The Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Magazine named Chicago News Bench one of Chicago's best blogs in 2008. (It was called "Rogers Park Bench" at the time.)

"[Chicago News Bench] opines on Rogers Park and the 49th Ward in his fiery blog, His mix of cynicism and skepticism targets public figures such as Mayor Daley and Alderman Joe Moore." ~ The List: The best the Web has to offer Chicago, Chicago Magazine, Feb 2008

"Great example of hyperlocal news coverage" ~ Mark Josephson, CEO,

"The Bench is a terrific blog, covering issues from the national to the regional and very local (Rogers Park), and is a thumping good read." ~ Chicago Bungalow

March 30, 2007

Outside Agitators in Rogers Park, Chicago

There are goons spreading lies on the streets of Rogers Park. No, not the drug pushers, pimps, whores, drunks, and the rest of the all-too-usual suspects. I’m talking about political action committee goons. I’m talking about the foot soldiers of the ACORN political action committee, a corrupt, international socialist organization that is now sticking its nose into the affairs of our neighborhood. I saw Don Gordon yesterday, just past 3:00 p.m. He was with a couple of his campaign workers and they were handing out their now-famous bananas in Ziploc baggies to folks in front of the Morse CTA station. Don shook my hand and told me I should see the propaganda being handed out on the other side at the Lunt entrance to the station. I walked over to see. Walking along North Glenwood, a couple of hoodlums in front of a furniture story struggled to figure out the technology of Ziploc bags, then gleefully discarded the bags and the Gordon literature on the sidewalk. There was a trashcan about 25 feet from them, which they walked past after littering. They probably Joe Moore supporters. I arrived at the Lunt side of the Morse CTA station and I saw two people who did not look familiar; I have never seen either of them in this immediate neighborhood. African-American woman, African-American man, foot soldiers in the war against The Man, both scowling and apparently not happy to be standing there with well-scrubbed yuppies coming and going. The man grudgingly handed me a tan-colored document on crappy paper. It is entitled, “WHO IS DON GORDON?” and the print job is lousy. (Say, there is no union label on this print job.) "ACORN IS A BAD SEED" Well, what is ACORN? Briefly, they are an international political action committee that has “attempted to thwart union organizing efforts within its own organization by laying off workers who were attempting to organize.” More: “Since it took root in 1970, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has been criticized for its fraud, deception, and radical political agenda. It has been implicated in Teamsters election fraud, government-grant fraud, union busting, and it has sought an exemption from the very mini-mum wage laws it tries to force on everyone else.” We will examine ACORN more after see what the unhappy couple of foot soldiers were handing out. To quote the entire piece: “WHO IS DON GORDON? “Would you trust this man with our ward? “You’ve heard Don Gordon’s charges against Joe Moore. He said Joe Moore’s fight for a living wage has nothing to do with our ward, yet 77% of the 49th Ward residents voted in February for the Living Wage Ordinance, so that didn’t work. “He criticized Joe Moore for challenging the waste, inefficiency and mismanagement in the CTA, but a majority of our residents use the CTA and have experienced first hand the decline in service, so that didn’t work. “He criticized Joe Moore for supporting crime-fighting tools like blue light cameras, but so do the voters of the 49th ward, so that didn’t work. “He criticized Joe Moore for accepting campaign contributions from developers, but at least one-third of Don Gordon’s campaign contributions come from developers according to his own campaign disclosure reports, so that didn’t work. “Nothing else worked, so now what’s the plan? “Joe Moore’s opponent is blaming Joe for the terrible fire that took place last summer, killing six children. The fire started after Com Ed turned off the electricity because the immigrant family could not afford pay the bill. The family used candles at night, and the apartment caught fire, killing six children. “Joe Moore co-sponsored a City Council resolution opposing the Com Ed rate increase, and campaigned for more energy assistance to stop the utility shutoffs for families whose only crime was they couldn’t afford to pay. Don Gordon has done nothing to oppose Com Ed’s shut offs and rate increases, but is attempting to blame Alderman Moore for the fire and the deaths. “That is not just absurdly false, it is a terrible lie. And Don Gordon is willing to go there. “Do you trust a man who would exploit the deaths of six innocent children for his own political ends to be our alderman? Why is he willing to stoop so low to win an office? “Do any of us want a person who would stoop to such depths anywhere near a public office? Who is Don Gordon, really? “We can decide. On April 17, Vote for Joe Moore. He has always done what he thought was right. Acted on principle. We can count on him. “Paid for by ACORN Political Action Committee Working for years for affordable housing and affordable utilities” BUT THAT DOESN’T WORK, EITHER! The author of this bit of propaganda likes the phrase, “so that didn’t work.” However, since the final decision will not be reached until April 17, it is too early to know whether any of Gordon’s campaign efforts will pay off. In others words, the phrase “so that didn’t work” doesn’t work. The author notes that Gordon “criticized Joe Moore for challenging the waste, inefficiency and mismanagement in the CTA.” No, he did not. Gordon, and former Moore challenger Ginderske, criticized Moore for using the CTA as a tool to distract voters from the real issues right here in the 49th Ward. While everyone agrees that the CTA has problems, Moore’s timing of calling the CTA a “third world transit” system was suspect. ACORN asks, "Do you trust a man who would exploit the deaths of six innocent children for his own political ends to be our alderman?" But what about Moore's literature, in which he blatanly and shamelessly exploits the deaths of U. S. military personnel? Let me tell you personally, Kathy Sprattling was pissed about that, calling Moore "disgusting" for exploiting the war for personal political gain. (Are you listening, Joe?) I’ll leave it to others to further analyze the ACORN piece. Let’s get back to my earlier question. WHAT IS ACORN? As noted above, ACORN is a hypocritical and corrupt organization. They believe, ultimately, in forced wealth redistribution. They insist on a “living wage” but have refused to deal with their own employees when they tried to organize. Let’s turn to sources more knowledgeable than I am. (Highlights in red are mine.) From Since it took root in 1970, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has been criticized for its fraud, deception, and radical political agenda. It has been implicated in Teamsters election fraud, government-grant fraud, union busting, and it has sought an exemption from the very minimum wage laws it tries to force on everyone else. This update to the Employment Policies Institute’s May 2003 report exposes the group’s recent widespread pattern of voter fraud as it pushes an extreme agenda and hypocritical wage hikes, state by state. New Mexico is just one of 11 states in which ACORN employees were accused of submitting blatantly false voter registration forms during the 2004 election cycle. Yet that state is an appropriate microcosm for ACORN’s practice of fraud because it has filed phony documents in two consecutive election cycles. In 2005, four ACORN employees submitted as many as 3,000 potentially fraudulent signatures—including that of a county commissioner—on the group’s minimum wage ballot initiative for Albuquerque. A local sheriff added: “It’s safe to say the forgery was widespread.” In 2004, an ACORN employee registered a 13-year-old boy to vote. Citing this and other examples, New Mexico State Representative Joe Thompson stated that ACORN was “manufacturing voters” throughout New Mexico. , the same year it won a victory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to raise the minimum wage for custodial workers to $6.25 per hour. FULL DOCUMENT... "ACORN IS A BAD SEED" ACORN is a multi-million-dollar multinational conglomerate. ACORN claims to be a community assistance group, but its political agenda is driven by a relative handful of anti-corporate activists. ACORN spends millions of dollars to enact economic policies (such as raising the minimum wage), but has admitted that it doesn’t want to abide by them. ACORN advocates for workers rights and runs two unions, but busts unions of its own employees. ACORN fights for “good government,” but misuses government grants. FULL DOCUMENT... From ACORN’s own web site: ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities. Since 1970, ACORN has grown to more than 220,000 member families, organized in 850 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the U.S. and in cities in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Peru. ACORN'S WEB SITE...


  1. Thanks for posting this info. I think I met the same pair myself yesterday. I wonder how many people questioned them or hassled them? I asked them some polite questions.

  2. These flyers were posted NOH yesterday and most were removed. Another Gordonite and I were at the Howard el when a young, angry ACORN man appeared. Another Gordonite came and the angry one left. Shortly, he was replaced by a woman and a tall man. She got strung out on bananas and told me I just wouldn't understand. My response was I wish the telephone trees worked this well when there's a crime.

  3. Thank you to both Jocelyn and Toni - great comments.
    This issue highlights the desperation of Moore, and the fact that many of his foot soldiers do not even live in the 49th Ward.


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