Billboard wars

Views from the South Side.

Just a reminder that the alderman's race is around the corner:

9th Ward billboard war breaks out Alderman blocks ads; challenger incensed

By Gary Washburn
Tribune staff reporter
November 24, 2006

A dispute over billboards has broken out in Chicago's 9th Ward, one of the first brouhahas in what is expected to be a contentious campaign season leading up to February's aldermanic elections
Challenger Earick Rayburn contends that Ald. Anthony Beale has used his political muscle to have Rayburn ads removed from three billboards in the South Side ward. Meanwhile, Beale, who denies the claim, has sent a letter to Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan questioning whether money from a not-for-profit organization can be spent on Rayburn's political campaign.
The dust-up dates to August when INTERCEPT NOW, a non-profit community group, signed a seven-month contract with United Billboard Co. of Park Ridge for three spots to promote the organization, said Stephany Spaulding, an INTERCEPT board member.
The group, whose operations so far have been funded from the pockets of its board members, paid United $5,000 up front, Spaulding said.
The trouble started after INTERCEPT decided to change the ads on the three billboards earlier this month to tout the candidacy of Rayburn, one of the organization's seven board members. Within days, his message was papered over.
United Billboard's president "offered me a refund, but I don't want a refund," Spaulding said. "I want my billboards."Spaulding charged that Beale used his influence to bully the company.
The alderman denied that, though he acknowledged calling a United Billboard salesman.
"Basically my conversation to him was that I had reserved all of the billboards in July," Beale said. "When I saw a political billboard go up, I said, `I thought I had all the billboards tied up.' He said, `You do.'"
The salesman, John Williams, said a new salesman for the company granted the INTERCEPT contract in August without realizing the company had signed an agreement with Beale on July 19 to reserve billboards for his political ads beginning in late December.
Though there are multiple boards at the three locations where INTERCEPT rented advertising space, United's policy is to allow the ads of only one candidate per race at any spot, Williams said.
Moreover, the community group overstepped its bounds by switching to the Rayburn ads, Williams said. Because it is not-for-profit, INTERCEPT received a cheaper rate than what a political advertiser would have been charged, he said.
Beale's complaint about the use of INTERCEPT funds for political purposes has been received by the attorney general's office, said Cara Smith, a spokeswoman for Madigan.
"These types of inquiries about charitable organizations are routine," she said. "Our process is to look at whether they should be registered with us and what rules should apply to them."
Spaulding said the INTERCEPT/Rayburn camp is undeterred.
If the billboard company doesn't reverse course, "we are looking into a lawsuit," she said.
If past aldermanic contests are a guide, similar disputes between competing campaigns will crop up with increasing frequency as the Feb. 27 election gets closer.
On Monday, challenger Mell Monroe has scheduled a news conference to question how Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd) has spent city infrastructure improvement funds in her South Side ward.
Labor and business interests are expected to help fuel some of the battles in the election.
The Chicago Federation of Labor and the Service Employees International Union plan to fund sympathetic candidates in selected races, while the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has acknowledged it will back candidates of its own.

Anyone with certain Chicago zip codes may want to attend this meeting


  1. Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...
    "HB 4050 went into effect in September and requires those flagged by a statewide database while seeking mortgages or refinancing in 10 Chicago zip codes to undergo an hour of credit counseling before closing on a property."

    I am glad that I didn't go through that when I brought my house. Now, my property is under proposition 13 which I had to pay a supplemental tax bill. This bill is only once. So, when I brought my home, I was hit with a $1600.00 bill that I had to pay along with my property taxes. Some people get the bill and some people don't.

    And I see that you took a picture of Whitecastle.. Yum. Yum. I can go for a Whitecastle hamburger now
    but it is way too early. We do have Whitecastle hamburgers sold in the market but I won't buy it because it is not the same of eating it at the restaurant. It probably taste like cardboard box. Nice pics of the floats. I don't know why I said balloons yesterday. Sounds like the parade went very well in your area.
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    There were balloon, but since I was so close to the El tracks where they had pull them down under them that they did not get up in the air until down the street. One picture shows the Balloon holding area on State street that can be seen on the El tracks.

    Our taxes are high here, due to being in Cook County and Chicago.

    That White Castle is at the SouthEast corner of 63rd and Cicero. This is a good place to watch Southwest planes land and take off. I was afraid to take too many pictures because of all the camera's by the airport. Also to walk around in my neighborhood with a camera makes the neighbors think you are going to the Alderman with something, and yes there are a few loose in my Ward keeping our Alderman busy with pictures of the neighbors! I usually help out the Alderman election time, good way to meet the neighbors too.
    You can see how far south I am from downtown (and I am by far no where near the South end of the South side) not even half way there.

    I sold a house about 8 years ago to people who had no downpayment, I got my full asking price, paid them in points (which I was able to write off) and they used it for thier downpayment. I seem to keep moving north with every move! But I am still embedded in the South Side. I still am in the same Cook County District and same Ward, I moved to the North end of my Ward with the last move.
    Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...
    "I sold a house about 8 years ago to people who had no downpayment, I got my full asking price, paid them in points (which I was able to write off) and they used it for thier downpayment."

    Very smart move.. My real estate agent talked the former owner of my home down to $3,000.00. The lady was trying to sell her property quickly because she was leaving to Texas.

    "Our taxes are high here, due to being in Cook County and Chicago." My town is not that high but my city keeps added more and more to my property taxes because the city doesn't have enough budget for education and the libraries.. But, other areas outside of where I live are paying too much in taxes.. So, there are problems in every state....
    Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...
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    Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...
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