Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sun-Times Endorses Cappleman

The Sun-Times' editorial board says:

"46th Ward: Ald. Helen Shiller’s decision to relinquish her aldermanic seat unleashed a flurry of interest in this Uptown ward, with 11 candidates originally vying to represent a ward struggling with crime and ongoing tension around attempts at gentrification. In the runoff, we’re backing James Cappleman, a former teacher.

Cappleman has a broad and detailed vision for attracting businesses to the ward, fighting crime and giving residents a greater say in ward decisions. Cappleman and opponent Mary Anne “Molly” Phelan, a real estate and tax attorney, don’t differ significantly on the issues but do in experience. Phelan is an impressive newcomer, but we prefer Cappleman because we believe he would be more independent. Cappleman already has many long-standing, constructive relationships in the ward and has displayed a willingness to reach out to those with whom he disagrees."

46th Ward runoff candidates make their case from Chicago Sun-Times on Vimeo.


  1. @~49min in: I don't see how Molly's father being in the hospital (which I am very sorry to hear) would in anyway prevent James from making his "claim" about his firm and its clients.

    That being said the claim should be substantiated.

  2. The last part of the editorial session became quite contentious between James and Molly. Once again, they were debating the use of aldermanic menu funds. Molly has repeatedly said that she wants to use these funds to pay for "security" through the SSA. James has said that only infrastructure improvements can be made with these funds.

    A quick search of the City of Chicago website will explain how these funds can be used:

    Aldermanic Menu Program

    Every year, each of Chicago's 50 wards can address their own specific local infrastructure needs through the Aldermanic Menu Program.

    In 2011, $1.32 million per ward was allocated from the CIP general obligation bonds to provide a menu of infrastructure project options for the aldermen to select and prioritize.

    Projects chosen by the aldermen include the repair and upgrade of streets, alleys curbs, sidewalks, traffic signals, street and alley lighting and street pole painting.


    James has a clear understanding of these funds - they are for INFRASTRUCTURE improvements. Molly does not understand the basic budget decisions that an alderman faces. James' plan for the menu funds has been repeatedly mocked by Molly, but James is using the funds as permitted - to improve the appearance of the neighborhood with new streetlights, public art and yes, decorative planters.

    After each debate between James and Molly, it becomes clear that James is ready to lead our neighborhood on Day One.

  3. @ Fear - That is the first time I have heard that Molly's father is in the hospital. I wish him a speeedy recovery. And you are correct, James raises a valid point about Molly's campaign contribution that is relevant when you work for a FAMILY law firm with just four attorneys.

    She did use her father's hospitialization to avoid answering the question regarding the source of her funding and if any of her donors are her law firm's clients. Molly completely avoided this question and only said that one of HER clients contributed to her campaign.

    She said she mostly works with residential properties, but her bio on the firm's website says she focuses on "continued to focus on all real estate matters." And, the link for residential tax appeal applications says that they have stopped accepting new clients. So, Molly and the rest of the firm are working for larger commercial clients, as according to the firm's website, "Kearney & Phelan, Ltd. is the industry's pre-eminent boutique real estate tax appeal firm specializing in Commercial, Industrial and Retail properties." It would be fasinating to compare the firm's client listing and Molly's donors. The firm would never release that information, but I think you would find some similarities.

  4. Well that is a succinct,logical and well written endorsement.

    Unlike their colleagues over at the Tribune the Sun Times editorial board actually did some research and sat down with the candidates.

    My impression of the Tribune endorsement was that it was cut and pasted from Phelan's questionaire.

    It's still St. Patrick's day in time zones west of here, but I've had it boys and girls.

    I early voted for the Capplemaniac about 12 hours ago so hopefully the luck o the Irish will be with him and not my Irish Molly O.

    Irish Molly O being an Irish song that I'm unwilling to link to at the moment.

  5. I provided documentation to Cappleman's campaign who forwarded it to the Sun-Times, with my permission.

  6. It is somewhat unprecedented that the Sun-Times would post the actual endorsement interview with Cappleman and Phelan, and I think it speaks volumes.

    I think Molly blew it big time. Her answers came across as incoherent and contradictory. Her demeanor came across as snotty, petty and absolutely unprepared for public office.

    My favorite Molly-gaffes were when she slips up and calls the types of interests she represents "slumlords, pardon me, landlords".

    And her Al Gore-like sighing and smirking was devastating to her.

    I don't know whether Molly claims to be a Democrat or a Republican, but she insultingly refers to the "46th Ward Democrat leader Sandra Reed" and even in her introductory claim about somehow being connected to Bobby Kennedy, she calls his party the "Democrat party". This is the way Sarah Palin and Pat Buchanan and their pals refer to the Democratic Party and to Democratic elected representatives.

    Re: LGBT issues, she tries to change the subject, but in the process invents a new category by claiming she is in favor of "tran-yendered marriage...." I'm not quite clear what she's talking about, but more importantly, clearly, neither is she.

    When asked what the resolution should be for city pension woes, she says she has "no idea" and that she is "not going to be in the room" - that was her most honest segment in this interview.

    She also doesn't seem to know that the name of the street that is in our ward is called "W. Lakeside" not "W. Lakeshore" as she twice calls it.

    I can't believe she stooped to the "my family" (ie, not me) has given to Catholic Charities as her excuse for only recently discovering the problems of poverty.

    Then she, reluctantly, admits that she met with Ed Burke, but says she did not ask him for money, but only that: "they came to me" and she discussed "er-er-er... uhm... a...constituent issues" - since when has Ed Burke been an advocate for 46th Ward constituent issues?

    I am truly over all the Molly-isms and Molly-misrepresentations. Her fake umbrage when mentioning the contributions from outside the ward (701 for Cappleman, 60 or so for her) doesn't fly, but as she said, she has a cousin in Connecticut named Chris who really likes her so, as she put it, "Thanks, Chris."

  7. Correction: Phelan took umbrage when Cappleman mentioned that 701 of his contributions came from INSIDE the Ward, versus her 60 or so from inside the ward (although Phelan claimed that some of her small $5 donations are not reflected in that. Huh? I'd like to see a list of her $5-dollar donations.

  8. Running the 46th ward is about much more than Real Estate law and Politics. James understands this! His experience and passion prove this. Molly may have great intentions, but at this point in time, I feel that James is the person who can best lead the ward in a Post-Shiller era! Man, that sounds good...Post -Shiller Era!!!!!!!

  9. I really was excited when James and Molly won the run-off. I figured, no matter who gets in, we'll have a great alderman.

    Not now.

    Watching interviews like this make me very apprehensive about Molly. Did she have no idea that this was being tapped? Did she wake up on the wrong side of the bed before the interview? She came off as a major -----, well, you know...

    I want an alderman who is going to fight for the 46th ward, but the interviews from the past few weeks show her as nothing more than argumentative and arrogant. James has held it together with professionalism and tact.

    I don't think I would have to convince many on this site on who to vote for. Its up to all of us to get out there and talk to our friends and neighbors in the 46th ward who may be undecided. Better yet, send them this video clip and let them decide who they think would be a more approachable alderman that they could work with.

  10. Both do a good job in the debate, but about 48:45...saucer of milk, table for two! lol

  11. I have a pretty good intuition.

    I met James 3 years ago and have watched and admired him since then.

    As for Molly ... I admired the effort with FixWilsonYard, but she is more and more looking like she has a chip on her shoulder and I simply can't vote for someone that has the sarcastic attitude that she shows in this interview with The Sun Times.

    Now, on to the next event in the 46th Ward ... Shiller and Tunney's debate. Wish I could sell tickets to that!

  12. Wow, I was for James and after seeing this I'm really for James. It's quite obvious he knows what he is talking about and knows the issues. Molly came off as defensive and devisive - she thinks her clout will get her elected - she doesn't have to be an advocate for the community - it's all about clout.

  13. Yow is right! Molly gave a pretty stinko performance - I think we saw the real deal there. James was confident and knew the issues and spoke passionately. Go James.

  14. First, anyone know a good hangover cure?

    Second, the people who comment here are overwhelmingly pro-Cappleman. That's ok. So am I. However, it's like preaching to the choir.

    It's really time we did something a bit more concrete than "Molly whining". No matter how you break down the numbers Cappleman is being crushed by outside the ward money. Phelan's top five donors, all outside the ward, have raised nearly as much money as James has in total. Just her top five.

    So besides early voting, volunteer, donate some cash if you can, and talk to your neighbors. Because if you don't on April 5th the Irish Goblins and Whisky testers that have a disparate influence in this town will have won. Those disparate folks are desperate to have their alderman in the ward. The disparate are desperate and dis is da truth.

    Third, in fairness to Molly if her dad is/was in the hospital she is undoubtedly under even more stress than just the campaign. Cappleman did look a lot cooler under questioning that she did.

    She reminds me of the combative leprechaun mascot at her Notre Dame alma mater.

    "My dad was king of the leprechauns"

    "My Uncles built the goblin paths"

    "My mom ran a leprechaun orphanage"

    "My great grand poppa was murdered in the line of duty by a Keebler elf".

    "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia".

    Now she did get testy when her dad's law firm connections came up. Too bad. She is the one mentioning her family constantly. Look at the written questionaire and her verbal answers in various places.

    This isn't about her dad, her mom, her great grandfather, her uncles, or ultimately even her. It's about the 46th Ward and who will be a better alderman.

    If you take take the money from the Ed Burke's of this town and various big business and real estate interests DON'T get angry when you get questioned about it.

    If you mention your family constantly don't get annoyed when your opponent uses some Ju Jitsu and uses those connections against you.

    So what have we learned boys and girls?

    It's time for the "Molly Whiners" here "Molly, Molly Molly", to get of our respective oversized posteriors and do something a bit more concrete for Cappleman.

    If you don't then on election night you can expect the leprechaun mafia to be doing an Irish jig on your hopes for a truly independent voice in the city council.

  15. ROFL!! I have been accused of being nasty about my comments regarding Molly and her [lack of] capabilities...but I think that this all demonstrates that I knew what I was talking about after all. Like IWT, I have pretty good intuition about people (variations on Agatha Christie's Miss Marple doing her thing--living a long time in Uptown gives you insights into human nature). And Molly has accomplished this trainwreck all on her own--she didn't need her father (best wishes on a speedy recovery, Pop Phelan), mother, or great-grandfather for that, did she? I'm taking bets that if she loses this election, she will break the lease on her apartment and move to greener least she doesn't have anything invested here in Uptown except for, what? 5 years of her time?

  16. i dont think molly did a bad job...i just think that her remarks towards the end concerning her family left a sour taste on what was otherwise a pretty good debate. i think either would make a good alderman.

  17. OK, let's stop talking about family members. Stick with the issues, people.

  18. One more observation. When Molly refers to her "only client" who has contributed to her campaign, she mentions the person is at "55 E. Stratford."

    Molly seems to have a growing problems with directional orientation (and I don't mean the "tran-yendered" type of orientation she mentioned - there is, of course, no 55 E. Stratford in Chicago. The street runs from about 500-600 WEST. I knew she was confused about the north end of our ward (W. Lakeshore vs. W. Lakeside), but being confused about the south end too is disappointing.

  19. Great job again James! This just proves Molly's demeanor as extremely confrontational. We don't need another Shiller who operated the same way in this ward for way too long. Molly obviously doesn't know the rules around ward menu funds and the status of the SSA's involvement. James has been working with these folks already for years. James is the candidate ready to work with businesses and residents, something lacking for years and what we most desperately need.

  20. IP's got it!
    The neighborhood and even the alleys are plastered with Phelan signs!
    Many more than Cappleman signs!
    There may be a Phelan machine that will herd the masses to the polls the way Helen's machine did.
    We NEED to get the word to get out the vote for James!!! I'm doing my part!

  21. Remember, Molly also has the vote of the anti-gay Jesus People locked up.. and they will all vote.. I have a friend that was an election judge there at there ward located in their building on Wilson during last election when Shiller was running and they had an almost 90% voting attendance.

  22. Just to make this absolutely clear:

    "When Molly refers to her 'only client' who has contributed to her campaign..."

    If it is true that only one client contributed, it's not for lack of trying on her part. I have lived outside the ward for four years and my ONLY relationship to Molly has ever been as a client.

    I was solicited several times for financial support for her campaign and that of Terry O'Brien, on her behalf.

    It was documentation of this solication of clients that I provided to the Cappleman campaign and the Sun-Times.

    I'm trying to stay out of this, but blatant lies really piss me off.

  23. Very strange video.....
    Almost as if Molly didn't know this exchange was being filmed (which of course, is not the case)

    James came across as the time worn, dedicated person he is.
    My choice has not changed.