“I’m in a good place and I try to do the right thing,” Aaron Goldstein told me when I asked him why he was running for a second term as 33rd Democratic Ward Committeeman.
Doing the right thing doesn’t always mean you get elected in Chicago. That is particularly true for jobs like Democratic Ward Committeeman.
I mean, Eddie Burke still holds the job of committeeman along with his job as alderman.
He’s not there to do the right thing.
For Aaron, doing the right thing includes taking on the slating and electing of corrupt and racist Cook County judges. We talked about that with him on a Hitting Left episode a while back.
Being a Democratic Committeeman means holding a whole lot less power than it did back in pre-Shackman days. The Shakman decree limited the Machine’s patronage power.
Although not entirely.
The news this morning is that my state senator, Iris Martinez, is circulating petitions to run against Aaron for 33rd Ward Committeeman.
I find this totally bizarre.
Iris Martinez is not only an Illinois State Senator. She is also a state central committeeperson representing the 4th Congressional District in the Democratic Party of Illinois. And she is one of five Democrats running to be the next Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court to replace Dorothy Brown.
And now she wants to be a lowly ward committeeman too.
What the hell?
Remember that it was Aaron who set the stage for removing the family of Machine Boss Dick Mell from holding official power.
Four years ago he shocked everybody by beating Dick Mell for the committeman’s position by 70 votes.
That led to DSAer Rossana Rodriquez beating Deb Mell in last year’s aldermanic election by just 13 votes.
The six Democratic Socialists of America council members seem to have different attitudes toward the Democratic Party Organization in Cook County. Alderman Carlos Rosa is a Democratic committeeman. 40th ward alderman Andre Vasquez is running for the position. Council member Rossana Rodriguez is not.
By the way, Council member Vasquez will be our in studio guest on Friday’s Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. We are live at 11am on 105.5fm in Chicago and streaming at http://www.lumpenradio.com. You can hear the podcast version archived at hittingleft.libsyn.com.
I suspect that Martinez is running partly to take revenge on Aaron for beating her Machine buddy, Mell.
If Martinez wins the race to replace Dorothy Brown, or if as some suspect, she retires from her job as state senator anyway, being ward committeeman gives her leverage to name her successor.
It’s all so Cook County democracy the old fashion way.