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The last time I saw Jim Ginderske, he was accompanied by a campaign manager dressed up like a duck. Or maybe it was a goose--he was wearing some sort of bird suit.
It was December 11, and Ginderske and dozens of other aldermanic candidates were lining up in the basement of the County Building to file their petitions for the February 27 municipal elections. Ginderske's pal was parading around in a bird suit to mock Moore for devoting time and energy on the foie gras ban. "We had a lot of fun with that stunt," Ginderske says.
That was then and this is now. Having finished third in a four-way race for alderman, Ginderske's just accepted an appointment to Moore's 49th Ward advisory zoning committee. Does this mean he's endorsing Moore over community activist Don Gordon in the April 17 runoff?
Not exactly. "I think Joe Moore's going to win," says Ginderske. "I believe we can either be an angry voice in the wilderness or we can stay involved. I want to stay involved in the community."
Ginderske thinks he'll have more of a community-oriented perspective than Jay Johnson, the advisory committee member he's replacing. A Moore campaign contributor, Johnson is the landlord who owns the apartment building, at 7706 N. Marshfield, where six children died in a fire last September. "I hammered Joe during the campaign for having Johnson on his zoning committee," says Ginderske. "He's not from the community. He doesn't live here."
Moore asked Ginderske to serve on the advisory committee a few days ago. "After the election, I sat down with both candidates who made it to the runoff," says Ginderske. "I talked about the things I felt should be done in the neighborhood. They both listened and were very polite. Frankly, I have more in common with Joe Moore than Don Gordon. But I've certainly not endorsed Joe, and I've made that clear."
So why did Moore name him to his advisory committee if he's not getting an endorsement in return?
"I open my committee to a diversity of views--it's not a rubber stamp," Moore says. "I was impressed by the way Jim ran against me. He called me to congratulate me. We got together to talk about economic development issues. We share a lot of common values. I felt that with Mr. Johnson's resignation it would be good to get Jim working on these issues in the ward. We haven't discussed in any detail whether he endorses me, and I'm not claiming in any way that he has."
The fourth candidate in the February 27 election, Chris Adams, has endorsed Gordon.