Posts Tagged ‘election 2023’

By John Ruberry

“I heard my momma cry, I heard her pray the night Chicago died.” The Night Chicago Died, Paper Lace, 1974. 

Any doubt in my mind that Chicago would be the next Detroit evaporated last Tuesday night as election results came in showing that far-left Democrat Brandon Johnson would replace the disastrous Lori Lightfoot as mayor of Chicago. 

It was the night Chicago died.

There are serious lessons from this Democrat battle for Republicans. 

Moderate Democrat Paul Vallas, a policy wonk who can produce a white paper as easily as quickly as a Kardashian can upload skanky pics on Instagram, offered a commonsense solution to Chicago’s crime epidemic: hire more cops.

Woke triumphed over wonk.

Johnson, whose political career is a creation of the neo-Marxist Chicago’s Teacher Union, has a “roots cause” outlook in regard taking back Chicago. He favors sending social workers to domestic disturbances instead of police officers. And almost as if on cue on the day after the first round of voting for mayor, Andres Vasquez-Lasso, a 32-year-old cop, was shot to death responding to a domestic disturbance call.

Living just five miles north of Chicago, I agree with Johnson on one thing–there are many mentally disturbed people living in America’s third-largest city. Of course, there is one root cause leftists never speak of, the dominance of fatherless households in Chicago’s most-crime ridden neighborhoods

Six months ago, few Chicagoans had heard of Johnson. He’s been a Cook County commissioner since 2019, a rubber stamp body, for the most part, is controlled by Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle. She is also the chairman of the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization, aka, the Chicago Machine. 

Well, it was Chicago’s Machine.

The new machine in the city is the Chicago Teachers Union, which is aided by a couple of key allies, two other public-sector unions, SEIU and AFSCME. 

Johnson, after a few years as a teacher, where he admitted he never assigned homework, moved on to be a CTU organizer. In fact, he kept collecting about $100,000 a year from the union even though he was an elected official. 

And despite Johnson’s “defund the police” rhetoric from 2020, which be backed off of as his campaign gained traction before the February runoff, Johnson is Chicago’s mayor-elect.

With crime soaring in Chicago, how did that happen? 

That’s easy, it was that new machine, CTU and friends, that got Johnson elected. 

“They were brilliant,” former ABC Chicago political analyst Clarence Thomas told Chicago’s Morning Answer Dan Proft last week of CTU. “They did it, they went door to door, they knocked on doors, they found those vote by mail ballots, and said, ‘Hey, let’s fill this out, let’s send this in.'”

Vallas, meanwhile, ran a conventional political campaign, heavy on collecting corporate campaign contributions, big-name endorsements including Dick Durbin, former governor Pat Quinn, recently retired six-term Illinois secretary of state Jesse White, and many Chicago alderpersons. Illinois’ most-read newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, endorsed Vallas.

That was a wonderful strategy–that is, if Vallas was a candidate for mayor of Chicago in 1991. 

How many doors did Dick Durbin knock for Vallas? Or Quinn? How many voters did the Chicago Tribune reach out by way of text messaging, reminding them when, where, and how to vote? How many voters did Jesse White contact in regard to receiving a mail-in ballot? How many social media private messages did those pro-Vallas alderpersons send? How many people got rides to polling places from those corporate megadonors? 

The answer to those questions is the same: almost certainly zero.

The Chicago Teachers Union game plan that got Brandon Johnson elected will be replicated by leftists nationwide in 2024. Listen, I hate early voting and I despise mail-in ballots, but until the rules are changed–and that is, if they are changed–Republicans have to adapt to the new ballgame. 

The CTU looked for voters, found them, and they made sure they voted for Johnson last week–as well as the two weeks prior to Election Day. A low turnout–about 35 percent—clearly upped the odds for CTU/Johnson.

As for that abysmal turnout, shame on you, Chicago.

One more thing about Vallas. When he conceded on election night, he trailed Johnson about 10,000 votes. But that evening there were still around 50,000 outstanding mail-in ballots, and yes, they are still trickling in and being counted. Vallas learned too late that the game had changed. He knew the great majority of those mail-in ballots were from Johnson voters. 

Get to work, Republicans. Find out who your voters are, connect with them, stay in touch with them, and get them to vote.

And yes, knock on doors. More people can be found at home now, many people work from there. Times have changed. 

Adapt or die.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Lori Lightfoot

 By John Ruberry

A poll with surprising findings was released on Thursday by Fox Chicago about Chicago’s mayoral election on Friday. Yeah, yeah, I know, many political polls about the recently concluded congressional elections were wrong, and there were serious polling errors in 2016 and 2018 as well. But stick with me here.

The mayoral poll, conducted by M3 Strategies, shows that US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is favored by 28 percent of respondents, followed by former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas at 19 percent, incumbent Lori Lightfoot at 15 percent, and Willie Wilson, a businessman and philanthropist, at 13 percent. 

There are eleven candidates for mayor of America’s third-largest–for now–city, although petition challenges might winnow the field. The first round of voting, along with races for alderpersons in each of Chicago’s 50 wards, as well as for city clerk and treasurer, will be held on February 28, if no candidates achieve a majority in their races, the top two candidates are matched in an April runoff. 

So, if the poll is correct, that means that Lori Lightfoot, who in my opinion is America’s worst big city mayor, she won’t make it to the second round. Lightfoot’s term in mayor has been disastrous on many levels–too many to list here.

On the latest episode Fox Chicago Flannery Fired Up show, host Mike Flannery said about crime, “nearly three-fourths of Chicago voters now say is their number one issue.” Lightfoot, as a candidate said that the crime levels of 2019 were “unacceptable.” Flannery then fact checked Lightfoot’s recent statement that “we are down 15 percent in homicides, 20 percent in shootings.” But those are numbers looking back to last year. Flannery did the right thing, scolding Lightfoot.

“When she took office in 2019,” Flannery said, “she inherited a dramatically declining rate of bloody street violence, but the medical examiner reports that homicides this year are 41 percent higher than in 2019.”

It’s easy to understand why Lightfoot is polling so terribly. M3 Strategy’s Matt Podgorski was a guest on that Flannery Fired Up installment, of the incumbent he said, “You’re looking at a situation where [there is] a negative view of 74 percent of likely voters and about 70 percent of them think she does not deserve another term. Only two percent of Chicago voters haven’t formed an opinion of Mayor Lightfoot.”

“Those are unprecedently bad numbers,” Podgorski concluded.

I can’t see a way out for Lightfoot. Apparently, Chicago voters, up to a point, aren’t completely stupid. 

Besides her inability to stem Chicago’s rise in violence–which her apologists point out is part of a national increase in mayhem while failing to mention that Los Angeles and New York, which are more populous, have lower murder totals–Lightfoot’s petulant and overbearing COVID-19 lockdown policy produced a tragic irony. After she spotted a large group of males congregating on a beach, the next day she ordered Chicago police officers to enforce the closure of that beach. Later that day, cops did next to nothing as rioters tore up and looted Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue shopping district. 

Lightfoot has acted bizarrely, once allegedly told an Italian-American group who supports the return of Chicago’s Christopher Columbus statues to public view, “I have the biggest d*ck in Chicago.” She once went full-Jack Nicholson in The Shining in a repetitive email rant. 

Chicago voters, as I alluded earlier, still have much room for improvement. Chuy Garcia, then a Cook County commissioner, surprisingly forced incumbent Rahm Emanuel into a runoff in the 2015 mayoral race, running to the left of Emanuel. In 2016 Garcia endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. Last year the leftist magazine In These Times, in a collaboration with the Chicago Reader, gushingly wrote of Garcia’s working with the Squad in Washington, “It’s not surprising that García has taken up with Congress’ left rebels.” 

Garcia enjoys a sizeable lead in the Fox Chicago poll. Garcia collected $2,900 from indicted FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. Worse, the Protect our Futures PAC spent over $150,000 on glossy mailers to introduce Garcia to new voters in his redrawn congressional district, even though Chuy was running unopposed in the November election.

Buying something, SBF?

What about the other two top contenders to replace Lightfoot? Willie Wilson, a gadfly candidate who somehow has convinced some Chicago conservatives he is one of them, can arguably–because of his regular grocery and gasoline giveaways--be called a vote buyer. Paul Vallas, another perennial candidate, is the only mayoral candidate talking real sense about crime. Unless I missed something, he’s the only mayoral candidate who is explicitly critical of Cook County’s catch-and-release prosecutor, Kim Foxx. 

Whoever is Chicago’s next mayor, the, ahem, winner faces a monumental series of challenges. Besides crime, the mayor will have to cope with a declining tax base, as businesses are fleeing. And Chicago’s pension bomb looms–eventually it will explode. Chicago is the most corrupt city in America. And what about the lead in Chicago’s water pipes?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.