Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Peraica: A Second Chance at Reform for Claypool Supporters?

Update 2: It turns out that swing vote Commissioner Earlean Collins [The Sandra Day O'Connor of the Cook County Board] will join Claypool and Peraica tonight on WTTW's Chicago Tonight [See, below]. Although Collins was with the Stroger family on the recent Board vote dealing with methods to learn more about or establish President John Stroger's health status-- so was virtually the entire Board-- and she has not generally been classified as a Stroger supporter during the last three years so it appears that WTTW could not find anyone in the "Stroger Camp," interested in doing TV tonight.[See discussion, below] No surprise there.
Update: “It’s not right when black folk do it?” asked Committeeman and Ald. William Beavers (7th), noting that a parade of white families including the Hyneses, Daleys, Madigans and Lipinskis have handed elected posts to a second generation. “Why can’t we do it?” [See here]. Ald. Beavers has a point [although he might have acknowledged the Jacksons come close to such a Black intra-family transfer of power]-that is, about Chicago's Democratic royal families. However, if the voters were to put a stop to it in this instance, which happens to involve a black family-- perhaps the pols would put a stop to it next time, even if involved a white family. One can hope, at least. Or does Ald. Beavers think Democrats or all of the citizens of Illinois have to suffer through three more black nepotism transfers of political power before they "are ready for reform."
We again have a corrupt regime that is handing off power from one generation to another, to the next, as if it was part of their Estate to bequeath to the next generation... Tony Peraica, Republican Nominee for Cook County Board President, June 28, 2006
Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica, in a phone interview this afternoon, responded to this morning’s news that Ald. Todd Stroger [8th] is likely to replace his father, John Stroger [who had a stroke a week before his March primary election and has not been seen or heard from since by anybody other than family and close friends] as the Democratic Nominee on the November 7 ballot for President of the Cook County Board and Ald. Bill Beavers [7th] is likely to replace John Stroger as the Democratic Nominee for Cook County Commissioner from the 4th District. [See Fran Spielman's top notch report here].

Peraica [R-Riverside] is on the ballot as the Republican Nominee both for Cook County Board President and for re-election as the County Commissioner from the 16th District.

True to his style, Peraica pulled no punches, stating,

We again have a corrupt regime that is handing off power from one generation to another, to the next, as if it was part of their Estate to bequeath to the next generation. Damn democracy, Damn the voters, Damn the taxpayers; we’re going to do, as Ald. Beavers said, whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want and we have the votes and there is nothing you can do about it. And, that is exactly what happened here.

Peraica predicted that the rest of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee would be “complicit,” with Ald. Stroger and Ald. Beavers and would vote for their selection this weekend as the Democratic Party’s nominees to replace twelve year incumbent President John Stroger on the November 7, 2006 ballot.

Peraica seemed to relish the fight, predicting a stark choice for the voters on November 7 between the same old “corrupt, tax and spend, patronage laden regime,” and a reform type government that Peraica, his fellow Four Horsemen, his fellow County Board Republicans and swing vote Commissioner Earlean Collins have been moving the County towards in the last four years: smaller government, lower taxes and the elimination of corruption [See here].

Peraica is optimistic that Commissioners Bobbie Steele and Earlean Collins, Cong. Danny Davis [D-Chicago, 7th Dist] and other west side African American politicians could support him for President of the Cook County Board because they are upset with the way they and their community were treated by President John Stroger’s decision to keep his position as President and Commissioner even though it is unlikely he will be healthy enough to attend meetings and function as the County’s CEO of the more than three billion dollar entity that is called County Government.

Peraica noted that a major goal of his is to deliver the reforms necessary to improve the plight of the economically depressed south and west sides of the City of Chicago, which Peraica contends have been ignored and deprived of quality services from the City, County and State governments over the last twenty to thirty years. Commissioner Peraica is confident those goals of his to turn that situation [Peraica cited 50% unemployment, 50% school drop out rates, lack of economic opportunity due to high city and county real estate taxes] around should bring him substantial African American support in those communities.

Republican Nominee for Cook County Board President Peraica appears tonight on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm [WTTW, Ch. 11] on a panel hosted by Carol Marin [if she can stop sobbing long enough for poor Robert Sorich, who is alleged, among other actions relating to the City of Chicago hiring scandals, to have committed criminal acts in furtherance of a scheme to violate the the Federal Court's Shakman decree. He said the panel would also include County Commissioner Forrest Claypool [D-Chicago] and someone from the “Stroger Camp.”

I asked Peraica if he thought he could get Commissioner Forrest Claypool [D-Chicago] off the fence tonight and have him stop straddling votes and decisions on the John Stroger issue [as Claypool has done since he lost to Stroger in March for the Democratic Nomination for Cook County Board President [53.5% to 46.5%].

Peraica said he would “continue to try,” but he emphasized it is not about Claypool, it is about the 50% [actually, 46.5%] of the Democrats who voted for Claypool. Tony Peraica said, “That’s where my interest is, not on one person, although I have tremendous respect for Forrest.” Cook County Board President candidate Peraica added, “All of those people who voted for Claypool and who support good, honest, open transparent government will have a second chance on Nov. 7 by voting for me.”
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at