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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

N06, Stroger campaign has problems but endorsed by Sun-Times

The race for President of the Cook County Board of Commssioners pits Commissioner Tony Peraica (Republican) against Alderman Todd Stroger (Democrat).

Today's Sun-Times (Steve Patterson) brings some of our local actors into the story. Apparently Bellwood Village President Frank Pasquale enlisted the support of Anthony Bruno in sponsoring an event.
Bruno, a disbarred attorney, has been tied to multiple controversial contracts in Melrose Park and Cicero, and federal officials have subpoenaed records of payments made to him for projects in Cicero.

A Bruno spokeswoman said, "He's been hired as a party planner, nothing more," while Pasquale said, "When the hell is this b.s. ever going to end?"

Have some fun in the comments suggesting answers to Pasquale's question. When is the b.s. going to end?

Apparently Alderman William Beavers has been trying to shakedown Gov. Rod Blagojevich to help fund Stroger's campaign. Blagojevich said he'd help, but then punted the check writing to the Madigan clan. Sun-Times (Mark J. Konkol):
During a South Side campaign stop, Blagojevich wouldn't talk about how much money he has pledged to the Stroger campaign

Instead, he urged other Democrats -- specifically Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan and his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan -- to start throwing campaign cash Stroger's way.

Here's what one political insider told me. John Stroger is sitting on a mountain of money. But the money goes back to the pre-reform days. Back then retiring pols could use unspent campaign funds for personal stuff. Big Stroger's warchest is old enough to be grandfathered. Todd's mom apparently likes the idea of keeping the cash more than electing her son.

So political insiders aren't exactly thrilled about the idea of blowing their warchests just so Ma Stroger can keep the cash.

Chicagoist (Kevin Robinson) wrote about Beavers trying to hustle the governor.

Robinson makes the point Todd Stroger is in over his head.
See, [Beavers] gets to run the board through the Toddler if Stroger wins, and he gets to run for the Presidency in four years if Stroger loses. And in either case, he's got a big enough war chest to do it. While Chicagoist can be as jaded and cynical about local politics as the next guy, this is beyond the pale for even us. We don't know what's sadder: the gross manipulation of the system, or knowing that Todd Stroger is too dumb to get it.

Chicagoist never liked Stroger. Either one of them. But at least we could respect the old man.

(BTW, I disagree that Beavers will be a viable candidate in four years if Peraica wins. The Dem Machine will make it a higher priority to nominate a candidate with appeal to reform-minded, goo-goos.)

I think this is the emerging consensus about Todd Stroger. He's got all his Dad's liabilities and few of his strengths. Todd Stroger is neither a strong behind-the-scenes player, like Lyndon Baines Johnson nor a strong campaigner like Bill Clinton. Stroger possesses neither the oratory skills of the Kennedy brothers nor the homy morality of Jimmy Carter. Stroger has neither the intellect of Adlai Stevenson nor the common touch like Truman and FDR.

In short Stroger lacks a strong suit. The literature he was distributing at a League of Women Voters forum this weekend listed his first accomplishment as being a honors student in high school. His other accomplishments include being an honors student in college, getting married and having two children. Everything else on the literature amounted to showing up for work. He didn't list a single professional accomplishment.

Even Chicago Defender (Damian Buttel) is starting to hammer Stroger.
For at least the third time in two weeks, Cook County Board Democratic presidential candidate Ald. Todd Stroger (8th) has failed to appear at a scheduled campaign event.

"They could have at least given us the courtesy of a phone call," said
Arlene Kasper, one of the luncheon's organizers. "The event had been confirmed for weeks," she said.

And NBC-5 slipped in a line that shows how passively Stroger asserts himself in his own campaign.
"I didn't really know of this event until you showed it to me," Stroger told NBC 5. "Usually when I find out about events, I find out about it the morning of."

But Stroger did get one piece of good news recently. The Sun-Times editorial board endorsed him.
While we believe Republican Tony Peraica is a qualified and experienced candidate who would be dedicated to reform, we fear his agenda would founder on the rocks of the county's Democratic domination, paralyzing his tenure.

And we take Stroger at his word that he is committed to that process [reform].

We're taking a risk in supporting Stroger, but he's saying the right things and seems genuinely committed to change.

12 Comments:

  • The b.s. will end when Pasquale and Bruno go to jail.

    By Anonymous candid, at 6:22 PM, October 24, 2006  

  • The B,S, will end when Pasquale realizes that trying to force feed down the township throats a Mary Herrell, and then when she lost he blamed everyone but his stupid guinea self! Then he refused to remove her or her boyfriend , Police chief of Memorial Park, Sammy"The wig" Sei, for there moronic behavior during the elction and there false arrests of there opponenets! Next thing Pasuale "the Pervert" does is sexually harrass the editor of the west suburban journal, then he hires Anthony "I'm didsbarred and I'm a crook and I can't land a job anywhere else " Bruno!!! Then the final straw is his hiring of the gangster wannabe rat,fink from Stone Park to be the transportation director at district 88 for $80,000!!!
    You tell me Frank"the pervert" Pasquale, "when is all your B.S. going to end?"

    By Anonymous Pasquale the Perv said what?, at 7:58 PM, October 24, 2006  

  • http://www.heartland.org/SpeakersBureauArticle.cfm?sbrId=72
    The very bottom line: for a tax holiday, PUNCH 44

    This will introduce the mercurial campaign of former
    Mayor of Maywood Ralph W. Conner , the super-stealth
    candidate for Cook County Assessor, and erstwhile
    looming star of the coming new order in Cook County.
    Imagine: objective government with the brightest and
    the best partnering with private sector and academia
    to provide equitable and fair tax distribution of
    burden. I know it's far-fetched to even conjecture
    about this in Cook County. This is why there has never
    been a true campaign by a republican for Cook County
    assessor: Republican captains of industry with office
    buildings downtown would rather pay the Daley Machine
    (south-side Irish supremacy orchestrated from
    Bridgeport and the 19th Ward) for access to Houlihan
    and the ever corruptable Board of review...ah! you got
    to love the somnambulance of Cook County's seduced
    voters... or witness the power of respectable
    South-side patronage (especially wearing its Black
    Santa Claus face so "diversely", as they tax and spend
    the seniors of this county into fiscal oblivion... but
    I digress. Please call me sometime to discuss an
    interview. My strength is the fact that just like
    logical Cook County voters, I may not really exist at
    all... Thanks.
    Ralph


    The following is from the Chicago Reader: it sets in
    place the reason I believe it is time to stop Cook
    County from hemmorhaging of an expansive tax burden
    driven by democratic machine politics in Springfield,
    where strong machine aldermen-committeemen control and
    appoint state reps and senators; in Chicago the
    democratic machine capital of patronage-diversity,
    where the south Side black elites are heavily indebted
    to the responsibility to raise taxes and fees to
    support patronage diversity which supports the black
    middle class. The stream of consciousness aspect of
    this offering only allows you to feel the awesome task
    before us in Cook County : to start a true tax
    revolution, not fueled by republican insurgents, but
    fueled by the revolutionary Hope that even democrats
    have had enough of the runaway patronage and tax
    machine we call county government. I am aware , having
    worked as a platform writer for two political races of
    Black Republican Cook County asssessor-candidates
    (1986-Leroy Graham, 1990-Ronald Bean), that I am the
    only candidate including the incumbent with the
    intestinal fortitude and independence to tackle the
    systemic problem of eliminating the state
    multiplication factor and scrapping the corrupt tax
    system below which deludes the home-owner "stooges" to
    select and elect democrats to raise taxes out of
    alleged commitment to keep taxes lower for
    "home-owners". We are unfortunately addicted to voting
    for these characters just like blacks are conditioned
    to vote only democratic... this is a sickness which
    needs excising in both cases. ####### Everyone’s
    affected by our incomprehensibly convoluted system, so
    even apartment dwellers should read this—if only for
    laughs. By Ben Joravsky July 28, 2006 On July 20, Cook
    County clerk David Orr brought reporters to his office
    for the annual unveiling of the county’s tax rates.
    According to Bill Vaselopulos, Orr’s chief financial
    aide, this year’s tax rate is (drumroll, please) 5.98
    percent, down from last year’s rate of 6.28 percent.
    As Vaselopulos patiently plowed his way through a
    glossary of mind-numbing tax law definitions,
    reporters pored through a thick press release,
    searching for the elusive answer to the question on
    everyone’s mind: How much were taxpayers going to be
    stuck for come July 31, when the second installment of
    the annual tax bill comes out? Alas, as with every
    aspect of our property taxes, that’s not so easy to
    figure. “It is,” Vaselopulos noted with a wry smile,
    “a complicated system.” The tax rate is just the final
    piece in an enormous jigsaw puzzle that takes months
    to assemble. Months before it’s determined, each of
    the county’s taxing bodies—the city, the county, the
    schools, the parks, the libraries, the Water
    Reclamation District, etc—figures out what it needs to
    spend (or levy, to use the tax man’s term) in the
    coming year (they can’t ask for the sky because most
    of them are bound by state law not to raise their
    spending by more than the rate of inflation, currently
    3.3 percent). The county assessor’s office tells the
    county clerk how much in assessable property value is
    available for taxation, and Orr’s office divides the
    levy into the total property value to determine the
    tax rate. If the assessable property value rises,
    Orr’s office can lower the tax rate and still increase
    the amount of money taxpayers have to pay. This is
    nirvana for politicians such as Mayor Daley, the
    aldermen, and the commissioners of the Cook County
    Board, who get to brag about holding the line on taxes
    even as taxes rise. The assessor reassesses property
    every three years. You’d think that since Chicago’s
    property owners are still covered by the last
    assessment (the updated assessments won’t take effect
    until next year) and the tax rate fell, that means
    that Chicago property taxpayers will pay less come
    July 31. Right? Well, no—that assumes that calculating
    a tax bill is as straightforward as multiplying your
    home’s value by the tax rate. Let’s use Illinois house
    speaker Michael Madigan’s southwest-side property as
    an example. According to the county assessor, his
    property has a market value of $180,975. Multiply that
    by the current tax rate of 5.98 percent and he pays
    $10,822. Except that in 1970 local reps at the state’s
    constitutional convention insisted that it was unfair
    to make ordinary Cook County home owners pay at the
    full value of their property. So they fought for home
    rule authority that would allow them to set the
    assessable value of residential property in Cook
    County at no more than 16 percent of fair market
    value. Applying this formula to Madigan’s property,
    you multiply $180,975 by 16 percent, getting an
    assessable value of $28,956, which is then multiplied
    by the current tax rate of 5.98 percent. So the
    speaker’s on the hook for $1,732 in property taxes,
    right? Wrong again. At that same constitutional
    convention delegates passed another law that
    essentially overrode the Cook County reps’ efforts.
    Under the constitution that emerged, all property had
    to be taxed at least at 33 1⁄3 percent of its
    fair market value. If a county didn’t tax property at
    33 1⁄3 percent, then the state would raise the
    assessment for them. Thus was born the socalled “state
    equalizer,” a figure devised by the Illinois
    Department of Revenue to even out assessments
    statewide. Why would Cook County bother with the
    pretense of taxing residents at 16 percent of a
    property’s fair market value? Good question. Publicly
    most state and county officials will tell you they
    don’t know the answer: the 1970 constitutional
    convention was long before their time. Privately,
    they’ll concede that the 16 percent figure is intended
    to give taxpayers the illusion that they’re getting
    some sort of break. “The whole way of calculating
    taxes is intentionally deceptive—it’s misleading,”
    says Cook County commissioner Tony Peraica, the
    Republican candidate for board president who’s running
    on an antitax platform. “The first number you see on
    your tax bill is an assessment value that’s much lower
    than you know your house is worth. You look at your
    tax bill and it says your house is valued at $132,000
    or whatever, and you know that you can sell it for
    much more and you think, ‘I’m getting a break.’ It’s a
    false illusion.” On the very next line of your
    property tax statement, the county shatters that
    illusion by applying the state equalization factor.
    You’d think that it would be relatively easy to
    determine the equalizer: divide the mandated 33
    1⁄3 percent by the actual 16 percent to get an
    equalizer of 2.083. But no, Cook County assessments
    are also out of whack because of the Cook County Board
    of Review. Let’s back up for a moment. Your property
    is assessed by Cook County assessor James Houlihan’s
    office, which makes a determination of a property’s
    fair market value by reviewing sales figures for
    comparable properties. If you think your property has
    been overassessed, you can appeal to the Cook County
    Board of Review, which generally gives applicants some
    sort of break. One reason for this is that the
    three-man board is elected: appreciative taxpayers are
    likely to remember the board members come election
    time. Another is that applicants tend to hire savvy
    lawyers who know how to play the game. As one seasoned
    commercial and residential landlord explained to me,
    “You hire a lawyer who either knows someone or goes to
    the assessor’s golf outings or contributes to the
    board of review’s campaigns, and you pay him half of
    what he manages to save on your appeal.” In July the
    state’s Department of Revenue raised the equalizer
    from 2.5754 to 2.7320, in part, the department
    announced, because the board of review doled out so
    many decreased assessments. “Only a mope doesn’t
    appeal,” the commercial property owner adds. “You
    gotta figure that the goddamn equalizer’s eventually
    gonna make you pay for the tax breaks everyone else
    gets from the review board.” So, going back to the
    calculation of Madigan’s property taxes, you multiply
    $28,956 (his assessed value) by 2.7320 (the state
    equalizer) to reach $79,108 (the taxable value of his
    property), subtract $20,000 (the current home owner’s
    exemption, set to revert to $4,500 next year after the
    speaker did little to help a proposed increase pass
    the house), and multiply that figure ($59,108) by the
    5.98 percent tax rate. Voila, you’ve arrived at his
    tax bill: $3,535. Since tax bills are paid in two
    installments and Madigan paid $1,846 in the spring,
    that means that come July 31 Cook County treasurer
    Maria Pappas will send Madigan a $1,689 bill for his
    second installment. And that, my friends, is how your
    tax bill goes up even as the tax rate falls and your
    home’s assessment remains the same. Actually,
    Madigan’s hit isn’t too bad: up $108, or 3.1 percent
    more than the $3,427 he paid in 2005. Calculating some
    other sample property tax bills from across the city,
    I found that almost all this year’s tax hikes will be
    relatively mild. Retired county board president John
    Stroger’s looking to pay $3,047 on his south-side
    home, up $102, or 3.5 percent from the $2,945 he paid
    last year. Twenty-Ninth Ward alderman Isaac Carothers
    will pay $1,225 this year, up $84, or 7.36 percent
    from the $1,141 he paid on his westside home last
    year. On the north side Congressman Rahm Emanuel will
    pay $9,539, up $167, or 1.8 percent from the $9,372 he
    paid last year. Of course, as county tax experts
    discreetly point out, it’s next year that Chicagoans
    will get whacked—that’s when soaring reassessments
    will get fit into the formula. This cycle’s modest
    increases fit the political calendar perfectly. The
    tax issue will be muffled come November’s
    gubernatorial and February’s mayoral campaigns. But
    the big bill’s on its way.
    #######################################
    Who is this Ralph Conner, and what is the Conner
    Insurgency ? :

    I am the former Mayor of Maywood, Illinois
    (2001-2005). I ran for Proviso Township assessor in
    2005 receiving over 7000 votes in the township (second
    largest in Illinois. As a mayor of a high-tax
    community due to lack of an industrial base,I sat
    through four municipal budgets where we struggled to
    keep budgets low to shield taxpayers from high taxes
    beyond the cost of inflation. I was much chagrined to
    find the state multiplier and the assessor triennial
    assessment process become the primary driver for
    higher taxes in an already high-tax area. Naturally
    the perception was that the "mayor is to blame!".I
    agree with mayor daley, that we should have annual
    asessments achieved not trhough patronage hiring, but
    by enlisting schools and private appraisers to provide
    annual assessment assistance without soaking the
    taxpayers and seniors for more patronage. But I would
    go even further: That why this is called revolution,
    and no! it will not be televised: I am the only
    candidate who is certified as a Certified Illinois
    Assessment Official (CIAO). My opponent is part and
    parcel of a machine operation run out of the 19th ward
    where Tom Hynes and Madigan set tax policy for Chicago
    and Illinois. This is a farce which we are undermining
    by launching our offensive in blogosphere. Soon they
    will know that millions spent on slick ads will no
    longer save a Houlihan-machine candidacy which could
    not even deliver the bogus expanded 20,000 homeowners
    exemption this year, knowing that the three year
    assessment will drive senior citizens to the poor
    house in the summer of 2007... But Oh! that's right,
    the elections for Mayor and county board president
    will be over by then.. Support for Tony Peraica in
    Chicago should be linked to his understanding of the
    ongoing scam intuitively and intelligently. Tony is
    the only enlightened option for FBI-free fiscally
    responsible government which serves and protects
    seniors paying democratic taxes. Another Stroger
    generation is just a continuation of business as
    usual: South-side patronage management, support for
    committeemen with access to cushy no-show jobs,
    ineptitude in key employees hired for political
    reasons, runaway spending and fees... It is time to
    stop the bleeding. Do not let slick race-baiting and
    conservative bashing lure a sheep-like electorate to
    another slaughter: More taxes and fees under a
    Houlihan-Madigan-Stroger-Daley regime.Have not we all
    had enough.

    My specific platform:

    1. As Chief assessment officer for Cook County I will
    start a campaign to reform the tax system in Illinois.
    I will advocate that all taxable properties be asessed
    at a uniform 33 % and not the current classification
    system which taxes commercial and industrial at
    36-38%.

    2.I will essentially pull the plug on the corrupt
    "insiders system" of tax attorneys and the Board of
    review shenanigans.I will establish a fair and
    equitable system simple enough for a homeowner or
    business owner to understand and appeal without an
    attorney.

    3. Eliminate the state multiplier and encourage the
    legislature to provide true tax reform to remove the
    burden of financing schools from rael estate taxes on
    homeowners who do not have children in school or use
    private schools.

    4. Begin the long process of removing taxes from
    buildings and improvements and taxing land-only. This
    will eliminate the unfair taxation and spur economic
    development by elimination of land speculators who
    hold land out from development due to high taxes on
    development.

    5.Stop TIF district abuse by mandating that
    assessments within TIF districts be monitored for
    return of funds to school districts to ship weight
    away from homeowners. My opponent is not a CIAO nor a
    great proponent of changes in the political economy of
    the County and the state. He is merely the beneficiary
    of a machine which continues to reward him for his
    affiliations and his sponsors(Hynes-Madigan-Daley). It
    is time to break up this taxing cabal.
    Vote for Tax Holiday for Seniors: A holiday not a
    Houlihan is my message: can't you hear it resonating
    in your blogosphere. We will win!!!!!

    Ralph W. Conner
    2006 Republican Candidate for Cook County Assessor
    1-708-878-3068
    313 North Fifth Avenue Maywood, Illinois 60153


    EXTRA..... EXTRA.... READ ABOUT WHAT YOU ALREADY
    KNOW!!!!!.......................

    The scandal known as one party rule continues....with
    absolutely no accountability....go figure?

    NEW:

    Questions on governor's assessment
    His property sees less than 1 percent hike

    By Eric Krol
    Daily Herald Political Writer
    Posted Monday, October 02, 2006

    Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich's property tax
    assessment went up less than 1percent this year while
    his neighbors dealt with an average increase of
    36.7percent.

    Both the governor's office and Democratic Cook County
    Assessor James Houlihan say Blagojevich was not given
    any preferential treatment. A Houlihan spokesman
    explained the vast discrepancy by saying Blagojevich's
    house was overassessed three years ago and the
    assessor's office was trying to let the others "catch
    up."

    But a look at property tax records from 2003 shows the
    assessment on Blagojevich's Northwest Side bungalow
    went up 40 percent - about the same as his neighbors,
    who saw an average assessment increase of 43.7
    percent.

    On a square-foot basis, his home is assessed well
    below others of its class in his neighborhood.

    Read the rest of the story


    The Blagojevich family's bungalow


    October 1, 2006
    Daily Southtown

    By Kristen McQueary Staff writer

    It's unlikely you'll find Gov. Rod Blagojevich among
    the Cook County homeowners appealing his recent
    property tax assessment.

    His Ravenswood home on Chicago's Northwest Side
    actually dropped in assessed value, unlike most
    Chicago homeowners recently apprised of their latest
    assessments.

    Sounds goofy, right?

    In an environment of climbing assessments and amid a
    push by Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan to control
    wildly increasing home values, it seems strange that a
    chic 3,817-square-foot home, the governor's, would dip
    in assessed value.

    While property taxes are sufficiently complicated, the
    basic premise is this: The assessed value of
    Blagojevich's bungalow dropped while the land around
    the house rose slightly. Overall, his assessed value
    increased by about 1 percent, bumping his market value
    from $420,194 to $424,331, according to property tax
    records.

    It's unclear how much his tax bill will be impacted,
    but it's a safe bet his bill won't rise as much as his
    neighbors.





    ########################################
    The lurid saga of the Southside Irish supremacy:

    http://www.russstewart.com/12-7-05.htm
    Check out the sordid history on
    of one Party control:
    Russ Stewart
    Attorney at Law & Political Analyst


    19TH WARD MASTERS ART
    OF "SEAMLESS SUCCESSION"


    ANALYSIS & OPINION BY RUSS STEWART


    As was readily apparent at the Democrats' November
    slatemaking for county offices, the 19th Ward is both
    much reviled as a political hog and much envied as a
    political powerhouse.

    And therein lies the ward's success: It's a powerhouse
    because it's an unrepentant hog. Like that old 1960s
    song, it hangs on to what it's got, which is control
    of the county sheriff's and assessor's offices, plus
    the state comptroller's post.

    The 19th Ward is on the Far Southwest Side,
    encompassing Beverly, Mount Greenwood and Morgan Park.
    The ward's Democratic committeeman since 1976 is Tom
    Hynes, who was the county assessor from 1978 to 1997
    and who is a long-time ally of Mayor Rich Daley, who
    is Illinois' Democratic national committeeman. Hynes'
    son Dan is the state comptroller, and he is
    potentially on a track for the governorship or Chicago
    mayoralty in the next decade. The ward's former
    alderman (from 1979 to 1990), Mike Sheahan, is the
    county sheriff. And the elder Hynes, when he resigned
    as assessor in March 1997, made sure the Cook County
    Board named his protege, Jim Houlihan, as his
    successor. Houlihan, a Lakefront resident, was born
    and raised in the19th Ward.

    The sheriff's office has more than 5,200 employees and
    a budget of $388 million. It is said that almost every
    block in the 19th Ward has a city and county job
    holder as a resident. In addition, more than 500
    firefighters and 800 police officers live in the ward.

    As for the assessor, the office determines the
    assessed valuation of more than 600,000 parcels of
    property annually. On appeal, the assessor can reduce
    assessments, saving commercial property owners tens,
    if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in taxes.
    Those grateful business owners often show their
    appreciation by contributing to Hynes, the 19th Ward
    Democrats, Houlihan or the state Democratic Party.
    Thus, the 19th Ward has a perpetual breadbasket, and
    other committeemen are suffused with envy.

    Now that Sheahan, age 61, is retiring after 16 years,
    his chief of staff, Tom Dart, another 19th Warder, is
    his all-but-certain successor. It is, in the
    inimitable 19th Ward manner, another "seamless
    succession," much like the Houlihan-for-Hynes switch
    in 1997. Of course, there's a reason: Northwest Side
    politicians once had an iron grip on the sheriff's and
    assessor's offices, but they bungled the succession
    and the 19th Ward learned from their mistakes.

    Sylvester Baker, a retired Cook County Sheriff's
    Office sergeant, who is black, is running against Dart
    in the 2006 Democratic primary.

    At slatemaking, Democratic outsiders such as U.S.
    Representative Bobby Rush (D-1), Alderman Dorothy
    Tillman (3rd) and Metropolitan Water Reclamation
    District commissioner candidate Frank Avila spoke of
    their dream. They fantasized that the Democrats'
    ticket for Cook County offices would reflect the
    county's demography and wouldn't be the usual
    "All-Irish Team." That didn't happen for 2006, and it
    likely won't happen for another decade.

    "There's an Irish subculture in the Democratic party,"
    Avila said. "They think that they're the governing
    class. And they think that all others are the servant
    class. That's got to change."

    Avila's father, Frank Avila Sr., is a Metropolitan
    Water Reclamation District commissioner and the only
    Hispanic occupant of any county office. Frank Avila
    Jr. ran for water district commissioner in the 2004
    Democratic primary, and he is passing nominating
    petitions to run again in 2006. He appeared before
    Democratic county slatemakers on Nov. 28 to give them
    that message.

    Nothing, of course, changed. Sheahan announced on Nov.
    21, the Democrats' first slatemaking day, that he
    isn't seeking a fifth term; he urged Democratic
    committeemen to pick Dart, age 43. Some black
    committeemen squawked that that the "fix" was in and
    that others should be allowed to present their
    credentials, so slating was continued to Nov. 28.
    Rush, from the South Side, was especially critical of
    Dart, a longtime political adversary.

    On Nov. 28, when the county committeemen met, Dart,
    who had been a Southwest Side state representative for
    from 1993 to 2002 and who lost a race for state
    treasurer in 2002, was duly anointed as Sheahan's
    successor. "I submitted my credentials," Dart said.
    "They picked me. They had adequate time to find an
    alternative, but they didn't."

    When committeemen - or political observers - criticize
    the 19th Ward for its alleged hoggishness, they should
    recall certain one fact: 19th Warders have a knack for
    being in the right place at the right time. Consider
    their luck:

    Assessor: The Northwest Side 38th Ward controlled the
    assessor's office from 1959 to 1978. P.J. Cullerton,
    born in 1898, was elected the ward's alderman in 1935
    and the Democratic committeeman in 1932. Cullerton won
    the 1958 Democratic primary, defeating incumbent
    assessor Frank Keenan, who had backed Mayor Martin
    Kennelly against Richard J. Daley in the 1955 mayoral
    primary.

    In 1974, after 18 assessor's office employees were
    convicted of bribery, Cullerton retired, but he had
    enough clout to get his chief deputy assessor,
    34-year-old Tom Tully, slated. Tully withstood a
    vigorous challenge in the primary from 10th Ward
    Alderman Ed Vrdolyak, and he appeared to have a
    lifetime job, perpetuating the 38th Ward's lock on the
    assessor's office. However, Tully, who had been deemed
    a likely candidate for mayor in 1979, abruptly retired
    in 1977, remarking that "it was of great benefit for
    me to have served in this office." A 1980 Chicago
    Tribune article explained why, stating that after
    leaving office, "Tully has become wealthy as a result
    of real estate deals with property developers with
    whom his office cut (property) taxes while Tully was
    assessor."

    The 38th Ward had no successor to Cullerton's
    successor. The 1978 field consisted two Northwest
    Siders, state Representative Ted Lechowicz, a
    Polish-American from the Northwest Side 30th Ward, and
    Alderman John Aiello from the 36th Ward, but the
    winner at slatemaking was Tom Hynes, then the Illinois
    Senate president. Hynes was in the right place at the
    right time.

    Hynes had served in the Senate with Rich Daley, and he
    supported Daley in the 1980 primary for state's
    attorney and the l983 mayoral contest. Hynes ran an
    abortive race for mayor as the Chicago First Party
    candidate in 1987. Despite his opposition to Mayor
    Harold Washington, Hynes' grip on the assessor's
    office was solid.

    In early 1997 Hynes was ready to retire as assessor
    and was plotting to run his 29-year-old son for state
    comptroller in 1998. Hynes knew that many other
    politicians coveted his job, including 36th Ward
    Alderman Bill Banks. So he quit, and the county board
    chose his top aide, Houlihan, as his replacement.
    After a year in office, Houlihan was not dumpable,
    Banks didn't challenge him, and the 19th Ward kept
    control. Hynes also cleared the field for his son, who
    was nominated for state comptroller without
    opposition.

    Sheriff: In 1986 the incumbent was Dick Elrod, out of
    the 50th Ward. Elrod had been sheriff since 1970.
    Between 1981 and 1986, 47 office employees were
    convicted of criminal offenses, including four deputy
    sheriffs in the "Operation Greylord" court corruption
    probe and two vice unit cops for taking bribes from
    pimps and bookies in the "Operation Safe Bet" probe.
    Elrod though he had entrenched himself, with so-called
    "weekend warriors" - 1,600 part-time court deputies
    who got a badge and the right to carry a gun -
    contributing liberally to his campaign. But Elrod's
    1986 foe was former Chicago police superintendent Jim
    O'Grady. "Corruption" was the issue, and O'Grady upset
    Elrod by 36,865 votes. Had Elrod retired, another
    Democrat certainly would have won the job.

    O'Grady was a popular sheriff, even though in late
    1989 undersheriff Jim Dvorak resigned after a mob
    informant told a grand jury that Dvorak was taking
    bribes from mob sources. There was no stampede to
    challenge O'Grady, and the only willing Democrat was
    Sheahan, then the obscure 19th Ward alderman and part
    of the anti-Washington "Vrdolyak 29." But, prior to
    the election, a number of new stories surfaced,
    including Dvorak's plea, while jailed, that he hired
    ghost payrollers, that hurt O'Grady.

    Sheahan, who ran an astutely invisible campaign,
    thumped O'Grady in 1990 by a margin of 335,680 votes,
    getting 55.4 percent of the total. By just being on
    the ballot as a Democrat, he got near-universal black
    support, and the white pro-Daley committeemen pushed
    him hard. Since 1990 Sheahan has had the usual array
    of employee misconduct and alleged brutality lawsuits,
    but he has run a largely scandal-free regime.

    Sheahan surely have won a fifth term had he run in
    2006. Had he announced in early autumn that her was
    retiring, a flock of ambitious politicians would have
    run, including Alderman Bill Beavers (7th). But
    Sheahan played it right, announcing his retirement on
    the day of slating and endorsing Dart.

    Of the19th Ward crowd, this much can be said: Love
    them or hate them, they know how to hang on to what
    they've got.


    E-mail to Russ@russstewart.com or visit his website at
    http://www.russstewart.com

    Copyright © 2006 Russ Stewart, Attorney at Law
    (04/12/2006 11:08)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:32 PM, October 25, 2006  

  • Pasquale is such a jerk and an ignorant one at that! Who cares what Pasquale thinks or says??? Bruno sure does'nt and neither does Castaldo the attorney, nor Mazzulla from Stone Park who stuck him in the ass during the township election!!!
    Pasquale should find a hole and crawl into it along with his girlfriend Herrell and Bruno, he's washed up and he's a has been!!!!

    By Anonymous Pasquale your such a perv!, at 5:24 PM, October 25, 2006  

  • LOOK STUPID. MAYBE YOU NEED TO TAKE A LITTLE TIME TO SIT BACK AND GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE. EVERYONE WHO WAS INVOLVED IN PROVISO TOWNSHIP KNOWS WHAT HAPPEN IN THAT ELECTION. MAZULLA WAS BEHIND A LOT OF UNDERHANDED SHIT. PASQUALLE KNOWS IT ALL . OUR BELLWOOD MAYOR IS NO FOOL.(WELCH),HMMM....THATS RIGHT WELCH , HE IS ON TO YOUR BULLSHIT ALSO FOR BLOCHING UP THE DEAL ON THE PROPERTY AT SD88. MARY HERELL IS GOOD FOR BELLWOOD, MR. SEI IS GOOD FOR THE PARK DISTRICT. AND MR. BRUNO IS GOOD FOR DEVELOPEMENT IN ANY COMMUNITY THAT IS MOVING FORWARD. WHO ELSE CAN GET THINGS DONE THE WAY HE DOES. ITS SCUM LIKE MAZULLA AND WELCH WITH THE BULLSHIT BACK DOOR DEALS THAT PREVENT MOVEMENT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. BUT WE CANT HELP IT WHEN THEY SINK THIER PAWS INTO WEAK BOOT-LICKIN-BASTARDS LIKE CASTRJONE, LEGGINS, MILLER, JOHNSON, ANDERSON, AND THE REST OF THE POLITICAL WHORES FOR SELL. CASTREJON IS SO FAR UP BIRDIES ASS ON THE WAY TO MAZULLAS BALLS IT PATHETIC. MILLER SWALLOWS SO MUCH OF WELCHES "GRAPE JUICE" HIS PROTIEN LEVEL IS AFFECTING HIS POOR SPEECH. WHEN IS THE TIED TOUNGE CONTEST BETWEEN MILLER AND ANDERSON ..GIVE ME A BREAK JERKS. PASQULLE IS GREAT FOR BELLWOOD AND HE KNOW WHO HAS BEEN BULLSHITTIN HIM AND THE COMMUNITY. GET FUCKED LOOSERS....SORRY FOR CURSING CARL..........

    By Anonymous GOOD JOB PASQUALLE, WE SUPPORT YOU 100%., at 11:21 AM, October 26, 2006  

  • Another telling testimonial by the intelligent folks that support Pasquale.

    Might help if you could actually spell his name.

    Tell us one single project Bruno got done for Bellwood - not the money he's pocketed.

    Tell us what Sei and Herrell have done for the community other than get themselves sued for civil rights violations.

    Once they all go to jail, we'll listen to that explanation again.

    By Anonymous candid, at 3:55 PM, October 26, 2006  

  • Pasqualle is so on to mazullo and his posse of bandits, martiniz and burdis. Mazullo bums raps bellwood and melrose park and memorial park,is allied with welch, but does have the balls to tell pasqualle and melrose how he truely feels. I am sick of tired hearing him tell his stories how he spit in pasqualle and serpico's face in front of the other mayors and told them to fuck off, he don't have the balls.I also want to know why he called the feds to tell them stories on bruno,pasqualle and serpico? mazullo is trash.

    By Anonymous stone park sucks, at 6:14 PM, October 26, 2006  

  • After last night's debate on ABC my vote is going to Stroger. I was undecided about the Stroger vs. Percia election, but after finding out that Percia is using Loren Maltese's campaign managers I was able to make my decision. Stroger is not any better considering the corruption in Cook County, but the lesser of the evil wins.

    By Blogger 209sucks, at 1:17 PM, October 27, 2006  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:52 PM, October 28, 2006  

  • tvzxptrxWELCH IS THROUGH, TRUST THAT HE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE STROGER CAMPAIGN. HE IS LIKE CANCER IN PROVISO NOW. THATS WHY HE IS TRING TO GET ALL OF HIS PATRONAGE EMPLOYEES CONTRACTS. HE THINKS THAT WILL SAVE THIER ASSES FROM NOT DOING THIER JOBS. SORRY WELCHER, IT WONT WORK AND ITS NOT LEGAL. WHY DIDNT YOU GIVE THEM A CONTRACT WHEN YOU FIRST HIRED THEM? IF IT IS GOOD NOW WHY WASNT IT GOOD THEN. OH WELL

    By Anonymous SORRY WELCH, at 10:12 PM, October 28, 2006  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Gay Bar Owner, at 10:24 PM, October 30, 2006  

  • It is interesting to me that with all the Stroger and Peraica bs no one is talking about the Gomolinski/Peraica race for 16th district commissioner. Interesting that old Gomo is a another reform candidate when he was a County worker 15 years ago. Yeah Gomo remember? sleeping on the job night after night "security" I think you called it. The Dems should look at their candidates a little closer. Gomo remember -glass houses and all...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:39 PM, November 02, 2006  

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