Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Four Horsemen, Fast Eddie and Cicero

This post follows up on the Mike Quigley, et al Cook County Board story, discussed in the post immediately below, as well as in our webcast interview with Quigley, candidate for Democratic Primary County Board President.

Mike Quigley, also an environmentalist of a different type [as in Green], created an Environment for Reform [as noted by the Chicago Tribune] by winning a County Board Seat in 1998. He has nurtured and advanced his reform efforts with the help of his three Amigos- Democrat Commissioners Suffredin [Evanston] and Claypool [Chicago] and Republican Peraica [Riverside], each of whom joined the War for Reform in 2002, forming the Gang of Four, aka the Four Horseman [a label I gave them, BTW] who are trying to bring President Stroger his Apocalypse Now.

Having beat back major tax increase proposals in the last two years by Stroger, with the help of the other four Republican Board members [Silvestri, Goslin, Hansen and Gorman], forming the Gang of Eight, the Gang is ready to do battle with Stroger on yet another of his tax increase proposals, expected to be released into the body politic soon.

Of course, the County Board has 17 members, meaning the Gang of Eight would be a mere footnote in the drab, dull and dreary history of Cook County Government but for Democrat Commissioner Earlean Collins, who is the Gang's heroine. Twice before, Earlean has been the Sandra Day O'Connor of the County Board, joining and converting the Gang of 8 into a majority on their all important opposition to major tax increases. Will Commissioner Collins make it three for three? The gang is betting on it.

And, should Earlean falter under the intimidation [loss of clinics, etc. in her District] or inducements [new clinics or expanded facilities in her District] of President Stroger, Commissioner Bobbie Steele might be ready to take Earlean Collins' place. The role of heroine is much sought after, these days, on the County Board. Ah, Competition, the Patron Saint of the Consumer.

So, in light of the above, you can see why Quigley and Claypool are not likely to jump into the Sheriff's race. Aside from the fact that that patronage rich position is now attracting many competitors [See here, Black Elected Officials of Cook County seek to install one of their guys], Quigley has been at War now for seven years and Claypool for four. Both of these guys are believers in what they are doing. They are not leaving this War until they smell the sweet scent of success or are clobbered and left licking their wounds.

And, if Stroger survives the dynamic duo of reform and comes out of the March Democratic Primary a victor, he will have one more challenge.

Commissioner Tony Peraica, a former Democrat and coincidentally enough a neighbor and ally of Treasurer [and about to be official candidate for Guv- with the unofficial blessing of the old Guard] Judy Baar Topinka, is an instrumental member/reformer of the Gang of Four, and Tony might have enough resources to finish up the 76 year old President Stroger, who could be bloodied and tired by the time next year's general election campaign rolls around as a result of his having had to deal with Claypool/Quigley.

Tony is thought to be running in an uncontested Republican Primary. But, current rumor and innuendo has Fast Eddie leading a last minute effort to put Republican Commissioner Liz Gorman on the Primary ballot opposite Peraica for Cook County Board President. Why would Fast Eddie do that? As Carol Marin tells us repeatedly, it all comes back to Cicero, controlling Cicero and getting the spoils from controlling Cicero.