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The following Media Update concerns the leather community's own Jack Rinella, who is running as a Democratic for a seat as a Delegate in the Illinois statehouse. He is running under his real name, Joe Laiacona, however he has been out about his writings as Jack Rinella. He has published LeatherViews for Gay Chicago magazine for the past 17 years and has written numerous BDSM books including the Master's Manual. His websites are: www.friendsforjoelaiacona.org and www.leatherviews.com
Joe Laiacona takes on Deb Mell
Windy City Times
Joe Laiacona is taking on incumbent state Rep. Deb Mell in what is shaping up to a very intriguing race in the state's 40th District. Does Laiacona realize the magnitude of the task before him? Absolutely. Is he intimidated? Hardly.
In a talk with Windy City Times, the openly gay Laiacona—who teaches at Columbia College and is an amateur genealogist—discussed his platform, Mell's interview with this publication and his reason for not being more "out" on his campaign Web site. ...
When I wrote last week that sexual orientation is unlikely to be an issue in the upcoming Democratic primary race on the Northwest Side between incumbent Rep. Deb Mell and challenger Joe Laiacona (they're both gay, a first at this level of politics in Illinois) I did so having not pursued a tiny clue buried in the Windy City Times interview with Laiacona: that he formerly wrote a column under the pen name "Jack Rinella" for Gay Chicago Magazine.
Capitol Fax publisher Rich Miller called my attention to a brief article from the Windy City TImes in June noting: "Laiacona—who wrote the column "Leather Views" for Gay Chicago magazine for many years under the name Jack Rinella...is also on the board of directors of the Leather Leadership Conference, Inc."
Another big piece of bad news is hitting Chicago's Mell/Blagojevich political clan.
Northwest Side State Rep. Deb Mell may have screwed up her nominating petitions, with a real risk that she'll be knocked off the February Democratic primary ballot.
A challenge filed Monday afternoon by an attorney for Joseph Laiacona, the only other remaining candidate in the 40th District race, contends that Ms. Mell is not registered to vote at her apparently new address. By law, all candidates are supposed to be registered at the address they use for their nominating petitions.