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Suffredin attacks, is savaged

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008

* The Cook County State’s Attorney primary has become a mudfest - at least in the media

Before the debate, Suffredin criticized Allen for taking campaign contributions from city employees who Suffredin said may have benefited from patronage hiring practices at City Hall.

Allen said afterward that the donations were proper and that he was proud to get campaign contributions from rank-and-file city workers.

As has been the case throughout the campaign, Suffredin sparred repeatedly with opponents who criticized his work as a lobbyist for tobacco and casino interests. Suffredin said he had a diverse client list, which included the Chicago Bar Association and various non-profit groups.

* But that Suffredin client list also included one other problem

Larry Suffredin — a self-styled reformer running for Cook County state’s attorney — lobbied for a landfill controlled by Fred Bruno Barbara, a businessman once charged with extortion and implicated in the mob bombing of a restaurant, the Sun-Times has learned.

Suffredin, a Cook County commissioner (D-Evanston), has come under attack by rivals for his work as a lobbyist on behalf of casino and drug-company interests. State records show he also lobbied for Kankakee Regional Landfill LLC — a company tied to Barbara — in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

“I don’t think I’ve ever met Fred [Barbara] in my life,” Suffredin said. “I didn’t know he had an interest in it.”

Barbara, 59, is a multimillionaire involved in trucking, waste hauling, banking, and other businesses. A friend of Mayor Daley’s, Barbara at one time got more than 60 percent of his garbage-hauling business from city contracts. He has also been a consultant to the city’s much-criticized blue bag recycling program. He has been arrested five times, including a 1982 arrest for extortion in an FBI sting. Barbara was acquitted in that case — and has never been convicted of any crime.

Barbara was apparently a silent partner in the Kankakee project, and Suffredin claims to have worked with someone else, and left when that person was dismissed by the company.

Anybody who knows Suffredin understands that this and other stories about him present a caricature of Suffredin that simply doesn’t match up with reality. But that’s the way it goes with the Illinois media. Someone claims to be a reformer and then he or shie is picked apart with stuff like the above and a non-reformer usually ends up winning. It happened to Glenn Poshard in 1998, and it happened to Paul Vallas in 2002, and countless other times. It’s ridiculous, but them’s the breaks. Suffredin doesn’t help himself by attempting to inflate little items like the Allen thing.

Cynics and partisans are gonna have a field day with that Suffredin story. But using it as “proof” of something evil or nefarious about Suffredin is like that old story of the blind men describing an elephant by each touching a different part of his body.

…Adding… Way down near the end of the Sun-Times story it’s revealed that Barbara got involved with the Kankakee landfill business in 2006 - a year after Suffredin was hired as its lobbyist.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Bill Baar - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 9:19 am:

    I’m on
    for him.

  2. - Truthful James - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 9:25 am:

    It is a sad reflection on the state of the Cook County Democrat Party that the two poobahs — Stroger and Daley could not have winnowed this group of candidates to two (one for each.) At best this is a windfall only for the media, the advertising in which is unconvincing.

  3. - amy - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 9:30 am:

    speaking of the media…the advertising…which
    media gurus are behind the commercials for
    Brookins(although I have seen none on tv)

    who is making the money off this confusing race?

  4. - Levois - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 9:45 am:

    I wonder why reforms are picked apart? Is it because the media want’s to be sure their record matches up with their rhetoric? It would be a wonder how Harold Washington ever became mayor of Chicago since he was touted as a reformer.

    Perhaps it’s better in Illinois political not to campaign as a reformer and then put your money where your mouth is when you actually get elected?

  5. - anon - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 9:56 am:

    Why would a States Attorney candidate make an endorsement in the Board of Review race?

  6. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 10:23 am:


    Just because you know Suffredin, you think he isn’t snowing you? There are other people who “know” him who will tell you that he will make most deals if the “price” is right. You fail to add his tenacious support for Bobbie Steele ascending to the county board presidency, even though she was John Stroger’s staunchest supporter. You fail to add his tenancious support for Todd Stroger, himself.

    My own theory (note, I did say M Y THEORY) is that Suffredin supported them knowing that the status quo would continue or worsen, and he would then be in position to run against them the next time around as “the reformer.” In politics, the real strategist are always thinking at least one term ahead.

    I reiterate my position that he as a commissioner is in a direct conflict of interest as a tobacco lobbyist because: 1-the county board taxes tobacco; 2-the county board operates a health dept. that spends $1Billion per year on health care, much of it on victims of smoking-related illnesses. Because the county run health facilities buy huge amounts of prescription drugs which it distributes through its pharmacies, I also see that as in direct conflict with his lobbying on behalf of the drug companies.

    True, he doesn’t lobby for gun manufacturers or dealers. But, does that mean he DOESN’T find tobacco equally distasteful? I mean, tobacco DOES kill far more people in this county than guns ever will.

    Personally, I don’t want anyone who lobbies on behalf of an industry whose product kills millions of Americans every year in any major governmental decision-making position.

  7. - Alexi's Bill - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 10:34 am:


    It’s not going to change your entrenched position, but Suffredin never lobbied for the tobacco industry as an elected official. Don’t let any facts get in the way of your theory though.

  8. - Alexi's Bill - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 10:37 am:

    Oh and Snides, he voted IN FAVOR of increasing tobacco taxes to increase funding for public health. Conspiracy theory me up something to explain that, please. Extra points every time you mention Stroger and Steele.

  9. - samzells - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 10:40 am:

    truthful, doesn’t dick devine wear some of the jacket besides the party, which i agree with is in disarray? but, i’m also enjoying watching this race it’s a nice change watching so many canidates trying to run campaigns?

  10. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 10:41 am:


    That doesn’t matter. The fact remains that he accepted large amounts of money from them to advance their position. That is still a relationship, even if it is a past relationship.

    Also, does he still lobby for the drug industry, since you seem to be quite familiar with his current lobbying activities? Does he still lobby for the gaming industry, which is fighting hard to get casinoes into crook county?

    One of the points I’m trying to get through is that I believe his accepting money to advance the interests of big tobacco tends to show that he will set certain moral standards aside if the price is right. How do you accept money to advance tobacco one day, and vote to ban smoking countywide the next? I’d say that taking both sides of the same position, wouldn’t you?

  11. - samzells - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 10:48 am:

    more interesting, after he loses (haven’t seen a poll) has he made his seat more attractive to a challenger because of all this dirt (valid or not)?

  12. - Alexi's Bill - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 10:50 am:


    You’d have a stronger point if the time table was as you stated, but it wasn’t over the course of two days. We are talking about years. You’re going to have to look up his client list youself. It’s all on the SoS website. And isn’t it the City of Chicago that is lobbying hard for gaming?

  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 10:52 am:

    I must admit I’ve never been a paid lobbyist for private interests because of a desire to keep reconciled personal beliefs with professional ones, but nonetheless, I find it a little over simplistic to say that if a person lobbies for a “bad” industry, that disqualifies them from any future office. Since it takes money to hire a lobbyist, it is mostly moneyed interests that have lobbyists. If you took Snidely’s point to the logical extreme, only Republicans could be lobbyists, since they are the party of moneyed interests.

  14. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 10:55 am:


    Well, Larry was certainly an adult when he took money to lobby for big tobacco, so I find it kind of hard to believe that he didn’t know at that time that tobacco kills.

    It’s not just Chicago lobbying hard for gaming. It’s Rosemont, Countyclub Hills, Crestwood, Summit and several other municipalities within the county. Gaming would then have both positive and negative effects once it came in (increased taxes vs. potential crime, negative effects on families of gamblers, etc.)

    Look, are you going to deny that he has worked for years for several large SPECIAL INTERESTS? Where’s the so-called independence and reform in that?

  15. - Democrat Grrl - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 11:00 am:

    Shame on the Sun-Times for putting at the very end of the story the graf that Barbara came to the landfill AFTER Suffredin began lobbying for the group. Agenda-pushing rather that reporting. I stand for Suffredin, the best candidate.

  16. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 11:03 am:

    I did look it up. Guess what? Abbott Labs. If the county purchasing any drug manufactured by Abbott Labs, I would call that a direct conflict of interest.

    Also, MGM Mirage & Penn National Gaming. so he’s still lobbying for the gaming industry.

    Admitted that he is not currently lobbying for tobacco. But my opinions on him having done so still stand, as do my opinions as to his currently voting against the interests of an industry from whom he took money to fight for in the past.

  17. - Roger - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 11:05 am:

    Anyone who has ever dealt with Suffredin will testify to his personal integrity and likability. But he has created a huge problem for himself by acting as a lobbyist and a legislator at the same time. Talk about begging for trouble.

    The second he took the oath as a county commissioner is the second he should have given up his lobbying business. It’s impossible to do both jobs without creating all sorts of ethical conflicts — both percieved and real — as Snidely points out above.

    The focus Suffredin has brought on himself with this state’s attorney race has the press turning over rocks they weren’t paying attention to in the past. If he loses Feb. 5th, might his county board seat be in jeopardy?

  18. - Alexi's Bill - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 11:14 am:


    Define “special interest”. It’s a term like “lobbyist” that gets thrown around as a substitute for discourse. Anybody in a business with clients represents the client’s “special interest”.

    Let’s look at this example (and I am not saying that is what happened here, illustrative purposes only):

    let’s say that i am a lobbyist whose practice is all about __ (fill in the most virtuous thing you can think of). A company that (fill in the worst thing you can think of) approaches me and retains me to represent it on a particular matter. (Bad special interest wants to donate land for a nature preserve and there are IEPA issues, or whatever you’ve got in your example) My lobbying relationship with them is confined to this one issue. I dutifully register because that is the law if I am going to meet with state officials. My registration says that I am a lobbyist for this evil special interest. That is true. Is it fair for everything that the evil company ever did to be imputed to me?

  19. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 11:18 am:

    I think that big tobacco, the drug companies and gaming industry meet most everyone’s definition of “special interest.” What substitute for discourse? I have repeatedly, specifically named each and every objectionable industry he has lobbied for. Please stop try to muddy the waters back up. I was not in the least vague.

  20. - Alexi's Bill - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 11:22 am:

    objectionable to you.

  21. - Bill S. Preston, Esq. - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 11:52 am:

    You guys, Suffredin the Giant is so last week. Alvarez is one to go with now.

    Being that none of the 27 candidates in this race are truly qualified and that they are all flawed, I’ve decided to vote based on the best TV ad - and right now that’s AA’s. And don’t scoff at my methodology - this is a down-ballot race (after Water Rec for chrissake!) that many regular people could care less about, so a lot of people will be voting the way I am.

  22. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 11:55 am:

    Bill S. Preston,

    Cynical, but strangely logical. Wild Stallions rule, dude!

  23. - Bill S. Preston, Esq. - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 12:09 pm:

    Thanks SW. If I could just find Ted I would totally get the band back together. But remember, it’s WYLD STALLYNS (didn’t really have a penchant for spelling in my younger days). Party on, dudes!

  24. - cool hand - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 12:15 pm:

    i agree. the alvarez spot is sharp and she must have done a serious buy. she’s my long-shot special.

  25. - Bored in the 3rd - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 12:59 pm:

    Alvarez is my pick too. I think she may pull it off. She will get a big chunk of the women’s vote and Hispanic. And she appears to be one of the most qualified.

  26. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 12:59 pm:

    I was at the debate yesterday and there is no way in hell I will vote for Suffredin…he was cast as the machine political candidate by a number of candidates and most of this stuck to him like glue…this story today can’t help matters much for him…I’d like to keep Larry on the County Board to fight Todd’s tax increase…I am deciding between Alvarez or Milan, career prosecutors, non politicians, know the territory, and willing to reform the system…It was a great debate…

  27. - The Century Club - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 1:03 pm:

    While the Sun Time story is sensationalist, if you are a hired lobbyist and an elected official at the same time, you are asking for trouble. And when you are trying to present yourself as the “reformer”, yes it’s a problem when you are lobbying for drug companies and gaming interests.

  28. - Been There - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 1:19 pm:

    ====Anybody who knows Suffredin understands that this and other stories about him present a caricature of Suffredin that simply doesn’t match up with reality. But that’s the way it goes with the Illinois media. Someone claims to be a reformer and…==== Of course the caricature of Suffredin is not true. But neither is his being a “reformer”. He is part of the process and has been for a long time. In my mind that doesn’t make him a bad guy nor do I think he would be a bad states attorney (and I might vote for him). But none of these guys should say they are reformers. They take the gloves off themselves once they portray themselves as something they are not. Guilt by association is something you just have to answer to in politics whether you are guilty or not. And what rock has Larry been living under that he doesn’t know Barbara.

  29. - 2for2 - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 1:25 pm:

    I like Larry Suffredin but I think he miscalculated this race from the beginning. He should have seen the criticisms coming. Especially for an office like State’s Atty. If it were Clerk or Assessor or Treasurer I do not think it would be an effective attack. I agree with Bill S. Preston that Alvarez is on the rise. But she waited to long to loan herself that $$ for TV. My prediction:

    1. Brookins
    2. Allen
    3. Alvarez
    4. Suff
    5. Brewer
    6. Milan

  30. - Confused in Ravenswood - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 1:31 pm:

    Suffredin earlier said he “only” made $50k last year working for “gaming” clients.

    Only in the rarified world Larry lives in is that chump change.

    He can’t have his cake and eat it too–he’s either a clean reformer or he’s a scumbag lobbyist who tried to gut the Chicago Smoking Ban while he was a County Commissioner. Hugely improper in my mind and a disqualifying factor.

    I also find it a big laughable that high-ups in Devine’s screwed-up office are somehow now agents of change. Alvarez and Milan both have a lot to answer for (let’s just start with Burge). I just wonder if anyone will hold their feet to the fire.

  31. - Chicago Guy - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 1:32 pm:

    Media principle number one:

    Never let the facts (i.e. Suffredin was hired as the lobbyist a year before Barbara became an owner) get in the way of a good story!

  32. - Been There - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 1:35 pm:

    2for2. I think you are right. Except here are my predictions.
    1. Brookins 28%
    2. Allen 22%
    3. Suffredin 22%
    4. Alvarez 14%
    5. Milan 12%
    6. Brewer 2%

  33. - downhereforyears - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 2:04 pm:

    If you ask me neither candidate is worth the ink to print their name on the ballot. Anybody who has worked in Springfield knows Suffredins reputation and Tom Allen’s only claim to fame is getting his brother ( Pat Allen) hired as head electrician at McCormick Place. By the way Pat Allen hires all of the permanent and part time electricians at McCormick Place. I’ll bet if you go back and look at those contributions there will be an awful lot of electricians contributing.

  34. - BannedForLife - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 2:09 pm:

    Anyone who knows anything about Suffredin knows how generous he is with Shefsky’s bar tab. That damned media - always messing things up for everyone. This is how the media thanks Larry - the press corp could not afford to be in Springfield without lobbyists buying drinks. It’s a sad day when an elected representative can’t get little on the side from fixing landfills for the mob.

  35. - BannedForLife - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 2:36 pm:

    ” … Barbara got involved with the Kankakee landfill business in 2006 … ”

    Where did you get this?

    The article states:

    “Documents on file with the state list Barbara as Kankakee Regional’s manager as far back as May 31, 2006.”

    .. but it does NOT say AND NO EARLIER.

    KRL LLC was formed 7/24/2001. It is not clear from the article when Barbara got involved. The reporter pulling filings back to 2006 is all he needed to show that Suffredin was their lobbyist WHILE Barbara was owner. The order of events does not change that fact, but maybe it makes some of you feel better. Suffredin couldn’t have known a new landfill in Kankakee might have some unsavory interests, to him it was just another client, sounds reasonable to you?

  36. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 3:17 pm:

    I’m probably going to vote for Suffredin, but I find his explanations less than plausible. When I asked Suffredin about lobbying while an elected official, he portrayed it as legal work that unexpectedly evolved into lobbying.

    Does anybody believe this?

    I think Rich’s point about the media is good. Reformers are held to one set of standards and non-reformers are held to a lower set of standards.

    Specifically, the press does a horrible job of distinguishing between a small transgression (lying about sex in a flimsy civil case) and a large transgression (lying to build the case for war).

  37. - Oh, please... - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 3:29 pm:

    I have no problem with someone making a living as a lobbyist, and every company/issue is absolutely entitled to be represented. However, it is not his client list that makes Larry Suffredin calling himself a reformer completely absurd…it is the fact he is a walking, talking conflict of interest. For example, he is a Cook County Commissioner, but represented the City of Evanston at the same time. Come on!! When a conflict comes up that is too obvious to ignore, he will funnel that client to an associate to handle. Would love to see what financial interests he has retained in some of these “conflicts.” And that, my friends, is why he should not be calling himself a reformer.

  38. - chiatty - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 3:52 pm:

    This race is starting to look like an Agronomy clinic, based on the press coverage and on these posts. Suffredin’s newest gambit is to have a private interest group run an ad slamming Brookins for his “child support” problem that was brought up last week. Brookins is running to court tomorrow trying to get a temporary restraining order to block the ad, claiming it’s defamatory or something on that order. Larry was acting “above the fray, but now he clearly isn’t afraid to throw the mud along with the pro mudslingers Allen and Alvarez.

    I’m also interested in those who think that Brookins will back into the win with the big 4 carving up the white vote. Nope. I think Suffredin and Brewer, yes Tommie Brewer, will cripple Brookins by carving up the black vote. The early voting has been heavily African American and you can’t tell me Brookins is getting his “base” out early! That’s Jackson Jr. getting the troops out for the Big Guy.

    My read is that those three will carve up the black vote and disable Brookins. Then the question is who will get the most of what will be a very fractured vote. I think Allen and Milan have the best shot, Allen because of labor and TV and Milan because of TV and that long-forgotten quality: merit. Suffredin is starting to acquire the scent of a lobbyist because of coverage. I happen to think he’s an ethical guy, but that’s not the picture that’s being painted in the papers and in the tv ads.

  39. - chiatty - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 4:16 pm:

    I think the winner of this race may win with as little as 25% of the overall vote. If that is even remotely correct, you have to admit that it’s a tossup.

  40. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 4:27 pm:

    I don’t have a horse in the race, and in fact, Suffredin is the only one of the candidates I know, but the SunTimes story and some of the comments on this site are real tube jobs. By you all’s contorted reasoning a defense attorney should never be elected anything: after all he’s spent his whole life working for criminals. Give us all a break.

    Be for (or against) whoever you please in this race, but don’t tar Suffredin this unfairly. He is a decent guy, who has always demonstrated integrity, at least to me, and no, I don’t think he’s ever bought me a drink. But in close to 20 years knowing him he never asked me to do anything improper, and I never heard other people complaining that he had asked them to.

  41. - Bill - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 4:35 pm:

    I wish that you wouldn’t use lobbyist and scumbag in the same sentence. People might get the wrong idea.

  42. - Honest Abe - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 5:06 pm:

    Lose the toupee, Larry!

    You look like the Maury the bookmaker of “Maury’s Wigs” fame in the movie “Goodfellas.” Come to think of it, maybe you are the same person. Look out or Jimmy Conway is going to come to collect his money!

  43. - Bill - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 5:17 pm:

    Candidates with facial hair usually don’t win. Ask Rauschy or Poshard.
    Larry comes in a distant third at best.

  44. - some former legislative intern - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 5:23 pm:

    look, I don’t care which way you cut it, a lobbyist who runs as a reformer is just not going to sell to the average voter. Even if he has been a County Commissioner and voted for “reform” measures. Very few voters will look at that.

    More to the point, reformers don’t win the state’s attorneys office. A goo-goo lakefornt reformer is just not what people think of when they think of a state’s attorney. They want someone who is going to lock up the criminals. Reformers have the unfortunate attribute of being seen as soft on crime. No amount of advertising is going to convince people otherwise.

  45. - Anonymoose - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 6:23 pm:

    I believe the name for this pracrtice is now called “Swift Boating” a candidate.

  46. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 7:10 pm:

    How many of these people denouncing Suffredin’s claim to be a reformer don’t really believe the Cook County State’s Attorney needs to be reformed?

    Alvarez and Milan are practically derisive of the suggestion the office could do a better job holding cops and politicians accountable.

    Brookins is probably all talk, but even if he did want to reform the office he hasn’t the skill set.

    That leaves Allen who occasionally plays lip service to reform, but has a whole bunch of Machine support and little to no support from reformers.

    If you want the Cook County State’s Attorney to do more to hold cops and pols accountable, Suffredin and Brewer are your options.

  47. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 9:37 pm:


    I have no doubt that Larry would hold cops more accountable, but what really makes you think he’ll hold pols more accountable?

    Remember how much he stressed the Peraica danger to the Dem committeemen when he sought their slating??? He didn’t mean Peraica was unqualified, he meant that Peraica would investigate and prosecute them. He knows what he meant, and so does every other thinking observer.

  48. - some former legislative intern - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 9:45 pm:

    Carl, the point was not that the office does not need reform. It was that voters are not going to buy into his claims of being a reformer, given his lobbying history…and that voters want the states attorney to lock up the criminals. They are not necessarily interested in reforming the office, unless the bad guys are escaping.

  49. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 10:20 pm:

    Former hits the nail on the head. Criminals have lost their voting rights, and most that don’t have a felony record probably don’t vote, anyway (too busy robbing, raping and killing). I also think it’s a mistake to think that a majority of blacks are more worried about protecting criminals from police than they are about protecting their families and communities from criminals. He’s speaking to the wrong crowd.

  50. - Anon - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 10:30 pm:

    I can never concentrate on what Larry’s saying because I’m so distracted by the unnatural hairpiece.

  51. - Sub Urban - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 11:50 pm:

    I’ve met just in the past couple weeks 2 different men who said they’ve known Larry since HS/college and he was a real decent guy. I too know him about 20 years, once spent a lot of time in meetings w him tho not sure he’d even remember. I don’t think a def. atty is DQ’d, office is exec/admin, not trial. As a committeeman (he succeeded Woods Bowman in Evanston Twp) Larry had image as slippery. Left the party org finances in shambles due to playing fast/loose with accounts and unauthorized endorsements incl judge candidate friends no one had ever heard of. He double-crossed a couple of good reform candidates who have never trusted him since, this I have ultra-reliable knowledge of. He savaged Cal Sutker to get elected, while quasi-promising he’d give up lobbying; then then sponsored a resolution to name a golf course after Sutker, still lobbies despite nice salary on Bd. On the Co. Bd. he has the liberals of his district thinking he is fighting for reform, but nods & winks to Machine; has he ever let Machine down in a pinch? See Steele/Stroger monkey business. Opposes TIF reform. Despite all that I wanted to believe he has best shot to be reformer in S.A. office because Allen & Brookins will never be, and that Larry is ready to shed his past, but I ain’t convinced he isn’t running the race for ulteror motive just to boost name recognition or contrib. list for some other office. The Barbara thing came to him politically through Volini; he is demagoging on guns; Larry the Lobbyist is 100% political. Tough call for those who’d like this office clean and pro.

  52. - Rupert Pupkin - Thursday, Jan 31, 08 @ 1:53 am:

    That unnatural hairpiece you speak of is actually a alien life form feeding off his grey matter. “MY BRAIN HURTS”

  53. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 31, 08 @ 6:09 am:

    The alleged reformers (more like rewarmers) and change-aholic sloganeers in this race are really nothing more than a pack of gasbags. Don’t lose sight of the fact that Allen (this office is on life support), Suffredin (the time for change is now) and Brookins (truth to power)ALL SUPPORTED DEVINE LAST TIME AROUND. Heck, Suffredin used to be Devine’s top fundraiser. They don’t want to reform the office, they want to run it. They are all promisers and posturers.

  54. - chiatty - Thursday, Jan 31, 08 @ 6:18 am:

    The reformers (more like rewarmers) and change-aholic sloganeers in this race crack me up. Allen (this office is on life support), Suffredin (office needs change now) and Brookins (truth to power) ALL BACKED DEVINE LAST TIME AROUND. Could it be that they aren’t as interested in reforming the office as they are in running it? It sounds like a lot of gasbagging to me.

  55. - Captain America - Thursday, Jan 31, 08 @ 8:31 am:

    I voted for Larry Suffredin. I just don’t by the argument that being a lobbyist for various interests constitutes a conflict of interest or otherwise diminishes his integrity. He has not been lobbying the County government.

    Schnorf is correct in his analogy that any defense attorney, who happened to do his job well by effectively represnting an unsavory client, would be similarly disqualfied from public office simply by virtue of his profession, much the same way that Larry’s detradtors have attacked him.

    I agree with other bloggers who suggest that Alverez is an excellent candidate. None of them are really bad, excepting one person. It’s a shame that Howard Brookins, the candidate who seems most likely to prevail in the primary, is the least able and most ethically-challenged, given a pattern of behaviors/civil legal problems that suggest he is the least qulaified for the office

  56. - chiatty - Thursday, Jan 31, 08 @ 9:02 am:

    Suffredin would make an excellent Public Defender. He’d probably be a very capable Attorney General. But it’s quite a quantum leap to say he’d make an excellent State’s Attorney and not because of his 30 some year career as a lobbyist. He’s a solid lobbyist, a man of his word and by all reasonable accounts, an ethical man. But he has had precious little connection to the criminal justice system in the past 25 years (he won’t let on just when he last handled a criminal case, so I’m not sure)and his stance on the death penalty (which he hasn’t exactly trumpeted) will put him in quite the odd predicament should the moratorium end and the death penalty become the “law” again. Again, I’m not saying he’s not smart enough and I’m not saying he’s ethically challenged, I’m just saying that he doesn’t have the type of experience that would suggest that he’d do EVERYTHING that the people want in a prosecutor.

  57. - BannedForLife - Thursday, Jan 31, 08 @ 9:59 am:

    “He has not been lobbying the County government.”

    sorry, you are wrong, sir

    until very recently (months) Suffredin was a registered lobbyist at the City (Chicago), state AND COUNTY levels.

  58. - BannedForLife - Thursday, Jan 31, 08 @ 10:04 am:

    ” … analogy that any defense attorney … ”

    this analogy is absurd

    Our govt does not REQUIRE lobbyists to function.

    Life is short. I says something about you how you spend your time. Suffredin took on a project greasing the skids for a landfill for the mob. it was a choice. He is a PARTNER at Shefsky. He was not assigned Barbara. He was not exercising some civic duty.

  59. - chiatty - Thursday, Jan 31, 08 @ 11:07 am:


    I don’t know about the greasing the skids for the mob stuff, but there’s no doubt that Suffredin has made his living talking quietly in the back chambers, hallways and private offices of elected officials in Chicago and Springfield. How that makes you qualified to be State’s Attorney is well beyond my comprehension. I think the voters will catch the scent and look elsewhere.

  60. - chiatty - Thursday, Jan 31, 08 @ 2:38 pm:

    This thread may be dead, but I’ll pose the question to the Allen and Suffredin “people”: When is the last time that either of these lawyers worked on a criminal case? When is the last time either filed an appearance in a criminal case? Suffredin tried 32 cases as a PD, but that was 33 years ago! Allen and Suffredin don’t even list Criminal Law as an “area of concentration” in the Sullivan’s Law Directory.

    Who are they crappin’ as Ditka might say?

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