Thursday, May 25, 2006

Democratic Culture of Corruption: Cook County, the Wellspring

Less than a week before last spring’s primary election Cook County Board President John Stroger had a stroke and he has not been seen in any public capacity since last March. With the help of the local Democratic machine the invalid Stroger defeated Forrest Claypool and will stand for election this November. That turn of events has sent local Democrats scheming in order to replace Mr. Stroger on the ballot. One universally frowned upon potential candidate is his son Alderman John Stroger, a more palatable possibility (to local Dems) is Congressman Danny Davis.

There have been increasing questions surrounding Stroger’s health and his ability to function as an executive. One of those questioners has been Republican Cook County Board Presidential candidate Tony Peraica, who held a press conference asking just that yesterday. The reaction to those questions has been interesting, Alderman William Beavers described those relevant questions as racist and stated “President Stroger is alive and well. Until he decides that he don't (sic) want to run again -- it's up to him. And whoever he decides that (sic) he wants to replace him -- that's what's going to happen. ... White folks can do it. Black folks can do it -- easily. We got control of the [weighted] votes in the city and the county, so we do what we want to do. Remember that.”

Mr. Beaver’s understanding of democracy leaves much to be desired; but that is how the local Democrats see elected office, “elected” positions are for politicians to appoint rather than the voters to elect. Mr. Beaver’s most interesting sentence was surely “so we do what we want to do. Remember that.” Thanks for the explanation Mr. Alderman.

Mr. Peraica also complained that local Democrats, led by Cook County Clerk David Orr appear to be willing to wait until late October, mere weeks before the election, to place a replacement for Mr. Stroger on the ballot. If the name David Orr sounds familiar you are either a local or a political savant. Mr. Orr inserted himself into the Bush/Gore dispute in Florida after the 2000 election. Mr. Orr sent an amicus brief to a Florida county court in order to bolster the Gore team’s contention that dimpled and hanging chads are counted as votes in Cook County and he wrote that he was relying on an Illinois case. The Gore team was forced to withdraw that brief due to the fact that it was not true, we do not count hanging and dimpled chads and the relevant case law states that county officials cannot count those ballots as unspoiled ballots.

It should worry any person interested in fair elections that David Orr is inserting himself into this election at such an early date. It should especially worry Mr. Peraica and his fellow Republicans.


Blogger Thomas Westgard said...

You and I seem to think similarly, at least at times.

10:21 PM  
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11:58 AM  

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