Chairman of the Chicago Board of Elections, Langdon Neal.
Look. Nobody believes the Chicago Tribune polls. The last one showed Rahm with a 28 point lead.
That is laughable.
I ran into my friend Don the other day who predicts Chuy will win by six to seven points.
That may be optimistic.
Most believe it will be close.
It is Rahm’s millions against a mostly seat-of-the pants grass roots movement.
Of course, that is what grass roots movements are.
Yet we do win, surprising some but never surprising me.
If it is close, know that the guy counting the ballots is Chicago elections board chairman Langdon Neal.
Langdon Neal makes a lot money from deals with Rahm.
The City’s few real investigative reporters, Ben and Mick, wrote about this last year.
I was reminded of this again earlier this week, when I read the Tribune‘s fine story about the heavy-hitting real estate interests involved in the DePaul stadium and hotel project—the one near McCormick Place that’s set to use at least $55 million in taxpayer funds.
Near the bottom of the story—and you should read it to the bottom—Neal was identified as the chief negotiator for the city and McPier, the state authority that runs Navy Pier and McCormick Place.
It was the third time I’d come across Neal’s name in as many days.
David Sirota writes about it again today in the International Business Times.
If Chicago’s first mayoral runoff in history ends up razor close on April 7, the city will be relying on a purportedly independent arbiter to oversee any recount. But that arbiter, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, is chaired by a politically-connected lawyer whose firm has received secret city lobbying contracts from incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration. After receiving those contracts, the chairman has already used his power to boost the mayor’s allies against anti-Emanuel challengers in other municipal elections.
Board chairman Langdon Neal was appointed to his position by the Cook County Circuit Court, not by any city official — a structure that is supposed to preserve the board’s independence from candidates for municipal office. However, the laws establishing the election commission do not prohibit Neal from getting contracts from the mayor, whose election he will oversee. How much he has made from those contracts remains a closely guarded secret: the Emanuel administration has denied an open records request for the terms of the deals, refusing to respond to International Business Times within the timeframe mandated by Illinois law.
Sirota tried to get Rahm to release the email exchanges between his billionaire pension investor pal Michael Sacks and City Hall. Rahm said no.
Cook County Clerk David Orr and 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack joined in asking for their release. Sirota, Orr and Waugespack were ignored.
By both Rahm and the Chicago press.
I don’t expect that the media sheep will pay attention to the Langdon Neal story any more than they did the Michael Sacks story.
I mean, it’s only the election.