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« 'Chicago Model' Infecting Other Cities The Cook County Wars »

Cook County Board Mon Dec 21 2009

The Curious Davis Endorsement

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger--whose political narrative was traced, rather unflatteringly, by Chicago Magazine not too long ago--has seen better days. The incumbent lags in third place in his reelection bid, according to recent polls, behind County Clerk Dorothy Brown and current alderwoman Toni Preckwiknle.

On top of that, and perhaps not too surprisingly, two Illinois congressmen came out last week endorsing Stroger's opposition. Rep. Danny Davis endorsed Brown, ahead in the polls at the moment, because he wants "to be with the one who's going to win." Rep. Gutierrez endorsed Preckwinkle, he reportedly said, because of her progressive values.

But let's back up a moment. The interesting thing here, I believe, is Rep. Davis's reason for endorsing Brown.

To be on the winning side? Is that how Congressman Davis picks his policy makers? That hardly seems with a critical eye to the public good. His argument might be that as a representative of the people he takes into account public opinion polls and tries to push for what they want. But I tend to demand a little more from my public servants, say, that they think critically about what policies are in the public interest, voice those opinions and then engage in a dialog with their constituents.

Congressman Davis, recently on the public-access show Public Affairs, told host Jeff Berkowitz that he dropped out of that same race (Cook County Board President) because it was clear the risk of losing his house seat wasn't worth it. Did that not occur to him before he entered? How lightly did he take the decision to enter the race? Was he intent on setting a course of policy for county government? If so, why give up so easily to keep his day job? If not, why run?

Berkowitz, the Public Affairs host, was just as curious about the Davis endorsement on the show's blog. And one of the commenting public on the Chicago Tribune's article about the announcement, a certain Robert Lee, agreed as well. Quoting John Garrido, candidate in the Republican primaries, he wrote that "the Davis endorsement reflects that same machine mentality that is always exhibited in Cook County politics, and people aren't going to buy into it any longer." Then again, in the next breath he called Guiterrez's endorsement of Preckwinkle a reflection "that one radical liberal has endorsed another." So we will have to take that with what the commenting public often requires--a grain or two of salt.

Here's the Trib's two cents on Preckwinkle's "style."

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Tom Tresser / December 21, 2009 8:27 PM

Have you had enough of the Daley-Stroger-Madigan Families running local government like theor own private ATM - dispensing jobs, contracts and cash to friends and family? I am running to be the next President of the Cook County Board. I'm running as a Green Party candidate - taking no $ from corporations or PACs. I spent the last 2 years fight the Machine's drive to privatize public assets and won. If you want to kick the Machine out of local government go to and sign on!

Tom Tresser

W / December 22, 2009 1:52 AM

Tom Tresser, how are you running for president of the Cook County Board President when you can't even write a sentence, or spell correctly. Did you bother to read what you wrote before you posted it on this page?

You seem to be running on the green party ticket for a moment of fame, and not to serve the people of Cook County. I wouldn't vote for you if you were the only person on the ballot. Go back to school first!!!

chicagoan / January 2, 2010 11:30 PM

I met Tom Tresser and I think that W is being unfair.

We need to understand that our system is rigged to advantage candidates the Democratic Party favors in Cook County.

If W knew how difficult it is to run for a political office, I doubt that he'd be so quick to judge Tom Tresser, who will be out meeting residents for months on end and attempting to fundraise for his campaign. Tom's campaign and his drive to succeed at it takes dedication, and for that I respect him.

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Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

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It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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