Tuesday, September 1, 2009

EXTRA: Everybody doesn’t hate Todd

Sometimes, I think people need to be reminded that their distaste for Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is not universal.

The man will have some support come next year’s election, and the trick is whether that support will be sufficient in a field with several candidates splitting up the vote.

SADLY ENOUGH, IT has become a racially motivated thing, as many of Stroger’s votes will come from people who perceive the upcoming campaign session as an excuse to take away a political office from an African-American male.

For those who would like to think that we’re beyond all that as a society, we’re probably not.

I couldn’t help but notice a couple of fellow African-American officials on the Cook County Board who, during the nearly two hours of debate concerning the sales tax issue, came to Stroger’s defense.

“You haven’t been a bad president in terms of trying to do things to benefit people,” said Commissioner Earlean Collins. “You get a bad shake, there’s no denying it.”

AGREEING WAS COMMISSIONER Jerry “the Iceman” Butler, who told Stroger he likes him personally, but is backing another candidate for county board president next year because, “the press has done a job on him, he’ll never get out from under it.”

For the record, Butler was among the four commissioners who backed Stroger with his vote on the veto override, while Collins was one of the 13 who voted against Stroger’s interests.

As she explained it, “You have to go and give (people) what they want, even if it’s not the best thing.”

Which reminds me of a line that once came from the mouth of former Illinois Senate President James “Pate” Philip, R-Wood Dale, in explaining why he voted to lower the legal standard for intoxication to 0.08 after years of opposing it. “Sometimes, you have to do what the people want,” he said.


EDITOR’S NOTE: For those who haven’t read it anywhere else, a brief account of how Todd Stroger (http://nwitimes.com/news/local/illinois/article_d737cc6a-9416-5a33-9aff-5789ef92d83f.html) prevailed yet again on the sales tax decrease issue.

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