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Sweet column: Rep. Gutierrez to give up 1st ward Dem party spot. Outlines possible mayoral platform today. BTW...he sure moves around a lot.

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Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) will be quitting his 1st Ward Democratic Party job and today delivers a speech further positioning him for a mayoral run.

Last November, Gutierrez moved from Logan Square to Bucktown, his fifth move in 10 years.

Gutierrez moves with regularity almost every two years in order to cash in on the Near Northwest Side's rising real estate market.

He now lives on West Churchill Street, not far from Western Avenue. When he ran for re-election in 2004, Gutierrez lived at 2846 N. River Walk Drive; in 2002, he had a home at 1745 N. Hermitage; in 2000, his residence was at 1934 W. Wabansia.

Gutierrez has told me in past conversations that he is willing to live a lifestyle that would drive most people to distraction -- keeping a home clutter free and "for sale" fastidious from day one -- because it is a way to make money on the side while not violating any of the many House rules that restrict the ability of members to earn outside income.

While his new home is in the 4th Congressional District that he represents, Gutierrez now is a resident of the 32nd Ward.

Gutierrez spokesman Scott Frotman told me Sunday that the lawmaker will be stepping down as 1st Ward Democratic committeeman, though the timetable has not been finalized.

Gutierrez will start a conversation with members of the 1st Ward organization to designate a successor.

As of this writing, I'm told he has no one he wants to tap. Nor is he trying to line up a candidate to take over the 4th District House seat he plans to vacate after one more term, presuming he is re-elected in November, a good bet since it is an overwhelmingly Democratic district.

Gutierrez plans to deliver a major address today before an audience of opinion makers at the City Club of Chicago.

The speech, still a work in progress Sunday, will serve to continue to frame issues Gutierrez may use for the mayoral bid he has told me he is considering.

In the wake of serial patronage hiring scandals, Gutierrez will call for a major City Hall change in hiring -- privatizing personnel operations.

He will again challenge Mayor Daley to make school funding as much a priority as the city's contemplated 2016 Olympics bid.

Gutierrez, a leader on immigration issues in Congress and a speaker at the massive rallies in Chicago, will also talk about the prospects of broad-based immigration reform.

Daley returns from Jordan, Israel

Speaking of the mayor, Daley wrapped up his first trip to Israel and Jordan on Sunday, talking to a group of Israeli businessmen in Petach Tikva, one of Chicago's sister cities.

Daley made a PowerPoint presentation about doing business in Chicago, I was told when I chatted by phone with Michael Kotzin, an executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago who traveled with Daley.

Controversial donor, redux

The New York Times wrote Sunday about the controversial John Burgess, his firm, International Profit Associates of Buffalo Grove, his political donations and his connections to former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Melissa Merz, a spokesman for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, confirmed Sunday that Madigan is investigating the company.

That a pol may not want to take a Burgess-connected donation is not hard to figure out -- it's as easy as checking Nexis. On Sept. 5, 2002, I wrote about how the Blagojevich campaign announced it rejected $125,000 because Burgess was disbarred and convicted of grand larceny; a June 2000 story in Inc. magazine mentioned his guilty plea to patronizing a prostitute and personal bankruptcy.

Lynn Sweet is the Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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1 Comment

I'd love to see Guiterrez run for Mayor. It's clear we need a serious alternate to Daley, who's demonstrated that he got way too comfortable at City Hall and has very serious corruption scandals that could bring him down.

If you believe Daley, he's just an innocent bystander and is shocked there could be any corrutption at all.

We know he's totally in charge of what happens in the city.

It's unfortunate to see him exploiting the Olympic bid idea that wasn't even his. He rejected it back in the early 90's and is obviously using it for political purpose now. He's not only trying to influence voters, but potential JURORS.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 8, 2006 8:35 AM.

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