Vrdolyak's Controversial Career
IPSN August 28, 1997
1963: Joins 10th Ward Democratic Organization.
1966: Announces candidacy for aldermen, then withdraws from the race.
1968: Elected Ward committeeman.
1971: Elected alderman, defeating John Buchanan.
1974: Defeated in a bid for Cook County Assessor Thomas Tully.
1975: Named chairman of the City Council Buildings and Zoning Committee.
1976: Elected President Pro Tempore of the City Council after Richard J.
1979: Directs failed re-election of Mayor Mike Bilandic. Is stripped of his powers
by Mayor Jane M. Byrne.
1979: Uses his ties to the Mob Controlled First Ward Organization to convince Byrne
to dump allies of the Daley family as leaders of her City Council, installing him as her
chief floor leader.
1982: With Jane Byrnes help, he is elected chairman of the Cook County
Democratic Party, ousting George W. Dunne. Re-elected in 1984 and 1986.
1983: Takes control of the Chicago City Council following the election of Harold
Washington as Mayor. Uses racism and race baiting tactics to polarize the city and divide
the council between white and minority aldermen, leading the so-called Vrdolyak
1986: Stripped of City Council powers by Washington after special aldermanic
elections erode Vrdolyaks 29 vote majority.
1987: Reportedly meets with mobster Joe Ferriola seeking support for his candidacy
as mayor as an independent candidate in the General election, a three-way bid against
Washington and longtime nemesis, County Assesor Thomas Hynes.
1987: Resigns under pressure as Chairman of the Cook County Democratic
Organization, and joins the Republican Party.
1992: Steps in behind-the-scenes to maneuver the political elections in Cicero,
following the indictments of Cicero Assessor Frank Maltese and Ernest Rocco Infelise on
charges of mob racketeering.
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