Friday, November 17, 2006

Personal Asides: Cliff Kelley, Mike Noonan to Conclude My Roosevelt U Class December 21…Rod Gidwitz and Mike Noonan to be on Sunday’s Political Shootout.

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Kelley and Noonan.

The final pieces have been put together to complete the Roosevelt University course I teach. Guest lecturers on December 21 will be WVON radio talk show host Cliff Kelley…who is required listening every day for those interested in the political attitudes of the African American community…and Mike Noonan, the bright young Democrat who managed the Todd Stroger campaign for president of the Cook county board, taking it from an extremely problematic, near-quixotic effort to a win.

It will be a reunion of sorts for Kelley and me. We were teammates on an original weekly WBEZ program a quarter century ago that became a kind of cult show, “Inside Politics with Bruce DuMont.” A well-known alderman, he was a brilliant lawyerly, acerbic critic of Mayor Jane Byrne and an invaluable analyst of the early days of the Harold Washington administration. His humor, laced with some irreverence of the white and black establishment and often rollicking satire became a staple then and has continued now that he has his own highly successful show which is listened to by all those who seek to get the pulse of the black community. To do this class for me, Cliff has to take off from his regular show which now runs in drive-time late afternoon—for which I am very grateful.

Mike Noonan is a familiar guest on my own WLS radio show because he delights in driving the heavily conservative audience crazy by refusing to cater to its whims. He began as a campaign manager for a number of Democratic House candidates including Rep. Jack Franks who ran a pioneering attempt in heavily Republican McHenry county…and later for Lisa Madigan in her first run for AG. With his success with the Cook county effort, Mike is regarded as the leading young stalwart manager and strategist for the Illinois Democratic party.

Gidwitz and Noonan.

Guests on my Sunday Political Shootout program on WLS will be Ron Gidwitz, business entrepreneur and a Republican candidate for governor last March and Mike Noonan. Gidwitz impressed me mightily and still does for the thoroughly researched and cogent knowledge he shows of multitudinous programs involving Chicago and Illinois, stemming from many years in civic, philanthropic and Republican activities.

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