Sorry, Ike, no second chances

Opinion: Editorials

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By Dan Haley

Editor and Publisher

Odds and ends with some a bit odder than others:

I don't like Ike: Ike Carothers, the convicted alderman from Austin, is making noises that he plans to run for the Cook County board from the district that includes both the greater West Side, Oak Park, Forest Park and points west out toward Bellwood. Did not think it was possible to find a candidate for this job that I liked less than Earlean Collins, the incumbent who is, thankfully, retiring.

But Ike Carothers is worse. Convicted and jailed for taking bribes in exchange for supporting a major development in the Galewood neighborhood, Carothers is a political thug, just like his dad, the previously convicted Austin alderman. In large part, the pain of the West Side results from the utter failure of its political leadership. Austin is the city's largest neighborhood and it is a mere afterthought in City Hall's planning and spending over decades. That's because elected leaders like Carothers were solely focused on consolidating their personal power.

There are interesting people lining up for the Democratic primary for this seat in next spring's election. And then there is Ike, who has some illusion that Westsiders will forget his very real sins and that Oak Park Dems are somehow going to choose a man who sold out his office and represents all that is wrong with our politics.

No way, Ike.

Shutdown writ small: Had an e-mail last week from Paul McKenna, one of the owners of the fabulous Starship Subs in Forest Park. He noted that Starship had lost a $250 catering order that day because of the government shutdown. The eatery was scheduled to deliver lunch to a meeting at Hines V.A. Hospital in Maywood.

Not a big deal, he says, but an indication of how the infuriating nonsense in Washington actually does ripple out to ordinary people trying to make a living.

Anyone seen Diane?: Oak Park's own Bill Zwecker published an interview last week in the Sun-Times with Diane Keaton. She was to be in Chicago last week to keynote a foundation luncheon and Zwecker asked her what she wanted to do while she was in town. "I want to hopefully get out to see the Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Oak Park again."

Honoring the Pope: Last Friday night at Unity Temple, the Oak Park Regional Housing Center gave David Pope, Oak Park's former village president, its Founder's Award. It was well-deserved recognition for a man as in tune with Oak Park's legacy of racial integration and its future based on fostering diversity as any elected leader in recent times. Pope came by his passion for diversity honestly, having been raised by parents steeped in the village's early integration efforts. But he has also seen the necessity of expanding Oak Park's efforts through the West Cook County Housing Collaborative and his wide, and wise, networking among city leaders across the country.

Very quickly: New Rebozo's outpost on East Superior Street got a loving write-up in Crain's last week. The piece touted both Chef Paco's food but also the unexpected warmth of the welcome on a stretch better known for its mega-branded restaurants. … Our own Ken Trainor's new book Unfinished Pentecost got an enthused review by Bob McClory in the National Catholic Reporter last week. … Oak Parker John Barron, until recently publisher of the Sun-Times through some very harried times, has moved to the Tribune Company where he will oversee its "content marketing unit." Sponsored content, also known by the odd term "native advertising," is all the buzz in hunkered-down journalism shops these days. We'll be watching, and then stealing, John's ideas. A good man.

Email: Twitter: @OPEditor

Reader Comments

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Bill D.  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 8:26 AM

Saw the list of how House members voted on the pension reform bill. How's Rep. Welch looking to you now, Al?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 11th, 2013 12:21 PM

My mistake on point one. "Market Maket from River Forest," the post Al erroneously attributes to me with no basis, made the connection to Welch.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 11th, 2013 12:14 PM

You're confused, Al. "Here is a story about Ike and you some how are trying to make this about Rep. Welch." No, Dan Haley is, Al- read the byline. As for "I think I can presume you were the first commenter too," you presume wrong. Unlike people like Welch, I don't pretend to be other people on line. I didn't call Welch a criminal. I called him a liar. If you're the Al I presume YOU are, I know you supported him because of his stance on teacher's pensions, as is your right. It's my right not to.

Al from River Forest  

Posted: October 11th, 2013 12:02 PM

Bill, it sounds real personal with you. Here is a story about Ike and you some how are trying to make this about Rep. Welch. I think I can presume you were the first commenter too. Here's the bottomline, your candidate lost the election for state rep. Welch won despite the constant vitriol you and Dan Haley threw at him. He's here to stay. Get over it. You sound bitter, angry and disgruntled. YOU compared Welch to a criminal. That's just plain wrong. Compare apples to apples.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 11th, 2013 9:21 AM

And you sound uninformed, Al. First, I'm not a journalist anymore, I resigned. Second, since when did a criminal conviction become the MINIMUM standard for questioning the integrity of a public official? He LIED, Al. Repeatedly, until he couldn't wiggle out of it. Then tried to get tax payers to foot the bill for his dishonesty. All the while he ran a school district into the ground academically and financially. Dan Haley and I aren't the political hacks, Al. Welch is, you just won't see it.

Al from River Forest  

Posted: October 11th, 2013 7:38 AM

Bill, libel is not bribery. A civil wrong is not criminal. The issues you raise were vetted in a campaign that you frequently wrote about, and Welch won. You don't sound like a journalist. You sound like a disgruntled political hack, and quite frankly, Haley does too. Face it, Welch is a pretty good Rep and will likely move up the political ladder. Ike is a corrupt criminal political hack!

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 10th, 2013 10:59 PM

Al, Chris Welch is a documented liar. He was found guilty of libel by a judge in a civil case two years ago for alleging- anonymously- that two lawyers suborned perjury. Welch initially denied any connection to the posts on the Proviso Insider website, but a forensic examination found it was linked to his work computer. He then tried to have the D209 school district pay a $400,000 settlement, as well as around $50,000 of legal bills, but a state-appointed financial oversight panel overruled it.

Al from River Forest  

Posted: October 10th, 2013 9:10 PM

Chris Welch is no Ike Carothers! Let's stop this nonsense now. Rep. Welch is a graduate of Northwestern University, one of the finest colleges in the world. He is an accomplished lawyer rated by his colleagues. After just one session in Springfield, his colleagues are extremely impressed. Dan Haley is right about Ike, but he is and always will be wrong about a Chris Welch.

Market Maket from River Forest, Illinois  

Posted: October 10th, 2013 1:50 PM

Dan, I am curious, would you accept a straight up trade of Ike for Chris Welch and all his baggage from the western suburbs?

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