Thirteen different fees associated with the debit portion of the
two-in-one Ventra card that would allow people to load it with CTA
transit funds and also use it for purchasing other goods was posted on the company's website Monday.
At Manny's, the venerable delicatessen on Chicago's Near West Side, lunchgoers tucked into corned beef sandwiches and potato pancakes as a cluster of candidates on today's ballot shook hands and passed out literature.
Alexi Giannoulias, the Democrats' nominee for U.S. Senate, arrived first to work the restaurant just before the noon hour. It proved a friendly crowd. A man with an "I Voted" sticker on his green jacket jumped out of his seat to say hello to Giannoulias, telling the state treasurer he cast his ballot for him. Michael (he declined to give his last name) told Progress Illinois he lives in the 10th District, represented since 2001 by GOP Senate candidate Mark Kirk. Michael said he was unimpressed with Kirk, criticizing him for his positions on the Bush tax cuts. Debra Owe, a University Park resident, greeted Giannoulias, listing a simple reason why she cast her ballot for him: "He's a Democrat." Other patrons posed for photos with the candidate between bites of food. Giannoulias said in the campaign's hectic final hours he's telling voters they have a "stark choice" between two competing visions, and a vote for Kirk will empower big corporations. Watch:
Also arriving at Manny's during the lunch hour was the Democratic candidate for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle; she and Giannoulias took some time to chat and visited a few tables together. Forrest Claypool, who's running for Cook County Assesor as an Independent, also passed through to distribute pamphlets. And Scott Lee Cohen even showed up around 1 p.m. to push his gubernatorial candidacy.
For all the candidates, the ground game on Election Day is very basic -- saying hello, hitting meet and greets, shaking hands, and finding many people at once to make one last pitch. "At this point it's mostly large crowds -- retail politics," said Giannoulias spokesman Scott Burnham. The state treasurer's campaign, according to Burnham, will conclude the day at senior buildings and train stops. And hopefully with a little boost from the lunch crowd at Manny's.
The fight to succeed James Houlihan as Cook County Assessor has been
a bitter one. With just two weeks until the election, both Democratic
nominee Joe Berrios and Independent candidate Forrest Claypool are
bolstering their outreach to black voters across the county.
After announcing an endorsement from several African American elected officials last week, WBEZ reports
that Berrios is expected to unveil an ad created for black stations.
Not to be outdone, Claypool spoke at the House of Hope, a mega-church
on Chicago's far South Side, yesterday morning. He's also launching
radio advertising on black stations and will soon release a robocall featuring
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. To top it off, the campaign announced it
had received the endorsement of Ald. Ed Smith (28th Ward), who called
Claypool "a friend" and "fine public servant."
Newspaper editorial boards are starting to offer readers their two cents on which candidates they think are best suited for some of the offices up for election this November. Today, for instance, the Tribuneendorsed Independent Forrest Claypool for Cook County Assessor, arguing that Democratic candidate Joe Berrios "is a one-man conflict of interests" because of his roles as a member of the county's tax appeals board, head of the Cook County Democratic Party, and lobbyist. Over the weekend, the Tribune also endorsed Toni Preckwinkle, the Democratic candidate for Cook County Board President. Of the candidates looking to replace current Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, the Tribune thinks Preckwinkle is the most likely to take the steps they deem necessary to clean up county government:
His successor needs to repeal the remaining half of Stroger's sales
tax hike, modernize and consolidate fat bureaucracies, and enforce the
same headcount discipline that lets private-sector firms keep their
doors open (and keep paying high taxes to Cook County). Of the
candidates on the ballot, we think Preckwinkle has the best chance of
achieving those ends. Today the Tribune endorses her for County Board
president. If she does all she says she will, county government will
begin to earn back the taxpayer respect that previous administrations
The Sun-Times has endorsed Democrat Dan Seals over GOP candidate Bob Dold for the 10th Congressional District seat, citing his intellectual depth and thoughtful approach to governing as reasons for their approval. The paper also chose to endorse Republican Adam Kinzinger over freshman-incumbent Debbie Halvorson for the 11th Congressional District seat, even though they think he's dodging some issues and disagree with some of his views, like the fact that "he says he's not sold on the research on global warming."
Cook County property tax bills will be mailed
around November 22, one month later than last year. Potential voters
won't see the tax bills, which could include a request for a property
tax hike, until after Election Day. Independent candidate for Cook
County Assessor Forrest Claypool has accused Democratic nominee Joseph
Berrios -- a tax appeals board member -- of intentionally slowing down
the process to avoid bad headlines.