Inspired twin brothers leading Madigan’s expansion into suburban Chicago Ridge
Both born on the same day in September 1964, the Moody twins—Ed and Fred—are living one version of the American Dream.
Cook County patronage jobs at age 25.
Paid campaign work with the powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D-Chicago).
A suburban school board presidency.
A pensioned post overseeing 14 miles of highway for a suburban township.
A county board seat, which includes an $85,000 salary and “Honorable” in front of your name.
Such are the spoils of being a loyal soldier for a political machine.
Now, at age 52, with the help of Madigan, their mentor, the Moodys are building a machine they can call their own in suburban Chicago Ridge.
Ed and Fred aim to take control of the village in the April 4 elections, backing a slate of trustee candidates and mayoral hopeful Fran Coglianese.
The brothers have launched a campaign to take out incumbent mayor Chuck Tokar. One of their strongest weapons has been door-to-door campaigning.
"These two guys are legends, and for good reason," a piece by Rich Miller on Capitol Fax said. "They love walking precincts and they can flip more voters at the doors than just about anyone else alive. Of course, there have also been stories about how, for instance, they describe their candidate as absolutely pro-gun at one door and favoring strict gun control at the next. I saw several Bruce Rauner yard signs when I was in Kankakee back in 2014 right next to signs for Rep. Kate Cloonen (D-Kankakee). I don’t think that was by accident."
Tokar has run into issues with the brothers' sign campaign as well.
"The town has 1,900 single-family homes," Tokar told the South Cook News. "I bought, like, 400 signs and a lot of mine have been disappearing. These guys bought 2,500 signs, 600 more than we have single-family homes. Sometimes two or three in front of one house, in front of vacant houses. In front of non-registered voters' houses. The two of these guys, they are amazing. I’ve got to tell you. Talk about determined."
Tokar went on to say that voters have felt intimidated by the brothers at their door.
"Senior citizens tell me at their door that these guys would come there and talk and talk and talk and wouldn't leave until they agreed to let them put a sign in their front lawn," Tokar said. "I mean, it's just not right to be pushing senior citizens like that."
The brothers have also been accused of nepotism. Tokar claimed Ed Moody handed his job of highway commissioner over to his wife.
While they claim to be for term limits, they have both been associated with Speaker Mike Madigan, who is seen as one of Illinois' more corrupt politicians and longest-running house speaker.
Madigan reported giving the brothers a combined contribution of nearly $20,000. Fred Moody has also worked on Madigan's past campaigns.
In addition to receiving money form Madigan, the brothers also have an alleged history of committing crimes on behalf of Madigan.
"At least Fred, I believe, according to Google anyway, was arrested for stealing signs during Madigan's last race," Tokar said. "You know, they traveled the whole state of Illinois on behalf of people that are Madigan's candidates."
Fred was accused of stealing Madigan's opponent Michele Piszczor's signs. He was also accused of stalking Piszczor. Despite the accusations, no charges were ever filed.
Tokar is nervous about the effect the brothers will have on the village.
"I think the bottom line is, I hope the residents aren't taken in by this, especially the seniors," Tokar said.