Nothin’s on the Square




Chicago, IL – July 30, 2017- Wanna know what really went on behind closed doors during the 2015 Campaign? Here it is, in all its ugly and hilarious glory. Chicagoland radio personality Mike Houlihan, former features columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Irish American News, documents a behind-the-scenes look at the race for a new mayor.

Nothin’s on the Square tells the story of 82 days on the 2015 mayoral campaign trail, making history in Chicago with Chuy Garcia vs. Rahm Emanuel. “Nothin’s on the Square,” published by Abbeyfeale Press, is now available on, Barnes and Noble and other selected retailers.

Take a peek at the bare-knuckled back room brinkmanship and back-stabbing brew that propels Houlihan and company along the Chicago campaign trail, from empty candidate forums to boisterous corned beef bashes to the full Monty of both of Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parades. Setting the scene with daily murder and mayhem stats from the bloody streets of the ghetto, Houlihan peels off the days of the calendar to expose history in the making, as upstart candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia clashes with millionaire mayor Rahm Emanuel, the evil incumbent burning through money to protect his ass and toss opponents in front of the bus. Like sausage and politics, it ain’t pretty, but this diary exposes the “warts and all” of a seldom seen world of local ward heelers in hand-to-hand combat in the trenches, with all the macabre humor and sensational characters that will forever define “Chicago politics”.

Rick Kogan of Chicago Tribune/WGN Radio calls it “A deep dive into the wicked and wacky world of Chicago politics with a man who knows the score. An incisive, rollicking, intimate trip.”

About Mike Houlihan

Mike Houlihan, former features columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, has just finished a 20-year run as columnist for The Irish American News. He’s Chairman of Hibernian Transmedia, a public charity dedicated to Irish and Irish American culture. He began his career over 44 years ago acting with The American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, CT performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, on TV, and in indie features and major motion pictures. He’s also author of anthologies, “Hooliganism Stories” and “More Hooliganism Stories.” His adventures “Goin’ East on Ashland” came to life onstage in Chicago for six years running and his favorite Chicago Commandments are “Only Suckers Beef,” “Never Make Bail Under a Viaduct”, and now “Nothin’s on the Square”!

Book Launch: Tues, Aug. 22nd, 2017 at Cork & Kerry, 10614 S Western Ave, Chicago, 7:30PM. Thurs. Aug. 24th, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 North Knox, Chicago, 7:30PM;

Mon. Aug. 28th, Beverly Art Center, 2407 W. 111th St, Chicago.7PM

Tues. Aug 29th, Duffy’s Tavern, 7513 W. Madison, Forest Park, Il. 7:30PM,

Houli will read from the book, and sign and sell copies of the book for a measly $14.95! Now available on, Barnes and Noble and other selected retailers. Limited Edition signed copies available at


  1. Heard you on WGN. Problem with campaigns like Chuy’s is embracing being progressive. To many conservative middle class voters, the word “progressive” is code word for redistribution and higher taxes. Many of us have no love for the Rahm’s and Trump’s of the world, but we have to vote for the lesser of two evils. Progressives make the mistake that they can win simply with the special interest groups that make up their coalition. Not living in Michael Madigan’s or Ed Burke’s SW side kingdoms, not being a government worker with fat pay and pensions or a permanent underclass welfare recipient, your candidate has nothing to offer me. For many of us, an endorsement by Karen Lewis and her CTU thugs, is a automatic turnoff. Our teachers are among the highest paid in the country, they resist closing under utilized schools and her constant demands for HIGHER taxes whether it be a city income tax or some form of financial tax, makes me not even consider voting for a Chuy.

    If I am getting a 1.5 billion tax increase to pay for PENSIONS, a new property tax to pay for CTU pensions in addition to the two CPS property taxes we already have that get raised automatically to the max allowed by law, what would I expect from a Chuy type candidate controlled by Karen Lewis and the CTU who would appoint a even more friendly school board and rubber stamp more taxes to pay for even more teacher pay!

    Living in Chicago, is not living in utopia, it is trying to survive and keeping a grip on our wallets from an assault by public unions and fat cat Michael Madigan hand picked candidates.

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