Thursday, February 10, 2011

Anything Wrong With This Picture?

A reader sends in a campaign flyer they received recently:

"Correct me if I am wrong, but I did not think that city employees could use city owned property, i.e. a Streets & San truck, in campaign literature? I also thought that Don resigned from his position so he could run for alderman so why he is using this photo is also perplexing. Maybe your readers know."


  1. I was wondering the exact same thing as I saw this flyer earlier today. It was a little off-putting.

  2. Holy crap.

    What was he thinking?

    There should be an investigation. Today.

    Unfortunately for Don, this is the kind of thing people lose their pensions over.

  3. City employees may not use or permit the use of City property, time or resources for political activity.

    City of Chicago website, "Fundraising Restrictions on City Employees and Officials" section

  4. What's so off-putting about the photo?

    It's no different than if he had used a picture of himself standing next to city hall.

    He's not using the physical property of the city (i.e. the truck) for campaign purposes (i.e. travel & hauling).

    He's using an image of it.

  5. @QRBNST -

    Um, standing in a public place to have your picture taken for a campaign photo is fine.

    Driving your city vehicle to a campaign photo op, very illegal.

    Moreover, unless he was off the clock, he was in effect campaigning on city time. And if he was off the clock, he's using the city vehicle for personal use.

    I don't know if this is a two-fer or a three-fer.

  6. If I said Don was as dumb as a box o rocks would I get criticized by the box o rocks constituency?

    Stupid move on his part.

    Hear that sound behind you Don?

    It's the sound of de feet.

  7. @IrishPirate -

    No need for name-calling. Whatever else one might say about Don, I think folks universally agree he's a nice guy.

    What baffles me is that one of Don's biggest negatives going into election day is that he's been in charge of delivering basic city services for the past 16 years in a ward most residents feel is under-served.

    His second is the anti-incumbent attitude of voters, fueled by a belief that City Hall is broken.

    And he just highlighted both.

  8. This is why we need new leadership all the way around. This is just a regurgitation of the previous leadership. If bad decisions and misjudgments are being made now through the use of a picture, imagine where we will be when it comes to urban planning, budget, and crime? When we had sewer problems, I couldn't get any help or direction from Don's office. This ward needs a 'start over' not another extension of his 16 years under the 20 years of Shiller and our streets & san has not exactly been stellar in the 46th.

  9. Sorry, but I think I.P. might have a point about a Box of Rocks party.

  10. Already sent it to the Trib & Sun Times. Hopefully they pick up the story.

  11. He is still a City Employee so the IG has jurisdiction.

    I personally think this is no big deal, and shouldn't be enforced. It is rather petty. I think I saw some pictures of Carroll in his cop gear also.

  12. Meh. I think this will hurt him more than helping him.

    Did you see Molly's advert? It boasts how she's the daughter of an "Uptown social worker." I'm sorry but does being the child of someone qualify you to be alderman? That's like saying that because your dad was a successful mayor, you're going to be a successful mayor. (ahem)

    Anyways, if I thought social work was an important qualification, wouldn't I just vote for Cappleman, who's actually a social worker? Not just the child of one.


  13. Running this in a flyer is stupid. Of course maybe Nowotny had this photo taken years ago and did not break the spirit or letter of any campaign-city laws or regulations.

    Now if you want to see something clearly wrong take a look at Phelans flyer with the cop in uniform. Two of those photos appear to have been staged in her campaign office. The other is her and the cop outside of a Police SUV at the north end of 'Blood Alley' by the hardware store.

    Anyone care to bet whether the cop was on duty at the time and using a police vehicle? Or was he off duty and the vehicle just happened to be sitting there?

    I heartily await the response from 'Team Molly'. That is if they have finished counting all the money they are receiving from real estate lawyers and assorted interests from OUTside the ward.

    Also I have to figure that photos really frosts Michael Carrolls mug. One of Phelans flyers says shes the only candidate with a plan to fight crime. Sure you are.

    Go Team Molly! Yeah!

  14. I have a difficult time seeing this as anything important. Would the same principle apply to every political photo that has anything in the background that is city property? There are many more important criteria to use for choosing a candidate.

    In my opinion, there are several good candidates on the slate, and Don is one of them. I will probably vote for Cappleman in the first round, but would be happy to see Don get the job also.

  15. The website Early and Often has picked up on this story. I imagine one or two of Don's friends alerted them to it.

    It's a subscriber only website so I won't quote them, but this came in my morning mass email from them.

    A mailer showing a photo of 46th Ward aldermanic candidate Don Nowotny standing next to Streets and Sanitation equipment has caused quite a stir in the bruising North Side campaign. City employees are forbidden from using city resources for campaign purposes and rivals are lining up to say what Nowotny did was illegal. Nowotny claims its use was above board.

  16. One other thang,

    I saw Molly's flyer earlier with the well fed member of Chicago's Finest. I missed the apparent staging in her campaign office and the apparent staging of the pic of her next to the Cop and Cop SUV. I blame my parents and alcohol use.

    Someone has some splainin to do. During my glorious Army career there was a catchphrase in use. "Perception is Reality".

    In actuality perception ain't reality, but both Don and Molly used poor judgment with those campaign pics. I really don't think it's a huge deal for either of them, but when you're in a political campaign it's best not to give your opponents issues.

    I'm sure some of Molly's friends will be scanning it and sending it around just like Don's friends helped him out.

    Ain't politics fun.

    Eleven days till da election round one!

    As for Ken on Kenmore, KOK, so to speak, nice catch.

  17. Yikes! looks like Shaggy but that is no Mystery Machine! You had me at ponytail.

  18. Molly's not a city employee, IP.

    Don is.

  19. By this picture it tells me alot about the guy that wants to run our ward. Thanks as now you have one less vote.

  20. YO,

    Molly is not a city employee. Correct.

    The cop is a city employee.

    The SUV is a police version.

    Get my point?

    If those photos were staged and the cop drove the vehicle to Blood Alley and what appears to be her campaign office specifically for the photos he opened himself up for some potential disciplinary action.

    Like Don's photo it's all rather minor, yet as da mare might say "silly, silly, silly."

  21. Silly, indeed - and I hear ya', good sir.

    My point is that Molly, unlike Don, is not in a position to assign city resources for personal reasons.

  22. Yo babee,

    ya gotta run with me here.

    This election is too boring.

    Don is imploding. We need to bolster him.

    Pssst, Don, U listening?


    Have Charlotte Newfeld do the dirt work.

    What Did Molly Know and When Did She Know It?

    We'll dig up Sam Ervin, Senator Who Led Watergate hearings, to handle the investigation.

    I'll photo shop a pic of Molly on Nixon's body in the famous departing Helicopter shot.

    Tricky Molly. I need to buy her a dog named Checkers.

    I know I'm being Silly Silly Silly.

    Perhaps Cappleman will cooperate by getting caught in some scandal with the Octomom.

    This election just needs to get more bizarre. Eleven candidates and this is the best we can do for "scandals"..........

  23. When someone is saying he knows the ward better than anyone else, it's kind of weird to show him standing in front of a business that doesn't exist anymore at that location -- Hana To Yoko Flowers is long gone from Broadway. Don may very well know the ward well, but whoever put up the photos behind him doesn't.