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West Side Story

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 22, 2007 1:50PM

2007_3_rumble.jpgShit is starting to fly in the 2nd Ward. (If candidate Larry Doody were in the runoff, the number of potential poop-themed jokes would be truly astronomical.) During the campaign, the local chapter of the National Organization for Women rescinded their Fioretti endorsement, citing a five-year-old case in which a female court reporter filed for an order of protection against Fioretti, who was then a practicing lawyer — charges that were eventually vacated. Now NOW has reconsidered, saying that those charges had “no basis in fact,” and has re-endorsed Fioretti. But that hasn’t stopped incumbent Madeline Haithcock.

Over the weekend, Haithcock put out a mailing charging Bob Fioretti with being a stalker. Fioretti has filed a temporary restraining order against her, but she is standing by her allegations that he is a "stalker of women," telling the Sun-Times that Fioretti is "the one who harassed [that woman]. She was afraid. If somebody is terribly afraid of you, you're called a stalker. I didn't make this up."

Adding to Fioretti's headache are former challengers Larry Doody and David Askew, who recently endorsed Haithcock. Citing guided development and a "smart growth" perspective, as well as provisions for ample parking in the ward, they say that she is "the best choice in the runoff on issues that most concern their supporters." Both men have spoken with Haithcock about the issues raised in the campaign, which she called "spirited," and are urging their supporters to back her, according to a joint press release. "She understands the concerns of people who supported me," said Askew, and "she is going to fight for us on parking, affordable housing and continued job development," said Doody.

Regardless of what happens in the hearing on April 3 (a scant two weeks before the vote) over the mailings, Fioretti seems to have his hands full playing defense to Haithcock's methodical and classic approach to this challenge. Whether or not he can activate and maintain his base and turn out a larger vote than her remains to be seen.

Bernie Stone's son, political renegade and occasional pundit Jay Stone, called the 2nd Ward for Fioretti. Stone's analysis is predicated on Fioretti getting substantially more votes than Haithcock in the municipal election. If every person that voted for Doody and Askew votes for Haithcock, then she swamps Fioretti. But that's not likely. Sure, Haithcock can turn out the vote, but it's a fair bet that some portion of of the Doody/Askew vote will go to Fioretti. Stalker charges are serious (Blair Hull, anyone?), but five-year-old, dropped "charges"? Here's hoping that voters in the second ward are paying closer attention to issues of substance.

Image via Villagers with Torches.