Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stone's Criminal Organization

It is no surprise to anyone who lives in the 50th Ward that Ald. Stone's Ward Super has engaged in criminal activity. Nor can it surprise many that members of his criminal organization used their power and influence for their own selfish purposes.

Anish Eapen, the Ward Super, was the person who refused to fix cracked sidewalks or potholes, or pick up the trash that lines Devon Ave. (and others), and many other items that desperately need attending in the neighborhood.

But he had time to illegally intimidate voters and cast their ballots for them.

It's been mentioned before that Stone is a protege of Fred Roti, former Ald. of the old Mobbed-up 1st Ward. Stone was one of only two witnesses called in the corruption and murder trial of Roti, a "made" - or inducted - member of the Chicago Mob (in a federal lawsuit unsealed right before Roti died). Despite Stone's testimony that Roti was a good man, incapable of the things he was accused of, he was convicted of corruption after being caught on videotape in his City Hall office accepting a $4,000 bribe to rig a zoning matter and fix a civil court case. Stone was a frequent dinner companion of Roti and 1st Ward Secretary Patrick Marcy -- also a "made" member of Mob (according to FBI testimony to Congress) at the Counsellor's Row Restaurant.

The judge in the case noted that Roti had undermined the "very nature of the democratic process" when he sentenced the mobster to 4 years in jail with a substantial fine.

Fred Roti is the father of one the employees on Ald. Stone's payroll.

Stone remains free of indictment largely because a city ordinance prohibited Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman from investigating aldermen. This ordinance grew out of the fact that so many alderman had been convicted of corruption -- so the city council made it more difficult to get caught.

Monday, January 28, 2008

One of Stone's Thugs Arrested for Vote Fraud

The Sun-Times reports:

Ward superintendent charged with vote fraud

January 28, 2008
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

A ward superintendent handpicked by the City Council’s 80-year-old elder statesman, Ald. Bernard Stone (50th), was arrested Monday and charged--along with another man--with improperly steering primarily Indian and Pakistani voters toward absentee ballots for Stone.

Anish Eapen, a 37-year-old employee of the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation, faces two counts of official misconduct, three counts of absentee ballot fraud and one count of mutilation of election materials. He allegedly worked in tandem with 34-year-old Armando Ramos, an unemployed student. Ramos faces two counts of absentee ballot fraud and two counts of mutilation of election materials.

A source familiar with the investigation said Eapen and Ramos “would target different people—primarily Indian and Pakistani voters—and suggest that they take absentee ballots. They would give them reasons why they should be taking absentee ballots—not necessarily valid reasons. They would be present when they filled out the application for the absentee ballot and, in some instances, they would bring the absentee ballot back to the people to vote.”

Stone defended Eapen as an “honest and fair person” and “one of the best” ward superintendents in the city, adding, “Nobody has ever accused him of wrongdoing and I don’t believe any charge of wrongdoing will ever be substantiated against Anish Epan. These are trumped-up charges.”

Stone protests too much. His organization has a long and troubled history of voter intimidation and fraud. David Hoffman is already investigating Ald. Stone and his campaign for prior absentee ballot complaints. Stone used to have Dominic Longo on his payroll, who was once known as the king of vote fraud. And the abnormalities in the November 2006 election are still fresh in everyone's mind.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mayor Daley Supporting Ira for Committeeman

Carol Marin, the political reporter for the Sun-Times, reports that Mayor Daley has changed his position from being neutral in the Democratic Committeeman's race in the 50th Ward to supporting St. Senator Ira Silverstein.

The mayor, I said, is throwing his support to your opponent, Ira Silverstein for 50th Ward committeeman. Daley has just authorized the release of both a picture and a statement, I added.

If you can imagine a voice slumping back into a chair, that's what Bernie Stone sounded like.

"Then I'm shocked," said the 80-year-old vice mayor and dean of the City Council. "Shocked."

Ira Silverstein is a 47-year-old state senator whose district includes Stone's ward and other parts of the far North Side, Lincolnwood, Skokie, Morton Grove and Niles.

Though Silverstein has supported Stone in past elections, including last year's aldermanic contest, he has decided to challenge him Feb. 5 for the time-honored, nonpaying, highly political post of Democratic ward committeeman.

One commenter had even gone so far as to suggest that "the mayor asked Ira to run for committeeman." This endorsement of Ira lends substantial credence to that account.

Carol Marin relates that the Mayor was largely responsible for Ald. Stone's re-election victory last May:

Mayor Daley came to Stone's rescue. He sent in an army of workers plus veteran strategist Mike Noonan, who pulled a rabbit out of the hat.

But there has been growing criticism that Stone is too old school and that it's time for, you know, change. The byword of this election season.

Silverstein has allied himself with the so-called progressive wing of the party, people such as state Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky. "Schakowsky represents the extreme left wing," Stone barked. "She wants to be boss of the North Side."

Stone doesn't have much use for progressives and says so. "I'm a middle-of-the-roader, more conservative. The liberals have always hated me."

Perhaps he should have added, "I'm through." So much for Stone's desire to elevate his daughter to his alderman's position. Never forget, that's what this election is about.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ald. Stone Gets Big Raise!

The ever-watchful Hugh Devlin makes a good point on the local West Rogers Park Yahoo group: Ald. Stone now receives $104,101.00 for his PART-TIME job as our alderman.

Don't you wonder what he does in all his spare time?

Me, too.

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