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The Machine Must Die Part I

What is there left to say about Todd Stroger, aside from wishing he would just go away?

Actually, plenty. After all, we still don't know who Todd Stroger is. I mean, besides the shameless son of John Stroger.

It's beyond time for a full vetting of the man - his record as a state legislator and alderman; a look at his political deals and campaign contributors (and what they have received in return for their support); even some probing into his job as an investment banker. (The state election board is already investigating the alleged mixing of campaign and public business at Stroger's office.)

And who is Bill Beavers? The man has been on the Chicago City Council for 23 years as a proud old-school pol who revels in patronage and the kind of politics that gets people indicted. Is he clean? And what are we to make of his daughter, Darcel, whom he hopes to install as his successor as alderman as he moves to the county board?

The papers can rant and rave all they want on their editorial pages, but maybe it would be more productive to move their reporting beyond the daily twists and turns.

Beyond that, instead of unwittingly aiding the Cook County Democratic Party and leaving readers feeling helpless, the papers could provide outlets for action. For example, neither the Tribune nor the Sun-Times published the names and votes (and contact information) of the (ward and township) committeemen who just put an invisible alderman with no business running a $3 billion government on the ballot over a five-term United States congressman who seems to have at least a bit of a clue as to what the job entails.

And where is the grilling of county party chairman Thomas Lyons? How does Michael Madigan, chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, escape accountability?

Put their (white) faces on the front page and direct some heat their way. And next time, do it before the votes are in.

Todd's Tales
"Throughout history there has always been those who seek to gain political power through nonstop negative attacks and anti-government rhetoric. But those with anger or intolerance in their hearts rarely inspire and they rearely succeed in building the coalitions necessary to govern in a pluralistic and democrative society."

Apparently Todd Stroger is inspiring the citizenry with his alternative method of gaining political power, though he certainly isn't willing to build a coalition and actually run for a district board seat that came with a vote attached to it.

Dinosaur Days
Apparently unpersuaded by Todd Stroger's profession of "a genuine passion for county government," the Tribune editorial page today says that "Todd Stroger's next good idea for rescuing a county government that taxes too onerously and spends too wastefully will be his first."

Leave It To Beavers
"Congressman Jackson is young in this game," [Beavers] said. "He has a lesson to learn, and one day he'll learn it."

Hall of Infamity
It's hard to know who among the other players is more ridiculous. In the Sun-Times's "They Said What?" collection, it's a dead heat between aldermen Burt Natarus and Howard Brookins, committeeman Michael Wojcik, and state representative Lou Lang - Natarus's blaming Danny Davis for poor mail service would win under usual circumstances, but Natarus says 50 things like this a day.

Pause to remind yourself right now that these people are on the public payroll.

Then there's Ald. Dorothy Tillman complaining that "the press are dividing the community."

Apparently not well enough.

And speaking before the committeemen at the Allegro Hotel, Ald. Fredrenna Lyle justifed Todd Stroger's elevation with the tired argument that America is filled with political families, such as the Kennedys and the Bushes (she declined to name the Madigans and Lipinskis). Yes, America has a rich history of political corruption, favoritism, and cronyism. You're doing a helluva job, Freddie!

What do all these clowns have in common? They are members of the Cook County Democratic Party.

The Machine must be destroyed. I fear four years of Tony Peraica ("Have you had enough YET?") far less than the continued existence of this cesspool of fools.


Posted on July 19, 2006

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