201 Miles to Springfield: August 15, 2010

August 15, 2010

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (D-Old Ravenswood) calls Washington “Fucknutsville,” in an article in Vanity Fair.

The article says it got so bad last December that President Barack Obama (D-Kenwood) and Emanuel would joke that, when it was all over, they were going to open a T-shirt stand on a beach in Hawaii. It would face the ocean and sell only one color and one size.

One size and one color? It sounds more and more as if Emanuel is ready to work with City Council.


Via Facebook on Tuesday night as the Blagojevich & Mell families wait for a verdict: Deborah Mell I would be lying if I said this wasn’t one of the most difficult things I have been through. Please keep those prayers coming.


State Representative Deb Mell (D- Avondale) can be consoled by the fact she is running unopposed for her seat in Springfield. A Republican party official noted that the party had nominated Lisa Reed, (R- Irving Park) the 33rd Ward Republican committeewoman.

Reed, a high school teacher, successfully passed one hurdle, forming a committee. She also filed signatures for the run, but the signatures were challenged by Nick Carusi, another resident of Irving Park.

“My mom and I were the only ones out there getting signatures,” Reed told the Bulldog. Reed said she takes responsibility for the successful challenge. “I got into a section that was different,” she said.

Carusi’s LinkedIn profile says he is a political and community activist. Among his long list of accomplishments is working successfully for Mell and working as an aide to Mell. According to filings with the State, Carusi received payments in February from the Mell campaign.

Reed said Carusi was a flunky, working at the direction of people Downstate. She alleges that political aides of Mell and the Democratic Party used public time to review the petitions. “It wasn’t anyone from Chicago,” Reed says. “It was tax dollars used.” Reed identified the reviewers by cross referencing initials left on petitions with the names of aides found in professional directories.

Mell is no stranger to the uses of election law to keep candidates off the ballot. Although she is the daughter of 33rd Ward Alderman Dick Mell and the sister-in-law of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, she faced a serious ballot challenge in the February 2010 primary when she used the wrong address on her petitions. Observers initially thought she would be thrown off the ballot.

Mell, who had moved to an address in Avondale from an address on Clybourn, swore she was a voter living in Avondale. Actually, her voting address had not changed.

Mell used Attorney Michael Kasper to defend herself. Kasper, according to the Chicago Reader, is closely associated with House Speaker Michael Madigan. Mell won that case, leading her challenger in the Democratic primary, Joe Laiacona, to say this to the Reader:

The irony, as Laiacona points out, is that incumbents frequently jump on their challengers for not understanding the ins and outs of local politics and election law. “Here she clearly violated the rules, yet they find a way to keep her on the ballot,” he says. “If the roles were reversed and I had made that mistake and Mell was challenging me, there’s no way they would have kept me on the ballot.”

“So it was people from outside the district who protested,” Reed said. Reed said they had no standing and may have used public time to protect Mell.

The Bulldog left messages for Nick Carusi and an e-mail for “Citizens for Deb Mell” (whose phone is disconnected). UPDATE: A caller noted that the Bulldog had at least two other means to try to contact Mell and that the Bulldog did not use those means to obtain the Representative’s views on this issue. The Bulldog is trading calls with Mr. Carusi.


From Representative Deb Mell’s Facebook Page.

An update from Deb Mell's Facebook page.



There will be an open house to discuss the state’s budget mess. It will be hosted by State Representative Greg Harris and State Senator Heather Steans Date: Thursday, August 19, 2010. Time: 7PM to 9PM Location: St. Augustine College, 1333 W. Argyle


Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D- Ravenswood Manor) and Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (Lemont) will conduct a presentation for Association Forum members about “The State of the State and How Associations Can Help.” Tuesday, Sept. 28, from 10 to 11:30 AM, 10 S Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606. Contact the Association Forum of Chicagoland to RSVP.


Several events take place offering cheap microchipping and rabbies vacinations for pets.

  • August 24, 10 AM – 2:45 PM in the West lot of the 19th District Police Station, 2452 W Belmont
  • August 25, 10 AM – 2:45 PM Pietryka Funeral Home, 5736 W. Diversey in the parking lot.

The price for Microchipping is $10.00, 1 year rabbies is $7.00 and 3 year rabbies is $21.00. This program is only for Cook County Residents with State ID or drivers license.


The Jewish Vocational Service, an United Way agency offering services to everyone, is offering a free credit check and analysis. They will pull your credit and analyze it. Contact Natalie Pankow at (312) 673-3440 or write her at nataliepankow@jvschicago.org.


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