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Proviso Probe

Thursday, September 13, 2007

campaign worker used to paint Peraica team as thugs

Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica (R-Riverside) is running for State's Attorney.

Peraica was something of a media darling when he ran against Todd Stroger for President of the County Board. Media people liked Peraica because he was accessible, gave good quotes and reflected back the media's perception of Stroger. Peraica railed against the cronyism, corruption and incompetence.

On election night Peraica's campaign was celebrating, including drinking. Mike Manzo was at the location where the ballots were being tabulated by the Cook County Clerk. There had been a number of irregularities and Manzo witnessed a bunch of Stroger people being on the inside.

Manzo called Peraica and informed him that the campaign should get there people to come over to prevent any cheating.

Peraica marched his campaign staff, many under the influence of alcohol, to the location and they were not allowed to get the equivalent access that the Stroger campaign had.

The media saw and filmed Peraica's celebrants, including intoxicated people, marching like an angry mob. This became the defining image of the campaign: Peraica's angry mob.

The Democrats and their allies in the media are now playing-up stories that re-enforce this image. This is somewhat analogous to the media deciding Howard Dean was unhinged for opposing the Iraq War (before it was socially acceptable on the DC cocktail circuit to say the invasion was a bad idea). So, when the media got an image to match the story they already told themselves, they repeated it over and over again.

For Democrats that want to pooh-pooh Peraica, his complaints about election fraud in Cook County were quite similar to complaints Democrats were making about electronic voting in other parts of the country. The basic complaint is that the dominant party has access to the machines and the votes and if the votes were tampered with the tampering is exceedingly difficult (impossible?) to detect.

I imagine if the Peraica campaign would have had it to do over again... they would have done certain things differently.

But the image of Peraica as the leader of an angry mob is getting re-enforced by other stories now. Capitol Fax Blog (Rich Miller) tied together a couple stories under the title "More thuggery from Peraica".
There are those who say that Peraica’s infamous march to the County Building on election night last year was simply an unfortunate, isolated incident, despite the obviously stupid move of leading a drunken mob across town. But Tony apparently loves him some thugs, and likes to have them do his bidding.

I like Peraica. And the need to reform Cook County government, and especially law enforcement in Cook County, doesn't disappear because the reformers are uncouth.

I think Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman, who is chair of the Cook County GOP, is closer to the mark on Peraica than the image the media is trying to sell.

Capitol Fax Blog quoting Daily Southtown (Steve Patterson):
“Peraica thinks everything is a fight, but it takes two to fight, and I won’t be part of this,” Gorman said. “He’s tossed too many grenades. One was bound to backfire on him.”

Peraica, and the people around him, often refer to other Republicans as venal, corrupt or incompetent.

When Peraica kicked-off his campaign for State's Attorney he had a conference call for bloggers. Someone--not me--asked a question.

Peraica starting ticking through suburban townships where he had good words for the GOP committeemen, but they he got to Proviso Township and gave a more detailed analysis of the local political landscape.

Peraica said of Michael Corrigan, the Proviso Township Assessor and GOP committeeman, that he barely shows up for his township job, how could you expect him to do any work as committeeman?

Having seen firsthand how the Cook County State's Attorney covers for local politicians not following the law, I see the need for reform. And if Peraica fails to deliver reform at State's Attorney it will be easy enough to dump him in four years.

However, Peraica seems to have trouble focusing on saying things that advance his cause of getting elected without adding gratuitous insults of others, especially local Republican officials.

Gorman may think Peraica's a jackass, but she's not hell bent on sticking it to Peraica. One Peraica campaign worker told me that when he approached Gorman--he'd known her for a long time--she got her people out to help Peraica's campaign.

My two cents is that Peraica and his staff should resist their inclinations to engage in conflict with others when it doesn't advance their interests in accomplishing something specific, like winning an election.

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  • Disclaimer: I do work part-time for Mike Manzo at Club Napoletano.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 12:29 PM, September 13, 2007  

  • I know you wont' print this, so I am not even sure why I am wasting my time..

    Carl, this is the biggest conflict of interest I have seen

    You work for Manzo at his "Club" and you are now writing articles defending the actions of Periaca's thugs.... the actions of this paid staffer is thuggery, plain and simple

    HOw can you sleep at night knowing that you are defending someone who called a fellow commissioner such vile names and also was arrested for slashing the tires of nuns

    Carl, I think it's time to hang it up, you have lost all credibility in my eyes and the eyes of others, you are a disgrace

    Such potential, shot in the ass for a few bucks

    So mercanary

    By Anonymous You are incorrigable, at 2:35 PM, September 13, 2007  

  • What did I write that defended the actions of Fred Ichniowski?

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 3:27 PM, September 13, 2007  

  • If somebody is willing to do work for $150/week, most campaigns are probably gonna hire the guy as long as he's productive.

    No one has provided evidence Peraica solicited the guy to make harassing phone calls to Gorman. And I don't think he did.

    However, the antagonistic and morally superior attitude toward other Republicans is pervasive in the people around Peraica.

    If Peraica had a civil relationship with Gorman the whole thing could have been avoided probably. Gorman would talk to Peraica and say, "Look, this is happening." And Peraica would give Gorman the appropriate level of respect and tell his organization what constitutes acceptable lobbying of public officials and what constitutes an embarrassment.

    However, Peraica doesn't have a relationship with Gorman based on mutual respect. The fault for that lies at least partially with Peraica. And Peraica is taking the heat in the media for something that probably wouldn't have reached the media if Peraica had a more civil relationship with Gorman.

    So Peraica is to some extent reaping what he sowed. However, I think the media is focusing on the thug issue when the real issue is more Peraica not playing well with other Republicans.

    I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 3:38 PM, September 13, 2007  

  • You know what, if I was a democrat, I'd be happy to see you working with Periaca, you can join the rest of his clown college, like Mad Dog and Mercantde and Manzo

    Good Luck to youse

    Also, having a fundraiser during Rosh Shannah,


    By Anonymous Your Slip is showing, at 4:08 PM, September 13, 2007  

  • I've noticed this blog deteriorate exponentially over the last year. It's because of stories like this. First you half ass try to justify Peraica's thugs marching to the Board of Elections. Then you respond to the "you are incorrigable" posting by splitting hairs around the obvious fact that Peraica and his followers are arrogant idiots. The issue has nothing to do with Gorman. It's about Peraica and the people that he attracts. Unfortunately, you have fallen under his rhetorical spell. He talks a good game about corruption and patronage, but he targets a guy like Todd Stroger who has just gotten there and has so far done exactly what Peraica and the media said he wouldn't: Cut county government. Peraica's credibility has never been established. He can't even see that he's just a media pawn to advance their bias against Todd Stroger.

    By Anonymous Provisoguru, at 6:23 AM, September 14, 2007  

  • Fellas, can't we all just get along? As Lincoln said, "The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend." It's unfortunate that as bad as the Dems are, Republicans are so divisive and bitter with each other that we loose sight of the big picture: uniting to beat the Dems.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:40 AM, September 15, 2007  

  • Problem is that all these "Republicans" are submissive wimps that grovel like hungry animals looking for scraps of food from the Democrats. Peracia is the most recognizable name in Cook county politics. He wins elections. He has broad appeal across party lines. He is a hard charging campaigner and he has very little tolerance for the wishy washy Republicans that act like servants to the Democrats. Sure he shakes it up a bit. However, you have to rock to boat if your going to change things. Gorman is a lap dog for the Democrats. Goslin same. Corrigan same. People need to get behind Peraica's charge. Or get out of the way.

    By Anonymous Someone Needs to Lead, at 5:53 PM, September 15, 2007  

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