Evanston mayoral candidate Elizabeth Tisdahl brought U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to town to campaign for her today.

Tisdahl, stung by charges from opponents that she’s part of a “machine” of established politicians in town, filled the bar area at Pete Miller’s restaurant downtown with supporters — including U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who embraced the machine label.

More than 100 people turned out for the event — including most of the city’s incumbent aldermen — and retiring mayor Lorraine Morton, who urged Tisdahl to run.

Meanwhile, outside the bar on a rainy Sherman Avenue, candidate Barnaby Dinges trolled for votes, in what he has portrayed as his insurgent campaign for mayor.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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17 Comments

  1. How much does an event like this cost?
    A event like this costs $3,000 to $5,000, maybe more, this appears to be well beyond what we need in a local election. Why do we need Federal elected officials coming here for a local Mayorial election? This makes little sense.

    In a sense it projects poorly on all those involved, Ofcourse most of them have little concern for the taxpayers, many who are having a hard time paying their bills.

    Wait till next year, if Liz is elected she already stated there have been enough layoffs at the city, read been the lines a tax increase!

  2. Tisdahl and “Values”
    Classic. I wish I could buy friends in high places. I would be more thrilled if Senator Durbin was an old boyfriend rather than a line item in the Tisdahl household expenses.

    “She was there for me.”

    She looks like a checkbook with glasses.

    I love the comment about sharing the same “values”. She means “value” like money.

    As for Dinges and “trolling”? I think that guy has gumption. All determination all the time. Maybe that’s the difference between the foster kid and the trust fund kid. You use what you’ve got.

  3. Peanuts
    So, Rep. Schakowsky treasures the same “values” (*cough* MONEY!) as Ald. Liz Tisdahl, and Sen. Durbin showed up in appreciation of a large donation. While it’s nice to see someone out there trying to stimulate the the economy with campaign contributions and a free brunchtime soiree at one of the town’s most expensive restaurants. Money can’t buy you love they say, but it sure can buy an election.

    Liz Tisdahl seems to operate on the same quasi-ethical playing field as the rest of those politicos from which she’s trying desperately to distance herself. I think she may have shot herself in the foot with this charade.

    I mean the old Republican base will see her in the political beds of staunch Democrats, while the liberals should be left with an odd taste in their mouths. That taste is “POLITICS,” something we try to ignore here, as municipal elections and elected officials are supposedly absent of party affiliation.

    Is Tisdahl saying to us that she’ll be a conduit to Washington for Evanston constituents? Do we care about such a conduit?

    I don’t want this kind of stewardship from my mayor.

    That’s why I’m voting Opdycke. Stu is a class act and a very eloquent speaker. He’ll make a good ambassador for Evanston, both inside and out.

  4. Pork Buddies
    Tisdahl’s biggest plus seems to be that she would be able to pull a lot of federal pork belly spending to Evanston. So if the currently proposed $1.8 Trillion deficit for the federal government in 2009 is not enough for you, sure vote for Tisdahl. (2008 deficit was ~$486 Billion).

    Personally, I’d like someone who would be able to control spending locally, reduce the cost of living in Evanston, and be able to constuctively improve the business environment in Evanston.

  5. Mean Spirited Blogging Nothing More than Sour Grapes
    So let me get this straight…in a time of economic crisis we don’t want a Mayor who has good, personal “pick up the phone” type relationships with the very state and federal officials who are in a position to help the city and its citizens? Forgive me for saying so but were you people always picked last for soft ball? Did you go to prom with your cousins? Do you resent everyone that is better educated than you or that by working hard has made more of their lives than you have? Because that is what ALL OF YOUR POSTS SOUND LIKE. It is because of people like Liz Tisdahl that we HAVE qualified leaders like Senator Durbin, Congresswoman Schakowsky and President Obama. The next time any of you have an urge to spew some more uninformed venom, why don’t you take a moment and think about doing something positive instead. Take a page out of Liz’s book and actually DO something instead of sitting around being negative. Oh wait, that would require you all to think and that doesn’t seem to be a “strength” for any of you.

    1. Proud Evanston Democrat View of “You People”
      Can someone read this without being offended? Were you a loser because you couldn’t play sports? Are you a redneck that dates your cousin? Are you an ignorant dolt that couldn’t finish school?

      I don’t see venom in the other posts, I see concern about the direction we are going. What I do see from the “Proud Evanston Democrat” is an elitist attitude that says you don’t know what is good for you so get out of our way.

      In a time were Illinois politics is the shame of the world, you would think that the constant pay to play politics would be shunned. We’ll see on April 7th.

      1. Proud Evanston Democrat and Education Qualifications
        I would just like to point out, I happen to be more educated than Tisdahl:

        “She’s a rarity among Evanston officeholders in that she’s not a college graduate. She says that while she attended Bryn Mawr College, she was an avid tennis player. She says she burned herself out and was frequently sick as a result, which interfered with completing her degree.”

        http://evanstonnow.com/government/mike-logli/story/2008/06/08/meet-the-alderman-elizabeth-tisdahl

        I finished my Northwestern degree. I am sure you can give me 50 arguments for why completing a degree does not matter and look at her other accomplishments.

        But I ask you honestly, without her money and no college degree, where on earth do you think Elizabeth Tisdahl would be?

    2. More Sour Grapes…
      Hey, we’re all proud Evanston democrats! I think our only Republican died last year?

      The Feds help Evanston? Lol! Maybe when it’s possible to fight the fiendish friends of Ridge Ave. (“Would you like brand new traffic signals for free??!? Uggh, no, they don’t measure up to our historical design standards.”) or the local tree mafia.

      And when does dropping out of Bryn Mawr and managing a family estate count as “better educated” and “working hard”? This is a Beidler, people, old old money, the estate valued at $2.5 million IN 1893!

      As for the personal attacks, i.e. the softball/prom thing, that is laughable and a truer definition of “sour grapes”. Now go “pick up the phone” and try to get another DNC member to embrace your local candidate. There’s got to be someone freshly toasted that could use some butter (*cough* MONEY!).

      Why all this fuss about Evanston’s mayor? They are powerless anyway. Sure they can veto, but trying to overrule an 8 to 1 vote is hopeless.

      Anyways, I’m curious how these phone calls for help are going to sound like…

      “Hi, Jan, is your husband still out of jail? Good, good… Remember the $2,000 I gave your re-election campaign last year? Well, I’m hoping that bought me the leverage to ask for your help for my affluent North Shore community. Yeah, well we really need help with rehabbing our indoor ice rink. You see, we need to get kids off the streets… Unfortunately the citizens, and God Bless them, they declared Robert Crown an historical landmark. It needs $50 million in repairs…”

      1. charming and unique traffic accidents
        Anonymous Coward says:
        “The Feds help Evanston? Lol! Maybe when it’s possible to fight the fiendish friends of Ridge Ave. (“Would you like brand new traffic signals for free??!? Uggh, no, they don’t measure up to our historical design standards.”) or the local tree mafia.”

        This is a good point, Anonymous Coward. I forgot about this issue. For those who aren’t aware:

        Read more here.

        This is yet another reason why Mimi must be defeated in the 9th. ( Mimi has a link to the above story on her website. Apparently she is proud of her efforts to stop the City from getting new , safer stoplights – paid for by IDOT.)

        p.s. : Anonymous Coward, you really should identify yourself. Posting anonymously is shameful and dishonorable. Chuckie Dawes never posted anonymously.

  6. Illinois Democrats are corrupt to the core
    Proud Evanston Democrat says Jan Schakowsky and Dick Durbin are qualified leaders?

    Durbin, one of the highest ranking Democrats, refuses to push for a special election in the midst of the ongoing and shameful Blago and Burris controversy that shined the light on the pay-to-play politics in Illinois.

    BTW-Schakowsky, who has received tons of union money and support, was considered by Blago to take Obama’s seat. Time will tell if the Feds have anything on her in the pay-to-play politics.

    So, with Schakowsky and Durbin’s strong support of Tisdahl, the stinking sewage-like corruption we see on the state level is seeping its way into Evanston.

    Oh, just to let you know Proud Evanston Democrat, I will do something about this.

    Once I choose which mayoral candidate to support (leaning toward Opdycke), I will campaign with feet and finances to make sure Tisdahl loses.

    I encourage everyone who don’t want to see their taxes rise and allow the unions to control city politics, to do the same.

    Signed,
    Proud working stiff, taxpaying family man.

  7. Tisdahl Receives Political Endorsements In Exchange For Cash
    Thanks, Bill for posting this, I unfortunately was speaking at the LWVE on Saturday while this was going on. I didn’t hear Sen. Durbin (D) Big Jim or Con. Schakowsky (D) Durbin mention anything about the cash that Ald. Tisdahl (D) Schakowsky has given them over the years from her fortune. Gosh, most people ring doorbells, canvass, hold coffees or in my case, anger management clinics (disgusted by the situation in Washington, Springfield and (yes, everyone) Evanston. In fact imagine my surprise when I went for an endorsement session from the IVI_IPO yesterday and was greeted by Ald. Bernstein (D) Tisdahl, Cook County Commisssioner Larry Suffredin (D) Todd Stroger (who’s decisive vote on increasing Evanston and Cook County sales tax by 1 % gave Toddler his victory) And Jeff Smith (I) himself. Gee whiz, I always thought the IVI was Independent, I can handle Jeff Smith, who has been independent and strictly neutral in all my contacts with him at CSNA, but Bernstein & Suffredin? How many voters do you think know that these 2 are on the IVI-IPO? Pretty few I’d imagine. As far as all the candidates looking to help improve Evanston’s economic development, wouldn’t they first have to criticize the Suffredin/Stroger ((D) Daley the 2nd) tax increase. Then could they get the Evanston machine/Chicago machine/ Cook County machine ( all 1 machine, but informative to break down) to rescind the onerous tax.

    Finally, it’s good to know that mayoral candidate Barnaby Dinges was “trolling” (huh) in the pouring rain for votes from the regular citizens (peasants), while the “Machine” (royalty) was warm inside Pete Miller’s (unaffordable to a lot of Evanston resident’s, was McDonald’s too low brow-ie: Dollar Menu for this well heeled and connected crowd, oh that’s right they have the money- our tax dollars) congratulating each other on their alleged successes. If the reality of the multitude of failures achieved by this “machine” in Washington, Springfield and Evanston that we currently are facing and will continue to face, doesn’t smack of hypocrisy, I don’t know what does. Shame on them, let’s vote this crowd out. They’re truly upset that the coronation of Ald Tisdahl as the next mayor was not a red carpet walk like they expected. Message to anonymous posters, show some courage and step out from your anonymity. Who knows, it might lead to better dialog and even credibilty.

    Kevin O’Connor
    7th Ward Aldermanic Candidate
    http://www.rebootev.com

    1. Tisdahl, Smith, and the firefighters
      Kevin O’Connor says:
      “And Jeff Smith (I) himself. Gee whiz, I always thought the IVI was Independent, I can handle Jeff Smith, who has been independent and strictly neutral in all my contacts with him at CSNA, but Bernstein & Suffredin? “

      Well, Kevin, I don’t like your anti-tower and anti-NU positions, so I wish that it were possible for all of the candidates in the 7th to lose ….but still, your comments about Tisdahl and the firefighters are valid.

      But you mention above a certain Mr. Smith, President of the notorious Central Street NIMBY Association.
      EvanstonNow says that he may be running for the state legislature, and I have already commented on that.

      I noticed that Mr. Smith Reply

  8. Who is running this town? The uber wealthy?
    I think that electing Ms. Tisdahl as mayor would be a disaster. With her personal wealth, she has no concept of how to economize.

    Her history on the City Council establishes that she is not concerned about finances. Her answer: throw money at every problem. And why not? We have plenty (or at least she does).

    Let’s please elect someone with business sense, not money to burn. Paying for big politicos like Durbin and Schakowsky is a huge red flag that she can (and has) purchased their support with her own money.

    Don’t buy the cheap trash that they are selling. Evanston will not be getting federal handouts, just because Ms. Tisdahl showers her personal wealth on a few politicos. Her personal wealth secures their campaign support and smiling photo ops but it won’t steer federal dollars our way.

    I will vote for the candidate who is most likely to defeat Ms. Tisdahl.

    1. Elisabeth Tisdahl – the best candidate for Mayor
      In this economy it is tempting to hurl accusations at just about everyone who is doing better than the average person.

      Saying Elisabeth Tisdahl “buys” endorsements is just plain crazy. It also shows how little the “anonymous” writer knows about Ald. Tisdahl. It is easy to take misinformed pot shots hiding behind the word “anonymous”.

      However, the facts are that Ald. Tisdahl has always been involved and served the Evanston community with focused dedication. Whether being on the District 202 School Board, being involved in helping low income folks beach access, being 7th Ward Alderperson and solving the sometimes intractable problems
      found in running Evanston she always comes through to find positive solutions to any problem presented.

      She is hardworking, always does her homework, and comes prepared to each and every meeting or situation listening to opposing points of view, presenting her own and finding a solution to problems presented. No one works harder than she does at her job. No candidate has the depth and breadth of her experience.

      She is also the only candidate that has connections via Sen. Durbin and others who can make things happen for Evanston. The City of Evanston does not live in a vacuum. We have serious financial obligations and it seems to me that all networking with those in higher positions in government is a good thing for Evanston.

      Those relationships can afford Evanston access to monetary relief as well as access to funds to repair infrastructure etc.

      I encourage “anonymous” to stop making this mayoral race a class issue and make it, instead, a look at who can run this city effectively moving it forward through good decision making.

      Only Elisabeth Tisdahl brings that level of financial, governmental and problem-solving experience to the table. Voting for her for mayor is putting Evanston back on the right footing with Northwestern, with the business community and serving all of our citizens with the diligence they deserve.

      1. Beach tokens — that’s all you’ve got for a mayoral candidate?
        No one is taking pot shots. But the uber wealthy don’t need to deal with economic reality that the rest of us must face every day.

        I’ve heard over and over and over about the beach token give away. Zero accountability for who gets those tokens, if you didn’t know. The City has no idea who (in terms of individuals) are receiving those tokens.

        It’s just another Evanston special. The City leaders dream up another “program” while the middle class has to pay and pay some more for services — city stickers, water bills, trash pick up, alarm licensing fees, beach tokens and the hefty property taxes.

        So the beach token is the best example that you can provide of an accomplishment by Ms. Tisdahl. She thought up a giveaway program that has no accountability. It seems you have made my point much more eloquently than I ever could hope to do.

        This is not about class warfare. It’s about the candidates who have no business sense.

        I stay anonymous because I assume that Ms. Tisdahl will win, despite her many shortcomings, because she is so plugged in to the movers and shakers. I’m not a mover or a shaker.

        Maybe some day, you will care that you are driving the middle class out of this town. But for today, the answer is (once again) — fiddle dee dee, we’ll worry about them some other time. We’re too busy hosting federal officials at high-priced locations and handing out beach tokens.

      2. class warfare
        I encourage “anonymous” to stop making this mayoral race a class issue and make it, instead, a look at who can run this city effectively moving it forward through good decision making.
        Only Elisabeth Tisdahl brings that level of financial, governmental and problem-solving experience to the table. Voting for her for mayor is putting Evanston back on the right footing with Northwestern, with the business community and serving all of our citizens with the diligence they deserve.

        I believe that those who continually bash Northwestern are the ones who promote class resentment. Many of them are resentful of the kids from wealthier backgrounds who go to NU ( and yes, these students can be smug and obnoxious). I also think that some are just intolerant of students from different cultural backgrounds.

        I also believe that those who repeatedly bash condo residents are also guilty. Sometimes it is because they resent the condo dwellers for being rich, sometimes for not being rich enough to buy a big house with a lawn. It doesn’t matter.

        I believe that when the towerphobic politicians speak of ‘charm’ and Evanston’s ‘unique culture’, and being ‘lifelong’ or ‘long time’ residents, they are pandering to the anxieties of the fading landed aristocracy with their big lawns, who resent the arrivistes intruding into the quaint village.

        Here’s a question for Tisdahl:

        a. Evanston needs more apartments (or so you say)
        b. That old Kendall lot is empty….

        Should the Kendall lot be zoned to permit apartments?

        If not, why?

      3. Nice Try, but No…
        “She is also the only candidate that has connections via Sen. Durbin and others who can make things happen for Evanston.”

        Wrong! We are all Sen. Durbin constituents, and there’s no way that Tisdahl has (bought) the type of leverage that will divert special federal funds our way, outside of what other similar sized communities are getting.

        “…back on the right footing with Northwestern”

        Not even John Wesley himself could coax dollar one from the purple coffers to the east. Accept it for what it is already: one of Evanston’s top employers and a constant stream of new customers for our downtown commercial areas.

        “The City of Evanston does not live in a vacuum.”

        Gotcha again! You must not hear the sucking noises.

        The best part about a “Mayor Tisdahl” is there won’t be an Ald. Tisdahl, and everybody knows that the Mayor of Evanston has about the same amount of power as Mayor McCheese.

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