Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
But she has to be popular with taxpayers, not just in her 17th District but in the entire county. Everyone said it couldn't be done, but Gorman pushed ahead and refused to give up the resistance to the 1 percent sales tax increase imposed by the beleaguered Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.
The sales tax is repressive. It has chased out more businesses and caused more lost county revenues than it can generate from the over-taxed county residents.
With the support of key members of the county board including Democrats like Commissioners John Daley and Larry Suffredin, the Gorman repeal movement redefined itself after being beat back by Stroger's veto. On Tuesday, much to Stroger's chagrin -- he should get used to it -- the Gorman repeal was approved with 13 votes rolling back the 1 percent increase by half.
It's a major blow for Stroger, who has managed politics ineptly since taking over the helm form his dying father, the popular John Stroger. But while the father led with his experience and brains. Strogers leads by consultant and adviser.
The only commissioner missing in action was Forrest Claypool who would have been there to vote and claim credit had he still been running for Cook County Board president against Stroger. But polls show that Claypool is not as popular as he thinks and his ability to raise funds was questionable enough to force him to withdraw from the contest. So, not running for anything to help himself, Claypool is just MIA.
Stroger beat back two prior efforts to repeal the tax. But this time, things may be different. Stroger has until September to veto the measure, but with the vote and assuming Claypool can manage to get himself back into his seat soon, the Gorman repeal will have the 14 votes to override Stroger's veto. And that will only set Stroger up for more troubles.
The repeal drew more votes because even Stroger's allies including Deborah Sims and Robert Steele switched to support the repeal vote. Stroger's stalwart former Chicago Alderman Bill Beavers is catching flak from voters tired of arrogant politicians like him who ignore their needs and put their own family and interests and power first, so he voted "present." Beaver is a "me-first" commissioner, but he could not stand up to the growing voter anger over Stroger's repressive sales tax.
The victory only reinforces Gorman's voter popularity. The Stroger Sales Tax is on top of their minds in Cook County and any politician who supports the sales tax hike or is silent -- and many including some of her opponents have been deathly silent on the issue -- will face a voter backlash in the Spring and next year in the general election.
As the late Mayor Richard M. Daley once said, "Good government is good politics." That means worrying about what's good for the taxpayers is the best way to reinforce your own interests. Worrying about your interests, Stroger and Beavers style, is not good government at all but Machine politics at its worst.
A NOTE ABOUT JOAN MURPHY
Even Joan Murphy, who is facing a stiff challenge from Nick Valadez, flip-flopped in the face of voter anger. Murphy is unbelievable, though. While she supported the repeal -- so she can mislead voters into thinking she supporters the interest of taxpayers -- Murphy was the lead sponsor of the proposal to not only pass the 1 percent Stroger Sales Tax. Murphy wanted to increase it by 2 percent.
You'll hear a lot of howling from Stroger and Murphy, who just might flip flop again. That's her style. Lie to the voters and confuse them, as she is trying to do in the water-poinsoned village of Crestwood where she lives and has supported the Stranczek administrations see no poison, hear no poison, speak no poison policies.
Sticking to their guns and voting against the repeal and against taxpayers were Commissioners Joseph Mario Moreno and Jerome Butler.
Yes: Earlean Collins, John Daley, Bridget Gainer, Liz Gorman, Gregg Goslin, Roberto Maldonado, Joan Murphy, Timothy Schneider, Peter Silvestri, Deborah Sims, Robert Steele, and Larry Suffredin
No: Jerry Butler, Joseph Mario Moreno
Present: William Beavers
Absent: Forrest Claypool, Tony Peraica
-- Ray Hanania
Thursday, July 16, 2009
17th District (Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, then south in a narrow corridor to Lemont, Orland Park and Tinley Park): Incumbent [Liz] Gorman’s husband was a business partner of Ed Vrdolyak, and there is some negative fallout attaching to her. She was first elected unopposed in 2002, and re-elected in 2006 with 55.6 percent. She is the Orland Township Republican committeeman, was briefly the Republican county chairman, and has been feuding with Peraica.
A likely 2010 Democratic candidate for the seat is Dr. Victor Forys, a Polish-American who garnered 11.7 percent of the vote in the 2009 Democratic congressional primary in the 5th District. If Forys can assemble both a geographic (north versus south) and ethnic coalition, he could win. Other candidates include Orland Park trustee Jim Dodge and RTA Board member Dennis Cook. But well-known Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin is also a possibility, and would be favored in a primary. The outlook: Gorman has huge problems.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Lisa Madigan says she's not a candidate and that's big news: what does it say about those left who are running?
It's big news that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced yesterday that she is not running for either the office of Illinois Governor or U.S. Senator for the former Barack Obama seat in Washington.
If that's big news, what does it say about all the candidates who are running for those offices. Yikes!
Here's what all the players in this drama want:
Mike Madigan, the Illinois House Speaker: Found himself in a dilemma. He wants his daughter to become Governor, or possibly now US Senator -- Senators do become presidents -- but he also wants to maintain his iron fist majority rule in the Illinois House and the battle over the budget could jeopardize that. He's held back on an income tax increase to protect his daughter and to protect the many spineless legislators who don't want to say if they will support an income tax increase until they know for sure no one of substance will be running against them in this Spring primary.
Gov. Pat Quinn: The deer in the lights. He can't balance his promises of reform against the need to play tough politics. Inept in political diplomacy, Quinn's only talent is to lead often but not always losing campaigns for reform. This time, Quinn was able to reverse course and do nothing to push reform while the wolves ripped the reform chicken to pieces. With Lisa Madigan "in" the race, he could blame everything on Mike Madigan. Now that she is out of the race, he has to blame everything on his pathetic lack of leadership and his hypocrisy.
Senate President john Cullerton: It makes it easier for him to take marching orders from Mike Madigan, who is the defacto governor.
Democratic, spineless legislators: They are falling to their knees crying and yelling "Hail Marys" for their great fortune that they don't have to worry about anything any more. no more important decisions. No more possibilities they will get beat and lose all the perqs and clout and jobs they've gotten their families. And now they don't even have to work. Mike Madigan will do all the thinking for them.
State Republicans: They are in total disarray and divided into two messed up camps. Despite some good leaders, they can't get their act together. Lisa Madigan removing herself from the race allows mediocracy to rule again and anyone can run for office to get a good headline, like Sen Kirk Dillard, who has done what in the past decade? At least Dan Proft, the ultra conservative candidate for Governor, has some good ideas.
News media: We wanted Lisa Madigan to run for either office. She great news. And the dilemma it would cause in Springfield over the budget battle only becomes more dramatic as a news story.
Alexi Giannoulias: Who?
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich: With all the reality shows out of the way, he's left with fighting the U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald who is out to get him with a vengeance. And all he can do is appear on a morning radio talks how that hammers him when he's not looking.
The public: They are left out in the cold.
-- Ray Hanania