My interest in politics grew when my cousin bought me a Noam Chomsky book for my bachelors’ graduation in 2006. Chomsky’s analysis of the news media industry was eye-opening. Seeing the Obama presidency play out following the housing crash in 2008 was equally informative.
Around 2010, I found out that Alderman Solis was taking $5000 every year from the company that owned the coal plants in Pilsen and Little Village. I also found out that those coal plants were killing 42 people a year and only employing approximately 160 people. The cost of corruption was made plain and hit as close to home as possible; 1 life was cut short in exchange for $119 in campaign cash and 4 years of employment for someone else.
When I saw the gerrymandered ward map of Chicago in 2012 and saw how it was drawn to protect incumbents while enabling legalized (and what turned out to be illegal) corruption, the city’s corrupt politics became my central political concern. This was cemented by a series of talks by Larry Lessig at the University of Chicago during my 2014/2015 attempt to get on the ballot for alderman.
Unfortunately, my anti-corruption aldermanic campaigns were ignored by the local media despite the fact that my alderman, Danny Solis, was exposed as a mole for the FBI against another sitting alderman during the latest campaign. Having the media brand my opponent, Byron Sigcho, the anti-corruption candidate has brought my political life full circle, back to Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent.
Sigcho failed to make corruption any part of his platform prior to the FBI mole story breaking. Nonetheless, news outlets failed to reward my prescience and instead highlighted Sigcho‘s late-breaking narrative. Subsequently, Sigcho’s anti-corruption bonafides were proved false. Moreover, the so-called anti-corruption candidate now has not just 1, not just 2, but 3 different allegations of voting fraud against his campaign. The irony couldn’t be more rich. I’ll be expanding on this theme, hopefully, sometime soon.
Here are my blog posts on political corruption: