By Jim Bowman
Don Harmon is on a tear, is he not? Has he not been preternaturally active leading up to this election season, when he's running unopposed (fancy that!) for relection to his automatic senate post?
There were town hall meetings last spring and summer, in which he exposed himself in unprecedented fashion to slings and arrows as the state writhed in fiscal agony; a meeting he called and promoted with multiple robocalls about the Eisenhower expansion; multiple letters to Wed. Journal in the shape of guest columns (again exposing himself, this time to online-comment scrums); more recently rallying his troops for call-athons to promote his and presumably others' candidacies; and most recently an "urgent" Saturday-morning meeting (tomorrow) to endorse a county board candidate.
This last is part of an all-hands-on-board effort to block the candidacy of the felonious former alderman Ike Carothers, two years out of federal prison and eager to land new work in his chosen field of public service. Enough is enough, those in the know seem to be saying. How many ex-jailbirds can we Democrats take to our bosom? They give new meaning to the revolving-door theory of government, the smart guys and gals are telling each other.
At question is whether OP Dems will follow the just-this-week-announced, prestige-laden lead of Mayor Rahm E. and county board president Toni P. (also of OP president Anan Abu-T. and the 28th-ward alderman) and give the nod to the fresh-faced and super-credentialed Fenwick alum and one-time Emanuel campaign worker, Blake Sercye, praised for his alleged reformist leanings or, and here it gets really interesting, to Rep. Danny Davis's onetime chief of staff Richard Boykin, the Oak Park and Bolingbrook home-owner who got himself a double homestead exemption when he deserved only one and backed a Republican for U.S. senate in -- and whom Davis has endorsed, as did a group of West Side ministers, the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization, Sheriff Tom Dart, and the Chicago Federation of Labor.
Add to Boykin's mysterious ways, however, questions as to where he lives -- in Will or Cook county? -- and whether he's married or divorced from his Will County-residing wife. Other than these issues, which include an opponent's threat to sue to block his incumbency if he wins, citing residency issues, Boykin's slate is clear.
In any case, Harmon's people can't endorse both.They can stick with Boykin, the Danny Davis man, and stick it to Rahm, Toni, Anan, and the alderman or go with the fresh-faced former Fenwick friar. It's been a long time since I waited eagerly to hear what's decided at Woodbine and North -- Dem Party of OP HQ -- but that's how it is in these troubled times.