Chicago Way w/John Kass: Strap in, Johnson v. Vallas is going to be a doozy

March 2, 2023

On this edition, veteran political advisor at Serafin & Associates and co-host of The Crisis Cast, Thom Serafin, joins John Kass & Jeff Carlin to look at where Lori Lightfoot went wrong in her failed bid for re-election and what that means for runoff between Brandon Johnson & Paul Vallas. Check out more Kasso at

Comments 11

  1. This is why I subscribe to JKN! Absolutely brilliant analysis from John, Jeff, and Thom Serafin. Jeff Carlin is finally finding his voice, and should continue and maybe expand it!

    The woke BS aside, as I think these election results have shown, it is the media, and not even a plurality of the Democratic Party that is “woke”, or ascribes to any of that “equity” and race based discrimination nonsense. LL and Johnson represent grifters, elites, and twisted over educated coddled women who never worked a real job and never truly had to sacrifice for anyone else.

    Willie got 9%, he is not woke. Sawyer is not woke. Young brother Ja’Mal Green is not woke, he would be happy with a weed dispensary most likely. All kidding aside, I like Green. After a thorough vetting, Green should be able to help the election effort and maybe work for the city in some capacity to help bring young people into the effort to revitalize neglected parts of the city. You must vett him first!

    Anyway, that is 10% more for Vallas and gets him to 46%. Then, he only needs a handful from LL, and Chuy, and he’s at 50% plus one. It is doable.

  2. The job is only partially done, Chicago.

    You still need to get Vallas elected, and find a way to remove Boss Tony “Sensible Shoes” Preckwinkle, Kim “The Grimace” Foxx, and Judge Tim “The Jellyfish” Evans.

    Good luck.

    1. As Mayor, Vallas will have the bully pulpit to hammer Foxx and Evans. He should deal with Preckwinkle suavely, through back channels and with political pressure, not with grandstanding. Foxx however, is so unpopular and so inept, as is Evans, they can be bludgeoned with statistics daily.

      He also has the law department at his disposal, the lawsuits and injunctions will be flying.

      Lastly, as Serafin pointed out, the Mayor controls almost 30 Billion dollars. That’s a lot of scarole! Money equals power.

      Go get ‘em Paul. But get elected first!

  3. Excellent discussion.
    First, I have been a casual observer of Chicago politics for decades. Now, this doesn’t qualify me nor does it disqualify me for my stated opinions. It simply means that I find intrigue in the machinations of the sausage grinder known as Chicago politics.
    I feel that Paul Vallas gives Chicago the “hope and change” that the city needs. I’m sure that leftists will find racism in everyone who supports Paul Vallas.
    I also feel that Latinos will show up for him in record numbers.
    Vallas must push hard on the early vote. He needs to bank votes BEFORE Election Day to give him his best shot.
    Paul Vallas needs to take Brandon Johnson head on about crime and education.
    In fact, you can’t separate the two. Crime and education are tied to each other in Chicago. The schools and the powerful teachers’ union have perpetrated a crime of illiteracy on your students. CPS has become nothing more than think tanks for Chicago’s future criminals. CPS sends the kids out to the streets proficient in hallway brawls, no respect for authority and void of any meaningful life skills. They quickly embrace the crime that is poisoning the city that you love. And the ones who aren’t dying from the fentanyl will succumb to the gun violence, where teens will illegally obtain their status symbol, fire it indiscriminately and then be remanded to a guardian of sorts, with their crimes hidden from us by protections afforded juvenile records. Kim Foxx only compounds the problem with her Soros-funded policies that almost assures a 90% recidivism. Brandon Johnson can’t separate himself from this progressivism. George Soros spent millions for the “defund the police” movement and progressive “equitable justice” initiatives. And clearly, Brandon Johnson is all-in on “restorative justice” programs that concludes that all cops are bad.
    Paul Vallas is going to be in a street fight and the first rule of street fighting is that there are no rules. He cannot observe the Markus of Queensbury rules while Brandon Johnson is going all Tazmanian Devil on him.
    Paul Vallas has ONE shot at this.
    Chicago has ONE shot at this.
    The million-plus voters who didn’t vote in the primary had better show up for the election.
    Imagine fixing crime AND schools in ONE shot.

  4. As mentioned before, I rarely listen to your podcasts. Just can’t find the time. Excellent podcast. lots of insights. I think if Vallas can win the next round, he may be able to set the city in a better direction. Unfortunately, the problems are so large and the impediments to fixing them are so daunting that many of the problems here will not be corrected. Good luck.

  5. How nice to hear your voice again Yianni. Keep getting stronger, as we need that voice to keep us sane and grounded. Let the games begin! Should be a rip roaring month ahead. Stay tuned…and perastika sou!

  6. Thom was dead on with his opinions on how the politics will be played. But Chicagoans are tired. If Paul can play this right by reaching out to the South and West sides with a clear vision of how he, as mayor, can improve their lives, this will be a no-brainer election. But he’s not putting his message across fervently enough. Chicago needs a strong leader and, as of now, Paul is being a milquetoast candidate. He’s running out of time.

  7. You sound good, John. Glad you are feeling better! This is a very interesting discussion, but I have not lived in Chicago since 1990, and crossed over the Hoosier state line in 2003. I am a 4th generation Chicagoan, and my heart still broke watching the big riots / looting, but I think it’s too late for the formerly Best City. It will be interesting to see if Valas wins, and then if he can be another Rudy Giuliani, though.

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