The 12th Ward Democratic Committeemen campaign got hotter today, as the Muñoz and Cardenas campaigns lobbed charges of vote buying at one another while allies of one campaign launched an attack website.
Incumbent 12th Ward Democratic Committeeman and State Senator Tony Muñoz’s campaign released a letter to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office alleging vote buying by the campaign of challenger and 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas. The letter was accompanied by a video showing what seems to be a Cardenas campaign worker handing out books and Cardenas’ palm cards to voters outside the 12th Ward early voting polling place. The book, Red Rising by Pierce Brown, is part of a post-apocalyptic trilogy in the same genre as the Hunger Games.
“If donating a book constitutes voter fraud, then the Senator is guilty of the same thing for handing out tax rebates at the polling place,” responded Cardenas campaign manager and 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez. “I don’t think of what he’s alleging as voter fraud.”
Lopez’ comments referred to a flyer distributed by Muñoz’ 12th Ward Democratic Organization promoting a property tax rebate seminar scheduled for this Saturday at the McKinley Park Field House, the same location as the 12th Ward’s early voting polls.
Meanwhile, allies of Muñoz campaign launched an attack website and digital ad campaign on Cardenas. The website, cardenascorruption.com, dredges up allegations from a civil lawsuit of a former Cardenas staffer that Cardenas is under federal investigation. The Cardenas team insists the fired staffer was forced on them by Muñoz and the federal investigation story is just a form of retaliation from a disgruntled ex-employee.