Friday, February 5, 2010

Daily Herald looks at challenge of why North end of 17th District can't elect candidates

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The Daily Herald examines views today on why the north end of the 17th Cook County District continues to only showcase candidates from the south end. Click here to read the story.

The talk is heavy that next year, the district will be redistricted and strengthened as a Republican enclave. One way to do that is to eliminate one of Cook County's 17 districts and the target is the one held by Tony Peraica in the 16th District. The consensus on the Cook County board, which will reddrawn the new lines, is Peraica's district has to go. Peraica has built up one of the most disliked reputations on the Cook County Board, so bad among his peers that when he introduced a resolution to roll back the repressive 1 cent sales tax imposed by now out-going lame-duck Board President Todd Stroger, not ONE colleague on the board would second the motion. Peraica angrily blames everyone else for his troubles, but the same motion was introduced by a Republican rival, Elizabeth "Lis' Doody Gorman and it flew through the board four times until it was passed.

Another reason why the north end of the 17th District is not taken seriously: the candidates from that end are usually ringers put up not by voters but by other commissioners trying to unseat their rivals. I don't need to spell it out for you but Mark Thompson was in the race to win as much as he was there to tear down Gorman. And not surprisingly, Thompson, whose entire campaign was one big mud pie of attacks, the most despicable campaign I have seen in years by any candidate running for office, was backed by Peraica.

Thompson wasn't there to give Republican voters in the 17th District a choice. He was there to remove a Rpeublican that his limited circle of friends, who can't get one major piece of legislation passed on the Cook County Board, hate. And I mean "hate" in a literal sense of the word. That's how bad some Republicans have become and why the north end of the district has had no chance of electing anyone.

The new 17th District will move south, Gorman faces a tough battle from Orland Park resident Pat Maher, who is a first cousin of Illinois Comptroller an Hynes. Now that the battle between Hynes and Gov. Quinn is over -- with Hynes losing, the fact is Maher is going to have a tough time winning that district. He benefited from the Hynes machine and Quinn's campaign against Hynes (Hynes was the better candidate for Governor over Quinn), but that won't happen this November.

-- Ray Hanania

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