Monday, March 14, 2011

Reactions To WTTW Aldermanic Segment

It's up already!  And the online version is much longer than what will be/was seen on the airCheck it out here, at WTTW's 46th Ward run-off page.

So how do you think it went?  If you are an undecided voter, did it help you make up your mind?


  1. I can't help think that Molly Phelan is a creep. That creepy smile is too much. She is the least representative person I can think of to represent Uptown.

    Also, what in the world does her mother being a social worker in Uptown have to do with anything? She threw that out there with no segway into anything else. I am sick of hearing about her parents' accomplishments. Is this what her advisors are telling her to do? It's like she doesn't have her own brain.

    Knocked on 6000 doors? There aren't 6000 doors to knock in Uptown, girlfriend! Who are you fooling? It's all highrises. Totally full of it.

    I am also not surprised that Molly is in favor of cutting city pensions. Not everyone comes from a life of privilege, Molly! Good on James for standing up for city employees.

  2. It just solidified my opinion that Mr. Cappleman is more qualified in nearly every way than Ms. Phelan. It also reminded me how lucky we are to have Carol Marin covering the city of Chicago--she's one of the best broadcast journalists in the entire country.

  3. I did not think James was good at all. Both candidates looked weak, nervous, and ill -prepared for the job. The answers were clearly canned. James did get his digs in on Molly though. I was quite disappointed in the whole thing.

    But anything is an improvement I guess.

  4. Carol Marin is a great interviewer but this interview didn't garner much more information than most of us already knew. Both candidates essentially repeated what was already known - no fault of their own.

    One candidate is clearly pro-development - and to a sense - rampant development, but yet states they want to maintain "diversity." Actually the term diversity is quite overused in this ward - often just to save face... Music capital of the US? Nice, but I think that's a bit of a leap.

    The other is for more safety as well as development, but seemingly at a more sensible pace and doesn't want to sell out the ward.

    I personally would love to see more development in this ward. We need more retail and services, and need a safe place for everyone to live.

    In the end, it is up to us voters to decide which candidate we choice - and effectively deciding how fast we want this ward to develop and at what pace.

  5. I thought they both did OK.

    I found Molly talking about her plan for a music district annoying since that idea has been around since Gerald Ford was in the White House, but overall they both did ok.

    If I didn't know anything about them I would have said that overall it was a wonderfully bland interview. Of course Carol Marin is a great interviewer. The best we have locally since John Callaway died, but the candidates hit their talking points and didn't get overly flustered. Alas.

    Nothing devastating happened and no big screw ups. Kinda boring in that sense.

    As for whether it helped me as an "undecided voter"(shifty eye thang going on) I'd have to say it convinced me to vote for James.*

    *Any suggestion that the IrishPirate made up his mind months ago is wrong. That was my evil twin brother Irishpirate. Notice the different capitalization. The IrishPirate also digs talking about himself in the third person.

  6. Molly, the "Sierra Club" candidate, is in favor of selling off the lake water? the already receding lake? The lake that belongs to many different states? Wow. No wonder the Water Reclamation Districts have endorsed Cappleman.

  7. Boohoo has no idea what they are talking about. Water Reclamation has nothing to do with selling water.

  8. If you wanna have some fun watch the interview segments with the sound turned off.

    I'd be interested in seeing your impressions after you do that.

  9. I must say, there's a new 'slicker, polished' quality about Molly's interview.
    But it doesn't sway me. James comes across as the more logical choice.

    I don't know, but he seems more authentically entrenched/invested in the Ward.

  10. Oh Captain Piccard, you need to chill out methinks. I liked your old blogger name better. Offer something insightful rather than just being hyper defensive for your candidate.

  11. An embarassment to our ward? Hmmm...I wouldn't go that far.

    I did watch the videos without sound. I noticed big differences in overall demeanor, as can be expected.

    Molly appeared to be intense, a little nervous. But very professional. James seemed more comfortable in his own skin and didn't appear to get flustered, even when showing his displeasure to some statement Molly said by obviously shaking his head.

    Both seemed to show they very much believe in what they're saying, which will be a benefit to Uptown's future.

  12. Dear Molly,

    As a retired city employee, I become very angry when I hear a politician threaten my pension. I personally paid into that pension my entire career. In addition, I have dutifully paid my real estate taxes and every other tax you clowns have thrown at us citizens for my entire life. THOSE taxes were supposed to help pay for my pension, as well.

    Somewhere along the way, however, you clowns decided not to make the REQUIRED payments into the city pension funds and, instead, chose to spend BILLION$ of our tax dollars on all kinds of other stupid sh*t:
    * like worthless flower boxes all over the city that do NOTHING but screw up traffic and hinder emergency response vehicles;
    * like fencing in all of the parks with ugly black wrought iron fences;
    * like squander it on Millenium Park with triple the original "cost overruns";
    * like throwing 10's of million$ at an ill-advised, ill-conceived Olympic bid;
    * like paying the police superintendent 2 times what any one before him was ever paid, $310,000 a yr. for doing 2 jobs, one of which HE NEVER DID!
    and the list goes on and on...

    So, Molly, maybe you can explain how it is the fault of the city employees that the pension system is screwed up after they have paid into it for their ENTIRE CAREER.

    Sorry, Molly. You have ABSOLUTELY lost my vote and I will personally do EVERYTHING I can to make sure that every city employee I know who votes in the 46th Ward knows how you think that they haven't earned their pensions.

    Finally, I'm calling BS on Molly's FOP endorsement. FOP polls its members for endorsements and I know Mike Carroll had it in the last election. The FOP never contacted its membership for endorsements for the runoff.

    IrishPirate stated in a previous post, "The FOP endorsement process under their soon to be gone leadership is not exactly known for annoying certain parts of "da machine". This is a fact, and much of the reason that the membership of the FOP has dumped the old leadership. Molly's supporters include "established" machine politicians like Joe Berrios, Mike Madigan and others who I don't want getting a foothold into my neighborhood with a Phelan victory. I've made my choice on who I want in charge and it was surprisingly easy.

  13. CP:

    They both looked fine. Obviously you haven't listened to Shiller speak on TV or in the Council much.

    Not to mention many of our 50 Alderman aren't that smooth.

    Give it up folks get out and vote!

    I did today.

  14. To Molly:

    I don't like the new look, but that's just my personal taste - and none of my business, except that voters do perceive first impressions.

    As a jury consultant/profiler, I'd tell you to look down less often - it makes a viewer think you are reciting or trying to recall rehearsed lines, or unsure you believe what you are saying.

    Stop bringing up your mom & dad - your mom's work history has nothing to do with your plans and it makes you look less adult & less experienced.

    On gentrification, you mentioned "cultural" and "ethnic" diversity, but the question was about economic diversity - viewers noticed you avoided answering.

    How do you "represent good, common sense"... "on the City Council"? You are not on the City Council.

    Someone should tell you to stop bashing Cong. Jan Schakowsky and Sen. Heather Steans, (et al) - two very popular (and female) elected officials in our area - alleging that their endorsements of Cappleman might be in return for his past support of them makes you look catty, or at least petty.

    This also makes one notice your comparative lack of female endorsers (Emily's List is a good organization, but it is not a person anyone has voted for).

  15. And to Molly re: the post-show webcast:

    Repeatedly saying "what Mr. Cappleman doesn't understand" communicates that you have a general hostility toward a political opponent, but lack the calm demeanor required to function/cooperate with those who disagree with you - would you say "What Mr. Daley" or "What Mr. Emanuel" doesn't understand... I think not. It is a matter of composure and respectful discourse under pressure.

    Your segue about eliminating city employees or reducing their compensation was ill-advised - it makes one immediately think of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's stubborn grandstanding and refusal to give and take to get to a solution.

    Likewise, your segue into gambling/casinos seemed not in touch with 46th Ward burning issues, and opened you up to a whole new line of future questions.

    I cannot fathom why you would allege that Cappleman's contributions from 46th Ward voters are so much greater than 46th Ward voters' contributions to your campaign because his contributions may include contributions from an election 4 years ago - this came across as patently made-up.

    Your allegation is contradicted by Crain's Chicago Business and by every other professional source that has looked at both campaign's contributions. Why introduce new false statements that you will just have to waste time backing away from later?

    I do not think the average 46th Ward voter agrees with your promotion of reducing residential water usage so that Chicago can "sell" Lake Michigan water - we have enough problems maintaining our water quality and environment as it is - this also needlessly opens you up to questions about your ally Metro Water Board Comm. Terry O'Brien making millions of dollars on the side from various city water & sewage contracts.

  16. BCP,

    With all due respect I am not sure you can blame Molly, who has never held public office for... "Somewhere along the way, however, you clowns decided not to make the REQUIRED payments into the city pension funds"

    How does she fall in to "you clowns?"

    The pure mathematics of your pensions don't add up. Blame the current politicians fine, blame your union who was supposed to be looking out for you, blame yourself for believing that 1+1=200.

    It's YOUR city though right? As long as YOU get paid, then we can burn the rest of it down. But hell you were "promised" YOUR money from politicians YOUR union bought off.

    All that being said, I early voted for James yesterday. I do like Molly, and I think some of the criticisms are unjust on this board. I don't like some of James's endorsements personally, but I like James the man, and I feel he brings the best fit for Uptown.

    James and his partner Richard showed leadership in Uptown long before the cameras were on and I have a feeling they will continue to show that same leadership after the cameras are off.

  17. After watching both debate video clips, I don't think there was a clear "winner" of the debate. Molly certainly got some coaching after her disaster on CLTV last week, and James comes across as deeply rooted in the community.

    With all of the problems in our neighborhood related to crime and lack of business development, I found it odd that Molly spent so much time talking about selling the city's water. That made me realize - if Molly wins the election, that is going to be her token issue that she wants to be known for. It's rather obvious that Molly has bigger political aspirations as 46th Ward Alderman, and she needs an issue that she can attach her name to that resonates throughout the city. Sell Chicago's Water! More money for everyone! Yeah!

    It sounds so simple, and given her strong connections to Terry O'Brien on the Water Reclamation Board, it's probably something that he coached her on. Personally, I don't have enough information to determine if selling Chicago's water is sound or lucrative idea, because frankly, I want an alderman to focus on OUR neighborhood - not someone who just wants to make a name for themself on city council. Even if the city received several millions of dollars a year from selling water, our ward would directly receive few if any of that direct money.

  18. I was disappointed in the job Carol Marin did as as moderator. Some of the questions she asked were incredibly soft and lame.

  19. I must have been in a foul mood last night or in "gran-pappy" mode, because I watched the interviews again and this time watched the internet version. It was actually pretty good.

    Wouldn't it be cool if we turned the Uptown Theater into a big casino? LOL.

    PEOPLE PLEASE LISTEN!! The Water Reclamation District has nothing to do with the City's Water Department.

  20. Captain Picard - While I agree that the Chicago Department of Water Management and the Metropolitan Water Reclaimation District are two separate organizations, they do work together for water and sewage management in the Chicagoland area. My point regarding the connection to Terry O'Brien is that in addition to his role on the Reclaimation Board, he is an environmental consultant on these types of issues. Molly's close alliance with Terry (as seen by her role as precinct captain for Terry O'Brien's failed run for Cook County President) would help explain as to why she spent so much time talking about an issue with no connection to her professional career (as a property tax attorney) and that isn't a key issue to 46th ward alderman's race.

    I personally want an alderman who is going to dedicate his or her time to the issues that facing our ward, not someone who is looking to make a name for themselves on council.

  21. Hi Big City Police(Ret) … I sympathize with your concern. Here are responses from both Molly and James to the Tribune question on that issue. They seem to have similar positions.

    Q. Tribune Question
    Chicago’s four employee pension funds have a total unfunded liability of $14.57 billion. All four funds could run out of money by 2030. What steps do you recommend to make those funds solvent? Would you support higher contributions from employees? Higher retirement ages? Reduced benefits for future or current employees?

    A. Molly Phelan Response

    First of all, the City is required to honor all collective bargaining agreements which include pension obligations. In future negotiations with the respective unions, a higher retirement age and reduced benefits can be placed on the table as bargaining chips, especially if the City can prove to the unions that it is financially tapped out.

    A. James Cappelman Response

    We're now expected to make up for lost contributions to the employee pension funds during one of the harshest economic downturns since the Great Depression. The sad reality is that it must be done and the ones who ignored this will not have to face any accountability for the damage they caused for many generations. We'll need to first do an actuarial analysis to gain a sense of the true sense of the problem. Once we have that information, there needs to be public discussion about the true extent of the problem in order to gain a better sense of the next steps to take. My sense is that it will likely involve requiring higher contributions from employees and higher retirement ages. Other businesses provide options for benefits and let the employee choose, with a cost share involved. That needs to be strongly considered. believe it's due to cost of living.

  22. Hmm.


    Well, the videos haven't changed my mind...but even more questions have been raised.

    On the subject of selling water, it appears that Molly hasn't done her homework as an attorney. Yes, the Water Reclamation District has nothing to do with the City's Water Department...but perhaps Molly isn't familiar with the U.S. Supreme Court rulings that limit Illinois' total withdrawals of Lake Michigan water (for any and all purposes) to no more than 3200 cubic feet per second (we exceeded that for many years and had to substantially reduce withdrawals to make up for the overuse). And perhaps Molly isn't familiar with the Great Lakes Compact--Federal law and agreements between the U.S., Canada, and the Great Lakes States prohibit ANY significant withdrawals of water from the basin without the assent of all those governments. In other words, selling water that we don't already have according to the U.S. Supreme Court AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN, and either someone is totally ignorant about that (what, an ATTORNEY not knowing the subject matter?!?), or someone totally wasted time and breath by talking about it.

    On the other hand, we had another round of gang-related shootings in several locations yesterday, including IN FRONT OF TRUMAN COLLEGE. People don't care about selling water. People DO care about putting a stop to gang activity and shootings around our homes and businesses. Perhaps Molly needs to dig up her term paper from her college internship and refresh her mind about all her capabilities to deal with gangs that she gained from that internship. And maybe she should get her father--and his retired Federal prosecutor buddies and all her property tax attorney colleagues--to spearhead a massive pro-bono criminal and civil legal campaign to sweep the gangs out of Uptown. Doesn't she say she can do it? And in the meantime, she should get her mother to do social worker interventions with the gang bangers in front of Truman College (since Mama Phelan hasn't exactly been "visible" in Uptown lately, I'm sure that her fellow social worker, James Cappleman, can get her up to speed on the problems and problem areas...and she could assist him very easily).

    I'm terribly afraid that Molly's (wait...IS it Molly's?) idea for turning Uptown into the "Live Music Capital of the World" isn't going to fly if her yuppie friends don't feel as safe here as they do in Lincoln Park. And they certainly won't want to move into rental apartments next to Molly's rental apartment if gangs are shooting at each other and selling drugs in front of their windows. If Molly says she has all the answers, let's start hearing them.

  23. OK so Molly is ‘clearly pro-development’. I hope that James is too. We need business development, particularly along the Broadway corridor. At the first debate, Scott Baskin said there are 44 empty storefronts, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there are more than that throughout the ward. I can only hope that quality developers like John Buck want to develop projects in Uptown now that Alderman Shiller is leaving.

    For too long Helen has restricted new development opportunities to her favored minions. For example, a few months ago while waiting for my turn at the city zoning department, I was talking to the architect next to me. He said that recently his client, a developer, wanted a variance to allow him to put in an apartment in the lower level of his building. There was an identical building across the street that had received Helen’s approval to do the exact same thing, but when they met with the Alderman she said ‘No.’ She then told the developer if he was interested in selling the property she could suggest other developers (wink wink nudge nudge) who would be interested in purchasing the property.

    That’s just a small example of how outside developers have been restricted in the ward. With the exception of Aldi, Target, and Wilson Yard there has been a real vacuum of new business development on our major business corridors. Business development is a good thing; it brings in jobs, foot traffic, customers, and serves the community. Yes please bring in new businesses. I hope both James and Molly are clearly pro-development.

  24. Being that I'm a factual kinda guy living in an anti fact world I decided to do a bit of research into one of Molly's statements.

    The 46th Ward comprises three zip codes:

    60613 60640 and a teeny bit of 60657

    I decided to look at all contributions since January 2010. Therefore eliminating any donations Cappleman received for his 2007 campaign.

    First, in the 60657 portion of the ward Cappleman received zero donations. Phelan received two for a total of $350. Go "Team Molly." I only looked at those addresses clearly in the ward.

    Second, in the 60613 zip, some of which is outside the ward, Phelan received 49 donations for $26,496. Cappleman received 35 donations for $10,775. Go "Team Molly"!!!

    Third, in the 60640 zip, some of which is outside the ward, Phelan received 39 donations for $27,278. Cappleman received 130 donations for $81,351. Go Team James!!!

    Let me take out my abacus and add those up.

    What we have since January 2010 is 90 donations for MP for $54,124

    165 donations for JC for $92,126

    Now I could go back and take out the 60613 and 60640 addresses outside the ward, but that would actually make the difference even more stark. Phelan has some big business contributors just outside the ward boundaries, but still in the zip code.

    So using those numbers Cappleman has 1.83 local donors to every 1 of Phelan's. Phelan's local donations average $601 to Cappleman's $558.

    I don't know of another reasonable way to measure ward financial support. Sure, Brendan Reilly may have had a burger and beer at the Bar on Buena at some point, but belching and farting in the ward does not make one a resident.

    So what have we learned boys and girls? You can tell me. I'm just thrilled that the Chiparamadingdong early voted for Cappleman AND as an added bonus didn't get shot doing it.

    Ain't Uptown great!

  25. Does anyone know how long Phelan has lived in the 46th ward? Cappleman has that info on his site, and it's really easy to find, but I didn't find it on her site. I did find many references to her mom being an "Uptown Social Worker" but nothing about her life in Uptown.

  26. Rebecca,

    Phelan moved to Buena Park around 2005 or 2006. Or so she would have us believe. I actually heard she is formally a resident of Ice Station Zebra and dances with penguins.

    That may have been a rumor.

    As for her mom being an Uptown social worker and her dad being a former federal prosecutor that's interesting. It also says zip about her. My dad was a carpenter and I own numerous hammers, but I ain't a carpenter and she ain't a prosecutor or Uptown social worker.

    I also ain't a grammarian.

  27. IP. when you have a moment and have refilled your beer hat, complete with dual straws. would you mind sharing how much was donated for each candidate from OUTSIDE of the ward, average donation, etc... I think that would be very interesting...

    ..I would do it myself but find I am even more profoundly lazy than you...

  28. I'm not going to be part of the "let's kick Molly Phelan" crew here... I like both candidates, for different reasons.

    One thing I've noticed about James though is that he hasn't clearly stated his own business and real estate development ideas. He's been relying on an old bureaucratic dodge... "I'll form a committee." All he's said about development is that he's for "best practices". That could mean just about anything. And he's said he would create a "Ward Zoning and Development Task Force" made up of a number of different neighborhood organizations, block clubs, and various chambers and advocacy organizations. Each competing group would send a representative. And he says it's up to the community, by some undetermined means, to control the way these representatives vote.

    Is this structure the best way of deciding complex ward zoning and development issues? Would members have the background and knowledge required for an informed vote? Does the task force have the potential of operating right up there in effectiveness with a typical condo board? Wouldn’t it be subject to being held hostage by squeaky wheels, to prodigious time-wasting, and to endless bickering leading to stalemate and zero progress? Or to producing heartless, wormy compromises which waste the opportunities Uptown has to improve?

    I know that in proposing a task force James wants to be inclusive and fair, which is great, but I’m not really clear on what James's own opinions are. Who is the real James? After all, the alderman has the biggest say in what goes on, task forces or no. If he plans to allow everything to be designed by committee, we can expect to get a purple horse with a shark fin and an elephant trunk, with legs in the front and wheels in the back. Just like the old "design by committee" cartoons. If not, he should lay out what his vision is for development in Uptown.

  29. "Would members have the background and knowledge required for an informed vote? Does the task force have the potential of operating right up there in effectiveness with a typical condo board? Wouldn’t it be subject to being held hostage by squeaky wheels, to prodigious time-wasting, and to endless bickering leading to stalemate and zero progress? Or to producing heartless, wormy compromises which waste the opportunities Uptown has to improve?"

    For a second there, I thought I was reading a story about the US Congress!!!

  30. With All due respect to Irish Pirate, I think you need to go back and double check your contribution search.

    According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, James Cappleman has reported only $55,478.51 in "contributions" since January 1, 2010 from the 60640 zip code.

    However, that total includes $16,000 in loans from Mr. Cappleman to his campaign, as well as nearly $21,000 in campaign contributions by either Mr. Cappleman or his partner Richard Thale. BTW, since Mr. Thale is recorded as making a series of in-kind contributions of food and stuff, I think he's actually recorded as 8 separate contributions.

    Now, I suppose we could say that the $37,000 that Mr. Cappleman and his partner Richard Thale loaned or contributed to the campaign technically are from the 46th Ward, but I think its more than a stretch to hold that up as some kind of proof of community or grassroots support.

    To be fair, Phelan has contributed $5450 to her campaign during that same period which I would discount as well.

    So, based on that and your earlier numbers for the other zip codes, Phelan has raised about $49,000 from within the ward and Cappleman has raised $55,000 from within the ward since January 1, 2010. Pretty neck-and-neck in my book.

    Moreover, even if you are correct, Cappleman has some serious 'splaining to do.

    He claimed as of last Sunday that he'd raised $167,000 and 90% came from within the ward. That's $150K, FAAAAR short of even your very generous $92K you claim.

  31. Just Wonderin - You raise a good point regarding the differences in business development between the two candidates. Neither of the candidates have detailed information about specific plans for business development.

    Molly advocates for the following items:
    -A Business Liaison in the Alderman’s Office
    -Fill Vacant Storefronts with Art
    -A Regional Center of the Entertainment Industry
    -A Community Master Plan to Guide Us As We Move Forward

    James has also talke about a business/community master plan as well, so I think they are very similar. As you correctly stated, James is a proponent of neighborhood committees and task forces to help guide his development decisions. Both the 44th and 48th wards have used this approach to work with the neighborhood to create developments and retail corridors that are acceptable to neighbors. This approach has been fairly effective, and while not everyone will be pleased with the outcome, I know the ward residents at least feel informed and they have a voice in the approval process.

    If I remember correctly, James plans to use block clubs as a source of community input. While there is no perfect way to get opinions, block club membership is usually open to whoever resides (renter or owner) in a certain geographic bountry.

    Molly's approach would be to have her office staff as a gatekeeper for all development requests. She really hasn't said much in detail about getting community approval aside from "she will seek intensive community input into the plan to move our neighborhoods forward." Personally, I think James's methodical approach to community involvement with zoning decisions is a worthy goal and from my conversations with him, he is anxious to work with developers to increase business development in our neighborhood.

  32. @ IP:

    One important bit not taken into account by your abacussin' were the non-itemized donations (any donations under $250 per year, I believe).

    Per the D-2s:

    - 1st half 2010: $3,350
    - 2nd half 2010: $0
    - Total: $3,350

    - 1st half 2010: $12,061
    - 2nd half 2010: $8,147
    - Total: $20,208

    Assuming everyone maxed out their contributions at $250, you have:

    Phelan: 13 contributors
    Cappleman: 81 contributors

    That said, I'd make an educated guess that people we're actually giving in the $25 - $100 range and most of these people were from the ward. If you assumed his contributors averaged $50 each, you'd get 404 contributors. Combine that with the 130 of itemized donations you came up with and its pretty easy to see where James is getting the 400+ figure he's been talking about.

    This cannot be corroborated since they are non-itemized... but the salient point, I think, is the number of residents from the ward participating in the financing, rather than absolute dollar amounts.

  33. Rob,

    Cappleman has taken in approximately 85% of his money from ward residents. Say 92 grand out of 109 grand.

    Phelan has taken in approximately 76% of her money from OUTside the ward residents. Say 54 grand out of 226 grand.

    Now if we look at $1000+ donations from anywhere the difference is even more stark. Discounting donations from people named Cappleman, Thale, or Phelan we get the following numbers. Thale being Cappleman's longtime partner/hubby.

    Phelan has 89 such donations for approximately $160,000.

    Cappleman has 22 such donations for about $37,000.

    Cappleman has ONE $2500 donation from outside the ward that isn't a family member. Nothing else that I can find since January 2010.

    Phelan has THIRTEEN 1000+ donations from inside the ward, not counting herself, and they add up to about $22,500.

    That means the remaining SEVENTY-SIX 1000+ donors to Phelan gave approximately $138,000.

    So 86 percent of Phelan's big money donors come from outside the ward. Now a relatively small number of those people will have current business interests in the ward and some of them are likely personal friends of Phelan or family members not named Phelan.

    I'm an imperfect pirate using imperfect information to garner imperfect insights....imperfectly.

    So using those numbers Phelan's big money support is 86 percent outside the ward cash.
    Cappleman's is 7 percent outside the ward cash.

    It boils down to two essential things.

    The VAST majority of Cappleman's moola is coming from ward residents in relatively small amounts.

    The VAST majority of Phelan's moola is coming from outside the ward business interests in relatively large amounts.

    Dat's da fact, Jack.

    There are various ways to "spin" the numbers, but those two essential things will be true in any legitimate accounting.

    Interestingly, Phelan's largest donations have come from the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce to the tune of $25,000 in total.

    The Chamber is a big supporter of casino gambling. BIG. What does that mean?

    Well a downtown or near downtown casino is likely, but there has also been talk of putting smaller outlying casinos in various neighborhoods. Think about a rather large parcel of land near 130th and the Bishop Ford expressway. Think of a Rosemont Casino or perhaps even casino gambling at the airports.

    Now someone mentioned an Uptown casino earlier. I don't think that idea would fly locally. However, some of Phelan's donors clearly want casinos somewhere and having a friendly alderman would help.

    In fairness though I think Cappleman would also likely support a downtown casino.

    Now as I've been typing this I see "Jim" is trying to muddy the waters. I'm not talking about the blues singer.


    the state site is easy to put in parameters for a search. Have at it.

    See what you can distort for your candidates benefit.

  34. Well, I wish y'all would stop complaining about all of the money coming from outside the ward to Molly's campaign! Capplmaniacs have nothing to worry about then! If your point is that she has no support from inside the ward, she won't get any votes. I don't understand why this upsets you. What are you worried about?

  35. One Phelan donation struck me as out of place so I did a wee bit of research.

    Kuchuris, Frank
    1801 West 31 Place
    Chicago, IL 60608
    1/26/2011 Individual Contribution

    Mr Kuchuris has given $110,000 to local candidates over the years.

    Mostly to machine democrats with a heavy emphasis on SW side names like Burke, Daley, Madigan along with their northside buddies like Devine and their various political funds. Mr Kuchuris also seems to favor candidates with Greek last names for his other donations. Ethnic pride and all.

    What does this tell us boys and girls? It tells us the SW side supporters of Phelan are reaching out to friends to support her.

    Of course we knew that already didn't we?

  36. IP and Jim,

    Too much math going on here.... I guess IP, is it true that the amount of money from inside the ward is as close as Jim is guessing with his numbers between the two candidates? I would prefer a short answer, I hate reading.

    I love percentages and all, but to me that is irrelevant. If the dollar amounts are close, minus personal loans etc, bottom line is they are getting the same amount of money from inside the ward.

    It is just up to the voter to decide if the additional money, and lots of it, coming from outside the ward to Molly is bothersome... There are arguments both ways on that one....

  37. Capstone,

    these numbers can be distorted in a variety of ways.

    There are a few things that can't reasonably be disputed.

    1. Cappleman's money is overwhelmingly from ward residents and in relatively smaller donations than the in ward donations Phelan has received.

    2. Phelan currently shows $226,000 in donations. $11,000 of which is from people named "Phelan".

    So let's say she's raised $215,000 from non family members.

    Now based on that criteria $160,000 of her donations came in $1000+ increments. Say $23,000 of that came from ward residents.

    Now this issue clearly needs to be better defined.

    In the next few days I will take a look at and break down all the donations for the two candidates AND eliminate any loans or money they or family members gave.

    I'll look at all donations since January 2010.

    I'll break it down into four categories.

    Ward donations

    Non Ward donations


    Less than $1000

    If some group or individual gave five $1000 donations I'll count that as one $5000 donation.

    I'll put it on my webpage and then we can all see where the truth is.

    People can look at the numbers and make their own judgments.

    The basic facts will stand.

    As Gay Chicago Magazine reported Phelan is raising most of her money outside the ward in larger amounts and Cappleman is raising most of his money in the ward in smaller amounts.


    Irish "I Hate Math" Pirate

  38. @ J-dog... My comments were based on what I heard the candidates say during the Carol Marin, WTTW Webcast regarding the public employee pensions.

    James Cappleman stated the following:
    "the city employees do not pay FICA taxes, they do not get Medicare, so touching their benefits is like touching our social security, our Medicare, so making a reduction makes a profound loss and if you compare..."

    Marin: "So is that saying no, that you would not do that?"

    Cappleman: "No, because if you compare what city workers get in their benefits with what we get in Medicare and Social Security, they are already shortchanged and so to shortchange them even further, it's just not ethical."

    Even though I contributed into SS for 13 yrs before joining the CPD, I'm not eligible for a SS pension (because of my police pension). I also am not eligible for Medicare (not enough quarters). From my police pension that I earned for 27 years in patrol, I now pay $600+ of that PER MONTH for health insurance for my wife and I. Between my pension, Medicare and the City, NOT ONE PENNY is paid out to cover my prescriptions, medical bills or insurance payments. I pay those all out of MY own monthly pension check.

    @ chipdouglas... As far as referring to Molly as "you clowns", that is simply because her position is the same as the "machine" who just repeat their stupid tag lines. The city employees are evil... The city employees are ruining the economy... The city employees pensions are bankrupting the city... The city employees are not worthy... It's all sleight of hand to draw attention AWAY from everything the politicians are doing. You suppose any of them have suggested that THEIR pensions are too big? I don't think so. But I will GUARANTEE YOU that their pension(s) are more than mine and probably come complete with health insurance, as well.

    Look, my retirement has ALREADY become less stable than what I spent my life planning for. I have already done what I promised to do with regard to my service to the city and the police department. I mean, if I owed the city money, would it be OK for me to say, "Gee, I'm sorry, but I don't feel like paying you the whole amount, so shut up and take what I decide to pay you?" I DON'T THINK SO!

  39. I broke down the donations to our two esteemed candidates here.

    I was surprised by what the money race actually looks like both inside the ward and outside the ward.

    Take a gander for yourselves if you wish. I feel the need to look away.

  40. BCR (Ret)… Given the short TV interview time frame, sometimes candidate positions are not always clearly and fully stated. I’m in a similar position to yours so I absolutely want to know where both candidates stand. FYI…Below are their answers to the Sun-Times questions on pension funds solvency.
    Sun Times Questionnaires
    Q. The city's four employee pension funds have been called a "ticking time bomb," with Mayor Daley's pension commission predicting that the four funds will run out of money in 20 years. "There is no low- or no-cost solution to this problem," the commission wrote in a report earlier this year. "Deferring action is not a viable option." What is your plan for bringing the pension funds to solvency?
    A. James Cappleman - As stated earlier in the first question, addressing this extreme crisis is a priority. First, we need an actuarial analysis of the pensions made public to gain a truer sense of the current state of the pension funds in order to start earning the public's trust about the hard decisions that have to be made. We may need to consider raising the retirement age and reviewing an ethical way of having employees contribute more to their pensions in a way that's responsible for all concerned.
    A. Molly Phelan - We need to correct the structural funding issues with the City's employee pension funds. The city has failed to properly fund the pensions for years, and, unfortunately, there will most likely be a painful period when we require higher contributions from employees, higher retirement ages for new employees, and reduced benefits for future employees. I do not believe it is legal to reduce benefits for current and past employees. Article 13, Section 5 of the Illinois State Constitution is pretty clear in its language regarding this issue, and we must meet our previous obligations to employees.

  41. That was a pretty painful and unnecessarily defensive response to the money question from Phelan. If I am one of her advisors, my suggested response to this red-herring of a question is: "unfortunately in campaigns it takes money to get my message out. I believe I have the best message, and I am grateful for all people that are willing to support me financially in helping to get that messaage of safety and economic development out. And frankly, as long as the contributions are ethical and legal, it does not matter to me where the people live that contribute, because they are helping me tell the ward about the need for safety and economic development. So, if you are from Mars and want the 46th ward to be safer and have more economic development then please contribute to my campaign.