For all you pols, publicity-seekers, and just plain readers out there who have been wondering how Sun-Times gossip Mike Sneed tells the good guys from the bad guys, here's an instructive little chump-to-champ story, told in Sneed's own words.
January 28, 1988:
"Little Louie . . .
Ah, clout! Isn't the Mayor's Office of Employment and Training rife with pals of Ald. Luis Gutierrez? Will Mayor Sawyer use this as a weapon to keep the salsa snarler in check? Check it out."
May 23, 1988:
"Ola! [sic] The key to the next mayoral election? It's too complicated to explain in this space. Just suffice it to say the ethnic bloc that will be wooed, cooed, feted, chachaaaaaed and merengued is . . . the Hispanic block [sic]. The castanets have already begun clicking. Listen."
October 17, 1988:
"Little Luis . . .
So guess what 'radical' alderman is now sporting braces on his teeth, driving the ultimate yuppie vehicle (a BMW) and wearing Brooks Brothers suits? A bag of pesos if you guessed Ald. Luis Gutierrez, the City Council's Che Guevara."
Then, something happened:
April 2, 1989:
"Little Luis . . .
Sneed's ears are resonating with prattle that Ald. Luis Gutierrez has noticed a lack of 'Little Luis' labels in this column since he endorsed Richie Daley for mayor . . . and Luis thinks there is a correlation. Sorry, Luis. We'll adjust it immediately."
April 25, 1989:
"Sneed hears one of the front-runners for the city treasurer's spot is a high profile Latino male who asked to help balance the Dem ticket in 1991. And this fella ain't so 'little' anymore . . ."
September 19, 1989:
"The Spigot Saga: Ald. Luis Gutierrez, who donated the first $1,000 to the Puerto Rican Relief Fund for victims of Hurricane Hugo, found himself mired in a muddle Monday. Puerto Rican House, the center that will be handling the relief effort, had no water--because the city had turned it off for a delinquent $2,000 water bill! So Luis donated $300 and got the water commissioner to hook up the water. Bravo!"