Keep the Shakman Monitor

 

Dear Honorable Judge Schenkier:

I am one of the 1,400 victims who received financial compensation as determined by Shakman Monitor Noelle Brennan and honorable Judge Wayne A. Andersen. In November, 2009 Mayor Richard M. Daley said he planned to ask the court to remove Chicago’s Shakman monitor. Upon hearing that I wrote Judge Andersen with my reasons why the Court should continue to monitor City of Chicago personnel (Exhibit 1.) I am once again asking the Court to maintain oversight of non-exempt Chicago employee’s. This time I feel my reasons for sustaining the Shakman monitor are far more compelling.

I believe that the discrimination from Shakman violations and the ensuing chilling effects against candidates and voters are worse today than ever before. The Cook County  Democratic Organization deliberately violated Shakman for the purpose of winning elections. Cook County Democratic party members were unduly elected to numerous Chicago, Cook County, and State of Illinois offices because its candidates received help from campaign workers who were in violation of Shakman. Once these Democratic party members started serving in their ill-gotten offices, they enacted restrictive election laws that discriminate against non-machine candidates and voters. Democratic party leaders are also appointing their cronies to fulfill unexpired terms at an alarming rate. 

The 2012 elections for the Illinois state legislature and Cook County bench are prime examples of the chilling effects that stem from Shakman violations. In the November 6, 2012 election, 90% of the Democratic state senate candidates from Chicago had no political opposition (Exhibit 2)). Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Chicago Democratic candidates for state representative did not face a political opponent (Exhibit 2). One hundred percent (100%) of the Democratic candidates for Cook County Circuit Court judge were without a political challenger (Exhibit 2). The results of these state legislative and judicial elections were highlighted because Chicago is where Shakman violations started and where you will decide whether or not to sustain Chicago’s Shakman monitor.

The FBI uncovered and stopped Shakman violations 8 years before the 2012 elections. The 2007 Shakman Accord was signed five years prior to the 2012 elections. Yet, the harm that Shakman violations inflicted upon 2012 candidates and voters are more severe today because of the ongoing chilling effects caused by the Cook County Democratic Organization’s Shakman violations.

Shakman Accord Protects Candidates and Voters

The 2007 Shakman Accord covers candidates and voters’ rights during the time the Accord is in place.

Shakman Accord Section E (4) Candidates rights for Post Accord Any candidate for public office who alleges he or she is a victim of unlawful patronage practices at any time between the date of the entry of this Accord and the date the Accord has been ordered terminated by the court, may pursue legal remedies in this court or other rights provided by law. 

Shakman Accord Section H (1) Accord Claims and Other Relief Applicants, employees, candidates, and voters may file for post-Accord claim relief under the post-Accord claim procedure set forth herein or may seek relief as otherwise provided by law.

As state above, the 2007 Shakman Accord is far more than just stopping the City of Chicago from making personnel decisions based on political affiliations and political work. Though the Shakman Monitor greatly reduced the banned patronage practices since 2005; nonetheless, the candidates and voters are still victims of previous patronage violations as evidenced by the lack of political competition and accountability. The Court should not allow candidates for the Cook County Democratic Party to maintain their advantages and control over political opponents and voters that it gained through violating Shakman.

Shakman violations are roots of a poisonous tree. Unduly elected officials are the base of the poisonous tree. The election laws that Cook County Democrats stop non-machine candidates and voters from exercising their right of free speech are the branches of the poisonous tree. As with the original 1969 lawsuit and settlements, the 2007 Shakman Accord is meant to insure the Cook County Democratic Organization doesn’t violate the constitutional rights of candidates and voters.

Onerous Election Laws Resulted from Shakman Violations

Democrat Michael J. Madigan has been Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1983 until present. The only exception to Speaker Madigan’s reign was when Republican Lee Daniels held the position between 1995 and 1996. In addition, Madigan has long held patronage leadership positions as 13th Ward Democratic Committeeman and Chairman of the Illinois Democratic party.

A recent Tribune investigation revealed Speaker Madigan heads at least a 400 member patronage army that includes Chicago city employees as well a county and state workers (Exhibit 3). Madigan’s patronage workers donate to his campaign funds, register voters for him, and circulate petitions for Madigan and his favored candidates (Exhibit 3). Madigan’s patronage army “influences elections in every corner of the state.” Many of Madigan’s patronage workers campaign in elections far from Madigan’s home district (Exhibit 3).

Streets and Sanitation Personnel Director Jack Drumgould was a witness at the trial of former Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez. Drumgould implicated Speaker Madigan in Chicago’s job and election rigging scheme (Exhibit 4). He said under oath that there were so many of Madigan patronage employees working in the Bureau of Electricity, that the bureau was referred to as “Madigan Electric”. 

Donald Tomzak plead guilty and testified at the Robert Zorich trial that three consecutive Intergovernmental Affairs commissioners told him which candidates he and his patronage workers were to support (Exhibit 5). After Tomczak’s patronage army successfully campaigned for the machine’s favored candidates, Tomczak’s illicit campaign workers were rewarded with city jobs, promotions, and desirable work assignments in violation of Shakman.

Tomczak’s testimony putting the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the center of Shakman violations is extremely significant. The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs was chosen to violate Shakman over the Personnel Department because the OIGA works with elected officials and governments outside the City of Chicago. Furthermore, the OIGA is charged with influencing legislation in the Illinois General Assembly where Michael Madigan has been Speaker of the House for nearly 30 years.

Mayor Richard M. Daley served in the Illinois State Senate for eight years. Daley knew that providing state senators and state representatives with campaign workers and patronage jobs was the surest way to have the Illinois General Assembly pass legislation in his favor. The Mayor Daley administration deliberately violated Shakman and provided Speaker Madigan with patronage workers because Madigan was and is Illinois’ most influential politician.

Tomczak testified in federal court that his patronage group of up to 250 patronage workers campaigned for state representatives and state senators (Exhibit 5). House Speaker Madigan also had 400 or more patronage workers to campaign for him and his democratic backed candidates. As with Tomczak’s group, Madigan’s patronage workers traveled to various legislative districts depending on the need (Exhibit 3). 

Shakman violations forged an illicit relationship between state legislators and City Hall. State legislators received patronage jobs and campaign workers in violation of Shakman, and City Hall received favorable ballot access, appointment, and referendum laws in return (see table below).

Shakman Violations Chilling Effect on Candidates and Voters

1989
The Mayor Richard M. Daley administration starts violating the Shakman Decree in his first term of office.
1995
Illinois General Assembly empowers Mayor Richard M. Daley to appoint five members to a School Board that oversees Chicago Public Schools
1997
The Illinois state legislature changes election for Chicago mayor from a partisan to a non-partisan election. The number of signatures required for ballot access jump from 2,261 signatures for Democrats and 278 signatures for Republicans to 25,000 signatures for all candidates for mayor [65 ILCS 20/21-28(b)]. The new election laws are extremely beneficial to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Prior to these favorable ballot access changes, the Daley administration provided jobs and campaign workers to state legislators in violation of Shakman.
2004
The FBI uncovers and stops Mayor Daley’s administration’s rigging of jobs and elections. The fixing of jobs and elections that started with the mayoral campaign of Richard M. Daley ends 16 years later.
2005
Several months after the FBI discovers the Shakman violations, House Democrats ram through a 220 page election bill while only giving republicans one day notice. The bill doubles the required signatures to run for the Illinois state senate from 500 signatures to 1,000 signatures  [10/ILCS 5/8-8]. The number of signatures required for ballot access for Illinois state representative increase 67% from 300 signatures to 500 signatures [10/ILCS 5/8-8].
2007
Shakman Accord Signed
2010
Candidates from a registered party must submit signatures to fill a ballot vacancy. [10 ILCS 5/7-61].
2011
Richard M. Daley leaves the mayor’s office after having appointed 38% or 19 of Chicago’s 50 aldermen. 
2012
The democratically controlled Chicago Board of Elections invalidates 72% of signatures submitted by nine republican legislative candidates and denies all nine republican candidates ballot access. The denial of ballot access to the republican candidates is the result of the election law that passed in 2010 [10 ILCS 5/7-61].
2012
18 out of 20 state senator candidates (90%) from Chicago run unopposed. 28 of 36 state representative candidates (78%) from Chicago run unopposed. The high percentage of unopposed state senate and state rep candidates are the result of the 2005 increases in signatures for  ballot access and the 2010 changes for party nominated candidates.
2012
Aldermen loyal to Mayor Rahm Emanuel deny a referendum for an elected school board because aldermen in favor of the ballot question filed the referendum three minutes passed a deadline.
2013
Alderman loyal to Mayor Emanuel once again block a referendum for an elected school board. This time Emanuel’s followers fill all available slots with their referendums; thus, no room is left on the ballot for the question of an elected school board.
2013
The signature requirement for alderman increases two to five fold [65 ILCS 20/21-28].
2013
The ward remap Mayor Emanuel and his block of aldermen pass discriminates against opposition Aldermen Bob Fioretti and Nicholas Sposato. The remap removes all voters from the Fioretti’s ward making it impossible for him to win reelection. Sposato loses 80% of the voters in his ward.

 

Switch to Non-Partisan Election for Mayor Discriminates Against Candidates and Voters

Mayor Richard M. Daley flexed the political power he gained from Shakman violations to change the requirements to run for mayor in his favor. Daley called on his ally House Speaker Michael Madigan to switch Chicago’s mayoral election from a partisan to a non-partisan election. By changing to a non-partisan election, Mayor Daley eliminated the chances of him losing Chicago’s highest office like Mayor Jayne Byrne did in the 1983 Democratic primary. Democrats Richard M. Daley and Harold Washington ran against incumbent democratic Mayor Byrne. Daley and Byrne split most of the white vote in the democratic primary. This allowed African-American candidate Harold Washington to win the 1983 democratic mayoral primary with the highest vote total of 37%. Washington the democrat went on to win a close general election against republican candidate Bernard Epton. Unlike Mayor Byrne who lost her bid to stay in office by finishing second in a primary, Daley knew if he came in second in a non-partisan race he would have a second chance to win in a runoff election.

The 1997 change to a nonpartisan election for mayor of Chicago discriminates against Afro-American candidates and voters. Chicago democrats had ten times more registered voters than republicans in 1997, yet in a highly questionable political maneuver, democratic leaders eliminated party affiliation from Chicago’s election for mayor. Chicago democrat leaders put a non-partisan mayoral election solely in place to protect the job of white Mayor Richard M. Daley. 

African-American candidates stand a much greater chance of winning a democratic primary for mayor than a non-partisan election. Afro-Americans currently make up the largest segment of Chicago’s population. No Afro-American has come close to winning an election for mayor since Harold Washington won the 1983 Democratic primary.

The switch to a non-partisan mayoral election came after City of Chicago patronage workers in violation of Shakman campaigned for state senators and state representatives. Hence, the change to a non-partisan election was a direct consequence of Shakman violations. Because the non-partisan election for mayor of Chicago is still law, discrimination against Afro-American candidates and voters has continued from 1997 to the present.

The Republican party doesn’t have a designated slot on the ballot for mayor because Shakman violations led to Chicago elections being changed from partisan to non-partisan elections. To the best of my knowledge, there hasn’t been a republican candidate on the ballot for mayor of Chicago since the republicans lost their adesignated slot on the ballot. Shakman violations that contributed to the non-partisan mayoral election law continues to discriminate against republican candidates and voters in Chicago. 

Tenfold Ballot Access Increase for Mayor of Chicago 

As further protection for Mayor Daley, the signature requirement to run for mayor increased from 2,261 signatures for a democrat in 1995 to 25,000 signatures for 1999 mayoral candidates. The republican signature requirement jumped from 278 in 1995 to 25,000 signatures for republicans who were forced to run for mayor as non-partisan candidates. For Daley the 25,000 signature requirement was of no consequence. Thousands of city employees in violation of Shakman circulated petitions and collected signatures on behalf of Mayor Daley.

The 1997 restrictions to run for Chicago mayor were tainted by Shakman violations. State legislators were unduly elected through the use of City of Chicago job seekers and employees who after campaigning were rewarded with jobs, promotions and salary increases in violation of Shakman. The unduly elected state legislators returned the favor to Mayor Daley by passing onerous ballot access requirements that were extremely favorable to him.

A lawsuit challenging the 25,000 signature requirement was filed and four candidates who did not meet the required 25,000 signatures were allowed to run for mayor in 2003 (Exhibits 6 and 7). The state legislature reduced the signature requirement from 25,000 to 12,500 signatures before the 2007 mayoral election. During the legislative debate, republican State Representative Dave Winters alluded to illegal patronage workers. “We’re cutting in half the number of signatures required to run for mayor. It seems like a lot in a city of 3 million people that 25 thousand is not a huge burden, particularly with an organization that I understand is quite efficient at gathering signatures, fraudulent or not” (Exhibit 8). 

When Representative Winters spoke of “an organization” that is … “quite efficient at gathering signatures,” Winters was referring to the group of city employees who circulated petitions in violation of Shakman. More importantly, Winters said only one organization had the ability to meet the signature requirement to run for mayor of Chicago. Except for the candidate with the support of that one efficient organization, Winters made no mention of other candidates meeting the signature requirement for mayor.

Ballot access restrictions stemming from Shakman violations are still discriminating against candidates and voters today. Today candidates for mayor face onerous ballot access and voters can’t support candidates who espouse their views because Shakman violations led to restrictive ballot access for mayor of Chicago in 1997. 

Signature Requirement for State Senator Doubled 

In 2004 the FBI uncovered and stopped the Daley administration’s job and election rigging that started in 1988. The 16 year length of the scandal is significant because it shows the Daley administration and the Cook County Democratic Organization had no intention of ending the Shakman violations on their own accord. In all likelihood the job and election rigging scheme would still be going on today if the FBI hadn’t put a stop to it. 

Illinois state senators and state representatives were accustomed to having unfair and insurmountable advantages over their political opposition. No longer able to rely on campaign workers that resulted from Shakman violations to get elected, Illinois state senators and state representatives turned to ballot access restrictions to eliminate their competition. Several months after the FBI stopped the job and election rigging scheme, the Illinois General Assembly hiked the signature requirement to run for state senator from 500 signatures to 1,000 signatures. The Illinois General Assembly also increased the number of signatures to run for state representative from 300 signatures to 500 signatures. The signature hikes for state senator and state representative candidates were part of 220 page election bill that democrats rammed through the Illinois General Assembly after giving republicans one day to review.

The increases in required signatures to run for state senate and state representative are significant for several reasons: 

The state senate signature requirement increased 100%. 

The state representative signature requirement increased 67%. 

Candidates must submit three times the number of required signatures if candidates stand any chance of surviving challenges to their signatures validity.

The signature increases for state senate and state representative virtually eliminated all of the democratic party’s political opponents. 

Assistant Democratic Leader and State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie provided a flimsy reason when she called for increasing the number of signatures to run for state senator and state representative (Exhibit 8). Currie proposed increasing signatures to run for state senate and state rep because it hadn’t been done in a long time. Currie didn’t argue that candidates numbering the size of a telephone book made additional ballot access restrictions necessary. If Curry did, it would have been contrary to fact. In the 2004 election, the election previous to the 2005 signature requirement increases, 53% of the state senate candidates from Chicago ran unopposed and 56% of the candidates for state representative did not have an opponent. Given that more than 50% of the candidates ran unopposed in 2004, the 2005 ballot access restrictions for state senator and state representative were onerous and unwarranted.

Republican Dave Winters vehemently opposed the ballot access restrictions in the Illinois House of Representatives that Speaker Michael Madigan controlled. Winters said, “This is a 220 page bill that was delivered to us yesterday. It has every wish list and grab bag of the Democratic Party to try to expand the number of votes that they can get in the next election, fraudulent and legitimate. It is an unbelievable expansion of voter potential fraud. If we pass this Bill it will probably end the competitive nature of elections in this state for the rest of our lifetime” (Exhibit 8).

The 2005 ballot access restrictions for state senate and state representative were tainted because House Speaker Michael Madigan used illicit campaign workers in violation of Shakman to elect himself and his democratic allies. Since the ill-gotten 2005 ballot access restrictions for state senate and state representative remains law, the discrimination against candidates and voters not affiliated with the Cook County Democratic Organization is continuing today. 

House Speaker Madigan’s unlawful use of patronage workers and ballot access restrictions unfairly changed the Illinois House of Representatives’ balance of power. Because of Shakman violations and ballot access restrictions, Illinois Democrats went from 65 Republicans to 53 democrats in 1995 to the current 71 Democrats and 47 Republicans (Exhibit 9). Since Madigan currently controls a super majority of votes, Madigan has the power to override the Illinois governor’s veto and push through any legislation he wants. 

Madigan will become the longest serving speaker of the house in the history of America (Exhibit 10). As with baseball players on steroids, Madigan’s record is undeserving because his accomplishment is due to the support he received from Shakman violations and the use of onerous election laws to unjustly eliminate the competition of democratic legislators who serve under him.

The Chicago Democratic machine has discovered that ballot access restrictions are more useful tools to discriminate against their opposition than campaign workers in violation of Shakman. Representative Winters was a prophet when he said the 2005 voting bill would end competitive elections in our lifetime. In the 2012 election, 90% of the state senator and 78% state representative candidates in Chicago ran unopposed. It is no surprise that the democratically controlled Illinois General Assembly has failed to correct this infringement on the rights candidates and voters.

Every time a democrat ran unopposed for state senate and state representative, the Cook County Democratic Organization rendered voters irrelevant on election day. In 2013 the democratically controlled Illinois General Assembly increased the 2015 signature requirement to run for alderman up to five times compared to the 2011 election. The Cook County Democratic party is in the process of wiping out its political competition for alderman just as it eliminated political competition for state senator and state rep.

Appointments for Alderman Discriminated Against Candidates and Voters

Appointments for alderman is another way Chicago Democrats and mayors are  discriminating against candidates and voters. In Mayor Richard M. Daley’s sixth and final term, he appointed his nineteenth alderman to the 50-member Chicago city council (Exhibit 17). Five of Mayor Daley’s 19 aldermanic appointments occurred after the 2007 Shakman Accord. 

Daley’s appointment of 38% of the aldermen undermines the democratic principle of separation of powers. The Chicago City Council is supposed to check and balance Chicago’s executive branch of government which is headed by the mayor. With so many alderman indebted to Mayor Daley either through appointment or campaign help from Shakman violations, the city council became nothing more than a Daley rubber stamp. Today 16 of the 19 aldermen Daley appointed still serve in the city council.

Appointing Chicago alderman at a rate of one per year has continued during Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s tenure. Mayor Emanuel has appointed two alderman in his first two years in office. Emanuel appointed Deb Mell to replace her father, Alderman and Democratic Committeeman Richard “Dick” Mell. Emanuel appointed Natasha Holmes to fulfill the remaining 28 months of Sandi Jackson term after Jackson resigned and plead guilty to federal corruption charges.

Illinois law gives Mayor Emanuel the authority to appoint an alderman to fulfill a vacancy if there is 28 months or less before the end of the alderman’s 48 month term (65 ILCS 5/3.1-10-51). The appointment law for alderman may be unconstitutional. Under the current law, an appointed alderman can serve up to 28 months of a 48 month term without voters voting in an election. Indeed, the appointment law for Chicago alderman violates the American political principle of majority. The majority principle applies not only to the majority of votes, but also to the majority of time. Recently appointed Alderman Natasha Holmes will serve 58% of a four term when 7th Ward voters elected someone else to represent them.

The Suspicious Timing of Sandi Jackson’s Resignation

The timing of Alderman Sandi Jackson’s resignation and Mayor Emanuel’s appointment of her successor is highly suspicious. Alderman Jackson did not attend committee, city council, or community meetings in the several months leading up to her resignation. Jackson faxed her letter of resignation to Mayor Emanuel on January 11, 2013 (Exhibit 12), but said her resignation wasn’t effective until January 15, 2013. Jackson effective resignation date and Mayor Emanuel’s legal authority to appoint her successor were both January 15, 2013. Alderman Jackson purposely chose her effective resignation date of January 15, 2013 because it was the first day the law allowed Mayor Emanuel to appoint an alderman to fulfill her term.

There was an important date missing from Sandi Jackson’s resignation letter. The missing information reveals her and Mayor Emanuel’s intent to deny 7th Ward residents their right to vote for their new alderman. The resignation letter that Sandi Jackson sent to Mayor Rahm Emanuel on January 11, 2013 was undated (Exhibit 13). There is little doubt that Jackson purposely left her termination letter undated in an attempt to hide the deliberate delay of her resignation until Mayor Emanuel had the legal authority to appoint her successor. Though Jackson faxed her termination letter to Mayor Emanuel on January 11, she wrote that her resignation won’t take effect until January 15, 2013.

Mayor Emanuel appointed his cronies to a search committee who in turn recommended Emanuel’s preferred choice. Community groups usually sponsor three to five debates for candidates for alderman during the municipal election cycle. Attendance for these community sponsored events can range from 50 local residents to several hundred. Emanuel’s two aldermanic search committees never held public forums in the wards in which it recommended successors. Hence, the voters were never given a chance to scrutinize and compare possible appointees firsthand before Mayor Emanuel selected them. Mayor Emanuel’s search committees for alderman are nothing more than attempt to deceive the public into believing the mayor uses a fair and democratic process before appointing an alderman.

The delay of Alderman Sandi Jackson’s resignation until Mayor Emanuel had the legal authority to appoint Natashi Holmes is another example of how Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Democrats continue to discriminate against candidates and voters. Mayor  Emanuel’s appointment of Alderman Natasha Holmes denied 7th Ward candidates for alderman the opportunity to run for the office, The appointment also denied 7th Ward voters their right to select their representative. 

Mayor Emanuel’s appointment of Natasha Holmes also discriminated against voters in Chicago’s other 49 wards. Alderman Holmes votes on citywide issues, such as the city budget, longterm leases, ordinances, referendums, and ward remaps. Mayor Emanuel can count on Alderman Holmes voting his way as long as the two are in office because Holmes is in Mayor Emanuel’s debt for appointing her alderman. 

Alderman Tom Allen’s Appointment to Judge Discriminated Against Candidates and Voters

Alderman Tom Allen maliciously “ridiculed” and “condemned” Noelle Brennan after she released the 2007 Shakman Accord names and awards (Exhibit 14). This is just one example of what Alderman Allen said to print and TV journalists. “‘We’ve got potholes to fix. We spend $20 million on snow removal and the federal monitor decides in her infinite wisdom to give somebody $75,000 because they lost an election? Can I sign up for that program?’’” If Allen had any doubts about the 2007 Shakman settlement, he should have voiced his disapproval before he cast his city council vote to approve it.

Allen’s concern about paying for the Shakman monitor’s fees and awards was a sham. Allen retired at age 58 shortly before new pension rules would have made him wait until age 67 to start receiving his $91,000 a year city pension (Exhibit 15). Allen arranged to have himself appointed to the position of circuit court judge before he retired from the city council. Allen collects both his $91,000 a year pension and his $178,835 a year judge’s salary (Exhibit  15). Allen’s false and derogatory comments about Shakman payments were motivated by his personal greed and status as a democratic leader.

Alderman Tom Allen’s appointment to judge involved at least two back room deals. One back room deal involved Allen’s appointment to the bench. The other was the appointment of Allen’s successor. These back rooms deals are where the discrimination against candidates and voters occurred. Allen is a member of the Cullerton political dynasty. A Cullerton family member has been the 38th Ward alderman for 107 of the last 139 years (Exhibit 16). Allen was appointed alderman in 1993 when Alderman Thomas Cullerton died. When Alderman Allen was appointed judge in 2010, Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed another Cullerton family member, Tim Cullerton, to succeed Tom Allen. Tim Cullerton’s sister is Patricia J. Cullerton, the 38th Ward Democratic Committeeman. Tom Allen’s sister is married to Tim Cullerton, which makes the previous 38th Ward alderman Tom Allen and the current 38th Ward alderman Tim Cullerton brother-in-laws. 

The discrimination against candidates and voters occurred when two simultaneous appointments, one for judge and one for alderman, went to members of the same political family. No one other than a Cullerton stood a chance at being appointed 38th Ward alderman or circuit court judge.

State Senator John Cullerton is the President of the Illinois State Senate. He, too, was first appointed to his state senate seat. This makes a total of three Cullerton family members who were first appointed to their elected offices. Alderman Tim Cullerton, Judge Tom Allen, and State Senate President John Cullerton received a head start by virtue of their political appointments. When Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Deb Mell to succeed her father Richard Mell, Mayor Emanuel continued the practice of aldermanic seats belonging to families instead of voters.

When I first learned of Tom Allen’s appointment to judge of the circuit court, I spoke with the Illinois Bar Association’s Judiciary Committee Chairwoman. She told me that the Illinois Supreme Court did not submit Tom Allen’s name for the Judiciary Committee’s review as is customary. The chairwoman did not have an explanation why the judiciary committee was not given a chance to vet Allen before his appointment, but I do. Allen was appointed to the bench because of his blue blood political connections rather than his stellar legal qualifications.

Allen’s former machine colleagues in the Chicago city council council blocked a public referendum on an elected school board. As with his former colleagues, Judge Tom Allen acted against the Chicago Teachers Union, students and their parents when he ruled to close ten Chicago public schools. He said, “The Legislature knows what is doing” (Exhibit 17). Allen never mentioned in his decision that a super majority of state legislators are his Democratic political allies. If Allen had not been given his questionable appointment to the bench, he would not have been in a position to provide such a flimsy excuse for closing ten Chicago public schools. 

Allen went from one Chicago political machine job to another throughout his adult life. He was an aide to Alderman Tom Cullerton, Public Defender for the Cook County State’s Attorney, alderman, and now a circuit court judge. Since Allen is beholden to the Chicago machine for every job in his entire 35 year professional career, Judge Allen’s Chicago Public School decision was a forgone conclusion before the case reached his desk.

2012 and 2013 Blocked School Board Referendums Discriminated Against Voters

In 1995 the Illinois General Assembly bestowed Mayor Richard M. Daley with the power to appoint five school board members (Exhibit 18). Four years later the Illinois General Assembly increased the number of school board members from five to seven (Exhibit 18). Shakman violations which led to the unduly election of state senators and state representatives tainted the switch to an appointed Chicago school board. Mayor Daley provided state legislators with patronage jobs and campaign workers and in return the state legislators gave Mayor Daley the power to appoint a seven member Chicago school board. Since the appointed Chicago school board remains law, the discrimination against voters that began in 1995 is still ongoing today.

When Mayor Emanuel and his allies blocked referendums for an elected school board in 2012 and 2013, they also discriminated against voters. In 2012 aldermen loyal to Emanuel used a minor technicality as an excuse to deny voters in 10 Chicago wards a chance to cast a ballot for an elected school board. Alderman Joe Moore, who is an ally to Mayor Emanuel, said the matter of an elected school board couldn’t appear on the ballot since the aldermen filed their ballot question three minutes passed the deadline (Exhibit 19). 

Chicago is the only school district in the state that does not elect school board members (Exhibit 20). Emanuel’s motivation for blocking an elected school board is obvious. As with his predecessor Richard M. Daley, Mayor Emanuel wants to continue to control student admissions, patronage jobs, lucrative contracts, and political favors that comes with managing the Chicago Public Schools. Two of Mayor Emanuel’s allies are set to receive millions of dollars as landlords for new Chicago charter schools (Exhibit 21). A school board comprised of members the mayor appointed made these contracts possible. 

In 2008 reporters uncovered a “clout list” belonging to Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan. The clout list involved admission into schools that had up to 50 times more applications than openings for students. The discovery of the Chicago Public Schools’ clout list came four years after the FBI discovered a separate clout list on Intergovernmental Affairs executive Robert Sorich’s computer, and one year after the signing of the 2007 Shakman Accord. Duncan’s clout list included the names of 25 aldermen, House Speaker Michael Madigan, Mayor Richard M. Daley’s office, and many other elected officials who sought admissions to exclusive public schools (Exhibit 22). The Chicago machine turned the public schools’ clout list into campaign contributions and votes.

In 2013 Mayor Emanuel’s allies successfully stopped a second elected school board referendum. This time aldermen loyal to Emanuel exploited Illinois’ referendum law to deny voters their right to choose school board members. Illinois law allows only three referendums per election. Aldermen with close ties to Emanuel packed the ballot with three referendums so independent aldermen could not add another referendum (Exhibit 23). Thanks to Mayor Emanuel and his loyal aldermen, the question of an elected school board cannot appear on the 2014 ballot as it would exceed the legal limit of three questions. 

Given Chicago’s current three limit referendum law and Mayor Emanuel’s domination of the city council, Chicago residents chances of voting for an elected school board are nil.

The 2013 Redistricting Discriminated Against Candidates and Voters

When Mayor Emanuel and Chicago machine aldermen passed a new ward map in 2013, they discriminated against two aldermen and the voters who support them. The Cook County Democratic party choose to target these aldermen for obvious reasons (Exhibit 24). One alderman was a harsh critic of mayors Daley and Emanuel, and the second alderman beat the machine’s candidate in the last aldermanic election. 

As punishment for his outspokenness and representation of independent voters, the new ward map removed every single voter from Alderman Bob Fioretti’s 2nd ward. To make it even more improbable for Fioretti to remain an alderman, Fioretti’s current home no longer resides in his 2nd Ward when the 2015 election occurs. “‘Was I targeted by the remap? No, not by the Rahm remap,’ Fioretti said sarcastically. “It was all his remap. It just says you can’t be too vocal against the mayor” (Exhibit 25). Mayor Emanuel can’t find a candidate to beat the popular Fioretti at the polls, so instead Emanuel used the ward remapping to end Fioretti’s career as an alderman.

Nicholas Sposato was a Chicago firefighter before he was elected alderman in 2011. Sposato beat incumbent Alderman John A. Rice. Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Rice to fill a vacancy after Alderman William Banks retired. Rice worked for Banks as an aldermanic assistant. Banks made sure that Daley appointed Rice to succeed him as Banks was the Democratic Ward Committeeman at the time of Rice’s appointment. In Chicago’s political hierarchy Banks remained Rice’s political boss even after Daley appointed Rice alderman. 

The remap of Sposato’s ward is retribution for Sposato beating out Mayor Daley and Alderman Bank’s handpicked successor for alderman. “‘’They destroyed  me,’ Sposato said. ‘It was a no-brainer, Bob Fioretti and myself were destroyed when they {took} 100 percent from him and 80 percent from me. This is the community I lived in my whole life. They gerrymandered me back into my own ward. I had one little southwest corner of the ward where I live.’” (Exhibit 25).

The 2013 Ward remap is significant because it is the first remap since the 2007 Shakman Accord. State law allows the Chicago City Council to remap its own wards if 80% or more of Chicago’s 50 alderman approve of the new ward boundaries (65 ILCS 20/21-39). If more than 20% of the aldermen do not approve new ward boundaries, then Chicago residents vote on competing ward maps that different factions of aldermen submit for a citywide vote. Since 82% or 41 aldermen approved the ward remap, voters won’t have a chance to vote their preferences for ward boundaries.

Chicago’s 2013 ward remap involved more than political horse trading. According to federal court witness Donald Tomczak (Exhibit 5), candidates for aldermen were the beneficiaries of campaign workers in violation of Shakman. Independent aldermen such as Fioretti and Sposato face an uphill battle since most of their colleagues are members of the Chicago machine. Because of the length and breadth of Shakman violations, the Chicago machine still maintains control of almost every city council seat. The 2011 election for mayor and aldermen was the first election since the 2007 Shakman Accord. A few aldermen who aren’t under the control of Chicago machine were elected in 2007, but not enough to stop a 2013 ward map that discriminated Aldermen Fioretti and Sposato, 2nd and 36th ward voters, and voters in Chicago’s remaining 48 wards.

The Mayor Emanuel administration and the Chicago machine erroneously believe that their sole responsibility is to stop unlawful patronage. The 2007 Shakman Accord explicitly opposes discrimination against candidates and voters. Aldermen Fioretti and Sposato were specifically targeted because they were not loyal and obedient members of the Chicago democratic machine. In its quest to eliminate Fioretti and Sposato as opposition aldermen, Mayor Emanuel and his Chicago democratic machine aldermen also discriminated against Chicago voters.

Shakman Violations Led to Discrimination of Cook County Circuit Court Judicial Candidates and Voters

The FBI proclaims it, “Rooted Crookedness Out of Government” after “Operation Greylord” agents finished their investigation into Cook County Circuit Court corruption (Exhibit 26). By the time Operation Greylord ended, “92 officials had been indicted, including 17 judges, 48 lawyers, eight policemen, 10 deputy sheriffs, eight court officials, and one state legislator. Nearly all were convicted, most of them pleading guilty” (Exhibit 26). The FBI said Operation Greylord was “an important first step to cleaning up the administration of justice in Cook County.”

Unfortunately history repeats itself, especially in Chicago politics. The current system of appointing, electing, and retaining judges makes the possibility of Cook County Circuit Court corruption greater today than when Operation Greylord crimes were committed 30 years ago. In the November 6, 2012 election, only democratic judges were on the ballot. What’s worse, all 28 judges were elected without opposition (Exhibit 2). Discrimination against republicans and other non-machine judicial candidates is the reason all 28 democratic candidates for judge did not have an opponent. After Shakman violations allowed Democrats to control the Illinois General Assembly, Democratic state senators and state representatives deliberately created a biased system for the purpose of installing democrats as judges. The Cook County Democratic Orgainzation’s primary mission is electing democratic judges, not justice.

House Speaker Michael Madigan is the person most responsible for the discrimination against candidates and voters for circuit court judge. Speaker Madigan used Chicago employees as campaign workers in violation of Shakman to elect himself and other democratic representatives. Federal court witness Donald Tomczak testified that his political group of Chicago city workers campaigned for state legislators in violation of Shakman (Exhibit 5). After their tainted elections, Madigan and his fellow democrats enacted legislation that gave democratic judicial candidates unfair advantages. The change to the current Cook County Circuit Court judicial elections occurred in the 1990s when Shakman violations were at its peak (Exhibit 27). Since the current system of selecting judges was created when Democratic party leader Michael Madigan and his legislative cronies were using Chicago employees in violation of Shakman, the discrimination against candidates for judge and voters is currently ongoing.

Madigan knows the system for selecting judges because he created it. He also knows he can sway every administrator who runs the judicial system because they are beholden to him as Democratic Party Chairman. Between 2003 and 2011, Madigan recommended 37 lawyers for associate judge. Twenty-five lawyers on Madigan’s list were selected and won their election for judge (Exhibit 28). Another eight lawyers that Madigan recommended were appointed judge (Exhibit 28). 

The court should be concerned about political appointments, including the appointment of judges, because the Cook County Democratic Organization uses appointments as a backdoor way to install its members into elected offices. Cook County Democratic Organization leaders purposely wrote appointment laws to favor members of its party. Between appointments and elections, 33 of 37, or 90% of the lawyers backed by Madigan reached the Cook County Circuit Court bench.

Once democratic candidates for judge win their first election, it amounts to a lifetime appointment. Instead of running for an election against an opponent, sitting judges run for retention. In 23 years of judicial retention elections, only one judge wasn’t retained (Exhibit 29). However, the one unretained judge won an election to a higher court. As voters cast ballots against retaining John P. Tully to the circuit court, Tully simultaneously ran and won an election to the appellate court. In the last election on November 6, 2012. all 57 judges were retained, including one judge who has been on indefinite suspension (Exhibit 29).

Anton Valukas was the chief Operation Graylord prosecutor when he served as the U.S. Attorney. Valukas called the current method of electing and retaining circuit court judges “ridiculous” (Exhibit 30). According to Valukas, “The issue right now is competence and the fact that you continue to have politics involved in this process always opens the door to the potential of corruption in the future. So why have a system that does that?” (Exhibit 27) The answer to Valukas’ question is simple. House Speaker Madigan and his fellow Cook County democrats want to keep the current judicial election and retention system because it makes it easy for democratic judges to win elections without any opposition. Since judges are always retained, democratic leaders need to win only one election for their candidates. Election are mostly uncontested as was the case for 28 out of 28 democratic judges running in 2012. Once the formality of elections are over, the democratic party has political allies on the bench for the remainder of their careers.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Past Connections to Shakman Violations

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has the stain from Shakman violations on him from his previous elections. At the Robert Sorich trial, Donald Tomczak testified that his Water Department patronage workers campaigned for Rahm Emanuel. Tomczak provided Emanuel’s campaign with up to 225 patronage workers in violation of Shakman when Emanuel ran for the U.S House of Representatives. Below is an excerpt from Tomczak’s federal court testimony (Exhibit 5).

Q. Did you ever receive any instruction from [Intergovernmental Affairs Commissioners] Mr. Reyes or Mr. Doerer for any congressional races?

A. Yeah. Rahm Emanuel.

Q. What office do you recall Mr. Emanuel running for?

A. Congress.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins’ two questions about Emanuel’s congressional campaign were meant to show patronage workers in violation of Shakman unduly influenced elections from alderman to the U.S. president. During testimony on the same day, Tomczak explained how he received orders for his campaign organization and how his patronage workers were rewarded with city jobs, promotions, etc. after campaigning for candidates like Emanuel. If Collins’ motive was other than showing how many different offices the city’s patronage workers campaigned for, we may of had more details about city patronage workers helping to elect Emanuel to the U.S. Congress.

Mayor Emanuel has staked his claim of ignorance of patronage in his congressional campaign only in the media. The reason why Emanuel received patronage help from the Daley administration was because Emanuel proved his loyalty to Mayor Richard M. Daley when Emanuel was an aide to Daley. Furthermore, when Rahm Emanuel served as Mayor Daley’s aide, Shakman violations were regularly occurring.

In December, 2009 Mayor Richard M. Daley publicly said he was going to ask the Court to remove the Shakman Monitor. Daley sought the removal of the Shakman Monitor in preparation of his possible reelection campaign. Now Mayor Rahm Emanuel is doing the same thing as his predecessor Daley. Mayor Emanuel is seeking the removal of the Monitor as a means to help him win his reelection. 

The Shakman Monitor and the Court should not be used to bolster Mayor Emanuel’s campaign for reelection, especially since the Court’s assignment of a Monitor stemmed from the Cook County Democratic Party discriminating against candidates and voters, including candidates and voters in the congressional district that Emanuel represented. Now is not the time for the Court to end Chicago’s Shakman Monitor. At the very least, the Court should postpone the removal of the Shakman Monitor until after the 2015 election for mayor.

Since Mayor Rahm Emanuel is Chicago’s Chief Executive Officer, candidates and voters need to hear from him under oath his reasons why the Shakman should be removed. Questions about Emanuel’s past involvement in Shakman violations is relevant to the decision before the Court. Mayor Emanuel answering questions under oath will speak to his fitness to lead Chicago without patronage.

Conclusion: Keep the Shakman Monitor

The need for a Chicago Shakman Monitor is a very small piece of how the Cook County Democratic Organization discriminates against candidates and voters. The big picture reveals candidates and voters are worse off today then when the 2007 Shakman accord was signed. The Cook County Democratic Organization continues to discriminate against candidates and voters and will do so for as long as the chilling effects on candidates and voters from Shakman violations remain.

The length of the Cook County Democratic Organization’s discrimination indicates the continuing need for a Shakman Monitor. The Cook County Democratic party willfully violated the Shakman Decree for 16 years. Chicago’s Shakman Monitor has only served nine years. Shakman violations would still be going on today if the FBI had not uncovered and stop it. Cook County democrats failed to stop violating Shakman on their accord, and they have a substantial history of failing to police and correct their own misconduct. 

The significant number of people involved in Shakman violations is also a valid reason for retaining the Shakman Monitor. For example, the Clout List that the FBI found on Robert Sorich’s computer contained the names of over 5,000 job applicants and employees. Many city employees who were hired in violation of Shakman are still working for the city and have moved into managerial positions as a result of their tenure. Children who are victims of child abuse are more likely to commit child abuse. Similarly, employees hired in violation of Shakman are more likely to violate Shakman themselves.

The untrustworthy leadership of the Cook County Democratic Organization exacerbates the need for the Court to monitor for patronage. As previously mentioned, Illinois House Speaker and Chairman of the Democratic Party Michael Madigan was implicated at the Al Sanchez trial. Madigan received City of Chicago patronage jobs which has helped him maintain his job as House Speaker and Democratic State Chairman. Madigan refuses to change his ways. His involvement with patronage has been investigated as recently as January, 2014 (Exhibit 31). The Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Organization Joe Berrios is currently embroiled in a patronage dispute with the Cook County’s Ethics Board (Exhibit 32). In April, 2014 attorney Michael Shakman claimed Illinois Governor Pat Quinn hired patronage employees in spite of the rules that prohibit it (Exhibit 33). Thus, the chairman of the state democratic party, the chairman of Cook County Democratic Organization, and the democratic governor have all been recently implicated for patronage violations. How can the Court remove Chicago’s Monitor when the most influential democratic leaders are so disreputable?

The first Shakman settlement was more than 30 years ago when Richard J. Daley was Chicago’s mayor. Richard J. Daley’s son Richard M. Daley served as mayor from 1989 to 2011. The second Mayor Daley set up such an elaborate system to violate Shakman that Shakman violations went undetected for 16 years. Chicago politicians are addicted to patronage and are incapable of following the Shakman Decree without constant supervision. Chicago politicians can’t stop patronage no more than drug addicts can stop using drugs.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has already demonstrated his disdain for candidates and voters. Two times Emanuel and his allies blocked voters from voting on an elected school board via a referendum. Emanuel and his allies redrew Chicago’s ward map so that Emanuel’s harshest critic, Alderman Bob Fioretti, neither lived in his ward nor represented any of the voters who voted for him in the previous election. Emanuel’s appointment of Natasha Holmes to fill Alderman Sandi Jackson’s vacancy discriminated against 7th ward candidates and voters. Emanuel could have publicly called out Jackson when she submitted her post-dated resignation to him. Instead Emanuel said nothing because his silence allowed him to appoint an alderman who was beholden to him. Given the criminal investigation of Sandi Jackson that preceded her resignation, 7th ward voters should have nominated their own candidates and voted for their alderman to representative them instead of Emanuel anointing Jackson’s successor. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s leadership style is more of a dictator than a democratic leader who seeks consensus and support from voters. Emanuel’s tendency is to make more political enemies than friends. Emanuel previously had the support of the city’s illicit patronage workers when he ran for Congress. If patronage workers in violation of Shakman supported an Emanuel campaign before, it is likely that it will happen again.

The Cook County Democratic Organization continuing to infringe upon the rights of candidates and voters since the FBI uncovered Shakman violations in 2004 is why I strongly oppose the removal of the Monitor. Six months after the FBI raided City Hall, the democrats had the audacity to increase the signature requirement for state senate by 100% and state representative by 67%. The chilling effects on candidates and voters are evident on every election since 2005. Take the last election for example. In 2012, 90% or 18 out of 20 democratic candidates for state senator from Chicago ran unopposed. Also in 2012, 78% or 28 out of 36 democratic state reps from Chicago ran unopposed. During the same election, 100% or 28 out of 28 democratic candidates for judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County ran unopposed. The Cook County Democratic Organization is now in the process of eliminating political competition for alderman just as Cook County democrats have eliminated competition for state senator, state rep, and Cook County judge. The Cook County Democratic Organization has used every means possible, including violating Shakman, to win elections. The Cook County Democratic Organization cannot be trusted to honor or preserve the rights of candidates and voters.

Exhibit List

1. Correspondence from Jay Stone to Honorable Judge Wayne A. Andersen

2. 2012 Election Results Retrieved from Chicago Board of Elections website on Nov. 12, 2013

3. Madigan Builds Army One Favor at a Time, Chicago Tribune, Jan. 5, 2014

4. Witness: Daley backers rewarded with jobs, Chicago Sun Times March 6, 2009

5. Transcripts United States v. Robert Sorich

6. Candidates seek state court for lawsuit, Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Ill. Dec. 31, 2002: 

7. Daley challengers allowed to run, Chicago Tribune, Dec. 25, 2002

8. Transcripts State of Illinois 94th General Assembly House of Representatives

9. MADIGAN’S 71-47 MAJORITY, Retrieved Jan. 22, 2014  from russtewart.com

10. Madigan Set To Become Longest-Serving State House Speaker, Retrieved on Jan. 22, 2014 from nbcchicago.com

11. Appointments Are A Good Deal for Mayor, Alderman, Not Voters, Chicago Tribune, July 25, 2013

12. Alderman Sandi Jackson Resigns from Chicago City Council, Chicago Tribune, January 11, 2013

13. Alderman Sandi Jackson’s Letter of Resignation

14. Aldermen blast ‘clout victim’ payment to Stone, Chicago Sun Times, March 28, 2008

15. Ald. Allen to leave City Council for judgeship, Chicago Sun Times, Nov. 5, 2010

16.Daley Appoints Aldermen: Tim Cullerton, Jason Ervin, Shirley Newsome Get Nods, Chicago Sun Times, Jan. 13, 2011

17. Judge denies request to keep 10 Chicago schools open, Chicago Sun Times, July 31, 2013

18. About the Chicago Public Schools Board ‘s History, Retreived on January 22, 2014 from cpsboe.org/about

19. Ald. Joe Moore takes heat for blocking vote on Chicago school board election, Chicago Tribune, July 23, 2012

20. Aldermen want voters to weigh in on electing school board, Chicago Sun Times, August 30, 2012

21. Landlords for 2 proposed Chicago charter schools have ties to Emanuel, Chicago Sun Times, Jan. 16, 2004

22. Secret [redacted] clout list for Chicago Public Schools, Retrieved on April 25, 2013 from wbez.org

23. Emanuel allies fill ballot with referendum questions, Chicago Tribune, December 9, 2013

24. Who’s your alderman? Chicago Tribune, April 3, 2013

25.Boundary war(d)s, Retrieved on December 12, 2013 from ColumbiaChronicle.com

26. Operation Greylord, Retrieved on Dec. 16, 2013 from FBI.gov

27.Who is judging the judges? Retrieved on Dec. 5, 2013 from wgntv.com

28.Madigan letters offer glimpse of clout in Cook County judge selection, Chicago Tribune, April 15, 2011

29.Despite bad reviews, shaky mental health, judge likely to be retained, Chicago Sun Times, Oct. 13, 2012

30. Issues of qualifications: Subcircuit judges often less touted, Retrieved on Dec. 5, 2013 from wgntv.com

31.Report: Mike Madigan influenced Chicago transit hiring, retrieved from Crain’s Chicago Business website on June 3, 2014

32. County Ethics Board Recommends Assessor Berrios Fire Son, Sister retrieved Chicagoist website on June 3, 2014

33.Quinn taken to court over patronage hiring at IDOT. retrieved from Chicago Tribune’s website on June 3, 2014