Saturday, October 24, 2015

We’ll get to see how much (or little) party politicking has changed in Cook

Political party officials, and not just in Chicago, are usually stubborn types who think they’re always right and that if they just stand fast in their ways anybody who has the nerve to complain will just go away!

BROWN: How long will she keep the lawbooks?
So it is with that attitude in mind that we ought to appreciate the happenings of Friday in which the Democratic Party for Cook County decided to openly dump on Dorothy Brown in her desire to get elected to a fifth term as Cook County court clerk.

HERS IS THE office that keeps track of what happens in the court system, and has been criticized often in the past for maintaining antiquated office procedures that often make it more complicated to get information than it ought to be.

Brown also has come under criticism, and investigation, on claims that employees of her office were being forced to make payments to Brown if they were to have any chance of having their desires for job promotions taken seriously.

In short, bribes. That is if we’re to believe the little tidbits that have come from the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago.

Recently, there were reports that federal investigators came to Brown’s home, and wound up confiscating her cell phone. Although Brown – who claims that all political people wind up being investigated at one point in time or another – says the phone was taken from her outside her house.

THAT IS A point that might matter to her, but I doubt many in the general public will make any such distinction.

Which may be why the Cook County Democratic Party, which earlier this year slated Brown as the officially preferred candidate for county court clerk in next year’s March primary, felt compelled to take it back.

They gathered on Friday, heard Brown out, then gathered in a back room for a brief bit of time before deciding to rescind her as the party pick.

By days’ end, the party shifted their preference to 8th Ward Ald. Michelle Harris. Meaning that party precinct workers, when working their areas and encouraging people to vote, are supposed to tell people to pick Harris for county court clerk.

WHETHER PEOPLE WILL actually do that is yet to be seen. Perhaps in the old days, it would have been a shoo-in for Harris to win the nomination (and most likely, the general election next November).

HARRIS: How long until she blamed for flaws?
But I wonder if many people will have been so used to hearing the “Dorothy Brown” name throughout the years that they will give a knee-jerk reaction and vote for her. Will anybody remember five months from now what happened on Friday?

We’d like to think they would. But who’s to really say how seriously people will take the political party hacks who acted on Friday as though they could will away the presence of Dorothy Brown?

Personally, I think Friday was memorable for one moment – the point when Brown tried arguing that the county party structure had no authority to rescind her slating because she gave the party a $25,000 donation AFTER being slated earlier this year.

SHE CLAIMED IT was the equivalent of a legally-binding contract, although her description also makes it sound more like a bribe; like she bought the right to be the officially recognized choice of the Democratic Party.

As it is, I have already read my share of anonymous Internet commentary saying Brown has no concept of a contract, and has revealed her ignorance.

It will be curious to see just how extensive that thought is among the electorate. Will Brown manage to get herself re-elected despite the slating shift; thereby requiring an indictment and eventual criminal conviction to remove her from office?

Or will it soon become Harris who becomes the person who takes the blame for now antiquated the court clerk’s record keeping measures are?


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