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Proviso Probe

Monday, October 16, 2006

N06, Blagojevich on the West Side

I covered Gov. Rod Blagojevich stumping for votes at the monthly meeting of Ald. "Ike" Carothers' ward organization. See Austin Weekly News (Carl Nyberg).

The meeting occured before the U.S. Attorney announced the indictment of Blagojevich fundraiser Tony Rezko.

What I didn't write about in the article was how Blagojevich seemed.

Blagojevich had a pensive quality. At one point he said that he had more friends four years ago than he had now.

He cast himself as fighting for a progressive vision. He acknowledged that politics is sometimes dirty and dishonest. He told a story about how he tricked the "Pro Life" legislators on stem cell research. Blagojevich knew the anti-abortion crowd wanted to strip funding for stem cell research from the budget. Blagojevich gave the legislature the budget without enough time for the anti-abortion legislators to find where Blagojevich put the stem cell research money. When asked about the issue, Blagojevich proudly explained, "I told them the truth. I'm not saying [if there's stem cell research money or not]."

I thought this anecdote did a good job of making the case that if you want to make progress in politics sometimes you have to play dirty.

However, Blagojevich crossed into bullshit territory when he said that he wanted his legacy to be to build a progressive movement that would sustain itself beyond his gubernatorial campaign.

Blagojevich has raised prodigious amounts of campaign funds. He could have invested in building local party infrastructure. Instead the money went to knocking his Republican oppoent back on her heals.

Blagojevich and Cook County Assessor avoided mentioning Todd Stroger, but Congressman Danny K. Davis, Commissioner Earlean Collins and Ald. Carothers all made the case for electing Stroger.
Cook County Commissioner Earlean Collins made the case to vote for Alderman Todd Stroger to be the next president of the County Board.

Collins explained that Cook County is, "one of the largest blocks of Democratic votes in the country."

"We cannot afford to have a Republican as president of the County Board if we want to get the Bushes out of office," Collins insisted.

Davis and Carothers, the sometimes rivals despite both being Democrats, also urged listeners to support Stroger in spite of any reservations they harbored. Davis said that he would be campaigning with Stroger in Proviso Township, the western part of his 7th Congressional District.

"We need Todd Stroger more than he needs us," Davis said.

Davis predicted that Commissioner Tony Peraica, Stroger's Republican opponent, if elected would, "Cut, cut, cut; downsize, outsource and privatize."

Carothers recounted how his father, former Alderman Bill Carothers (28th Ward), who was in attendance, handled questions about his qualifications for elected office. "When you vote for me, you qualify me," said Carothers.

Carothers went on to say, "we're gonna qualify Todd Stroger. The 29th Ward is going to give him more votes than the Eighth Ward (Stroger's ward)."


  • We need Todd Sroger more than he needs us???!!!

    What the hell? Public service means that he serves the public, not vice versa. Danny Davis has clearly lost his way. Proviso should vote for Peraica because at least then we'll get the attention we never got under the Stroger regime.

    And electing does NOT qualify! Just look at George Bush to prove that one.

    These cowardly west side politicians make me sick. The poor get poorer and the connected get richer. There's nothing progressive about nepotism, cronyism, and corruption. That's where all the money is going, folks - money that should be going to deliver health care, public safety, and care for the most vulnerable members of our society.

    This lifelong Democrat will gladly vote Peraica - and so wil my friends and family.

    By Anonymous Dem for Peraica, at 6:56 AM, October 16, 2006  

  • You know, it's funny. I don't recall many Proviso dem voters railing about nepotism and cronyism when Bill Lipinski dropped off the ballot and arranged for his son, Dan, to replace him. Carl even wrote about it. There was some discontent expressed, I'll concede that. But nothing even close to what has been expressed over the last couple of months.

    Where was all the democratic anger about nepotism when Speaker Madigan force fed the state his daugther Lisa to executive office after just a few years as a state senator? I can go on and on...

    I'll bet a million bucks that if Commissioner Forrest Claypool had won the Primary Election, over 95% of John Stroger's voters would have supported and voted for Claypool in the General.

    As far as I'm concerned any Democratic voter willing to waste a vote against a majority of their own principles and values for this opportunistic, two-faced, and phony Peraica guy is just NUTS!

    By Blogger Provisoguru, at 11:07 AM, October 16, 2006  

  • Guru,
    Lipinski was wrong, but he does not represent me. Madigan WON the primary to earn the position - and has clearly earned the public trust before and since then. Besides, plenty of people did already complain about that when it happened.

    So, no one can complain about Todd Stroger now? Is it because he's black and immune to criticism? Todd Stroger did not win any primary. He did lie about his father's condition, though. That's what you don't understand.

    That, and the fact that Todd Stroger has done nothing to distinguish himself to earn the position. That, and the fact that the voters did NOT elect Todd Stroger to be the Democratic nominee for County Board President.

    Stop trying to make excuses for this hijacking of what used to be a democracy.

    By Anonymous Huh, at 11:56 AM, October 16, 2006  

  • To Huh:

    You lightly dismissed the double standard by saying that "Lipinski doesn't represent you" and that "Madigan WON the primary to earn the position....besides plenty of people did already complained about that when it happened."

    Well, "Huh", you didn't complain. At least not on this blog. Unless maybe you used another pseudonym, or perhaps you were not aware of this blog back then. Why are you speaking up NOW?

    You invoked race by sarcastically asking is Ald. Stroger immune to criticism because he's black. I say no. Criticism should be applied whereever deserved regardless of race or political affiliation. Your guy Peraica is blaming Todd Stroger for so called corruption and waste in Cook County. On the other side of his mouth, he says that Todd Stroger is clueless as to how Cook County government is operated. He speaks as if Todd Stroger has been a part of the county system. Todd Stroger has not been involved in Cook County government. Tony Peracia has been a commissioner for almost 1 full term. Yet, he doesn't want to take any responsibilty for any problems or any positions he's taken in that time frame.

    "Huh", do you realize that the democratic nominee suffered a debilating stroke? Unfortunately, he was not able to recover enough to be a viable candidate in the General Election. So, the Democrtic Party of Cook County held an election to elect a candidate to serve as the party's nominee in the General Election. Ald. Todd Stroger was chosen out of 2 other persons openly vying for the nomination. He's very well qualified. Exceptionally more qualified than his opponent, and that's the standard that voters should be measuring at this point.

    You're upset because your person wasn't pick? Or because the so called better person wasn't picked? Give me a freakin break. That argument is weak and inconsistent when applied over history.

    Yes, Todd Stroger had an upper hand due to his father. Duh. That doesn't take away the fact that he has had to position himself over the years in such a way where as party leaders would give him a chance. Do you have children or know of anyone's child that despite all the blessings bestowed upon them, would not even remotely be able to step in to continue a parent's business or occupation. No matter how hard many have tried. Let's not punish Todd Stroger for being the son of a powerful elected official. He has toiled over the years himself. Despite never facing formidable opposition, he still has had to serve the consituency he's represented for 15 years. That's not easy.

    It's a shame that some so-called democratic voters have chosen to be intellectually dishonest and cry foul over the process. If Commissioner Claypool had won the Primary Election, it would be no doubt that over 95% of John Stroger's Primary voters would have supported and voted for Claypool in the General. It's sad and very telling that some of the Claypool crowd are so anxiously jumping to the booth to vote against an intelligent, humble, and capable public servant who has pledge to make the tough decisions to make Cook County more modern and efficient even though that'll mean reducing personnel.

    By Blogger Provisoguru, at 3:22 PM, October 16, 2006  

  • [Todd Stroger] has had to position himself over the years in such a way where as party leaders would give him a chance.

    What has Todd Stroger done to position himself?

    Didn't he get appointed to both the state legislature and city council?

    Lisa Madigan had to beat a well qualified opponent in the Democratic Primary.

    My understanding is that Todd Stroger has never run in a contested election.

    What has Todd Stroger done to build his credentials? It seems like everything has been handed to him in his career, doesn't it?

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 5:16 PM, October 16, 2006  

  • Well, Guru, you really have demonstrated something here, but it's not polite to say what.

    Ok...first of all, this blog was not around when Lisa Madigan ran the first time, so I wouldn't have had the opportunity to criticize on this blog. But, I did have the opportunity to meet her, research what she's done, and find out what she is all about.

    At the same time, I have met Todd Stroger, researched what he's done, and found out what he's all about. It's not even close. Todd Stroger is not capable, he is not intelligent, he is not a leader. He is a stooge who will do anything that the bosses tell him to do.

    And yes, I am speaking up now because this imbecile may actually end up representing me. That is why I am speaking up now. Should I be quiet because a Cook County hack like you wants me to go along with the corrupt party. Never. You and your kind just don't get it. There are tens of thousands of thinking, independent people who expect more.

    Guru, blaming Peraica for not fixing the corruption of the last four years is like blaming the Democrats for not fixing Iraq and the economy. Stop that silly argument right now, because it has been the corrupt Stroger regime that has made this County the mess that is it now. Thank God the reformers are trying to stop it - and shedding light on it.

    So go ahead and vote for Stroger. Vote for corruption. Vote for taking money from the poor and giving to the rich. Vote for abuse at the juvenile detention facility. For for bloated payrolls. Vote for high taxes. Vote for secret deals. Vote for arrogance.

    But if you've had enough. If you want another way - if you really, really, want your government to work for you and not the other way around - vote for Tony Peraica. He will make Proviso proud.

    By Anonymous huh, at 5:28 PM, October 16, 2006  

  • Carl,

    Todd Stroger has had opposition in his elections. He just beat them just as you stated Lisa Madigan did. So, he has been contested.

    Our focus should be now on who is the better qualified of the two candidates that are on the ballot on November 7th. The overwhelming better qualified candidate is Todd Stroger.

    Stop putting his dad's jacket on him and look at the election that is at hand.

    Peraica will say and do anything. He doesn't strike me as a person with a great deal of integrity. Just look at the members of his own party who really don't want to be closely associated with him. He's got the same numbnuts and gadflys that paraded Alan Keyes across Illinois. Remember him, the guy that swore he'll reside in Illinois whether he won or not. Sounds like the same advisers are giving Peraica the same type of advice. He is willing to say anything to get a vote. Truth is totally irrelevant to those guys. It figures when the heavy hitters in your campaign are players in the Cicero regime.

    By Blogger Provisoguru, at 5:39 PM, October 16, 2006  

  • Watch out, Guru got the Machine's attack memo.

    Peraica has a well articulated, detailed platform. That is why the Chicago Tribune resoundingly endorsed him.

    I challenge anyone to name a single thing Stroger will do to restore trust and to make services better at Cook County.

    By Anonymous Candid, at 6:08 PM, October 16, 2006  

  • "Arabs in Chicago discover political clout and controversy"

    When Cook County Board President John STROGER ran for election, REZKO made the single largest campaign contribution to his campaign, more than $90,000. In October 2000, STROGER introduced a resolution praising REZKO’s commitment to the county.

    STROGER, the county’s first African American county board president, is enjoying his second term in office. He has named REZKO as honorary chairman of his upcoming re-election campaign.

    By Anonymous The apple doesnt fall far from the tree, at 6:10 PM, October 16, 2006  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:02 PM, October 16, 2006  

  • Huh:

    This blog was around when Bill Lipinski retired and arranged for his son, Dan, to be placed on the ballot in his place. Where were you then? Oh, we forgot, he's not in your district. So you don't care. How convenient. Well, Huh, Lipinski's district covers a signifiant portion of Proviso Township.

    You have had the great fortune to meet both Attorney General Madigan and Alderman Stroger. Unfortunately, many of us have not had that great opportunity. I have seen Ald. Stroger a few times on televison. He appears to be intelligent and reserved. I like that. He's not a loud mouth, limelight seeking politician. That's actually refreshing. It seems that he's just been doing the grunt work of serving his constituents without all the fanfare.

    By the way, Speaker Madigan and Lisa Madigan both think that Ald. Stroger would make a fine Cook County Board President. But I'm sure they're just hacks that you somehow just seem to admire regardless.

    You should honestly ask yourself this question:


    The answer is clear. Don't let your intellect fool you.

    By Blogger Provisoguru, at 12:51 AM, October 17, 2006  

  • Guru,
    Still haven't been able to name a single thing Stroger will do to restore trust and to make services better at Cook County? Go ahead, we're waiting.

    By Anonymous candid, at 2:28 AM, October 17, 2006  

  • Guru is a political hack obviously and can not see the forest for the trees. Shame on you trying for trying to shove JR. down our throats. He has had ample opportunity to convince us that he is up to the task. Instead he has done quite the opposite. Another one for Tony.

    By Anonymous ab of Bellwood, at 5:53 PM, October 17, 2006  

  • A plague on both their houses as it is so well stated in Romeo and Juliet. I am a lifelong adult Democrat and NEVER have I been so disillusioned by our candidates for Governor and County Board President. I see so many good Democrats holding their noses as they walk into the voting booth on election day. As for me, I did not vote for Lisa Madigan in her first primary because John Schmidt was better qualified. She won and has done an excellent job as Attorney General. I do NOT, as others have stated, live in the Lipinski district but I would not have supported him. I voted for Forest Claypool in the primary and that was an EASY choice giving the terrible bloated patronage in Cook County government. I also voted for Blagojevich in 2002 BUT, where do we "reform" Democrats draw the line and, we are a large proportion of the party. At this point I must admit, and openly, nothing anonymous, that I plan to vote for the Green Party candidate for Governer, Rich Whitney as a strong protest, at Blagojevich's politics as usual administration. If it gets close, because, on the issues, Rod is better than Judy, I will end up voting for the lesser of two people who are not evil but have a concept of good government that is EVIL!! What about Tod and Tony for Board President, right now I really do say a plague on both their houses and I will write in Forest Cllaypool or, maybe, Santa Claus!! No one has a "right" be they Democrat or Republican, White or African-American, to say we should automatically elect their offspring. I grew to like John Stroger BUT, come on, anyone who has actually talked to Tod must know, that, decent person that he seems to be that this is a young man who has NOT distinguished himself in lesser roles in Springfield and on the city council BUT NOW, we are supposed to put him in as the chief executive of the second largest county in the country!! Give us a break!! Still, I cannot vote for Tony Peraica given his abrasiveness, his strong right-wing philosophy and, his membership on a board that I sit on where he has been to one meeting in two years!! What a quandry so many of us are in and, for County Board President I want a third option of "neither of the above" but that is not there so I will probably walk into the sanctity of the voting booth and decide at the last minute. So what are all of you going to do?? I am really open to why I should vote straight Democrat this time???

    By Anonymous garywoll@comcast.net, at 12:32 AM, October 18, 2006  

  • To Gary Woll:
    You shouldn't.The Democratic party has failed us.

    By Anonymous ab of Bellwood, at 10:08 PM, October 19, 2006  

  • guru, Proviso Probe started in August 2005. The Lipinski switch happened in 2004.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 2:36 PM, October 31, 2006  

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