Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Smile, You're On Candidate Camera

From UNC's latest newsletter:

If you were unable to attend the Forums and want to learn more about the candidates, this e-news includes:
  • Video clips from the candidate presentations
  • Written responses to community questions
Thanks to Corbin Smith for taking the initiative to videotape the forums.  We’ll share future videos on the candidates and residents over the next few months.  You can watch the candidate video clips now by clicking on, then click on Episode Archive in the upper right hand corner.

What do the candidates have to say about cleaning up crime? Rehabbing the Wilson El station? Reviving the 46 Ward’s retail streets? All the key questions asked by UNC members are covered. You can check out the written responses posted on the candidates’ websites.

Questions were sent to the seven forum candidates — the five responses we received are linked:


  1. I guess my question is if you are sent a list of questions that seem like questions most people have who have been paying attention in the ward, how do you not answer them? Or just not respond at all. Could it be that like good old Helen, some candidates do not want to interact with the UNC? Given how much work the UNC does in our neighborhood it seems frustrating that some would not respond or fail to put their plans on paper to be reviewed by their fellow ward residents. Or is the job of alderman really just to big for some of the candidates. In my mind if you did not think through these types of questions long ago you are not prepared for the huge job that will await the person elected. I want someone who has a plan ready to move at 8am the first day. I have waited long enough already!

  2. Thanks for posting these. I watched all the clips and couldn't help make an observation about Don.

    Its striking how much he looks, acts and sounds like Shiller when he talks. The garbled speech and looking from side to side...

    Birds of a feather....?

  3. I see only 2 candidates that have adequately answered these questions, Molly Phelan and Andy Lam. Though I like Andy Lam's responses, I have concerns that he will be able to deliver on all he has promised. I believe Molly Phelan has given thoughtful and realistic responses. To the rest of the candidates who did not respond, or whose responses were not specefic and measurable, you are now dismissed from my consideration. Thoughts?

  4. Phelan just repeats a ton of stuff that Cappleman stated he would do if elected in 2007.

    My concern with this is that here we have a candidate that seems to be a carbon copy and just following another. I'm really concerned that if phelan is elected she won't know what to do unless she asks someone else.

  5. I look at 4 things when I vote:
    1. a candidate's history of involvement with the community.
    2. how realistic a candidate's plan of action will be
    3. how will the candidate involve residents when making decisions
    4. the ability of the candidate to connect with a wide variety of constituents

    All that aside, name recognition is a huge boost to any candidate. That name recogition usually comes from either being active in the ward before one declares their candidacy or from having run a close race before. Cappleman has the advantage of both. It will be an interesting race to say the least.

  6. Jane,

    Not sure I agree with you. I think they both pretty much state what they would do, and both those two did a good job doing so, meaning I think they both are equally qualified for the job(along with other candidates).

    I'm a Cappleman supporter, but I must say, I thought Molly's answers were better..... but just by a hair.

  7. phelan just comes across so not genuine...

  8. What happened to the Maryvlle TIF question for Retta? Didn't see it listed on his site...

  9. @Fear & Loathing:

    The following answer is listed, albeit with a formatting variation from the other questions and answers. You would likely miss it if you were scanning for it, but if yo u read #6, you would see it.

    Question #7- What is your position on the Maryville TIF and the current planning process? How will you address the questionable process that created this TIF?
    I believe in a transparent and open TIF planning process, which certainly was not the case with Maryville. If elected, the newly appointed TIF Advisory Council will review the Maryville process and make their recommendations to me.

  10. @elbarto, You're right, I missed it because of the formatting on the page. Ignore my last comment! Thanks

  11. Jane:

    Clearly you were not involved in the Fix Wilson Yard or Stop Labor Ready efforts. Anyone active in these groups knows that Molly is a strong leader who can grasp the problem, develop a plan of action, and then lead the charge in implementing the plan. She is exactly what this ward needs.

  12. With fix wilson yard, nothing came of it except a ton of us lost a lot of cash and we don't even know what it was spent on. I was also told the group was going to come back stronger than ever from molly and now she dropped it is running for alderman.

    as far as I know, molly hasn't accomplished anything in this ward.

  13. Gordon are you typing off a Phelan talking point when you wrote that?

    Phelan comes off as a female version of John Edwards. Too pretty and a bit too slick for her own good. Subscribe to her tweets for a journey to camp narcissus.

    Just another tax attorney trying to get elected to help her family business.

    If she does not get into the runoff watch her endorse whoever the machine candidate is.

    Personally I find Emily Stewart a much more appealing candidate if you want to elect an attorney. Grew up here and has done well with relatively little help.

    Phelan's supporters largely come off as failed high school cheerleaders:

    Molly is all about supercalifragilistic change. She's fabulous. Go Team Molly! Yea!

    If I were voting in round one strictly on the merits I would support either Stewart or Cappleman. They both have been around the area for a relatively long time and seem genuine and thoughtful.

    Andy Lam seems like a decent fellow, but has little chance. Nowatny and Retta seem hackish. Carrol is another Molly Go Lately who seems too ambitious for the good of the ward. Subscribe to his tweets for a journey to Camp anal retentive.

    The rest are unknown or jokes.

    At this point it is likely going to be a runoff between Cappleman and Nowatny. Perhaps 'Team Molly' will prove me wrong.

    I doubt it.

    Yea TEAM.

  14. Heh. Heh heh. As far as I can tell, the only thing that Molly wants to hang her hat on is "Fix Wilson Yard". How much money did FWY get in donations? Did the too-late-in-the-process lawsuit stop or "fix" Wilson Yard? How much public input did the FWY effort result in? What did FWY get added or removed from Wilson Yard? How many more MILLIONS of tax dollars have been vacuumed out of our pockets--in spite of FWY? As far as I can tell, FWY was an abject failure, spearheaded by Molly--which doesn't say much for her potential as an alderman. About the only thing FWY accomplished was media exposure for Molly.


  15. NOWTANY, Shillers heir apparent, did not answer ANY of these questions nor have I seem him out in the public domain at all in the past couple of months... has no one else noticed that all the anti-Shiller candidates are standing in a circle shooting themselves, like in this discussion, whereas Nowatney is doing a Rahm Emmanuel and not participating in ANYTHING? Bueller? Bueller?

  16. Did the too-late-in-the-process lawsuit stop or "fix" Wilson Yard?

    To an extent, yeah.

    The lawsuit didn't stop the project of course, but both Holsten and Shiller were sent a very strong message that there had to be enhanced screening of the residents, and better management of the project.

    And we have seen evidence of that.

    Additionally, FWY did help in bringing TIF abuse into the forefront of the political debate.

    The newest city budget is a joke, but some (albeit an insanely small amount of) TIF money is being returned to the general revenue.

    I'm not sure what level of impact FWY had in any of these things, directly or otherwise, but to say that FWY had no impact at all isn't terribly accurate.

  17. I don't find Molly oleaginous.

    Eager to please yes. Oily or slimy, no. Most wannabee pols want to get elected so that's a common trait.

    Finally I worked "oleaginous" into a sentence.

    She did a fine job with Fix Wilson Yard. I don't believe the case was lost on the merits. To paraphrase "Monty Python", "Say no more, nudge nudge, wink wink."

    This is Cook County expecting any other result was naive. Hoping for another results was ok. Expecting another result, not ok.

    Now I don't intend to vote for Molly in February, but belittling her for the result of Wilson Yard is unfair.

    Criticizing her for not being forthcoming on how the money was spent is fair. She needs to give an accounting or I shall mock her ceaselessly like the taunting in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

    Seriously, Mollster, just get the FWY accounting out of the way for your campaigns own good.

  18. You're right, the FWY lawsuit was not successful in the end, but it wasn't for lack of trying. While the judge ultimately ruled that the community had waited too long to file, she failed to take into account that we had been continually mislead by the Alderman about what the development would include, so to "start the clock" from when the initial plan was unveiled was unfair.

    Over the years we tried picketing, letter writing, petitions, giving statements at planning dept meetings, offering compromises, etc. with no success. With these alternatives exhausted, we launched the lawsuit effort. We knew that it was going to be a difficult uphill battle--suing the city is a daunting task.

    I don't regret the money that I donated to the cause or the time that I spent volunteering. Through the effort, we raised awareness of Ald. Shiller's TIF antics and build an army of residents ready to protest any future ridiculous TIF plans (hello fish farm). I'd like to think this played a part in her deciding not to run. But at the very least, I bet the lawsuit exposed her to some heat from city hall and ticked her off mightily, which makes me happy.

    I come by my opinion of Molly from working beside her on FWY and other neighborhood projects. I'm not trying to convince anyone to vote for Molly (nor do I think anyone will make up their mind based on Uptown Update comments). But when I read a comment that I think is utterly false, I will comment on it. I also will not bag on any other candidates. I figure people can read up on the candidates and make up their own minds.

  19. Not siding with any candidate BUT...

    I think the comparison of Molly to John Edwards may be the funniest thing I have read on UU. Last I knew, Molly didn't have a kid with a campaign worker, cover it up and basically abandon a dying spouse...

    Also, what is up with criticizing a candidate who wants to win? Nobody runs to lose.

    But.... on another note....

    "I believe in a transparent and open TIF planning process, which certainly was not the case with Maryville. If elected, the newly appointed TIF Advisory Council will review the Maryville process and make their recommendations to me."

    A TIF advisory council?

    I have some problems with this. This screams to me: "I have no idea what a TIF is so I am going to create a level of bureaucracy to deflect blame from myself."

    Also, how much "transparency" is enough. Do we want Wikileaks style transparency? Would that make everybody happy?

    Transparency is nothing but a buzz word if you ask me! Nobody really wants transparency they just want their fingers in the pot.

    Just a thought...

  20. Jason, nothing wrong with wanting to win. There is something wrong with pandering to voters with ideas that can't conceivably happen. Already financially strapped businesses and social services forking over big bucks to make a longer school day for CPS? Really? Wanting to take the Uptown Theatre away from the 48th Ward Alderman because she thinks it will be easy to redo it herself? I wonder if she's acting tough or clueless?

    I now have to wonder if she was clueless all along with the WY lawsuit. I'm feeling taken right now.

  21. There is something wrong with pandering to voters with ideas that can't conceivably happen.


    But ... that's what candidates do.

    A chicken in every pot, etc.

  22. I think that is my main frustration. Here I am someone who contributed to fix wilson yard thinking we have a decent shot to only find out this lawsuit was too late. So all of our money went to what?

    Then we were told that fix wilson yard was not giving up and coming back stronger than ever. I felt like okay, she isn't backing down. Then we heard nothing.

    Now she is running for alderman and people have asked for a kind of recap of what went wrong with the lawsuit and what we can learn from it and where did all of our money go and molly's response is talking to the treasuerer of the lawsuit, who happens to be her biggest contributor.

    I'm not trying to throw mud at her, all I want as someone who invested in fix wilson yard and now sitting her as a potential voter for the next alderman is some transparency and to not feel used.

    right now, I feel like fix wilson yard was molly's starting mark to run for alderman and she knew it was going to be a waste all along.

  23. Jane,

    you ignorant slut!(sorry, the SNL reference is mandatory)

    I agree with you that Molly used FWY as a platform for her candidacy. I'm not thrilled about that, but it's how da game is played.

    I disagree that Molly felt it was bound to lose. Give the lawsuit a different judge and the outcome may have been different. FWY just happened to get assigned a Judge who was running for the Appellate Court AND whose husband was one of the democratic partys biggest campaign donors.

    Coincidence I'm sure.

    I think Molly believed FWY had a legitimate shot at winning. I know an expert on that area of law who felt it should have won on the merits of the law.

    Hell, I'd argue that in a limited sense it was a win. Shiller ain't running and TIF reform is on everyone's agenda. FWY had a little something to do with both. Molly did fine work with FWY.

    I can understand why some people are supporting Molly or Carroll or Stewart. There are interesting and legitimate reasons to support any of them. Some people may have legitimate reasons to support other candidates.

    I support Cappleman because I feel he's earned it by hard work AND more importantly I think his background as a social worker will help in dealing with some of the problems of the ward.

    Others can disagree. However, there is no legitimate reason to support Nowatny. Unless his ponytail has magical powers. I know some people like him, but likability is overrated.