Monthly Archives: June 2014

Anan and the Governor Quinn fund-raisers . . .

My friend Jake is in a lather about two recent Oak Park incidents. One was the commencement-oration declaration (an occurence at OPRF stadium) by a high school board member who announced that we are progressive (Democrats) and “and it feels great to say it.” Depends what you mean by progressive, said Jake.

The other, a few days later, was the e-blasted invitation by the village president to a fundraiser for the progressive governor of our great state, who many of us know is running for re-election in November. The affair is big bucks by most standards, costing from $150 to a cool grand. The latter gets you a place in the serried ranks of co-sponsors.

These sponsors are a distinguished lot: village presidents, president of high school board, assorted mayors of adjacent municipalities, etc. Here, in fact, they are:

[OP] President Anan & [spouse] Margi Abu-Taleb, [private citizen] Paul Gearen, Senator Don Harmon, 200th [sic] Board District President John Phelan, [OP trustee] Bob & [spouse] Vicki Tucker, [River Forest] Mayor [sic] Catherine Adduci, [Forest Park] Mayor Anthony Calderone, [Bellwood] Mayor Frank Pasquale, [Northlake] Mayor Jeffrey Sherwin and [Hillside] Mayor Joseph Tamburino

Quite an assortment, to be sure, all but two of them elected nonpartisans. Jake congratulates them for coming out of the major-party closet, shedding burdensome nonpartisanship for the real thing.

You are now electors of Democrats, he tells their respective voting publics, including and especially Oak Park, which threw the rascals out in the early ’50s and swore off entangling alliances. This was the VMA revolution, which in a 1952 election managed to “wrest control of . . . government from alderman [sic] who seemed more beholden to outside interests than to our citizens.”

Thank God those concerns have faded away, Jake says with that whiff of irony which he gives off so neatly, adding his opinion that it’s a tribute to the growth of gummint. Now more than ever, it’s good to be connected. Gummint money helps buy lots of good things for local gummint. Buttering your bread on the right (left) side matters.

Thus endeth the VMA revolution and its bold statement of principle, “One of the cornerstones of the VMA [Village Mgr. Assn.] has been the belief that the village board can best function if it is independent of partisan influences–whether from local interest groups or from outside political parties and pressure groups.”

Forget. About. It.


We have a horse race for attorney general . . .

Oak Park Republicans

From AG candidate Paul Schimpf in an email pitch this morning:

We have gotten to this point [ leading Lisa Madigan downstate and statistically tied in the collar counties.  Overall, only down 16 points, with four and a half months left in the race. ] because of the undeniable truth of our message:  Illinois desperately needs an Attorney General who is not beholden to the political insiders. 

We need an Attorney General who will defend our constitutional rights and freedoms; protect our medical and financial privacy under the Obamacare trainwreck; and prioritize anti-corruption efforts.  In short, we need a prosecutor, not a career politician.

Achievement so far, coming from nowhere:

we:  1) started this process with no name identification whatsoever, 2) have spent negligible amounts of money, and 3) have only now started getting our message out; the conclusion is clear.  This is a winnable race.


Give a little (or a…

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Fr. Charley Conroy under fire

Company Man

Just ran across this June, 1988 Chi Trib obit for Charley Conroy, who appears in Company Man as a priest at Loyola Academy in the late ’50s, a couple years before he entered the Army as a chaplain, where he performed heroically.

A memorial mass for Lt. Col. Charles A. Conroy, 62, a Catholic priest, highly decorated Army chaplain and native of the Rogers Park neighborhood, will be said at 7:30 p.m. Monday in St. Ignatius Catholic Church, 6559 N. Glenwood Ave.

“He was the single most-decorated chaplain on active duty in the Army“

at the time he retired in 1984, said Father Conroy`s longtime friend, Jack Long.

Among Father Conroy`s many decorations were the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He also was a master parachutist with 15 air medals and 3,310 jumps, Long said.

In the Dominican Republic in 1965, for “conspicuous gallantry“ under…

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Dems getting out the vote: early, often, and more, more more of it . . .

. . . making it easier and easier to bring home the faithful, dead or alive:

SPRINGFIELD — Lawmakers are relaxing registration requirements for voters this November.

Legislation passed by the General Assembly last month would allow election-day registration and require expanded early voting throughout the state, with a special focus on college campuses. The amendment was attached to a minimum wage ballot referendum bill.

Along with requiring higher education facilities to conduct early voting drives in “high traffic areas” of campus, the bill also requires colleges and universities to send emails to their students with detailed voter registration process information in general election years. The emails will includes links where students can register online.

And thank you, Sen. Harmon (D-Oak Park) for thinking up this ploy:

State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, sponsored the amendment from the Senate, and lauded the legislation.

“Anything that makes it easier for people to vote is a good thing,” Harmon said. “This is a meaningful step forward in the evolution of dramatic progress in voter access.”

The easier the better, says Sen. Don. But is there another side to this question?

“Now, the question is what’s the outcome?” asked Sen. Dave Syverson. “And obviously from our standpoint the concern is the integrity of the ballot and what this creates for everybody. When you make it easier for fraud or abuse to take place, that takes away from the integrity of the ballot, which ought to be our biggest priority and concern.”

Fraud or abuse? Why bring that up? It’s the least of Sen. Don’s worries. Tell me, what was the last time you heard a Democrat worry about fraud or abuse, except after the fact, when they lost the election?

More more about this at Rockford Star, “Illinois legislation expands voter access, raises fraud concerns.”

Cook County Republicans’ no-candidate performance explained: Move on, nothing to see here

Oak Park Republicans

Palos Township Committeeman Sean Morrison In Illinois Review:

“Actually the Cook County Republican Committee, the ‘CCRC,’ did in fact call for a special slating meeting to take place as soon as possible immediately following the primary, through Cook County GOP Chairman Aaron Delmar’s call for a special session,” Morrison said in an email.

That meeting went  well, did it?

“The CCRC had been working for quite some time to recruit candidates for every open countywide ballot position [Morrison continued]. Many candidates were vetted, several candidates that passed the vetting were presented to those Cook County Republican Committee members present at the slating meeting,” Morrison said. “In the end, three were slated for the countywide offices indicated. They did, however, fail to establish enough petition signatures as required by law.”

Yet Chicago did it, where Repubs are outnumbered. The county Repubs should look thataway for advice?

Morrison said the failure…

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Chris Cleveland tells it true?

Oak Park Republicans

43rd Ward Committeeman who challenged Aaron Del Mar for GOP county chairman reacts to claim that county GOP’s fielding no candidates was a plan to thwart Dems:

“Democrats have infiltrated the Republican Party, and they’ve urged us to lay down and keep quiet. This is offensive beyond belief,” Cleveland said. “Any Republican who thinks we shouldn’t put Republicans on the ballot is either working for the Democrats, or has a basic misunderstanding of how electoral politics work.”

Oh, and if it had been a plan, why did Del Mar have people trying to get signatures for three presumed candidates right up to the last minute? Was he fooled too?

Meanwhile, Cleveland and his troops plow ahead with sophisticated Rauner campaign tactics session this Saturday:

Hint: it involves some very cool technology.

Saturday, June 14
8:30 am coffee and doughnuts
9:00 am presentation
2768 N Lincoln Ave

Later, stick around for…

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Hillary Clinton on being ready for gay marriage

Hillary Clinton defending self on charge of coming late to gay “marriage” support, arriving only when politics demanded it:

“You know, somebody is always first,” Clinton said. “Somebody is always out front and thank goodness they are. But that doesn’t mean that those who join later, in being publicly supportive or even privately accepting that there needs to be change, are any less committed. You could not be having the sweep of marriage equality across the country if nobody changed their mind, and thank goodness so many of us have.”

Even privately accepting????

Oh Hill, we should have known what you were thinking!

Abelard and mashed potatoes, Fenwick’s Father Malone in the ’40s

Not for attribution

Great time the other day among Golden Friars, each of whom has had his golden anniversary of graduation from Fenwick. Among them my classmates and I rank among the most golden, 65 years and counting since we walked the aisle and ascended the stage.


The gathering meant mass in the gym, sitting on folding chairs rather close to each other. (Note to arrangements committee: A little more knee and thigh room next time.) The principal celebrated, presided, whatever, with a nice mixture of aplomb and informality, assisted by a theology teacher who also coaches soccer.


Neither qualified as golden, the principal noted, looking to the other side of the altar at a half dozen Dominicans who did.


These included the personally golden Rev. William Bernacchi, whom I know from his coming often to our class’s luncheon reunions, which we’ve been having for 20 years or so.


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Some questions on reading Dr. Gevinson’s commencement-address diagnosis . . .

Oak Park Newspapers

. . .  of what ails or used to ail Oak Park::

1. If Oak Park in 1978 was the most conservative place he had lived in, where else had he lived?

2. If segregation and parochialism were bad then, why is it good for black students to have special programs now that encourage segregation and parochialism?

3. If a few incredibly, obscenely, super-wealthy Americans are trying  to distort, pervert, corrupt, and purchase the political system, what is the maximum one may be allowed before he can be identified as one who may try to distort, pervert, corrupt, and purchase the political system?

4. If a student listening to all voices decides he likes Fox News more than the New York Times, then what?

5. If a student decides to become a Republican, join the Tea Party movement, and enlist in the U.S. Army Special Forces so he can kill enemies of…

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Feeling bad about how things go these days?

Have a look at three of fifteen (15!) signs the middle class is dying:

#5 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 36 percent of Americans under the age of 35 own a home.  That is the lowest level that has ever been measured.

#6 Right now, approximately one out of every six men in the United States that are in their prime working years (25 to 54) do not have a job.

#7 The labor force participation rate for Americans from the age of 25 to the age of 29 has fallen to an all-time record low.

From which you see that you are probably not alone.

(H/T Steve Bartin)

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