Carol Felsenthal
On Politics

4 years
ago

A Potential Conflict of Interest in the Rahm Residency Case?

Rahm Emanuel’s residency challenge is heating up, and it will likely end up in the Illinois Supreme Court. Sitting on that top court is Justice Anne Burke, who is married to Ald. Ed Burke, a City Council heavyweight as chairman of the finance committee. Although he has not yet issued the endorsement, the 14th Ward alderman gives every signal of supporting one of Rahm’s serious challengers, Gery Chico…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

Louis Susman, Our Man in WikiLeaks (and London)

In the wake of the WikiLeaks document dump and the ensuing media frenzy, I wondered what I would find on Obama’s diplomatic appointees from Chicago. Of the four local Obama campaign donors who were rewarded with cushy ambassadorships—banker Louis Susman to England, lawyer David Jacobson to Canada, TV producer Charles Rivkin to France…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

Rev. James Meeks: the Closest Thing to a Republican in the Mayor’s Race?

When Rahm Emanuel, Carol Moseley Braun, and Danny Davis officially announced their candidacies earlier this month, there was something of letdown about it all—nothing much new in what they said or whom they introduced as members of their teams. The one surprise was Democratic state Sen. James Meeks. He was introduced by Andy McKenna, Jr., the former head of the Republican Party in Illinois and a failed candidate in…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

 

Did Former McCain Aide Steve Schmidt Help Mark Kirk Win?

When Mark Kirk gave his victory speech on November 2nd, he thanked a trio of aides for helping him to a close win over Democrat Alexi Giannoulias. Among them was Steve Schmidt, a former chief strategist to the 2008 John McCain campaign for president. Schmidt, who confirmed via email his work for the Kirk campaign, works out of Sacramento, California, and was rarely on the ground in Illinois for the Senate race. But a source close to the campaign said the 40-year-old…

Carol Felsenthal

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4 years
ago

 

Democratic Strategist Joe Trippi on Why Tom Dart Dropped Out of the Mayor’s Race

Joe Trippi, best known for being Howard Dean’s campaign manager in the 2004 presidential primary season, spent days in Chicago in September and October advising Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart on his possible run for mayor. But two weeks ago, the sheriff announced that he won’t run after all, due to family obligations. Trippi—who had just returned from Mexico, where he rested after helping to run Jerry Brown’s victorious race for California governor—called me this morning to discuss Dart’s decision. Here, highlights from our conversation…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

 

Danny Davis Gets Chosen—Finally

The Chicago Coalition for Mayor, a group of African-American businesspeople, elected officials, and activists, seems to have jilted Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun—the African-American mayoral hopefuls that the group selected a bit more than a week ago as the two who had the best chance to win. What a difference a week makes…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

Danny Davis Says Hispanic Can’t Win Mayor’s Race; Gery Chico Responds

After today, it’ll be all mayoral politics all the time. Why wait? I spoke yesterday to Democratic Congressman Danny Davis and lawyer Gery Chico, both of whom have eyes on the Fifth Floor of City Hall—and both of whom are warily circling each other. Last week, Davis said to community newspaper AustinTalks that neither Hispanic mayoral hopeful, Chico nor City Clerk Miguel del Valle, can win. Davis went so far as to compare Del Valle and Chico to serial losing candidate William “Dock” Walls…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

Dennis Hastert on Daley, Rahm, Bush, 9/11, and more

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, once a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School, is an Illinoisan through and through—born in Aurora, reared in Oswego, lived and worked in Plano and Yorkville. His wife, Jean, a retired teacher, remains in Plano, and “The Speaker,” as his staff calls him, spends most weeks in Washington…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

 

Chicago Goes Hollywood in Fundraiser for Rahm Emanuel

The Hollywood fundraiser being staged on November 4th in Beverly Hills for Rahm Emanuel brings the presumed mayoral front-runner squarely into the big bucks game of presidential campaigns. One of the organizers of the party, to be held just two days after the midterms, is Rahm’s younger brother Ari, co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. As political junkies everywhere know, Ari is a…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

Highlights (Such as They Were) of the Illinois Senate Debate

The debate Tuesday night between Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Mark Kirk enjoyed none of the whacko moments featured in the notorious New York gubernatorial debate the night before. Still, Giannoulias seemed to take at least a line or two from the New York script with his repeated mention (nine times, by my count) of Karl Rove as an evil player in Kirk’s campaign…

Carol Felsenthal

4 years
ago

 

Double the Fun on the Illinois Ballot

The ballot that will be handed to Illinois voters on November 2nd will cover two elections—special and regular—for the U.S. Senate. Voters will be instructed to choose among Republican Mark Kirk, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones, and Libertarian Mike Labno in a special election for the lame-duck period extending until January 3rd, when all U.S. Senators are sworn in. Then voters will be asked to choose between the same candidates for the full six-year term…

Carol Felsenthal