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Is Stroger off the ticket?

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006

I heard this late last night. Amazing.

More than three months after suffering a serious stroke — and winning renomination in spite of it — Cook County Board President John Stroger is expected to withdraw this week and ask Democratic ward bosses to replace him on the November ticket with his son.

Ald. William Beavers (7th), self-declared spokesman for the Stroger family, has already started lining up votes for Ald. Todd Stroger (8th) and appears to be well on his way to securing a majority of the weighted votes of 80 ward and township committeemen to place the younger Stroger on the ballot, sources said.

The complex political deal calls for Beavers, powerful chairman of the City Council’s Budget Committee, to replace John Stroger as county commissioner and for Todd Stroger to replace his father as president of the board, where he would have no vote. Until the election, John Stroger would remain in office. If Beavers wins the seat, he would resign as 7th Ward alderman on the condition that Mayor Daley appoint his daughter to replace him.

So, a son would replace a father and a daughter w9ould replace a father. Chicago is without a doubt the world capital of nepotism.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - bored now - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 8:01 am:

    rich, would you distinguish between chicago and illinois in this respect?

  2. - Strawberry Pistachio Man - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 8:05 am:

    Isn’t going from Chairman of the Budget Committee to a Country Commissioner a MAJOR step down? Is Beavers eyeing retirement in the near term.

    Also, Illinois needs later primaries to make these shenanigans harder. I’d even support replacing primaries altogether and just have an open election of all candidates (kind of like Chicago municipal elections) with the top two candidates (or even better the top two from different parties) facing off in a runoff two weeks or so later.

  3. - Poke - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 8:20 am:

    The ruling class that lords over needs to maintain its power base.

    Otherwise, unpredictability would result. And no one wants that.

  4. - Todd Jong-Il aka Wumpus - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 8:33 am:

    I nearly drove off the road this morning when I heard this. This is 5 times ore embarassing than the Keyes fiasco. Somewhere in Korea, Kim Jong Il is taking notes on how things should be done. This might be enough to give Peracia a legitimate shot at winning. I didn’t think Todd Jong Il simply being handed the spot on the ballot was enough, but
    1. a son replacing a father
    2. a family spokesman replacing that father in a second role
    3. the daughter of the family spokesman replacing the father in his aldermanic role
    4. Wumpus (no relation to any) replacing the father as self appointed Stroger family spokesman.

    Sounds good. This may be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  5. - Prez of the FTPC - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 8:42 am:

    Upside for Beavers: City-side pension kicks in, plus $85k part-time check from County. Plus, daughter gets Alderman post.

    Upside for Stroger: Continues to draw County benefits (his check too, maybe?), anoints son, passes power to Beavers and retires.

    As for “Chicago is without a doubt the world capital of nepotism,” well, thats just another shot at the Strogers. From Bush to Daley to Lipinski to Harold Ford, Jr. to Evan Bayh, etc, etc, etc, that ain’t new. However, it does appear that it is being painted as particularly egregious now that brown hogs are feeding at the trough instead of white ones. None of it is partcularly right, but the Strogers aren’t particularly wrong.

    Instead of shots at the Strogers, consider other questions. If John Stroger does not step down as the President of the County Board, does that force the hand of the Board to remove him? With it be a Daley v. Bobbie Steele, white v. African-American, man v. woman thing now? Is is possible for Peraica to run against Todd Stroger while pretending he’s running against John Stroger?

    All legitimate questions that political minds should be pondering.

  6. - Todd Jong-Il aka Wumpus - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 8:48 am:

    Bush, Daley and Harold Ford Jr. at least were elected before a general. Toddy Todd had no primary to fight. It is a little different.

  7. - not on the clout list - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 9:06 am:

    If a man can’t help his family who can he help?

  8. - Truthful James - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 9:08 am:

    The interesting thing is that the wards and the districts are so cowed as to keep their heads down and pretend not to notice.

    As long as the bosses procreate, position will be assured. Lord save us that the youngsters should have to work for a living.

  9. - bored now - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 9:15 am:

    prez, let’s not assume that african-americans are so naive that they think they will benefit if the feudalistic political system in chicago continues. even if the beavers and strogers continue their political dynasties — and their sense of entitlement — it is unlikely that the population as a whole will benefit at all. in fact, i’d argue that it is more likely to lead to corruption, not improving their area of responsibility…

  10. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 9:17 am:

    Since Todd is widely viewed as not being up to the job, it would appear that John Daly would be the real Board president in the likely event of a Stroger win. Stroger would need a LOT of direction, and Daly would no doubt be happy to give it behind the scenes. And he wouldn’t even want the credit.

    The Republicans could not have seen this coming, but it’s really unfortunate that they don’t have a candidate with broader appeal. Peraica, however well intentioned, simply doesn’t convince. A reason why parties, for the big races, should always put up their most promising candidates, because you never know.

  11. - Bubo - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 9:21 am:

    This is not limitted to African Americans, all people vote like Archie Bunker. Why are there so many Irish judges? People vote for people who look like them and live where they live, generally.

  12. - Levois - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 9:36 am:

    This is troublesome. I don’t like this at all. They should have let Stroger retire or at least convince him to retire. Of course could anyone have anticipated him getting a serious stroke.

  13. - insider - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 9:44 am:


    It seems clear to me, based on the articles I’ve read, that the plan is to have Beavers pulling Todd’s strings, not John Daley. I wouldn’t be surprised if Beavers ends up as finance chair of the county board.

  14. - Schiznitz - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 9:47 am:

    OH MY GOD. This story just keeps getting nuttier by the minute. Todd Stroger is not that bright. He’s a nice guy, but not capable of running a $3B organization.

    What are the chances Daley will appoint the Beaverette?

  15. - doubtful - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 9:55 am:

    Birthright succession? Didn’t some people form a country a couple hundred or so years ago to avoid just this kind of thing? Even when done “in process” it just smells bad.

  16. - Uncle Slappy - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 10:05 am:

    “Shire Reeve! Apprehend the scoundrels what speak out against their noble lords, and throw the peasant scum into the dungeons! Never do We wish to behold such petulance again, are We understood?”

    “Yes, M’Lord!”

    “Oh, yes, and make sure to get the petition challenges ready for the next ‘election’.”

  17. - Niles Township - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 10:18 am:

    Chicago, Cook County and Illinois will continue to be a land of nepotism, graft and pay for play until the families that take the public for granted get turned out of office. So whether I like them as indivduals or not, I now always vote against a Daley, Lipinski, Stroger, Madigan, Hynes etc. whenever I get the chance. Didn’t we have some kind of tea party to avoid this very thing!

  18. - Scat O'Itchy - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 10:33 am:

    This is all good political theater. I have said it before and I’ll say it again here: Tony Peraica is a clown’s clown who fell ass backward into his commissioner’s post. He will not only lose to Todd Stroger, he’ll lose his 16th District to Bill Gomolinski. He is by far the most loathed character in the western suburbs. I hope he wins it all however, because his clown antics never cease to crack me up.

  19. - SuperDem - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 10:49 am:

    Lisa and the two Dans were elected to their offices by the voters. All had opposition and all won handily. What is the problem with that? They were all the peoples’ choices. Todd has been a pillar of his ward and community and if he is willing to take a shot at his dad’s position in the general election more power to him. I’d vote for Yonnie Stroger, or just about anyone else over Peraica. Beavers would make an excellent commissioner and would vote his district’s interests just like he has as alderman.
    As far as Bill replacing John, that will only happen if the feds get uppity again which is not likely after the way they embarrassed themselves with the non case against Sorich and the boys. That case was like fans booing the batboy and beerman because the cubs stink.

  20. - bored now - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 11:19 am:

    sd, it’s about to be “your turn,” right? isn’t your argument, ‘let’s not upset the apple cart when i’m about to benefit?’ because it certainly wasn’t an admirable defense of democracy (or democrats)…

  21. - pickles!! - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 11:38 am:

    Pretty soon there going to make Stroger’s Father’s brother’s nephw’s cousins’s former roomate the new dog catcher. Oh, and is there a spot in the sanitation department Stroger’s son’s cat fluffy? where does this end….

  22. - insider - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 11:50 am:


    Lisa and the two Dans were elected to their offices by the voters.

    Lisa and one of the Dans WON PRIMARY ELECTIONS. Democratic voters had a say in who they wanted to run, unlike in the current sorry soap opera. And the Dan Lipinski situation stank to high heaven then and it still stinks. Just because this (edited by moderator) happened before doesn’t make it right now or in the future.

    Beavers would make an excellent commissioner

    Now that I’ve stopped laughing, I can respond. He is perhaps the worst possible choice to join the board. The last thing Cook County needs is a fresh addiction to business as usual, patronage, and insider deals. I guess we’ll be getting some unqualified 7th Ward hacks to help grossly mismanage the juvenile center now, not just 8th Warders.

  23. - Nice Suit - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 11:52 am:

    I’m amazed that Beale said the following to the Sun-Times:

    “The African-American community came out overwhelmingly in support of John Stroger. He was elected to continue to lead this county. If he feels that someone is strong enough to succeed him in that position, we have to honor that. [House Speaker] Mike Madigan anointed his daughter. [Former Cook County Assessor] Tom Hynes anointed his son. [former Rep.] Bill Lipinski anointed his son. So why can’t John Stroger anoint his son?”

    How can any legislator look himself in the mirror after saying this kind of stuff? Absolutely ridiculous, even more so because it’s true. IL politics is a total sham. If people think their vote means anything, this should prove them otherwise.

  24. - Bubs - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 11:57 am:

    ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. Not to mention an insult to American values.

    It makes me think upon all the patriots that died in the Revolution to get us free of a society where birthright ruled, and all the soldiers that died in the Civil War to destroy the quasi-feudal plantation social system of the Old South.

    Now we are bringing it back, at the wish of entrenched African-Americans leaders.

    Oh, my. Oh, my.

    I feel like throwing up, and I’m deeply ashamed of my own government.

    GO TONY GO!!!!!

  25. - Scat O'Itchy - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 12:28 pm:

    Bub, I agree with you last line: Go, Tony. Please go.

  26. - no surprise - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 12:36 pm:

    There is nothing wrong with appointing family members. If someone wants to run for these offices, nothing is stopping them.

    The thing to note is that public office is not coveted by those in the private sector, especially those who are doing quite well for themselves. Government is not attracting the best and brightest. So, though many independents are complaining about nepotism, the truth is, who wants to be on the Cook County Board when you could be a partner at a major law firm or a high ranking executive.

  27. - Nice pants - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 1:10 pm:

    The difference between appoint and anoint is more than 2 p’s and an n. As much as I complain about Little Lisa Madigan, etc getting annointed by their daddies, they still won elections.

  28. - Skippy - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 1:43 pm:

    This is disgusting. I’m ashamed of my party.

  29. - Captain America - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 1:46 pm:

    Truth really is stranger than fiction.

    One can only wish that the suburban and lakefront Democratic Committeman would rise up and unanimously reject this plan. Cook County government needs reform rather than the status quo.

    Despite my concerns, I could not vote for Peraica under any circumstances!

  30. - young buck - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 2:00 pm:

    I agree with some of the other posters who are ashamed of the Democratic party for this. The post by No Suprise alludes the greater problem. How do we convince bright and interested young leaders to become involved with local governance when something like this happens? Colleges and law schools are churning out many good students whose ambition to change places like the Juv. Detention Center and the Public Health System for the better, only to be turned away by the stench of this regal administration.

  31. - Dem observer - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 2:11 pm:

    The word “arrogant” doesn’t even begin to descibe this maneuver. It’s beyond arrogant. It’s breathtaking in its contempt for ordinary voters and taxpayers.

  32. - Bubs - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 2:16 pm:

    Young Buck,

    Simple. Give them a system where you can advance on hard work and merit, and you are allowed to serve the public good, wherever that may lead.

    Right now we have a system under which advancement is controlled by nepotism, cronyism and contributions, and you must serve the Machine above all, upon pain of losing your job.

  33. - Bubs - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 2:23 pm:

    Captain America, that just won’t happen, so you may have to rethink Peraica.

    Peraica is a lot of things, some good, some not as good, but one of those things is an experienced, knowledgeable and insightful Commissioner who studies the problems and issues, and wants fundamental change for the better.

  34. - One Man Can Make A Difference Foundation - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 2:37 pm:

    I agree with the nepotism notion. To be frank, Alderman Beaver’s daughter should not be his Chief of Staff.

    This is not only nepotism but an obtrusive conflict of interest and there are no justifications for it.

    In addition, Senator Madigan and his daughter Lisa Madigan’s positions in the State of Illinois are also conflicts of interest even though they are both elected.

    In addition to Senator Madigan having daughter as the Illinois Attorney General, someone who would investigate improprieties in his office and the Office of the Governor, he is also the Chairman of the Governor’s campaign while his daughter is currently investigating the Governor and his office for alleged improprieties.

    With all the conflicts of interest in this state, how is justice ever to be served when everyone breaks bread together and “attend the same church”?

  35. - Michael Corolone - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 2:39 pm:

    This election will pit the entrenched Democratic establishment of Daley,Madigan,Hynes,Sheehan,Dart,Lipinski and there house boy,Todd Stroger and Beavers, against the independent voices of Cook County who have voted with there feet and moved to Suburban Cook.
    A vote for Stroger, means less and less services,higher taxes and no moblity for other young black,hispanic and white politician of the Democratic Party of Cook.
    As an independent Democrat, I would tell you to vote for Peraica,let him win, and know that in 4 yyears we will beat him, and then our young capatains in the party will have a chance to show there leadership and guideour party into the 21st century.
    If I am Meeks,Claypool,Quigly,Dart,Jackson,Maldonado,Flores,Guitterrez, and others I would see this move as being a detriment to my advancement,and I would make sure my district vote totals were low, and hope Peraica wins,so as to open up the field for the young turks of the Party!!!!

  36. - Prez of the FTPC - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 2:42 pm:

    Oh yes, I forgot to say this earlier.

    Bill Beavers has [edited by moderator], my friends, and will NEVER EVER play shrinking violet to the so-called reformers. Life just got ugly for the lakefront.

    His in-your-face style is just perfect to take on the yuppies. And Stroger was, at this core, a nice country boy who grew into a man who could fight, but was still just a good man. I think Beavers has been a grown man since he was about 9. And he isn’t worried about “nice.”

    The gloves are coming off, the knives (read: shanks) are being drawn and this three ring circus needs a fourth.

    I love this game.

  37. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 2:54 pm:

    How about Joe Moore for Chairman? Foie Gras for All!!!

  38. - dems in trouble - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 3:01 pm:

    Todd Stroger will have a tough time in the general. This is prime time for a wealthy dem, rep or indep who case about local government to jump in.

    No surprise- you are right. Think about it, all of these nepotism types in gov, what would they be doing if not for government and policts?

  39. - Paul Simon - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 3:34 pm:

    Where have you gone Forrest Claypool, Cook County turns its lonely eyes to you. Hoo hoo hoo.

  40. - Garp - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 7:17 pm:

    When the politicians are able to fix job hiring, promotions, overtime and discipline-to say nothing of contracts, they are able to build armies of workers to generate cash and manpower to control elections.

    When they are able to control elections, they are able to appoint whomever they choose to be the candidate. They appoint members of their family to promulgate their empires.

    It’s really not hard to understand but when the feds appear to be on the brink of changing the status quo-do gooders like Carol Marin and others start defending the establishment.

    That to me is the most surprising.

  41. - Ignatius J. Reily - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 9:15 pm:

    Employment is a contract. In government, patronage is the “quid” and the employment is the “quo”. In any other public contract quid pro quo is a crime. With the value of some employment contracts plus benefits, the “quo” is substantial in deed. Carol Marin is confused.

  42. - Vito Marzullo - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 9:31 pm:

    The wild card in this cook county board race is Cook County Commissioner Jerry “Iceman” Butler. Commissioner Butler for those of you who may not know was the lead singer in the R&B Group The Impressions in the late 50’s. He is a cool character in Cook County Politics. If Commissioner Bobbie Steele and the Stroger factions don’t come together Jerry “Iceman” Butler could be the compromise candidate. Tony Perica is in the best political shape in his life, if the African American pols drop the ball Tony Perica can win. I know some people say Perica is to abrasive, to rough but I think he is saying what the voters want to hear, he resonates populist ideas. BTW one of the best songs ever from Jerry Butler is “For Your Precious Love” If you never heard it check out a mp3, a guy that sings like that can’t be bad.

  43. - Ignatius J. Reily - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 9:49 pm:

    Hey–can Peraica sing? That would be a plus for those who vote according to likeability. It is said that Ed Burke a real liakable guy if there ever was one can really tickle the keys and that he is also quite the raconteur–sor of like George Burns. I don’t think he has much talent for story telling but I heard once that Daley used to play the washboard at parties. Put’em all on Talent Search and do a phone-a-thon vote MC’d by the Iceman. The winner gets crowned by Danny Davis. It might not be more entertaining but it might be more rational than the existing system of selecting leadership. You think?

  44. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 10:03 pm:

    Is it any wonder downstaters are disgusted by Chicagoland politics?

  45. - Ignatius J. Reily - Wednesday, Jun 28, 06 @ 10:36 pm:

    Hey Anon 10:03

    Disgusted eh? Don’t you mean a disgrace?

  46. - Truthful James - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 5:52 am:

    It’s not the first full time job that is the true scandal…it is the second job which is handed out, supposedly full time also. But what is expected is that the salary from the second job will be devoted to a large extent to the care and feeding of the party candidates. In the meantime, of course, the double dipper is acquiring a lot of pension points so he can double his pleasure in retirement.

    And who do the voters think pays for all this folderol? Or do they think at all?

  47. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 8:32 am:

    Comments are now closed on this post. Go here instead.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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