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32nd Ward Race Gets Ugly
by Andrew Davis

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The openly gay brother of 32nd Ward aldermanic candidate Scott Waguespack has told Windy City Times that the campaign has been the subject of anti-gay epithets. Moreover, he is upset that Tom Tunney, Chicago's only out alderman, is supporting the current 32nd Ward alderman, who has allegedly engaged in anti-gay behavior of his own.

Sylvestre Waguespack—who is the financial director of Scott's campaign—said that on Feb. 27 ( the day of the city's primary aldermanic elections ) , 32nd Ward Superintendent Andrew Szorc yelled insults at Scott Waguespack at a polling site. 'According to one our poll-watchers, Szorc told people going in and out of the polling place [ at Holstein Park ] to not vote for the guy with the fag brother, the faggot brother, the queer brother,' he said. 'I mean, this is the 32nd Ward superintendent; this isn't some guy they got off the street to come help them.' Attempts to reach Szorc were unsuccessful. ( See more in the Letters to the Editor section on page 10. )

Sylvestre also spoke of Tunney, the openly gay alderman of the 44th Ward, and his involvement in the 32nd Ward race. 'Last week, $10,000 from Tunney's political committee was transferred to Matlak's political committee,' Sylvestre said, who also stated that Tunney is going door to door urging people to vote for Matlak. ' [ Supporting Matlak ] would be fine if it weren't for the anti-gay undertones from [ his ] camp. When he ran against Lorna Brett eight years ago, there was a whole campaign to paint her as a radical lesbian feminist, and I believe she's straight. The part that I find most deplorable is that Tunney is supporting a campaign that's doing this. None of this should be going on.'

Rebekah Brooks, a spokesperson for Matlak's campaign, said that 'what other people may or may not be saying isn't reflective of our campaign. Alderman Matlak has been endorsed by Alderman Tom Tunney and State Rep. Greg Harris, and he is very supportive of issues [ regarding ] the gay community.' She added that 'we believe that [ the allegations ] are an attempt to deflect attention away from [ Scott ] . He's a city administrator in Berwyn, and two weeks ago the city council voted unanimously to launch an investigation against Scott for campaigning on city time; a couple of days later, the council voted unanimously to eliminate his patronage position.' ( Brooks then e-mailed a press release from Berwyn Alderman Michael Phelan that mentioned the investigation. ) As for the allegations involving Brett, Brooks said that she was not involved in that campaign so she 'cannot speak to that.' ( Sylvestre responded that Scott has never been under investigation. )

Tunney told Windy City Times that he is supporting Matlak and added that 'since I've been alderman, his support of gay and lesbian issues has been very good. During any kind of campaign, there are all sorts of accusations; all I can confirm is that I've had a good working relationship with him.' Like Brooks, Tunney said that he could not speak about the allegations concerning Brett ( 'I didn't know Ted then; I wasn't active in [ the 32nd Ward ] then.' ) , but did say that she was a friend of his.

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