Lone Woman Has Saviano on Edge
By RAY HANANIA • Southwest News-Herald Newspaper Friday, November 02, 2012
Kathleen Willis was a long time activist in DuPage County at a time when the only thing a politician could be was Republican. So how did she end up in the center of a fight on the Southwest Side and suburbs?
Willis switched to the Democratic Party to run for State Representative against 10-term incumbent Angelo “Skip” Saviano in the 77th House District.
Saviano is known for his occasional temper tantrums but it’s the viciousness of his followers that caught my attention. Saviano’s supporters have made derogatory and personal attacks against Willis, referencing to her weight. It’s very unprofessional.
Rather than address Willis or contain the ugly personal mudslinging, Saviano has run to the media claiming he is a “victim” of Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.
When a do-nothing politician wants to distract voters from his poor record, they always try to make Madigan the issue. But Madigan has been on the right side of a lot of issues that have put him in conflict with Saviano.
For example, Saviano is best known for his defense of McPier, the political bastion of taxpayer waste. When it was controlled by disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his cronies, Saviano introduced bill after bill to dump funds into the sinkhole of spending at the McPier.
He claims Madigan is mad at him because of McPier and because he has slammed Lisa Madigan, the Illinois Attorney General, who has rightly challenged allegations of mob influence in a proposal to build a casino in Rosemont. But many of the people involved in that effort were close to mobbed up investors.
Madigan is a Democrat. He supports qualified Democratic candidates who seek legislative office. He’s been effective fighting hard for the region and the state. Saviano finds that difficult to understand.
Saviano attacked Madigan because the downtown Chicago media attacks Madigan. The notoriously biased Chicago Tribune, flagship of a collapsed Republican fiefdom, hates Madigan.
The Tribune endorsed Saviano claiming they can’t reach Willis, but I found her easy to reach. Here’s her Web page: http://www.kathleenwillis.org.
The Tribune hates Madigan because Madigan stopped the Tribune from getting tax money to bail out their former baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, and renovate Wrigley Field. The Tribune was forced to sell the Cubs and they have always blamed Madigan.
Allies of Saviano organized a phony “community forum” in the west suburbs last week. Willis went to defend her record. When she got there, she was ridiculed and attacked personally. But she had one key ally, Southwest Side Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-12th).
As soon as Sandoval got up to speak to defend Willis, the organizers tried to shout him down. Sandoval’s message was clear.
“The Republicans have never cared about the concerns of the Latino community. It’s the Democrats who have supported Hispanics,” Sandoval said over and over again.
The meeting erupted into confusion. Saviano’s activists tried to push Sandoval to stop talking. But he refused to budge. Sandoval is not called “El Cabello” for nothing. Here’s the link to the video. You HAVE to see it!
I don’t know if Willis will defeat the whining Saviano. But I do know she is backed by a lot of good people like Madigan and Sandoval who continue to be shamefully slandered by Blagojevich’s pals.
When the going gets tough, Sandoval is the guy you want on your side.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and political analyst. Reach him at http://www.TheMediaOasis.com — City & Suburban News-Herald