The Chicago Way, Ald. Ray Lopez & Yolandagate

By John Kass

The Boss Madigan federal indictment was announced after we’d recorded this Chicago Way podcast. And I’ll have more say on the big federal bus rolling from Springfield to Chicago, driven by a guy named RICO and Boss Madigan and his apple slices, both on the podcast and at

We’re  doing two podcasts a week now, and on this latest episode of The Chicago Way, Jeff Carlin and I talk with Southwest Side Ald. Ray Lopez, 15th about many things including the fact that our friend Ray has infuriated me with his unwarranted political jihad against Dibs.

As the one and only, real Judge Dibs, I’m forced to hold Ray in contempt of the Dibstitution. But I’m a compassionate judge and I let him have his say during appeal.

With Ald. Lopez—I once saw him bravely confronting violent gangbangers, alone, in his neighborhood—there were many things to discuss.

Like Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s clumsy handling of the “Yolandagate” scandal—heroin thrown from the window of the Chicago Police IAD chief’s personal car (a Lexus); and the “media blacklist” Lightfoot uses to strike at journalists whom she doesn’t like.

The city ward remap comes up, because there’s nothing like Latino and black aldermen fighting it out, using race identity politics during a mayoral election year, as mayoral candidates sharpen their own race cards with a city in crisis. That too is the Chicago Way, baby. And a lawyer in the middle of the city remap fight is Boss Madigan’s political lawyer.

Chicago Way enough for you?

And Lopez analyzes the news of former Lightfoot ally, Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza, 10th, who has broken from Lightfoot, and was quoted as saying “I have never met anybody who has managed to piss off every single person they come in contact with…That’s it. I don’t care.”

What does Lopez think about this? Well, you’ll have to click on the link above and listen for yourself.

Years ago, when I was breaking into journalism with The Daily Calumet as its steel writer and political writer, I covered her father, Ed Sadlowski. He was a tough man who helped build the organization “Steelworkers Fightback,” which was a rank-and-file movement fighting corruption in the United Steelworkers of America. Eddie Sadlowski also tangled with another Eddie of the neighborhood, Fast Eddie Vrdolyak, who was then the 10th Ward alderman, about to become de facto mayor of Chicago.

The Southeast Side was a great and fascinating political laboratory. It was all muscle and bone and shots of whiskey, and lamb sandwiches and beer, the occasional alley fights at some of the taverns as Council Wars began. As a young writer with a broken jaw, teeth wired shut (that’s another story), I was lucky to see it.

But that was then, what about now?

With Ald. Lopez, we also talked about his own political ambitions. He’s thinking about running for mayor. And Lightfoot hates his guts.

But while we were recording the podcast, news broke that Arne “The White Shadow” Duncan announced he won’t be running for mayor after all. So he won’t be seeking to become The White Shadow of the broken city. Unless it’s a feint.

And as I was writing this, Madigan gets indicted.

And on the next edition of The Chicago Way podcast recording within hours we’ll break it all down. So stay tuned.

Again, if you’re interested in sponsoring The Chicago Way podcast–so Jeff can get paid–email me here: and type “sponsorship” into the subject line.

(Copyright 2022 John Kass)


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