To the editors:
Ben Joravsky’s front-page story on the primary race in the 9th Congressional District (“Why Is This Man Running?” February 16, 1990) reminds us all of most of the reasons Edwin Eisendrath’s attempt to replace Sid Yates as our Congressman is laughable. But Joravsky missed two rather important points.
Fact One: Eisendrath has been a profoundly mediocre alderman. Residents of the 43rd Ward got better service (snow and garbage removal, streetlight maintenance, etc.) when independent Ald. Marty Oberman was fighting with Mayor Jane Byrne than we do now with Ald. Eisendrath loyally supporting Mayor Rich Daley.
Fact Two: Eisendrath did not become alderman because of his Harvard education or his “innovative” ideas or (heaven knows!) his “independence.” Eisendrath became alderman because a clique within the 43rd Ward Democratic Organization, led by Ward Committeeman Ann Stepan and former Ald. Billy Singer (who used to be an independent before he became a real estate lawyer), have worked assiduously for nearly ten years to shift the 43rd Ward from progressive independent politics into the New Daley Machine. In this campaign, Edwin Eisendrath has been merely a tool: an articulate, photogenic tool, but only a tool. (Perhaps Eisendrath has now realized that he’s just a tool, and that’s why he wants to get out of town!)
Sid Yates is a Regular Democrat, but he has always treated independents with respect (which is more than one can say for Eisendrath and his friends in the New Daley Machine). For more than 40 years, Yates has done the day-to-day work of representing his constituents (work that already bores Eisendrath after 2<4 years in the City Council), and has been on the right side of every issue. Yates vs. Eisendrath: from the sublime to the ridiculous!
Mary A. Carroll