Thursday, February 7, 2013

EXTRA: Beale knows who backs him. Or does he? Will city people care?

Some might think that 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale committed political suicide Thursday night.
BEALE: Will anyone outside of Chi back him?

Personally, I don’t. The people whom he likely managed to offend were never going to vote for him in the first place.

IF ANYTHING, BEALE might have shown us that he comprehends exactly who his political supporters are in the Feb. 26 special primary election for the right to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr., in Congress.

Specifically, Beale used a candidate forum at Governors State University at the far southern tip of the Chicago metro area (you’re literally within sight of rural farm fields) to answer a question about cuts that could be made in the federal budget.

Other candidates talked about cutting military spending, or letting the George W. Bush-era tax cuts lapse, or finding federal programs that are no longer necessary.

Beale? He went after the Agriculture Department’s budget.

SPECIFICALLY, HE SAID he wants to do away with many of the subsidies that are provided to farmers in an attempt to keep the cost of the food we consume at a reasonable level.

But as Beale sees it, there are farmers getting their government checks to NOT grow certain crops.

“It’s a disservice to taxpayers,” Beale said. “We’re paying farmers not to farm.”

Somehow, I suspect that any potential for voter support Beale had in the rural Will or Kankakee county portions of the Congressional district withered away.

WILL CANDIDATE FATIMAH Muhammad manage to outpoll the alderman in those rural areas on Election Day just 19 days away?

Yet it’s not a surprise, since the Beale people are the ones who like to say that the “War of the Women” is focused on the suburban Cook County portion of the Congressional district that has about 60 percent of the potential voters.

If it turns out to be a fairly even split, that’s about 20 percent support for each. With Beale believing he’ll be dominant in the Chicago portion of the district that accounts for about 25 percent of the potential voters.

He thinks the Chicago portion is big enough to win in a 16-way primary.         

ALTHOUGH I KNOW of political operatives in suburban Cook who think Beale’s big drawback is the neighborhoods of the 9th Ward – places like the Roseland and Pullman neighborhoods that have seen better days, along with the Altgeld Gardens public housing complex located near all those landfills that make much of Chicago treat it like a literal dumping ground for our trash.

It’s not like the quality of life has improved significantly in that part of Chicago during Beale’s more-than-a-decade as a City Council member. He might be shocked to learn just how few urban residents will care enough to turn out to the polling places on Election Day just to satisfy his dream of going to Capitol Hill.


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