In Chicago, it’s a blood sport.


Democratic Party Machine attack ad on Harish I Patel (left) reminds me of the one they used on progressive State Representative Will Guzzardi.

Congratulations to Bernie for taking Hillary Clinton to a virtual tie last night in the Iowa Democratic primary.

Taking the high road in campaigning and spelling out a progressive alternative to the center-right, Wall Street-friendly policies of Clinton got a receptive ear in the state just to my left.

In the home of the Chicago Democratic Machine things are turning nasty.

Mailers have gone out to voters in the 40th state House district claiming Harish I Patel, a friend of mine and young progressive political activist running for political office for the first time, is actually a Rauner plant. “The secret is out,” says the mailer.

The mailer is the work of what is left of old Dick Mell’s Democratic Party Machine. Their candidate is incumbent Jaime Andrade, a Mell aide for 17 years who was appointed to the House seat when Dick retired. Dick gave his daughter, the former state rep, his aldermanic seat and got Andrade appointed to the House seat.

Now that we have created a progressive electoral movement here in the city, all kinds of politicians, with their fingers in the wind, have become born again progressives.

Christian Mitchell, on the south side, takes tens of thousands of dollars from Stand for Children. But he’s running as a progressive against the challenge by the genuine progressive campaign of Jay Travis.

So it is with Andrade.

But, claiming my friend Harish is a secret mole for Governor Rauner is pretty low, dirty stuff.

Chicago politics is a blood sport. The Machine is as good at it as it gets.


5 Replies to “In Chicago, it’s a blood sport.”

  1. A little over a a year ago I was impressed after having read a story about a young college student who had started an import business to help put him through school. I believe the story may have been in the Chicago Reader. I have always been impressed with young college students who knew how to make a buck while going to school. Over 50 years ago, I had a college roommate who took his entire scholarship check and signed it over to his Dad so that he could pay off his mortgage. His Dad was an immigrant who had worked hard all his life. My friend then continued to work his way through school in order to pay for his tuition.

    Shortly after having read that recent story, I was introduced by a friend to Harish Patel. It was a pleasant surprise when I realized Harish was the same young college student who I read about just a few days earlier. He was genuine and for real. Beautiful personality. Now finding out that Harish is running for politics here in Chicago, it gives me great hope to know that a young man like Harish wants to make this a better city. This city needs brave, smart, young people to take on the corruption that has been in existence since long before Harish even set foot on this planet. I doubt if Harish will be rocked by any of the Mayor and Mell’s BS. Wishing you the best, Mr. Patel.

  2. IFT endorsed Andrade but on the good side Jay Travis. CTU has separate endorsements I think. UPI does too though John Curtis in IL 93 is aUPI IFT member. IFt also endorsed Stratton against Rauner buddy Dunkin. Also endorsed Chris Welch against a possible Rauner front andvthe only anti Rauner Republican Sam McCann. If anything Edgar is right slight dem gains. They need to do something with that. I see no endorsement for Mark Kirk. Kooks like the primary is the election in Illinois.

    1. I believe IFT originally recommended Patel for endorsement, but may have switched. I’m not sure it matters. IFT has nothing to offer in this race except a couple of bucks. They have no people on the ground. Andrade doesn’t need money. He has plenty of that from the Mell and Dem regulars. The CTU endorsed Andrade, but except for a couple of people with some odd agenda, most CTU members I know who are following this race are puzzled by the endorsement given that Andrade has long-time backing from Stand for Children and was forced to return their money this election cycle because of Harish’s candidacy. CTU also endorsed Madigan, so go figure. I generally trust the basis for union endorsements as far a Hillary can throw them.

  3. It seems like the House of Mell has hitched itself to Sanders’ in-crowd (assuming you make as much of Ald. Carlos Rosas– who is my alderman, and who I love– being a Sanders proxy and delegate candidate). My guess is that, as far as CTU is concerned, it’s a full boat: endorse anyone and everyone who’s on that train.

    1. I am disappointed that the Alderman and the CTU chose to endorse the Mell Machine’s candidate in the State Rep race. I ignored him and the CTU and voted for Harish I Patel. It is interesting that my ward, represented by Rosa, has among the lowest early voting numbers in the City. Not much of a GOTV effort.

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