Crains' political columnist Greg Hinz has been covering the role Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward) is playing in this year's City Council elections this week. Reilly donated $10,000 to Genita Robinson, who fell short in her effort to unseat Ald. Robert Fioretti in the 2nd Ward race last month, and gave Molly Phelan, now in a run-off election with James Cappleman in the 46th Ward, $9,626.20, Hinz reports. And Reilly, whose ward covers big parts of the Loop and the Near North Side, is sending personnel north to Uptown, the neighborhood at the heart of the 46th. Here's more from Hinz:
One of his top lieutenants in ousting longtime 42nd Ward Alderman Burt Natarus four years ago, Dave Clarkin, is likely to take over as manager of Ms. Phelan's runoff campaign, she says. And there are lots of other rumors about precinct help Ms. Phelan is getting from Mr. Reilly — who, like Mr. Clarkin, once worked for Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.
Reilly said yesterday he's been friends with Phelan for some time, she worked on his 2007 campaign, and she is someone who "shares some very similar philosophies about city government" with him. Clarkin, he said, lives in the 46th Ward. The race is attracting other big dollar donations as well. In addition to Reilly's contributions, a review of recent campaign disclosure filings shows that some of the city's large business interests, like the Chicagland Chamber of Commerce PAC and investment manager David Herro, are giving to Phelan.
One more note about Reilly: campaign disclosure records demonstrate that the 42nd Ward alderman likes at least one other candidate facing a tough run-off this spring. And that's 50th Ward Ald. Bernard Stone, whom Reilly gave $1,000 on Feb. 10. Stone's defeat is a priority of a broad section of Chicago's labor movement, which is supporting Debra Silverstein in the race.
Forty-fourth Ward Ald. Tom Tunney, head of the chamber-aligned Jobs and Growth Caucus on City Council, is also spreading his political funds around. So far in 2011, he made contributions to Alds. Beale, Lane, Mitts, Brookins Jr., Lyle, Reboyras, Thompson, Cardenas, Foulkes, and Rice, who is in a run-off in the 36th Ward, as well as Tom O'Donnell, defeated in the 47th. (Tunney could not be reached by the time this post went live, but we'll update it when we hear more.) All of Tunney's 2011 aldermanic donations came before the Feb. 22 Election Day.
One other sitting alderman getting involved in run-off elections this year that Progress Illinois has noted so far: on March 1, 45th Ward aldermanic candidate John Arena reported receiving $1,000 from Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward).
(Full disclosure: the SEIU State Council, which sponsors this
website, endorsed Reilly and Fioretti for last month's elections, as
well as Silverstein, Waguespack, Reboyras, Lyle, O'Donnell and Foulkes.)