Sunday, February 25, 2007

Clock Ticking on 'Buck' Somerville's 2nd Stab at Keys to the 19th Ward

An Hispanic activist, Len Torres, from the City's 12th Ward wrote this comment on a previous ILLINOIZE ( posted by DanL) blog:

"I am voting for Mayor Daley. However, there is a machine in our neighborhoods it is not indigenous, it is not good, it is not part of a positive 19th ward machine like Hickey has and I wish we could have."

To hear Somerville talk you'd think this was not a nice neighborhood. Thanks Len! It's nice to hear that good folks beyond the 19th ward appreciate neighbors who care for one another. This is a great community of hard-working neighbors. John Somerville wants to Buck that trend. Make this more Hyde Park-like, where folks go to class, work downtown and lock themselves in their apartments.

Anguished mother -'You see Timmy and Clare Mr. Kilroy? They were playing in front of your apartment? -

Josh Kilroy ( Somerville Campaign Manager, Hyde Park resident and Obama basher) -'Hey, lady, they're not my Kids! I have a Ben The Commie column to read in the Chicago Reader; now, mind your kids and leave me alone!' Paradise.

Hmm. Seanbone Star has morphed in the last day's of John 'Buck' Somerville's second stab at control of the 19th Ward Aldermanic Chair in the City Council.

John Somerville, the friend of real estate barons north of the 'picket-wire' has had Duttonhead Lowry morph his appeal to the folks in the neighborhood. No longer the earnest young lawyer, Rance Stoddard Somerville. The guy whose sole claim to office is his willingness to drag movie projectors all over the neighborhood and grab credit for work already done by Beverly Area Planning Association ( BAPA), The Mount Greenwood, Park Foundation, The Maeve McNicholas Foundation, Alderman Ginger Rugai, State Rep. Kevin Joyce and State Sen. Ed Maloney is now Buck Somerville. The only thing that Dishonest John, the Bucker of Everything, has not taken credit for is the Information Super-Highway owned by Al Gore. He did however mention that he was 'The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo' as well as the Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

With the Clock ticking and hours fading as fast as a Somerville pledge of eternal loyalty - like the one he made to Tom Dart - Buck Somerville will Buck the old guard - Ancien Regime -Rance didn't do it for the folks, Buck Daley, Buck the Neighbors! Buck the Insiders! Buck the Voters who will cast their votes for Ginger Rugai!

Ride 'em, Buck! All the way to a third place finish!


Anonymous,  10:50 AM  

The 19th ward has many very kind people, packed Catholic Churches, some nice other churches but no doubt Catholics dominate, a huge Irish parade, a sense of community and neighborhoods who watch out for each other.
There are a lot of nice, clean, single family homes--not as huge as some suburbs or Kenwood but very nice bungalows some exceptional stand outs and most of them clean and well kept. There is a sense of community based on geography, ethnic mostly Irish identification, Catholicism, and sometimes politics. People seem to work hard and there are a lot of police, fire, tradesman, mothers who take good care of their kids, families involved in the neighborhood. In years past there were fraternal organizations, Knights of Columbus. Good sports and recreation for kids especially football, basketball and baseball but even some of the other sports for kids who don't like or fit into the big 3 and even the remanants of boxing. On the political side, people turn out and vote and there is a so called machine and sense of unity. The neighborhood is fairly safe, most problems that are not outsiders happen in bars late at night.

However, there is a tribalism that can alienate people not from there. There is a concentration in the 19th ward of jobs, judges, etc. that may not be based on merit and may be unfair to other parts of the city. There can be some excess drinking although perhaps not more than other areas, unsure on that, but being at a couple of the establishments on Western and on the neighbororing suburbs of Merionette Park--there certainly is a culture of drinking that could be unhealthy. There is also a racism or at least tribalism or geographic superiority and exclusion that is evident in conversation and some may think in political patterns. There can be a tough guy bully element with some. There can be a sense of entitlement in political power. Pat may not see it or disagree or even take offense, but there can be a racism and insensitivity to others--the good work at Leo and by some like Tom Dart (a truly good man and public servant) at St. Margaret Mary (of Scotland no less).

I am not living in the 19th ward but have spent a lot of time there and know a lot of people. It seems that Virginia Rugai has done a good job. It is a safe, clean community. There seem to be decent services and certainly a decent amount of city jobs. There may be issues of economic development and infrastructure but I always thought that was due to geography and the relative distance and isolation of the 19th ward from the urban core and the focus of the administration. Western Avenue and some of the other streets have not had the same investment by private or public sector or facelifts that certain North Side wards have had. But again, I figured it was geography and population dynamics and not a bad alderman.

I am disturbed at times, having formerly worked in the city, at the arrogance and concentration of power in certain departments of 19th ward operatives. I am disturbed at times by the number of elected officials, and judges who not only live in the 19th ward but those who are "influenced" by the 19th ward. I think good politics and government should be based on politics as that is natural but also merit and diversity which should be natural.
The 19th ward and primarily Irish dominance is not reflective of the talent in the City and is not good for government but does seem to be successful in politics.

However, this does not seem to be a problem of Virginia Rugai, who is more focused on Alderman, and not the broader political power picture in the County or City. She seems to have done a good job.

Pat Hickey 11:11 AM  

'Everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.'

A great old Ruskie said that and it is quite true for all of us.

I understand my neighborhood. I understand it in the same way that I understand my family - my God, do I not! I understand how I can disappoint my kids and probably let them down on occasion. It seems the same for all of us citizens, as well.

That same Ruskie, had an idea about how we, all of us can puff ourselves up and even develop an inflated sense of our own importance. And that seems to be the sticking point in a political campaign.

Usually, two good and honest persons with an opposing point of view can and do make their cases. Here, in this 19th Ward Aldermanic election, we are once again stuck with a candidate whose ownership of just such and inflated sense of entitlement has again bolted a wedge in a pretty happy family of neighbors.

That old Ruskie said this almost as if he talking about John Somerville himself -

'A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator, the smaller the fraction.'

Vote wisely and with love and understanding, neighbors.

Anonymous,  12:12 PM  

Sean and Somerville will have the last laugh.

Pat Hickey 12:35 PM  

The very best of laughs!

Mirth filled giggles and guffaws, no doubt.

Veritable gale of good natured Joshing, as well!

Hate to be a Kilroy, but . . .

Levois 12:46 PM  

The 19th ward is a very nice place. Passed through there many times. It seems vibrant because of the commercial strip and it has so many nice homes. It literally does seem like something of a village within a city.

Now to look at the 19th ward race. So many predictions. For the most part they seem to suggest that Sommerville will face Ruggai in a runoff. Man I'd like to see how this contest turns out.

At least I know that Ruggai isn't the only one who can't stand Sommerville.

Pat Hickey 12:55 PM  

Levois,My Friend,

Tim Sheehan is also running and if there is a run-off, it will be with Tim Sheehan and Ginger. The man has run a tough,classy and welcoming campaign. It will be an interesting few hours on Tuesday night - not for Somerville and his real estate pals - they are toast already.

Buck Somerville's Goebbels' site is already bleeding panic and despair. Give it a quick look - and then get out quicker. For a Man of your intellegence and sensiblities - it is one fetid swamp. God Bless, Levois!

BathHouse John,  1:00 PM  

the first annonymous hit the ball on the head with his analysis of the 19th ward, Pat Hickey is a 19th ward joke and the way he has attacked Summerville shows he is pimping for the Jerry Joyce/Mayor agenda. BTW you said... I have a Ben The Commie column to read in the Chicago Reader; Ben may well be a commie, leftie or whatever you want to call him but the Reader and its writers should win a Pulitzer for some of the stories they have done...I.E. John Burge torture, Daley Corruption, TIFFS Etc, just keep your ass out of the 23rd Ward Hickey, we don't want your lace curtains here.

Pat Hickey 1:06 PM  


With regard to Commie Ben - who read his wonderful musings to you?

Don't look up - a rule of thumb in the 23rd Ward - could be rain, or it could be Jet Blue.

Anonymous,  2:45 PM  

The Police torture/Jon Burge et al are not Ben Joravsky but John Conroy--a good Irishman.
(Burge is Norwegian mostly and some Irish Orange, and he is a Protestant)
You can check those interesting articles at
Hickey routinely misqoutes and mischaracterizes the truth on this subject.
The Honorable former Judge Egan (whom Hickey qoutes and seems to like)
may have criticized the criminal defense and civil attorney Flint Taylor
as focusing on the money BUT
He also said that BURGE should of been indicted and would of been convicted
IF the statute had not run. He also said a number of other police officers
(some from the 19th ward but not all as some political pundits and lawyers try to place them)
should of been indicted--this was the 7 million and growing at $100,000 per month Special Prosecutor
appointed by Judge Biebel because of the conflict that State's Attorney Devine was Burge's attorney.
So Egan did not give Burge and the other Area 2 officers a bill of clean health but said they
should of been in the slammer.
Also, Hickey, Federal courts did not exonerate the police officers in the Wilson brothers (who were pieces of garbage) but found the city liable and officers including Burge got terminated.
The funny part is that the Wilsons only made $100,000 while Flint Taylor and the left leaning cop hating
Peoples Law Office made $900,000.
Also Hickey, 2 OPS investigations found Burge and others guilty of torture.
Lastly, the City of Chicago official legal position has been that torture occurred. They tried to get rid of the Burge pension. The City tried to stop the legal bills paid (tens of millions) to Burge and other officers).
There are nearly 200 stories (some may not be true) many of them corroborated, and now police officers have come forward (you can see the gentleman on Channel 5 video) and told about men with their pants down and testicles out, black boxes, and other really evil type of stuff if true.
So 2 OPS reports found this is true.
A Special Prosecutor with Egan and Boyle (not African American or left leaning Jews or Protestants who ride the Red Line) found Burge should go to jail and many other officers and wrong had been done.
Hickey, you routinely misrepresent the facts and the evidence on this one.

NOW, Ben Joravsky is probably more left leaning and unlike Irishman (Catholic at that) John Conroy who did the famous Police torture (again and had the Levarty and other stories and the one on the Judges --amazing stuff and not one certainly not Hickey has discussed specifics, details or facts--just let Hickey insult people, make jokes, conclusions, ad hominem attacks or throw up straw men.
Ben Joravsky is an Ashkenazi Jew who lives on the North Side and is against the war, and against the TIF, and pro-gay rights just like DanL and has been writing for a long time on Chicago Politics. He seems like a good writer, has awards, went to good schools, and interviews people and writes a lot.
He seems like he has good points on the TIFs to me. There is no accounting, there is not a lot of accountability, public hearings, open budgets and all that. The TIFs seem to take money away from schools and parks. There are a lot of politically connected developers involved in the TIFs like Ton Restko. Why shouldn't he write about this? If he is wrong tell me why?

The Reader has been around a long time. It has some interesting food reviews. Some crazy ads. Some long stories on some good political topics. It tends to the left and is pro-gay, anti-way, anti-big government, and tends to issues of 1st amendment rights, privacy concerns, poverty and race. You do not have to agree, but I read it and like it.

Attacking Ben Joravsky as a communist may fall in line with the name calling 19th ward Daley internet defenders McCarthyism but it does not use logic or anything respectful or cogent.

Stop the name calling, discuss the issues and use logic.

Pat Hickey 2:51 PM  

Yes, M'ame, Immediately.

Anonymous,  2:53 PM  

Logic this is the 19th ward we don't use logic we use are fist.

Bill 5:01 PM  

I can't wait until Tuesday. Somerville has been a real joke for the last four years. Rugai beat him with 56% of the vote in '03. He apparently felt that that beating was some sort of victory and has been whining, moaning , accusing, lying, and bloviating ever since. Will another loss shut him and his cronies up or will he become another perennial like 19th ward alumni Lar "America first" Daly and Ray 'Spanky the Clown" Wardingly? His deposed camapign manager and main financial backer own a lot of property in the ward and are counting on Somerville to come through for them. If he wins they will probably cash in and spend their newly acquired riches somewhere else. Good riddance. I hope they take their lackey with them. Lowry is a mortgage broker who has pumped a lot of cash into somervilles camapign and his family sells real estate in the neighborhood. Think he may have some interests other than good gov't in a somerville "administration"?
I like Rugai and I think that she has done an excellent job under some trying circumstances. The neighborhoods are prospering while maintaining their character. The last thing we need is a bunch of speculators in charge. Tear downs, super condos, transient yuppies,Mcmansions, all have their Wicker Park.
Save the neighborhood! Vote for anybody but John!

Pat Hickey 7:34 PM  

Walk the puppy Skeeter - it sure do sound like your tired whiney catch-phrases.

Gabriel 7:40 PM  

Just got to today's Illinoize - what's up with the HP insults? "My neighborhood is better than your neighborhood" - is that what elections are about? C'mon now.
BTW, with the Neighborhood Capital Budget Group officially history, Ben J. is all we have left for monitoring TIFs and keeping folks aware of what they are. A little respect, please.

Anonymous,  8:21 PM  

The 19th ward is a good ward.

Anonymous,  1:57 AM  

Ben J from the reader will kick your ass, he may be a commie but he ain't no pansy girl. bow down to a writer greater than you.

Pat Hickey 6:40 AM  


No real beef with Hyde Park only one of its current renters - 40 Watt bulb managing Somerville's Campaign. All the best!

Anonymous,  7:50 AM  

Ben Joravsky is not a Hyde Park but a North Sider and methinks 47.

Anonymous,  8:00 AM  


Madainn mhath
Buenas Dias

Bheil thu ag iarraidh cupa cofaidh?
Bheil thu ag iarraidh cupa teatha?
No cake with that coffee, this morning is only tea

Ciamar a tha sibh? What about Ginger, hope she is doing well too

'S fheàrr dhuibh bruidhinn ri.... Jerry Joyce.

Chan eil moran Gàidhlig agam.

If Sommervile does even remotely well I hope you eat some crow.

Pat Hickey 8:06 AM  

. . .With watercress, a nice rasberry wine reduction and shallots and a thick bed of wild rice.

Anonymous,  9:18 AM  

Don't have Beyonce play Arenda Troutman, not enough class in the Alderman but she does have the body. Earl James Jones as Harold Washington.
Christopher Walken as Eddie Vrdolyak. Jack Nicholson as Jeremiah Joyce.
John Cazale is dead or I would have him play Richard M. Daley Jr.
If you are heavy, I always like Charles Dunning-he could play Richie Jr too. Is Dunning Irish?
He always plays a great priest. or Bishop like your buddy Imesch
like in the classic True Confessions with DeNiro (a young one at that who I would like to believe I look like or a young Pacino in Godfather II, but it could be self delusion and I really look like Steve Buscemi)

My favorite Irish actors are
Gabriel Byrne
Liam Niesson
(both were in Excalibur together)
I usually like my woman copper skinned and brunettes
but I do love Maureen O'Hara as Mary Kate Danaher

I am going to invite Paddy McDonough over for some Fish sticks and Bushmill (although it used to be Protestant owned) and watch MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. A truly great movie
That is a movie you should watch, and also have your Saint Pope Leo students watch it.
Would you consider Thomas More a whistle blower or a rat? Or should he have not bit the hand who fed him cake namely the schismatic adulterer Henry VIII. Your love for the machine and power remind me a tad bit of Richie Rich.

One thing I have to give you Paddy is you know your old movies

Pat Hickey 9:23 AM  


You still do not get it - most of us do not have a dog in the political fight - we do not get 'favors' or 'opportunities' but we can not stand phonies and frauds.

The frauds and phonies get more face-time than they deserve and when the averagemope like me gives them a tickle they get their panties in a twist.

Nothing to debate.

Anonymous,  9:33 AM  

I still think Peter Boyle should play you in the movie Paddy.

Pat Hickey 9:38 AM  

Boyle's too tall and has too much hair - I'm a bald halfey, like Uncle Fester.

Anonymous,  9:43 AM  

Better yet Liam Neeson should play Hickey. If he doesn't play Hickey he may have to play the whistle blowing Celtic hero Paddy McDonough.

Pat Hickey 9:49 AM  

Back to Reality -

Vote tomorrow!

Anonymous,  12:33 PM  

If you want back to reality you should get off the blog. McDonough and his co-horts are so out of reality. I am not a big Daley fan but he is going to win and win big. The people out there throwing stones have no traction.

I did like the Departed.

Pat Hickey 2:03 PM  

What a Movie that was! I only wish that I could have watched it on the big screen -too much!

Old Buck Somerville Departs - briefly mind you, briefly - from the action packed world of Ward politics in less than twenty-four hours.

His minions already crying foul. Hey, let the man lose; give him the dignity of counting the handful of votes that he will get.

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