Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



Stroger should take lessons from Daley

Friday, May 01, 2009
SouthtownStar
by William Lee

I never thought Mayor Richard M. Daley would be my example for scandal management, but he definitely has a world of smarts beyond that of Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

Though it's not smarts as much as it is common sense.

Had Daley hired a felonious busboy for a high-paying, do-nothing city job who later was arrested, I certainly wouldn't expect to see Daley's press secretary, Jacquelyn Heard, or his cousin, Homer Glen Mayor Jim Daley, bailing him out of jail. The mayor was schooled by his dad, the master of Chicago politics. He knows the political rule of proximity.

The boss must be several steps away from a nasty grease fire - you know, so you don't get popped - every good politician and decent chef knows that, Todd. It's Politics 101.

Of course, I'm referring to the ongoing furor surrounding Stroger, his cousin, former county chief financial officer Donna Dunnings and Tony Cole, a disgraced former college basketball player and patronage job recepient "fired for lying on his job application." Of course, by now you know there's much more to the story than that.

Cole, 29, captivated Stroger at a North Side steakhouse enough to finagle a $61,000 job, despite having a long list of criminal and ethical lapses. After being arrested for violating an order of protection in January, Dunnings, accompanied by Stroger spokesman and longtime friend Gene Mullin, came to bail Cole out.

We're told that both Stroger and Dunnings sought to "mentor" the young man. A source with the county told me Cole's main job was bragging about his connections to Stroger, acting aggressively in the workplace and speaking rudely to co-workers, especially female co-workers.

How does this happen in a government office? Well if he's to be believed, Cole has dropped hints of a bigger scandal lurking. Prosecutors are interested and have issued subpoenas in Stroger's office and questioned Cole.

Stroger has responded by going on a media tour, including an excrutiating interview on "Chicago Tonight," where he looked more defensive than Brian Urlacher at the running of the bulls (Todd looks quite uncomfortable lying on television). One wonders what his media handler - veteran Southland spin doctor Sean Howard - was thinking in letting Stroger off his leash.

This latest scandal highlights my basic gripe with Stroger; politically there's nothing particularly exceptional about him; he's nothing more than a status quo place holder chosen by Democratic committeemen to make sure the patronage machine runs smoothly.

The leaders of major municipalities should be, at best, dynamic and interested in improving their governments and, at least, intelligent and good at delegating responsiblity. Though a longtime cog in the Chicago Machine, Stroger's dad, John, was a high-powered, charismatic and intelligent politician who chose the right people for important jobs.

In 2003, when a fire in the County Administration Building killed six people and caused major damage, Stroger's chief of staff, Pat Shymanski, expertly organized the temporary move of several county departments and several hundred people to other county buildings while the building was repaired and the fire investigated.

His son? He fired a convicted steakhouse busboy whom his cousin, the county's top financial officer, bailed out of jail twice, but not before giving him a raise.

You can't make this stuff up.

"There's not a level head around him," said one close observer.

The truly sad thing is that despite the absurdity surrounding the entire affair, Stroger still has an outside chance of winning his seat next year. A lackluster cast of opponents and low voter turnout may have more to do with it than racial politics, as some have suggested. Stroger is an unpopular figure around the county, but do enough people dislike him enough to go to the polls and vote him out?

Hyde Park Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th), who's running against Stroger, may want to call in a favor and get an endorsement from old friend President Barack Obama if she wants to boost her name recognition and try to steal a bit of his thunder. Perennial Stroger foe Forrest Claypool also may want to visit a South Side church or two and make his case why he's a better choice. Because from what I can tell, everyone's waiting for The One to emerge in the county board presidency.

William Lee can be reached at wlee@southtownstar.com or (708) 633-6747


Recent Headlines

Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli on Gun Violence, Police Database.
Monday, August 26, 2019
WTTW

Assessor: Homes values, sale prices up in Schaumburg Township
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Daily Herald

Home improvement grant designed to get the lead out
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Cook County census panel seeks outreach help for hard-to-count communities
Monday, August 19, 2019

Cook County Land Bank Authority Announces Opening of Registration to Give Away a Free Home
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The Chicago Crusader

NEW ILLINOIS LAW ENDS $120 FEE TO CLEAR FALSE CRIMINAL RECORDS IN COOK COUNTY
Friday, August 09, 2019
Illinois Policy

America’s most interesting sheriff
Friday, August 09, 2019

Top Cook County Jail chess players take on the world
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Public defender takes shots at Chicago Police gun offender webpage
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Commentary: Data alone won’t stop Chicago gun violence; Cook County needs a public ‘Violence Reduction Dashboard’
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Jail detainees take on inmates around the world in online chess tournament
Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Ongoing Bail Debate In Chicago
Monday, August 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Jail hosts international chess tournament
Monday, August 05, 2019
WGN Chicago

Cook County property taxes are due today, Aug. 1.
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Forest Preserves of Cook County Celebrate Dan Ryan Woods Investments
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Defender

Cook County TIFs generate $1.2 billion
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Changes coming to Cook County assessor’s office
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

In Chicago, TIF Revenues Soaring
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
WTTW News

A controversial tax subsidy program will generate a record $1.2 billion in revenue. Here’s what the number means for Chicago.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Group to rally in support of Kim Foxx as challengers emerge
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP