Friday, March 25, 2011

Phelan Campaign Response

The Phelan campaign responds to this March 18th post:

Dear Uptown Update:

Our apologies to your readers for not responding sooner. Molly has made repeated efforts to get a hold of Ms. Denny to talk to her personally, but they have been playing phone tag so she left a message for Ms. Denny today.

We did receive a call from Ms. Denny one hour before Molly was to appear on Chicago Tonight last Monday, so Molly was not in the office to take her call. Given that there have been numerous unfounded complaints driven by the Cappleman campaign, and that Ms. Denny is not only a major donor to the Cappleman campaign but also launched her own Political Action Committee to help elect Mr. Cappleman almost two weeks before the alleged break-in, we wanted to make sure that we had all of the facts before taking action.

Right away, a couple of facts did not make sense. First, Ms. Denny's statement that someone had tried to break into her home and she was afraid but she had not filed a police complaint. Filing a false police report, as you know, is a crime.

Secondly, Ms. Denny claimed to know the identity of the alleged trespasser because she "ran his license plate through the ticket site for the City of Chicago." As you know, you can't run someone's plates through the city's website without their name.

Ms. Denny made no mention of the video when she first called, and the first we heard of it was when the Sun-Times received a call from the Cappleman campaign claiming that they had a video of a break-in. Unfortunately, since the Cappleman campaign decided to politicize the misunderstanding, that tied our hands and our ability to clear the air with Ms. Denny neighbor-to-neighbor.

That said, we're glad that the video has been released because it supports what our own campaign volunteer had told us and is supported by an eye witness:

On Sunday the 13th, a volunteer for our campaign parked on Clifton to drop off materials. He'd been smoking a cigar in his car and wanted to snuff it out and save it. He stamped it out on the brick wall outside of Ms. Denny's home, blowing on it several times in between to check and see if it was completely out. Never did he touch their door or their door knob. He then went back to slowly, meticulously, unloading his car. I think most objective people will agree that's exactly what the video shows, and even the most ardent Cappleman supporter will admit he did not appear to be in the mad-dashed effort to make a getaway that you would expect from someone who just attempted to break into a home.

I hope this clears things up.

Karen Lazar
Campaign Manager
Friends of Molly Phelan


  1. I thought it looked pretty creepy, actually, even if that's what the volunteer was doing.

  2. It's always nice to cut through all of the rumors with the truth. Thank you Karen for this clear explanation of the situation.
    It was also very interesting to see that there is an established political relationship between Ms. Denny and Mr. Cappleman.
    That was not made clear in the original story.
    I wonder why.

  3. Oh, please. Karen, if YOU are going to respond to this instead of Molly herself, why has it taken YOU this long to do a reply? And as long as you're accusing Cappleman's campaign of "unfounded" complaints and doing the same about Mrs. Denny, what is the basis for YOU claiming that the Sun-Times received a call from the Cappleman campaign about the video? Who at the Sun-Times informed you about this? Who at the Cappleman campaign informed the Sun-Times? Support your allegations, please, or stop making them.

    It seems to me that you and Molly are trying to play catch-up on the series of errors that keep tripping Molly up...but you also seem to be a day (or is it a week?) late and a dollar short. As long as you're doing damage control regarding this, where is Molly's apology to the GLBT community for her "decorator planters on North Halsted" remarks? When can we expect a statement from her condemning homophobic and anti-gay electioneering in this ward? She seems to be pretty silent on that count, as if she knows it's going on and thinks it's a perfectly acceptable tactic. She had a perfect opportunity to correct that perception during her interview with Gay Chicago magazine, and SHE DIDN'T TAKE IT. Why? Either she thinks it's really OK to diss the GLBT community, or she is totally clueless and insensitive about a big percentage of the Ward's electorate...or she's willing to sacrifice that big percentage in the hopes that the tactic will get her elected. What is it? We want to know.

    If she can't manage to keep a step ahead of this stuff in a campaign, why should we think she can manage to do it as alderman? And as a follow-up to her Gay Chicago interview, if there are so many problems in this ward alone and she's too busy to make simple pro-active statements in the heat of a campaign, how in the world can she *possibly* find time to do what needs to be done in and for this ward when she thinks that she needs to be spending time working on "city-wide issues"? If that's what she wants to do instead of serving the ward she wants to elect her, then why didn't she run for mayor? THAT is the proper office to be focusing on city-wide issues...or maybe she needs to withdraw from the aldermanic election and offer her broad and deep experience to the Mayor-elect so she can be Shadow-Mayor.

  4. Well hopefully this puts Key-Gate to rest and everyone can go on complaining about real issues.

  5. While I figured there was another side of this story, there clearly was a disturbance at the Denny's building, and the perpetrators were vandalizing a building with a cigar? Fine - I will buy that story (even though that really doesn't fit with the video).

    Would it be too hard to at least apologize to the Dennys for this disturbance and scare? Understandably, they were startled by this event, and even if it was innocent, a simple apology would go very far. Instead, the Molly Phelan campaign politicized this issue even further.

  6. Cigar? Now if you look at my comments on the original post you'll see that I didn't see anything nefarious about this whole incident.

    Cigar? Is it typical to put out on a cigar on a doorknob? I don't smoke so I wouldn't know.

    Where are Mulder and Scully when we need them?

    As for your "volunteer" is it true he is from the 40th ward and if so what's his interest in our lovely ward? Is it a requirement that outside "volunteers" smoke a stogie and speak like they're in an old gangster movie?

    Seriously, I don't want an answer.

    As with much in the Phelan campaign they respond too late and only after they feel some pressure.

    Now the Denny involvement in the Cappleman campaign did come out in the comments, but it would have been better if it had been outlined in the article.

    As for some of the ursine(Bear) ones questions regarding the Sun Times stuff they're fair.

    Eleven days and this silliness is hopefully over. Unless the election ends in a tie.

    Then each campaign will have to designate a "champion" to fight it out on Broadway and Wilson at High Noon on Friday the eighth.

    I am available for the Cappleman campaign and will bring my shilleleagh and Phelan can pick her "volunteer" cigar smoker. By 12:01 Cappleman will be alderman designate of the ward. Cigar boy would have fled into the "smoke shop" once he is blinded by my pastiness once I take off my shirt.

  7. While I knew the Dennys were supporters and political contributors to James' campaign, I did not know that they established a PAC to support his as well. Very interesting.

  8. Why would he cross the street and go right to the Dennys door to put out the cigar? He was right next to a perfectly decent brick wall when he got out of the car. The video is too grainy to be sure of what's really going on, but it's rather fishy.

  9. Even though I support James, I will say I also support Molly's supporters for not coming on UU to start annoying rumors that have nothing to do with anything. Talk about the real issues folks.

    It also irks me more that I now know the Denny's established a PAC in support of his campaign and are poltical conrtibutors. Seriously? And you send this bologna into UU??? This just stinks of Chicago politics and its happening in both campaigns. Some more than others, but it's all the same in my book. If this was the other way around UU commenters would be up in arms.

    Like IP has stated, stick to the real issues Cappleman supporters, or you're going to scare people away, or just piss the people off that don't care about petty things that nothing to do with anything.

  10. I never thought the guy was trying to break in, and the cigar putting out, fits the video, but a) gross and rude to put it out either on their door, or right next to their door b)why was this explanation not easily given on the DAY OF THE phone call? c) why was knowledge of this guy denied by the campaign office? The Denny's are supporters of James, and there is a clear picture of a sign on their door in the video at the end... so it's not some big secret. They have also been on a friendly basis with the campaign office as they are neighbors, and if someone in that office would have been a "Good Neighbor", we wouldn't all be discussing this now. This could have so easily been not a big deal with proper communication. That's my big concern - lack of response, tardy response, mis-communication... all from the Phelen campaign. Doesn't bode well for a future aldermanic office in my opinion.

  11. I emailed her campaign site over a week ago asking how long she's lived in the ward. I also posted the question here. Someone on the forum answered, but the campaign has not responded to me yet. If she and her campaign managers are going to be this slow with responses to simple questions, and then only answer big things (possible crime & Fix Wilson Yard financials) after a HUGE stink, what does that say about how she will be as Alderman? If she's elected, she'll no longer need to keep me happy to get my vote. She needs that right now and she's not doing the easiest things possible to keep me happy.

  12. Folks, can we let this go already?

  13. Gawd,

    can we just consider this done. There are real issues out there.

    Some of the petty reasons people give for not supporting Molly are well, petty.

    There are plenty of good and some great reasons not to support her. You can make your own judgments as the information is readily available in various posts on this site.

    The truth is most of the people who post here have already made their decision as to who to vote for. Then the process of looking for reasons to support that decision kicks in. That is equally true for the Cappleman supporters or the Phelan supporters.

    Some like the multi persona "Yo" like to play Hamlet, but I suspect that is just to amuse himself.

    If you support Cappleman go over to his website and volunteer the two coming weekends or perhaps donate some cash if you can.

    If you support Phelan go on vacation to someplace in the Caribbean until after April 5th. I mean do you really want to deal with this cold weather we're having?

    See I am the epitome of fairness.

  14. No, I can let this go.

    denis-lemieux said... "Why would he cross the street and go right to the Dennys door to put out the cigar? He was right next to a perfectly decent brick wall when he got out of the car. The video is too grainy to be sure of what's really going on, but it's rather fishy."

    I agree, I think there was two cigars involved. I really did not believe in the "Single Cigar Theory". I just can not except that that cigar took a right angle after being put out. This is will be debated by conspiracy theorist for years to come.

  15. I think this is a fair response to an odd situation. If, in fact, the Denny's did this to try to sling mud, then shame on them (I have no way of knowing). It is counter-productive.

    Furthermore, it is a really awful job of coming up with "dirt" as the video is a complete waste of everyone's time.

    This non-story needs to die now. That said, I'm still not voting for Molly.

  16. Perhaps if SOME of Mols supporters lived, worked or visited the ward, these issues would spin differently. Forbid a cigar be extinguished on the door of the Burke household .

  17. OK, I have been keeping an open mind about who to vote for. I had been leaning towards James, mostly because he has been working for a long time to make the ward better and ran against an incumbent. Then I watched the video of the Sun-Times runoff questions. I thought Molly did a really good job and I finished that thinking both of them would make good candidates. After watching, I was not sure who I would vote for.

    This whole key thing is stupid. It looked to me like the guy found a set a keys and was trying to figure out who they belonged to by seeing if they fit the lock (I've done that before!). A simple and quick response would have put this to bed.

    The fact that it took so long to hear a response and then the response is so pathetic has really turned me off (a cigar? Really?). However, I don't think what happened is in itself that important. Like so many have said, there are many more important issues.

    The way this has been handle by the Phelan campaign has left a bad taste in my mouth (well, maybe that is from lunch). I think she may have just lost my vote. How you handle a situation says a lot about your character. A lot more than a bunch of answers to questions from some newspaper editors. Sorry Molly.

  18. Michele,

    Since none of Molly's support comes from the ward, then you have have nothing to worry about! She won't have anybody to vote for her.

  19. Why Picard and not Kirk? You seem the type to be first command.

  20. Picard is the captain of a way cooler ship.

  21. Phelan's "World Music Center" seems implausible at this point, but I give her points for imagination.

    This idea, like Pop-Up-Art spaces, is certainly not her "novel idea", as Cappleman supported efforts to revive the Lawrence-Broadway corridor area long before Phelan lived in our community.

    Phelan is off to a miserable start in this effort. Her behavior toward one of our community's most vibrant music-related businesses - Uptown Recording - has been abominable and far from behaving as a good neighbor or a smart cultivator of business development.

    Her questioning of the integrity of the owners of this community business, who brought to light the video of her campaign worker engaging, at minimum, in some very odd and un-neighborly behavior is disgusting. It reveals a haughty and uncooperative approach that she would employ with businesses and individuals who could make her difficult proposals come true.

    The silly rant and finger-pointing in the letter to Uptown Update from Molly's campaign manager about this incident is something a 2-year old might come invent (after 8 days of non-response) to explain being caught red-handed, and caught on tape.

    I lived in Washington, DC when the Mayor there was caught on video tape buying crack from a prostitute.

    His excuse was something about "B.... set me up..." No one believed or excused him, and no one believes or excuses the Phelan campaign manager / surrogate's bizarre explanation and excuses for not responding to the videotaped infraction by her campaign worker in a timely and civil manner.

    Her response is to tell voters to believe Molly rather than our own lying eyes. Who exactly does Phelan think she is? Where did she get this self-important attitude? and How can this demeanor possibly help our community?

  22. @Picard...ship perhaps is cooler, but how can one deny the longevity and popularity of Kirk? Picard... Flash in the pan ;0)

  23. Captain Kirk's guide to Women

    Or this YOUTUBE video says it all.

    Now Patrick Stewart is a much better actor than Shatner, but the ladies dug Kirk.

    Now the better question is which Star Trek characters or species represent our two candidates?

  24. Kirk was a hack. Picard at least has some class. Anybody who can survive being transformed into a Borg is a stud in my book.

  25. I do have a thing for men with shaved heads.