Thursday, April 03, 2008

Peraica tactic includes HDO 'demonization'

Is this going to be the tactic of those people who want to take down a Latino politico – dredge up the letters “HDO” and try to scare white ethnic Chicago into believing that those crazy Hispanics are somehow more corrupt than their Irish and Polish and Croatian counterparts at City Hall ever were?

It is the means being used by Tony Peraica, the Republican nominee for state’s attorney of Cook County, to try to trash his opponent. He has to resort to this in large part because Democratic opponent Anita Alvarez is so far better qualified for the top prosecutor’s post that he can’t argue on the merits of his record.

Specifically, Peraica is waving around copies of El Dia, a Spanish-language newspaper based out of Cicero (and not exactly a heavy-hitter in the world of Chicago’s Spanish media), which ran on its front page a photograph taken at a political fundraiser.

It is the standard shot of an aspiring politico (Alvarez) standing next to someone else and trying to smile. It is meant to give the person in the picture with the politico some sort of personal souvenir, and perhaps a bit of physical evidence that an actual relationship exists between the two.

Peraica is trying to use the photograph for the same reason – it is a picture of Alvarez posing with the son of the newspaper’s owner. It turns out that Jorge Montes de Oca, Jr. actually had a warrant issued for his arrest at the time of the March 6 fundraiser at a neighborhood restaurant.

In theory, as a high-ranking deputy in the state’s attorney’s office who aspires the top job in the Nov. 4 election, Alvarez is a law enforcement official who should have arrested Oca.

She didn’t.

I’m not going to get all bent out of shape about this. I don’t view it as a moment of corruption (as Peraica would like us to think of it). It is more a sense of reality that makes me realize I don’t expect anybody to know at all times the names of every single person who happens to have an arrest warrant issued in their name.

I particularly am willing to overlook this lapse (I believe that had it been brought to her attention, Alvarez would have acted like the life-long employee of the state’s attorney’s office that she is), especially since the warrant was not even issued in Cook County.

It was issued by a judge in neighboring Lake County, Ill., after Oca allegedly wrote bad checks to a car dealership in the far northern suburbs of Chicago. Since his photographic appearance with Alvarez, he has been picked up by police, hit with the relevant criminal charges, and is only free now because he posted the mandatory 10 percent of bond set at $30,000.

Now if someone could come up with evidence that Alvarez in some way is trying to cover up for him, or get his charges reduced, or in some way is interfering with the ability of Lake County officials to prosecute the case, that would be a sign of inappropriate behavior by a potential state’s attorney.

That would be an example of potential corrupt behavior. Heck, it would be just a good story.

Peraica doesn’t have any of that.

He just has that Alvarez was in the same room with someone whom the police were interested in, and didn’t do anything because she didn’t know anything.

I would be willing to overlook this ridiculous charge, if that were the extent to which Peraica took it. But he went further, dragging the acronym “HDO” into the mix by noting that the fundraiser was largely attended by HDO members.

For those of you who are clueless about City Hall and Chicago politics, HDO is the Hispanic Democratic Organization. It is the political action committee used by some Latinos who want to be involved in Chicago politics, which theoretically makes it no different than the organizations used by women, labor unions or any other special interest group that wants to get ahead politically.

It also is a group whose founder faces criminal charges for his alleged involvement in the city’s now-defunct “Hired Truck Program,” where private companies were hired to provide trucks and drivers to do municipal work.

Federal prosecutors say some of the companies had ties to organized crime, while others paid bribes to city officials to get contracts. In many cases, the companies hired by the city were grossly overpaid for their work, or the companies did no work whatsoever.

Peraica wants to create the impression of the Hispanic politicos dragging a city program into corrupt behavior, and then trying to show that Alvarez is merely one of their followers. “The HDO has been at the epicenter of all the corruption that has done on at the city of Chicago,” Peraica told WBBM-TV, which played the story up big during their Tuesday evening newscast.

That is just a ridiculous statement. There’s too much improper behavior that takes place at Chicago City Hall for “epicenter of all the corruption” to be true.

HDO didn’t give Chicago corruption. It merely is trying to use the means of the past by which other ethnic groups used politics to get ahead – not realizing that the ways of Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna are long dead and buried, although their zombie corpse occasionally tries to come crawling out of the grave.

The other thing to realize about HDO is that it does not speak for all Latino political people in Chicago. It is a group whose leaders are firmly behind the policies of Mayor Richard M. Daley. It’s members routinely focus their political work on bashing the candidacies of would-be Latino politicos who appeared as though they might oppose Daley if they won elective office.

HDO’s real “sin” is that it is willing to put politics ahead of the concept of increased Latino political empowerment – it has been known to back the candidacies of white politicos in Latino neighborhoods in order to help Daley maintain his political control in Chicago.

Of course, none of this nuance came through in Peraica’s charges. He just wanted to create the image of a batch of corrupt Hispanic people, one of whom was literally a “wanted man” by the police – with Alvarez smiling for pretty pictures.

This tactic does not shock me in the least. This is, after all, the man who engaged in the ultimate “sore loser” behavior after losing his 2006 bid to be Cook County Board president to Todd Stroger. Peraica is not somebody who’s going to take the political high road.

I fully expect Peraica to keep hitting us with subtle (like a sledgehammer) reminders that Alvarez is Mexican-American, hoping that he can stir up enough people who have a problem with the concept of the first Latina to win a county-wide office to get their votes.

That is why Alvarez herself was totally justified when she responded as she did to Peraica’s charge by refusing to discuss whether or not she had her picture taken with Oca (She did, so what!) and instead denounced the whole attack as “racist.”

“To insinuate that any public official of Hispanic heritage has connections to the HDO is racist,” she said, in a prepared statement. “These allegations are completely absurd and if they were not coming from (Cook County Board) Commissioner Tony Peraica, our campaign would consider this an April Fool’s Day joke.”


Originally posted at


Anonymous,  10:12 AM  

Nice try-- but use an oil based paint next time for better coverage-- lots of dark streaks still showing through.

Anonymous,  11:22 AM  

Your argument might hold water if Anita hadn't herself confirmed that HDO members were not only at her fundraiser - they helped emcee the event.

I don't think the HDO needs any help being demonized.....they've done that enough themselves.

TiredOfRacialPolitics,  12:43 PM  

When confronted with evidence of active support by a corrupt political organization, first play off the candidate as a helpless minority using the means of the oppressor to beat him at his own game. And just in case that doesn't work, throw in a naked race card, as well.

No, she should not be discriminated against because she's Hispanic. However, she has selectively campaigned (where it might work)on the premise that she should be elected BECAUSE she's Hispanic and female.

Ms. Alvarez wants to have it both ways.

Tony,  1:22 PM  

Just ask Latinos:
Miriam Santos (former City Treasurer)
former Senator Jesus Garcia
Senator Iris Martinez
Alderman Ricardo Munoz
MWRDGC Commissioner Frank Avil Sr
lawyer Frank Avila Jr
former State Rep Sonia Silva
former Alderman Ray Frias
former Aldermanic candidate Nick Valadez
and the many others that HDO (the "Hispanic Democratic Organization") have tried to hurt and did hurt through illegal activities

Demonizing Hispanic criminals is not demonizing Hispanics.
Peraica is right on this one and Alvarez is wrong.
I just believe it was a laspe of judgement
Dick Devine used David Bonoma in his office and he later went to work for Victor Reyes when Victor Reyes was still at the law office of Jack Abramoff and Girls Gone Wild. Devine should of been investigating Reyes and not sending his employees to go work for him.
Anita Alvarez should look into the facts and their background.

Pedro,  1:23 PM  

Peraica won a lot of votes on this (But still cannot win).

I was voting for Anita Alvarez (and voted for her in the primary but more as a protest vote for the Hispanic because Brookins seemed to radically anti-cop and Suffredin seemed like a shady lobbyist and Anita is Hispanic)

HDO is not a pro Hispanic organization but is an anti-Hispanic organization that has hurt Hispanics like Anita Alvarez (HDO had Allen on their palm card like Sen Munoz in the 12th ward and Victor Reyes was making money off of Ald Howard Brookins)
HDO hurt former Treasurer Miriam Santos, hispanic lawyer and environmentalist Nick Valadez in the 10th ward, MWRD Commissioner Frank Avila, US Senate Candidate Gery Chico--they disempower Hispanics and these are just a couple examples.

HDO is not just about giving jobs to people illegally or patronage or ghost payrollers or unqualified people BUT
DRUG DEALING, not rumors or innuendo or political attacks but actual guilty pleas in federal court like the heroin ring with 8 city workers connected to the Columbian Cartel with GEORGE PRADO
PRADO who is Hispanic, part of HDO, gave money to HDO and Sen Munoz. The contribution coincided with his promotion. The father and brother of Munox work with Prado but nobody knew that there was an 8 member heroin dealing ring going on.
There are a number of convicted drug dealers on the city payroll because of Acevedo, Munoz and Reyes--one being Gil Valadez.

Hired Trucks--not rumor, innuendo, racism, dirty tricks or campaigning but an award winning investigation by Chicago Sun Times columnist and investigative journalist TIM NOVAK that turned into an investigation, indictment, and guilty pleas and convictions of a number of people including ANGELO TORRES of HDO (the compadre of Sen Tony Munoz) who like Munoz is a TWO SIX gangbanger who went from getting fired and stealing from a gang program at UIC and U of C to a city job (nobody checks references) and than from no education, gang membership, no procurement experience to the head of the Hired Truck program giving contracts to Mafia trucking companies who did no work and even stole asphalt.

ANGEL TORRES plead guilty and was convicted in Hired Trukcs. Member of HDO.
JOHNNY RESAS plead guilty in the jobs, patronage, perjury, falsification of documents scandal.
He is in jail.
AL SANCHEZ is under indictment waiting to go to trial.
GEORGE PRADO plead guilty to heroin dealing.
AARON DELVALLE is indicted and waiting to go to trial with SANCHEZ.
VICTOR REYES has been named in these now public Federal (FBI/US Attorney) indictments, guilty pleas, and convictions and has been mentioned and identified as "Co-Schemer A" and mentioned many times related to Hired Trucks, Heroin dealing, and the Sullivan/Sorich/McCarthy/Slattery trial.

Anita Alvarez should be investigating HDO, Victor Reyes, Eddie Acevedo, and Tony Munoz.

Remember also that Eddie Acevedo is the police officer who punches other police officers, gets arrested, drives drunk, tries to take his car drunk out of the city pound (all public domain information in police reports and the Sun Times and Tribune and visual media TV)
and the Miami escapade of fighting bouncers and police officers and than trying to throw weight around and the police saying they were acting like gangsters

the criminal conduct of the criminal organization called HDO (the Hispanic Democratic Organization) is well documented
not to mention intimidation of voters, civil rights violations, the 99 10th ward aldermanic race, the 2003 12th ward race, vote fraud and more

Anita Alvarez should of never had a former (or maybe current) TWO SIX gang member to sponsor an event who is mentioned multiple times in the Hired Trucks and hiring investigations in the person of Tony (Antonio) Munoz.
Anita Alvarez should never had the substance abusing, drunk driving, cover up of drunk driving (like his girl friend the State's Attorney lobbyist which made Springfield newspapers), adulterer and other substances being abused, violent, power abusing Eddie Acevedo as the MC (considering he is non lingual in English nor Spanish and cannot say a word of Spanish)
or Victor Reyes and his deals at the CTA, conflict of interest, fixing contracts, or deals at the state, or intimidation, hiring gang members, working with convicted murderers, drug dealers etc

Anita Alvarez should not only distance herself but should investigate and if possible indict these criminals.

Anonymous,  1:27 PM  

Anita Alvarez will lose Hispanic votes for associating with HDO.

JBT,  2:23 PM  

Just because other ethnic groups who preceded Hispanics in Chicago had corruption does not mean that Hispanic corruption is good nor should be tolerated.

It is not racist to criticize Anita Alvarez for associating with HDO. The biggest critics of HDO are from the Hispanic community.

It was not anti-Italian American when John Kass criticized Rod Blagojevich for associating with Dominic Longo and his ironically named Coalition for Better Government. It was not anti-Croatian for the Sun Times to criticize Mayor Daley for the us Dan Katalanics patronage Army. It is not anti-Polish to criticize the use of Don Tomczak and his patronage army and bribes for jobs, overtime, hired trucks etc.

HDO also goes well beyond just patronage and jobs and enters into gangs, drugs, and other corruption that was not seen at such a level since the dismantling of the old First Ward. It was not anti-Italian to point out and criticize politicians who associated with the old First Ward (including Mayor Daley).

HDO is bad. Some call it a criminal organization. If Anita Alvarez is the top prosecutor in Cook County she should not associate with criminals or criminal organizations, have them emcee events, have them raise her money or take advice from them. Maybe she should be investigating them and therein creates the conflict and danger. The States Attorney office is not just another office but has invesitgatory, subpoena, grand jury, and prosecution powers.
So it should be held to a higher standard.

The guy in the photo who bounced the checks, assuming Anita Alvarez did not know (which I assume), is not a major issue as people in politics take photos all the time and there is not time nor resources to do a background check for every person who shakes your hand or wants a photo. The reason HDO is different is that they are well known and Munoz and Acevedo (Senator and Rep respectively) are public officials with a good deal of media exposure and law enforcement intelligence.

Anonymous,  6:29 PM  

You have to be joking. This is not racist at all. This dimishes real racism and discrimination against Hispanics or real dirty tricks in politics. Because of her association unless she has a better explanation and this stupid post and claim of racism.

Anonymous,  6:46 PM  

I hear there were Irish people there too. Maybe Anita is also secretly affiliated with the IRA! Speaker Madigan was also at the event. He even spoke in favor of her candidacy. Perhaps Anita is really a member of the 13th Ward organization! Maybe she is part of a secret IRA faction in the 13th Ward organization! Oh my!!!

I can't help but wonder if Peraica would have accused Ald. Allen, Ald. Brookins or Commissioner Suffredin of being affiliated with the HDO if they had won the primary and fellow democrats Sen. Munoz or Rep. Acevedo had been at one of their events. Or is Peraica making the allegation of affiliation between Anita and HDO because her last name is Alvarez? What a genius idea! That's the racist aspect of his allegation. He has no other basis. None, nothing, zip.

Has anyone considered that Victor Reyes, the well known HDO founder and leader and his partner Michael Noonan were managing Howard Brookins' campaign during the primary? Does that sound like HDO support for Anita Alvarez? I think not. This is clearly one of Peraica's desperate attempts to sling mud to avoid the big big big loss to Alvarez that he knows is only 8 months away. You'd have to be blind not to see it. None, nothing, zip - that's Peraica's chances of winning this thing or his own board seat in the next election.

Anonymous,  11:37 PM  

Hey Anon 6:46--

Michael Noonan is Victor Reyes' partner-- like in Partner , Partner?

Wow. Does everybody know this? I mean are they out-out like, old news, common knowledge or am I just like out of it?

Tim,  11:46 PM  

Anon 6:46

The issue of the de Oca family member who had NSF checks over a certain amount (which is a felony if with intent) is not a significant issue unless there is more information available. My understanding through the grape vine is that Cicero Larry Dominick fans actually leaked that one and not Tony Peraica as the accused brother is running for Mayor of Cicero (Mary or Maria Montes de Oca).

I am not sure how Tony Peraica is racist even after reading the initial post and this anonymous explanation. There seem to be ad hominem attacks on Tony Peraica. There are non sequitor attacks that distract the issue. I do agree that Tony Peraica cannot win this race, not because he is racist but because he is a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic district which what may well be a good Democrat year (at least in Illinois). I don't know enought about his board seat and the next election is sometime off.

I think that if Howard Brookins would of won the primary, which many pundits thought, that Peraica would of used that as an issue (Noonans links to Reyes and HDO) but Brookins did not win. There were rumors of that already from the Peraica camp. Allen was on at least the 12th ward committeeman palm card (not that it mattered in the 12th ward) who is Senator Antonio Munoz but it certainly was not public until election day who HDO was supporting in the 2008 States Attorney primary. However, it is not intrinsic to the charge that it is racist. If Brookins were getting support from HDO and Peraica used that that would be legitimate and arguably inherently unracist.

As I see it, and I could be wrong on the facts:
1. State Representative Edward "Eddie" Acevedo was the spokesperson at the event, either invited and planned or extemporaneously.
2. State Senator Antonio "Tony" Munoz was a sponsor of the event.
3. The Hispanic Democratic Organization (HDO) is supporting Anita Alvarez the Democratic nominee for States Attorney.

Based on the above three facts, it is legitimate for Cook County Anthony "Tony" Peraica to question this association. There are certainly questionable and possibly criminal allegations about HDO. There are certainly questionable HDO members and practices. Victor Reyes has been mentioned in many scandals and that could be considered an epicenter. Some people think HDO has participated in racist practices. If Anita Alvarez should be looking into as a district attorney the HDO or the named members than taking money from them, or have them as speakers for events than that is legitimate and not racism.

Is the same allegation of racism leveled at the Channel 2 CBS News or the Daily Herald who originally did the story? If any of the posters are Hispanic here or elsewhere where this is discussed than is that racist also?

Is it racist or biased to link McCain to a specific Church or Obama to a specific Church?

I don't see racism here.

Isn't Tony Peraica's wife Hispanic? and thus his kids?
(I don't know but I was told this and the wife and kids look it)

Anonymous,  5:10 PM  

Tony Peraica's wife is Pakistani Sunni Muslim. She is darker than Anita Alvarez and probably has had to endure a lot more racism.

Maybe Anit Alvarez should do something about the racism against Hispanics, real racism, by law enforcement and racist prosecutors.

HDO is an evil organization and many of the members should be in jail. Anita Alvarez should not accept money from them or be seen with them. This is a great issue.
This is not racism at all. Real racism like innocent people being in jail because Hispanics look alike or police brutality is something her campaign should look into.

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