Monday, October 12, 2009

Join In The Conversation At Chicagoist

Kevin Robinson at the Chicagoist sizes up the 2011 46th Ward aldermanic candidates and makes a few wild claims. Check out his latest post here and previous 46th Ward related posts here and here.


  1. Kevin Robinson did a terrible job with this piece. Stating "Cappleman ran a polarizing campaign." This guy stinks as a "so-called" journalist.

    And who the heck is Gerald Farinas? I suggest he actually get out in public and start meeting folks if he thinks he is going to get any votes. His website ( looks ok, and his vision for the ward is optimistic, but his ideas contain a lot of generalizations and lack details of "how he's going to do that" kinda stuff.

  2. Thank the Almighty you posted this.

    WhirlofaGirl was getting all conspiratorial over at Chicagoist.

    It all relates to the illuminati, the Queen of England, and Lyndon Larouche.

    As for Gerald Farinas.....join the party.

    I may run just for grits and shins.

  3. Great another candidate against Shiller! I am sure Ald. Shiller is glad to hear this. The more people that run against her the more likely she is to win. We need just one strong candidate against Shiller. We all want to see Shiller gone and Uptown experience some positive change, but with more than one person running against her the less likely we are to get that change in 2011. Someone step aside and lets get Shiller out of office!

  4. HIU,

    if no single candidate wins 50 percent plus 1 vote in the election then a runoff is held between the top two vote getters.

    I'm undecided whether a runoff would be good. Last election Waguspeck won in a runoff and Stone and Moore came damn close to losing.

    I do know that "the machine" was not happy with the results of the last go round of runoffs.

    Runoffs tend to bring out the truly committed and those folks tend to more likely be with the opposition.

    There are other points of view on that. Like I said I'm undecided.

    It wouldn't surprise me if it came down to Shiller V Cappleman in a runoff. Shiller will have name recognition and Cappleman will have experience and his working his ass off for the last few years working for him.

    I'm old enough to remember one of Ali's pugilistic matches. They called it the "Thrilla in Manila".

    A 2011 runoff matchup between Shiller and Cappleman might be called the "Thrilla in Vanilla: Part Deux"

  5. How strange. A gay man who worked for national anti-gay candidate
    Alan Keyes? The black Rush Limbaugh. Alan Keyes? Uptown had better get organized if Shiller is to be defeated.

  6. "We need just one strong candidate against Shiller."

    Uptown has a tradition of a citizen's committee forming to interview candidates and reach a consensus, c.f. the 46th Ward Citizens Search Committee of 1978.

    First campaign for alderman

  7. Something doesn't smell right about this.

    Anyone admitting to being part of Keyes' joke of a campaign needs a mental health check.

    That beind said, if Cap wants to prevail, he needs to address this comcept of a "polarizing campaign" and put it to rest, quick-like

  8. "I'm undecided whether a runoff would be good."

    Just 3 aldermanic challengers won outright in February, 2007 (Jackson over Darcel Beavers in the 7th, Cochran over Troutman in the 20th, and Reilly over Natarus in the 42nd).

    12 wards went to run-offs in April, 2007 (2, 3, 15, 16, 18, 21, 24, 32, 35, 43, 49, 50). 1 of these had no incumbent (15th, Theodore Thomas' old seat) and another was a Daley appointment of only a few months (18th, Lane). Of the 11 run-offs with incumbents, incumbents prevailed in 6 (18, 21, 35, 43, 49, 50) and challengers prevailed in 5 (2, 3, 16, 24, 32).

    So a challenger has better chances in April than February, but incumbents still have the advantage.

    Chicago Board of Elections

  9. Nevermind my last post. Working remotely and didn't see the comments brewing down below.

    Looks to me like this campaign is going to get real messy, and real stupid (cough FHFM) real fast.

    Tho - it might be fun to run fact checks on campaign material.

  10. Yo, I agree about the need to stop the polarization. My history and my line of work has always had me focused on uniting people on our shared values. Believe me, there's much more that unites us than divides us.

    Kevin criticized me on a campaign piece that highlighted arrests for serious crimes throughout the ward and I compared that information to what was occurring in other wards. My source was cited. Kevin viewed that action as polarizing.... and I viewed it as good campaigning to point out an incumbent's shortcomings in a truthful way. People who lie in campaigns have serious doubts about their own message and I won't do it.

    I want to balance any criticism of Ald. Shiller with what I believe people want to see happening in the ward. I believe that's what draws us together to make this ward a home for everyone. It's not about getting rid of any particular group. It's about setting up the dynamics that has us being good neighbors to one another no matter what our own story happens to be. We are going down the right path when any parent from any income bracket feels our neighborhood is a great place to raise their children. There are people convinced that anyone running against Ald. Shiller hates people in poverty. My experience is that there are some people who are not open to reason and I will let them be... but I will still be their alderman if elected.

    The main thing is that I believe most of us want an alderman who believes that this office requires a public servant who actively seeks community involvement, transparency, and a commitment to the use of best practices in urban planning. If that's me, fine. If someone else has that commitment and drive to participate in the outside activities that I currently do, then I'm fine with them throwing their hat in the race as well. Let's see democracy in action.

  11. "I'm undecided whether a runoff would be good."

    another perspective, some more stats for handicappers:

    Shiller has run for alderman 8 times, 3 as a challenger and 5 re-election campaigns. Of the 8 races, 4 went to run-offs. (Shiller was defeated w/o a run-off in her 1st challenge attempt in 1978 and won re-election w/o a run-off in 1995, 2003, and 2007). Shiller's career W/L in run-offs is 3/1. In her 4 run-offs, Shiller was defeated just once, in her 2nd challenge in 1979, and won 3, once as a challenger in 1987 and in 2 re-elections (1991 over Mike Quigley and 1999 over Sandra Reed).

  12. Mr. Cappelman,
    I commend you on your efforts to run for Alderman of the 46th ward. I urge you to spend much time on what you will do, how you can improve the ward, how you will work with neighboring wards to make Uptown a united and cohesive neighborhood which listens to and serves all its residents and think it terms of long term plans. This will serve you much better than being critical of Schiller (who is such an easy target and will use this against you). Positive always wins, and I look forward to seeing you take this route and hopefully proving an inspiring candidate in this campaign.

    May the best (by best, I mean the best person for all of Uptown) person win.

  13. Mr. Cappleman-

    I don't know you either, and unfortunately I don't know much about your history in Uptown.

    What I do know is that our current elected official has turned her back on most of her constituents. That to me is political suicide. You represent the ENTIRE ward Helen. Because your ward has a very diverse group of people it is your responsibility to work for all those groups. I (along with a ton of other people in this ward) feel that you only work for the poor. By lying and taking our tax money for worthless projects you have really pissed a lot of us off. And guess what....we are the ones that actually vote. You barely won the last time and now there a lot more people that know what your all about.

    My guess is you realize most people are upset, since you hide from everyone and don't show much of yourself. I would imagine that right now your trying to pull a rabbit out of your hat much like Da Mayor is trying to rebuild his image. You don't have the muscle to win like he does (and even he will face a serious uphill battle).

    Mr. Cappleman I suggest straight talk and no lip service as far as your plans. I think it is painfully obvious this ward is ready to remove the worthless Alderman we have now. I hope you have the spine to call her out on whats really going on. I look forward to hearing what you plan to do to clean up the mess she has caused for her own political gain.

  14. This seems like such a loopy, sloppy piece, though I'm no expert.
    Hey, anything that highlights the falterings of the this ward is a good thing..

  15. A few of you have posted that you have no idea who James Cappleman is. I have to ask - did you just move here or do you just not get out of the house much? Do you ever go to CAPS meetings or positive loitering? Do you go to the block club parties? Do you go to any of the local restaurants/business? If you do, you would have surely met James by now. I can't tell you how many times I've seen him out and about talking to people - from all walks of life - all over the ward. I've never seen Shiller at any of these places. She doesn't care.

    Forget all this shit you have heard about James running a polarizing campaign. It's not true. If you believe that, you are just buying into the same old Shiller bag-o-tricks.

  16. let the games begin

    at least one deep-thinking Shiller syncophant thinks the key tactic in her re-election is to float a moral equivalence between Uptown Update and Cappleman and make Cappleman wear every goofy comment ever made here by nutcases like us

  17. shoot for the run-off as a strategy? maybe it's entertaining for a couple of dumb guys like us to handicap the edge in blog comments, but if you hear a candidate talk about going for the run-off - my advice is write them off

    incumbents Chicago aldermen have a massive advantage, run-off or not; a run-off is something to be endured, not a stepping stone or stage; serious candidates know there's only 1 way to win - get the most votes

  18. Hugh,

    the best thing for Shiller to do would be to resign. Then have Daley appoint me Alderman.

    That being an unlikely if not near impossible scenario, then it's likely the best way to defeat Shiller will be in the February 2011 election.

    My guess is that Farinas won't have much of an impact on the election even if he gets on the ballot. He did put together a nice website though, so time will tell.

    Maybe Farinas can live down his involvement with Alan Keyes and triumph in the election. Then in 2015 he can become the first openly gay, Alan Keyes loving Republican Mayor of Chicago. Assuming he doesn't run for Governor in between.

    If there are 3 or more serious candidates it is almost guaranteed to go to a runoff. By serious I would say someone who draws more than 5 percent of the vote.

    Time will tell. My guess is Shiller runs again and that one way or another she eventually faces Cappleman one one one in an election.

    Another interesting thing to watch will be to see if any of our elected officials support Cappleman openly. I have no doubt that a few would like too, but I wonder if they have the courage to stand up to the little man on the fifth floor.

    He might threaten to huff and puff and blow their houses down.

  19. and make Cappleman wear every goofy comment ever made here by nutcases like us

    LOL! :)

    Just reading those comments over there gave me a headache and I am not sure if I can stand to keep my eyes open for another aldermanic election in the 46th ward!!! Here's the bottom line for me:

    Helen Shiller is a good person. She cares a lot and no matter what she says about having "changed her ways" over time, she hasn't. In one sense...good for her and for the many people who were helped by that dogged determination. There are not many politicians out there trying to practice a preferential option for the poor in nearly everything they do. (BTW I am not agreeing that she always accomplishes that goal.) Unfortunately for everyone living in Uptown, this approach is seldom taken elsewhere. Uptown is not an island. You can't make up for misdeeds elsewhere by trying to overcompensate here. Eventually the "ends justifying the means" will catch up with you. I believe that Helen is at that point. She has had a nice run but she is kidding herself if she thinks what she is doing (or has been doing all along) is simply development without displacement. God bless her---she is a dreamer with a big heart but that doesn't make her a good urban planner, consensus builder or policy analyst. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

    In my opinion, she started losing the game when she abandoned the democratic principles that had somewhat guided her in her early years. Being open to input was easier when the ward was less economically diverse. As things changed, she never found a way to reconcile her worldview and what she wanted to accomplish with the new reality. As others have pointed out, however, there were many lost opportunities for building consensus and improving things for everyone. Helen saw differences and overlooked similarities. Now, Uptown is feeling the pain of that lack of vision.

    But it doesn't have to stay that way. Uptown is filled with amazing people from all walks of life whose potential to become change agents is untapped. For all that is good in the world, everyone needs to shed the negativity and open up their hearts a bit more. No way/no how are most condo owners selfish, ignorant and politically conservative. No way/no how are Helen's supporters merely poverty pimps, cultists or apologists who are quite happy "settling" for low standards.

    I believe something good can happen in Uptown that will end the rancor and create improvements across the board. Having had years to accomplish this goal, Helen Shiller is unlikely to be the person for the job. But that doesn't mean that the core of her perspective can't be carried forward by a new person in a meaningful way. Fear not, crusaders for justice!

    Can't we admit that what we are doing now is not working and that it is not sustainable given the economic mix of people we have here? Isn't it clear by now that we need a new person and a new approach? There is another choice besides an all-or-nothing approach. If Helen Shiller doesn't win the next election why assume that we would be throwing out the baby with the bathwater?

    Ultimately, we each need to imagine what consensus would look like for Uptown and work towards that. One of the first steps seems to be finding a leader who can help us get there and finding the strength within ourselves to release whatever is holding us back from being the change we want to see.

  20. other things equal, I think we would all benefit from more GOP candidates in Chicago aldermanic elections, if nothing else it would promote more diverse election judges, altho as I post this I recognize it's just a matter of time until some jackass posts that an Uptown Update commenter posted in favor of Republicans, therefore ipso facto habeus corpus QED James is a Republican...

  21. "If there are 3 or more serious candidates it is almost guaranteed to go to a run-off. By serious I would say someone who draws more than 5 percent of the vote."

    perhaps, but IMHO it's a blunder to let that expectation affect the conduct of your campaign

    as recently as 2007 we have examples of incumbents prevailed over 3+ multi-way fields w/o a run-off, e.g.

    Latasha Thomas in the 17th, who had 3 challengers who got 15%, 13%, and 4% respectively

    Munoz in the 22nd, 3 challengers who got 25%, 10%, and 8%

  22. "... she [Shiller] started losing the game when she abandoned the democratic principles that had somewhat guided her in her early years."

    as a challenger Shiller:

    * committed to forming a community zoning board and being bound by its decisions

    * criticized opponents for making deals with the machine

    * criticized opponents for taking campaign contributions from developers

    * criticized opponents for getting most of their campaign contributions from outside the ward

  23. Hugh,

    we could endlessly discuss various permutations and possibilities regarding the election.

    I do agree it would be best to defeat Shiller in the February 2011 election; although, a runoff would give me the opportunity to taunt her supporters some more. Admittedly, that is not a good reason for a runoff.

    Even in a three or more candidate field I have a difficult time seeing either Shiller or Cappleman getting less than say 40 percent of the vote. They both have a good base of supporters, name recognition, experience and Cappleman has been working his tail off expanding his base.

    Shiller can probably count on a decent fundraising effort; although, given the real estate downturn it may be less than last time. Cappleman will likely improve his fundraising from his last effort. Even if he doesn't he proved he could run a respectable campaign with little money compared to Shiller.

    I don't expect 2011 to be a good year for aldermanic incumbents. People are likely to be pissed off by their higher property tax bills and even though I expect Hizzoner to run and win his negatives are now more apparent. The "Daley/Shiller" schtick probably won't be as much as a positive as last election.

    Shiller will have the newly opened Target which will help her. The addition of a few hundred voters at Wilson Yard will help her also.

    The TIF money and fish farm are likely to bite her in the posterior. The videos of the riots on Sheridan aren't going to help her or her response to it.

    The games afoot.........

  24. I worry all the talk of a run-off might even be harmful

    Daley's BBF Pat Ryan attempted to spin the crash&burn of the Olympic bid as so many voters convinced it would come down to Chicago & Rio that they could afford to use their 1st round vote as a symbolic gesture, of course no one believes Ryan, let's give the IOC more credit than that, but there's a lesson

    a voter could think, "well, the (identity politics subgroup) candidate seems like a nut, but I'm a (identity politics subgroup), and as a general principle I support more (identity politics subgroup) candidates, so I'll toss the nut a bone in Feb and vote for who I really want in April"

    or they stay home in Feb

    so schtoompf on the run-off talk, ok?

  25. No one should worry about anything just get out and vote in the primary and election.

  26. ‘Chicago is strong enough, they don't need me until the second round,’ " Mr. Ryan said...

    Olympics bid leader Ryan: A 'miscalculation,'