th election had a decidedly inverted Bell Curve, with an overwhelming majority of precincts returning a winner of 65% or more. Only 14 precincts had a winner with less than 65% of the votes. The 2004 Presidential Election had only 6 states return a winner with 65% or more.


> 75% (7): 31, 12, 16, 38, 11, 14, 44
65-74% (10): 34, 45, 39, 40, 25, 23, 33, 30, 5, 27
55-64% (8): 41, 10, 3, 28, 17, 24, 1, 26
50-54% (3): 19, 18, 2

50-54% (1): 13
55-64% (2): 32, 4
65-74% (7): 42, 29, 8, 9, 6, 22, 43
> 75% (7): 15, 37, 35, 36, 21, 20, 7


It's difficult to fathom just how divided the 50th Ward is now. But there does seem to be a big black line (actually California) separating the two 50th's. That separation isn't complete, since precincts 18, 19, 28 and 34 are east of California and went for Stone. But as the graphic above shows, voters west of California do seem to love Ald. Stone, while voters east of California mostly do not care for him.

I would guess that this graphic corresponds closely to the level of city services received in each precinct.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

This is What Hatred Sounds Like

As I've said before, the Hate Campaign is a staple of Ald. Stone and his sycophants. One of them, who many of us believe is Ilana, but we commonly identify as CAPSMAN, wrote this:


This is the Voice of Hate. This has all been said before about African-Americans, Jews, Catholics, Irish and Poles, but in this case, it seems to be said about Asian-Americans.

Whoever it is said about, this is the voice of bigotry and intolerance. The fact that this person supports Berny Stone says a lot about Stone and his base. Ald. Stone is infamous for taking people into his office, people who want some kind of normal city service, and berating them, often using ethnic prejudices. While no one believes that this Voice of Hate is actually Ald. Stone, it does represent Ald. Stone.

Be afraid.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Ward Divided

IN JANUARY 2001 the only thing that was clear was that we lived in a divided nation. Here in the 50th, some people thought Al Gore was our rightful president while others were glad that George Bush would be inaugurated.

It may be said that the same is true in April 2007, except it's not the nation that is as divided, but the 50th Ward. And, unlike 2001, there are some (mostly Stone supporters) who are surprised by this division.

What is clear to me is that Ald. Stone has no one to blame but himself. Like George W. Bush, Berny Stone has a tin ear to dissent. He has made numerous errors in judgment, starting with the selecting of his daughter to be his chief-of-staff. Like many of those who lost their offices this year, the 50th has a staff that does not provide a positive customer service experience. Berny Stone almost lost not because he faced an able opponent (and I suspect that people underestimate Naisy Dolar) but because he's made it easy for people to oppose him. He neglects them, they don't support him.

There have been numerous calls for healing, from Stone and others. But after more than 6 years of George Bush, does anyone believe that the nation healed from the 2000 election? I don't know that it's realistic to expect the ward to heal, unless Stone shows some humility and leadership. Whether the ward heals depends on him and how he treats us. No one else can do anything.

Stone can start the healing in the 50th by firing Ilana. It should be clear that she will never be a delightful staffer. She treats residents as if they were pond scum. I don't see that as likely to change. The rest of his staff takes their cues from her (or perhaps they are rude because Ilana is so difficult to work with).

One reason that I don't think it will change is because I believe she likes that people are intimidated by her. I can't imagine what frightening little old ladies gets you, but it must do something for her. If she enjoys playing the intimidator, she is not suited to have contact with residents in a position of authority.

Another step that Berny Stone can take to facilitate healing is to treat all residents the same. The entire ward should receive city services when they are needed and requested. That shouldn't be difficult. It's a mystery why this doesn't already occur.

If Stone really wants the ward to heal, he will start having regular townhall meetings or public question-and-answer sessions. Hiding in his tower or substituting appearances on NTNM for public meetings is no longer tolerable. Moreover, his performance on the 12th has proven that he can do this. The only excuse now is either age or laziness.

Whether the ward heals is entirely up to Bernie Stone. But our dear readers can also do their part. There are some very angry and bitter people who post here, people who don't seem to care for their neighbors. Yes, the ward is changing and these changes do not help Berny Stone. The election is over, and we will live with Ald. Stone. The real question is, will the Stone sycophants live with the dissent that Stone's presence inevitably creates?

In 2004, George Bush went on to get re-elected. But I think history will show Bush as one of our worst presidents, in part because he neglected the people of this country. Berny Stone risks going down in history in much the same terms. His legacy can be seen with every sidewalk that needs repairing, every rodent warning sign, every piece of trash that swirls around. Only Berny Stone can save the tattered legacy of Berny Stone.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Five (now seven) Brewer Supporters...

I've "talked" to five supporters of Greg Brewer's. I asked them how they voted.

* Two said they voted for Naisy Dolar (one said she held her nose).

* Two admitted that they did not vote. One claimed to have forgotten.

* One friend wouldn't tell me. You know who you are. I suspect he voted for Stone.

* Three of the five agreed they were glad the election was over.

By no means is this a scientific sample. But it is an interesting observation. I believe this is what was predicted by the SEIU poll. What do you think?

UPDATE: Make that four votes for Dolar.

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Back to the Stone Age!

Mike Noonan pulls it out:

Alderman 50th Ward 45 of 45 precincts 100.00%
Bernard L. Stone 5,965 52.93%
Naisy Dolar 5,304 47.07%
Total 11,269

Consider this an open thread about the election. Try to keep it positive.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Case for the 50th Ward

It is not uncommon for voters to vote for or against a candidate. Ideally, we want to vote for the best person for the job. But I'd like to offer an additional criteria: I'd like to challenge you to vote for the best person FOR THE WARD.

While a lot of attention has been spent on what the alderman does down at city hall, fundamentally, the work of the alderman is here in the neighborhood. In Chicago, the job of alderman is more one of ward manager than city legislator. Fixing potholes, water mains and sidewalks, keeping the ward clean, and eliminating rodents is not glamorous work, but that's the job we are electing.

One of the stories I remember about our Mayor is that, about a decade ago, he was still going out in the middle of the night, checking to see if an area was basically free of rats. Woe to the alderman who's ward was discovered to be rat-infested. The Mayor was known to dress down those who's ward didn't meet his standard of what a first-class city should be, sometimes publicly.

This reminds us of how strong the Mayor is in Chicago. For some, like the unions, this is bad, because it means that power is concentrated in the Mayor's office. The city council should be more independent of the Mayor. Absolute power is a dangerous thing, and it certainly makes corruption easier.

But there's a reason why we have aldermen and not city councilman. Aldermen are not merely our representatives on the city council, they are our ward managers. Aldermen effectively coordinate the delivery of city services in their ward. The alderman appoints the ward super, who "hangs out" at the alderman's office. The police captain always takes the alderman's call (or so he says). They control what kind of special events go on in the ward. They control zoning and development in the ward, and have real impact on our property taxes. The alderman has a much bigger say in local business, who stays and who comes in, than you might think.

The ward has changed a lot in the last couple of decades. It is no longer the neighborhood that Stone first served or in which Dolar grew up. Many new residents have come in and bought homes, especially during the housing boom. Many of these new residents have come from other wards where the alderman was more attentive to the appearance of the ward and the delivery of services. They do expect more from the alderman.

How you decide who's best for the ward depends on what message you want to send. While I am drawn to the notion of building competing centers of power, I'm not sure that I want one of those centers to be in Jesse Jackson's office (or SEIU's). And in a strong Mayoral system with aldermen instead of councilmen, I expect that a good alderman will focus on neighborhood needs. There's a lot to be done in the 50th Ward, there's a lot that has been neglected in the past few years.

We should "expect more for our ward." What you have to decide on Tuesday is who will be able to DO more for our ward. Consider this an open thread about what needs to be done in the ward in the next four years and who is best to be able to accomplish your goals for the ward. Try to keep it positive.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Case for Naisy Dolar

Again, trying to go out on Tuesday on a positive note. The case for Naisy Dolar may not be as straight-forward, but it's not difficult either. Whether you care for Dolar or not, you have to admit that she has an impressive resume, suited for service at city hall. How many newly-elected (or selected) alderman have five or more years working downtown before they were elected? Ald. Stone didn't.

Naisy Dolar is as invested in the future of the ward as anyone. While Dolar may not have lived here all her life, she has for most of her life and all her adult life. She has children here and owns a home. She has strong ties to the community, both politically and through her activism.

Dolar was methodical in her preparation for this campaign. She ran for a Local School Council, and became involved in local education issues. She conducted her own survey of the community about issues of concern. She met with local influentials in the effort to hear their views (and convince them to support her). She has attempted to build a movement behind community participation.

Dolar has made much out of being the first Asian-American alderman. While I haven't heard that this has caught on among the Asian-Americans in our community (most of those I know support Stone), the cry for diversity has caught on in the greater Chicago area. Naisy Dolar has definitely excited a certain element in our area, and one expects that she would bring that energy and excitement to the city council.

Dolar is young and ambitious. Both could bode well for the 50th. One of the positives many of his supporters cite for Ald. Stone is that he's been there a long time. Dolar has that same potential, longevity in office.

Consider this an open thread about why you support Naisy Dolar in this election. Try to keep it positive.

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The Case for Berny Stone

More than once in the last week, I've heard my friends and neighbors say, "I can't wait until after Tuesday." The perception is that this has been the nastiest campaign ever. While I don't think that's true, I thought we'd end here on a positive note.

The case for Ald. Stone is straight-forward. He's got 34 years of experience as our alderman. He's devoted his later years in life to managing the business of the ward. No one should question that he has a passion for that. The 50th Ward remains a kaleidoscope of culture, something that I think most people here love. West Ridge/Rogers Park makes Chicago feel like an international city. If the alderman is not responsible for that, he has at least maintained the appropriate environment for it to shine.

Unlike some alderman, Stone has open office hours at night, when most people are not working. He accepts every invitation I know of to speak before a local group. He has been accommodating to requests for zoning exemptions for larger families which has been important to major parts of the community. The media loves Stone because he's always good for a quote. Half the ward has been kept exceptionally clean, and Stone is remarkably responsive to requests from his base. There are many people here who are not ready for Stone to retire, especially a forced one. I don't know if I'd say that Stone is much beloved, but he certainly has a strong following in my neighborhood.

Consider this an open thread about why you support Ald. Stone for re-election. Try to keep it positive.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

When is a Debate a Debate?

One commenter challenges the comparison of Stone's debate scheduled for tonight and Dolar's debate held at the Boone School. I won't argue that the analogy is exact, but I do think there is an important comparison.

If I understand correctly, and I know my readers will correct me if I'm wrong, the Boone School debate was sponsored by a group in which Naisy Dolar was a member, and whose referendum she was not only an active participant but devoted campaign resources to in November. I am told that its members are heavily involved in the Dolar campaign. If true, the sponsor could in no way be seen as a neutral party.

Nor can they be seen as the only non-political stakeholder in the community. Stone's collection of sponsors can lay equal claim to that, and certainly have been in the neighborhood longer.

I won't pretend that the Stone debate is any more neutral, merely that neither debate can be viewed as sponsored by an impartial or independent third party. I might even question whether any neutral or impartial parties exist in the 50th Ward. So why should one debate be preferred over the other? The only reason that I can see is that if you support Naisy Dolar, you prefer the Boone School debate. If you support Ald. Stone, you prefer tonight's debate. In trying to be fair, I see no reason to favor one over the other. Neither met the impartial criteria I would have thought necessary.

I don't think the Chicago Tonight appearance can be given equal weight to these two debates held in the neighborhood. It was only six minutes long, and probably had the same viewership as our CANTV-wannabe.

Fairness requires that we set aside the claims of partiality or impartiality here. Both sides have acted in their own interests. Both sides set up their own debates under favorable circumstances. Both sides have sought to skewer the other for not showing up.

But only one side could afford to pass on these debates. Ald. Stone has been the alderman, is well-known to the community, and voters feel they have a good idea what he will (and will not) do. The next four years under Ald. Stone will look basically like the last four years. One side of the ward can expect exceptional city services while the other side of the ward will complain about the lack of the same. Stone's office will remain dysfunctional. He will continue to embarrass us and endure health problems. But many of my neighbors feel he's "our Berny." Warm fuzzies all around, I suppose.

The question then, at least for most voters, is what will Dolar do? And one conclusion that you can draw today is that she won't show up when she's asked. Unless she wants to. Dolar supporters think that sounds harsh. Maybe, but I thought I was to expect more.

Naisy Dolar and her campaign is the one that set up this expectation. They've condemned Ald. Stone's leadership as inadequate, something I agree with. They've offered Dolar as an alternative, even saying that she has demonstrated effective leadership in the past (such as in the 24 hour parking meter "removal").

Ask yourself this question: Did Naisy Dolar demonstrate leadership with her decision about tonight's debate? Dolar claims leadership when the solution was easy for her. But governing the 50th Ward can't be easy, with all the competing interests involved. So the question really is, Is Naisy Dolar up for this job?

Tonight was an opportunity to find out. Was it a trap? Of course it was. But a strong candidate, one who was an effective leader, could have walked into the Lions Den and won over the voters. Dolar denied herself the opportunity to prove that she was an effective leader. She denied the voters the only opportunity to take their own measure of the two candidates side-by-side.

Many voters, but especially those who weren't inclined towards either of these two candidates, look at Character as a decisive factor. I know I do. I look at Berny Stone's character and find it wanting. But I can't really get a handle on Naisy Dolar's character. She's been very erratic, flits from one thing to another. She seems easily persuaded by outside forces. She has no focus. This was an opportunity to show her mettle. It's an opportunity that she declined.

My heart tells me that no one could be worse than Berny Stone as alderman. My head is not so sure. Naisy Dolar hasn't made it easier to vote for her.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

He Said What?

So the Mayor and a number of incumbents in the run-off meet. And the Mayor says, "I don't know why people think I have a PAC. What's this PAC everyone says I got?" I'm paraphrasing. Obviously the Mayor is doing a little sidestep here. If you've watched the Mayor at all, you can even visualize his gestures, because they are very familiar.

Then Ald. Stone chimes in: "You know. Terry just gave me a check for $10,000."

Everyone in the room groaned.

That's our Berny. Embarrassing the Mayor, embarrassing the city. Good Old Berny. You can add to that an overconfident Berny. 52% he predicts. The machine will deliver on Tuesday. It's been a tougher race than he had hoped for, but he'll get 52%. His campaign is coming together now. Naisy Dolar, a confident notes, needs at least 1,000 new voters to even have a chance. That is somehow related to the number of absentees Berny is supposed to have come in. You and I, though, have heard that tune before.

I don't pretend to know how this race will turn out. It's hard to bet against Stone because he got 5,000 votes. I'd expect that if he turned out 5,000 votes again, he wins. But I also don't think Jan Schakowsky would back a loser. She must know something I don't in this race.

It is interesting to see commenters try to spin the No Debate decision. We all have our sides. But no matter what you think about this race, Naisy Dolar refused to participate in the only candidate's forum that Ald. Stone was going to do. Trying to compare an appearance on Chicago Tonight to a debate in the neighborhood is silly. Choosing not to participate is a gamble.

If you asked me, and since it's my blog, I'm assuming you did, I don't think that Stone or his campaign could have pulled off a two-party debate. I would have wanted him to focus all his campaign's energies on trying to do so, with only five days left before election day. I would have invited every bit of media out there, and videotaped the whole thing to put up on youtube. Dolar didn't have to do anything, and she could have forced the Stone campaign to spin its wheels in the last week before the election. Meanwhile, her campaign could continue to go after their pluses, with the field virtually to themselves. (No, I don't think Berny Stone can chew gum and walk at the same time.)

But she didn't wanna. Now there's some fast thinking. In the end, it's the neighborhood that loses, because we will never get to see the two of them side-by-side. If Dolar was right to skip this debate, then no one can fault Stone for skipping the Boone School debate. The WRPCO doesn't even register in my half of the ward.

If Dolar loses, as Stone thinks she will, you can point to this decision as an indicator of her forth-coming loss. If she wins, then she should be grateful for the advise she got. They will have been right.

Only the neighborhood will have suffered.

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Why Won't Dolar Debate?

I don't have any particular insight into the reasons why Naisy Dolar will not show up to Ald. Stone's admittedly rigged debate. The suggestion that Stone had two chances (the Boone School and Chicago Tonight appearance) is lame and easily dismissed. It's not a real excuse, it must be something they thought of to hide their real reasons for ducking Stone's debate.

The Stone debate was the only opportunity we were going to have to take the measure of the two candidates side-by-side. Dolar slammed that door in our face. While we can criticize Stone's cowardice all we want (and some of us have), now the same must be said of Dolar. She's no different than Stone in this regard. The problem is that this opens the eyes to other things where Dolar may be no different than Stone.

Although I have no idea why she would pass on an opportunity to go toe-to-toe with Berny Stone, it does seem they feel like they are the front runner. Dolar won't show, my thinking goes, because she thinks she doesn't have to. She must think that she's ahead in the race.

Maybe she is. She has a SEIU poll that shows her with a 7 point lead and she has Jan Schakowsky's endorsement (the most important political figure in the ward according to everyone I've talked to; only the Stone sycophants on this site disagree with that conclusion). Maybe she is comfortably ahead enough to choose not to participate.

So who loses? We do. Democracy does. Dolar's word does. There are lots of casualties here.

Naisy Dolar had previously said that she was eager to debate Ald. Stone, and seemed to promise that she would do so under any circumstances. She must have meant eager to debate him only twice. We can't act surprised that Stone or his people would want to control the circumstances of the debate. Nor should we have been surprised by the way this has unfolded. How is it any different from 2003 or prior election years where Stone's been challenged? I suspect incumbents always want to control these things.

What is worrisome to me, though, is that Naisy Dolar is now acting like Berny Stone. She doesn't need to show up so she doesn't. Who does that remind you of? What can we expect from Dolar if she demonstrates she is only going to do what she has to, but not any more? This isn't a good sign if you want to see change in the ward.

Simply changing the face of the alderman is not enough. We need to see a change in attitude and a change in activity to make the neighborhood better. Dolar and her supporters should remember that voters are taking a risk by electing her. The 50th Ward would lose staffing under a Dolar administration, it would lose seniority, and it would lose the Mayor's ear. Dolar has to offer voters reasons to take that risk, and I don't think the bar is set especially high.

Acting like Stone, only doing the minimal necessary, may give pause to those considering taking that risk. If Dolar is no better than Stone, why should we risk it? Maybe Naisy Dolar is ahead enough in this race that it doesn't matter now. I suspect she thinks she is, since she's made the decision to pass on this opportunity. But some voters, especially in this part of the ward, needed her to stand up to Stone and demonstrate that she had what it takes before they could connect the lines for Dolar.

Naisy abandoned those voters yesterday.

Consider this an open thread on why Naisy Dolar decided to pass on Ald. Stone's debate and what that means for both Stone and Dolar. You are encouraged to give your predictions with percentages on who will win on Tuesday.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Will Dolar Show?

All the talk has been around Ald. Stone's debate and whether Naisy Dolar would show up. Let's be perfectly honest here, the April 12 debate is a forum created entirely by Berny Stone and his cronies, and no hint of impartiality exists. But it is also the only side-by-side debate the 50th will get.

Dolar's camp responded to Stone's invitation with a number of conditions that are unlikely to be met. Stone's debate invitation seems to be a take-it-or-leave-it invitation, and they probably have a mailing ready to go saying that Dolar is scared to debate the alderman. This is obviously absurd, but this debate is not up on Dolar's calendar.

Who needs it more? Actually, the people of the 50th Ward do. Another community organization made this little debacle possible by being so heavy-handed in their candidate's forum. If Dolar's crowd is allowed to do this, one would expect Stone's crowd to be able to, as well. It's the neighborhood that is ill-served. No one expects Stone to serve the neighborhood better, but Naisy Dolar has staked her campaign on "expecting more."

Everybody knows that Stone's debate is a trap. His precinct captains have spent weeks coming up with zingers and pointed questions. So while it may appear smart that Dolar passes on Stone's debate, doing so shows that she's running on an empty message.

She set the trap for herself in that regard.

Advantage: Ald. Stone

UPDATE: The Dolar campaign confirms that they will not participate in the Stone debate.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Little Birdie "News"

I didn't expect to be blogging this week. This is a time for family. But now we hear that Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky will be endorsing Naisy Dolar tomorrow. Rumors of Schakowsky's support have been frequent throughout the campaign, generally coming from the Dolar camp. One poster even thought it would be a good idea to threaten Schakowsky because she was supporting Dolar.

If true (and remember that lots of rumors have been posted here, some with less accuracy than others), it should sound the death knell for Ald. Stone. Schakowsky is widely respected in our community and is probably our best-loved politician. Her endorsement would be the seal of approval that opens the minds of many people here who were unwilling to let Berny go. It would prove to them that Dolar can "cut it" in the city council.

Perhaps the most important thing is that Schakowsky has the finest political mind in the area. She wouldn't go back on her word to Stone (who asked her to stay neutral in the race) unless she firmly believed that Dolar would win. In the end, Schakowsky has the people to turn the tide on the ground. I don't believe that she would endorse anyone in a race like this unless she was committed to putting her supporters to work.

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