Quick Hits – February 16, 2023

Quick Hits – February 16, 2023

I’m here to help!

I’m thinking someone in Elgin city councilperson Corey Dixon’s posse must read my columns. Because after we discussed the missing A1 report required after he paid off $3,362.50 in Illinois State Board of Elections campaign financing fines on January 18, the errant A1 magically materialized – 23 days late.

For reference purposes, had Dixon not settled those fines with the ISBE, he would’ve been bounced from the ballot which would’ve essentially ended his mayoral run.

That most recent tardiness means Dixon will be fined another $500, the payment of which will require another A1 report, which will inevitably be late, which will mean another fine, which will require another A1 report, which will inevitably be late, which means another fine…

It sounds like a lot like a contemporary nursery rhyme, doesn’t it?

Call me crazy, but I’m thinking if the State of Illinois encourages Dixon to run for a variety of offices going forward, they could close our $6 billion budget gap in five short years.

But while this sad scenario is more than a bit humorous, it’s not that funny because this is just more evidence that councilman Dixon believes the rules apply to everyone else but him. Elgin! You deserve so much more than a mayoral candidate whose casual disregard for the process boggles the mind at a time when minds are already boggled.


Chicago 50th ward aldermanic candidate Mueze Bawany isn’t fit to lead, either

My staunch readers are already aware of my vast affinity for Chicago’s northernmost Rogers Park neighborhood, a place I happily called home for the better part of a decade.

There’s the incredibly diverse East Rogers Park with its stately brownstones, ethnic restaurants, and the amazing lakefront. The predominantly Jewish West Rogers Park once sported some of the best Kosher deli’s on the planet. A Saturday afternoon drive west through Devon Avenue’s Little India with its occasional Pakistani, Jewish, and Russian stores, culminating in a bagel and lox sandwich from The Bagel, is one of my fondest memories.

I still have my hand recorded Visotsky cassette tapes from a hole-in-the-wall just-off-Devon Russian music store. Were it not for Chicago’s abysmally poor leadership I’d move back to Rogers Park in a nanosecond.

And speaking of “poor leadership,” much like the neighborhood itself, that 50th ward city council race has turned into quite the study in contrasts. On the one hand we have the generally sedate three-term incumbent Debra Silverstein who gets things done for her district without attracting much attention.

But on the other there’s challenger Mueze Bawany, a Chicago public school teacher of Pakistani descent who’s done nothing but attract attention through a series of I’ll-advised tweets. Those sub-280-character 2019 invectives included, “F*** Israel and f*** all of you Zionist scum,” referring to a white woman who called him out as a “cracker,” and finally advising her to “F*** off honky.”

He sounds like a really nice guy, doesn’t he? And call me crazy, but I’m not sure that a “F*** Israel” tweet will go over very well in a district that’s almost 50 percent Jewish.

Bawany apologized for the tweets telling the Tribune that “They are not representative of who I am.” But I think they are, because barely after those pithy platitudes escaped his foul mouth, another set of more recent similar tweets surfaced:

  • He referred to Nancy Pelosi as “some f***ing honky feminist”
  • He wrote “Tell me why no one should f*** this cop up?” in response to a Chicago police officer accused of assaulting a pre-school student
  • He twice insisted on defunding the CPD
  • Then he claimed “The American people are pretty f***ing stupid.

Alright, I’ll give him the last one, and I have to say I’m fascinated by his singlehanded attempt to bring the word “honky” back. But the rest aren’t likely to win him many friends.

Called on the carpet by the Trib once again, Bawany asked “not to be judged for how I showed up on social media during my low times, but how I’m committed to show up for my neighbors now. I cannot and do not defend my tweets.”

But then, in a classic case of misdirection, he did defend them by telling the Tribune, “I hope that Ald. Silverstein’s record receives as much scrutiny as my deleted tweets.” And just how many “low times” can one candidate have? We’ve all gone through those dark passages, but the vast majority of us haven’t felt the need to resort to a series of publicly posted anti-Semitic, misogynistic, and racist tropes.

Craig Ferguson did an hilarious bit on how the Hollywood “elite” tried to excuse Mel Gibson’s anti-Jewish rants by claiming he was drunk; “I’m like, “really? You can get that drunk?” I was a blackout drunk for 15 years, but I never went ‘Third Reich’ on anybody’s ass at any point.” So, while I fully believe in the Studs Turkel-esque notion of redemption being right around the corner, I’m also equally convinced that Mr. Bawany isn’t fit to serve on a student council, much less the far more difficult Chicago variety.

And while its fascinating to watch Bawany desperately trying to tread political water, what really frost my Oreos is the Chicago Teachers Unions’ response to his unique take on diversity and tolerance.  After the tweets surfaced, the CTU, who have wholeheartedly supported his candidacy, said they were “offensive, hurtful, and unacceptable,” but noted that “he’d apologized.”

Right! Had he posted the N-word, no amount of contrition would’ve sufficed. And when Bawany loses, which he inevitably will, he’ll blame everyone but himself for torpedoing his candidacy in such a magnificent fashion.

It’s also important to note that the candidate deleted those tweets long before he choose to run for alderman. But some enterprising soul clearly saved them for future use. As the great Judge Marilyn Milian frequently admonishes us, “Say it forget it; write it regret it.”

Rogers Park! You deserve so much better than this boob.

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