There is much to be said after experiencing the eye of the storm view in a campaign for Alderman in the City of Chicago.
Educational is the first word I would use to describe two years plus on the “Chicago Stump.” Secondly, but most important, is the great pride in the hard work and dedication of so many supporters, family and friends. There was some bitter disappointment in commitments promised and not delivered, but that was outweighed by the outright hilarity in some things that came our way.
One of my favorite memories is when the Chicago legend Bill Kurtis tried to get me killed. The famed news anchor and incredible voice and I were at the Center For Performing Arts fundraiser several months ago along with about 300 others waiting in the hallway for the arrival of Mayor Daley.
As usual the Mayor’s advance team arrived to secure the room and looked the full professional part with wired earphones and trench coats in place. It was the first time I had ever met Mr. Kurtis but was happy to have a conversation about the campaign, given he is a 43rd Ward constituent.
Then he tried to get me killed.
Mr. Kurtis suggested that the best way to get a picture with the Mayor and be on the front page of the newspapers was to “lunge” at him as he walked by. Because Mr. Kurtis’ voice is mesmerizing I didn’t catch his direction at first and then it hit me, he was trying to get me clipped by those real looking, gun carrying bodyguards.
I mentioned that a person my size lunging anywhere near the Mayor would not be around the next day to run for anything and seriously hoped Mr. Kurtis was kidding. That guy has the straightest face in TV history and I really couldn’t tell.
Our campaign team presented a Positive Acton platform that was drowned out by a forest pillaging negative tête-à-tête. Where are the environmentalist endorsements when you need them?
As much as I long for cheap shot politics to be abolished, it’s unfortunately here to stay. As the only Aldermanic candidate in the City of Chicago to attend the Campaign For Political Reform luncheon with former Illinois State Senator Peter Fitzgerald, I also keep my hopes up that massive campaign financing reforms will come to fruition sometime before then next turn of the century. Spending over $250,000 for an Aldermanic seat is ludicrous and massive reform city, state and countrywide is so necessary.
The spending frenzy, especially the bashing of opponents in my opinion is an insult to everyone’s intelligence and something our campaign stayed very far away from.
In the end, we did alright and I want to thank our troops who were the highlight of the entire campaign. We had help from 43rd Ward residents, Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce members, family, friends and as much silent support as you can garner in Chicago. We played it straight and stayed above the usual political idiocy and tried to pound home our Positive Action message. It did garner support with
almost 1,100 voters and I am thankful to each and every one of them.
The big question on the minds who are interested in the 43rd Ward about who I would support was answered by ABC TV on Friday, March 9th at 5 pm. My support for Alderman Vi Daley comes down to two simple truths. I polled some of our most ardent and dedicated supporters in the most democratic fashion possible and an overwhelming majority will be voting for Alderman Daley.
In my heart, I know that Vi is the right choice for the next four years in our
I have full faith Vi Daley will represent my supporters, my family and myself in the City Council. Vi has served two terms as 43rd Ward Alderman and two terms as Chief of Staff to a former 43rd Ward Alderman. She has been in the ward for over 30 solid years and I have confidence in her knowledge of the system.
While her administration has had the shock of not garnering more than 50% of the popular vote, I believe Vi will make the steps necessary to increase communication and improve her constituent service plan in the next four years.
After spending time with Michele Smith at community forums, TV & radio interviews and on the streets of the 43rd Ward campaigning, I can honestly say from my heart that she did not earn my vote. As I head to the polling place and cast my vote for Vi in April, it is because in my opinion her campaign did not lay positive ground work on behalf of the residents of the 43rd Ward.
Smith has offered critizicism of the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, but never joined as a member. She has guaranteed no future high rise development on the Children’s Memorial site as complete campaign rhetoric. She has promoted her support for the 7% tax cap, but so did all of the candidates and Vi has been championing that cause for years. Who wouldn’t?
Most importantly, parts of the 43rd Ward truly reflect a village within the city. And the negative campaigning and lack of positive ideas does not lend itself to a very village like atmosphere.
No deals where made and my hands were not washed by any other hands, which will be automatic assumptions. Hey, I just paid another round of parking tickets that we were tagged with during the last few weeks. So no free passes have been granted. Voting for Vi is my choice and the choice of my family.
As for my future, you’ll hear from me again as I have promised my supporters. My candidacy was for the purest reasons and those reasons have not changed. I am definitely looking forward."