Thursday, December 6, 2018

EXTRA: Did Joyce just have most-significant electoral accomplishment?

Jerry Joyce is the mayoral candidate whose most significant personal fact about himself is that he is from a family that has long been associated politically with the Daley family.
JOYCE: Number One (for a day)

Joyce’s father, Jeremiah, in fact was one of those behind-the-scenes guys who served as a significant adviser to Mayors Daley – both the elder and the younger.

THERE ISN’T MUCH else to say about him – other than the fact that he’s going to have his name atop the list of mayoral candidates on the ballot for the Feb. 26 election.

Joyce won the lottery, which gives him the ballot spot in the prime place. There are those who say some people are clueless enough they merely vote for the first name they see – and could get some 1 or 1 percent of the votes for that reason alone.

In a campaign where even after candidates get kicked off the ballot for insufficient support, there are still doing to be at least a dozen or so candidates in the running. Any advantage in gaining votes could mean something.

Except that it might turn out that Joyce is just too obscure politically to be able to take full advantage of this political perk.

LEARNING THIS WEEK of Joyce getting the top ballot spot actually reminded me of a past election cycle – as in the Democratic primary for governor in 1994.

That election cycle saw state Attorney General Roland Burris, Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch and Cook County Board President Richard Phelan challenge each other for governor – yet the top ballot spot went by lottery to Jim Gierach – a suburban Palos Park attorney who has spent much of his public life campaigning for less-draconian laws related to drugs.

I remember being a reporter-type person speaking with Gierach that day; knowing there was a good chance it would be the last time I’d give his campaign for governor any significant attention. Is that the same for Joyce for mayor this week?
GIERACH: Won 'No. 1' slot in '94

Then again, I also remember the Netsch campaign’s response, which gained the Second ballot spot from the lottery. They contended that voters would ignore the little-known “Gierach” name on top and look to the second slot.

IT’S LIKE THEY really won the ballot lottery. Or at least that’s the political “spin” they put on the issue.

Would that make one-time Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas the big winner; since he is the one who gained the second ballot slot out of the list of 21 candidates who currently are in the running for mayor?

Putting him ahead of Number three Willie Wilson and Number four Toni Preckwinkle? Or is this all a batch of political hooey intended to try to get us to think something significant is happening – when in reality we’re still just over two months away from Election Day.

And some four months from the likely run-off election April 2 that will actually decide who will be taking the oath of office as Chicago’s new mayor come the city’s Inauguration Day in May.

THERE IS ONE part of the Joyce campaign, however, that continues to intrigue me. For it seems that the alleged Daley family ally is actually the guy who filed the legal challenge to the mayoral nominating petitions of William Daley.
DALEY: Tense times with Joyce?

Could Joyce think that, if only, he could get a Daley name off the ballot, he might actually have a chance of achieving political victory? For many of the challenges that have been filed have been done with the “logic” of kicking off the candidate who most closely resembles one’s own (such as Preckwinkle allies being behind the effort to remove Susana Mendoza from the mayoral running).

“Mayor Joyce?” I don’t know how much of a ring it has to it. Would the type of Chicagoans who think the “Daley” name is synonymous with City Hall be willing to accept it? Will the Christmas holiday greetings between the two political families be particularly tense this season?

Or could all of this merely be evidence of how inane our political procedures are capable of being?


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