Rich Miller

Rich Miller

Police get political, go after Martwick

By Rich Miller

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police’s top campaign priority this spring is defeating Sen. Rob Martwick (D-Chicago) in the Democratic primary. The police group is backing Chicago police detective Erin Jones, who not long ago was described as a “loyal member” of the Northwest Side GOP Club.

The previous practice in that area of fielding Republican candidates against Democrats in the general election has simply not worked. In 2018, then-Rep. Martwick defeated Republican Ammie Kessem, a Chicago police sergeant and the current 41st Ward Republican committeeperson, by 21 percentage points.

Lindsey LaPointe was appointed to Martwick’s seat when Martwick was appointed to the Senate in 2019, and she buried Republican police detective Jeff Muehlfelder by 20 percentage points in the 2020 general election. The failed Republican push in both years and even long before that was a project of GOP operative Dan Proft and folks affiliated with the Illinois Policy Institute.

RichMiller

Rich Miller

Republicans have also run in Democratic primaries in that part of the world with disastrous results, but they’re going to try again with Kessem, only this time with real money.

In addition to the Martwick vs. Jones race, Rep. LaPointe faces famed Chicago 911 dispatch operator Keith Thornton, who managed the radio response to police officer Ella French’s fatal shooting, and Realtor Tina Wallace in the June 28 primary. Rep. Sonya Harper (D-Chicago) is up against Carolynn Crump, a Chicago cop with a Ph.D in business administration, as well as Steven Williams.

As noted above, Martwick is at the very tippity top of the FOP’s hit list. FOP President John Catanzara made it clear to his members last week that any politician who endorses or helps Martwick will feel the fiery wrath of his union.

Sen. Martwick and Reps. LaPointe and Harper all voted for the SAFE-T Act, the police and criminal justice reform bill which Catanzara said on a Facebook video last week was backed by the “Black Caucus and a ridiculously left-leaning agenda, radical Democrats in Springfield.”

The Chicago FOP, Catanzara said, “has been very clear none of those members who voted for that [bill] will get any support from the FOP. Period.” Rep. Harper chairs the Legislative Black Caucus.

Catanzara also said in the video message that he told three Northwest Side Chicago alderpersons, who are loyal to the Chicago Fire Fighters Union, that if they backed Martwick in the primary there would be consequences when they ran for reelection next year. They and any others could introduce or even pass all the police-friendly ordinances they wanted, but it wouldn’t matter if they stood with Martwick over the cops, he warned.

Martwick himself has taken tremendous media heat for sponsoring a pension sweetener bill for the Chicago police, but the police union doesn’t care. They want that man gone, end of story.

Sen. Martwick is also absolutely despised by the charter school lobby, and those folks may wind up spending significantly more against him than the FOP, which recently boosted dues for its political push against its enemies.

I think Rep. LaPointe could be viewed as collateral damage. The cops definitely don’t like her, yet they don’t hate her with the intensity that they hate Martwick. But she represents half of Martwick’s district, so they might as well take both shots while they’re mucking around in Martwick’s neighborhood. Same goes for the charter schools.

One issue for the FOP is that LaPointe’s other opponent, Tina Wallace, will likely not bow out in favor of 911 dispatcher Thornton, who reportedly has district residency issues and has an opposition research file that’s five miles deep. The general rule of thumb for incumbents when it comes to primary opponents is ‘The more the merrier,’ because multiple opponents can split the opposing vote into smaller fragments. But Ms. Wallace will undoubtedly want a clear shot at a majority-wins, two-way primary and will likely try to kick Thornton off the ballot.

The Illinois Association of Realtors is almost always supportive of any member, like Wallace, who runs for office. Coincidentally, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools hired the Realtors’ top political person away from them not long ago, so the two groups now have a lot in common.

Meanwhile, Crump will be “fully supported” by the FOP against Rep. Harper, who had real trouble gathering candidate petitions.

A gigantic question remains whether the FOP, INCS and the Realtors can convince enough conservative Chicagoans to take Democratic ballots to vote against liberal Democratic incumbents in liberal districts instead of voting Republican. It’s not an easy ask and it almost never works, despite all the money that’s about to be dumped into these races.

Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.

Local News

With the color guard flags whipping in the breeze, the Shepard High School marching band rehearses their new field show. (Supplied photos)

Marching Astros take the field

Weeks before the start of the new school year, marching band members from Shepard High School baked in the summer sun to prepare for the coming competitive season. As much as any event, marching band camp signals the start of a new school year. For a week, the Marching Astros arrived early and stayed late…

Ryan Clancy talks about his sister, Chicago Police Officer Patricia "Patsy" Swank, 29, who committed suicide last month. Clancy said the pressure on all police officers is a heavy burden and supports the Oak Lawn Police Department following a controversial arrest of a teen last month. Clancy made his comments during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday morning.(Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn residents offer staunch support for police

By Joe Boyle Oak Lawn residents came out in force to offer support for the village’s police department after a well-publicized arrest of a teen following a traffic stop last month. Residents jammed the Oak Lawn Village Hall for the board meeting Tuesday morning to provide testimony in support of officers after the arrest of…

American English, an award-winning Beatles cover band, entertained the large crowd for over two hours, despite on-and-off rain, as the final act of Sunday's event. (Photos by Isabella Schreck)

Tunes and tons of local restaurants come together at the Taste of Orland

By Isabella Schreck The Supremes, John Mellencamp and The Beatles came to the Taste of Orland. Well, really, tribute bands brought their music and presence to Orland Park Village Center’s stage. “I was really impressed with American English,” Rebecca Whealan, of Palos Heights, said. “From the costumes to their sound [Eric Michaels] as Paul McCartney,…

election 2022

Calandriello announces Biking the 17th District on Sunday

From staff reports Daniel Calandriello, the Democratic nominee for the Cook County Board 17th District, announced a “Biking the 17th District” event from Elk Grove Village to Orland Park on Sunday to raise awareness of the Cook County Forest Preserve. Calandriello, of Orland Park, plans to bike several trails located within the Cook County Forest…

Bob Krusza shows off his 1964 Chevy Impala SS at Thursday night's Auto Show. (Photo by Steve Neuhaus)

Willow Fest 2022

Willow Springs Willow Fest will take place through Sunday at Willow Springs Village Center, 1 Village Circle, Willow Springs (corner of Archer Avenue and Willow Springs Road). Hours are 4-11 p.m. Friday, 1-11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Special needs hours 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Free parking. Free shuttle service…

Joan Hadac

If you’re young, grab the baton

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] If you’re a young adult in Clearing or Garfield Ridge—or even a middle-aged man or woman—it’s easy to look at the senior citizens leading our local civic leagues or neighborhood watches and assume it’s always been that way. But you’d be mistaken.…

Thomas McGill

Campaign 2022: Garfield Ridge man to run for state senate

McGill to focus on law enforcement issues By Bob Bong As it turns out, Democratic state Senate candidate Mike Porfirio looks like he will face a Republican challenger in November’s general election. Porfirio, a Lyons Township trustee, had filed to run for the 11th Illinois Senate seat on the same day incumbent Sen. Steve Landek withdrew…

Acting Police Chief Mel Ortiz joins some kids in the bounce house at Summit's National Night Out last week. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Summit police mingle with public at National Night Out

By Carol McGowan Summit police and firefighters hosted their annual National Night Out last week and entertained residents with games, food and music. Thousands of communities in the United States and around the world celebrate on the first Tuesday of August as people are asked to turn on outside lights and join first responders to…

Matt Duzak, Bridgeview’s newest fire lieutenant, was sworn in by Mayor Steve Landek on Aug. 3. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

‘A fine man’ is newest fire lieutenant in Bridgeview

By Steve Metsch Matt Duzak wanted to be a firefighter since he was a young boy. In his adult life, he drove trucks around the Chicago area for a living, working with his father-in-law. But that old desire to fight fires never disappeared. After a stint with the Roberts Park Fire Protection District in Justice…

State Rep. Fran Hurley

Hurley says August 15 is deadline to apply for Illinois State Police

State Rep. Fran Hurley is encouraging interested Illinois State Police candidates to apply by Monday, Aug. 15, to be considered for the January 2023 cadet class. “For those who want to pursue a career of service, this is a wonderful opportunity to work for a great organization that supports its members,” Hurley said. “It is…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
With the color guard flags whipping in the breeze, the Shepard High School marching band rehearses their new field show. (Supplied photos)

Marching Astros take the field

Weeks before the start of the new school year, marching band members from Shepard High School baked in the summer sun to prepare for the coming competitive season. As much as any event, marching band camp signals the start of a new school year. For a week, the Marching Astros arrived early and stayed late…

Ryan Clancy talks about his sister, Chicago Police Officer Patricia "Patsy" Swank, 29, who committed suicide last month. Clancy said the pressure on all police officers is a heavy burden and supports the Oak Lawn Police Department following a controversial arrest of a teen last month. Clancy made his comments during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday morning.(Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn residents offer staunch support for police

By Joe Boyle Oak Lawn residents came out in force to offer support for the village’s police department after a well-publicized arrest of a teen following a traffic stop last month. Residents jammed the Oak Lawn Village Hall for the board meeting Tuesday morning to provide testimony in support of officers after the arrest of…

American English, an award-winning Beatles cover band, entertained the large crowd for over two hours, despite on-and-off rain, as the final act of Sunday's event. (Photos by Isabella Schreck)

Tunes and tons of local restaurants come together at the Taste of Orland

By Isabella Schreck The Supremes, John Mellencamp and The Beatles came to the Taste of Orland. Well, really, tribute bands brought their music and presence to Orland Park Village Center’s stage. “I was really impressed with American English,” Rebecca Whealan, of Palos Heights, said. “From the costumes to their sound [Eric Michaels] as Paul McCartney,…

election 2022

Calandriello announces Biking the 17th District on Sunday

From staff reports Daniel Calandriello, the Democratic nominee for the Cook County Board 17th District, announced a “Biking the 17th District” event from Elk Grove Village to Orland Park on Sunday to raise awareness of the Cook County Forest Preserve. Calandriello, of Orland Park, plans to bike several trails located within the Cook County Forest…

Bob Krusza shows off his 1964 Chevy Impala SS at Thursday night's Auto Show. (Photo by Steve Neuhaus)

Willow Fest 2022

Willow Springs Willow Fest will take place through Sunday at Willow Springs Village Center, 1 Village Circle, Willow Springs (corner of Archer Avenue and Willow Springs Road). Hours are 4-11 p.m. Friday, 1-11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Special needs hours 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Free parking. Free shuttle service…

Joan Hadac

If you’re young, grab the baton

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] If you’re a young adult in Clearing or Garfield Ridge—or even a middle-aged man or woman—it’s easy to look at the senior citizens leading our local civic leagues or neighborhood watches and assume it’s always been that way. But you’d be mistaken.…

Thomas McGill

Campaign 2022: Garfield Ridge man to run for state senate

McGill to focus on law enforcement issues By Bob Bong As it turns out, Democratic state Senate candidate Mike Porfirio looks like he will face a Republican challenger in November’s general election. Porfirio, a Lyons Township trustee, had filed to run for the 11th Illinois Senate seat on the same day incumbent Sen. Steve Landek withdrew…

Acting Police Chief Mel Ortiz joins some kids in the bounce house at Summit's National Night Out last week. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Summit police mingle with public at National Night Out

By Carol McGowan Summit police and firefighters hosted their annual National Night Out last week and entertained residents with games, food and music. Thousands of communities in the United States and around the world celebrate on the first Tuesday of August as people are asked to turn on outside lights and join first responders to…

Matt Duzak, Bridgeview’s newest fire lieutenant, was sworn in by Mayor Steve Landek on Aug. 3. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

‘A fine man’ is newest fire lieutenant in Bridgeview

By Steve Metsch Matt Duzak wanted to be a firefighter since he was a young boy. In his adult life, he drove trucks around the Chicago area for a living, working with his father-in-law. But that old desire to fight fires never disappeared. After a stint with the Roberts Park Fire Protection District in Justice…

State Rep. Fran Hurley

Hurley says August 15 is deadline to apply for Illinois State Police

State Rep. Fran Hurley is encouraging interested Illinois State Police candidates to apply by Monday, Aug. 15, to be considered for the January 2023 cadet class. “For those who want to pursue a career of service, this is a wonderful opportunity to work for a great organization that supports its members,” Hurley said. “It is…

DVN McDonalds 7701 Harlem House Ad
Reporter Mecy Circle House Ad