(Chicago, IL) — December 31, 2009. “Sometimes the results are wackadoodle.”
That’s the reaction of Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO) state board member Suzanne Elder to the local IVI-IPO chapter endorsement re-vote of Democratic state representative candidate Dan Farley who is seeking the House seat on Chicago’s north side being vacated by John Fritchey.
Farley faced attorneys Ed Mullen and Ann Williams in the endorsement re-vote, winning 17-3-0 respectively.
Farley, a former Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, ensnarled himself in controversy over his campaign’s claim on a direct mail brochure that he had chaired the “IVI-IPO Tax Rollback Committee”.
No such committee ever existed.
Internally, the IVI-IPO state board collectively wrang its hands and huffed and puffed but neither sanctioned nor censured Farley, an IVI-IPO member since January 2009.
According to Elder, the group’s by-laws deny the board of directors the authority to sanction its members for transgressions. Additionally, the board declined even a paper-tiger roar of issuing a written statement reprimanding Farley. It said nothing. A toothless, tongueless-tiger.
However, Elder, who is the Near North Chapter Chair, personally expressed shock that Farley acknowledged at the endorsement re-vote that tax committee “did not exist”.
“It was a jaw-dropping moment,” said Elder.
But it must have been Farley’s lower-molars that must have strained themselves at the absence of any sort of penalty by IVI-IPO.
Beyond the phantom IVI-IPO tax committee credential, what really seemed to grind Elder’s gears is that Farley got the IVI endorsement while being a capital punishment proponent, a public policy position completely at odds with the general IVI-IPO membership.
“There is no way in hell that Dan Farley would have been endorsed by the full IVI membership,” said Elder.
But expect no official comment or remonstrance from the IVI-IPO board on this point either.
For Farley, his response to Elder’s angst is upbeat:
“I’m honored to have their endorsement and look forward to discussing issues that impact all the resident’s of the 11th District like government reform, reigning in property taxes, quality schools and safe neighborhoods. And it is those issues that I intend on focusing upon moving forward.”
And why shouldn’t Farley be upbeat?
He has a mail piece circulating around the district with an impressive sounding IVI-IPO credential accredited to him with no official IVI-IPO contradiction; his pro-capital punishment position is intact with no official IVI-IPO expression of displeasure; he has the official imprimatur of IVI-IPO’s venerable history, and he’ll soon have his IVI-IPO endorsement trumpeted by an IVI-IPO mailing to voters.
If you’re doubled over in laughter, you would be upbeat, too.
Elder was right –”sometimes the results are wackadoodle”.
But so is the group that produces them.
So much for context, David. Next time we speak please have your statement of economic interest available and your axes color coded so I can follow.
As we discussed, what occurred with the Farley endorsement evinces IVI-IPOs strength. It is an open, accessible, and inclusive organization. It’s small-d democracy at work. That’s a lot more than you can say for most Ward organizations.
The IVI-IPO doesn’t reprimand or sanction its members for results like these; it does, however, take the time to deliberate and consider ways to improve process without compromising its principals and, instead of reacting in the heat of the moment, IVI-IPO takes a much more thoughtful, measured approach, which is exactly why it’s been around longer than you’ve been alive.
The more interesting question you and I discussed is why the 47th ward organization would want to wear the mantle of the IVI-IPO if they don’t share our core values or seem bothered by the fact that their candidate made up a IVI-IPO committee and a Congressman’s quote.
Your analysis pivots on a double standard. The IVI-IPO reacted much as Congressman Quigley yet you’re not throwing him into the boards. Mike publicly called on the candidate to correct his errors. The IVI-IPO did that and more; it reconvened a meeting with all of the candidates and yet our efforts are worthy of your ridicule? Why aren’t you calling on Mike to pull his endorsement? Why aren’t you calling Mike girlie names for not jumping up and down all indignant?
We gave the candidate an opportunity to set the record straight, to make things right. He didn’t. Now you want us to go further and light a bonfire? That’s neither classy nor necessary. Besides, at least for this first foray into public life, Mr. Farley looks quite capable of roasting himself.
You think it’s fun or funny to mock IVI-IPO for not spanking this candidate or his supporters? Fine. Pot shots are easy, David. What you fail to recognize is that without this organization’s open structure and without the commitment and work of its members, there would have been no opportunity to see or question this candidate because, unless I’ve missed their press release, the 47th Ward organization does not administer or publish candidate questionnaires, it does not conduct open meetings and it certainly does not have open endorsement events.
Sometimes an open, inclusive process produces surprising results and rather than contextualizing this as a positive and examining the motives of the specific members who produced this result, you mock the organization that is strong enough to include them.Posted by Suzanne Elder | December 31, 2009, 3:18 PM
We look at similar facts and we draw different conclusions. That’s all. I have no stake in any of this. For me, the punditry is sport, because I’m have no other skill for any other game, particularly those that require a ball or a stick.
Nevertheless, thank you for taking the time to speak with me and for the time to compose your thoughtful rebuttal.
Happy New Year.
PS Pot shots are not easy, they take real verve.Posted by David Ormsby | December 31, 2009, 3:34 PM
Sounds like sour grapes to me. What exactly is your problem with the 47th ward org Ms Elder? What exactly does the organization do that runs contrary to the core values of the IVI IPO? If Gene Schulter or any other member did not share the core values of the org why would they pay money to join?Posted by dan ingram | January 1, 2010, 3:48 PM
I’m going to go out on a limb here, but — to win local chapter endorsements?
David OrmsbyPosted by David Ormsby | January 3, 2010, 10:22 PM
I agree with Dan I. The IVI–IPO organization’s primary tools are voter registration, voter information and candidate endorsement and has been around since 1944.
What’s sad is Ms. Elder misses the mark and the point.
Dan Farley has a plan to reinstate the 7 percent cap on property taxes through leadership and building the foundation that is needed to restore the confidence in our elected leaders.
We need to send a person like Dan who will fight for the little guy and yes, make the tough choices that keep our citizens safe and their welfare in mind. That is why Mr. Farley won the endorsement.
He’s from the neighborhood and knows what is needed to get the job done.
Mark JoycePosted by Mark Joyce | January 5, 2010, 2:05 AM
Member IVI IPO
Nice Job. For what Its worth you have at least one fan in Kansas CityPosted by Mafia Wars Fan | January 6, 2010, 11:37 AM
Elder missed the mark? Seems to me she hit it and it smarted. Your guy admitted to making up credentials and then some. Exactly how does that restore confidence? Exactly how does that qualify him for office? Oh, wait, you may have a point.Posted by Libby | January 8, 2010, 11:28 PM
Independent Voters of Illinois- What a joke! I think that it is pretty sad that even groups such as this can’t even be independent anymore. How pathetic is it that the candidate you have selected made up his credentials, you smacked him on the hand, and then endorsed him again. Why on earth would you select him again?
Of course people of the 47th Ward become members of the organization to get their candidates endorsed. You didn’t really believe that they were true believers of the IVI-IVO did you?Posted by Eric Holmes | January 25, 2010, 9:24 PM