I had a fabulous day yesterday, best day I've had in a long time, as a matter of fact. It was sunny, not too cold and it was Valentine's Day - le Jour d'Amour. However, I can't say I was feeling any love from Alderman Bernard Stone's daughter and Chief of Staff, Ilana Stone Feketitsch.
A little background before I move on to the fun stuff...
Currently I work as the field director on Greg Brewer's campaign for alderman in the 50th ward against Bernie Stone. Bernie has not faced a real challenge since 1991. Even then, he still walked away with a significant portion of the vote without a runoff. I'm not sure that he or his broken organization quite know what to do with a well-funded, organized, competitive challenger, so I was not entirely shocked that they fell back early on to their usual yard-sign-removal and rocks-through-windows. So far all we've seen is a ridiculous amount of signs on businesses and empty storefronts, piles of terribly designed literature laying on front doorsteps, and a campaign manager (a.k.a. "aide") paid out of Bernie's Vice Mayoral budget tailing our canvassers in the official aldermanic Towncar.
So, bottom line is that these folks have been far too confident for far too long and they're lazy as all hell. People constantly tell us at the door that "I haven't seen my precinct captain in years" and "I get no response from the alderman's office when I have a problem," or "Once upon a time Bernie [insert ward service perceived as special favor here], but what has he done for me lately?" That sort of thing.
They almost always go on to tell us a completely crazy story about Bernie Stone's daughter and Chief of Staff, Ilana Stone Feketitsch. It's been an open secret for a long time that Bernie plans to have his daughter appointed in his place at some point. When Bernie announced his plan to run for reelection the day after Thanksgiving, he confirmed that one of his goals is to have Ilana take his place (along with being the oldest alderman of all time). When I first started hearing these stories they were so off the wall that I thought they had to be exagerations. Usually they revolve around Ilana going crazy and screaming her head off and acting abusively towards anyone in her path. Since this is so prevalent that I've been forced to keep track, it's fair to say that Ilana is considered by over a thousand 50th ward voters to be the Queen of Mean of the 50th ward.
I had never met Ilana before yesterday. I had seen her once or twice and she seemed normal enough. A little biker-chick-crazy-looking for a Chief of Staff of an elected official, but hey - this is Chicago, right? We like our pizzas deep, our beer cold, and our polticians nutty. Why should their staff be any different? No big deal. So all I had were these crazy tales of Ilana and her legendary nastiness that I've been tracking...until yesterday.
Apparently Ilana didn't like that we were canvassing a street that she referred to as "her block" with Valentine's cards and flowers. It could be because we've been making quite a bit of progress in her neighborhood and Bernie's numbers, even in his own backyard, are not encouraging. It's hard for me to believe that she doesn't know her dad is in trouble and her job is in serious jeopardy; given her anger management issues, I can't imagine that anyone who isn't related to her would hire her. She's way too much trouble for a patronage job, but I doubt she would be trusted to drive Streets & San equipment anyhow. At any rate, Ilana apparently forgot that she's living in an age of burgeoning technology. A word to the wise: if you're going bat$#*t crazy in public, be wary that the people you're harrassing may very well have a video camera, and your tirade will likely show up on the internets (which, fyi, is a series of tubes) shortly after that.
Such as right...about...NOW! Come one, come all and witness The Ilana screaming at us to "Get the F**K off my block!!" (WARNING: Not suitable for workplace listening. May cause permanent mistrust of government in small children.)
Whoa. Is this how the daughter of a 34-year incumbent and aldermanic Chief of Staff should behave? And a solidly Democratic ward that went for Tony Peraica no less! During the middle of the day, when she's being paid substantially out of taxpayer funds, Ilana finds it necessary to take a break and intimidate and verbally assault campaigners, which is a felony under federal law.
If I don't do my job there's a very good chance this menace to society will be "representing" the people of the 50th ward sometime within the next four years. That's incentive enough for me to make damn sure Greg Brewer is elected alderman of the 50th ward! (It's worth noting that Mr. Brewer does not currently have any angst-ridden offspring waiting in the wings for daddy to hand over the keys to the kingdom.)