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The bottom line Ah, politics . . .

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Michael Sneed


It's over!

Sneed would be remiss, however, in not disclosing the fact a 54-year-old man -- serving as a judge of elections Tuesday in a South Side ward -- was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly grabbing the posterior of a 24-year-old female precinct captain.

Film 'em ...

It's a big deal: Film producer Michael Shamberg, a Chicago native who's in town co-producing the film "Contagion" starring actor Matt Damon, is on a roll.

*Translation: Shamberg will soon bring the "White City" to the silver screen.

*Translation: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio just signed on to star as Chicago's 19th century serial killer H.H. Holmes in author Erik Larson's tome "The Devil in the White City," which Shamberg will co-produce with his partner Stacey Sher -- and DiCaprio's Appian Way Productions.

*Backdate: "It's a cool Chicago story, and I'm excited about it being filmed in my hometown," said Shamberg, who grew up on the North Shore and graduated from New Trier High School.

*Backdate II: Shamberg, who is also an alum of the legendary City News Bureau back in its late 1960s heyday, has become one of Hollywood's most successful movie producers -- co-producing such hits as "The Big Chill," "Erin Brockovich" and "Pulp Fiction."

*Update: "The plan is to start filming as soon as possible," he said. "The story happened 117 years ago; we'll have to re-create a lot of the Midway, but there are still three buildings built by architects Burnham and Root still in existence."

*Backdate: The nonfiction "White City" thriller, which sold 2.3 million copies, details the madness of pharmacist H.H. Holmes and his "murder castle," a hotel the self-proclaimed doctor designed and opened in preparation for the 1893 World's Fair. It included a hidden gas chamber, crematorium and dissecting table. He preyed primarily on single young women, several of whose skeletons he sold to medical schools.

*Setting: The plot line will travel the lakefront from Englewood, where Holmes built his hotel; to Wilmette, where he maintained a residence; to Burnham's downtown skyscrapers, and to the Jackson Park fair site.

*Getting: "We are in process of hiring a screenwriter," Shamberg said. The role of architect Daniel H. Burnham, who built the fair's landscape, has not been confirmed.

*Side note: Back in 2003, Tom Cruise showed interest in playing the notorious killer.

A Maltese memo ...

Former Cicero town President Betty Loren-Maltese, who is writing a memoir, is also pitching a possible TV pilot called "Politics: Chicago Style." Quoth Betty: "But it's going to be serious. Not a screaming match."

The Peterson file ...

Jail baiting: Lashing out at Oak Brook Police Chief Thomas Sheahan for "waging a personal vendetta" against his cop son Stephen, Drew Peterson -- who is awaiting trial for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio -- dispatched an angry note also accusing Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow of having four obsessions:

1. "Drew Peterson"

2. "Prosecuting a cop."

3. "Playing God."

4. "Working that hairdo of his."

Ai! Salahi!

Michaele Salahi, the White House party crasher who parlayed the scandal into a role on TV's "Real Housewives of D.C.," will help host this year's 7th annual "Cocktailin' for the Cause" sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society on Nov. 13 at Chicago's Hard Rock Hotel.

*The kicker: Salahi has lived with MS for the last 17 years and wants to use her celebrity status to help the cause.

Sneedlings . . .

Today's birthdays: Kathy Posner, 58; Adam Ant, 56; Roseanne Barr, 58; Linda Marshall, ageless; Kate Capshaw, 57, and Dennis Miller, 57.

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