Focused on Chicago Mayoral Polls? Don’t be a Chumbolone, Focus on Chuy Garcia, and Dark Money from Indicted Swindler Sam Bankman-Fried

By John Kass

December 16, 2022

What’s up with the breathless Chicago news media reports about those mayoral polls?

Money. It’s all about money.

No candidate is over 30 percent. Chicago voters are exhausted by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, exhausted from the strain of the November elections and exhausted wondering if they’ll get shot or hijacked while driving to Walgreens, or robbed at gunpoint like Diana DeJacimo, who was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight in Lincoln Park while walking her dog Jasper.

They don’t want to deal with politics now, with visions of Christmas sugar plums dancing in their heads.

The wise candidate gives exhausted voters a break. But some desperately need to be humanized, which is why Mayor Lori Lightfoot—she of the idiotic pepperoni pizza delivery ads–has just put out emotional spots showing her getting and weepy over family.


Will mayoral tears and trembling mayoral lips trump Chicago’s violent crime wave? We’ll see.

But I’d bet that those of you attracted to the political blood sport and main event of the Chicago Mayoral Campaign have picked up on those stories about the mayoral polls.

Do those urgent poll stories, and Lightfoot’s tears address the problems faced by mayoral candidate Chuy Garcia and his benefactor, the freshly indicted Sam Bankman-Fried.

You’ve seen Bankman-Fried in the news. He’s the Crypto King and megabucks Democratic donor with the bad “Welcome Back Kotter” haircut.

First,  though, consider those Chicago mayoral poll stories delivered with breathless appeal.

These are used by candidates to squeeze out campaign cash from political supporters before Christmas. All you need are helpful reporters and editors to squeeze the chumbolones.

Chicago politics really hasn’t changed much here since my grandfather Papou Yianni sold vegetables from horse drawn trucks on the West Side, and since Mayor Big Bill Thompson danced to the Chicago Outfit’s tune.

The Outfit made hundreds of millions of dollars from feeding beer, whiskeys and gin to Prohibition-era America. But the Outfit has been greatly diminished by the feds.

And now the Mexican drug cartels have made Chicago a distribution hub, but the cartels are playing politics the Chicago Way in Chicago.

But don’t worry. Since you’re reading this at, you’re not a chumbolone. And this is a No Chumbolone zone ™.

Pardon me, but what’s another word for chumbolone?


Now, back to those breathless early poll stories on TV, radio and print. What are they really all about?

Money, and trolling supporters of this candidate or that one, and squeezing cash from them in fundraisers so the candidates can match Lori Lightfoot and get their messages on TV.

Consider this breathless report by WTTW (Wilmette Talking to Winnetka) News the other day:

“U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García is the “front runner” in the race for Chicago mayor, according to a new poll commissioned by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 obtained Monday by WTTW News.”

Wait. What?

If that’s not breathless, what is?

Wasn’t Local 150 the same union that backed conservative Republican Jeanne Ives for governor?

Yes, the very same. Now Local 150 is backing the ultra-lefty Chuy Garcia for mayor of Chicago.


And no mention of that sea change in the breathless news account?

I have nothing personal against Chuy. I’ve known him for years. And although I’m in disagreement with his hard-left Chiapatista political views he’s always been a gentleman.

Remember that Garcia’s 2015 campaign for mayor against then incumbent Rahm Emmanuel was torched by the same WTTW.

It happened in a televised mayoral debate between then Cook County Commissioner Chuy Garcia and Rahm on WTTW.

Emanuel’s campaign was furiously peddling the fruits of his oppo researchers, but so were Garcia’s, though Emanuel’s association with Obama and the Daley/Obama/Rahm mouthpiece David Axelrod were providing shields.

But the shields were weakening. And Rahm was getting pounded over shaky municipal finances and crime. Obama couldn’t save him.

Then debate moderator Phil Ponce asked the one question the Rahm camp was praying for.

“With respect,” Ponce said pointedly, turning to Garcia. “A lot of voters might wonder, commissioner…If you can’t keep your own son out of a gang, how can you steer the city away from gangs and violence?”

The liberal audience groaned. But I thought there was a thrill running up Rahm’s leg. He hardly showed any reaction, he was stone faced,  almost as Rahm knew beforehand that WTTW which prides  itself on being a beacon of liberal virtue was going to put Chuy’s political head on a pike.

Mission accomplished: the story about Chuy’s gangbanger son was out. And Chuy would not become mayor.

Later, Ponce told me he regretted asking the question, but by then the damage was done. Chuy was toast. Rahm was saved courtesy of WTTW and won re-election.

Yet before the next election, Rahm was driven out when Chicago learned that Rahm had suppressed the Laquan McDonald police shooting video to get elected. He decided in 2018 not to seek re-election. Why? Even Obama could not save him then. And before the Rahm-Chuy mayoral campaign, if Chicago had seen the police shooting video, Rahm would not have been mayor. Simple as that. That’s why Rahm approved a $5 million settlement with Laquan McDonald’ family the Chicago Way. And the issue was suppressed through the Rahm-Chuy campaign.

If the video hadn’t been suppressed, then Chuy Garcia would have been elected mayor.

Chuy was also the subject of a Chicago Sun Times column by Mary Mitchell, writing off a story by reporter Dan Mihalopoulos about Chuy’s son attacking police, yet getting preferred pro-bono  (free) treatment from one of the city’s largest law firms, Mayer Brown LLP. All this happened when Chuy was Boss Toni Preckwinkle’s second-in-command at the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Lori Lightfoot was a partner at Mayer Brown. Will she return to them when her current nightmare is over? Will they have her?  That’s anybody’s guess. Besides, without the right opponent, she just might win.

And was the story about Chuy’s son worthy of consideration? Yes, of course. Chicago was beginning its rapid descent into the chaos of violent gang crime. And anyone who tells you otherwise is playing you for a fool.

Just after that Chuy poll story was released breathlessly to WTTW, WGN, Fox Chicago, and print other outlets, another Chuy story hatched in the stagnant ponds of Chicago and Washington politics.

That story wiggled to the surface and stuck its lips above water to breathe.

It was a story reported by veteran and savvy Sun Times City Hall reporter Fran Spielman. The headline?

Lightfoot Supporter Questions Indicted Crypto Billionaire’s Donation to Garcia.

Crain’s Greg Hinz got into it, too: “Mayoral Foes Rip Chuy Garcia Over Crypto Ties.

Both stories raised questions about Garcia as the beneficiary of $200,000 from a political group heavily funded by Samuel Bankman-Fried. SBF’s money was turned dark, and it went to help Chuy through a political action committee.


I tip my hat to Spielman, Hinz and WIND-AM 560 radio host Dan Proft for their interest in Sam Bankman-Fried, the puffy Crypto billionaire who played video games while being interviewed.

Democrat politicians loved SBF because he dangled big chunks of dark money for the November mid-term elections. He was indicted the other day on federal charges that he defrauded and stole billions from would-be crypto investors. The fools.

SBF, as he’s called, will most likely be the albatross around the Democrat necks going forward because he loved to pass out cash to the Democrat Party. And they loved taking it because they love money.

He’s the Democrat Party’s second largest donor behind billionaire lefty George Soros. Before the SBF fantasy collapsed, and the money disappeared, SBF had promised to bankroll the Democrat 2024 campaigns to the tune of a billion dollars.

He has already handed out somewhere between $1 billion-$500 million dollars in dark money to Democrats for the last campaign.

S. Bankman-Fried on a Us Senate hearing in February 2022

How Chicagoans many union teachers and other rank-and-file Democrats lost their retirement or investment money to satisfy the Democrat hunger for political power through SBF?

Do we just grab the popcorn and enjoy the lefties from Lightfoot’s camp devouring the lefty, Chuy?

Or do we wait and make more popcorn and wonder if the woke Chicago media will ever go in-depth to examine that one, and how the various progressive camps attack Chuy? Or not?

And just as Sam Bankman-Fried was set to testify this week before Congress about his crypto schemes, he was indicted on federal charges by the Biden U.S. Justice Department.

New York Post columnist Miranda Devine smells a rat. So do I. Devine is the author of “Laptop From Hell,” the book about Hunter Biden. She’s our guest on the next edition of the Chicago Way podcast.

Biden Justice could easily have waited a day to indict, so SBF could tell his story on the record and under oath. But I don’t think Democrats who took his money wanted to hear him testify. Perhaps Democrats wanted him to hush his mouth and save them from embarrassment.

In her recent column, Devine asks:

“But wouldn’t you think, if you were a prosecutor, that you would be bitterly disappointed to have missed the opportunity of seeing garrulous young Sam testify under oath for hours, before you arrested him? What difference would a few more hours have made?”

Unless the Democrats pulling prosecutors’ strings didn’t want to hear from fat young Sam. Who are among those progressive Democrats in Congress who didn’t want to hear about how they used his dark money? I know of one:

 U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, candidate for mayor of Chicago.

(Copyright 2022 John Kass)


Comments 19

  1. Wait for it! When you are over the traget the flak gets heavy! Three, two, one . . . anti-Lightfoot, right-wing writer tries to tie Jesus to $ 200,000 in Woke Moolah!!!!!

    Solid work John Kass!

  2. The Garcia component is important for local politics, but the machinations leading to the arrest of SBF, thus forestalling testimony before Congress, deserves a huge spotlight. It was about the fastest move on record for the Department of Justice. Why?

  3. I noticed Chuy and Lori skipped the Mayoral debate up on the northwest side. It will be interesting to see the questions asked when and If they do show up. I see Lori is now pandering to a certain demographic. Let’s see how the media digs into the crypto story( seems like most aren’t reporting on all the Democrats that took horseshacks money) and after Trump I thought polls weren’t accurate. Nah

  4. If only we get rid of the “radical leftists”, and elect Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz, things will be great then? When sir, are you going to propose solutions, necessary guardrails if you will, which would severely curtail this type of chicanery?

    Crime is up, no doubt about it. And something needs to be done. Our politics however is governed by money. Money is the only thing that talks. It buys the political protection, insulates the powerful from the law, and steers public opinion. The gangs support the dem party and with their donations and political muscle, buy protection for them. So every time a civilian is s shot or robbed, or a police is killed, you have do nothing, mostly Democratic politicians to thank for this.

    Dark money, PACS, my billionaire oligarch is better than yours, “Please Ken Griffin, fund an opponent to Pritzker”. You wrote that last year. The absence of your call for true reforms connotes your complicity of status quo, especially if policies you like are enacted. Where is your call for elimination of the PACS, lobbyists, and dark money that influences our politics?

    Where is your call for term limits, public financing of campaigns, and ethics rules with penalties so draconian, that the grifters would run and hide rather than run for office? Where is your call for advisory referenda that our officials can use for guidance to guide policy?

    Lightfoot might be running ads on TV. Only old people watch TV. Young people most assuredly do not. It’s the young that you have to convince. Only, they are decidedly more liberal that most of the fossils that read this column or watch ABC 7. They want a higher living wage, Paid time off, favor abortion with reasonable limits, health care for all, an end to the exploitation of immigrants and a system of greatly increased LEGAL immigration instead of the cruelty ad criminality we have now. They also deeply care about the ecology of the planet: namely clean air and drinking water.

    You know Reagan granted amnesty to a million illegal immigrants. I’m sure you also know that Richard Nixon was in favor of a national health care system. You also know that we used to have socially conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans. You also know that our current political system only serves the rich and the greasy, slimy pols that benefit from the grift on both sides.

    We live in a Republic, which you have repeated many times. We elect officials to make decisions on our behalf. It states in the Declaration of Independence that power is derived from the consent of the governed. 3 of 5 people, at least, favor most of the things I’ve described above. Yet, we get none of that, even form “leftists” like Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders.

    This red/blue, You investigate me, I investigate you game is just that. It’s political theater, designed to distract us, keep us fighting with each other so we continue to put up with these lousy politicians who only waste our money and make them selves rich.

    Let’s cut through the bullshit and enact true political reforms. Then we can make tru conservative and progressive arguments for the governance of the Republic and the best argument can win, instead of e what we have now, where we all lose.

  5. Oh, something is rotten in the state of Denmark, alright. Jonathan Turley pondered the same question; why wouldn’t prosecutors just pop some popcorn and sit back while SBF made a fool of himself while under oath in front of Congress? He wouldn’t have any Miranda protection, and all that testimony would be admissible at trial. Methinks something else is afoot.
    As for Chuy, I sense he is nothing more than an interloper. Why, after being elected to Congress without opposition, would he try to run again? Is he still butthurt over 2015?

  6. There is no way around it – Chicago is f**ked. The only hope was Vallas, but he hasn’t a chance. Between the tribalism and the far left thinking which has been ground into the chumbalones, courtesy of the politicians and the media, the only guarantee is further ruin.
    What a shame.

  7. This is all so annoying and frankly downright scary. Will it ever end ??? Will voters ever wake up to this nonsense?? Will there EVER be an honest candidate again ??

  8. Interesting SBF congressional testimony spin. There’s a tried and true legislative committee member (also, attorney) axiom….”Never ask a question that you don’t already know the answer.” Perhaps, D. C. Demwits already knew the answers but didn’t want to ask SBF the questions.

  9. I wondered the same thing that Miranda Devine wondered about and I think she was correct about the indictment of SBF. The left is so corrupt and woke that they will do anything to retain power.

  10. Do not forget that our Senior Senator from IL. also has SBF money. Says he is going to give it to charity. I think the prosecutor should track down every dime and have all the champagnes across the country give it back to the people it was stolen from.

  11. Yes what a surprise. They didn’t touch SBF until just before his performance in front of a congressional committee. Ah yes, John. Let the games begin. Thanks for the column. And speaking of “machine”, I have to start the popcorn machine now.

  12. Chuy seems like a nice guy. The crypo currency thing is bad enough, but what really worries me is the potential for gang members via access to Chuy’s son to influence or control Chuy as mayor should he be elected. How can he fight crime and take down our gangs if he should be compromised? Why in the world would someone give up a U.S. Congressional seat to be mayor of Chicago and all the problems that come with it? What are we missing? I think I know, but voters must look deeper into these issues and not be fooled.

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