Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Booted Aldermen Take to the Radio

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Booted Aldermen Take to the Radio
Jack Higgins

Since you political junkies who read Ward Room don’t have anything better to do on Saturday night, and since the federal government will be shut down by then, why not listen to a radio battle between washed up alderman?

Ald. Berny Stone, who was defeated for re-election on Tuesday by his protégé’s wife, will be on WLS from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., talking politics and taking calls from listeners. This is an interesting time slot for Stone, who is usually in bed by 6:30 on weekends. However, he sees it as the beginning of a new career. Although he bragged that losing the election would just mean a bigger pension, Stone obviously needs to work. He was an alderman for 38 years. If he nails it on Saturday, he could be a radio host that long. 

"I've got a lot of years in front of me,” Stone said. “I'll find something to do. I may become a commentator on WLS, who knows. ... You've [WLS] got a history of having former governors and former aldermen as commentators on WLS."

(The former governors include Rod Blagojevich, who had a weekend gig before going on trial.)

Meanwhile, on WBEZ, Ald. Ed Bus and former Ald. Burton Natarus will be holding forth in the same time slot. Bus was also defeated on Tuesday, by an opponent who died two weeks before the election – the Feb. 22. So far, Bus has refused to concede, claiming the alderman-elect’s number has been disconnected. He is also challenging the results in court. Bus received one vote, but he claims this is impossible, since he voted for himself both absentee and on Election Day. Burton Natarus, you may remember, lost to 42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly in 2007.

“It's a call-in talk show where Bus answers your questions about the 53rd Ward,” according to WBEZ. “Do you have garbage pickup problems? Is there a rat in your toilet? Want directions to the closest Dominicks? Bus will take your calls and talk about his life in Chicago politics, in which he has served for 40-45 years. This will be radio history. Or at least, history on the radio. Or at least, a really funny, fake experiment.

”The successive defeats of Natarus and Stone mean that, for the first time in modern Chicago history, there is no longer an old crank on the City Council. Now you have to listen to the radio to enjoy their cantankerousness.

Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!

Leave Comments