by Mike Lenehan
Here's another report from the 25th Ward from the reader who calls himself Giles Morris:
It's 9am and the work rush is winding down at the polls. The polling places are a trip. The election judges worrying about whether there's enough decaf or donuts. Some of the places are schools and then you have the principals freaking out about their teachers' parking spaces. I witnessed one amusing sign dispute at a polling place that's split between the 2nd and 25th Wards. The building engineer was tearing down all the signs on school property and chucking them in the dumpster. A guy working for 2nd Ward candidate David Askew bristled, called the State's Attorney over, and got his signs back and put them up where they'd been. Meanwhile all the poll watchers are inside with their clipboards checking off the voters who they think have voted with them.
I noticed a few things in the morning that were interesting. First, nobody has seen the HDO [Hispanic Democratic Organization] candidates in the 25th Ward for the last two months. They haven't participated in any of the forums, they don't go walking, they haven't shown up in public at all. Then today, there are HDO volunteers with Daley/Del Valle signs on every corner in the Ward and their signage is all over the place. The signs are designed to look exactly like the Daley/Miguel Del Valle sign but they are for Aaron Del Valle, Al Sanchez's lieutenant who is running for alderman. The signs don't even have his first name. HDO's ground machine still works. Most people think that they are only hoping to be spoilers for Solis because of the animosity between the camps.
Medrano's people are definitely working for Morfin. He has a good showing from his people. His candidacy has been a story in good luck and hard work, and I have a feeling he will run a strong second in this election. Padilla has no street operation to speak of. Juan Soliz has a lot of guys going around in trucks and plastering signs everywhere but no reps at the polling places.
The Medrano folks are grumbling that the Supreme Court had quiet orders from somewhere to hold their decision until late, in order to create maximum havoc in the voting process and to prevent any counter-actions. Who knows? But the Supreme Court would be pretty indignant if they heard that accusation.
The over all feel this morning is that Solis has the upper hand, that HDO is pushing its apparatus and will make a dent, and that Morfin is running hard to force a runoff.
The weather, which wasn't bad this morning very early, is getting colder and colder. Volunteers will have a hard time standing outside for long. If it snows later, the voting numbers will drop significantly.
That's the news so far in the 25th. I'll make a run around the precincts around lunch time and see what's up.