Keeping retirement weird. Dancing on the east side and low-road politics on the north west side.


The CTU’s Marty Ritter and Sue Garza speaking last night at the UAW hall at 135th and Torrence in the 10th Ward.

It takes about 90 minutes to get from Logan Square in the 35th ward to 135th and Torrence Avenue way south in the 1oth ward on a Friday evening at 5:30.

Alderman Susan Sadlowski Garza and her family are dear friends. Sue is in a battle with the remnants of the Democratic Machine. She is running for 10th Ward Committeeman against them.

She was having a fund-raiser and GOTV rally at the UAW hall. So we were going to be there. Even if it meant driving the Dan Ryan on a Friday at rush hour.

Besides. They had a great DJ and disco lights. And, yes. Anne and I danced.

A backer of 40th State Representative Jaime Andrade accused me of supporting his challenger Harish I Patel because he is a friend of mine. It is true. I support my friends. As an activist, my friends – and particularly my friends who are in political office or running for one – are progressive. Like Sue Garza.

I make it a point not to have too many friends who are Trumpists, Raunerites or Machine hacks.

Incumbent State Representative Andrade is a low-road Machine hack.

I get why some unions and local politicians have endorsed Andrade. He is the incumbent and he has tons of money from his mentor, former Alderman and current Democratic Committeeman Dick Mell.

By the way, Aaron Goldstein (also a friend) is running against Mell for the Committeeman post.

Unfortunately, incumbency and money is a calculation some pols and unions make when deciding their recommendations.

What else explains my teacher union endorsing Republican Illinois Senator Mark Kirk over the years? “He’s pro-education,” they tell me. He’s also for mass deportations, perpetual war and refuses to rule out voting for Donald Trump.

Andrade’s supporters point to his vote for an elected school board in Chicago the other day as an example of his progressive cred. I’m very glad the Illinois House voted for the bill we have been working on, marching for, knocking on doors, collecting ballot signatures and writing about for years. The final vote in the House was 110-4 (including a yes vote from Speaker Madigan). Andrade’s co-sponsorship of the ESRB bill did not entail great risk.

As I approach 68 years on this planet, I can write that this is not my first rodeo. I understand political calculations.

Some unions and local pols have made those calculations and support Andrade in this race. They now have some responsibility for having him abandon the low road he has taken.


These were dropped yesterday. They are not the first in Andrade’s low-road campaign.

So, here’s the thing: As Andrade’s supporters do their calculations they should calculate in the fact that this race is close and Harish might win.

As a genuine progressive, Harish will always stand with labor and the unions and not just when it is easy and he gets Madigan’s permission.

Now might be the moment that they give Andrade a call. Tell him to knock it off and get up out of the gutter.

In fact, I’ve heard he has already received a few of those phone calls.

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