Saturday, February 26, 2005

Ron Magers fumbles and Mike Flannery picks up the ball and scores.

Yet another application of manager Casey Stengel’s comment made in frustration about his hapless 1962 Mets, “Can’t anybody here play this game.” Well, what do you know, Casey found somebody who can play this game-- the political analysis game, that is--- very, very, very well, CBS-2 News' Political Editor Mike Flannery.

However, this Cook County Board thing must be really tough on anchors [Antonio Mora, CBS-2 News anchor], co-anchors [Ron Magers, ABC-7 News co-anchor] and up and coming reporters who get to report from the news room, at least some of the time [CBS-2 News’ Dana Kozlov]. See, below and blog entry immediately below this one-- on Mora/Kozlov [CBS-2 News screws up].

So, we to turn to Professor Flannery to teach a little Cook County Politics 101. All right, students, settle down and take your seats. Mike, please tell like it is.
Mike Flannery: John Stroger [President of the Cook County Board for the last decade], he is 75 years old…he says he is not going anywhere but he certainly has, now two years in a row, suffered major embarrassments, major defeats. He has lost control of the County Board, there is a solid majority now of nine who consistently vote against—

Joel Weisman [WTTW’s Chicago Week in Review host]: Where does John Daley fall in this, the Mayor’s brother, who is the head of the Finance Committee.

Flannery: He is the [Chairman of the] Finance Committee. He has been Stroger’s ally. But, he has not been outspoken. He did not push—he did not speak out against the majority on the Board. He did speak out very strongly in favor of the tax increases on hotels, motels and restaurants that Stroger had been seeking.

Weisman: And those went down to defeat?

Flannery: They never even were called for a vote.

Weisman: And so—

Ron Magers: That’s the important thing, I think. While John Daley didn’t speak out, he had the ability to call Mr. Stroger’s package to the floor and he did not do it. That’s a pretty clear message.

Flannery: Well, because Stroger agreed with that. Stroger knew he didn’t have the votes. Stroger has not been the 8th Ward Committeeman [for nothing], you know, look, John- a lot of people underestimate John Stroger. He’s, you know, he had that country cornpone appearance from Arkansas. He is a very sophisticated, very smart Chicago politician. He’s been doing it for half a century.

Weisman: Obviously, this week he could count the votes.

Flannery: He could count the votes--
WTTW's [Ch. 11] Chicago Week in Review, February 25, 2005, airing every Friday night at 7:00 pm.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at