Tom Tunney, the alderman who represents Wrigleyville and Boystown, did something unusual this week. He voted against a piece of legislation that was supported by the mayor. It is only the second time that Tunney has voted against mayoral wishes.
And both of the issues Tunney has voted against directly affect his private enterprise as owner of Ann Sather Restaurants.
This week, he voted against raising the minimum wage in Chicago. His other “no” vote was against free parking at meters on Sundays. He says free parking prevents people from visiting businesses. Like, say, his.
Every one of his other votes has been directly in line with the mayor–including budgets that have led to the loss of 25% of the cops in our district since October 2011. And it looks like the residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown should settle in for another four years of Tom Tunney working on behalf of his personal interests instead of theirs.
Three men collected signatures in an effort to get themselves on the ballot to run against Tunney in the upcoming municipal elections—Robin Cook, Scott Davis, and Mark Thomas.
This week, a former Catholic priest who lives in a condo complex next door to Tunney’s filed objections to all three of the men’s petitions to get on the ballot. He did not file any objections to Tunney’s petitions.
The three potential opponents now face the potentially expensive and time consuming process of defending their petitions before the Board of Election Commissioners.
Charles Schutt, who has contributed to Tunney’s campaign in the past, filed the objections. He lives at 2800 N. Lake Shore Drive, directly next to Tunney’s condo building at 330 W. Diversey.
Schutt claims Mark Thomas’ papers should be rejected “in their entirety because [Thomas] does not satisfy the residency requirements of the Illinois Municipal Code in that he has not been a resident of the 44th Ward..for the requisite one-year period.”
Thomas, who has owned and operated The Alley stores at Clark and Belmont for decades, told supporters last year that he would be moving to an apartment in the 44th ward by early October 2013. He recently shared photos of that apartment, which overlooks Belmont Harbor.
Schutt alleges that the petitions of Cook and Davis contain too many invalid signatures for those men to be placed on the ballot.
A few weeks ago, Robin Cook set up a GoFundMe.com account in an attempt to raise funds for his fledgling campaign against Tunney. His efforts have drummed up $1,070. And exactly one comment. It’s from Charles Schutt.
|Schutt’s comment on Robin Cook’s GoFundMe page.
Cook has a long way to go beyond $1,070. Tunney’s campaign fund balance is $241,446.72
Tunney has not had an opponent since being elected to the City Council in 2003.
This story from the February 13, 2003, Chicago Reader about Tunney’s candidacy and how his supporters tied up opponents in petition signature battles may sound familiar.