In the 46th Ward's aldermanic election last week, candidate (and former chief of staff to Helen Shiller)Denice Davis finished third, while James Cappleman and Amy Crawford will meet in a runoff on April 7th. The day after the election, Ms. Davis' campaign manager, Cortez Duquette, took to Everyblock (and posted on UU's Facebook page) to make several surprising statements, including allegations that:
- Ms. Crawford was recruited to run for office by Helen Shiller supporters, including O.N.E. Northside, the successor organization to Organization of the NorthEast
- A company owned by Helen Shiller's son and former staffer provided paid campaign consultation to the Crawford campaign
- The Crawford campaign paid friends of Ms. Davis $500 a week to work for Crawford
- Amy Crawford changed her positions on issues, depending on what group she was addressing
- Based on Amy Crawford's lack of community involvement, he endorses James Cappleman in the runoff as "the lesser of two evils."
Could these be the sour grapes of someone who campaigned hard for a year and a half, only to see his candidate lose badly? Could be. Denice Davis herself has distanced herself from his comments, has said she does not share his sentiments, and is not backing James Cappleman in the runoff.
But there are several things that make Duquette's claims intriguing. Regarding the claims about payoffs, the Davis campaign tweeted in mid-January: "To those in the community that are tempted to take the money. The late Harold Washington said it best. 'Take the Chickens but, VOTE for Denice Davis February 24, 2015.'" Additionally, Ms. Davis herself refers to "being sold down the river for 30 pieces of silver."
As far as ONE Northside trolling for a third candidate in the race, it could be. When asked to list her endorsements in her IVI-IPO questionnaire, Amy Crawford said, "I have the support of Ward leaders, such as Randall Doubet-King, a retired pastor and board member of Planned Parenthood." While it's debatable whether Randall Doubet-King is a "Ward leader," to the extent he is known, he is known as a board member for ONE Northside. He also accompanied Ms. Crawford when she submitted her nominating petitions. (Regarding the implied Planned Parenthood endorsement, that went to Cappleman, not Crawford.)
So, are Cortez Duquette's allegations true? We don't know, we weren't there. But he was.
The original post is here:
"It was an interesting 18 months but things got colorful the last four months of the campaign when Amy Crawford decided to jump in the race. [Now] let me inform you that none of Ms. Davis friends got behind her in support of her announcement. Not even Marc Kaplan. In the process of Amy meeting with local blogs (Uptown Uprising) and neighborhood organizations, we learned that some of Denice Davis dear friends of 25+ years were trying to recruit candidates to run against her and James Cappleman. They recruited Amy Crawford. I later learned that ONE Northside was instrumental in the recruitment of Amy Crawford. Well some members of the recruiting team finds out that Amy Crawford is not as progressive as she claims and jump ship (I won't name names).
Moving forward, we then learn that Amy Crawford has retained Brendan Shiller and Michilla Blaise as political consultants. Brendan Shiller is Helen Shiller's son for those who do not know. Helen Shiller in some form is also a part of this consulting company.
This was strategic on Amy's behalf. I only frowned on it when she started saying "Denice Davis represents the old and the ward doesn't want to go back the road of Helen Shiller" all the while she is paying the Shiller's top dollar.
Amy Crawford has been inconsistent to put it nicely. Depending on what part of the ward she is engaging her positions change. Amy Crawford paid Denice Davis close friends $500 dollars a week to work for her. Considering the fact that Amy Crawford have not been involved in the community at all, I am pretty sure Helen and Brendan provided Amy Crawford their contact information. My opinion Amy is WOLF in Sheep clothing. Corporate interest.
I respect the fact that before James Cappleman decided to run he at least was hands on in the community in regards to his issues. I do not agree with him but in choosing the lesser of two evils, I endorse James Cappleman."
Later in the comments on Everyblock, he adds:
"Ms. Davis chose not to say anything during the election and I was under her direction. Denice Davis is a lady with class and although she was backstabbed repeatedly throughout the election she upheld who she was. I on the other hand cringed with distaste. I know it's all politics, but it is fair for me to voice my opinion and the facts,
Amy Crawford was recruited to run for alderman. Out of all the polarizing issues Uptown has faced in the decade she has lived in the 46th Ward her resume only list a seat on the board at Christopher House and work at a Credit Union. We can not account for one or two Uptown families she has helped. We can't say the same about James Cappleman. James Cappleman was involved in the community before he ran for office.
Amy Crawford is a sham and will do worse damage than James Cappleman can ever do. Frankly, I agree with Cappleman on some issues but make no mistakes about it I am an avid Denice Davis supporter/loyalist.
I have already spoke to James Cappleman's camp and assured them I will do whatever it takes to get him re-elected."