February 2012 Column from Irish American News

Mike Houlihan

Wild Bill Kelly is at it again!

Kelly is the thorn in the side of liberal media dweebs. Maybe you saw his confrontation with candidate Rahm Emmanuel last year. Kelly and his camera crew caught up with Rahm on the mayoral campaign trail and Wild Bill asked him a question.

KELLY: Rahm, there are a lot of people that speculate that the stimulus was actually just a payback to your Wall Street friends that made you a multi- multi-millionaire.

EMANUEL: Heh heh.

KELLY: What do you say to those people?

Good question William, except the tiny dancer ignored him and walked away so WLS reporter Charles Thomas and CBS wimp Jay Levine could throw softballs to Rahm and kiss his butt like most of the media did during the campaign. But Kelly would not be denied and asked “What about the residency issue?” The old guard reporters were appalled at the temerity of The Kelly Truth Squad as he refused to back down and they tried elbowing him out of the interview so they could protect Rahm from this right wing interloper.

They became especially agitated when Kelly asked of Thomas and Levine, “Are you his press secretary?”

Finally Jay Levine screamed at Kelly, “… I’m going to deck you!! —

It was the contretemps of the campaign and Kelly pressed charges for assault. It was thrown out in court because the judge probably believed Jay Levine could never “deck” anybody, including his sister.

Not long after that Kelly was asked to leave a press conference after inquiring of Senator Dick Durbin if he felt any responsibility for the nation losing its credit rating.

One of the other reporters then told Kelly, “You can’t ask questions at a press conference.”

That absurd declaration epitomizes the political theatre William J. Kelly creates whenever he’s on the scene in his role as conservative provocateur. He drives the left wing media nuts and puts the pols into paroxysms.

Kelly had been operating without press credentials until just recently so we can look forward to seeing the Kelly Truth Squad in full regalia now that he has a Chicago Press Pass.

Kelly has run for Congress and Sate Comptroller over the years but hasn’t won anything, yet. Now he’s on the ballot for Republican Ward Committeeman of the 42nd Ward. He tells me, “My plan is in rapid fire to become Chairman of the Chicago GOP.”

In this presidential election year a lot more folks will be taking Republican ballots than in the past so this primary in the 42nd Ward could be a scrum. And if there is anyplace Kelly has the advantage it’s in close combat with those who want to deny him his shot.

The Democrats have locked up Chicago and Cook County for decades. It’s a one party system and that has led to fat politicians with fatter wallets. But it’s our dough in those wallets so William Kelly has a plan.

“If anybody does not believe that we have reached political rock bottom in Chicago, I can simply tell you this: There is currently no Republican candidate slated in my ward for congress, state senate, state rep, Cook County States Attorney, Water Reclamation District or Board of Review.”

If Kelly is running the Chicago GOP, “I will have a candidate in every one of those

Kelly first showed up on my radar in 1993. I was watching the news and a report came on of a young man removed from President Bill Clinton’s Chicago press conference for shouting out a question. I loathed Clinton and leaned into the TV. Turns out the kid was Bill Kelly from Beverly, went to my alma mater Christ The King, so I called his house that night to congratulate him and his dad answered the phone and told me Bill was in federal custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center downtown.

“That was an experience that changed my life obviously.” say Kelly.

The next day they hauled Kelly into court and he heard the bailiff announce, “The United States of America vs. William J. Kelly.”

He had been charged with a federal crime, a catchall statute, “being in a federally secured area where the President of the United States was temporarily located.”

Bill was released 24 hours later. “I immediately went to old St. Pat’s church and said a prayer.”

Ed Vrdolyak defended Kelly. He was a Republican then and he asked Bill, “Who’s your congressman? Maybe we can get your congressman to help?’

Kelly lived in the district of former Black Panther Bobby Rush.

Vrdolyak told him, “Your congressman, when he was your age, was advocating violent revolution and the overthrow of the American government and now he’s a congressman and here you ask about a tax cut at a town meeting and you’re being charged with a federal crime. Do you see any irony here?”

Eddie V then advised Kelly, “You should run against Bobby Rush for congress!”

The day Kelly announced his candidacy; they dropped all charges against him.

Wild Bill Kelly has been fighting the good fight ever since.

“I became a Republican when the Democratic Party became what I perceive to be anti-everything that I believe in. I could have very easily been the number one precinct captain in the 19th Ward but for the fact that the Democrats sold out.”

And that is when, as Yeats would say, “a terrible beauty was born”

If you live in the 42nd Ward you’ve probably seen Bill Kelly in the hood. He’s lived there for over a decade. Maybe you should give him a second look when you cast your Republican ballot for Ward Committeeman.

Everybody always knew the Harlem Globetrotters were going to beat the Washington Generals every time they met on the basketball court. Chicago politics works the same way, the fix is in and everybody knows it. If it was legit, the fans might have seen a better game.

Maybe it’s time to give the ball to Wild Bill Kelly.