Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, April 14

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Homer / March 21, 2006 10:20 AM

I'm voting for Kodos, so when everything falls apart, I can say "Don't blame me, *I* voted for Kodos"

jennifer / March 21, 2006 10:29 AM

Once I figure out where my polling place is, I will head down and vote.

confused... / March 21, 2006 10:41 AM

If I'm registered in the suburbs (my parents permanent address) but live in the city...can I vote here or do I have to do it in the burbs?

shylo / March 21, 2006 10:47 AM

I'm voting, mainly for Claypool. I know he's not going to beat Stroger, but I've gotta put in my vote.

amyc / March 21, 2006 10:57 AM

I voted first thing this morning. I don't think I've missed an election since I turned 18 (go, Dukakis!).

MikeH / March 21, 2006 10:58 AM

I will be voting (sadly, for only my second time ever and I'm in my mid-thirties--the last presidential election was my first)...

As a bleeding heart Chicago liberal, I tend to support Democrats across the board, but the two races that I'll be watching with the most interest will be challenger Forrest Claypool for Cook County Board president and challenger Debra Shore for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District--both candidates are highly endorsed by The Sierra Club, which is very important to me...

amyc / March 21, 2006 10:59 AM

Oh, and confused...? You have to vote where you are registered, so hie your ass back to the burbs to fulfill your civic duty. Then register at your new address as soon as you can.

Lisa May / March 21, 2006 11:15 AM

Not voting today. Because I already did! Hoorah for early voting.

I know already got a plug this week, but I would like to add my endorsement - what a fabulous site. Go there before you head to your polling place if at all possible.

Spence / March 21, 2006 11:36 AM

I voted this morning. There were issues with my precinct number, as in it was changed this morning from 11 to 51. So if the judges have problems finding your name and you know for a fact that you're registered, try another precinct station in the polling place.


anon voter / March 21, 2006 11:41 AM

I voted in person.

Very little privacy -- the polling worker grabbed my filled-out ballot out of my hand and put it in the scanner.

In Wisconsin, the *voter* feeds the completed ballot into the machine and uses a privacy folder so no one can peek at it. Also, the Wisc. machines beep if you undervoted, just as a final check. (it accepts the ballot if the voter says "ok," but it first gives the voter a chance to revote if they didn't mean to undervote) No such double-checking here.

The touch screen computer wasn't working, and the polling workers were complaining aloud that the support phone number was always busy -- no surprise.

I would have loved to vote early, but I refuse to use a touch screen.

And who cares who I voted for? ;-)

DCE / March 21, 2006 11:45 AM

I voted, but left the majority of the ballot unchecked - I've never felt comfortable voting for candidates based purely on party affiliation or according to a list provided by some third party. So I've traditionally left judges and commissioners alone. Debra Shore was the exception this time around.

Claypool got my "anyone is more competent than Stroger" vote, but should he win I doubt anything different will come of it. A new face on the same system.

A side note: What do you think of the new ballot? I found it much easier to work with than the punch books of old, but am wondering how the format will work during larger elections. The sheet would have to be a lot longer than it already is, or separated into multiple pages. The latter option strikes me as being rife with problems . . .

Carrie / March 21, 2006 11:56 AM

I moved about a month ago and what I found online was telling me that I missed the deadline for changing my address and therefore, I can't vote in my new neighborhood.

And before it's mentioned to go back to my old neighborhood, I honestly forgot this morning that it was voting day. I'm having people over this evening, too so my night is booked.

This is the first election I've missed since turning 18. There's been more than one time where I was the first person at the polls in the morning.

I also know better than to whine about who wins since I didn't put my two cents in. I'll just deal with it. Oh wait, unless Oberweis manages to make it far, then I'll whine. I have zero desire to see him do well and possibly represent Illinois.

John / March 21, 2006 12:12 PM

Please don't vote today. I want my vote to count more.

I love the people making excuses... "I don't know where to vote" or "I'm too busy"

It literally took me 5 minutes to vote this morning before work.

Elizabeth / March 21, 2006 12:18 PM

Yes I voted. It took zero time. Everyone should do it!

shechemist / March 21, 2006 12:18 PM

I'm voting this afternoon. I figure I need to set a good example for the new kid. This morning I went through to see who was rated what by who.

I'm voting for Claypool in foolish foolish hope he beats Stroger. I have a feeling Stroger is going to win, drop out due to his stroke, and then the machine will pick some Daley crony as a replacement.

Blagg the Axman / March 21, 2006 12:26 PM

Why cast a ballot when a sharp, forged blade will bring the justice you seek? I weep for the day that our hardworking plains-dwellers put their faith in fat mush-heads who canít even parry a swordthrust or wield a pike. The goblin hordes laugh at your blind faith in such pathetic grasps for security in these dark times.

Y A J / March 21, 2006 12:31 PM

I voted weeks ago, deliberately on a weekend because I want to encourage the city to continue to facilitate early & weekend voting.

voter / March 21, 2006 12:34 PM

C'mon people, stop being lazy - it took me five minutes. Plus, the election judge was cute.

MC High Life / March 21, 2006 1:05 PM

Voting in the primary election is like having a meeting to plan another meeting.

Blagg may be on to something...

jen / March 21, 2006 1:10 PM

luckily, my polling place is an easy 2 blocks from my apartment. hooray!

another resource for recommended judges is the chicago bar association's choices (most importantly, avoiding those that are NOT RECOMMENDED)...

m / March 21, 2006 1:19 PM

"Voting in the primary election is like having a meeting to plan another meeting."

Unless you care about judges and the referendum votes in your precinct. And how about the Republican candidates for Governor? There were two referendums on the ballot in my area. Both relate to hotbutton issues that residents are divided over in the neighborhood (no pointless referendums to bring troops home now, etc.).

bam / March 21, 2006 1:25 PM

Voted yes, yes, & NO on Rey's advisory referenda in the 35th. No need to use our TIF monies to subsidize condo development.

And of course voted for Debra Shore and none of the others running for Water Rec. Wouldn't want a vote for your #2 or 3# pick to bump Shore out of contention.

Touch screen system was pain free. In and out in 3 minutes or so.

Jim Oberweiss / March 21, 2006 1:49 PM

I voted for the candidate with the yummy ice cream.

melb9 / March 21, 2006 1:56 PM

I choose not to vote for overweight candidates (personal preference). Is anyone aware of a website that includes candidates' physical attributes (such as height/weight) to help me make a more informed decision?

Anon / March 21, 2006 2:23 PM

Didn't vote.

I'm not a Democrat, and I'm certainly not a Republican. In my precinct, there were no referenda -- in fact there was no ballot for registered Independents.

I will certainly be voting in November, though.

Kristy / March 21, 2006 2:28 PM

I certainly hope there's a site that lists measurements for candidates! I want to make my vote for large penises and big boobies is heard and recognized!!!! You know, because boobie / penis size is directly porportional to competancy in political office, and I want to make an informed decision.


hench / March 21, 2006 2:31 PM

not yet - going tonight after work... polling place is across the street from my primary residence, so i should have plenty of time...

can't wait to get the 'i voted' sticker...

melb9 / March 21, 2006 2:40 PM

Kristy: Why did you turn my post into a sexual joke? That isn't funny. My question was serious in nature and keeps me up at night sometimes. I just don't see how an overweight canidate can manage a public office when they can't even manage their own bodies. Isn't this what we are all looking for?

I'm sorry if this sounds selfish but don't force your beliefs upon me.

matty / March 21, 2006 3:04 PM

I voted straight ticket republican. And no i am not joking.

fluffy / March 21, 2006 3:13 PM

"I just don't see how an overweight canidate can manage a public office when they can't even manage their own bodies. Isn't this what we are all looking for?"

Just my opinion, but many times, people who are trully (heart/mind/soul) involved in an effort to make change in this world put their personal life aside- sometimes exercise and diet food is a luxury. EVERYONE should take care of themselves, people shouldn't be too skinny/obese/unhealthy, but to choose a political candidate based on physical attributes is bizarre. What about their honesty, integrity, contributions to society and the community, and maybe their education?

So, your choice would change after a candidate got their stomach stapled in order to look smaller? yipes!

Do I laugh or cry?

waleeta / March 21, 2006 3:14 PM


Kristy probably turned your post into a joke because it was too easy just to call you an idiot.

Kristy / March 21, 2006 3:31 PM

Oh silly mel, I wasn't forcing my beliefs on you, I was clearly making fun of your beliefs.

It's pretty obvious to me that a little junk in the trunk isn't going to prevent anyone from being a great politician just as being within a normal weight range doesn't automatically make one better at managing a public office. Being overweight does not imply a failure to manage one's body, or even poor management skills in general. Frankly, beliefs that overweight people can't manage their bodies, or are overweight as a result of poor body management, are completely ignorant.

Besides mel, wake up and smell the sassage - you live in Chicago.

jen / March 21, 2006 3:37 PM

bam! righton! let's just hope the rest of the 35th ward voters realize what voting yes would mean for the neighborhood...

t-minus 2 hours 30 minutes until i vote.

Ben Helphand / March 21, 2006 3:43 PM

Debra Shore for Water Reclamation District is top of my list. Its a forgotten office (even though it has a billion dollar budget) that should be leading the way in smart environmentally friendly policies. Shore promises to change the currents over there.

In the judges race Ramon Ocasio in the 6th Sub-circuit has my vote.

Mr. Paul / March 21, 2006 4:00 PM

I think Mel has an interesting point. What kind of message does it send our kids that all politicians are overweight? What kind of message does it send to foreign dignitaries for that matter? I predict this debate will only grow larger (pun not intended =))

I'm so vain / March 21, 2006 4:05 PM

I voted for the thin and pretty ticket this primary. I decided Paris Hilton over Blago and Lindsey Lohan over Stroger. Obviously, they're skinny and pretty and would therefore make great public servants.

C-Note / March 21, 2006 4:08 PM

Hell no I didn't vote. Wouldn't want to encourage the bastards. Voting is for fat-ass bleeding-heart, white-dreadlocked, hippie shitheads like Fluffy and Waleeta. And lemmings.

C-NUT / March 21, 2006 4:11 PM

Yeah, U be so dum to vote.

x / March 21, 2006 4:13 PM

I didn't. I'd rather work hard for something I want and not get it than pull a lever for something I don't want and get it. And there's nothing I want on the ballot. Your vote counts double now? Bully for you.

What's in a name? / March 21, 2006 4:25 PM

If overweight pols are unworthy of our votes, what about those that smoke the occasional cig, or gosh forbid, drink too much?

Is our junior Senator any less capable because he enjoys a smoke now and then?

matty / March 21, 2006 4:26 PM

I have a feeling we have an either a) fat or b) ugly person here. Only fat and ugly people go on fat and ugly civil rights rampages like whoever is freaking out about this.

Give it a rest, fatty.

melb9 / March 21, 2006 4:34 PM

I can't believe my personal preferences are being ripped to shreds. So far I've been called fat (or ugly), an idiot and accused of only wanting to vote for "sexy" canidates. How are my preferences towards thinner canidates any different than those that have preferences towards environmental concerns or women's rights?

I guess I just don't understand Chicago politics. I'll be looking elsewhere for canidate physical information. Thanks for your input.

MikeH / March 21, 2006 4:50 PM

matty -

Thank you for voting straight Republican! I would hate to think we were anything but on opposite sides of the spectrum...

slb / March 21, 2006 4:55 PM

voting tonight. claypool, shore, and whomever is most recommended on but i do wish there were more resources available about the candidates. it's easy to find stuff about the big offices and the big races (duckworth vs cegelis, et al) but not the smaller, but probably no less important ones. i really don't know anything about the people running for the illinois house, and that sucks. of course that's most likely because i'm lazy...

C-Naught / March 21, 2006 4:56 PM

"Hell no, I didn't vote. Wouldn't want to encourage the bastards"

Oh, those words say so much. Really, true words of wisdom. Let our children and our children's children live by them.

And now we're name calling? "fat-ass"? Wow, I'm impressed. You are one smart cookie, C-Note!

I'm so vain / March 21, 2006 5:00 PM

I totally agree with you MelB. Just because I put a candidate's I want a candidate with a hot bod in front of there integrity, ability to run an office, and intelligence, I get ripped up and down. I don't get it. Plus you'all are like totally making me miss "The Simple Life"!

MikeH / March 21, 2006 5:10 PM

How are my preferences towards thinner canidates any different than those that have preferences towards environmental concerns or women's rights?

Umm...because those preferences actually deal with issues. Does that factor into your equation at all?

Kristy / March 21, 2006 5:15 PM

I'm eating a sandwich in protest.

mac / March 21, 2006 5:41 PM

I don't believe Mel for a second. I think he/she's pulling everyone's leg just for a giggle, and it's working.

mike-ts / March 21, 2006 6:27 PM

I don't know why everyone is picking on Melb9. Bill Clinton was a fatso, and I'm glad he's out of office. George W. Bush, however, has been declared the most physically fit president we ever had, and I'm glad I voted for him. Beer keg legged Hilary (Mancow's words, not mine) is going to try to run in 2008 (Hilary, "run", hehe), and if she does, you bet your bottom dollar I'm voting for Condi Rice, skinny legs and all!

Thankfully, during Council Wars there was that trim and fit Ed Vrdolyak to be a counter balance against the embarassingly fat Harold Washington. Fast Eddie was able to run circles around him, pun intended.

But if there was ever a person I'd vote for based on physical appearance, it would have been Ciccolina.

matty / March 21, 2006 6:34 PM

Let's list Chicago's crook to fat correlation

John Stroger - Very Fat/Very Corrupt

Dan Rostankowski - Very Fat/Very Corrupt

George Ryan - Very Fat/Very Corrupt

Mayor Daley - Sort of Fat/Sort of Corrupt

Jim Edgar - Not Fat/Not Corrupt!

You see? It all works out with science. The minute we stop voting this literal fat cats into power is the minute Chicago actually gets run properly and without the 'pork'.

matty / March 21, 2006 6:36 PM

HW was so fat in, fact, that he died from it. Excellent points mike-ts.

that guy / March 21, 2006 6:50 PM


Hal / March 21, 2006 6:59 PM

I was tempted to vote Republican, just to do my part to give Rod B. the weakest candidate possible, but that would have kept me from voting for Claypool. Which I did. I really should have read up on the judges, as I had to abstain on all.

Why the hell was Jan Schakowsky spending money on those junk phone calls to my house when she was the only candidate?

MC High Life / March 21, 2006 7:03 PM

I voted for Bo Bice. His performance on AI tonight was breathtaking.

Leelah / March 21, 2006 7:19 PM

I also went specifically to vote for Claypool.

I will NOT be voting for Bucky or the skinny kid on American Idol.

Carlotta / March 21, 2006 9:53 PM

Yes, I've voted per usual. I think there's only one election that I've ever missed, when I decided there was no sense in voting in a terribly weak mayoral election.

And hey, I voted for Stroger. To be sure, he's no saint, but Claypool ain't no reformer, either. I'm afraid he'll do to indigent health care what he did to the Park District -- cut back and eliminate programs.

Claypool is really cute, though!

Fatty FatFat / March 21, 2006 10:29 PM

methinks that earlier this board was taken for a little ride care of a troll named MelB...i cast my vote for a healthy skepticism

Jean / March 21, 2006 11:17 PM

I think I love Matty (6:34 PM)! Voted for Claypool and Eisendrath. Will vote JBT (or whoever) in November -- Rod has joined GWB in the ranks of pols I can't even bear to watch or listen to on TV. It's like a horror movie -- I have to run screaming from the room.

cory / March 22, 2006 12:08 PM

Well, thread aint prime, butI expect that with computerized voting in Illinois, we can expect to see a string of amazing, exit-poll-defying Repuke election victories. Another state goes red thanks to Diebold etc.

Tell me again why it matters if we vote.

Mike / March 24, 2006 12:55 AM

What does it mean to vote straight Republican? This was a primary. Everybody voted either for all Republicans or all Democrats

Glenn Disney / May 19, 2006 6:00 AM

John Stroger sick? remove kid gloves all the more .."
by Glenn Disney - P.O. Box 958171 - Hoffman Estates, Illinois - 60195-8171 Tel: 608-213-8448

Only the taxpayer-compassionate can criticise corruption and the corruptor while he's on the sick bed. Why? Because the interest of the people supersedes the politician. It's not the voter's task to carry John Stroger's health problems to the election. It is the citizen's responsibility to seek the best for all. John Stroger is not the best for all. He's demonstrably shown himself given to cronyism and cultivating the assets of politics over the concerns of the taxpayer. John Stroger is not smart in programs and policies for the people but a genius in manipulating constituents to vote and get votes for the next time around.

The thought of Todd Stroger stepping in to cover his dad is nightmareish. We'll be trapped in a sort of eternal sci-fi dimension of cronyism. Let's not give the idea any more consideration. Instead, let's remind ourselves why John Stroger excels in MPE (Mechanical Political Engineering), enabling employees and others to receive favors and job security in exchange for votes. Isn't that the bottom line? Isn't that the mortar of Stroger's livelihood?

We really don't have time to look back at all the head-shaking-puzzling-grimaces that Stroger's three terms extracted from us. We could speculate a lot on why and how Stroger survived the office this long. Tony Peraica probably nailed it with his conclusion that John Stroger is a "yes man to the city machine", a Chicago politics feature far more important than integrity, leadership, or taxpayer friendliness. Forrest Claypool was on to Stroger's taxpayer hostility when he directed blocking a gratuitous 300 million dollar Stroger tax increase; not once but twice.

But let's zero in on some recent events that would shock an out-of-towner not privy to Cook County politics and which may actually define Stroger's ineptitude, if not down- right corruption, while in office.

Under John Stroger, special living expenses and benefits were afforded to certain county employees in the Cook County Forest Preserve Department. Why, we don't know. But it turned out that these employees drove county vehicles without driver's licenses of which they hadn't possessed in years. DUI and other reasons associated to disreputable persons surfaced after a hit and run was committed by one of the county workers. Further investigations into the "I live nearly free off the county and drive its vehicles without a driver's license story," revealed that the county employment applications that those employees signed, conveniently omitted vital driving record information, otherwise demanded by the private sector for the mere past fifty years. Soon, after the exposure of Stroger's favouritism or gross oversight to employees who shouldn't have been behind a wheel, much less one paid for by Cook County taxpayers, the county job application form quickly got updated to include questions and an actual verification of the applicant's driving record.

Under John Stroger, the revelation of several county nurses' unscrutinized payroll checks, milking taxpayers of hundreds of thousands in exorbant overtime pay, hit the news. They obviously just put in their time. It's dubious that they actually worked for it and likely that they weren't even at work during a portion of the payed-out time. Real and proficient work just doesn't coincide with their claimed hours. The overtime scandal was yet another indication that John Stroger didn't sweat over departmental operations details, nor did he really give a damn about protecting your money.

Under John Stroger and accompanying commissioners, we are begged to believe that a trip mostly funded by your tax dollars to exotic Hawaii, was to benefit you! Stroger and fellow travelling commissioners went, as they marketed us, in order "to gain insight into how other counties operate." Why, John Stroger didn't you write or email them and ask them how they operate? Why didn't you phone them? Hey John Stroger and high-spending commissioners! You are not royalty! You are not national dignitaries! You are county servants. Go to Hawaii on your own time and money! A conference requiring thousands of miles of expensive travel simply wasn't justified and taxpayers should have been be steaming mad!

Ask yourself, what would citizens have done even just one hundred years ago if county officials reached into taxpayers' pockets in order to travel to Hawaii and "gain insight into how other counties operate?" Street riots could have been reasonable expectation. Why, Cook County taxpayer, are you so complacent today? Why do you tolerate Stroger's arrogant misuse of office and continue allowing him to waste your money?

Cook County officials and employees are sweating, realizing that their easy-street ticket to high pay may be jeopardized when a new boss replaces John Stroger, making job qualification more important than "who you know."

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15