Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What's going on in City Politics as we get closer to the runoffs...

Let's start with Chicago's 2nd ward. Bob Fioretti may be successful in taking a black ward. Perhaps that's not accurate anymore as the ward is changing thanks to development and racial turnover. Still he has his work cut out for him since the incumbent Alderman, Madeline Haithcock is taking advantage of some past allegation of stalking.

Well before the election on February 27th, the National Organization for Women had endorsed Fiorettie in his race but took down their endorsement from their website. Apparently her attempt to use an order of protection against him proved to be a final draw. Indeed Haithcock may have just turn NOW against her because of it. The Sun-Times said it best in their article when they said, "She's desperate".

Here's a little bit more about the story...
The National Organization for Women on Monday reinstated its endorsement of 2nd Ward aldermanic challenger Bob Fioretti after determining that five-year-old sexual harassment and stalking allegations against Fioretti have "no basis in fact."

That didn't stop incumbent Ald. Madeline Haithcock (2nd) from using the allegations. Over the weekend, she put out a campaign mailer with a copy of a 2002 emergency order of protection against Fioretti under the headline, "Bob Fioretti is a big talker. Turns out he's also a stalker of women."
It turns out Haithcock had only told one side of a complicated story.
A judge vacated the order of protection one week after it was issued after learning that Fioretti and his girlfriend had filed criminal complaints against the same woman the year before for making unsolicited advances toward Fioretti and harassing phone calls. The woman was a court reporter who saw Fioretti in courtrooms where he had appeared as an attorney. They had no relationship -- sexual or otherwise -- Fioretti said.

NOW President Kim Mongoven was so incensed by Haithcock's continued smear campaign against Fioretti, she held a news conference Monday to denounce the tactics -- and re-endorse Fioretti.

"Haithcock has again launched a vicious attack based on the same misstatements of fact. NOW . . . condemns these attacks. They are a desperate political ploy meant to distract voters from a long record of misplaced priorities. I urge citizens of the 2nd Ward to reject these dirty campaign tactics," Mongoven said.
On Monday, Fioretti asked a Circuit Court judge to issue a temporary restraining order against the Haithcock campaign. He didn't get it. But the company that designed and wrote the mailer agreed to pull a second campaign piece with a similar theme.
Fioretti got 29 percent of the vote to Haithcock's 20 percent in Round One. Monday's mudslinging developments virtually guarantee an ugly finish.

"Desperate people do desperate things and she's desperate," Fioretti said.

"I'm proud to have NOW's endorsement. They have done so much for women's rights. And I'm disappointed with an opponent who resorts to slander and lies. She is trying to distract from the real issues in this race: that she's taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from developers and missed over 80 percent of committee meetings."

In the 25th Ward the challenger Cuahutemoc Morfin is seeking a runoff against the incumbent Alderman Daniel Solis. This has been covered since the election on February 27th. Solis right now is the official winner but Morfin is seeking to have the votes of another challenger and former Alderman Ambrosio Medrano counted even though he was dropped off the ballot because of his felony conviction. Here's a little more about this story...
A 25th Ward candidate is trying to force a run-off in the April election, arguing in a federal lawsuit that incumbent Ald. Daniel Solis really didn't secure 50 percent of the primary votes as needed.

Cuahutemoc Morfin said Monday that 283 votes cast for another candidate, Ambrosio Medrano, should be counted because voters were told too late that Medrano was kicked off the ballot.

"We're asking that the votes are respected and counted into the calculation that determines a winner in the 25th Ward," Morfin said.

The Friday before the Tuesday Feb. 27 elections, the Illinois Supreme Court deemed that Medrano could not run because he has a felony conviction. Votes for him would be considered invalid.

But 178 early votes had been cast for Medrano and another 105 came in on Election Day, they contend. If considered valid, Solis would have just 48 percent of the total, said Nicholas Kefalos, an attorney who filed the lawsuit.
Fifty percent of the vote is needed in the primary to stave off an April election. Kefalos said voters' constitutional rights were violated because they weren't properly told their votes wouldn't count.
Those who voted early cast ballots for Medrano before his candidacy was invalid. Illinois does not provide a way to remedy that, Kefalos said.

This is going to be interesting. Both of these cases. Hopefully Haithcock's stunt will cost her at the polls and I don't know what to say about the 25th ward.

I should just note in the 25th ward. Morfin was endorsed by Medrano when he got knocked off the ballot.

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