Thursday, March 22, 2012

Luis Gutierrez is the big loser in Tuesday’s Illinois primary

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Luis Gutierrez is the big loser in Tuesday’s Illinois primary
By Ray Hanania

After an election, it’s not unusual to weigh the winner’s and the losers. Usually, the winners and the losers are the people who are actually running for public office, the candidates.

In the case of this past Illinois primary, one candidate who “won” his party’s nomination was in fact the biggest loser, U.S. Congressman Luis Gutierrez in the 4th Congressional District.

Gutierrez easily won his party’s nomination. Like a Middle East dictator, Gutierrez was unopposed in his election. He “won” with 99.9 percent of the vote. Only a few people voted against him by entering write-in candidacies.

But Gutierrez is a loser and was the biggest loser in the March 20 election primary.

Gutierrez, a former Chicago alderman, backed and funded and supervised the campaigns of four candidates. They are:

  • ·         Rudy Lozano, who ran for the Illinois House seat in the 21st legislative district, challenging Silvana Tabares;

  • ·         Robert Reyes, who ran for the Illinois House sat in the 24th legislative district; who challenged incumbent Representative Lisa Hernandez;

  • ·         Raul Montes, Jr., who ran for the Illinois Senate seat in the 12th legislative district, challenging incumbent Illinois Senator Steve Landek  (Note: i do media work for Landek); ;

  • ·         Ricardo Munoz, who ran for the office of Circuit Clerk of Cook County, who challenged incumbent Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown.
What’s significant beyond his defeat in all four of these races is the issue of race itself. Gutierrez is Puerto Rican. All of the candidates he backed are Mexican American.

Why is that significant? Well, it’s significant because Gutierrez’s congressional district is half Puerto Rican and half Mexican American. The Puerto Rican population dominates the north end of his odd-shaped district. Mexican Americans dominate the south end of the district.

And that explains Gutierrez’ selfish political agenda.

Gutierrez is intentionally focusing on keeping the Mexican American community divided. That’s why he runs Mexican American candidates against incumbents in Mexican American districts.

By keeping the Mexican American community divided, Gutierrez can preserve his Puerto Rican power in his congressional district. Because if Mexican Americans were united, they could easily oust Gutierrez and elect one of their own in that congressional seat.

There are no Mexican Americans from Illinois in the U.S. Congress. And as long as Luis Gutierrez interferes in Mexican American community politics, keeping them divided and fighting, he will protect his own self-interests.

The March 20 election battles that Gutierrez lost are a precursor to several more elections that Gutierrez is promoting in several West suburban communities including in the Town of Cicero (where I work as the Town spokesman) and the City of Berwyn.

But voters clearly have seen through Gutierrez’s selfish political hypocrisies. They rejected his candidates, although Gutierrez did succeed in dividing Mexican Americans, again, as he has been doing since his election to Congress in the predominantly Mexican American congressional district in the 1990s.

And they could take this one step further and challenge Gutierrez in the November General elections.

Currently, there is no Republican candidate challenging Gutierrez. But there should be. He doesn’t deserve re-election. Gutierrez is a firebrand who is quick to criticize and then even quicker to make a political deal. He spends more time sticking his political nose in other areas of Chicagoland than effectively representing his residents; his district has been ranked as one of the worst when it comes to getting services.

Guiterrez is playing race politics because it benefits him. By keeping Mexican Americans divided, he can retain his congressional seat and allow his family and especially his wife to benefit from his congressional clout.

The truth is that the 4th District was drawn to give Mexican Americans a representative in Congress. As long as they allow Luis Gutierrez to manipulate their politics, that district will never materialize.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and Chicago radio talk show host Sundays at 8 am on WSBC AM 1240 and WCFJ AM 1470.


Anonymous said...

While it might be true that he has used those tactics in the past (i really don't know). But this primary election, at least three of his four supported candidates, don't apply to the "dividing Mexicans" argument.

Rudy Lozano was a very good candidate not running against an incumbent but for an open seat.

Raul Montes ran against a white incumbent and Ricardo Munoz ran against a black incumbent.

I didnt know who Luis was supporting before reading this article but I thought Lozano and Munoz were the better candidates.

You make some good points about the political games Luis plays but he is playing Chicago politics just like Mell, Daley, Burke, Jackson, Emanuel, Preckwinkle, etc, etc.

Ray Hanania said...

You miss the point that the candidacies divided the Mexican American Community, regardless of the race of the candidate. They challenged incumbents supported by the community -- as demonstrated so clearly by the landslide votes in many cases
Ray Hanania

Joe Lake said...

Things are not always as they seem. Joe Lake, Chicago

Anonymous said...

Ray are you on crack?

Anonymous said...


You're lucky that you're a nobody and a hack.

Luis Gutierrez publicly supported Lozano and perhaps favored Munoz. All the rest that you mention prove that you've sold out. Gutierrez never endorsed Montes or Reyes. Perhaps you need to take a look and see who was supporting them. Montes never raised enough money to have to disclose anything to the state and Reyes was running his campaign from a shoestring budget.

I used to respect you, but now I just pity you. If you want to continue to be a hack and nobody, keep the lies coming. If you want to be able to retire in peace and have some clear conscience, do what your boss asks during 9 am to 5 pm and stop lying about things.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy Mr. Hanania's writing and if he gets someone like you upset, he must be doing a good job. That you attack people personally and call them names suggests that you're really the hack and that you have no issues. Ray, keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

That you ignore the fact that Mr. Hanania is lying makes you what? I'd have to say stupid. If Hanania was actually stating facts, it'd be different, but the man is lying and you're okay with it. Someone has a problem and it's certainly not me for calling Mr. Hanania out on his lies.

Anonymous said...

Because I know that Mr. Hanania knows that Congressman Luis Gutierrez did not support Robert Reyes or Raul Montes Jr., I did a search of the Illinois State Board of Elections website and there were no funds from Representative Gutierrez' committee received by Friends of Robert R. Reyes and no financial report was filed by Montes. I am so glad that Mr. Hanania has this forum to lie to the public. Keep up the good work, Mr. Hanania!

Ray Hanania said...

Luis Gutierrez is clearly concerned by this column and he has his paid activists posting anonymously. But my opinion is SOLID and I am glad it has gotten under the thin skins of Congressman Gutierrez's cronies : )
Ray Hanania