In October 2005, Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed David Hoffman to be the new Inspector General of the City of Chicago. He breathed new life into a moribund, embarrassing department in city government. Shortly after the appointment, I helped create the first Web site for the department.
That's when I first met David Hoffman. He was exactly my age, and he was open to all of the ideas I brought to the table. To use a weblog for his news section. To use an inexpensive, non-City Web host for his web site and the City's first-ever Report Corruption form.
And everything that he wanted was all about being independent. He needed his email system to be independent of the city servers. He wanted to make sure that people understood, as they considered whether to fill out the report corruption form, that he would do what he could to protect them from retribution. Everything down to the new seal we made for the Department indicated independence and seriousness of purpose.
One of the things that impressed me about him was his choice of deputies. Mary Hodge, his First Deputy, was literally on the wire when it was discovered at Counselor's Row by busboys during an FBI investigation of the First Ward in the 1980s. David Grossman, his Director of Investigations, was a part served undercover for over three years in Operation Greylord, the investigation of
the Cook County judicial system that led to the conviction of 93 persons, including over 40
attorneys, 10 law enforcement officers and 15 corrupt Cook County judges, among them the
chief judge of the First Municipal Division (Chicago courts).
Legendary people to me. And just another sign that Hoffman was a solid, serious person who knew how to get shit done and surround himself with quality people. Everything about my experience with David Hoffman centered around competence and integrity.
We launched his Web site. Over time, we kept in touch. I joined EveryBlock, and began working with municipal governments all over the country to get them to release public data. Hoffman was appointed to the Illinois Reform Commission, and we spoke of open data issues during that time.
As he began planning his run for US Senate, in the seat formerly occupied by the current President of the United States, you can imagine I was pretty excited about this prospect. I listened more to his politics, and we talked about many of the major issues facing this country and the State of Illinois.
So that's basically why I support David Hoffman – I personally know him to be a competent, honest, earnest, Democrat. I would be proud to have him represent me as a citizen of the State of Illinois.
My responsibilities at EveryBlock– a job that I really love– preclude me from continuing as a paid staff member at the Hoffman for Illinois campaign. But I am devoted to David and his candidacy, and I urge all Illinoisans to really take a good, hard look at this guy. Read his bio, and his well thought-out positions on the issues like Afghanistan & Pakistan (keep the mission focused on Al Qaeda), the economy (inject capital more deeply into the economy and encourage lending), and gay marriage (yes to equality and yes to the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act).
The election is February 2– very soon. Early voting starts on January 11. We have to change the dynamics of this important race, or I'm afraid that there will be serious consequences. Just imagine waking up on November 3, 2010 and seeing Obama's Senate seat in the red column.
There's time. Let's work. Let's vote. And let's not let the temporal apathy and cold of January blow six years of our state's representation in the US Senate.