(Chicago, IL) — February 2, 2010. The weekend before election day is like Halloween–when all sorts of witches and goblins emerge to haunt candidates.
And State Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago), who is giving up his House seat and seeking the spot on the Cook County Board being vacated by Commissioner Forrest Claypool, has been the target of election goblins.
The creatures are posting “Todd Stroger–John Fritchey” campaign signs throughout the district on Chicago’s northwest side. Fritchey is no Stroger backer. Just the opposite. Claypool, a devoted opponent to Stroger, backs Fritchey.
Fritchey is running on his long-held reformer platform against Machine Democrat and former 32nd Ward Alderman Ted Matlak.
The “Stroger–Fritchey” signs are meant to mess with minds of ill-informed voters–which means the bulk.
Fritchey today responded to the sign trick as the work of “old-school hack”, posting the following message on his Facebook page:
Leave it to an old-school hack opponent to resort to old-school dirty tricks like this one. Let’s put an end to this nonsense tomorrow. Vote for Toni Preckwinkle for Board President and for me for County Commissioner. It’s time for change.
The witches and goblins have another 36 hours to go.
A lengthy response I originally sent to comment on this article must have been lost in cyberspace, so I’ll submit another. Fortunately my remarks are not time sensitve.
There are four possible suspects, maybe more, but I can’t think of them, who could have put up the Stroger/Fritchey signs despite the fact that Fritchey had endorsed Preckwinkle..
First, it wold have been clever beyond his staff’s ability for Stroger himself to have put these posters up in light of Fritchey’s popularity. What would he care if it cost Fritchey votes if it could increase his own total. Plus a unilateral endorsement of Fritchey by Stroger in spite of Fritchey endorsing Preckwinle would have been both clever and wise.
Culprit 2 and the most logical would be Matlak. But I doubt that he could get outside the box to have thought of it.
Culprit 3 could be Waguespack, who does have the intelligence to have done it, but might not waste his time and resources.
And the fourth suspect would be Fritchey himself, akin to the candidates who throw bricks through their own windows. And he is intelligent enough to have done it.
But I confess, I really can’t choose someone to point the finger at definitevely.
Regardless, it didn’t seem to hurt Fritchey. Both he and Preckwinkle carried the 32nd ward overwhelmingly and Ann Williams won resoundingly over Farley (2nd) and Mullin (Waguespack’s choice came in 3rd).
If I were Scott Waguespack I’d be spending the rest of the yearlooking for another job. If I were John Fritchey I’d find a loyal and progressive candidate to dispatch Waguespack. No alderman can truly say he’s effective if he can’t get along with his committeeman, especially in this unique situation. I can understand Maldonado going from Commissioner to Alderman, but Fritchey will be a key player on the County Board and all he needs is an Alderman who is honest, competent, progresive and loyal whose name is not not Scott Waguespack. I will confess that months ago I would have been for Waguespack because I wasn’t aware of his disloyalty and ingratitude. But now that I am, the choice is easy. Fritchey, who is not the easiest person to get along with, is still clearly the key player in Ward 32, something which Matlak and Waguespack don’t understand. It took courage for Fritchey to support Waguespack to the extent he did in 2007, and Waguespack would not have won without him.Posted by Philip S. Krone | February 4, 2010, 11:16 AM