Here are some things I'm noticing from the Coleman/Thompson showdown around the neighborhood as April 17 approaches. Incumbent alderman Shirley Coleman has lots more signs up--Thompson favors weekend lit drops. Someone from Thompson's campaign left me literature last Saturday but when I tried to get her to talk to me she went across the street.
Word is Coleman held a breakfast not last Saturday but the one before for election judges. Hmmm....
Within a week after the election there was a crew out patching potholes on this block. I laughed out loud when I looked out the window and saw them putting down new asphalt.
The campaign is getting down and dirty on both sides. Thompson had a robo-call out in the last two weeks accusing Coleman of being friends with Hal Baskin, a former gang leader turned community activist. While there have been questions floating around for years about how former Baskin's gang ties really are, it's pretty clear to me he and Coleman aren't friends. His signs from running against her years ago are still up and fading along both Ashland and 51st.
Today I got a piece of literature from the Committee to Re-Elect Shirley Coleman accusing Thompson of being a union stooge, responsible to "Boss Tom Balanoff" and others (sorry I forget all the union guys they named). It was pretty amateurish in content, though nicely designed and the essence was not wrong--yes, Thompson is financed almost entirely by SEIU and other unions to a lesser extent.
Although I've heard from two or three ordinary citizens in various part of the ward that they are tired of Coleman and are ready for a change, I see Coleman at important events here (like the March Peace and Education Coalition meeting) and I don't see Thompson anywhere.
The only thing I can figure about this runoff is it will likely be close. Thompson had more of the popular vote than Coleman did in the first round (very bad for an incumbent)--I think it was 42 to 36 or something like that. But who knows who will show up for the runoff, and it's clear Coleman is trying somewhat harder now than she was in March.
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- Chicago Tonight: Coleman vs. Thompson
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