I voted for Bob Fioretti on February 24.
He is my alderman, a long-time friend and colleague--and a Rahm-basher of huge proportions.
And I do mean HUGE.
I generally like my aldermen. From the crooked Fred Roti to the girl's girl Madeline Haithcock to fellow attorney Bob Fioretti, I was there for them, as I believed they were for me. And Fioretti had that special place in my heart; I knew him way before he was the alderman of the Second Ward. In fact, I was one of the first people he consulted when deciding to run. I--and two other of his friends in the ward--even became part of a trio of board members on his initial PAC.
I thought he was nuts running against "the machine" in 2007, but he knew the demographics and he knew how to campaign and he impressed the heck out of me not only by beating the machine back then--but also staving off a ton of challengers without a runoff in 2011.
I also love Fioretti for being a big-time Rahm basher, for seeing through all of Rahm's BS: the lies, the complete disregard for people from Chicago and issues dealing with Chicago--no matter what he says now about loving Chicago school children and sitting with shooting victims' families.
Fioretti was a great spokesperson for it all. And no matter what you hear today about Fioretti's new found Rahm love, believe me when I tell you he was 100 percent with it when he called the mayor out on just about everything. He disliked Rahm as much as I do. Or you do.
But politics makes strange bedfellows. And Fioretti is sleeping with the enemy now.
With his insane endorsement today, he's making a fool out of everyone who supported him, appreciated him--and really, really liked him because he was Rahm's greatest critic, the loudest and most uninhibited thorn in Rahm's side. He was the guy from the progressive caucus who was willing to go farther than anybody else: he actually ran against Rahm, rightfully putting him down ever more along the campaign trail.
But he got only seven percent of the vote. And raised little money.
He wanted to be where Jesus "Chuy" Garcia is today. A darling of the progressive voters, the school teacher voters, the Rahm disgruntled voters. He wanted to be the mayor. But he isn't going there. It wasn't meant to be.
Instead of perceiving Rahm as the enemy, as he should, he now sees Chuy as such. Chuy ruined his dream. Chuy is his nemesis. Chuy won the prize. And the enemy of his enemy apparently is not his friend. And that is crazy. Really crazy.
We all have dashed dreams. We have all been consumed by intense jealousy and irrational envy. An overpowering emotion that keeps us from seeing straight. And Bob Fioretti is currently consumed by the green-eyed monster. He is jealous as all get out. So jealous that he is cutting off his nose to spite his face. And cutting off the regard that people in this city had for him because he was saying what we all felt about Rahm: that he was no damn good.
Right now, the Rahm people are laughing at him. And us. What did the last four years mean, Bob? What are you doing? Maybe it isn't jealousy? Does Rahm have a carrot out for you? A job, perhaps? Or a stick? Does he have something on you?
Fioretti never had much to lose by running, since Rahm and his City Council lapdogs gerrymandered him out of his ward. Broke it into four parts and actually took our south and west side Second Ward and put it on the north side. Fioretti could have moved into the new boundary a few miles away and kept going. But he didn't. He ran against Rahm.
And he was bolstered in his race by the alderman who voted against Rahm even more than Fioretti did: Scott Wauguespack.
I had heard through the years from many friends and neighbors that Fioretti betrayed people. There were so many instances that I heard about in the ward, I can't even begin to list them here. He was disloyal. He promised so many times to vote one way and he voted the other; promised so many times he'd do one thing in the ward; and he did the other. Gave his word that something would happen in the ward; but it didn't. His dependability was nil, I'd heard from more people than I can count. But I chose to ignore all of it.
Until today, I was willing to take it on the chin and still have his back.
But today, I see him for what he is: betraying his voters, betraying his friends--and most of all, betraying his principles, which I fear he may have nary a one.
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