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Proviso Probe

Saturday, November 21, 2009

IVI-IPO endorsement sessions

Today IVI-IPO held it's endorsement sessions for the following races: Lt. Governor, State Treasurer, State Comptroller, Cook County Assessor, President of the Cook County Board and MWRD commissioner.

IVI-IPO rules limit the committee interviewing the candidates to making recommendations to the IVI-IPO board if there aren't at least 100 members present (and at least 15% of the organization's members).

The one endorsement made by the committee which is binding upon the board was for President. The group endorsed Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (candidate questionnaire, pdf). Incumbent President Todd Stroger (questionnaire, pdf), Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown (questionnaire, pdf) and MWRD President Terry O'Brien (questionnaire, pdf).

Someone asked Stroger about why he missed the candidate forum at DePaul University. He responded that he was at the 90th anniversary celebration at his church. I asked why his campaign manager didn't know his whereabouts. Stroger took responsibility for not calling the organizers of the candidate forum to say that he wasn't attending. He offered no explanation for his campaign manager's ignorance.

An IVI-IPO member suggested Stroger went to church in the morning and preferred to stay with the friendly audience rather than deal with the hostile audience at DePaul. This sounds about right to me.

Stroger said his toughest opponents in the race are the Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune.

Brown had a large number of supporters at the event, but many of them were not voting members of IVI-IPO. Maywood Village President Henderson Yarbrough attended and indicated a preference IVI-IPO endorse Brown. Yarbrough works for the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

The committee recommended IVI-IPO endorse State Rep. Mike Boland (candidate questionnaire, pdf) for Lt. Governor. I spoke for Thomas Castillo (candidate questionnaire, pdf).

Castillo's presentation was organized the best. He had a clear agenda for the office and it seemed like a list of things on which he could make realistic progress (Castillo's issues page). The two issues that caused Castillo to trip up were abortion and the death penalty. Castillo said he was undecided about whether the law should require girls who are minors to notify their parents before getting abortions. And Castillo indicated he was open to resuming capital punishment because the system doesn't have the unfairness of Cdr. Jon Burge anymore.

Scott Lee Cohen (candidate questionnaire, pdf) and State Rep. Art Turner (candidate questionnaire, pdf) also appeared. When asked why he was running for lieutenant governor Turner responded, "Because my son wants to be state rep."

In the race for State Treasurer there is no incumbent, but Robin Kelly (candidate questionnaire, pdf) is the chief of staff for Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Justin Oberman (candidate questionnaire, pdf) didn't make a strong case for change. The group recommended IVI-IPO endorse Kelly.

The group recommended Clint Krislov (candidate questionnaire, pdf) for Comptroller. Krislov is a former chair of IVI-IPO and is representing the organization in its lawsuit against the City of Chicago over the parking meter privatization. Current IVI-IPO chair Bob Bartell spoke in favor of endorsing Krislov. My take was that Krislov probably wouldn't have gotten recommended without this extra nudge.

Raja Krishnamoorthi (candidate questionnaire, pdf) gave the clearest, most organized presentation of what he's do if elected. State Rep. David E. Miller (candidate questionnaire, pdf) gave the best answer on the issue of regulating cemeteries. Miller favors shifting the responsibility from the comptroller to the agency that handles professional regulation.

The group also recommended IVI-IPO endorse Ray Figueroa (candidate questionnaire, pdf) over Joe Berrios (candidate questionnaire, pdf) for Cook County Assessor.

I was disappointed Melrose Park Village Clerk Mary Ann Paolantonio Salemi (candidate questionnaire, pdf) did not attend the endorsement session. She attended the IVI-IPO meet the candidate shindig on Thursday. She and I had a good talk. She said she had a proposal for reducing flooding in the west suburbs. I wanted to ask her more. But she didn't appear.

The group recommended IVI-IPO endorse Commissioner Barbara McGowan (candidate questionnaire, pdf), Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos (candidate questionnaire, pdf) and Todd Connor (candidate questionnaire, pdf). Even though Connor received the most votes in the straw poll of the group, after McGowan and Spyropoulos were recommended there was a push by a few, including Ald. Leslie Hairston to give the third endorsement to Kari Steele (candidate questionnaire, pdf).

Stella Black (candidate questionnaire, pdf) also appeared.

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  • Thanks for the write up -- it was a good endorsement session and I was glad I was able be there and vote and express my opinions. And of course as a fan of Toni Preckwinkle I was thrilled that she got the endorsement.

    By Blogger Sandra, at 12:37 PM, November 22, 2009  

  • Castillo wasn't just tripped up by parental notification, but also by his support for banning "so-called partial birth abortions" -- and after Stupak it just seems reckless to support any candidate who buys the right-wing language on this issue.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:05 PM, November 23, 2009  

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