David John Diersen, GOPUSA Illinois Editor
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June 6, 2006 News Clips
Posted by Diersen on 15-Mar-2007
-- Cook County Board to pick interim leader - Steve Patterson 
-- Cheney came, he spoke, he got $300,000 - Art Golab
-- GOP hoping same-sex vote will count in November - Lynn Sweet
-- Rove's performance on immigration bill has been masterful - John O'Sullivan
-- Cheney Makes Quick Stop For RNC Fundraiser  Reception Held At Lake Forest Estate - Joanie Lum (includes video clip)


-- Peraica to force Stroger issue -

-- Asking his senators amnesty questions - Dale Johnson


-- Naperville brochure has NAACP up in arms - Kathy Cichon


-- A politico's pets  Will County beagle is one of Topinka's traveling pals - Suzanne Baker


-- Vice president visits for fundraiser - Susan Kuczka
-- Democrats leave DuPage County to Republicans No challengers surface for countywide offices - John Biemer,1,4594299.story
-- Voters deserve to know if state hiring is shady - Editorial
-- Presidential Candidate Cox on TV and Streaming - Jeff Berkowitz 
-- 'Gay' Protesters Blast African-American Church as "Born-Again Bigots" - Peter LaBarbera


-- Durbin skeptical of privatizing lottery  Says it may be short-sighted to sell state's assets for short-term gain - Bernard schoenburg
-- Peraica and Quigley seek ruling on Stroger’s fitness -
-- Blagojevich and Daley: A look inside gov't confirms worst suspicions - Editorial
-- A.G. candidate says it's a matter of trust  Umholtz believes public will demand change in state - John Pulliam
-- Seven Centuries versus Seven Years - John Biver
-- Peraica To Introduce Resolution Demanding Resolution
-- Jesse Jackson Backs Peraica
Sandy Rios to address June 17 TAPROOT Republican breakfast meeting in Lombard - Dave Diersen

DATE: Saturday, June 17

TIME: Doors open: 8:00 AM  Program: 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

LOCATION: Old Country Buffet, North Meeting Room, 551 East Roosevelt Road, Lombard

CONTACT: Dave Diersen at 630-653-0462 or


Senator Chris Lauzen to address June 29 Illinois Center Right Coalition annual convention in Wheaton - Dave Diersen

DATE: Thursday, June 29

TIME: 6:00 PM Social Hour  7:00 PM Convention

LOCATION: Wheaton Bowl Banquet Hall, Gary Avenue & Geneva Road, Wheaton

CONTACT: Jon Zahm at 847-812-3070 or


Republican candidates, including Alan Bolds, Franco Coladipiero, Chris Edwards, Gwen Henry, Gary King, J.R. McBride, Darlene Ruscitti, and Bob Schillerstrom, thanked for sponsoring the outstanding Royal Airs Drum & Bugle Corps in Wheaton and Glen Ellyn Independence Day parades - Dave Diersen
During the "Citizens to be Heard" portion of Wheaton's June 5 City Council meeting, your GOPUSA Illinois Editor took the opportunity to thank Republican candidates, including Alan Bolds, Franco Coladipiero, Chris Edwards, Gwen Henry, Gary King, J.R. McBride, Darlene Ruscitti, and Bob Schillerstrom, for sponsoring the outstanding Royal Airs Drum & Bugle Corps in the Wheaton and Glen Ellyn Independence Day parades.
Cook County Board to pick interim leader - Steve Patterson 
The Cook County Board will begin taking steps today to temporarily replace the ailing John Stroger as board president.

The move to name Bobbie Steele as interim president comes as a new report questions just how mentally aware Stroger is as he undergoes physical and mental rehabilitation from a March stroke.

The Daily Southtown reports that as recently as three weeks ago, Stroger was unable to move any of his limbs and couldn't remember his name or the day of the week.

But Stroger's chief of staff, James Whigham, vehemently denies reports that his boss is profoundly disabled, saying "this is not a man sitting there blubbering," and Stroger is "not sitting there with drool coming down his mouth."

Whigham said as recently as Friday, he did small hand and leg exercises with Stroger as part of his ongoing therapy.

"He's not sunken, he's not drawn," Whigham continued. "When I left him Friday, he gave me a handshake as strong as any he's ever given me."

Sources say Stroger, 77, is carrying on conversations and is aware of his surroundings -- though they hesitate when asked if he can run a $3 billion government.

Through a spokeswoman, Ald. Todd Stroger (8th) said his father is on a feeding tube and needs around-the-clock medical care.

Because John Stroger has not been seen publicly or heard from since the stroke, a majority of the 17-member board is set to select Steele to finish the six months left in Stroger's term.

Though nothing is on today's board agenda, commissioners said they expect extra meetings this month to make it happen.

"This will be done by July 1," Commissioner Larry Suffredin said of the first-of-its-kind move. "But even if the vote was [today] I'm very optimistic she'd have nine votes and maybe more."

Doing it before July 1 would take some pressure off the Stroger family, who earlier said an announcement will come in July on the president's political future.

Still, there is a November election, where John Stroger remains the Democratic nominee to face Republican Tony Peraica.

Peraica is set to introduce a resolution today that establishes procedures for replacing a board member -- including president -- who is too ill to serve. Peraica's plan involves public hearings and subpoenas to doctors, with the board voting on the official's ability to serve.

Most commissioners find Peraica's resolution too abrasive, but will use its introduction as a launching point for Steele, a 20-year board member. If she gets the interim post, she would take over Stroger's governmental responsibilities, with the power to make personnel, spending and policy decisions.

"This needs to happen in a very dignified way because we're dealing with the end of someone's political career," said Suffredin, who has been helping gather board support for Steele.

Steele said she's humbled by the support she's seen on the board and was happy to get a supportive phone call Monday from Rep. Danny Davis -- a potential Stroger replacement in November, if he resigns before the election.

"I understand there may be some movement [today] and the board may select someone from the board," Davis said, adding he's supporting Steele in that move.

'Who's running the government?'

Also Monday, a longtime John Stroger ally, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, joined calls from Mayor Daley and Sen. Richard Durbin that the Stroger family be more forthcoming about John Stroger's health.

Sources close to John Stroger said his wife, Yonnie, recently rebuffed Jackson's request to visit Stroger.

"The longer it takes to get a response from [John Stroger] or his doctor, the more evidence it is of the state of his health," said Jackson, whose son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., has a strained relationship with John Stroger.

While "the family's right to privacy must be respected," Jackson said the county "is not on hold; who's running the government?"

Cheney came, he spoke, he got $300,000 - Art Golab

Vice President Dick Cheney flew into town Monday afternoon, talked to a small group of well-heeled GOP contributors for an hour and earned at least $300,000 for the Republican National Committee.

About 50 people attended the fund-raiser at a gated Lake Forest estate of William Strong, vice chairman of Morgan Stanley. The affair was billed in invitations as requesting $25,000 per couple. The event was closed to the news media and Cheney made no comments to reporters at Waukegan Airport, where he landed and departed.

Among those present at the fund-raiser were Craig Duchossois, a venture capitalist whose family is the largest stockholder in the company that owns Arlington Park racetrack, and Robert D. Stuart, retired chairman of Quaker Oats and a former U.S. ambassador to Norway.

Cheney talked for about half an hour, then devoted the rest of the time to answering questions.

"He gave a really quiet, thoughtful, low-key talk," said Stuart. "He defended our policy of going after terrorists around the world. He made a very good case for what the Bush administration is trying to do."

Stuart described Cheney as a "remarkable man -- because he's so low-key, but he's done every important job in government."

According to other sources, Cheney also discussed the importance of concluding the mission in Iraq, negotiations with Iran over nuclear disarmament and his recent meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Cheney emphasized the need for the GOP to retain its majority in the House and Senate this November.

Cheney has been active in fund-raising for other Republican candidates and causes. He returns to the Chicago suburbs later this month when he headlines a fund-raiser for David McSweeney, who is trying to unseat Democrat Melissa Bean in the 8th Congressional District.

GOP hoping same-sex vote will count in November - Lynn Sweet

Aproposed federal gay marriage ban -- debated Monday in the Senate and headed toward defeat in a Wednesday vote -- prompted this question to White House press secretary Tony Snow.

"Can you stand there and say with a straight face that there is not a political dimension to this?'' Snow was asked.

"Of course there's a political dimension to it,'' Snow said. "There's going to be a Senate vote on it, for heaven's sake.''

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), not the White House, made gay marriage the centerpiece of the agenda this week.

Frist, a 2008 presidential maybe, is pushing this hot-button issue, a rallying cry for social conservatives. Backlash over gay marriage is credited for increasing GOP turnout in the 2004 election, after judges in Massachusetts and San Francisco cleared the way for gay weddings.

Frist put the proposed amendment on the Senate schedule, though the Senate defeated the question in 2004.

But issues don't die in Congress. With mid-term elections five months away, wedge legislation is coming out of the closet.

After winning a second term, Bush put the gay-marriage amendment on the back burner, but turned up the heat in the past few days, "driven in many ways by the legislative calendar,'' Snow said.

This comes in the context of Bush's approval ratings at record lows. His conservative base is divided over soaring spending for Hurricane Katrina and his embrace of an immigration overhaul favored by Democrats.

The president made the proposed Marriage Protection Amendment the topic of his Saturday radio address. Monday, a solicitous administration invited about 150 anti-gay marriage opinion leaders to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to hear it from Bush himself.

"You are here because you strongly support a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and I am proud to stand with you,'' Bush said.

The point of this exercise, which will consume the Senate through Wednesday, is to produce a roll call to be translated into political ads, Internet rants and direct mail pieces next November putting Democrats on the defensive.

The same basic politics of backlash is at work in Illinois. A coalition of conservative groups is trying to put on the November ballot a nonbinding advisory referendum urging state lawmakers to define marriage in Illinois as only between a man and a woman. The practical impact of this would be to increase GOP turnout, which is why Illinois Democrats will do everything they can to try to disqualify the question from the ballot.

Leaders usually never call a bill they know will fail. Gay marriage is one of those exceptions. In 2004, the proposed amendment received 48 of the 67 Senate votes needed to pass. Frist spokeswoman Amy Call said when the votes are counted they hoped to "show progress.''

It's wedge season.

Rove's performance on immigration bill has been masterful - John O'Sullivan

From: Nick Machiavelli, Senior Partner, Machiavelli, O'Blarney, Iago, Alcibiades and Morris, Political Consultants.

To: Karl Rove, the Smoke-Filled Room, Lower Basement, the White House, Washington, D.C.

Dear Karl, My congratulations on how you are handling the immigration reform gambit. If I had not seen it myself, I would never have believed that you could so quickly dig yourself out of the hole into which you had dug yourself. It has been a pleasure to watch a maestro at work.

Only two weeks ago it looked as if the Republicans in the House of Representatives were moving to reject the Senate "open borders" bill cobbled together by Junior, Ted Kennedy, John McCain, the Senate Democrats and the immigration lawyers. Over Memorial Day weekend they had to listen to their constituents denouncing both the bill and the Bush-Democrat coalition behind it at every barbecue and high school graduation. They came back absolutely determined to vote it down.

All seemed bleak. It looked as if America would not get the 66 million new low-paid immigrants the GOP's corporate donors need in the next 20 years. And then you came up with the old "honest broker" temptation or, as you and I call it: Divide, Destroy and Discredit.

Rep. Mike Pence was just perfect: a solid heartland Republican, a decent Midwesterner from Indiana, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, and a leading conservative congressional critic of Junior's out-of-control spending. You can't buy those kind of credentials. But why bother to buy them when they volunteer?

Of course, I know that you had nothing to do with Pence's intervention. How did you persuade him?

Whatever. He stepped forward with a "compromise" proposal designed to unite the House and Senate Republicans -- right tone of party amity. He unveiled his plan at the Heritage Foundation -- a mark of conservative respectability. He promised specifically that his plan would not include an amnesty -- nice reassuring touch. And as soon as he spoke, you had a sheaf of op-eds and editorials ready to roll praising his statesmanlike leadership on a difficult issue.

With that one proposal Pence divided the House Republicans, revived the Senate bill's stalled momentum, and (a bonus this) discredited himself as a future leader of the budget hawks with those Republicans opposed to illegal immigration and those who understand the vast fiscal costs of the Senate bill.

And while Pence's intervention is working its quiet destruction in the House, you are distracting the media and the voters with the constitutional amendment to halt gay marriage. Just a footnote, Karl, but this is the last time you can haul out the gay marriage thing. Those Christian Rightists are notoriously paranoid: Any more defeats on a measure supported by two-thirds of the American people and they'll probably think the campaign for it is being secretly run by gay activists.

Still, on the whole, a magnificent performance. My one doubt: Was it really wise to let Pence write the proposal himself?

You know how it is with these apprentice statesmen: Their noble vision goes to their head. They begin small by wanting the Washington Post to say they've grown in office. They end up trying to re-design the universe. Look at the Great Portmanteau Immigration Reform Bill that Pence is offering. It has 100 practical problems, but two stand out:

First, it denounces the idea of an amnesty for illegals but it's an amnesty bill itself. The 12 million illegals already here get their jobs held for them while they leave the United States and return one week later (still ahead of all those legal applicants lining up outside). Pence may have got this idea from the way members of Congress blend easily into lobbyists on retirement. Call it the "Revolving Door Amnesty."

Second, the Pence proposal argues that the 12 million illegals and any other guest workers could be processed (i.e., sent home, linked with potential employers, re-admitted to the United States, their credentials checked and put back to work) speedily if this were done by efficient private sector employment agencies rather than by the feds. But these agencies don't exist. And if they did, they would be reliant for their guest-worker data on the inefficient federal government. Back to square zero -- administrative chaos at one remove.

In short, the Pence bill is too much like the Bush-Democrat Senate bill. It is an amnesty and an administrative nightmare. And it is not much improved by the Free Enterprise Seal of Approval stamped on its cover. If either bill becomes law, the next few years leading to the 2008 election will see chaos and conflict as millions of legal and illegal immigrants crowd low-paid U.S. workers out of jobs and as their wives and children crowd schools, hospitals and welfare agencies.

Not a good advertisement for Jeb.

Maybe you should think about losing on immigration rather than on gay marriage. Then you can carry on as before -- having tough laws on the books without enforcing them. Hey, it's worked for 20 years. Why change a winning hand?

Your devoted friend,


P.S.: If you still want the Senate or Pence bills, I take it you've quietly told your people in San Diego to vote for the Democrat today. Brian Bilbray, the Republican, has come from way behind to 50-50 in the polls by opposing the president on illegal immigration and calling for tough enforcement laws. If he wins against the odds, the House Republicans may go back to opposing the Senate bill outright.

Cheney Makes Quick Stop For RNC Fundraiser  Reception Held At Lake Forest Estate - Joanie Lum (includes video clip)
LAKE FOREST Vice President Dick Cheney made a quick visit to the north suburbs for a fundraiser.

CBS 2's Joanie Lum reports he picked up a few hundred thousand dollars in not much more than an hour's time.

Cheney visited a private estate in Lake Forest belonging to Morgan Stanley investment banker William Strong. The price to attend the fundraiser was $20,000 per couple.

Cheney arrived at 4:30 p.m. at Waukegan Regional Airport. He spent less than an hour at the reception, which raises money for the Republican National Committee. The party has its eye on a few key races in Illinois.

Although Cheney has been controversial and a bit unpopular lately, one candidate was glad he came.

"I support the president and vice president on the War on Terror. Remember what happened on Sept. 11. There are terrorists who are trying to commit chemical, biological and nuclear assaults on our country, and we need to maintain a strong national defense," said David McSweeney, Republican candidate in the 8th Congressional District race.

McSweeney will face Democrat Melissa Bean. 


Peraica to force Stroger issue -

Fireworks are expected at the Cook County Board meeting today, where the Republican challenger to the presidency has said he will introduce a resolution calling for a hearing into whether Democratic President John Stroger is still capable of serving.

Stroger has not been seen publicly since a March stroke and is in questionable health. While his chief of staff has said he is doing well, other reports have him doing substantially worse.

Commissioner Tony Peraica, a Riverside Republican candidate for president, said he doesn’t expect a vote on his resolution, but thinks it will be sent to committee.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Mike Quigley, a Chicago Democrat sent the Cook County state’s attorney a letter requesting clarification on what statutory language means when it describes a replacement procedure for the president due to an “inability to act.”

Commissioner Gregg Goslin, a Glenview Republican, had asked for clarification of procedures for replacing the president if there was a vacancy, but did not specifically ask how it’s determined if the president has an inability to act if he does not declare it himself.

Asking his senators amnesty questions - Dale Johnson

This is an open letter to Illinois Sens. Barack Obama and Dick Durbin.

If low wage labor is really critical to our economy, why don’t the employers of illegal aliens provide free family health insurance and other benefits?

If wage-depressing illegal immigrants are good for our economy, Illinois should have a budget surplus. So why is Illinois $2 billion behind in its pension fund obligations, and needing a lottery program?

When the flood of wage-depressing illegal immigrants retires, who is going to pay for their food, rent and health care?

Studies show that poor, disadvantaged Americans lose earning power because they must compete against illegal immigrants for jobs. Why do you turn your back on the poorest of our citizens?

The U.S. is running out of landfills for our garbage and our 1.6 gallon per flush toilets prove that our water is limited. Why does our country need more people?

If the U.S. Senate votes to let illegal immigrants remain in this country, will that encourage more next year?

Suppose I violate some federal law for five years. Will you pass a law allowing me to keep violating that law?

Will you analyze and publicly discuss the true costs of granting amnesty to the illegal immigrants? Will you please publicly answer these questions before you vote for an amnesty?


Naperville brochure has NAACP up in arms - Kathy Cichon

NAPERVILLE — While the city says the photo on the front of Naperville's official 175th anniversary event guide is depicting unity, some residents see it as a symbol of centuries of hatred.

On the front cover of the guide is a collage of eight photos encircling one of a birthday cake. Among those featured is one of a little girl at Naper Settlement's Civil War Days. The girl is holding an American flag — and wearing a hat with a Confederate flag.

"It's kind of subtle, but there it is," said Naperville resident Sherid Smith. "At first you think, 'Oh, a cute little girl.' When you really look at it — cute little girl with a Confederate hat on."

Upon seeing the brochure, Smith called Mayor George Pradel's office and was referred to community relations. She then spoke with Gary Karafiat, community relations manager for the city.

Karafiat said a five-person editing team reviewed the text and photos in the guide. With the theme of unity, the committee wanted to depict on the cover large community scenes and activity. The photo of the little girl illustrates the unity between the North and the South, he said.

"We thought it said both heritage and unity at the same time," he said.

"We had no interest in insulting anybody."

The city printed 75,000 copies of the event guide, and 65,000 of them were mailed to all of the households in Naperville, Karafiat said.

Not enough

Smith said she would like to see the guide reprinted — with a letter inside the brochure explaining the reason why — and mailed out again. She would also like an apology.

Karafiat said at this point, the city will stick with the current event guide. The cost to print and mail the guide came to about $34,000, he said.

"Our budget couldn't absorb reprinting or remailing," he said.

Asked if the picture would be chosen if it were to be done all over again, Karafiat said it would likely be used.

"I think we'd probably still use the picture," Karafiat said. "It speaks volumes of our youth in this community and how they're being educated about our heritage."

Smith said she is not pleased with Karafiat's position on the photo, one that she said is "insensitive" on the part of the city.

"He sees it as unity; I see it as being divisive," Smith said.

A bigger issue

After talking with Karafiat, Smith called her pastor. In the last few days she has spoken to multiple friends and at least two past presidents of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Aurora resident Marvin Byrd, who is past president of the DuPage County branch of the NAACP, said residents who were offended by the photo called him and asked what they should do. He recommended going public with their thoughts.

"They were quite upset about it, and for good cause," he said. "During the Confederacy, our people were considered subhuman."

He said any picture that reflects that sort of image is an insult.

"We don't blame the little girl," Byrd said. "We blame the adults — the people with the attitude that we should still subscribe to that phase of history when we were considered subhuman."

Current DuPage NAACP President Theresa Dear told CBS-TV she is "disturbed and extremely disappointed that elected officials and individuals in leadership positions in Naperville would not seem to have respect for their neighbors and taxpayers of color. Someone should have said no."


A politico's pets  Will County beagle is one of Topinka's traveling pals - Suzanne Baker

Peggy Sue once was a stray beagle in Will County. Now she belongs to Judy Baar Topinka and tours Illinois with the state treasurer.

Peggy and her mate — Molly McDoo, who has a Scottish terrier heritage — get the good seats in the van during long road trips. That includes the spot Topinka uses for napping.

"Peggy likes to take my spot, and then she hogs the space and leaves hair everywhere," Topinka said of her Will County companion.

"I wear a lot of dark suits. We keep a roller with the sticky tape in the van so I don't look like a hairy beast," she said.

Topinka's the only state constitutional officer to feature her pets on her Web site. The canine traveling companions can be viewed at /Kids/kids.htm.

Peggy Sue was not adopted, but wound up with Topinka after being found by someone else locally. Molly was given to Topinka as a gift from a former chief of staff 13 years ago. Molly learned how to be housebroken while touring Illinois in Topinka's van.

Topinka faces incumbent Gov. Rod Blagojevich in the November election for the governor's office. The candidate and her two companions have rode many miles together.

Molly, Andy, Peggy

The van is almost a third home for the dogs. Both dogs travel so much that they know the route between Springfield and Riverside.

The dogs can sleep the entire trip, but as soon as they get a couple of blocks away from either home, they wake up and run to the windows with tails wagging, Topinka said.

At one time, Molly was the only dog in the family. Because she was so quiet, Molly often spent her days prancing around the Statehouse in Springfield.

Topinka thought that Molly needed a friend to keep her company and came across Andrew, a.k.a. Andy — a basset and beagle mix named after the downstate country road where he was found.

An older dog, Andy wasn't in the greatest shape, and nobody likely would have adopted him, particularly because of all the medications he took.

"I called him my $10,000 dog," Topinka said.

Topinka wasn't sure if Andy would be the right fit, but Molly and Andrew became fast friends.

Molly stayed at home to keep Andy company. Because of Andrew's beagle bloodlines, the possibility of a bark — or loud yelp or bay in his case — became too risky to bring him to work with Molly.

Andrew lived out the rest of his life under Molly's watch. When he died, Molly was devastated.

"She didn't eat, and she moped around," Topinka said.

Around that time, Molly's groomer asked Topinka if she knew of anyone who might want a dog because she was looking to place a stray beagle that was found in Will County.

The arrival of Peggy Sue was just what Molly needed. "Peggy came at the right time," Topinka said.

Like Andy, Peggy keeps Molly company at home. A pet sitter comes to check on them during the day.

Tales of the road

When the treasurer goes out of town, so do the dogs.

Any time a trip calls for extended stays away at hotels, the dogs' suitcases are packed with food, bowls, pig ears, rawhides and toys.

Taking time out for pit stops has allowed Molly and Peggy to meet a lot of nice people and dogs. But not all encounters start off smoothly.

"One time we pulled off in a small town and parked near a store that was closed," Topinka said. "The police showed up with spotlights blaring."

The dogs managed to convince the police that the group wasn't going to rob the store.

Pet projects

Topinka's love of animals extends beyond her two dogs. The treasurer established what she calls the Treasured Pets program, a link off the treasurer's office Web site that includes a listing of 28 no-kill shelters across the state, including Tender Loving Care in Homer Glen.

Topinka said the cost of starting up and running a Web site can be an added expense for shelters. The money saved could be used for boarding costs and veterinary care.

Since the Treasured Pets program was instituted, well more than 300 dogs and 50 cats have been given new homes, Topinka said.

Because of the ease of setting up such a program, Topinka is encouraging treasurers in other states to consider setting up a spot on their Web sites to list shelters. 


Vice president visits for fundraiser - Susan Kuczka
Vice President Dick Cheney headlined a closed-door fund-raising event Monday night in Lake Forest, helping raise an estimated $300,000 for the Republican National Committee.

About 50 people attended Cheney's hour-long visit at the home of William Strong, a vice chairman of Wall Street financial services firm Morgan Stanley, and a major political donor.

David McSweeney, the Republican nominee challenging freshman Democratic Rep. Melissa Bean in the 8th Congressional District, said Cheney spoke of the importance of keeping GOP majorities in the House and Senate in order for the Bush administration to continue to fight terror abroad and at home.

McSweeney said Cheney also singled out his race as "one of those that determines who controls Congress."

In a statement, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee accused Cheney and the RNC of "failed leadership and misplaced priorities" for Illinois working families. At the same time, the DNC statement said the Cheney event was located in "Forest Lake, Illinois."

Cheney's visit came as Illinois Republicans and Democrats prepare for two major congressional races in Chicago's suburbs.

Besides the McSweeney-Bean contest, GOP state Sen. Peter Roskam and Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth are vying for the west suburban 6th District seat being vacated by longtime Republican Rep. Henry Hyde.

RNC spokeswoman Ann Marie Hauser said money raised from Monday night's event would be used to promote Republicans nationwide in November's mid-term elections.

Bean shocked many in the GOP when she ousted Republican Rep. Philip Crane from his longtime northwest suburban congressional seat two years ago, putting the 8th District seat high on the Republicans' radar screen.
Democrats leave DuPage County to Republicans No challengers surface for countywide offices - John Biemer,1,4594299.story
This fall's election will be a breeze for DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom and the other Republican countywide candidates after Democrats failed to produce anyone to oppose them in November.

For DuPage Democrats, countywide seats already have been a tremendously difficult nut to crack.

No Democrat has won since at least World War II. But with the passing of last month's deadline for slating candidates who were not on the March primary ballot, Democrats are, in effect, conceding to Schillerstrom, Sheriff John Zaruba, County Clerk Gary King and Gwen Henry, the GOP candidate for the open treasurer seat.

DuPage Democratic Party Chairwoman Gayl Ferraro said she was "very disappointed" that none of the potential candidates she had been recruiting stepped forward to run.

She said many of them want to devote their efforts to helping the campaign of Tammy Duckworth, the Democrat running against state Sen. Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton) for the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde.

"That's what the big focus is, and they don't want to give up the time," Ferraro said.

DuPage GOP Chairman Kirk Dillard, a state senator from Hinsdale, called that a "convenient excuse."

"Conversely, if they want to put extra forces into Ms. Duckworth's race, by freeing up uncontested Republicans, don't you think we'll put those people and resources into Sen. Roskam's campaign?" he said.

Dillard pointed out that Democrats have about one in seven precinct committeeman slots in the county--fewer than a couple of years ago--while Republicans have one in nearly every precinct, and Republicans outvoted Democrats in the primary by the highest proportion in six years.

"That, to me, speaks volumes about whether there's a Democratic insurgency in DuPage County," he said.

In 2004, Democrats had two candidates vying for countywide offices--coroner and clerk of the Circuit Court. They lost by about 15 and 17 percentage points, respectively.

Democrats do have six candidates for County Board seats, a level where they have had a bit more success, although all 18 current members are Republican.
Voters deserve to know if state hiring is shady - Editorial
Tell us before November's election if Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been doing something illegal.

He didn't use those exact words, but that's the message state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, sent to Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

This is not personal, but Brady's request for the information within 90 days will be viewed as political. Remember, Brady railed on Blagojevich during his campaign for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in the contest won by state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, who faces Blagojevich in the fall.

Brady said his letter to Madigan was prompted by an Associated Press story saying the governor's aides reviewed and approved hundreds of employment decisions by name, rather than merit.

Voters in Illinois deserve to know the truth before Nov. 7.

Madigan may be the state's chief legal counsel, but she is also a Democrat. And the history of party loyalty - on both sides - in Illinois suggests she would withhold damaging information about our Democratic governor until after the election if it is possible.

We're not suggesting Madigan's office has to finish the investigation into hiring practices by Nov. 7, but if she doesn't know within 90 days whether there is preferential hiring based on party affiliation or campaign donations, we'd question whether her office is probing as hard as it could.

Even if this administration isn't doing anything illegal, the public deserves to know whether political hiring that happened during previous Republican administrations is still going on.

Remember, Blagojevich promised to change the way the state does business. Voters deserve to know if things really changed, or that was just a good sound-bite to get elected.

It would also be a disservice to the governor if his office is doing nothing wrong and this "investigation" cloud is hanging over his head at election time.

The attorney general's office can only give that old, "We do not comment on ongoing criminal investigations" line for so long. We're talking about the integrity of the chief elected officer in the state of Illinois, not some obscure pencil-pusher in a political patronage job.
Presidential Candidate Cox on TV and Streaming - Jeff Berkowitz 
"Public Affairs," features, tonight, John Cox [R-Chicago], an early announced candidate in the 2008 Republican Presidential Primary . The show airs through-out the City of Chicago on CANTV, Cable Ch. 21 at 8:30 pm; You can also watch the program right now, and anytime after, on the "Public Affairs," podcast page on your computer [See here].

The "Public Affairs," podcast page gives you a choice of more than 20 different episodes of “Public Affairs," in addition to the show with Presidential Candidate John Cox[See here]. The podcast page also includes Press Conferences held after last week's gubernatorial debate with Judy Baar Topinka and Gov. Blagojevich followed by the last interview ever done of Dick Kay, while he was the NBC-5 News Political Editor; Professors Bleakley and Chiswick debating immigration issues, Mayoral Candidate Bill Dock Walls, State Senate Republican Nominee [27th Dist.] Matt Murphy; a joint press conference with Senator Obama [D-Illinois] and Congresswoman Bean [D-Barrington]; Tony Peraica, Cook County Commissioner and Republican Nominee for Cook County Board President and much, much more.[See here].
For a partial transcript [Immigration issues] of the Cox show and more about John Cox's background, go here.

'Gay' Protesters Blast African-American Church as "Born-Again Bigots" - Peter LaBarbera
Some militant homosexual activists went to church on Sunday--not to worship their Creator, but to protest Bishop Larry D. Trotter's largely African-American church over his opposition to "gay marriage."

The Gay Liberation Network and allied groups stood outside Trotter's
Sweet Holy Spirit Church on Chicago's South Side, yelling, "BORN AGAIN BIGOTS, GO AWAY!" and other slogans designed to demonize people of faith who, like Trotter, stand up for traditional marriage. (Trotter, who is the Presiding Prelate of the United Pentecostal Church of Christ, organized a petition drive for the Protect Marriage Illinois Referendum, yielding thousands of signatures for PMI.)

You can view an
online video news story about the anti-Trotter protest on WGN-TV's website. Scroll down the middle of the page to "WGN News at Nine Segment Information" and click the link, ""Gay activists picket South Side Church." The story will probably remain in the video archive for about a week.

Andy Thayer and fellow radicals at
Gay Liberation Network, who once protested Moody Bible Church and Catholic Cardinal Francis George's home as "Houses of Hate," could not be more wrong. Defending Biblical sexual morality is not prejudice, and protecting marriage as one-man, one-woman is not "hate."

The homosexual activists' name-calling is another sign that they have no compelling arguments as to why America should discard thousands of years of human history by radically redefining marriage to accommodate men who have sex with men, and women who have sex with woman. Creating counterfeit "marriage" is not a civil right, but it is a moral wrong.

We commend Bishop Trotter for standing up for marriage and for refusing to be intimidated by the "gay" lobby's attempt to demonize Christians. To give an encouraging word to Bishop Trotter and the faithful believers at
Sweet Holy Spirit Church, e-mail him at or call (773) 233-4477 between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM Tuesday-Friday.

Please pray that
Illinois Family Institute and the PMI coalition will, with God's help, defeat the leftist coalition (including Gay Liberation Network) that is mobilizing to keep you and other Illinois citizens from voting "YES" for marriage in November. You can help fund IFI's costly legal defense of the Marriage Protection Referendum using this link below, or calling IFI to make a credit card gift at 630-790-8370. We are hoping to raise $30,000 by Friday, June 16th.



Durbin skeptical of privatizing lottery  Says it may be short-sighted to sell state's assets for short-term gain - Bernard schoenburg
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is urging Illinois state leaders to use caution if they want to sell any state assets.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich has proposed selling or leasing the Illinois lottery to a private company. Blagojevich says he believes the deal could bring in $10 billion, providing $6 billion for education in the first four years.

"I understand the challenge the governor faces," Durbin said when he took questions from reporters Sunday outside his Springfield home. "He is trying to continue to avoid raising income taxes and sales taxes, and that is a good thing."

However, Durbin said, he has reservations about one-time transactions.

"I am skeptical of selling off major assets of the state," Durbin said. "I think we have spent generations, decades, building up these assets, and selling them off for a short-term gain may be short-sighted."

Durbin, who is assistant Democratic leader of the Senate, said he supports fellow Democrat Blagojevich for re-election.

"He's had a tough time," Durbin said. "It's not easy to cut spending. It's not easy to avoid raising taxes. And there are people that are unhappy with many decisions that he's made. But I believe that he has demonstrated that he's made progress and that in a second term we can, I hope, turn the corner and put this state on sound financial footing."

A call to a weekend telephone number for a Blagojevich spokesman Sunday went unanswered. However, when he announced his program, Blagojevich said in a news release that his plan "carefully looks at what our kids need to succeed, and boldly proposes the changes needed to help them get there."

On other issues, Durbin said coming debates in the Senate on proposed constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage and burning of the American flag are designed to help Republicans in coming elections, not deal with the country's top problems. He said marriage laws should remain a state responsibility, and he said it is a "gross exaggeration" to say that the six reported instances of flag burning in the United States last year amount to a national problem.

"We have limited time in Washington," and it should be used on issues such as energy policy, health care and education, Durbin said.

Recent allegations that American troops may have killed civilians in Iraq, Durbin said, do not reflect on the courage of the hundreds of thousands of troops who are risking their lives and serving honorably, but he said the allegations must be dealt with "honestly, justly and openly." He also reiterated his view that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld should resign.

"When you think about the way that this war has been handled, it is really a sad outcome for the soldiers and the American people," Durbin said.

On the issue of energy, Durbin said he thinks the federal government should force oil companies to make E-85, the high ethanol fuel that can be used only in certain vehicles, available at their gasoline stations.

"The oil companies have been reluctant to put in these tanks with E-85 because they don't make the E-85. They want to sell their gasoline. But consumers need this."

Durbin also said he is holding a $250-per-person fundraiser at his home today for Tammy Duckworth. A former Army helicopter pilot who lost both legs in a grenade attack in Iraq, she is a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House in the 6th Congressional District. Durbin said she is in town for a labor convention and National Guard duty this weekend.

Duckworth is running against state Sen. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, for the seat now held by U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Wood Dale, who is retiring.

Peraica and Quigley seek ruling on Stroger’s fitness -
The swirl of confusion over the health of Cook County Board President John Stroger took a dramatic new legal turn Monday as two board members took steps that ultimately could lead to the selection of a new, interim county chief, perhaps within a matter of weeks.

In separate actions, Commissioner Michael Quigley formally requested a legal opinion from State’s Attorney Richard Devine on if and how the board can act if the president is found to be incapacitated. And Commissioner Anthony Peraica began circulating a resolution to call a special board meeting on Mr. Stroger’s status.

Though neither action necessarily will lead to the selection of a new board president, they add a new note of immediacy to a controversy that, until now, has largely centered on whether Mr. Stroger will step down from the Democratic ticket in the November election—not whether someone else should take over county government now.

The spokeswoman for Mr. Stroger, who suffered a severe stroke in March, released a statement saying only, “We are not in the position to tell commissioners what they can or cannot do.”

A spokeswoman for Mr. Devine said he had not yet received Mr. Quigley’s letter but “will respond in due time” when it does.

Mr. Quigley, a North Side Democrat, said he acted because the law is “vague” on incapacity in the county’s chief executive, even though, “there is strong evidence the president is unable to complete his duties.

“I’ve asked for an opinion of incapacity, what it means, how it’s determined, and what the role of the board is,” Mr. Quigley said. “Mr. Stroger’s wife has asked him to retire. All the obvious evidence is that there is incapacity. How long can this go on? We need some answers.” Mr. Quigley noted that the board is awaiting an answer from Mr. Devine on a letter from another commissioner on how it could deal with a “vacancy.” But Mr. Quigley’s letter appears to take the matter farther by directly dealing with the question of incapacity.

The letter, formally addressed to Pat Driscoll, chief of the civil actions bureau and Mr. Devine's liaison to the county board, notes existing state law allows temporary replacement in the event of “death, resignation, removal from office or other inability to act,” by the incumbent.

Mr. Quigley’s letter asks what “inability to act” means and who makes that judgment.

Mr. Peraica’s resolution is even more direct. It proposes that the board call a special meeting within 10 to 20 days to take testimony—by subpoena, if need be—on whether the president is suffering from “a physical or mental disability” that is preventing him from carrying out the responsibilities of the job.

Mr. Peraica, a suburban Republican who is the GOP nominee for president in the November election, said the law is not vague at all but quite clear: “We have a statutory responsibility as commissioners to act.” If a disability exists, the law requires the board to name one of its members interim president until the president recovers or a successor is elected, according to Mr. Peraica.

To take effect, Mr. Peraica’s resolution would have to be approved by the board—an action that may be unlikely on the Democrat-dominated panel. But the proposal may increase pressure to resolve the matter, which is causing sharp division even among Mr. Stroger’s African-American political base.

Mr. Peraica began circulating his proposal to other commissioners on Monday, and said he has been assured it will be seconded at the board meeting on Tuesday, likely going to committee. The resolution also will ask the state’s attorney to draft an ordinance setting up a formal line-of-succession in the event of any future disability. Mr Peraica said that proposal would be based on the presidential succession clause in the U.S. Constitution.

Blagojevich and Daley: A look inside gov't confirms worst suspicions - Editorial

It's the not the kind of learning you get in a classroom. This kind of education comes only in a courtroom, where those who know the details of government operations spell them out for jurors. But all of us can and should pay attention.

And the more we learn, the more it confirms our darkest suspicions. Despite claims to the contrary by Mayor Richard M. Daley and Gov. Rod Blagojevich, clout and connections appear to dominate decision-making in their administrations.

Consider the testimony last week in the City Hall corruption trial of senior functionaries in the Mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA). We've always suspected that patronage hiring was still thriving in Chicago, but the case is giving us an inside look at the extent to which it remains a routine, systematic practice throughout city government.

A longtime city personnel official testified that hiring is controlled by IGA, the nerve center of patronage at City Hall. He testified that IGA determined who got jobs at all levels of city government, even lower-level posts that are supposed to be exempt from politically influenced hiring under the Shakman decree. Another official testified that hiring procedures were rigged to ensure that those on IGA's lists got jobs, regardless of their qualifications.

Lists of the politically deserving also played a role in hiring at the state level, according to a news report last week. The Associated Press reported that Gov. Blagojevich's office approved hiring for jobs as far down the chain as highway repair workers. The lists show that the governor's office was signing off on hires for civil service positions, which are supposed to be filled without regard to political considerations.

A spokeswoman for the governor told the AP that the system was used only in the early days of the administration, and that lists of approved hires are no longer kept.

Whether any laws have been broken is a question for jurors to decide. Whether government in Illinois and Chicago needs to change is a question for all of us to decide.


A.G. candidate says it's a matter of trust  Umholtz believes public will demand change in state - John Pulliam

Stewart Umholtz, the Republican candidate for Illinois attorney general, feels the biggest issue in his race against incumbent Democrat Lisa Madigan is public trust.

Umholtz, a native of Pekin, is serving his third term as the Tazewell County state's attorney. A stop Saturday evening at the Best Western Prairie Inn was part of a whirlwind day of campaigning for the University of Illinois graduate who initially majored in journalism.

Wearing a short-sleeved, white polo shirt, Umholtz sipped from a glass of ice water as he outlined what he sees as some of the most important things he will address if sent to Springfield by voters in November.

Topping Umholtz' list is toughening the Illinois Open Meetings Act so it applies to the General Assembly.

"It has never made sense to me the General Assembly would pass a law that the people's business should be conducted in the open and then exempt themselves from the law," Umholtz said.

The candidate candidly admits the leaders of both parties are unlikely at this time to support applying the Open Meetings Act to the General Assembly. So how would he change that?

"I think the public will demand it," Umholtz said. "Let's face it, the media will play some role in this. ... I think there's a great possibility of making this change to the law and I will advocate that."

Sitting in a quiet booth in one of the hotel's dining rooms, Umholtz explained his emphasis on more openness in government.

"I think it's public trust," he said. "I think the public lacks the basic trust of its state government right now, so that should be job one."

He said government cannot properly handle the people's business without that trust.

Umholtz, who first decided to attend law school as a junior at the U of I, said once the public loses trust in its government, fewer people vote, and the "best and the brightest" individuals take their talents to areas other than government service.

"If you have a governor allowing inside influence, like in the bidding process, then the legitimate bidders are not going to participate," he said.

Fewer bidders, especially legitimate ones, means higher bids, Umholtz said.

Umholtz is troubled by what he calls "deceptive business practices" in Springfield, the government raising fees "more than can be justified" as a way of getting around constitutional limits on increasing taxes.

Stopping what Umholtz terms the "sweeping" of money from teachers' pension funds and money for special license plates, such as those earmarked for firefighters' memorials or preventing domestic violence, from going into the general fund also is on the Umholtz agenda.

Umholtz sees the governor's plan to sell the state lottery to a private company as being in the "only in Illinois" category. He said it will not benefit education, but will simply put off the ability to make long-range solutions about education funding. Umholtz labeled the governor's proposal "purely political."

"Never had I heard anything about this until he needed to get (state Sen.) James Meeks, (a Chicago independent) out of the race. I opened my newspaper and I think, 'wow, only in the state of Illinois can a governor buy off his opponent,' " Umholtz said.

Umholtz believes there will never be equal education funding until the reliance on property taxes is eliminated or lessened. He feels the state income tax was created to fund education.

Umholtz knows downstate candidates face daunting challenges in statewide races, but he believes this will be an unusual political year.

"I believe if the folks in Illinois want to see change in how the people's business is being conducted, then my candidacy will be seen as the best opportunity for change," he said.

Umholtz at a Glance

- Married to: Valerie

- Children: 3; Nicholas, Alexander and Anna

- Education: Illinois Central College, associate's degree, 1979; University of Illinois, B.S., Journalism, 1981; Northern Illinois University School of Law, J.D., May 1985

- Legal Experience: Assistant Tazewell County state's attorney, Oct. 1985 to Sept. 1995; Tazewell County state's attorney, Sept. 1995 to present

- Political party: Republican

- Office sought: Illinois attorney general


Seven Centuries versus Seven Years - John Biver
Recently at the Family Taxpayers Network we added up the cumulative years of service of the Republican members of the Illinois General Assembly.

On the House side, there are 53 Republicans whose combined service totals over 450 years.  On the senate side, the 27 Republicans have over 250 years of combined service.

That sure is a lot of time.  Over seven centuries!  A lot can be learned in over seven hundred years of serving in the General Assembly.  That kind of accumulated knowledge has the potential to make for quite an effective force.

Just think, for example, if all those Republican legislators believed a big part of their job was to move public opinion toward supporting needed reforms.  With all that combined wisdom – imagine what could be done.

Unfortunately, no one considers the Republicans in the Illinois General Assembly an effective force.  The people we elect get to define their own job – and they usually decide their primary task is reelection.  They don’t think much of what Lincoln said in Chicago 150 years ago:

"Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion, can change the government, practically just so much."

So all that rich experience and learning is aimed at the wrong goal: avoiding controversy and raising enough money to stave off real competition come election time.

Fortunately, examples of leadership can be found in other states.  If you haven’t yet, you might want to read a recent article by Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard about Florida Governor Jeb Bush.  It’s a rather impressive summation of what can be accomplished in seven years (Jeb Bush was first elected in 1998 and was reelected in 2002).

Sure, this is Illinois, not Florida.  But there are some similarities between the two states.  The obvious are that both have a lot of Democrats, both have recently seen Democrats win statewide elections, and both have problems common to large states.

While Florida is a red state where Republicans control the state legislature (recall the razor thin margin between Red and Blue during the 2000 Florida recount battle), it wasn't all that long ago that Illinois had a Republican governor and Republican control of the state senate.

According to the article, Jeb Bush has

“…presided over a booming economy with the highest rate of job creation

in the country and an unemployment rate of 3.0 percent (the national

average is 4.6 percent). Florida has no state income tax, but Bush has

nonetheless found a way to cut taxes every year of the eight he's been in

office. Meanwhile, he's trimmed the state employment rolls by 11,000.”

A few other excerpts are worth noting.  The article says that Bush is

“…an extraordinary risk taker and innovator. He's made Florida, in the

jargon of bipartisan experts, a ‘laboratory of democracy.’  He's mined state

and local think tanks for ideas that might streamline state government and

make it more effective.”

Bush also is

“…the first governor to impose stringent testing and accountability on

Florida elementary and secondary schools, along with three voucher


Bush is not viewed by the media as the nation’s best governor – but

“…by a smaller group: governors who served with him and experts and

think-tank and conservative policy wonks who regard state government as

something other than a machine for taxing and spending.”

Of course for that to happen in Illinois, we’d need leadership with the character, intelligence, vision, and courage to do something quite bold.  Specifically, we’d need individuals willing to risk offending all those really nice people who regularly meet with them to defend misguided policies and lobby for ever higher spending.

Each Republican member of the General Assembly has to make the decision whether or not he or she wants to make a difference; whether his or her career highlight will be the equivalent of being named “Legislator of the Year” by the Illinois Nurses Association.

Illinois is facing some rough policy roads ahead.  And each of those roads is in need of repair because of bad bipartisan behavior.

We need a few legislators to break from the pack.  We need some of them to be motivated by more than their General Assembly paycheck, per diem, pension, and all those really nice warm feelings they get from their lobbyist friends and the smarmy socialist types who are regular visitors to the state capitol and legislative offices around the state.

Seven centuries of Republican legislative experience so far hasn’t done us much good.  You may think FTN is just being negative, but it is ironic that Florida’s Jeb Bush is term limited and our Illinois Republican legislators are not.


Peraica To Introduce Resolution Demanding Resolution

In the wake of more than two months' worth of uncertainty as to exactly who is running Cook County Government - a $3 billion entity that employs 25,000 people and serves 5.5 million citizens - Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica tomorrow will introduce a resolution to determine the ability of Cook County Board President John H. Stroger to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of his office, and to direct the State's Attorney for Cook County to draft and present to the Board at a later date an ordinance establishing a procedure to provide for the temporary replacement of a Board President or Commissioner unable to fulfill his duties.

"Cook County's 5.5 million citizens and 25,000 employees have a right to know who's minding the store - and we, as County Commissioners, have the responsibility to tell them," said Peraica.

"It is unconscionable that a governmental entity as large and as powerful as the Cook County Government should be adrift and aimless, with no leadership, for any significant length of time - let alone 10 weeks. The Sun-Times, the Tribune, the Daily Herald, even Jesse Jackson and Mike Quigley agree - someone needs to lead, and someone needs to make a decision soon.

"This resolution will end the uncertainty," Peraica continued, "and anyone who opposes it will have to answer a simple question: 'How can you justify allowing the uncertainty to continue?' And 'What benefit do the citizens and employees of Cook County get from NOT knowing who's in charge?'"

"This Soviet-style stonewalling has got to end," Peraica concluded. "Mr. Stroger, tear down this wall of silence!"

The resolution notes that both the United States and the Illinois state Constitutions contain provisions providing for the temporary replacement of executive officers temporarily unable to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of their offices - but notes as well that current Illinois law does not specifically provide for the temporary replacement of a County Board President or County Commissioner - before concluding that the Home Rule powers of Cook County permit the County to enact an ordinance to that effect.

The resolution will be introduced at tomorrow morning's Cook County Board meeting, to be held at 10 AM in the Fifth Floor board chambers of the county building. Peraica will ask that the resolution be referred to the Finance Committee, chaired by John Daley, who also acts as the Chairman of the Whole Committee.

Among other things, the resolution specifies:

-- That within 10 days after its adoption, the Board's presiding officer (or acting presiding officer) shall schedule a meeting of the Committee of the Whole of this Board to take place within 20 days;

-- That the agenda of that meeting will include the taking of sworn testimony on the question of whether President Stroger is presently able to discharge the powers and duties of his executive and/or legislative offices;

-- That the Board's presiding officer (or acting presiding officer) shall cause subpoenas to issue compelling testimony by any and all Cook County employees in a position to have personal knowledge on the question, including the President's Chief of Staff, James Whigham;

-- That, should the evidence suggest that President Stroger has a present temporary disability, the Board's presiding officer (or acting presiding officer) shall request that the State's Attorney of Cook County draft an ordinance modeled after the U.S. and Illinois Constitutions, providing for a process for the temporary replacement of a Cook County Board President or Commissioner.

Jesse Jackson Backs Peraica

Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica's (R-Lyons) reform candidacy for Cook County Board Presidency is proving the old adage that politics makes strange bedfellows.

Several prominent Democrats, including erstwhile opponents, have followed Peraica's lead in calling for the Stroger family to come clean with the County Board as to President John Stroger's health and to answer questions about who is running the $3 billion corporation that is Cook County government.

Take Jesse Jackson, for instance. On Sunday's Fox Chicago Perspectives, Jackson had this to say about the Stroger situation, "...the grace period respecting his need to recovery and that of his family has been very important but now he is not only a private person with family matter he's a public servant and the lack of knowledge of his health is in effect paralyzing county government and creating a traffic jam as it were."

Jackson continued, "We need an official report from the doctor and/or he should at least wave his hand. If he is too ill to function and all signs he is then we must have some orderly process of getting someone to replace him."

Saying the time has arrived for an indication from the family Jackson added, "As the public, we have a need and a right to know."

After hypocritically criticizing Peraica for raising these very issues, fellow Commissioner Mike Quigley went on to parrot Peraica's call for answers and leadership telling the Sylvia Gomez of CBS-2 News on Friday, "Our prayers are with him (Stroger), but someone needs to lead and someone needs to make a decision soon."

Fellow commissioner Bobbie Steele who has put herself forward as a candidate to replace Stroger should he be unable to continue as the Democratic nominee for the Board Presidency also indicated Friday that the Stroger family needs to inform the public of the President's intentions. Steele has already received the public backing of State Sen. James Meeks (D-Dolton) and the Jackson family as she jockeys to replace the ailing John Stroger.

At tomorrow morning's county board meeting, Peraica will raise the issue of information from the Stroger family as well as lay out a resolution designed to codify a replacement process in the event President Stroger is unable to continue in his current capacity.

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November 29, 2006 News Clips 29-Nov-2006
November 28, 2006 News Clips 28-Nov-2006
November 27, 2006 News Clips 27-Nov-2006
November 26, 2006 News Clips 26-Nov-2006
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November 10, 2006 News Clips - Text 10-Nov-2006
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October 31, 2006 News Clips - Text 1 31-Oct-2006
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October 29, 2006 News Clips - Text 1 29-Oct-2006
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October 27, 2006 News Clips - Text 1 27-Oct-2006
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October 26, 2006 News Clip - Text 1 26-Oct-2006
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October 13, 2006 News Clips - Text (1 of 2) 13-Oct-2006
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October 12, 2006 News Clips - Text 1 12-Oct-2006
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September 30, 2006 News Clips - Text 30-Sep-2006
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September 26, 2006 News Clips - Text 26-Sep-2006
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September 8, 2006 News Clips 8-Sep-2006
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February 14, 2006 News Clips (TEXT) 14-Feb-2006
February 14, 2006 News Clips 14-Feb-2006
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February 12, 2006 News Clips 12-Feb-2006
February 11, 2006 News Clips 11-Feb-2006
February 10, 2006 News Clips 10-Feb-2006
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August 21, 2005 News Clips - Part 1 21-Aug-2005
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