FOB: Friends of Blago

Who's in the governor's corner?

Who in the world is Milt Patterson?

He's a Chicago Democrat who is now in the Illinois history books for casting the sole vote against impeachment in the House this morning.

Read: "Why Blacks Are Refusing to Condemn Governor" -- Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times

"I voted the way I felt, sir," Patterson told a Fox News Chicago reporter as he left the statehouse. "That's the way I felt. I didn't feel I needed to vote to impeach the governor." 

Patterson will not face the wrath of voters; he isn't returning to the General Assembly, meaning this was his last vote as a state representative. Patterson served just two terms.

His career as a state legislator started off more colorfully than it ended.

When he challenged 16-year House veteran Charles Morrow in 2004, Patterson sent a mailer with a picture of greasy bacon in a frying pan to 50,000 households that accused Morrow of securing pork projects just fine - but not for the district, which includes Englewood, Auburn Gresham and West Chatham.

Morrow said he had been targeted by Mayor Richard M. Daley because his aggressive push to include minorities in public works projects angered the mayor. Patterson was endorsed by most of the local Democratic power structure, though House Speaker Michael Madigan backed Morrow.

"Several of my city worker friends, as white as white can be, [were] dispatched to the Englewood-based district to join with the fearsome 17th Ward Regulars to dispatch Morrow, who had fallen out of favor with the powers that be," Richard Carnahan wrote at Gapers Block in 2006. "Milt Patterson had the backing of pretty much every alderman that counted down there, and reportedly the Mayor, too. Morrow was appointed by Harold Washington. Milt looks like a perpetually displeased junior high principal. Milt slaughtered him on the street and waltzed down to Springfield."

Patterson was indeed tied to the Daley administration as a former deputy commissioner in the city Department of Buildings, and as a 17th ward committeeman.

As a state legislator, Patterson has been virtually invisible if the lack of his name appearing in the press is any guide;he had a "minor stroke" in 2006 that was briefly noted in a Sun-Times story, as was his appearance in 2005 at a day-long program for a Little League Baseball event on the South Side.

Prior to his re-election in 2006, Patterson "repeatedly refused to provide any responses to citizens on issues," according to his Project Vote Smart page.

According to Patterson's official House biography, Patterson is both a licensed electrician and a licensed real estate broker who also serves as an adult education professor at Kennedy King College.

State Rep. Elga Jefferies -- another Chicago Democrat -- voted "present."

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