Sunday, February 7, 2010

Should Chicago's Jews Apologize for Scott Lee Cohen?

Mickey Cohen was a murderous Jewish gangster during the wild and woolley days of prohibition-era gangster violence.

He suffered a well deserved death by tommy-gun execution at the hands of fellow mobsters.

But if he could be reincarnated and fast-forwarded to 2010 -- he could probably dig up some of his buried cash, use it to run for high public office, be readily embraced by Chicago's Jewish community -- and get elected!!

After all -- doesn't matter who he was -- or what he did -- or who he killed -- just good enough that he has a Jewish name!!!

Much has been made of the fact that in the 6 man race for Illinois Lt. Governor, the Latino candidate, Thomas Michael Castillo, prevailed in the largely Latino communities. He carried heavily Mexican Cicero with 42% of the vote to Turner's 30% and Cohen's 18%.

And it has been mentioned that the 2 black candidates, State Sen. Art Turner and State Rep. Rickey Hendon, cleaned up in the black communities.

In Calumet Township, Turner polled 36% and Hendon 26% with the whites and Latino far behind.

But apparently the strictures of political correctness have constrained the mainstream media from mentioning that Scott Lee Cohen was the wildly overwhelming favorite of Chicago's Jewish community.

He had no experience in politics, no involvement in Chicago's Jewish community -- but he did have a Jewish name.

And he did have the same political consultants, Grainger Terry, who squeaked out a win for Alderman Berny Stone (the landlord's Alderman) last election in Chicago's 50th Ward.

So of the 50 Wards in Chicago -- guess in which one Cohen triumphed overwhelmingly?

In the "Golden Ghetto", Alderman Berny Stone's heavily Jewish 50th Ward. The Democrat Committeeman there is a religiously Orthodox Jew and politically ultra-liberal, State Sen. Ira Silverstein.

There Cohen garnered a full 48% of the vote -- compared to peanuts for the non-Jewish candidates.

And of the 30 Cook County Townships -- in which one do you think pawnbroker Cohen cleaned up?

It was in Niles Township, with its heavy representation of Jewish voters in Skokie, Lincolnwood and Morton Grove. It gave the steroid pumping pawnbroker his #1 Township vote total with 43% for him and scraps for the other five Democrats.

This hasn't been a good 12 months for the Chicago Jewish Community. Many high rollers therin and serious Chicago Jewish philanthropic groups lost a lot of their savings by having put their faith in Berny Madoff, whom the Chicago Jewish News on its front page called, "The World's Worst Jew."

Now the Chicago Jewish community has its knee-jerk ethnocentric Democrat support for Scott Lee Cohen to explain away.

Here's a novel concept -- why not consider not always voting Democrat for a change? Perhaps then, it would broaden the Jewish base of options so that Chicago Jews could vote for ethnically kindred spirits who did not (allegedly) accost prostitutes with knives, abandon their wives and children and engage in the shadiest of entrepreneurial endeavors?

(More on this later in the next post where we assess the Jewish vote in Highland Park and Glencoe for Democrat, high school dropout, pawnbroker, Cohen vs. that for 40year old, Republican, University of Chicago, MD graduate, pediatrician, father of
5, observant Jew and former US Navy Fighter pilot, Dr. Arie Friedman. -- Need I tell you which Jewish candidate Jewish voters preferred there? -- Stay tuned.)


  1. Yes, jews should vote for Republicans. Nothing like policies formulated by hard line evangelicals and John Birchers. After all, that is why there are so many jewish republicans who hold major offices. Among them are Eric Cantor, Linda Lingle and........that's it. Those are the only ones in congress or the governorship in the entire nation.

  2. What did you do with your time once Pat Buchanan stopped campaigning for President?

  3. For much of my life I lived and worked among amazingly brilliant Jews, and believed that Jews were simply smarter than everyone else. As I got a little more experience I came to understand that it was possible that not all Jews were brilliant. However, it wasn't until I moved to the North Shore that I actually found large numbers of really dumb Jews.

    Oh, well, at least there will be someone to pay too much for my house when I want to leave the place.

  4. The notion that Jews vote only for Jews is rediculous. On the contrary, we are not like the 95% black voters that voted for Obama. Most Jews know that we have more to lose by having a "bad" Jewish candidate win. Lieberman did not get the Jewish vote versus other Dems.
    The problem is that Jews vote Democrat, which is alluded to in the end of the article. Jews should have switched to Independent, Libertarian, or Conservative vote years ago.
    The author of this article prefers flash and headline over substance, which is why he mentions the Jewish Republican almost as a footnote at the end, between commas, in parenthesis. Real classy.

  5. Regarding the last comment, the mention of the Jewish candidate with sterling credentials for office was mentioned as a lead-in to a future article. Dr. Arie Friedman ran in the 10th CD, which is divided between Cook and Lake counties. Lake county does not publish vote totals by municipality or township, so it is difficult to unearth vote tallies for the Jewish enclaves of Highland Park. And in Cook, Glencoe is a very small part of New Trier Twp.

    But the fact remains, that Arie benefitted very little from Jewish ethnic vote, because he was a conservative running in the GOP primary. The shady pawnbroker, Cohen, was a Democrat.

    As for the first comment, if all Republicans are Birchers and Evangelical bible thumpers, how do you explain the neo-cons with Bill Kristol et al?

  6. For the record, Mickey Cohen was less a Prohibition-era gangster than he was a figure of the 1950s and 1960s. He was, in essence, Bugsy Siegel's successor as 'the man' behind the Syndicate operations in Los Angeles. And he died in his sleep, rather than in a "Tommy Gun" execution, after living long enough to become a public parody of himself and the whole idea of the gangster tough guy.

    Those are details, but they suggest you have the picture wrong here about both Cohens. The issue isn't the problem of Chicago area Jews supporting Democrats. When Republicans are the party of Sarah Palin, George Bush, and Michael Steele, there really isn't a choice. the problem is an Illinois Democratic party that seems intent on shooting itself in the feet. There were other good people who could have run for Lt. Governor. Imagine how strong the ticket would be if Hynes had been able to temper his ego and go with that.

    Chicago Jews should do what they've been doing in large numbers for a long time -- see Leon Despres, Abner Mikva, and Jan Schakowsky for a few -- and run as clean Democrats in a state that too often likes all its candidates to be dirty.

  7. what the author fails to point out is that cohen (or his minions) ran a brilliant, expensive campaign, with an excellent ad that was well spotted on the radio stations that were most likely to produce slc voters. if any of the other nonentities running had done so, and/or done some homework on cohen, perhaps this wouldn't have happened. as far as jews voting republican, this was a primary in which no illinoisan of any ilk knew who ran for lieutenant governor on the rep. ticket.

  8. Where to start? Hard line Evangelicals are much more friendlier to Jews and supportive of Israel than, honestly, Democrat Jews. The Obama remorse in the Jewish community is enormous, which is why in the 10th Congressional race, Arie Friedman greatly benefitted from the Jewish community. He won Moraine Twp, West Deerfield and most of Vernon Twp. Heavily Jewish areas that saw Jews for the first time in their lives pull GOP ballot.

    Taking the author at his word and that he is not anti-Semitic - he is ignorant or looking for headlines. I find it fascinating that he forgets to mention that Cohen outspent his competitors combined 10-1. The Dem Party never warned voters about his past and except for a Marc Brown article written a year ago, the media also failed.

    Did voters get mailers or see TV commercials from the other candidates? No. Was his jobs commercial effective - damn right it was. Did Jews and for that matter, every non-hispanic or African American voting block support Cohen, yes. Why? Because they didn't recognize any other name on the ballot. It also should be noted that the majority of Jews reside in Cook County, which sqaw horrendous voter turnout,especially compared to downstate.

    Should we condemn the Irish for the Daley family as well as the Mike Madigan dictatorship? Of course not. Does every ethinic group prefer their own at he ballot box? Yes - Jews happen to be the least supportive of their own, especially when compared to Blacks,Hispanics and the Irish. Obama got over 95% of the Black Vote.

    The title of the article is created out of ignorance. While I agree that Jews are guilty for blindly voting Democrat, creating a title that uses the word "blame" can only prove to be negative. Malice may have not been the intent, but the end results are still damaging as it will ultimately be used to promote blame against people who are already hated by many.

  9. Taking the author of the above comment at his word, that he is not a professional ethnocentrist with an economic stake in a permanent perception of group victimhood, he is a little less than forthright in his analysis.

    Arie Friedman may have "carried" Highland Park's Moraine Twp. but he did so by a paltry 16 votes. He garnered a raw vote of 595 compared to pawnbroker Cohen's raw total of 1,906 in winning the same township. An almost 4 to 1 edge for Cohen. How can you say with a straight face that Friedman "significantly" benefitted from the Jewish vote on his home turf?

    According to an American Jewish Committee poll, white American Jewry cast 83% of its votes for Obama. It is laughable to say that any other white ethnic cohort exhibits such slavish devotion to the Democratic line. Irish? Isn't the GOP Gov. candidate named Brady, who edged out McKenna and Ryan?

    If as you say, the Obama remorse in the Jewish community is enormous, that is encouraging. I have seen some of that myself. But is it any different from the Jimmy Carter remorse and the Al Gore remorse and the John Kerry remorse and probably back to the Adlai Stevenson remorse?

    Fact is, voter cohorts who can be taken for granted by a party often find themselves in the position of being ignored at a critical juncture, don't you think?

    One difference is that one can honestly analyse the reality of Latino and Black voter coherence without howls of anti-semitism filling the air.

    Sure Cohen carried a lot of area due to his heavy spending, but in no precincts were his totals so indisputedly overwhelming as in the Jewish precincts.


Comments invited, however anonymous commentors had better deal directly with the issues raised and avoid ad hominem drivel. As for Teachers' Union seminar writers -- forget about it.