Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Updated: 5th Cong District: Schulter Out, Fritchey In

UPDATED 23 March 2009: About Rosanna Pulido's Trouble Campaign UPDATE: by Dan Mihalopoulos, Clout City, Jan. 12, 2009 Four Democrats today formally joined the field for the March 3 special primary to replace Rahm Emanuel in Congress. Dozens of local politicians have expressed interest in the opening. At the start of candidate filing today, the four who first submitted signature petitions to get on the ballot were state Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago), state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), former federal transportation security official Justin Oberman and University of Chicago lecturer Charles Wheelan. (Continue...) We suspected this would happen. Chicago Alderman Eugene Schulter (47th Ward) has dropped out of the race to fill Rahm Emanuel's vacated Congressional seat. Ah, but the real fun now begins, as local Democrats beat each other up in a virtual wrestling match to select the heir to Emanuel's formerly held office. A Chicago Sun-Times report on Jan. 11 gives some juicy insight into the ongoing fracas. Right now, the smart money is on State Rep. John Fritchey as the one who will have the royal sword placed gently on his shoulder. On Saturday, January 10, 19 Democratic ward and township committeemen got together on Chicago's northwest side to decide the future holder of the 5th Congressional seat. Like micro-scale Bilderbergers at a retreat, the local poobahs were deciding the political future of five key individuals. According to Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times, Schulter "said he decided as he drove to Saturday morning's meeting to fold his campaign and instead throw his support behind Fritchey." "Schulter denied cutting a deal," reports the Sun-Times, "to get another one of his guys a statehouse seat, saying he already has a good state rep, Greg Harris, who represents the other half of hs ward." (Harris has been an enabler of impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich. Harris also campaigned against a constitutional convention.) Emanuel resigned his congressional seat to become Barack Obama's White House chief of staff. (Curiously, Sweet only referred it as "Emanuel's district" or "the district." It's the 5th Congressional District that is up for grabs.) The Sun-Times notes that "none of the five would-be grooms could quite muster the 50 percent-plus-1 of the weighted vote to be officially joined to the Democratic Party of Cook County as slated candidate to replace former Rep. Rahm Emanuel." So, the wrestling continues, but only among the Chosen. If you, friend, are interested in running that seat, forget about it unless you're an entrenched soldier of the local Democrat Political Machine. To his credit, Ald. Patrick O'Connor (40th), favors an "open primary." State Rep. John Fritchey, D-Chicago, also wants that. But don't be fooled - the person chosen will probably be anointed in the same way that State Senator Heather Steans was chosen to replace Carol Ronen. That is, they'd like an "open primary" but only so long as those in the primary are first vetted, selected, and patted down by the power structure. What the voters will get, again, is a pre-chewed wad of cud spat up for them to lick off the floor. RELATED: No slating in the 5th Democratic leaders can't agree who to back for Emanuel seat John Fritchey Is In Senate showdown heats up Breaking Down the 5th Conservative Woman Runs to Fill Rahm Emanuel's ... More about Alderman Eugene Schulter Subscribe to Chicago News Bench