By: Mark Glennon

Ed Burke wasted no time getting to why he should be reelected.  The indicted Chicago alderman began his pitch at a candidate forum last week by saying simply, “Just look around.” Then he ticked off the goodies he has brought to his ward, reported the Sun-Times, everything from the Chicago Park District headquarters moving soon to Brighton Park to a pair of new warehouse facilities under construction.

He’s not stupid. In office for 50 years, he knows what works with voters. He confidently predicts he will win again. If he does, it will be because that simple pitch is enough to overcome the corruption charges against him.

It’s not just his ward in Chicago. The teachers’ union openly demands a chunk of every new revenue source on the table to fund a list of new benefits, including a housing allowance. Crony capitalists want somebody they can deal with in the standard Chicago manner, so another Daley “has far and away the most business backing in the field running for mayor,”  as Crain’s summarized it. Voters in Michael Madigan’s Chicago district routinely tell reporters why they continually reelect him – he brings the bacon home to his district. Getting a fair share for one’s voters is legitimate constituent politics, but in Chicago, getting the lion’s share is everything.

When columnist Mike Royko coined Chicago’s unofficial motto decades ago — “Ubi Est Mea” (Where’s Mine?) – he was referring to politicians themselves. Credit Burke for seeing past that to the roots of how Chicagoans vote.

Why would voters care if a candidate is taking all he can when they’re doing it, too?

Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.


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Herb Caplan
1 year ago

Since the Supreme Court has decided to jump into the thicket of local politics to solve the challenge of gerrymandering, it should also be time to get involved in the consequences of discriminatory use of the powers of political control of a public office. The U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 4, provides : The United states shall guarantee every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government” and the XIV Amendment provides: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities… nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protect of… Read more »

Danni Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Herb Caplan

the few advantage themselves by corrupt vote taking and the many are disadvantaged and frankly, robbed. Just not paying those insane RE taxes, some amount maybe the 1980 sum is the ONLY way to bring them to their knees. I’ve been on mine to them for far too long. Strength in numbers. Grassroots needs to form and organize this tax protest. Does crying, pleading, even leaving Illinois work? Not yet.

1 year ago

growing up in Chicago in the 60’s, way back then the culture of “ubi est mea” was about bozo hacks who couldn’t cut it in the private sector and went to there local feudal lord alderman and got a not so great gig & pension as streets and san truck driver or something. that all changed w 70s w “not to be diminished” state const amend, decades of added goodies and especially all the deals handed out under daley II. Now, if you live 20 years past 55 your retiring w gaurenteed multi million $ gig!!. but most importantly, today… Read more »

1 year ago

Burke is right. That’s why Illinois is a Zombie State.