Friday, March 02, 2007

Election Day

It's over...and we won! My day as an election lawyer was very different from the last time around (in Wisconsin for the Presidential election). I had repeated discussions with people saying to me "but this is Chicago." Trickled in were warnings of intimidation and the "thugs" that congregate at polling places. Prior to the day, I naively discounted that thinking that nothing like that would happen in MY neighborhood. It was explained to me that some of the people congregating might have jobs on the line, thinking that if their candidate won, they would get great jobs. Fist fights outside of polling places are not unusual.

I was called to my precinct for some other drama, but got a first hand view of the "thugs." All big guys (including the ones handing out flyers for our candidate). I was again cautioned that even though they look harmless I should just let the police deal with them. I did go out there nonetheless a few times, without incident, and they all complied to what I said. My favorite was when two police officers asked me about electioneering, so I brought them outside to show them some issues. I wish I had a picture. I was in the middle, in a black suit. I was flanked on either side with an undercover cop, each with multiple weapons displayed and visible. The irony was, at this time, one of the "thugs" showed some overt hostility to me.

When we (another attorney and I) ended up leaving, some of the guys threw snow at us. A bit childish, but nothing we couldn't handle. That night, at the victory party, it was kind of funny to hear these various guys come up to Glenn and say "your wife kept on going and confronting the thugs." (a bit of an exaggeration on many fronts). It painted a portait much grander than the issue. I still do not feel like I was under any threat. I think the campaign workers out there would be at greater risk.

On a sadder front, in the 24th ward, a campaign worker handing out flyers was beaten with a stick. Absolutely unbelievable and a travesty. Noone should have any fear with expressing his or her opinion. It also gives me a greater understanding of why voter turn out may be low.

Now, I can get back to house stuff...

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Blogger Jocelyn said...

In Ward 49, we have a runoff so the "games" will go on until April 19th. It is an eye opener getting involved in community politics isn't it? You guys have got to come over this summer for a BBQ!

March 04, 2007 9:24 PM  

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