Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Windy City Times Interviews Molly & James

Windy City Times doesn't do endorsements, but it's taking a look at the aldermanic runoffs.  From the current issue:

"April 5 will see runoff elections in 14 aldermanic races—including the 46th Ward, which originally had 11 candidates (including three openly gay ones). Now, just two remain: Molly Phelan and James Cappleman, who has a chance to become the second openly gay person on city council. (Tom Tunney of the 44th Ward is the sole representative.) There is an interview with Phelan and a profile of Cappleman in this issue."


  1. Some of molly's responses to Windy City Times have me going "huh?" She says she's going to be an advocate in Springfield for the LGBT community. But, she's running for City Council... of Chicago... ???

  2. Weekend - I saw the same thing about Molly and Springfield. If anyone ever had any question where Molly's true aspirations are, it is now documented in Windy City Times.

    Regarding job creation, Molly's answer is nonsensical. She says her "plan for job creation in the neighborhood focuses on the pop-up art program, which partners local artists with landlords that have vacant retail real estate throughout the ward. If you put the local artists in there rent-free, the benefit is, the neighborhood has increased foot traffic, the artist has free art space, the landlord benefits because there now are more people walking past his store front which makes the property more valuable."

    So, putting art in a vacant store front, which requires no exchange of money, involves creating jobs how? While I think putting art in vacant storefronts is a worthwhile idea (and has been championed by other candidates), claiming it will create jobs is beyond a stretch of the imagination.

  3. Still love how Molly touts art in vacant storefronts and the "entertainment district" as HER ideas. These ideas have been around for years.

    Now she has also decided to use the menu money to put in lighting to improve security in hotspots. Isn't that the same as streetscaping Molly? She's trying to backtrack on her plan to use the money to "hire more police" ever since James had to correct her on TV and told her you can't use the money to hire police.

  4. @Weekend, this is not a reason to poke pins in your Molly doll. You want this from public officials. It's not something to criticize. If it was you would have to be equally as critical of Cappleman for lobbying state legislators in Springfield for civil unions.

  5. These are unfair criticisms regarding being an advocate in Springfield. "Lobbying" in that sense is something one would expect from an alderman.

    Now if she had claimed that her dad was the first openly gay Federal Prosecutor who worked for Bobby Kennedy and that her mom was the first openly gay social worker in Uptown then you could complain.

    Surely, I jest. Don't call me Shirley.

    Really, there are plenty o fair criticism that can be directed against "Team Molly" and her merry band of cloutkeeters, but the Springfield thang ain't one of the.

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  7. Good interview by Windy City Times. I also noticed that Gay Chicago Magazine has also endorsed Cappleman - Gay Chicago had endorsed Don Nowotny in the earlier Feb 22 election. It's also interesting that all of the past candidates on Feb 22 who have endorsed in the upcoming runoff are backing Cappleman, not Phelan - this bodes well for eventual Ward 46 unity I hope.

    I received another robo-call from FOP promoting Phelan. Their message, like Phelan's own recent comments, is now backing off saying she will use our Ward's $1.6 in menu funds for (illegally) hiring police, and that Phelan also now says in her most recent mailer I received and also said at the Bike/Walk/Transportation Forum that she now plans to use the fund for security measures on our streets, as she previously tried to skewer Cappleman for saying.

    FLIP - FLOP !

    When an FOP caller phoned me in person a week or so ago (same voice as on the recorded message today) FOP stated that Phelan would use this fund for additional police, which is not allowed by statute, despite Phelan's implausible attempt to explain that she might be able to try doing this through the SSA, which she cannot do without the SSA's consent - consent that the SSA has been clear it is not giving to Phelan.


  8. Wow. What statute does not allow "menu money" to be used to hire police? Not my area of law, lawyers and starship captains don't know every law every written by heart. That is why we have ship's counsel to help, and no I don't mean Dianna Troy. (Hey baby....)

    I am curious. If you know just post it, so I can look at it.

    IP: Fair post, well done. You should really take up a career as an anonymous blog poster. ;-)

    What is the SSA again? Sorry not as into this as you guys. Why would they not support more security in Uptown? I am confused.

    Why is it bad that Molly would be an advocate for gay rights in Springfield? Would James not advocate gay rights in his dealings from Springfield?

    Back to my replicator for some Earl Gray.

  9. My two cents: We have Heather Steans and Greg Harris to handle things in Springfield. While it is important for our alderman to communicate with them, I'd say that our alderman is going to have his/her hands full doing the job of ALDERMAN. Solve the problems in the Ward, get help from Steans and Harris when Springfield is required in the equation.

    And this continues to bother me: "I want to use my $1.3 million...." *MY* $1.3 million?!? WTF?!? She hasn't even been elected and she's already talking *MY* $1.3 million? What about the residents? What about the taxpayers? Isn't it the *taxpayer's* $1.3 million? Isn't it Shiller's modus of operation to blow her way through her pet projects by calling things like the Wilson Yard TIF taxes "HER" money and not involving the TIF district taxpayers in decisions about how the taxes are spent? Isn't Molly doing the same thing by calling it "HER" money? And isn't she not even PAYING taxes herself, since the vast majority of Chicago taxes are property taxes and she doesn't even own property?

  10. Bear,

    take a deep breath dere brother. Take a moment for some hibernation.
    Picture something absurdly silly like Mayor Daley wearing a green shamrock speedo and dancing on a float at the Gay Pride Parade.

    I'd hate to think you'd keel over prior to election day. Wouldn't want you to miss the fun of election night and the Cappleman victory party at the Holiday Club. We'll find a building on Kenmore and moon the El Riders as the trains go by.

    Molly Phelan pays rent. A hefty portion of that monthly rent check goes to pay the property taxes. There are plenty of reasons to criticize her, but that ain't one of them.

    Now the "my $1.3 million" thang is an excellent point and a tiny window into her sense of entitlement. So keep that part of your rant going, but be careful of the anger.

    Anger leads to the dark side and images of little green creatures spouting quasi religious nonsense on a movie screen in the late 70's.

  11. PIcard:

    You can do your own legal research. You aren't paying me by the hour.

    If you have so much time to comment on topics here, you can take time to understand what is and is not permitted to be done with aldermanic menu funds.

    Their stated purpose is clear. Look it up for yourself if you actually are interested. If you are not, just continue your uninformed dribble here.

    If you are a lousy lawyer or a not-so-resourceful citizen, attend a debate, or watch one of the many interviews with James & Phelan in which the topic of aldermanic menu funds is explored in depth (to Molly's great embarrassment). Bye Now.

  12. IP

    While I'm expressing my views - anger expressed toward stupid and dishonest (redundant, I know) politicians is not a bad thing.

    Expressing anger is better for one's health, and probably better for the health of society, than drowning one's anger in cocktails.

    I'm just saying.

  13. OK, Picard, just this once I will give you a freebie:

    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."

    CIP is explained as follows:

    "Capital Improvements are the building or upgrading of city infrastructure such as streets and alleys, water mains and police stations. These investments are essential elements of providing quality government service, and they create the conditions for a safe and economically viable city."

    "Chicago’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) deals with the physical improvement or replacement of City-owned infrastructure and facilities."

    --> Check out the city's web site if you want to understand Menu Funds better (the BGA, the Friends of the Park, Channel 2 News, and many others have explored this topic at length as well):

    By the way, the guy that Molly has claimed is her 46th Ward "constituent issues" advisor & Menu Fund mentor, Ed Burke, got some negative notice not long ago when he tried to use these funds otherwise. But you'll have to look up that story for yourself.

  14. I've been getting so much Molly Phelan campaign literature in the the mail, I wish I had a bird cage since I have so much to line it with!!!

  15. Are discretionary funds different than the menu money?

    The reason I ask is Mary Ann Smith was able to fund off-duty police officers to monitor a few areas of the 48th

  16. I like May Ann Smith - she has endorsed Cappleman, by the way. Important areas of our ward(s) share BIG issues.

    The article of which poster driftin graciously reminded us indicates that Ald. Smith proposed hiring "off-duty" police - a bit different than Phelan's promises about "hiring additional police" & "expanding" the police force with Menu funds.

    Also, the ability and willingness of an SSA to participate in this varies by SSA (& by the health and trust of their relationship with the Alderman - with Molly, not so much.. )

    I won't belabor the details as we all can read for ourselves how menu funds are intended to be used, and judge how / whether the Uptown SSA # 34 would be willing to participate in Molly's (questionable) propositions.

    In re: to a previous question - an SSA is a Special Service Area - see city FAQs on SSAs for more info:

  17. "If you are a lousy lawyer or a not-so-resourceful citizen, attend a debate, or watch one of the many interviews..."

    How rude. You don't even know me.

  18. Picard

    I don't intend or want to know you, but if you find my response to your request that I do your legal research rude, please don't again ask me, as you did, to inform you.

    If "lousy lawyer" hits your personal nerve, I guess you have revealed more than anyone wanted to know.