The Sunday before the Elections

The Sunday before the elections the two major Chicago papers print their endorsements, and Darcel Beavers is not in either.

Suntimes endorsements
Mayor: Richard M. Daley
Clerk: Miguel del Valle
City Council
• 2nd Ward: David Askew
• 3rd: Pat Dowell
• 4th: Toni Preckwinkle
• 5th: Leslie A. Hairston
• 6th: Karin M. Norington-Reaves
• 7th: Ron David
• 8th: Michelle A. Harris
• 9th: Anthony Beale
• 10th: John A. Pope
• 11th: James A. Balcer
• 12th: Carina E. Sanchez
• 15th: Felicia Simmons-Stovall
• 16th: Hal Baskin
• 17th: Latasha Thomas
• 18th: Lona Lane
• 19th: Virginia Rugai
• 20th: Willie B. Cochran
• 21st: Howard Brookins Jr.
• 22nd: Ricardo Munoz
• 23rd: Michael Zalewski
• 24th: Michael Chandler
• 25th: Danny Solis
• 26th: Billy Ocasio
• 27th: Walter Burnett
• 28th: Ed Smith
• 30th: Wayne Strnad
• 31st: Regner "Ray" Suarez
• 32nd: Ted Matlak
• 34th: Carrie M. Austin
• 35th: Rey Colon
• 36th: William Banks
• 37th: Emma Mitts
• 39th: Margaret Laurino
• 41st: Brian Doherty
• 42nd: Burton Natarus
• 43rd: Michele Smith
• 45th: Patrick Levar
• 46th: Helen Shiller
• 47th: Gene Schulter
• 49th: Joe Moore
• 50th: Naisy Dolar

Chicago Tribune Endorsements
MAYOR Richard M. Daley
CITY CLERK Miguel Del Valle
2nd Ward David R. Askew
3rd Ward Pat Dowell
4th Ward Toni Preckwinkle
5th Ward Leslie A. Hairston
6th Ward Karin M. Norington-Reaves
7th Ward Sandi Jackson
8th Ward Derrick T. Prince
9th Ward Anthony A. Beale
10th Ward John A. Pope
11th Ward James A. Balcer
12th Ward George Cardenas
15th Ward Brian E. Dunn
16th Ward Shirley A. Coleman
17th Ward Latasha R. Thomas
18th Ward Lona Lane
19th Ward Timothy J. Sheehan
20th Ward Willie Cochran
21st Ward Howard B. Brookins Jr.
22nd Ward Ricardo Munoz
23rd Ward Michael R. Zalewski
24th Ward Michael D. Chandler
25th Ward Daniel "Danny" Solis
26th Ward Billy Ocasio

28th Ward Shawn A. Walker
30th Ward Jose Anthony Alvarez
31st Ward Regner "Ray" Suarez
32nd Ward Scott Waguespack
34th Ward Carrie M. Austin
35th Ward Rey Colon
36th Ward William J.P. Banks
37th Ward Emma M. Mitts
39th Ward Margaret Laurino
41st Ward Brian G. Doherty
42nd Ward Burton F. Natarus
43rd Ward Vi Daley
45th Ward Patrick J. Levar
46th Ward Helen Shiller
47th Ward Gene Schulter
49th Ward Don Gordon
50th Ward Naisy Dolar

Now, streamline Cook County
Published February 25, 2007

As Thursday night lurched into Friday, the 17 members of the Cook County Board argued a refreshing question: Which of two proposals would best start to downsize their bloated government? They bobbed in their blue leather chairs until 2:30 a.m., finally passing a $3 billion budget for 2007. They cut more than 1,200 jobs, plus more than 400 open positions, from a patronage-rich roster of 25,000 slots.

That's a step--if only a small step--toward a massive restructuring and consolidation that now can begin in earnest. The budget plan that prevailed leaves too many politically connected middle managers safe in their sinecures while doctors and nurses are getting pink slips.

In the weeks before the vote, Board President Todd Stroger alienated many commissioners by larding his staff with high-paid friends and family members. In the end, though, Stroger managed to peel away five of the 12 original co-sponsors of a rival plan that would have cut deeper into his bureaucracy.

That rival plan wasn't ideal: It would have retained too many unnecessary jobs that union leaders demanded, and preserved more public health clinics than patient counts justify. Stroger's allies also said the rival plan wasn't as reform-minded as its proponents characterized it.

Three suburban Republicans--Liz Doody Gorman, Gregg Goslin and Peter Silvestri--met several times with Stroger's team and eventually voted for his budget package. This led to the intriguing sight of Gorman--the Cook County GOP's new chair--voting with Goslin and Silvestri to help Stroger and board finance chair John Daley protect what administration critics portray as layers of Democratic flab.

Equally startling: Michael Quigley, the board member with the longest record of genuine reform efforts, also voting with Stroger. Quigley said Stroger's final package met his criteria of a budget that starts cutting overhead expenses and doesn't raise taxes. Quigley had worked with customary allies to improve the plan they had co-sponsored. But Quigley ultimately decided that their budget proposal didn't balance and overly acceded to union lobbying by not consolidating costly health clinics. In effect he's playing a long game: "I take it on extraordinary faith that this is the beginning" of a dramatic reinvention of county government on Stroger's watch.

Will that faith be rewarded? At 1:15 a.m. Friday, Stroger stood in a County Building hallway, pledging anew to convene a summit of civic and business leaders to help reorganize county government. He can't move too fast: The county needs a much leaner architecture for the 2008 fiscal year that begins Dec. 1--barely nine months from now. Already, several board Democrats are making noises about a need for higher taxes next year. Witness one board member, Deborah Sims, telling her colleagues during the budget debate: "I don't know what the big fear is to raise taxes."

Gorman, Goslin, Silvestri, Quigley and the fifth defector, Democrat Robert Steele, have a debt to collect from Stroger. If he doesn't make good on his promises to streamline this costly government--if those leftover layers of Democratic flab don't melt in a rapid restructuring--it will be clear that the five got rolled.

Because of this year's budget fight, a terrible thing has happened to the do-littles in Cook County government: More board members now have line-item familiarity with the patronage pits where Chicago ward bosses have been stashing their political workers for decades. Stroger, who said in his 2006 campaign that the county workforce should be 22,000, and his budget allies still need to get this government down to size.

Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune


  1. Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...
    The Beaver pic... LMAO!
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...
    So, you have General Election tomorrow. Does that ward use only paper ballots? The general election in my area are usually in June. Now, it is uncertain that we will have another special election. You never know. So, in this General Election, this determines who will run for Mayor, right? Now, do have another election in November?
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.

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