Candidates for alderman may talk about Iraq or health care policy every so often, but most races hinge on neighborhood issues like crime, development, parking, and street cleaning. As expected, those topics dominated the discussion among the three challengers to 50th Ward alderman Berny Stone during a candidates’ forum Wednesday night. One of them, though, had corruption on his mind.
Salman Aftab, the founder of an IT firm, ripped the Daley administration for wasting taxpayers’ money. “I will fight to end corruption, like the $100 million hired truck scandal and others that will come out soon,” he said at one point.
Even rivals Naisy Dolar and Greg Brewer appeared intrigued by that bit of soothsaying. But Aftab’s monologue blaming city mismanagement on inattentive aldermen was what really got people’s attention. “Right now we have a City Council where one alderman, Troutman, got busted” (PDF), he reminded the audience. “She said all aldermen are ho’s. Well, I don’t think aldermen should be ho’s. When I’m an alderman I won’t be a ho’.”
When Stone confronted Troutman about her remark last week, she reportedly told him it had been taken out of context. But Stone didn’t say anything at the forum about Aftab’s comment. He couldn’t–he hadn’t shown up.