Following the partial rollback of the Cook County sales tax, there's been plenty of action in the Democratic primary for board president. Here's the latest: Veteran Chicago reporter Don Terry scored an interview with incumbent Todd Stroger shortly after the board ...
Following the partial rollback of the Cook County sales tax, there's been plenty of action in the Democratic primary for board president. Here's the latest:
Veteran Chicago reporter Don Terry scored an interview with incumbent Todd Stroger shortly after the board overrode his veto last week. Stroger was quick to play the victim card, blaming unions for turning their back on him, the city's press corps for covering his administration unfairly (he blames it on "institutional racism"), and Mayor Daley for refusing to support his reelection bid.
In her column today, the Sun-Times' Mary Mitchell admits that she doesn't blame Stroger for "resenting Daley's lack of loyalty." After all, Stroger's father backed Daley over Harold Washington in 1983 and their families formed a decades-long, mutually-beneficial political bond. But really, when polls show only 10 percent of county residents would vote for Stroger this time around, he shouldn't be all that surprised. As Mitchell concludes, "He must know that politics will always be a fickle mistress." University of Illinois at Chicago professor Dick Simpson offered Terry a similar analysis:
“Should more African Americans hold key posts?” Mr. Simpson said. “Sure. That would be healthy. Should it be Todd Stroger who holds that key post? That’s a much more dubious question.”
In the meantime, Stroger is focusing on drumming up support on the South and West sides of Chicago. His pitch is two-fold. First, he is warning voters that the because of the partial sales tax repeal -- supported by all three of his Democratic challengers -- fewer dollars will flow into the county's health and hospital system, which largely serves the poor and uninsured. Last Wednesday, he even went so far as to suggest that "some people will die needlessly" as a result.
The Tribune editorial board took exception to Stroger's rhetoric today, writing that the South Sider "wants to re-elected so badly he's willing to scare his constituents out of their wits."
Stroger is also warning that the presence of three black candidates on the Democratic ballot could lead to the election of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Terrence O'Brien, the only white candidate in the primary, thus depriving the region of its only major black executive.
Also of note: Stroger logged into his Twitter account last week for the first time since September 17 to blast Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th Ward) for siding with Daley during this year's city budget vote.
Speaking of Preckwinkle, she earned the endorsement of the New Trier Democratic Organization on Sunday, garnering 83 percent of the vote and demonstrating that she has considerable appeal on the North Shore.
Lastly, for some policy substance, check out the responses to the Tribune's endorsement questionnaire from Preckwinkle, O'Brien, and Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown.