Saturday, March 29, 2008

Aldermen lash out at $75,000 for Stone

From today's Sun-Times...

Chicago aldermen ridiculed and condemned a federal hiring monitor on Friday for awarding $75,000 to the son of the City Council's elder statesman as compensation for a 2003 aldermanic election that was stacked against him.

Federal monitor Noelle Brennan believed Stone's claim that he didn't stand a chance against then-Ald. Ted Matlak (32nd) because Matlak had the support of a political army of city workers commanded on city time by now-convicted former First Deputy Water Commissioner Donald Tomczak.

Veteran aldermen begged to differ. They argued that Stone "never stood a chance, period" because he was a lousy candidate.

By giving Stone $75,000, Brennan deprived more worthy applicants of more substantial settlements, the aldermen said. "We've got potholes to fix. We spend $20 million on snow removal, and the federal monitor decides in her infinite wisdom to give somebody $75,000 because they lost an election? Can I sign up for that program?" said Ald. Tom Allen (38th).
Has Jay Stone ever worked for the city? Should he get a settlement from the city only because he had to face a ward political machine mostly manned by city workers? And why aren't the aldermen trying to go after the corruption that is a cause & effect of rigging city hiring?

I haven't read that Mr. Stone ever worked for the city. Stone surely should not have gotten a settlement for only being a political candidate facing a political machine of city workers. Hopefully someone can provide an answer for the third question I posed, because the best I can do is that the aldermen on Chicago's city council aren't willing to tackle this issue.

Many of the aldermen are correct in opposing this. Indeed a lot of Aldermen are correct that this money could go towards providing services to Chicago residents. Still if the city is tired of these payouts, I wish they could address the underlying causes.


Anonymous,  10:10 PM  

Jay Stone getting money is a travesty. He was the possibly the worst candidate ever to run for office.

Even against an unliked mope like Matlak, Stone was unable to gain any base of support anywhere. The more people heard him, the less they liked him. The only surprise in that race was that he even got one-third of the vote.

Brennan's award shows that she made no effort to independently verify the claims, but just took Stone at his whiny word.

Anonymous,  12:05 PM  

He probably provided plenty of background evidence to more than prove taxpayer resources and city employees were used in the campaign against him. $75,000 seems like a very cheap penalty when the very foundation of our democratically elected government was trampled upon like China or North Korea would let happen. It doesn't matter if he was an awful candidate with no chance of winning. If that is the case, why in the world did the Chicago Democrat machine allow taxpayer resources to be stolen to beat someone with no chance of winning to begin with? The Alderman and everyone complaining about this award are way off base. What is the price of free and equal elections? It should be closer to $75,000,000. The entire Chicago Democrat machine could be brought down with this one fine using RICO if they really cared about democracy.

Jon Aaron,  3:57 PM  

The original Shakman law suit was based, not on city employment, but on the fact scenario that Michael Shakman was a candidate for the Con Con and lost because government patronage workers were working against him.

Cal Skinner 9:32 PM  

Good memory Jon Aaron!

Anonymous,  9:11 AM  

The point is that Shakman at least had a brain. Stone was so soft that he couldn't have won had the machine been working FOR him.

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