Monday, May 5, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Chicago's 49th Ward

Meeting 24th District's new Commander Steven Caluris in Rogers Park this evening got me more than I bargained for. It's a boring story anyway.

Like some overgrown CAPS meeting, the room was full of people bitching and moaning and complaining to a guy who is beholden to the Powers Downtown and not to them.

The real story is the bullying tactics of the local elected officials and their staff in attendance.

As I was trying to take photos of Caluris and Moore (who sat near him, to his right), I became aware of flunkie Wayne "The Bouncer" Frazier standing in front of me. I was sitting in the front row. The whole room could see Frazier aim his iPhone at me and take a photo. What the...?

The so-called leaders of Chicago's 49th Ward are afraid to have their photos taken. Hey, last time I checked, getting your photo taken just goes with the territory of being a public office holder, such as elected officials David Fagus and Joe Moore, or persons who work for a public office holders, such as Anne Sullivan and Wayne Frazier.

Moore is the 49th Ward alderman who barely - arguably - won in a tight runoff election in April 2007.

Fagus is the 49th Ward Democrat Committeeman, a purely political office that he was reelected to in February 2008 without opposition.

Like some two-bit starlet putting her hand up to prevent photographer from taking a picture, Fagus and Moore hate the press and the media.

I finished up front and walked to the rear of the room, where I snapped a photo of Frazier and Fagus as I walked out. But I turned to look back into the room and found myself next to Anne Sullivan. Fighting the gravitational pull was difficult as she said, "You better not take my photo."

"Are you no longer working for an elected public official in a public capacity, Anne?" I asked.

She trembled but did not answer. Suddenly, Wayne Frazier was in my face, aiming his damned iPhone at me again. I snapped him first.

"You want a photo of me, Wayne, I'll be at [a nearby nightclub] later," I said.

I was doing nothing weird when The Bouncer started photographing me. I was at a public meeting. I was photographing public figures doing public things. So why take my photo?

Think about it. Are they going to post my photo on a website? Talk about small town, weird political antics. Will Wayne Frazier send my photos through his iPhone to all the scummy characters that support Fagus and Moore?

Or was it simply a childish attempt to intimidate me?

If I turn up dead or go missing, you have a ready list of prime suspects - the "leaders" of the 49th Ward of Chicago.

* Wayne Frazier - A True Rogers Park Slimeball
New Commander: More of the Same