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Cook County Board Mon Jul 20 2009

Stroger Sued by BGA, County Board Presidency Really Up for Grabs

My sense is that Mayor Daley and his brother John, who is also the 11th Ward Committeeman, are giving up Todd Stroger. The County, exempt as it is from Shakman, is simply too valuable to the County Party. If Republicans become viable at the County level again, a vital pillar in the institutionalized party will essentially crumble out from beneath them. Stroger never really had a shot, to be fair. The nature of his ascension to the office was disapproved of by almost every neutral observer, and the dishonesty or dissimulation with which his father's illness was handled left much of the media and more tuned-in voters with a bad taste in their mouth. Since then, he has been assailed for everything, culminating in the scandal revolving around Tony Cole.

Whatever Stroger's position is with the Daleys (and the word on the street is very much that he won't receive any meaningful support), this lawsuit by the Better Government Association can't b good news, as it keeps the Cole story in the news just as other candidates are lining up to challenge him. "Cell phone records" has got to be a scary phrase for a politician to hear, particularly after former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's disastrous text messages were revealed.

From STNG:

Andy Shaw, the BGA's executive director, said questions about the scandal have largely gone unanswered, making him question whether the Cole scandal unfolded during business hours and at taxpayers expense. The cellphone records could be a window in to that.

"This was one of the most tawdry embarrassing and scandalous episodes of the Stroger administration -- the hiring of an ex-convict, promotions twice to different jobs in the county -- even after he's bailed out of jail by the CFO," Shaw said.

But those requests have been denied by the Stroger administration.

"We asked the Stroger administration to give us the cell phone numbers, just to see how much taxpayer time is being spent on this embarrassment. We don't know what we're going to find. We're not a judge and jury. But we wanted to find out what's going on," Shaw said. "Transparency demands we have access to the activity of government," he said.

With Alderman Toni Preckwinkle firmly in the race and Congressman Danny Davis coming ever closer to announcing his own bid, Stroger is definitely getting crowded out.

By the way, in this interview with Jeff Berkowitz, Stroger laments that you can't find "Hindu food" on the South Side.

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

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