Raw tape #32 for Vito Marzullo. City Council with Vito wired #2. Vito at a city council meeting. While speakers drone on, lavishing praise on Mayor Michael Bilandic, Marzullo makes behind-the-scenes deals with his colleagues. A wireless microphone catches the intrigue.
00:00Copy video clip URL Blank screen until 00:46Copy video clip URL.
00:46Copy video clip URL The video begins to find Alderman Marzullo at his chair in the city council chambers, reading and signing documents. A roll call and a prayer begins the meeting. The tape skips over some of what takes place.
04:42Copy video clip URL Marzullo rises from his seat and walks to an official at the front of the stage, asking for a copy of a document that the committeeman next to him received. He takes the paper and returns to his seat. The tape skips again.
05:33Copy video clip URL When the tape returns, a politician in a gray suit has stopped to talk with Marzullo. “Some of us are trying to help him get to be the chairman,” the man says, obviously in regard to another politician. Though the names are hard to hear, Marzullo replies, “I called [Cook County Board President] George Dunne this morning. I told George Dunne, ‘You appoint [name] Chairman of the Board of Election Commission, I’ll have [name] vote for the ERA in Springfield.” “Oh, that was a good one,” says the man.
06:35Copy video clip URL Other unnamed politicians deliver speeches praising current Mayor Michael Bilandic, a former alderman of the 11th Ward, and listing his accomplishments since taking office. Meanwhile, other politicians speak in hushed tones to their colleagues.
09:48Copy video clip URL Alderman Marzullo stands to speak, and seconds the resolution honoring Mayor Bilandic. “God closes one door and opens another,” he says, praising Bilandic’s performance as a “great public official” since the loss of Richard J. Daley. Many speeches praising Mayor Bilandic continue.
12:28Copy video clip URL Marzullo stands and walks toward the front of the room and stops at the video crew’s setup that was catching recordings from his wireless microphone. He seems surprised that the crew is still recording, but returns to his seat. The tape again skips forward to catch Marzullo saying to another politician, “Yeah, go tell ’em,” but the context is unclear. The speeches praising Bilandic continue to a near-ridiculous degree, with speaker after speaker lavishing praises like, “I hope the people of Chicago will re-elect Mayor Bilandic again and again and again.”
15:45Copy video clip URL Marzullo stands to meet another politician, greeting him as “Mr. Chairman.” Marzullo shows him a rectangular paper, saying “Look what I’m gonna rip Oberman. ‘Bilandic for Mayor.'” An alderman (later identified 43rd Ward Alderman Martin Oberman) approaches Marzullo, who tells him, “I wanted to show you how non-partisan I am,” and shows him the same paper as before. Oberman chuckles and shakes Marzullo’s hand. “It’s not a bad deal,” Marzullo says convincingly. “It saves me $25,000,” replies Oberman, who explains that his voters won’t reelect him if he publicly supports Mayor Bilandic. “It’s a good offer, but I don’t think I can accept it at this time,” Oberman says before walking away.
17:52Copy video clip URL Marzullo again heads to the front of the room, and greets an acquaintance named Bob. “What the hell’s going on in here?” Bob says. “Same old bullshit again. Killing all morning,” replies Marzullo about the long winded speeches.
18:29Copy video clip URL Tom Weinberg, seeing him make a business deal just moments before, challenges him with, “I didn’t know you had business with the independents… with aldermen.” Marzullo’s replies that once election day ends, he puts aside his differences with other politicians, “unless they got something against me, then they gotta fight.” Marzullo explains his side of a feud with Alderman Leon Despres (interviewed in tapes #23, #24, & #25).
21:40Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks him about Oberman again, and Marzullo reveals the mysterious paper he showed Oberman. It reads “Bilandic for Mayor, Oberman for Alderman.” Marzullo complains that Oberman turned down his attempt to gain his support for Bilandic because Oberman, then the leader of Chicago’s independent aldermen, feared that his voters would turn on him if he voted for Bilandic, a Democrat.