Thursday, March 3, 2011

"46th Ward Candidate Has Ties To Berrios, Pro-Business Groups"

From Progress Illinois:

"Mary Anne "Molly" Phelan and James Cappleman, the two candidates who are vying to replace longtime alderman Helen Shiller, each won the same number of votes on February 22 -- an amazing feat considering there were 11 candidates and nearly 14,000 votes cast. But the economically diverse ward, which is made up almost entirely of the Uptown neighborhood, appears to have two very different candidates to choose from on April 5.Read the entire article here.


  1. I hate the corrupt Berrios connection, but I frankly think it is stupid to say someone that is pro-business is bad for Uptown. Comments like that are not helpful for anyone that lives here. Lord knows, we need more businesses in Uptown...

  2. Is Jamiko Rose the only person anyone can interview? I think she's even crazier than Shiller!

  3. I see four contributions from Molly Phelan to the benefit of Joe Berrios:

    1/18/08 Citizens to Re-elect Joseph Berrios: $500

    11/12/09 Committee to Elect Joseph Berrios Assessor: $250

    2/3/10 31st Ward Democratic Organization: $500

    8/4/10 Joseph Berrios, 31st Ward Committeeman: $500

    There may be others that I missed. Perhaps it is the cost of doing business as a tax attorney in Cook County, but I don't like it and I don't support candidates that support Berrios or business as usual in the city and county. Pro business isn't necessarily bad, but, to me, this is something totally different.

    There are also several donations in support of Brendan Reilly. Quid pro quo?

  4. I do not care if Molly contributed to candidates. Everybody has the right to free speech. $500 to $1000 is nothing anyway. Also, I have still not heard anything "bad" about this Berrios guy, besides conspiracy theories.

  5. Jamiko Rose, keeping it classy with the "Fix Wilson Yard = bunch of racist yuppies" argument.

    Captain Picard, as for Berrios, see this for but one example of why he's shady:

  6. Berrios looks like a creep in his picture captain Picard.

  7. This article and the Tamika Rose quote are the source of false rumors designed to keep us all fighting, slinging malicious mud comments and ignoring the truth.

    Neither James nor Molly are advocating Uptown build one iota more subsidized housing unit. They both understand, thank God, that the Uptown concentration of HUD, IHDA, Section 8 housing is way beyond sensible housing guidelines.

    For example, did you know HUD refused to participate in the Wilson Yard housing because it didn't meet their guidelines?

    Fix Wilson Yard was always about using TIF money to do what TIF money is supposed to do--revitalize a blighted neighborhood.

    Uptown has tons of "affordable housing", more than 5,000 apartments, and yet, Wilson Yard primarily became a housing project on a busy commercial street, on top of polluted land.

    When are we going to wake up and focus our attention on what we want to revive Uptown and who is going to help us do it?

  8. Putting relatives on county payroll - yes

    Very qualified relatives by the way. I personally believe there is nothing wrong with putting relatives on the payroll if the are qualified for the job. People make a big deal out of that and I think it is silly.

  9. As far as Rose - she makes my blood boil. I posted this before but somebody at UU doesn't like my star trek references even though I find them hilarious.

  10. In my book, any connection to Berrios is unseemly at best.

    However, this article is long on class-warfare fire stoking and very short on anything which could be remotely considered decent, or even remotely decent, "journalism".

    The only connection Aricka Flowers makes between Molly and Joe is that Molly donated money to his campaign, and the 31st ward committee (without providing the link to the D2's - which I don't doubt exist, but if elementary students are required to show their work, shouldn't we expect the same from "journalists?).

    Not that I think giving that bag of crap any money is defensible, but Flowers is tip-toeing on the line between making a pointed argument and spewing propaganda.

    To that point, the article only quotes Jamika Rose from the TOC article - without providing the quote from Molly within the same article which may/may not address Rose's concern; but would certainly demonstrate consideration to the readers:

    This type of housing model—high-rise, high-density, low-income housing—doesn’t work,” says Fix Wilson Yard spokeswoman and real estate attorney Molly Phalen during a presentation at a packed public meeting last Monday inside Uptown dog salon Soggy Paws. “Cabrini-Green and Robert Taylor Homes have been torn down, so why are we building [similar structures]? Is this really a responsible way for our government to be spending our tax dollars?” Phalen says current trends in affordable housing—single-family units on individual lots or mid-rise, mixed-income units—are more sensible

    Considering the atrocious and seemingly vindictive nature of this article, I might recommend that Flowers change the category from "Quick Hit" to "Drive By".

    If anything, this article is so poorly written and sourced it may actually back-fire on the always open minded and fair Progress Illinois (*cough*) and turn Molly into a sympathtic character (much like the residency challenge did to Rahm).

    I'm honestly debating whether to consider this artcile laughable or shameful .. it's that close.

    Either way, it's still crap.

  11. Jason,

    since you change your name weekly why not use the Enterprise Computer and do a google search on Berrios. Read the editorials the major papers did prior to the Assessor's race.

    Every time someone criticizes a Phelan connection you play dumb. Of course I'm beginning to think you're not playing.

    Now the truth is any candidate is going to get endorsed by or support some people who are less than perfect. I'm not particularly enamored of Tom "Not So Sharp" Sharpe and he's supporting Cappleman.

    The difference is Berrios and his "daddy" Mike Madigan are two of the worst people in Illinois politics. Over the last 30 years no individual has had as much affect on Illinois politics as Madigan. He is a disciplined, undersized leprechaun with a genius level political IQ. He's also parlayed his political connections into his being the "rainmaker" for his real estate tax appeal specializing law firm. The man is filthy rich, but he tries to hide it with bad haircuts and a modest house on the SW side.

    My main problem with Molly Phelan is the tax attorney family business. Even if she leaves the family business Madigan and Berrios will have leverage over her because Berrios is the assessor.

    I'm also supporting Cappleman because some people think Phelan looks better in a dress than I do.

    You can judge that this weekend at the Buena Park Neighbors Bar Crawl.

    I'm thinking of a "Lady in Red" theme.

  12. To SIR!:
    The fact that "we need more businesses in Uptown" is not a reason to elect a "pro-business' candidate. Oft-times a "pro-business" candidate is all about stifling competition and making things difficult for small entrenpreneurs.

  13. Very qualified relatives by the way.

    Who cares? They're certainly not the most qualified, and certainly not the only qualified people to do the job.

    The reason it's a problem is that the people of Cook County aren't big fans of nepotism, nor do they want it, but big Joe does it anyway.

    It may not technically be illegal, but it's certainly unethical.

    Screw what the people want, I guess, right Joe?

  14. Oft-times a "pro-business" candidate is all about stifling competition and making things difficult for small entrenpreneurs.

    ... and this is a divergence from the SOP in Uptown how, exactly?

  15. IP,

    It is Captain Jason to you.

    Editorials in major papers are written to piss people off and make money. I put little faith in them!

  16. Like my gran-papy once said, "Don't believe anything you see on TV and only half of what you read in the paper."

    Now if you'll excuse me I am off to enjoy some Rahmulan ale.

  17. Now if you'll excuse me I am off to enjoy some Rahmulan ale.


    Well done, sir.

  18. Bring big business and little business here.
    Just bring something other than Subway/AT&T Store/Nail Salon to WD...

  19. Editorials in major papers are written to piss people off and make money. I put little faith in them! - Captain Picard

    I agree editorials are often written to piss people off. I wonder if the average voter is going to be pissed off at someone with ties to Berrios.

  20. Thanks yo.

    Yes, I believe that the Berrios thing will piss them off.

  21. Alen '"pro-business" candidate is all about stifling competition.' I think using the word "all" is wrong, "some" would be better. I believe that gov't involve could be one of the main causes for stifling competition. Regulation and public policies are used by corporations to stop competition. If the city was interested in making jobs in the city, maybe they should roll back some of these unfriendly regulations and tax and fee thiefs.I mean, why do we have a head tax where Companies with over 50 employees must pay $4 a month per employee to the city. REALLY? It should be the opposite. It sends a message to relocate your business outside of city.

  22. All this wonderful editorial debate aside, I have to say I'm annoyed by the Molly signs, oddly stapled to the apartment building walls in my Malden alley. There's an odd 'monied' taint to all the signs I see (but that's probably me)

    As I've said, I'd be happy with either Molly or J.C.....but I bow down to Irish Pirate in the end.
    J.C. has a great HISTORY in Uptown.

  23. Progress Illinois is a website of the SEIU union.

    Greg Hinz in his Crain's blog posts wondered whether SEIU would get involved in our lovely little aldermanic race.

    Can you see the light?

    Team Molly received some big donations from individuals Team SEIU really doesn't like.

    Game on!

    Now according to the state website Phelan hasn't received any $1000 plus donations since February 21st. At this point such donations have to be reported within 5 business days of receiving them. Within 30 days of an election it has to be reported within 2 days.

    If we don't see any big donations going to Phelan by the middle of next week we can surmise her money spigot has been largely cut off.

    Or "independent groups" can come in and spend cash for her benefit without her taking the PR hit.

    Cappleman has gotten a few $1000 plus donations in the last week from people in the ward.

    If the SEIU gets involved Phelan's advantage in money and outside "volunteers" is going to disappear faster than a Daley nephew at a homicide scene.

    For those of you who don't know what I'm referring to look at the Sun Times website and type in the name Vanecko.

  24. This is adding up to some really smelly politics.

    As for the individual who posted that Molly's contributions to Berrios, etc. don't matter, that her work for O'Brien is no big deal, that Berrios putting relatives on the payroll is just fine, or that he has never heard nothing bad about Berrios - if you are not pretending to be really uninformed or innately stupid, you are one sick puppy.

    Todd Stroger is the only nefarious politician, other than Berrios, whose endorsement could do her image more damage. Perhaps Stroger will yet come through for her.

  25. Daniel R,

    I assure you I am quite well. The problem with Stroger is that he blatantly abused his office. He wasn't even really elected as far as I am concerned! There is nothing wrong with hiring members of your family if they are competent. Stroger just thought he was royalty and could do whatever he wanted.

    IP, interesting about the SEIU. However, I don't see James as an anti-business candidate, do you?

  26. There is nothing wrong with hiring members of your family if they are competent.

    Wrongwrongwrongwrongwrong. Perhaps you feel there's nothing wrong with it because it's so pervasive, but nepotism in government is corruption, plain and simple.

  27. Don't get me wrong. Loading the payroll with family and friends just for the hell of it is BS. Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives or close friends, without regard to their merit (By one definition). It is the merit issue that is the key I believe. If someone is otherwise qualified for the job, they shouldn't be shut out just because they are working for a family member.

    Just my opinion.

  28. I'm a long time reader of UU, this is my first comment.
    I just want to reiterate how glad I am that the runoff is between two of what I thought were the top three candidates. Everyone seems to be complaining about corruption, yet the aldercritter elections have corrupted the material on this website. In what should be a positive and progressive time for our neighborhood, there seems to be some very negative and pessimistic comments. This website got us through Shiller, Gang Fights, Wilson Yard, and now Maryville (i've only been in uptown for 5 years). Times are changing and we need some sunny skies. I'd be much more interested to hear how we are going to move uptown forward and in what ways James and Molly will contribute.
    thanks, maybe I'll comment again after a few more years of reading your comments.

  29. Kudos Eric. We're sitting pretty. The last years have been rough with the Wilson Yard fiasco, Shiller beating Cappleman, the rampant, violent crime etc. That being said, it's a great debate about the very good candidates competing in the runoff and I'm couldn't be happier. I just hope that whoever wins can quickly reduce Uptown's subsidized housing to manageable levels sooner rather than later.

  30. "thanks, maybe I'll comment again after a few more years of reading your comments"

    Hahahaha, I don't know what to make of this comment but it is funny!

  31. I did not see a stroy here about Carol Ronen who pension increased from $38,000 a year to over $100,000 and that is free from state taxes. Corruption in this State goes hand in hand.

  32. I just hope that whoever wins can quickly reduce Uptown's subsidized housing to manageable levels

    What does this statement even mean?

  33. I have read some thought-provoking, well-written, insightful, and informative articles pertaining to the election.

    And now I have read this article.

    Thank SEIU!

  34. Uptown Revivalist, if you think the next alderman will have the power to quickly "reduce affordable housing" and displace people from their homes, you are sorely mistaken. Furthermore, shame on you! Where do you suggest they go? Just not in your backyard.

  35. Uptown, you ought to use a little better discretion before you judge so quickly. A few years ago, I was issued the legally required notice to move out of my rented apartment when it was sold to a developer who intended to convert it to condos which I could not afford. I didn't own the property, and had no right to live in it any longer no matter how emotionally attached I may have been to it. Nobody was concerned about where I would go, and it was really none of anyone's business but my own. I don't see why any different standard should apply to subsidized tenants, who live in property which they not only do not own, but also live in property which taxpayers are subsidizing. With so much land in Chicago available for subsidized housing that is not prime lakefront real estate uniquely capable of earning the city and state the revenue necessary to fund subsidized housing, as well as other services and programs like education and the police, its shortsighted, provincial, selfish, wasteful and disingenuous for our new alderman to retain the ridiculous percentage of subsidized housing in Uptown that was engineered by Helen Shiller.

  36. Go Uptown Revivalist! Bring on the holocaust! Let's evict all the poor people so our real estate can make money! Never mind where they end up s long as we don't have to look at them.

    You and the way you think are the definition of not in my backyard politics. Why can't the poor people be someone else's problem?

    Because that's all Uptown needs is more condos on the market. That will definitely make the price of our real estate soar. I don't know where to begin with your ideas.

    I'd like to ask James and Molly both what their plans are for so-called reduction of affordable housing and what exactly that means to them. Because if they share your view, I can't support either one of them.

  37. Uptown, you're hilarious. Thankfully, both alderman are likely to move in the direction which I described since it's really in the best interests of all concerned (except maybe those who profit from offering substandard accommodations to poor people and enable violent, criminal activity by "helping them"). It's the dawn of a new age in Uptown..."I can see clearly now, the rain is gone..."

  38. @Uptown Revisionist:

    Nobody was concerned about where I would go, and it was really none of anyone's business but my own. I don't see why any different standard should apply to subsidized tenants, who live in property which they not only do not own, but also live in property which taxpayers are subsidizing.

    So because you were unjustly evicted... so should residents of subsidized housing who are in a similar situation? Two wrongs don't make it right, mate.

    With so much land in Chicago available for subsidized housing that is not prime lakefront real estate..

    Which is precisely the problem. Traditionally, subsidized and public housing projects have been placed in desperately poor areas that are far removed from amenities so many Chicagoans take for granted. For all the griping about Uptown's living conditions, there are thousands of displaced public housing residents who would give an arm and a leg for a chance to live in Uptown. At least here, they have much better access to social services, some actual honest-to-goodness food stores and schools that aren't utterly cash-strapped. And, oh yeah, access to the 'L'.

    Your whole post reads like an enforcement of a borderline elitist notion that lakefront should be reserved for the wealthy.

    Quite frankly, if you want to develop upscale housing in "prime lakefront estate", there is plenty of room at the former U.S. Steel Southworks site. Nobody is using it and God knows poor South Chicago could use the jobs.

  39. Strannik, I'm really not interested in entertaining your class warfare argument. It's totally inconsistent with my previous posts. The current urban plan for Uptown, if there ever really was one, isn't working and will be revised so that there will be less subsidizing housing and a greater base of taxpayers to collect revenue from. It's amazing that the status quo lasted so long in light of all the suffering it caused. I'm so glad it's finally coming to an end.