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CHICAGO-A former chairman of the Democratic National Committee has taken up the cause of neighbors who complain that the proposed renovations of Wrigley Field will block their view of the baseball games played there. David Wilhelm, who was national chairman of the Clinton/Gore campaign in 1992 and chairman of the DNC in the mid-1990s, and who is now president of a top-drawer political and venture-capital consultancy, Wilhelm & Conlon, has become a consultant to Wrigleyville Rooftop Owners Associations.

At issue are renovations to Wrigley Field proposed last summer by the stadium’s owner, the media giant Tribune Co. The Tribune wants a 2,100-seat expansion, which according to the Rooftop Owners would obscure the view of the games from the roofs of neighborhood condo and apartment buildings. For some decades now, a cottage industry has grown up around these rooftops, which sell seats for each Cubs home game.

Originally, the renovation proposals inspired little criticism, but the longer the rooftop owners examined the plans, the more acrimonious things became. Now they say that the Tribune Co., in its thirst for more revenue from the new seats, want to cut off neighborhood views of the park. The Tribune, through various spokesmen, has let it be known the rooftop owners are taking something that doesn’t belong to them in the first place.

On Wednesday, Wilhelm stepped into the fracas at an owners’ meeting at a school near Wrigley Field. In a statement issued before the meeting, Wilhelm called the rooftops “profitable businesses that have created jobs and paid taxes.” He also said that the rooftop owners do not oppose reasonable expansion of Wrigley Field.

The owners have drafted an alternate plan that would expand the stadium by 921 seats. The Tribune dismisses the idea as unprofitable.

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