Sunday, February 18, 2007

Could This Possibly Be Legal? Chicago’s 46th Ward

Here in Chicago politics is a contact sport involving large contracts, lots of jobs, easy living and a lot of money. Among the most open practitioners of old style, smash-mouth Chicago politics still working in our fair town is hard-left Alderperson Helen Shiller. Ms. Shiller has been the target of some of our town’s finer journalists including the late, great Mike Royko and has lived to talk about it. It has been the opinion of many that Ms. Shiller has been able to stay in office through old-time vote stealing and voter roll-padding. It has not been a secret that during Ms. Shiller’s twenty-plus year tenure as Alderman that the ward government has encouraged the relocation of the state’s discharged psychiatric patients resulting in about 40% of the state’s psychiatric discharges ending up in the 46th Ward of Chicago. This in turn resulted in a large number of warehoused people and a large number of homeless shelters being set up in the ward. The warehoused people allow for easily induced voters, traditionally wine or currency, currently $5 seems to be the amount that we hear about as the cost of a vote. The homeless shelters allow for another type of vote fraud, phantom voters. Every homeless shelter in the 46th ward has voter registration numbers in the 95% to 100% range making those lost homeless people in Uptown among the best organized voters in the United States. The turnout from the shelters has also been well above any national average and has been rumored to be at nearly tyrant levels.

During the 1980s and into the 1990s Shiller was helped by her then sidekick Walter “Slim” Coleman, a Marxist hazard from Harvard who is now a Methodist Minister and is providing “sanctuary” to Elvira Arellano at his Aldalberto United Methodist Church here in Chicago. Slim helped Helen perfect the strong-arm fraudulent politics that has become the norm in the Uptown neighborhood. It really is a shame because the neighborhood has some very beautiful housing stock and it runs along the shore of Lake Michigan. Don’t even get me started on the confluence of gangs, heroin, shelters and the powers that be in Uptown. Let me put it this way, between McCormick Place and Waukegan, a distance of over 45 miles of lake shore the least expensive property near the lake is 7 ½ miles north of McCormick Place in Helen Shiller’s 46th ward. It has been common knowledge that for Uptown to get past its problems that there needs to be a political change in the 46th Ward.

Helen Shiller’s far left politics had her battling Mayor Daley early in his mayoral career; however Ms. Shiller has been co-opted by the Daley administration on a variety of fronts. For starters the Daley folks have gone after their foes in elections and Ms. Shiller has not been immune to those threats, especially as her ward has finally started to see some gentrification during the past decade; and of course there are the city contracts in each ward that every alderman has some say in. It is fair to say that even the leftist Helen Shiller is in the Daley camp and the mayor has endorsed her. For the first time in recent memory Shiller seems to have a serious challenger in James Cappleman and to the extent that you can get any news about a minor election this one is worth watching. For starters you have to take an occasional look at the hysterically named What the Helen blog that linked this afternoon to a post on the Buena Park Neighbors message board suggesting that Helen Shiller may be “campaigning” within 50 feet of a polling place, even if it is an “early voting” polling place I think that the same laws apply. The poster who witnessed what was likely a legal breach and inspired the title of this post also noticed some desperation in the Shiller campaign:

My girlfriend and I went over to Truman to vote early for Cappleman, and guess who is wandering around the lobby just outside the voting area . . .The alderbeast herself Helen Shiller.

Then one of the poll watchers tells us Shiller was at her building earlier in the morning with doughnuts and coffee for the residents, while encouraging them to vote for her.

Talk about you desperate politician.

While we were voting there were only 5 people there and 4 of them were from my building and all voting for Cappleman, so I feel good about that.

It is also worth noting that Alderman Shiller broke her contract with the League of Women Voters by using her campaign website and her official city website to link to a surreptitiously obtained video of a League debate. She claimed that she didn’t sign the contract or hear the spoken warnings before the debate and that her suit was at the cleaners, she got a flat tire, the sun was in her eyes… You get the idea. Anyways this should be an interesting race to watch and it looks like What the Helen will be a daily stop until after the elections. God help us if there is a recount.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm kind of embarassed for you. You seem to be devoid of compassion, or rational thought. Cappleman wants to turn Uptown into the next Lincoln Park, which it certainly isn't. Shiller is most certainly not desperate for votes, she is a compassionate woman who genuinely cares about the people she has been protecting for the past great while. I for one have been living in Uptown for 25 years, and have seen enormous improvements in the area. Crime overall is at an all time low, and the neighborhood is improving (if you can call condo's an improvement. Helen has always been a seeker of social justice, and helping the marginalized. Her opponent however has shown his true colors by using F.U.D tactics to make Helen seem sinister, and dishonest. Overall, the votes will determine what the residents of Uptown want in an alderman, someone who cares about the people who live here, and have lived here for a very long time, or a person whose main reason for seeking election is to raise property value. By the way, by using the homeless as a reason for political change you identify yourself as a person who is not only xenophobic, but racially intolerant. Have fun with your fear mongering property driving liar you wasted yor vote for. In the end it was a waste :P

6:14 PM  
Blogger El Rider said...

You have got to be kidding me. You think that keeping people poor and in shitty subsidised housing is compasion? What kind of evil little shit are you? James is not the first person to understand what Ms. Shiller is about; Chicago's best journalist Mike Royko wrote extensively on Uptown and the corruption in her ward twenty years ago, heck the man has dead for a decade. As to the improvements in Uptown, look around you, everybody else is doing better! Lakeview, Rogers Park, etc., wake the f*** up. As to crime, the entire North Side is safer than it was 20 years ago, hell there was at least one murder a year in Wrigleyville when I lived across from the field back then. Now its only fans doing that type of crap, oh yeh, and asswipes who take the el to Addison for a little raping. And please tell me why the compasionate Helen Shiller would not stop the heroin dealing going on inside of certain "shelters" where she gets so many "votes"? Can you answer that? Do the people of that ward have the right to not be harrassed by the junkies and loonies that represent the phantom voting that goes on in Uptown? Where is your fucking compassion for the normal people who can't afford to live in some increasingly expensive areas of our city? Can we protect the poor from the dealer wars and the general lawlessness that goes hand-inhand with heroin dealing? Your lack of compasion for your fellow human being appalls me.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wrote this to a friend of mine, another Uptown resident, who is visiting his family in an E.U. country.

“Click this out!” I think it’ll make you happy!

I might go tomorrow night if I don't pick up an ER shift. There are nasty blogs out there by the way, only read this blog if you are going to write a commentary because I'm sure it'll piss you off & it's not even really worth reading or raising your blood pressure for - it already pissed me off & that's enough. Maybe open it to show your family how nasty, soulless and angry these NAZI "gentrification people" can be. Uptown is the only community in this metropolis where you can hear a world of languages spoken as you walk down the streets. There are Koreans, to West Africans to East Indians – all living cohesively. I think gentrifyers are angry at life and angry at people who enjoy & live their lives! The native Chicagoans and immigrant populations that have lived in Uptown for decades enjoy walking, laughing at playgrounds, and supporting small buisiness owners. They don’t believe that you’ve now “made it in life” if you can now buy your Grande Mocha Latte at Starbucks every morning. Just look at how sterile and lifeless Lincoln Park and West Lakeview are. No one interacts in those communities (if you can call them that). It's all about "my box property", my SUV or hip new Hybrid and me rushing home to lock the door and watch "Desperate Housewives" - 1 of newest most popular sitcoms on TV that's all about these women in a subdivision who are fake to one another and stab each other in the back. These are the types of "communities" that these Cappleman people adore. I love it how this guy says it is a negative thing that Uptown is the least expensive stretch of Lakeshore property from McCormick to Waukegan. It's a bad thing?! You know what, maybe I should write a commentary.

I just got back from working at the ER at West Suburban Resurrection Hospital in Oak Park. I have a friend who is a doctor there and she wanted to show me the ropes before I start my first day tomorrow. I rode the Green Line out there. I love how connected this city is. & more and more I am realizing that I love working in the ER. I worked with Black people, White people, & I spoke Spanish to a non-English speaking patient. It was ideal - an urban multicultural community. On the way there, I saw skyscraper mold into "condo sprawl" then to inner city Black. (The West Side around Union Center has changed so much since I've been in Chicago). I am not against people who like to have "nice things" - townhouses/condos, but I am against people who are willing to sacrifice the livelihood of others in order to get it.

You know what? It’s not surprising that this guy is a “Trader”. He has dedicated his life to a profession/institution that doesn’t care about him. At the end of the day, they’ll spit him out for the next young buck that’ll work for the quarter of the cost.

12:43 AM  
Blogger El Rider said...

No real time this morning but the last comment left by Annonymous is ignorant. This was writen: "Uptown is the only community in this metropolis where you can hear a world of languages spoken as you walk down the streets." Don't get out much do you? Union Station is on W Jackson, just outside of the loop; it is NOT on the "west side". Calling people "Nazis"? Look in the mirror kid, just don't hit the mirror with your salute. No answer yet on Shiller's support of the "shelters" that sell heroin. I really like going to Uptown to hear the cries of the dealers and the addicted hookers and the Uptown residents whom I know don't really like it either. However the commenter obviously is willing to trade others safety and comfort in order to feel good about herserlf. "I am so good and multicultural" just as long aas I get what I want screw those people who are forced to live near those junkies. Also, I don't drink coffee and the multiculturalism exhibitted here has no tolerence for people who are successfull and actually pay for this city's services. Nazis indeed!

5:57 AM  
Anonymous James Cappleman said...

I came across this blog for the first time today. For having spent less than half of what Helen did, I think as a newcomer to politics, I did quite well with winning 47% of the vote. The vast majority of my funds came from the residents themselves. Helen cannot even go near that claim.

A week before the election, just as we expected, Shiller campaign literature was distributed to the CHA and HUD high rises suggesting that I was a member of the Klan; that I wanted to round up all the neighborhood children and have them arrested on the spot; that I called for the closing of the local high school; that I was against all affordable housing; that I was against all job training; that I thought all poor people were a "waste of space"; and that I represented the worst of the Republican Party. It was all the usual tricks she has done at every election.

Anonymous is convinced I want to change Uptown into Lincoln Park, but I never suggested such a thing. I have always sought for the use of "best practices" when it comes to low-income housing, helping the homeless, and creating a vibrant, safe, & diverse retail district. There are many fine examples of improved retail that still maintained the affordability of the area.

As a former Franciscan friar who took in people off the street, as a social worker at a children's hospital located in a poverty-striken area on the Southside, as a recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award, as a co-founder of a homeless shelter, as an openly gay man who understands discrimination first-hand, and as a very liberal Democrat, I hardly think that there is a risk I would suddenly lose all my values of being an advocate for others when elected alderman. However, you would never know it from listening to the rhetoric spewed out from Shiller's campaign.

Nobody's perfect. I am certainly not, but I remain a liberal Democrat with values that embrace the entire diversity found in Uptown and the rest of the ward.

I welcome criticism. It helps me to grow. Ms. Anonymous, I just simply ask that you keep it grounded in a little reality.

7:05 PM  
Blogger El Rider said...

Thanks for your comments James. It is truly disturbing that Shiller would accuse you of being a member of the klan, it is not shocking that she and her people would spread such lies but it truly is disturbing. You ran a great and clean campaign of ideas and I truly admire that. I am sure that by now you and your people have looked at the returns and turnout but my guess from just seeing the raw vote totals is that turnout was low and it was probably lower than usual in places that you guys reasonably considered strong areas, like the lake front. It is tough to get people out to vote in Feb, the guy here in the 32nd won in the general after coming in 2nd of 3 in the primary; he won with a combination of a lot of mail, good volunteers (you certainly had that covered) and better weather. It is too bad that you will not be bringing your abilities to the council, I guess that today some one else needs you even more than the people of Uptown.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just wondering where you got the statistic of "40% of the state’s psychiatric discharges ending up in the 46th Ward of Chicago"? I have been looking into this and was not able to find it.

9:13 PM  
Blogger El Rider said...

That is a very fair comment and you are correct that I should have sourced it. I am however not surprised that you are having trouble finding any source material, I had the same problem; It's tough enough to find out about the state's books. I used it because it is the number that has been used for years, even decades by the Chicago press and knowledgeable acquaintances have confirmed to me that the number is reasonable.


4:05 PM  

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