Thursday, June 20, 2019

Now it’s Burke’s spouse who’s paying for his purely political ‘sins’

Is Anne Burke now as much a political … 
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, the spouse of the alderman now under criminal indictment, is coming under her own partisan fire from people upset with politics-as-usual – rather than actions meant to benefit themselves instead.

Burke is the alderman who is going to push to the limit a defense that his actions in the City Council are merely the way things get done. It seems his wife will wind up having to make the same arguments over-and-over.
… target as husband Ed?

FOR IN THE case of Anne Burke, she has the authority to make appointments to fill vacancies within the judiciary of Cook County. It would seem that she used her power to place people with whom she has political ties.

Which has more activist-types offended that Anne Burke didn’t give preference to “their” people instead of “her” people.

Her first offense occurred earlier this month when she used her authority to appoint a white attorney to be a judge in a sub-circuit meant to cover much of Chicago’s West Side. The intent when the sub-circuit was created in the 1990s was that it would somehow result in more judges of an African-American persuasion being picked.

Now, politicos of Latino ethnic origins are offended.

THEY SEE A different sub-circuit – one meant to cover city neighborhoods such as Pilsen, Little Village and Back of the Yards (all of which have become Spanish-speaking enclaves) and stretching out to Cicero. Where there also is a predominance of people who habla en Espanol.

Yet as various Latino aldermen and legislators are pointing out, that judicial post was given to Cara Smith, whose qualifications were serving as an aide to the Cook County sheriff’s police, where Sheriff Tom Dart is a long-time ally of Alderman Burke.

There also are signs that she gave Burke’s aldermanic re-election campaign last year a significant campaign contribution, which has those of a more criminally-conspiratorial mindset thinking she bought the judicial post. Anyway, she was sworn in to the post on Monday.
GARCIA: As critical of her as much as him

It wasn’t given to an attorney of Latino origins. For all I know, there were no such attorneys who were even considered for the post.

THE LATINO POLITICOS, including Rep. Jesus Garcia, D-Ill., who sent along a letter of support, are trying to make this an issue of ethnic prejudice, just as those interested in the initial appointment wanting to see it as a case of black political empowerment being undermined.

Of course, there’s also the fact that the Latino activist types tried seriously in the aldermanic elections this year to undermine Ed Burke and get him defeated from the City Council post he has held for half a century.

Garcia was prominently behind that effort – which failed, as voter turnout was particularly strong in the precincts of his ward that still have sizable white-ethnic populations – rather than the parts that have become solid Latino (mostly Mexican-American) neighborhoods.

So I don’t doubt this is partisan politicking, just as much as the Burkes’ activities may have its own political taint.

THEY COULDN’T BEAT him on Election Day (Ed solidly won re-election as alderman without a runoff, while Anne won a 10-year term to her Supreme Court post last year), so they’ll dredge up other dirt.
The image the alderman may be giving off

Which may, or may not, be true. In politics, “dirty pool” is downright fair – or to be expected – from all sides.

So I don’t doubt that much of these allegations is about trying to make up for Burke electoral victories – which some of those of an activist mentality likely regard as defeats for the good of the people. At least their people.

And taking a few pot shots at Ed Burke’s wife may hurt him just as much as anything they fire off directly at him. Although it does create the possibility that Burke will take great offense to Anne being criticized and could add people to his personal ‘enemies’ list.

WHAT’S THAT OLD cliché, remembered by many as a line from the film The Godfather? “Revenge is a dish that tastes best when it is served cold.”

The bottom line is that we could be in for an ugly political war, with Ed Burke doing his best to be none other than “Don Corleone” himself.


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