Autocall Slings Mud On Amundsen LSC Race

By Mike Fourcher | Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On the eve of elections, campaigning for Local School Council fell to a new low as an anonymous autocall made an series of allegations against a sitting LSC member.

At about 8:00 p.m. this evening residents across Lincoln Square and Ravenswood received a call from an unidentified male voice claiming to deliver a, “Community warning for residents around Amundsen High School.” The call then made an array of charges against Amundsen LSC Community Representative Bill Helm, a member of the school’s LSC since 1996.

“It’s a clear attack on me,” Helm told Center Square Journal this evening. “It’s slanderous on my career that I spent working on behalf of students and the community. I’m absolutely appalled. It’s all false. It’s shameful.”

Ironically, when the call went out, Helm was at Amundsen High School for an LSC meeting devoted to selecting a replacement for outgoing principal Carlos Munoz. Helm’s cell phone has poor service in the school building, so he didn’t learn about the call until about an hour after it happened.

“I walk out [of the school] and my phone was on fire, I must have had 38 messages. Somebody’s over the top. This absolutely disgusting. It’s terrible. I give up my free time [to do this],” said Helm.

Helm has been in and out of the news in recent years as a prominent political supporter of former Ald. Eugene Schulter (47th) and as a leader of the 47th Ward Democratic Organization.

Tonight’s new LSC campaigning low might also be a result of intensified community interest in Amundsen High School. In past years it was difficult to find two people interested in running for the two LSC Community Representative slots. This year eight people are running for Amundsen Community Representative.

The autocall wrapped up with the erroneous request to, “Please vote Wednesday at Amundsen High School for anyone but corrupt political hack Billy Helm.”

LSC elections for high schools are on Thursday. Elementary school elections are on Wednesday.

If you know how, autocalls to large groups of people are relatively easy and inexpensive to make. This reporter, in a past career, maintained a web-based account that allows anyone to call tens of thousands of phone numbers a minute for pennies a piece. Calls are recorded by calling a special number and then a digital version of that number is used by a server based potentially anywhere in the United States. Autocall systems also allow the caller to designate what number shows up on caller ID, or even no number at all.

Learn more about where and how to vote for you LSCs here.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2404332 Jeffrey Newman

    This is horrible!  Whoever is putting out these calls is putting a stain on what had been a great, positive campaign.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MSQBS35N5ETQVKPPTKI36LSIKA Sean Zick

    This is the man who was responsible for the scandal at the Aquatic Center last year and Toni Precwinkle removed him from the county and had him fired.  He now works for IDOT as a Manager.  This is how the Machine works in this city.

  • Gerald Hopkins

    I think it’s a bit hyperbolic and intellectually dishonest to claim that Helm was completely responsible for the  aquatic center.  The person that was directly responsible, the Director of Recreation was terminated.  You also make it seem as if Preckwinkle fired Helm for cause — that is not the case.  There’s something called Shakman exempt positions.  I suggest you google it and learn something. 

    By the way, Mr. Zick, since you take such umbrage with what you construe as patronage and corruption: do you think it’s okay that Preckwinkle hired Robin Kelly, the former Chief of Staff to Giannoulias, the same Robin Kelly that managed to lose $150 MILLION in Bright Start money.  Do you think it’s okay that Preckwinkle under Daley’s advice hired Tariq Malhance, who ended up giving away $68million dollars of pension funds to Vanecko?  Do you think it’s okay that Preckwinkle hired Andrea Gibson the former City of Chicago Finance Director who left the city with a $700 million dollar deficit – excluding unfunded pensions, of course.  Tell me, Mr. Zick are these three individuals hired under Preckwinkle fine examples of public servants and proven stewards of taxpayers money?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/MSQBS35N5ETQVKPPTKI36LSIKA Sean Zick

      So a 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/MSQBS35N5ETQVKPPTKI36LSIKA Sean Zick

      The only one dishonest is William Helm.  He’s been living on the government teet for close to 30 years, 1st it was with Kelly and then Schulter.  Get your facts straight already. Bill Helm was the Deputy Superintendent of the Forest Preserve District, so yes, he was fired for cause. Before that, he was fired from IDOT in 2003. He was also one of those guys in the FPD where he was one of a ratio of 7 supervisors to 1 labor worker, then retired from FPD then went to IDOT then was fired for DUI.  Then was hired back in another “Position” where he was fired again.  The only thing he does for a living is use people and talk endlessly about himself.  

    • Mike royce

      Why would we want some who has DUI’s and starts bar fights to serve on School Counsel???  I think that is pretty good reason to not vote for him.  In short, he has some issues and should not be serving in any city position. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GHRINMAEMF6ZZUJSURYY6KFTXI obelus .

    As a voter in the ward, I’ve received three of these calls at this point.  I have never heard of this guy before.  I wish I knew who was behind this so I can ask them pretty please to end this harassment.  Each call contained more skullduggery.  The calls come from a Nevada exchange that is apparently a pay phone network, so they could generate anonymously from anywhere.  Three different calls from three different individuals (two male, one female).  Someone is spending money for these things, it isn’t free.  Let’s take a look at who the guy is running against and start there.  

  • Pingback: Voters Converge On Amundsen HS for LSC Election | The Center Square Journal

  • JoeLake

    Push Poll-Wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Push_poll   Joe Lake, Chicago

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