After picking up an endorsement from the Tribune last night, Toni Preckwinkle nabbed the support of Chicago's other daily paper this morning. From the Sun-Times' glowing editorial backing the 4th Ward alderman: Chicago's brainy, no-nonsense alderman, known for ...
After picking up an endorsement from the Tribune last night, Toni Preckwinkle nabbed the support of Chicago's other daily paper this morning. From the Sun-Times' glowing editorial backing the 4th Ward alderman:
Chicago's brainy, no-nonsense alderman, known for coalition-building and standing up to the powers that be, is the Chicago Sun-Times' choice in the Feb. 2 Democratic primary for Cook County Board president.
In her 19 years as alderman, Toni Preckwinkle has excelled as a legislator and as a community leader. Her principles -- not her political future or her friends' fortunes -- have been her constant guide.
Health care was the topic of conversation at a candidates forum last night sponsored by the Emergency Network to Save Cook County Health Services. Board President Todd Stroger defended his penny-on-the-dollar sales tax, suggesting that it kept hospitals and clinics in operation. The other candidates criticized his stewardship of the massive public health system. Chicago Current's Alex Parker reports:
Stroger’s challengers all support keeping the independent board that oversees the massive, struggling health system. [...]
There needs to be a deeper connection between the health board and the community, argued Brown and Tresser.
“Make the board look like the community it serves,” he said, rather than a group largely made up of hospital administrators. The board should include community members and nurses, Tresser said.
Stroger also made news earlier in the day when he announced plans to increase his efforts to streamline government:
During the next three years, the county will find $300 million in annual combined cost reductions and new revenue, said Jaye Morgan Williams, Stroger's chief financial officer.
“President Stroger, and his management team, succeeded in holding the line on the county’s overall spending and on property taxes, which have remained flat for the last 14 years at $720 million,” she said. “That said, it’s urgent that we push harder to increase productivity, find innovative cost-cutting opportunities and improve services while maintaining the capacity to deliver vital services.”
The Stroger campaign had to release some sort of cost-cutting platform to counter the various ideas proposed by his challengers. But doing so undercuts his claim, uttered at a debate just two days ago, that the "county is in perfect shape after my three years of service." Preckwinkle took that line of a attack during an appearance on Fox' Good Day Chicago this morning. "Unfortunately, I think the president has had three years to manage the government effectively," she said, "and I'm not sure that most of our viewers would believe that he's done that well." Watch the full segment:
The incumbent also drew attention for an outrageous campaign flier a band of his supporters distributed this week in an effort to unite black voters. Lisa Donovan covers the specifics over at the Sun-Times. Suffice it to say that the ad is racially charged.