|Jessica O'Brien - A Fair Irish Lass |
From County Cork on the Auld Sod
For weeks now,candidates and their ward heelers have been accosting and annoying citizens in train stations and at shopping malls, pleading for signatures on the petitions requisite to getting a spot on the March primary election ballot.
A perusal of the submitted petitions suggests that this years' crop of hopefuls has been as skillful as ever at playing the Chicago ballot ethnic name game.
In ethnically Balkanized Chicago, the stealth ethno name game has been elevated to a high art form.
On the ballot, you will see a dizzying array of ethnically transmorphed names. all designed to convince you that the candidate is really a reliable member of your tribe.
That is why you will invariably see a large number of female judicial candidates resurrect usage of their maiden names and append them by way of hyphen to the non-descript names of their WASP husbands.
For instance, Susan Smith, Attorney, will become Susan Murphy-Smith, candidate for Cook County judge and ardent daughter of Hibernia.
The most notorious example of this was a Northwest side State Representative in the 70's and 80's by the name of Pete Peters.
|Peter Piotrowicz Peters - |
Kielbasa Between 2 Slices of Wonder Bread
That white bread moniker was good enough to get him elected when his district consisted of white bread Sauganash and Lincolnwood.
But when his district was gerrymandered to include heavily Polish, Niles, Mr. Peters miraculously re-discovered his maternal Polish roots and thereafter appeared on the ballot as Peter Piotrowicz Peters.
You might say he put a little kielbasa between the two slices of Wonder bread.
This year we have a Cook County judicial hopeful by the name of Jessica O'Brien.
The name conjours up images of a fair Irish lass, strolling the lanes and byways of County Cork on the auld sod.
Thing is, Mrs. O'Brien was born Jessica Arong in Cebu City on the Philippine Islands, half a world away from the Emerald Isle. But Filipino's are not a potent voting bloc in Chicago and her feminism notwithstanding, Ms. Jessica Arong-O'Brien is more than happy to bear the male oppression of using her husband's name -- for ballot purposes, at least.
In the still heavily Waspish North Shore suburbs, the Democrats favor Jewish candidates with decidedly Waspy-sounding names.
Lake County's 58th State Rep. district was for the past decade represented by a peroxide blond with the non-descript name of Karen May. Ms. May, along with her husband Mort, belongs to a prominent Highland Park Jewish congregation but saw no real electoral upside to putting her name on the ballot as Karen Rubin-May, her feminism also notwithstanding.
May is retiring now, but to replace her the Democrats are putting up an ultra-left wing civil rights lawyer, a U-Cal Berkeley grad named Scott Drury.
|Scott Drury - High Anglican |
Name and Yiddish Accent
Despite his High Anglican moniker, Mr. Drury is a Jewish gentleman and member of Highland Park's Congregation Solel.
In the same Lake County District, Republicans are running a State Senate candidate - a former U.S. Army combat helicopter pilot and distinguished Highland Park medical doctor, family man, and avowed Conservative Jewish congregant, named Arie Friedman MD.
He is using his real name.