Friday, January 02, 2015

AND THEY'RE OFF: With Tunney's Objections Settled, Ballot Set For Neighborhood Aldermanic Race

Washington Times
Despite a close ally's attempt to get all challengers thrown off the February ballot, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney will have competition for the first time since he won the position in 2003.

Charles Schutt, a neighbor of and precinct captain for Tunney, filed objections to three people who submitted signatures to run against the alderman.

None of Schutt's objections was upheld, but one candidate withdrew due to lack of money to fund a legal fight.

The Challengers

• Robin Cook withdrew his name from the ballot after Schutt's attorney, Michael Kasper, raised objections to hundreds of signatures on Cook's petitions. Cook told supporters that he did not have the funds to launch a vigorous objection against Kasper, whose work is reportedly funded by the Democratic Party of Illinois and Mayor Rahm Emanuel's PAC.

Rather, Cook reportedly took the necessary steps to become a write-in candidate for alderman. Yes, you have to register to be a write-in candidate.

Scott Davis fought Schutt's signature objections and won. The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners ruled on December 19th that Davis had more than enough valid signatures on his petitions and Davis will appear on the ballot.

Mark Thomas will also appear on the ballot after Schutt withdrew his objections to Thomas' candidacy. Schutt had claimed that Thomas did not live in the 44th ward, despite generous online evidence to the contrary. Thomas has owned retail shops at Belmont and Clark, including the iconic Alley store, for decades.

Tunney Money

As you might imagine, being a Chicago alderman for over a decade without a competitor has allowed Tunney's war chest to grow wildly.

According to the authoritative Aldertrack, Tunney had $365,883 in his campaign fund as of Friday; Thomas had $75,170; and Davis' fund sat at $10,718. Aldertrack does not report on Cook's finances because his name will not appear on the ballot.

Among the monies flowing into Tunney’s coffers since mid-December are:

• The repayment of a $20,000 loan in 2008 to Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin
• $6,000 from members of the Labkon family, which owns General Iron
• $5,300 from Fred Eychaner, CEO of Newsweb, Inc,
• $5,000 from Cubby Bear owner George Loukas
• $1,812 from the city of Chicago for “overpayment on shared cost sidewalk program”
• $5,000 from the Illinois Hotel Motel PAC
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51 comments:

  1. Davis or Thomas...let's start informing ourselves. This vote matters!

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  2. Maybe we should gather CWB readers and throw a fundraising event to raise funds to be split equally amongst each of Tunney's opponents? Surely any of the candidates would be better than Tunney again.

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  3. So what do we know about the 2 new guys? Obviously one of them will be getting my vote. We need tunney out! I just fear that with there being 2 new candidates, that those votes might split and looney toon will win because of that. Is there a person you recommend between the 2 newbies?

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  4. The corrupt democrat machine keeps pumping in Chicago and cities across the U.S. because of the voters.

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  5. That little weasel Tunney got exactly what he wanted here. He saw Cook as his most serious challenger, managed to get him off the ballot and now the remaining two (Davis and Thomas) will split the "anti-Tunney" vote and he will cruise to victory. Politics as usual in Chicago.

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    1. Weasel??? You're too kind. LOL.

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  6. Thank you for following the money. THAT'S what's really telling.

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  7. Davis is active in Young Republicans and if you need to inform yourself about Mark Thomas, you haven't been paying attention.

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  8. I had the opportunity to meet Mark Thomas this fall and chat with him for an hour or two. I left the meeting with a great impression. Things that stood out to me:
    * Mark has operated at Clark and Belmont since the 1980s and he has a track record of working with the local police to clean up crime. (If you haven't lived in Lakeview for that long, crime problems at Clark and Belmont are not new, though the problem used to be skinheads.)

    * Mark's a small business owner with holdings that extend beyond just The Alley and related shops. He serves on the Chicago Federal Reserve Banks Industry Leaders Reporting Group (and I believe he's the only small business owner to do so).

    * He's already active in the community. He's a founder and past president of the Central Lakeview Merchant's Association, for example, and involved in other area groups.

    * He wants small businesses to grow and thrive in Lakeview, while also wanting to work with local constituencies (residents, business owners) to create a vision for what the neighborhood should look like 5-10 years down the road.

    I hope others will check out Mark's website or schedule a meeting with him. I think he could do great things for Lakeview. (I also think it's telling that he's running against Tunney, given that the two of them have known each other and operated businesses across the street from one another for decades.)

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    1. Mark Thomas definitely seems alright by me. To the commenter below who said he looks creepy, I did laugh, but I also would love to have some badass with a sweet earring "invest[ing his] personal time patrolling the neighborhood with off duty police officers." (direct quote). Crime is one of his top priorities, and unlike Tunney, I believe him. He truly seems like someone who isn't the least bit afraid to fight the machine for this neighborhood.

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  9. If Davis and Thomas are both on the ballot, they could split the anti-Tunney vote and hand the election to Tunney.

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  10. Tunney has the name recognition and about 99% of the gay population will vote for him because he marches in the parade each summer. The other 3 unfortunately don't stand a chance because they don't have name recognition, don't have the money, and most importantly there are 3 of them so they all split the vote that doesn't go to Tunney. Same shit, different year folks.

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  11. If the three challengers want what's best for the neighborhood, they'd meet amongst themselves and decide which one has the best chance to win and the others would bow out gracefully.

    Same story with Rahmmy. When the vote is split in so many different directions, incumbents are guaranteed to be voted back into office. Maybe the voters will wise up by the 2019 or 2023 election if there is anything left to fight for.

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  12. It's now or never to get rid of Tunney. All is not lost in having 2 challengers to our inept incumbent as if no candidate gets 50%+1 vote on Feb 24 then the top 2 finishers go onto the April 7th runoff. I believe Tunney's ceiling of support in the multi candidate election in Feb is 45% give or take and that he can be defeated one on one in April. Hopefully some of the local neighborhood groups will sponsor debate/candidate forums to give voters a chance to hear both of the challengers. All interested voters must step up to the plate and donate time,money or at least display a window sign for the challenger of their choice in order to defeat Tunney and get a true independent alderman like we use to have in the lakefront wards with Oberman,Simpson and Singer. It's now or never to take back our ward from the criminals and Tunney!

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  13. I work in 44/019 and have lived in 1 and now 26. I would welcome having Tunney for an alderman and most of the residents I interact with on the job say the same. There might be a bit of an echo chamber going on on this page. I guess we'll know the night of the primary. My prediction is Tunney wins with 57%.

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    1. Please, take him. I'll pay the relo costs.

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    2. You've never lived in 19, according to your statement above about living in 1 and 26. Come over and stay the weekend with me on Pride Sunday night after parade. We'll take a stroll along Halsted, Belmont, Sheffield, Clark, and see what you think. Come visit on any Saturday night/Sunday morning around 3:30am and we'll visit Belmont/Clark, Halsted/Roscoe, Addison/Halsted, and perhaps take in the 7-11 across the street from Roscoe's. Drop in on us one day (anytime!) and we'll go explore the 'hood by the CoH including the lobby area attached to Whole Foods. Come on out and let's have a coffee at Peet's at Cornelia and Halsted and let's look at the trannies who give everyone menacing looks while sitting at tables taking up space but not ordering anything. Oh! I know!! Let's drop in on Alderthing Tunney's office and see if we can get screeched at or at least garner some condescending attitude from him or his "staff." Lastly, come over and let's walk the whole neighborhood and see if we can find even ONE police officer out on the beat. We might ... but then again, we might now.

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    3. I live here nine hours a day riding around in a Tahoe with 120,000 miles on it. But it does have really neat blue lights, a siren and loud speakers.

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  14. Cubby Bear owner. Fuck that ghetto bar. Fight back.

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    1. I keep walking by Jack's at Halsted and Belmont. There's a Tunney for Alderman sign in the window, Hence, I keep walking and don't bother going in anymore.

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  15. I had the opportunity to chat with Scott Davis, and came away impressed with his sincere caring about this community and his ideas for helping it. I know that voting for someone with an "R" after his name is anathema to some, but not for me in this election. We need a guy who won't rubber-stamp Rahm's missives and who wants to right our ship here.

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    1. The GOP has to be careful. If they put money into his campaign, they better leave their arcane, social wedge issues out of it. This election is theirs to lose.

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    2. I don't really care what political affiliation someone has as long as they want to do something about crime prevention and getting our police back in Lakeview.

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    3. Why is it in this town voting for Republican is a kin to voting for Nazi? New York has had two Republican mayors in the last two decades but God forbid someone other than a Democrat is elected to anything in Chicago. Maybe it's time to try something new since the city has been controlled with the same party for decades.

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    4. And think of how humiliating it would be for Tunney to lose to him!

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  16. Rahmmy must get a good laugh at how he's so easily able to be king of Chicago. With the voters being dumb enough to vote for him and puppets like Tunney that he can use, it must almost be too easy for him.

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  17. I have to agree with the comment about Jack's on Halsted.
    I do not want to support any business that supports Tunney
    and I refuse to patronize Ann Sathers even if I am invited to join a group there.

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    1. I was sad to see a Tunney sign in the window of the Melrose diner. Oh well. Time to try new places!

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    2. Time to start a CWB Boycott List ?
      Start with Melrose.

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    3. Works for me. So far, Jack's and Melrose Restaurant. Any others?

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    4. Ann Sather on Broadway AND Belmont. They must really like him.

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  18. Michael Kasper is working with Rahm Emanuel, but his chief sponsor is Michael Madigan. He has become quite wealthy as a servitor to the Machine and his wife was gifted with an unopposed judicial sport.

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  19. Every time I call Tunney's office about anything--garbage in the alley, issue with my ventra card, or an issue on my block they always take care of things right away. I understand not everyone likes him but I have always had incredible service from his office. Tunney is really approachable too whenever I see him out and about in the neighborhood or at the gym and seems to really care about the neighborhood. No one is ever going to be 100% happy with anyone-but Tunney definitely has my vote! I have researched the other candidates too and it seems like Davis is strictly running on abolishing red light cameras and Thomas just seems super creepy to me lol

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    1. Wrong measure of an alderman's performance, in my estimation. Saying they are courteous and respond to requests is roughly equal to saying a business has nice employees. That's the basics and all alderman take care of the basics. I think the correct measure is leadership and straightforwardness on issues and on that point, I feel Tunney fails.

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    2. The only thing I have seen Tunny do is shovel leaves in front of a street cleaning machine. Worthless. Oh and then he bothered to stand up and vote against 2 bills that affected his business- minimum wage and Sunday free parking. When we needed him to fight crime and get more police or oppose the Wrigley renovation he was too busy defending his own agenda. Out with Tunney!

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    3. Now that they changed the wards I won't have the opportunity to vote against Tunney. I live a block from Wrigley, but on the wrong side of the street, so I fall in Uptown (??). This doesn't make sense since I know and deal with the issues of our neighborhood. This may be how Tunney gets more votes, because people who don't actually live close enough to know what he does or doesn't do will be voting based on name recognition. Annoying.

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  20. I called tunneys office several times about a huge pothole/sinkhole on my street two years ago. Nothing happened for six months.

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    1. I've called five times since last spring about a pothole on Roscoe that - not surprisingly - is still there, and is still creating havoc for bikers, car's front end alignments, wheel rims, tires, and so on. The third time I called, one of Tunneys little assistant minions told me, and I quote exactly, "The alderman is aware of the situation on Roscoe and it will [emphasis on 'will'] be repaired this week." That was July 24. I called one more time and was directed to email the alderman's office. Now, we ALL know what happens when you email the alderman's office. Zilch. Thanks so much, alderman Tunneys, you are so efficient at your job and care just SO much about your tax paying constituents.Now hurry along to your next photo op at the CoH. Or maybe you can do a photo op of you shoveling some snow, as we're about to get a bit of snow here.

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  21. Here's my experience with Tunney's office. For the past 2 or 3 years, I've been asking to have the pedestrian cross lights fixed where Roscoe meets Lake Shore Drive. The lights still don't work and have never been repaired. People cross there to get to the park underpass as well as to cross after exiting at the CTA stop there. He has done literally nothing to fix it.

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  22. Off topic, but does anyone know why the 600 block of Sheridan (between the Inner Drive and Pine Grove) was closed down for about 2 hours earlier tonight? Cop parked at each end of the block with lights flashing. There were no fire trucks or other emergency vehicles that I could see.

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    1. Sadly, a man jumped from the 15th floor of 3900 N. Lake Shore Drive.

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    2. Thank you; I'm very sorry to hear that.

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  23. The only way anyone will oust Tunney is for the two of the three candidates running sacrifice themselve so that we could have one concise clear possible

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  24. I noticed that over the past week or so, Tunney signs have been popping up in the windows of virtually every business along the Halsted strip in Boystown. All of these people can't really be supporting him at this point....right?

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    1. Yes. They are supporting him.

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    2. Like they have a choice.

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    3. I have a choice, and his signs shall not be appearing on or in my business property.

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  25. NOTE THE TIME: 6PM!!!

    44th Ward Candidate Forum

    Hawthorne Neighbors Meeting
    January 21, 2015 – 6:00 pm

    Annoyance Theater
    851W Belmont Avenue

    The upcoming Hawthorne Neighbors meeting will include a Candidate Forum featuring the three candidates for 44th Ward Alderman. Each candidate will have 15 minutes to address the group and pass out materials, followed by 10 minutes to
    answer questions submitted by attendees on notecards. Questions will be the
    same for all three candidates. During each candidate’s presentation and Q and A
    session, we kindly ask the other two candidates to leave the Main Theater space.

    We greatly thank the Annoyance Theater for hosting this meeting and welcome those outside of the Hawthorne Neighbors membership to attend.

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    1. CWB Guys: Can this meeting be publicized more widely? I just happened to see this while scrolling through older stories.

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