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So now Todd's a publisher?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times

It's another Wile E. Coyote moment for Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

Wile E., you'll recall, was always making elaborate plans to nab the Road Runner, only to have them explode in his face.

The latest public blowup for Stroger is Cook County magazine, a story broken by Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mark Konkol.

Stroger's plan: Spend nearly $25,000 in taxpayer money and hire a Chicago Tribune freelancer to create a magazine to promote all the good work Stroger's government does.

Stroger's goal: To combat the negative press about him.

The end result: Kaboom -- more embarrassing stories for Stroger.

The magazine had so many errors, even misspelling Stroger's late father's name, that his press office yanked all copies.

Stroger's administration spent $24,999 on the project because spending one dollar more would have required County Board approval.

Perhaps Stroger wanted the magazine to be a nice surprise for his colleagues.

In one sense, the magazine is typical in its waste of tax dollars. Aldermen, for instance, routinely send out self-promoting material to voters. But the brochures aren't 32 pages, like Stroger's glossy magazine.

And there's another key difference. The aldermen, most of them not exactly brain surgeons, actually manage to mail their brochures out.



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