Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Gee, I Don't Have Any Idea Who's Harassing Your Campaign Worker"

From Lauren Peters, Campaign Manager for the Cappleman campaign:

"Dear UU---I wanted to give a full accounting of what transpired on Saturday.   There are 11 campaigns running for alderman right now, so everyone is out and about handing out literature.  We ran into both Emily Stewart and Don Nowotny volunteers, who’ve been very polite and courteous. Our own campaign team has informed our volunteers to leave the campaign lit of other candidates alone.

My Cappleman worker was putting out lit around 11 AM near Clark and Argyle and came upon another campaign piece wrapped up in a fence.  Wanting to know what other candidates are saying, he took it out so that he could read it. Suddenly some guy jumped out of a car holding with a video camera and got into his face and demanded to know who he worked for.  My worker said he was with the Cappleman campaign and the man with the video camera shouted, “You're stealing Molly Phelan lit, aren’t you?”

My worker said no, and that he was just reading it to see what it had to say.  In a very threatening tone, this guy (who was much larger than my worker) demanded to see what was in my worker’s bag.  My campaign worker opened up his bag of lit to show that it was filled only with Cappleman lit.   The video guy proceeded to shove his camera in the bag of lit to film it.  The video guy then asked my worker if he was a volunteer or paid person.  Then he demanded to know how much he was getting paid.  My guy said it was none of his business. At this point the guy got back in his car and drove away.

My worker called me because he was shaken up by the encounter and I slogged thru Saturday traffic to check if he was ok, along with my other workers.  We called 911 and gave a description of the incident, the car, and the video guy.  I then called the Phelan campaign to give them a heads up about the behavior of one of their volunteers.  The guy answering the phone identified himself as “Dave” and claimed he had no idea that this was happening.  I gave him the same description of the person and the car that was given to the police.  He suggested we do a joint press conference, but I let him know my only intention was to have Phelan’s campaign team stop this volunteer from harassing others.

After finishing up with the lit, we drove back to the office and passed Phelan’s office along the way.  Lo and behold, parked out front with its blinkers on was the vehicle we described to the police.  We called 911 again and police officers arrived within minutes. We decided to walk into Phelan’s office at this point and see if the guy was in fact inside.

Sure enough, the same guy who claimed he had no idea this was happening and suggested to do a joint press conference was the guy who had the video camera harassing my campaign worker.

Once the police showed up, he admitted he did it. We chose not to file a report, but I want others to know that this is going on and we won’t tolerate these tactics.  If any of you feel bullied by any campaign worker, please take the necessary action to stop it. We want a clean and safe campaign for everyone."


  1. Did the cops know how to find Phelan's office?

    I kid.

    Sounds like one of Molly's paid or unpaid supporters need to take a St John's Wort and chill out.

    People get wacky near election day.

    It is interesting that he asked for a joint press conference. Sounds almost like a demented political pro.

  2. I'm not surprised at this incident at all.

    Phalen must be getting desperate to stoop this low.

    I'm glad that Cappleman's camp took the high road on this.

  3. I'd like to hear the other side of the story.

  4. From what I understand, from VERY good sources, it is the one and only... drumroll please... i was Yellow Dog Democrat! The paid consultant brought in from Springfield that has no idea about Uptown but apparently knows how to harrass and intimidate those who are for Cappleman.. Good job, YDD.. Thanks for bringing the thug back to the campaign via Molly....

  5. Paranoia

    Huge Amount of Money from OUTside the ward

    Thuggish Behavior

    Strong machine ties

    Sounds familiar

    I have said it before. Molly Phelan is not independent. Those of you looking for that are simply wrong.

    I also do not think you would experience this type of behavior from Michael Carrolls volunteers. Considering many of his volunteers our family, friends and neighbors I would hope not.

    There might be 5 candidates who have a possibility to not be eliminated on Tuesday. Cappleman, Carroll and Stewart can legitimately claim to be independent. Nowotny and Phelan can not claim that. Oh wait. They can claim that. Just like Ms Phelan claimed to be the only candidate with a anti crime plan.

    I guess her crime plan is to win the election and get her volunteers of the streets. That might reduce crime. She already took at least one cop off the street for a photographic opportunity so Phelan is an expert on crime fighting.

    To me there are only two candidates I could in good conscious vote for. Both Carroll or Cappelman in that order. They both seem to be hardworking genuine individuals with good ideas. Ms Stewart has an impressive resume. However her point of view on housing does not appeal to me.

  6. It occurs to me that this comprises a fairly nice anti-Phelan story.

    Not that I really know WTF either of the two stand for.

    Yeesh, Chicago politics.

  7. Sounds like the Cappleman campaign handled the incident like adults...

    Further, by attaching your name to your post and identifying who you are, I think you give yourself some credibility.

    Having said all of that, I do think a simple response from the other side would be fair.

  8. The Phelan campaign obviously had a bad week and at least one paid or unpaid supporter is showing the stress. As I said people get goofy around election day.

    The truth is if some Capplemaniac supporter had acted like a well......maniac.......I'd probably say the same thing. I wouldn't suggest people see this incident as an indictment of the entire Phelan campaign.

    Most of the people supporting Molly are very good folks. Some of whom have been fighting the good fight for over 30 years.

    I do detect a faint whiff of paranoia about Molly though. Going back to the summer when Cappleman raised more money locally and she basically said it was because his campaign was being promoted on UU and more recently when she complained to "Early and Often" when Cappleman referred to himself as the "frontrunner". Of course when Laura Washington of the Sun Times referred to Molly as the frontrunner Molly's website promoted the article.

    It's all point of view sometimes.

    Two days to go folks. Let's try to keep it somewhat civil and certainly non violent.

  9. Does Molly's campaign have many volunteers? Based on her payroll costs (as seen in the the year-end D-2) and the fact I see the same people in her office every time I walk by, I thought that she was just using a paid staff rather than the volunteers that the Stewart, Cappleman and Carroll campaigns are using to spread their message.

    I am hoping that we can have a serious discussion of a vision and plan for our Ward when the two top candidates are determined on Tuesday. If Molly Phelan is one of those candidates, actions like this make me worry about turning the election into a dirty campaign dominated by negative advertising. Let's hope that does not happen for the our neighborhood which needs more cohesiveness, not more division.

  10. Desperation is no excuse not to keep your Yellow Dog leashed, Molly.

    This incident seems a bit too familiar to of one of Uptown's infamous moments... when a resident was threatened by Shiller's paid office dog with a baseball bat in her own office.

    You are not the change this ward needs.

  11. Can we please get a separate prediction thread?

    I just haven't annoyed my good buddies Jason or El Barto enough today.

    Let me start out.

    1. Tuesday will turn out to be election day.

    2. Some folks will be happy Tuesday night. Others will be sad.

    3. Emmanuel will be forced into a runoff against Chico. (Dat's more of a hope than a prediction)

    4. Cappleman will lead in 46th ward voting and will face ???????????????????????????????
    in the April finale.

    5. Some people will be annoyed with me on Tuesday.

    6. No matters what happens it will be TWO HOOKER TUESDAY for me because we are just that much closer to a Shiller free alderman's office!

  12. Not sure if this is completely related but I live on Kenmore and today I saw someone walking down taking off all the literature that had been put up for Cappelman the previous day. They were driving a silver car...

  13. The circumstances described in the story are pretty dubious. Look at the inciting incident right at the start-

    "and came upon another campaign piece wrapped up in a fence. Wanting to know what other candidates are saying, he took it out so that he could read it."

    "Wrapped up" in a fence? The wording is inscrutable. Why not just read it from where it was? Why even post such a confusing story? Of course it's biased.

    Like Fairly New said, the other side of the story is necessary too.

  14. I haven't seen much Cappleman lit in front of my place (off of Sheridan and Wilson). Just Nowotny and I think Carrol. Practically NOTHING in comparison to the lit at my friend's place on the side streets.

  15. How about if the worker was taking down other candidates material and got caught red handed? One thing he did admit is that he did take someone's mail and read it. I don't think that would go over that well with anybody.

  16. BPM, unless you live in a high-rise or some other place without the ubiquitous wrought iron fencing, you KNOW that a lot of craptastic flyers ranging from take-out menus to home repairs get wrapped around the wrought iron AND held in place with tight-bound rubber bands. I have had to remove these things from my building's fence and gate for past 15 years. No, you can't read them while they're wrapped on your fence. And I'm not in the least bit surprised that Molly's hired gun would try to intimidate actual volunteers from the neighborhood...just like he ("Yellow Dog Democrat") has been trying to do in here. Pah-leeeze. Go back to Springfield.

  17. Doesn't anyone want to see this video? It might shed some light on what actually happened. Molly? Yellow Dog? Bueller?

  18. BPM - Most of the campaign lit that I have seen around the neighborhood have been rolled up and put in fences or rubber banded to door handles, so in order to read it, you have to physically take it from the fence.

    I have talked to at least three people who witnessed this event, and it sounds like Lauren's account is accurate, if not slightly subdued to avoid being over dramatic.

    If there is another version of this story, I would be curious to hear about it.

  19. It could be worse folks. We could be in Morocco. For some reason this video reminds me of this incident.

  20. Okay, it seems that my fence knowledge isn't up to par, since my non-highrise building does not have a fence around it.

    But my point is that it's a poorly told story because a lot of information is lacking, and it's silly for anyone to take sides after reading it when it is clear that we don't really know what happened- and we don't know what these people's real intentions were. Make sense?

  21. Next thing you know, this "overzealous volunteer" might engage in "attempted fisticuffs." We all know what that means in this ward.

    I'm so glad I voted for Cappleman in the early elections. He's the best candidate for the job.

    Molly, your silence about this issue and all the large dollar campaign contributions from outside the ward speaks volumes. Grab the situation by the horns and address both issues publicly. If you do make the runoff, be prepared to answer those questions in public debate. I'll certainly be there asking them.

  22. I'd be surprised if there was any response from the Phelan campaign before Tuesday. Perhaps she'll prove me wrong.

    I suggested she release the FWY accounting info back in November. Did she listen? Noooooooooooooooooooo.

    If Molly makes the runoff she can address it then. If she doesn't make the runoff it won't matter much will it?

    If Molly has been getting professional campaign help she has been poorly served by her advisers.

    1. She never should have endorsed Terry O'Brien for County Board President

    2. The cop photo on the mailer was stupid and the damn mailer is now being posted in a smaller version on fences. Dumb de dumb dumb.

    3. If the lack of a campaign disclosure on some mailers was a mistake she should have IMMEDIATELY posted that info on her website AND informed the campaign election authorities. Mistakes happen. Admit it.

    4. See my second paragraph.

    Last week I fully expected an Cappleman V Phelan runoff.

    Now I'd flip a coin between Carroll,Nowotny,Phelan, Stewart and perhaps even Retta for the second spot.

    I'm beginning to believe I overestimated the Phelan campaign because of her prodigious money raising.

    If you look at various campaign Facebook pages she lags well behind in the number of supporters some of the other campaigns have. Stewart also got twice as many hits on her YouTube videos.

    Tuesday will be interesting to watch.

  23. Mindy, UU didn't make an endorsement because we are six people and support different candidates. But we all agreed to post this story because it's pretty scary if it's true that campaign workers are being harassed and if the very person doing the harassing says there's no one of that description working on the campaign.

    If it had been any other campaigns involved, we would have run it as well. We just expected better of an election that didn't include Ald. Shiller, she of the "James Cappleman is part of the KKK" literature from last time around.

    As long as it was videotaped, we'd be glad to post the tape of the incident if the Phelan worker wants to send it to us, unedited.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Leslie, I put a lot of that Cappleman campaign lit out yesterday in Sheridan Park and today it was mostly gone including from my own bldg and no one that lives here removed it so someone is clearly going around removing literature. Next time take down a license plate, take a picture if possible and send it to uptown update so that these people can be identified.

    On another note, Molly why do you employ (or allow to volunteer) someone that would do this. You should come out and let us know that this person is no longer affiliated with your campaign or at least what his side of the story is so that we can all have the full picture because right now it looks like your employees/volunteers are asses! Your silence is very telling of the type of alderman you might be ... it reminds me of someone but alas I can't quite remember the name.

  26. I'm all for taking down any candidate's posters that are illegally put on public property. But to take campaign literature that is being put on doors/gates/ etc. is plain cheesy & shows serious insecurity.

  27. The amusing thing is that if someone who favors another campaign is taking down literature they're largely wasting their time taking down Cappleman's stuff.

    I will be amazed if Cappleman isn't first in the voting Tuesday.

    If you wanna play dirty start taking down the literature for the other candidates who have a shot at the runoff.

    Worry about making the runoff then focus on Cappelman later.

    Gawd, you don't need to be David Axlerod to run a campaign.

  28. Misinterpretation often lends to escalated response. Given the story at hand it sounds as if a heated Phelan campaign worker saw what they believed to be foul play and took a verbal strong-arm approach. Risky and in this case, considering the initial denial, nothing but negative.

    I hope Molly Phelan or her campaign manager sends an extension of apology to the Cappleman Headquarters so as to resolve this incident with the utmost civility.

  29. I would like to hear this other guys side of the story as well. I think his silence speaks volumes.

    I also wish candidates would stop handing out lit this way. I got home the other day, and there was political literature rubber banded all up and down my gate (and even more blowing around in my buildings front yard). What would the candidates do if I scattered my business cards all over their front yards?

  30. If the canvasser was accosted, why didn't he file charges on this guy with the camera? It sounds like he would have grounds to file charges.

  31. Our favorite dawg, Yellow Dog Democrat, is suspiciously quiet on this thread. Can he not take the heat when he is possibly invovled in the campaign, or someone related to his candidate?

    I wish this was the last time we would hear a story about campaign tricks in this election cycle, but sadly, I think they could get even worse during the run-off.

  32. Maybe I'm cynical, but a blog where people post anonymous comments may not be the most impartial news source. Who is to say another campaign is not behind much of the negative Phelan news posted here in the last couple of weeks? Could another candidate benefit by her not making it to a run off?

    Politics is dirty, but don't fool yourself into thinking there is only one candidate that is spreading the filth.

  33. Cub Reporter,

    take a look at the 9:35am comment.

    Can you hear the low growling?

    Personally, from what I saw on this board last week, I don't think YDD is capable of not posting in one form or another.

    As for this incident I don't think one moment of thuggish idiocy adds up to a campaign of intimidation.

    It's also been my experience in this thing we call life that people who accuse others of doing naughty things, are often doing those same naughty things themselves.

    Positively Freudian.

    Of course Freud said about the Irish:

    This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."

    So what the hell do I know?


  34. Maybe it was Yellow Dog Democrat, maybe he isn't responding because he is being treated for rabies.

  35. The Wicked Messenger - I completely understand why you would be cynical regarding this incident. I personally think that the Cappleman campaign took the high road by NOT filing police charges, even though "Once the police showed up, he admitted he did it" according to Lauren Peters' summary of the events. From my understanding, Lauren sent this information to protect the volunteers of the other 10 campaigns who may experience similar harrassment.

  36. the wicked messenger wrote, "Maybe I'm cynical, but a blog where people post anonymous comments may not be the most impartial news source. Who is to say another campaign is not behind much of the negative Phelan news posted here in the last couple of weeks?"

    Irony aside, this thread is about Lauren's report. It is explicitly from a named, identified source. One could call Cappleman's office, ask for Lauren and get confirmation that she did make this report.

    Yes, one could make that characterization about other comments. But this one, clearly the most egregious charge, is well sourced.

    Likewise, pointing out the sources of contributions may be anonymous, but the actual data in question is public record and can be verified.

  37. Who is to say another campaign is not behind much of the negative Phelan news posted here in the last couple of weeks? Could another candidate benefit by her not making it to a run off?

    As I said yesterday, if this had happened to one of Molly's campaign workers at the hands of another campaign worker, we would have run it. We also would be happy to run an unedited video of the incident if the Phelan campaign sent it to us.

    Did another candidate put up Phelan posters when Uptown United asked everyone not to? Take photos of a cop on duty and use them in campaign literature (which could land that cop in a heap o' trouble)? Omit the required "paid for" slug off Phelan's mailings -- twice?

    I'm sure the campaigns who are close to Molly in the polls are delighted with the news. But the missteps we're hearing about are solely the responsibility of the Phelan campaign.

  38. I straightt up do not believe this is true.

  39. jason (tfo)- If you don
    t believe this, why don't you call Lauren Peters and ask her yourself? Maybe she can give you the name and phone numbers of the four other people who witnessed this event.

  40. Ms Phelan is now approaching or over $60,000 in big campaign contributions.

    CITIZENS FOR REILLY PO BOX 10939 Chicago, IL 60610 $9,627.20
    2/18/2011 5A
    Friends of Molly Phelan Phone Bank, Mail & Consulting Services

    Reilly being the downtown alderman who used to work directly for Michael J Madigan and the Illinois Democratic Party.

    Speaker Madigan, Assessor Berrios and a whole litany of outside the ward business interests certainly are interested in getting Phelan elected.

    Go Team Molly!

    Who said Yellow Dog Democrat is a former Madigan employee.

    Do you have proof of that?

    Please post it if you do because we are less than 18 hours away from an attempt to turn our ward into another outpost for the Madigan-Berrios Machine.

    Berrios being the guy who laid off a bunch of staffers while hiring family members.

    I have said it before. Phelan is NOT independent. She was the ward adviser for Terrence O'Brien for Cook County Board President. She is getting massive money from Madigan and Berrios influenced people.

  41. It's interesting for sure.

    The Cappleman campaign workers made Malden a trash dump site by putting literature every few feet on each of the iron fences. I wish the campaign manager would come pick up the campaign trash that now litters our street.

  42. Eric,

    calm down.

    It would be nice if the various campaigns would get together on Wednesday morning and remove all campaign literature they find outside.

    They could even "divvy" up the blocks various campaigns would clean. After the election removing others literature shouldn't lead to any confrontations and will show 46th Warders working together.

    Just think how much fun Yellow Dog will have taking down Cappleman literature and then peeing on it in the parkway!

    Woof Woof.

  43. IP's "TWO HOOKER TUESDAY" comment is too funny not to take the bait on predictions. It's too close for me to call, so I'll give percentage estimates:

    Chance of a runoff: 98%

    Runoff between:

    Cappelman - Phelan 31%
    Cappelman - Nowotny 26%
    Phelan - Nowotny 16%
    Cappelman - Stewart 11%
    Cappelman - Carroll 6%
    Phelan - Stewart 5%
    Phelan - Carroll 3%
    Cappelman - other 6 1%
    All other combos 1%

    It feels like I'm overemphasizing James and Molly in such a competitive field, but history shows you have to put fundraising first, even if you don't like it.

  44. I see this as nothing more than further Molly Phelen bashing on this site (she has replace Shiller as the punching bag - not that I ever supported Shiller and I am glad to see her go). This site seems to need a "bad guy" to always beat-up and they are going after Phelen becasue she has the ability to defeat the golden child Cappleman. People are doing everything they can to make her seem corrupt to try and sway voters away from her and vote for Cappleman (who has been deemed a saint and Uptown redeemer - soon they will have him walking on water and turning 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish into enough food to feed all the homeless and poor in Uptown and Chicago).

    While the person for Phelen's campaign may not have handled the situation well, the Capppleman worker should never have touched another candidates material. Shouldn't he have already been knowledgable of Phelen's position on issues?

    I know I personally confronted a person tearing down campaign signs in the last election (a candidate I did not support). I too would have confronted this person when I saw them place Cappleman literature then remove Phelen literature to "read it". This person is just pissed because they were caught.

    I have noticed that when something negative is posted on this site about the campaign that they try and make Molly out to be the bad guy (showing her campain signs with warnings to "all" canidates - total manipulation). Very little info is given about the other candidates.

    People already had their minds made up from the last aldermanic election when Cappleman ran against Shiller. They were determined to spend the next four years getting him elected. Yes I voted for him in the last election, but he is my second choice now. Isn't that the beauty of free election and having several candidates to choose from!

    I realize that this is not an unbiased blog. However, it seems to be heavily leaning and trying to sway voters to ONE candidate - Cappleman.

    Only Tuesday will tell - who knows we all may be surprised and neither Cappleman, Phelen, or Carroll make it to the run off. Guess people will be running for the hills then and declaring the end of the world.

  45. Even though I fully supported Molly's FWY effort, I never understood how someone who wanted to fight City Hall would think that City Hall would want to work with the person who was the thorn in their side. Never heard much from her before the lawsuit. Most of the candidates have 1 issue in their past that they are running on. There is one candidate, not connected with the Shiller office, who has been involved in many aspects of our ward for many years - not a 1 issue candidate. Irish Pirate called's Cappleman!

  46. HopelessinUptown,

    it's P H E L A N.

    Misspelling it once would be ok, but mispel consistently and it's annnnnoyyyyying.

    The main reason Molly is being treated like a Rock Em' Sock Em' robot
    is her campaign has made some mistakes and missteps recently.

    Dat's da way da game is played.

    Now with 11 candidates in the race tomorrow my crystal ball has a cataract. I don't know who will make the almost inevitable runoff.

    I do know that if Molly makes it she's in for more rock em sock em fun. People aren't going to back off on her on some of the mistakes of the past few weeks.

    If she does make the runoff I hope she gets some better campaign advice.

    Woof, woof.

  47. The bigger problem with Phelan isn't a rogue campaign worker—it's that harebrained scheme of filling vacant storefronts with art galleries. I don't see art collectors feeling too safe near Broadway and Wilson, with all the shootings and panhandlers and urban decay.

    I'm voting for Carroll. I agree with him that crime is the #1 problem the ward faces, and that other plans can't come to fruition if the crime issue isn't tackled first.

  48. I can't recall having heard of Molly before Fix Wilson Yard either. And I can't think of anything she's done since. It seems like her involvement with Fix Wilson Yard was a precursor to her running for alderman. Her resume is pretty thin.

    Emily Stewart on the other hand has a long history in Uptown. She has an accomplished legal career which doesn't include working for her father. What has Molly done? Interned with the city? That's not impressive and doesn't qualify her to be alderman. I also do not care for the association with Joe Berrios and Terry O'Brien. Emily Stewart doesn't carry that baggage and won't have old machine hacks looking for political paybacks later.

  49. Uptown, Emily OBVIOUSLY has Helen's blessing and backing.. and someone a couple of years out of law school who had done nothing of merit does NOT impress me.. and my bet is Emily has the hacks of Laura "Lakefront" Washington's backing.. Emily is the NEXT Helen...

  50. On the topic of tearing down campaign materials, why bother tearing them down if you can simply obscure them? There was a Cappleman poster in the ground very near the Sheridan El stop this morning. Directly in front and behind it, with perhaps an inch or two separation, was an Emily Stewart campaign poster. Didn't touch Cappleman's of course, but covered it up from both sides. And who was standing not ten feet away? Emily Stewart herself.

  51. I don't think Helen is supporting Emily Stewart. She is supporting Marc Kaplan. Brendan Shiller is running Kaplan's campaign. What more do you need to know?

  52. IrishPirate said...

    "Misspelling it once would be ok, but mispel[sic] consistently and it's annnnnoyyyyying....

    Dat's da way da game is played...."

    IP, people don't say THat about you (as far as you know).

    Coo-coo, coo-coo!

    It's likely we will never hear more of this from either campaign. Cappleman's campaign manager presented her account, seemingly omitting important details. Why was a paid campaign worker interested in what another candidate's literature said? If I misunderstood that, and the victim was a volunteer, couldn't they read it in their mailbox?

    And the Phelan worker who was the aggressor - no charges were pressed, what crime was commited? If the police were called, why not press charges? I read dozens of opinions, all from people not present. We have a shaken up victim, and some aggresive videotaping, but nothing I can see more than rash judgement.

    It's my hope that both these candidates, and those working for them, can work together again soon. A lot of people I admire are spending a lot of time and energy tearing down candidates with similir visions.

    Heck, I might even buy IP a drink if he takes his meds.

  53. GUAPO!: Couldn't agree with you more about Emily being the next Helen. Even without her formal backing, it is apparent how she apologizes for Helen's aldermanship (is that a word?). Her support for a dumb ordinance like Sweet Home Chicago is the only proof I need. The only difference between Emily and Marc Kaplan is that Emily is actually personable and articulate. Otherwise, they're both equally bad for the future of the 46th Ward.

  54. That spelin eeror I made was purpposeful. At least dat one.

    Was yours?

    "lot of people I admire are spending a lot of time and energy tearing down candidates with similir visions."

    I'll play with you later. It's time for me to walk over to the Golden Nugget on Lawrence for a late dinner.