Friday, February 06, 2009

Chicago Bloggers Threatened!

The bloggers at the fantastic Chicago blog Uptown Update and the now defunct blog What the Helen have been subpoenaed by a developer of the notorious Wilson Yard project in the Uptown neighborhood. Additionally two Uptown community groups have recently been subpoenaed, the Uptown Neighborhood Council and the Buena Park Neighbors. The Wilson Yard issue involves the subsidized development of a former Chicago Transit Authority rail yard that has been under what could best be described as negotiations for what seems like a decade. The city and the CTA reached an agreement with the neighborhood and the Alderman for a development that limited further subsidized low income housing that the area is chock full of. Well the Alderman up there, Helen Shiller gets herself reelected every four years with the support of the far left and the poor, the numerous homeless shelters in the neighborhood have voting participation levels that would make Kim Jong Il happy so there has been an ongoing dispute over the number of subsidized units that would be part of the development and the role of a local TIF (tax increment financing). The TIF program has been controversial in its own right and its use in this project using former public property has only added to the Wilson Yard controversy.

Flying Debris wrote about Uptown and Helen Shiller in Could This Possibly Be Legal? Chicago’s 46th Ward:

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.

It is very interesting to note the comment left on that post by her last opponent, Democrat James Cappelman several months after the election:

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.


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.

Sadly for James and all of us who live in Chicago we will likely see more such campaigning, especially if Helen's side wins this round by intimidating their opponents.

Update: thanks to Professor Reynolds for the link from Instapundit.

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Blogger Publia said...

Those subpoenas are really, really serious stuff. What can we do to show our support?

3:49 PM  
Blogger El Rider said...

Thank you Professor Reynolds for the link, America should know what goes on here in Chicago and a link from Instapundit goes a long way towards that end.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Levois said...

And I come by via Instapundit! This is a great post and very unfortunate.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

I no longer live in Illinois, but I remember Shiller. It's disgusting the way those like her exploit their own.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Tom Mannis said...

Excellent report. I just became aware of Flying Debris and love it. I'm adding you to my blogroll. I too, have been covering the story, since Jan. 29:

10:39 AM  
Blogger El Rider said...

Thanks Tom,
I have read your blog but I must have missed those posts. I need to update my blogroll, thanks for the reminder!

11:30 AM  
Anonymous FGFM said...

It's disgusting the way those like [Shiller] exploit their own.

Women? Jews? What the Cappleman!

7:17 AM  
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