Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Stone Cold, Naisy

The choice in the 50th Ward's run-off could not be more stark.

"I gotta get me up and run..."

From your Chicago Sun-Times:
Challenger Naisy Dolar calls Ald. Bernie Stone an "old guard" politician who has been in office "far too long" and is asleep at the switch.

"This is not about age," the 34-year-old Dolar said. "This is about someone who's too comfortable in his job for too long."
"Anymore, anymore, cannot take it anymore..."
The 79-year-old Stone doesn't make those distinctions. He said Dolar has no experience and no clue what it takes to be alderman. He calls her "a young pisher." That's Yiddish for "little squirt."
Well, I'm not usually one to quibble with others over matters of language -- cough, cough -- but the origin of the word "pisher" is not so simple.

In his article,
Some American Idioms from the Yiddish, published in Vol. 18, No. 1 of American Speech, the American Dialect Society's quarterly journal, Julius G. Rothenberg writes that defining "pisher" so euphemistically and narrowly "only faintly suggests the denotation and connotations."

"Pisher" is derived from the Yiddish word "pishn" -- which means to "piss". Like the similar German word "pissen". With proper context, the denotation and connotations of Mr. Stone's comment become clear: Mr. Stone is called Ms. Dolar a "young pisser."

"Walking down the street, Shooting people that I meet..."

Back to the Sun-Times:
Stone is the oldest member of the City Council. Dolar, if elected, would be the youngest.
Unstated in the coverage of the 50th ward race by the S-T and the Tribune is the common knowledge that Stone will not long serve as the oldest member of the City Council. Should he win, he is expected to step down and have his charming daughter, Ilana, take his spot. This race isn't just about age and experience -- it is also about Chicago's increasingly dynastic politics.

But a vote against Stone wouldn't just be a vote to stop monarchy in the 50th ward, it has the added benefit of being a vote for Ms. Dolar.
Dolar is a former director of the city's Advisory Council on Asian Affairs who has also worked for Loyola University Chicago and the city's YouthNet program. "I have eight years' experience in city government . . . and have committed my whole career to public service, which prepares me for this challenge," she said.
"I ran right outta juice..."
Dolar argues that Stone has accomplished little in 34 years in office. She said crime is increasing, business strips are deteriorating and Stone helps only his friends and developers who make campaign contributions.

"He's been in office far too long and has literally been sleeping on the job for the last 10 years or so," she said.

A photocopy of a Sun-Times photograph of Stone apparently dozing in the City Council chamber in 2003 hangs on a wall of Dolar's campaign headquarters on Touhy Avenue.
Stone counters that he was not sleeping when the photo was taken but had merely closed his eyes. You can take a look at Stone's relaxed -- very relaxed -- posture and judge for yourself.

"If I can't go to heaven..."

Your Chicago Tribune reports that Naisy Dolar has received multiple endorsements -- including her former rival Greg Brewer who finished third in the Feb. 27 election.
"It's time for a new vision of openness, honesty and accountability. It's time for an aldermen who understands the true meaning of community. It's time for an aldermen who will demonstrate real leadership by working to build consensus among diverse groups. It's time for an aldermen who will finally treat residents with the dignity and respect we deserve," Brewer wrote.

Dolar also announced that she had received union endorsements from the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. SEIU had not endorsed any candidate in the Feb. 27 election, but the group attacked Stone in a series of mailers.

"I'm very pleased to get the support of both unions," said Dolar. "I look forward to working with them on behalf of the working people of Chicago and their families."
"Here come the law gonna break down the door, Gonna carry me away once more..."

By contrast, Stone was endorsed by the last place finisher, Salman Aftab:
The Chicago Sun-Times found that Aftab has a history of five arrests -- but no convictions.

Four are misdemeanor charges arising from alleged arguments -- two in restaurants, one over a cab fare and the other over a parking space -- between 1996 and 2002. The most serious was a murder charge in the 1992 stabbing of Paul Warda during a fight between cabdrivers at a Near North Side restaurant.

A judge found Aftab not guilty after people who said they had been witnesses gave testimony "contradictory to what they told the police," said Lynda Peters, who was the prosecutor in the case.

Aftab chalks all of the arrests up to his role as a community activist who often winds up in volatile situations as he tries to help resolve disputes.
If anyone can explain to me how knife fights with cabbies are part of community activist dispute resolution, please drop me a line.

"There's a rumour going round, gotta clear outta town..."

Of course, the best way to determine which candidate should be alderman for the 50th Ward would be to review the debates between them -- So let's review:

On Wednesday, March 21, the West Rogers Park Community Organization hosted it's 50th Ward Candidates Forum. Ms. Dolar participated. Mr. Stone did not.

Fortunately, Ms. Dolar provided a photograph of Mr. Stone to remind 50th Ward residence of what the man who purports to represent them looks like.

Ms. Dolar and Mr. Stone were scheduled to appear together on WTTW's Chicago Tonight on April 2nd. But Mr. Stone has backed out. Even after efforts by Channel 11 to work around Mr. Stone's schedule, he backed out.

So there haven't been -- and won't be -- any debates. But even so, it is clear who the winner is in the 50th Ward: Naisy Dolar.

To vote for anyone else would be... stone cold crazy, you know.

Update Rich Miller at the Capital Fax blog: "Naisy Dolar’s own poll has her leading Ald. Stone 47-40." Rich also has juicy exerpts from the poll's executive summary.

Stone Cold Crazy by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon


Anonymous said...

Too funny! The 50th Ward incumbent is obviously running scared. Not only will he lose his cushy job of 33 years, but his charming daughter loses the chance to inherit a job she did nothing to earn! That's okay, Ilana, I hear they're hiring at Walmart. You're a shoe-in for a job there - your daddy voted against the Big Box Ordinance, so your family's got big pull with Walmart! What will Daddy do after his ass is kicked into retirement? Why, he can work at Walmart, too. I hear they're hiring GREETERS.

Anonymous said...

Whre did Naisy attend college?


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