As a former Chicago alderman and Illinois State Senator, Rickey Hendon knows a thing or two about politics.
After all, he wrote a book called “Backstabbers” on insider Illinois politics back in 2010 detailing, among other things, supposed dirt on his political enemies along with practical campaign advice. For example, in the book Hendon reminds would-be political candidates to avoid turning in sloppy petitions and to make sure to place campaign posters where voters can see them.
The flamboyant former politician, who was known as one of the most accessible and quotable public officials in Chicago for years, was also linked to a wide range of corrupt public officials. In 2012, a federal criminal complaint was unsealed that named seven people with some connection to his political organization who were charged with paying kickbacks to a make-believe federal official in exchange for $25,000 government grants.
Hendon himself wasn’t named in the complaint. Once federal subpoenas were issued in the case in 2011, however, Hendon dropped a bombshell by abruptly walking away from his post as assistant majority leader of the State Senate.
The politician once known affectionately as “Hollywood” has been mostly silent and out of the game since those days.
Yet, that doesn't mean he hasn't kept his eye on local politics, especially on the city’s West and South sides. Just in case anyone was still wondering, Hendon made clear in a scathing Facebook post exactly where he stood on a number of sitting black aldermen.
There are only a few BLACK ALDERMAN that we should keep. My list is very short. I do believe we should keep a few of the young ones who have gained some institutional knowledge (senority etc) but they haven't been there long enough to become contaminated by the "Yes Sir Mister Mayor Mentality" which destroys our people. It's easier for me to name the few we need to keep than the Looooooonnnnggggg list who we as a people and other progressives need to boot.
For clarity, Hendon goes on to name names, and essentially offer his political endorsement to a number of black incumbents.
On the West side I like Alderman Jason Ervin 28th Ward. He is young and has great potential. Out South I believe Alderman Natashia Holmes is a clear choice to get a full term in the 7th Ward. I have many friends in the 7th and have only heard good things about this young Lady..more to come..I will always Love 37th Ward Alderman Emma Mitts, we don't always agree on politics but she is just good people..
You have to love a man who capitalizes words like Lady and Love in the middle of a sentence.
Unfortunately, not every black alderman sitting in City Council earns Rickey’s political Love:
We should get rid of , Burnett in the 27th Ward Chandler in 24 and Graham in 29th!! PLEASE!!
Anyone watching Chicago politics for any length of time knows the political landscape in parts of the city’s South and West sides can have a long and tangled history of squabbles, intrigue and shifting political alliances. And it’s not like Hendon himself doesn’t have a long and tangled history of his own with Chicago’s 27th and 29th Wards.
But it’s good to know he’s still got his eye on the ball. It must be hard for a man who wrote a book titled “Backstabbers” to not keep a running list of political enemies he needs to call out every once in a while.