Thursday, September 06, 2007

Devine's Office Investigating Stone

As I alluded to in comments, I don't think we have gotten the full story here, but the Sun-Times reports:

The Cook County state's attorney's office is investigating whether Ald. Bernie Stone's (50th) political organization improperly steered Indian and Pakistani voters toward absentee ballots, according to sources.

Those under investigation include city employees. For now, the probe is limited to Stone's North Side ward, the sources said. Subpoenas have been issued for witnesses and documents.

In tactics taken straight out of the ugly old days of corruption and machine politics:

Sources familiar with the matter say the state's attorney's office -- which is not barred from investigating aldermen -- is equally involved in the probe. The sources disputed Stone's claim the investigation involves other wards.

Members of Stone's organization allegedly persuaded some Indian and Pakistani voters to sign up for absentee ballots and then helped them vote, the sources said.

Political workers -- some of whom are city employees -- would visit apartment buildings to enlist absentee voters, sources said. In at least one instance, a Stone worker allegedly wore a jacket showing he was a city employee.

Stone said four people from his ward told him they were questioned about a political worker who asked them to apply for absentee ballots.

The timing for this investigation can't be helpful for Stone. Ira Silverstein is challenging him for Democratic Committeeman, and while no one knows whether this will be an issue in that campaign, the fact that Stone and the Democratic Club of the 50th Ward is under investigation for Voter Fraud is bound to prevent Stone's thugs from repeating illegal activity.

But Stone's daugher, not Federal or State investigations, is bound to be the biggest issue of this campaign. If Ira wins the committeeman position, it will be he who basically picks the replacement if Stone dies in office or retires before his term expires (after Stone has served two years and one day in this term). As long as Stone is committeeman, Ilana is virtually assured of being Stone's replacement under those circumstances. But with Ira, the 50th Ward will turn a new page and the neighborhood will finally get a voice in politics in the ward.

16 Comments:

At September 06, 2007 8:34 AM, Anonymous p.t. baer said...

What a great way to start the day.

 
At September 06, 2007 10:43 AM, Anonymous say it aint so stone said...

It seems Dolar wasted no time responding,she posted a statement yesterday: http://www.naisydolar.com

 
At September 06, 2007 11:15 AM, Blogger Jay said...

This is what I found when I tried to go to the site:

Server not found

Firefox can't find the server at www.naisydolar.com.

 
At September 06, 2007 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Server not found"

Try again. Sadly, the site's still there.

 
At September 06, 2007 12:16 PM, Blogger Hugh said...

> (after Stone has served two years and one day in this term).

I believe it is after 20 months and 1 day that we lose our right to elect our alderman

65 ILCS 5/3.1‑10‑50 Vacancies

 
At September 06, 2007 12:22 PM, Blogger Hugh said...

> If Ira wins the committeeman position, it will be he who basically picks the replacement if Stone dies in office or retires before his term expires ...

In this I fear you have a somewhat over-blown conception of the power of the ward committeemen. Daley asks the outgoing ALDERMAN, not the sitting committeeman, for a nominee. Rest assured Stone has already had a conversation with Daley about what should happen if & when...

> As long as Stone is committeeman, Ilana is virtually assured of being Stone's replacement under those circumstances.

A long as Stone is alive, Ilana is virtually assured of being Stone's replacement

 
At September 06, 2007 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think she knows the election is over?

 
At September 06, 2007 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Stone is barely alive enough to blink yes or no, Ilana & Klein & crewe will roll him into Daley's 5th floor office so he can blink "Yes" at the Mayor, and Stone will have been coached only to blink once for yes. Frankly our best bet for ending the Stone dynasty's stranglehold on our seat in our home town's City Council is if Stone were to die in office, Stone not being available would give Daley cover to pick a non-Stone.

 
At September 11, 2007 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rough summer for ole Stoney

photographed sleeping in a community meeting

very public feud with long-time pal O'Brien at Metropolitan Water Reclamation District

last movie theater in ward closes

a real challenger for committeeman

newspaper expose on his self-aggrandizing from his campaign fund forces a revised filing

the county state's attorney, a constituent, investigating him

bet he wishes he were in Arizona by the pool about now

 
At September 12, 2007 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay
Hate to burst your bubble but the committeeman does not pick Stone's replacement if he retires before his term expires ...

Its the Mayor's Choice
LOL

Besides word has it Stone aint going anywhere nor is he giving his seat to his daughter. I heard him say before, she will have to run for the position. He will not turn it over to her........

 
At September 12, 2007 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard him say

of course Stone is a well-known liar

 
At September 14, 2007 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Sun-Times article (link above), Stone denies everything by saying the City employee involved in soliciting absentee ballots was not high-ranking enough to promise anything:

Political workers -- some of whom are city employees -- would visit apartment buildings to enlist absentee voters, sources said. In at least one instance, a Stone worker allegedly wore a jacket showing he was a city employee.

Stone said four people from his ward told him they were questioned about a political worker who asked them to apply for absentee ballots.

"I know the individual who approached these people. He's not a city employee. He had no authority to promise them anything," said Stone.

 
At September 14, 2007 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Trib article (link in previous post), Stone accused the Cook County State's Attorney's office of "bullying" his constituents:

"I said, 'Don't let anybody bully you. I'll help you,'" he recounted. "I will get you an attorney."

"I said I will pay the cost of the attorney because I don't want my constituents bullied by people -- because they were bullied."

 
At September 14, 2007 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But check out his episode from earlier this year. It is the closest model to what is happening in the 50th ward now. The City's Inspector General is working in conjunction with the County State's Attorney to enforce the simple idea that doing political work on City time is illegal. That's all. Yesterday's business as usual is today's grounds for dismissal and/or prosecution.

50th ward constituents were not "bullied." Most probably they were merely asked, did such-and-such City employee ask you to fill out an absentee ballot, and when? Then they check the time cards. That's all.

City making an example of sewer boss

Charged with passing Daley petitions

Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, 2/15/07

A $39.65-an-hour assistant foreman of sewers asks 40 of his Water Management Department co-workers at 39th and Ashland to sign Daley's nominating petitions in December ...

Lester Cioch -- a precinct captain in the 32nd Ward Regular Democratic Organization once run by political powerhouse Dan Rostenkowski and former Ald. Terry Gabinski (32nd) -- is charged with the misdemeanor crime of violating state and municipal ethics laws prohibiting political activity on city time. ...

[Chicago Inspector General David] Hoffman said his office is investigating "multiple" complaints of various forms of political coercion.

 
At October 08, 2007 11:28 AM, Anonymous Joan said...

It was Aftab who filed complaints against Stone and his ward superendent in Dec 2006 and Jan 2007.

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=politics&id=5048601

Stone is categorically denying an allegation by a fourth opponent -- computer consultant Salman Aftab -- that Stone's campaign workers are pressuring residents in the early voting program to cast their ballots for the veteran incumbent even if they support another candidate.

"I don't know how long this has been going on, how many voters they manipulated. I think it is totally unacceptable. This is voter fraud," said Salman Aftab, 50th Ward Candidate.

The Election Board is investigating but Stone says that his campaign workers have not done anything wrong. He is also proud of his vote against the big box ordinance and his unequivocal support of Mayor Daley.

 
At October 08, 2007 8:46 PM, Blogger wrpn said...

Here's a suggestion. Dump the Democrats because it doesn't really matter whether Stone or Silverstein ends up as 50th Ward Democratic committeeman. The old line parties, the Democrats and Republicans, with a few exceptions like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, are asylums for the corrupt, the scoundrels who got us into this Iraq mess and turned our beloved country into a sewer. Take a Green Party ballot on Primary Day and send the power elites here in Chicago, a real message.

 

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