Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ego brought down to Earth – Stroger to seek water district, not county president

Todd Stroger, the one-time state legislator and alderman who will forevermore be remembered for his stint as Cook County Board president and his effort to raise the county portion of the sales tax, will go about thinking to himself that he could have been re-elected to that post – IF ONLY.

STROGER: Water dist., sted of president
Stroger on Facebook this weekend was boasting of the Sunday night campaign event where his nominating petition circulators would gather together the results of their work.

THAT WOULD ALLOW Stroger himself (or more likely some flunk on his behalf) to file the petitions Monday to get him a place on the ballot for county board president come the March 20 Democratic primary.

But instead, Stroger on Monday decided to instead file the nominating petitions he had originally collected to get himself on the ballot for a seat on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

Which under typical circumstances could be considered a government post of some significance – one that would allow Stroger to go around thinking of himself as a government official. Rather than a political has-been – which is what he’s been in recent years.

Stroger aides were honest in admitting he was unable to get enough signatures of support to get himself a place on the ballot with just over 8,200 valid signatures of support. There wasn’t enough time, since he only began his county board president talk just over a week ago.

WHEREAS HE HAD been using the past several months to gather signatures for the ballot slot for the water district.

If Stroger had gone ahead and sought the county board president post, there’s a very good chance that his petitions would have had the appearance of a rush job; as in sloppy and flawed.

It happens, particularly since the rules governing the process are so vague that who’s to say what will ultimately be determined to be a flawed signature.

PRECKWINKLE: One less primary challenger
Meaning it would have been likely that some supporter of incumbent Toni Preckwinkle would have filed a challenge to Stroger – and he likely would have suffered the ignominious embarrassment of being kicked off the ballot!

IT’S MORE LIKELY that his water district petitions are more legally sound and less likely to be challenged.

Although it’s always possible that someone motivated by spite will go ahead and challenge Stroger’s water district candidacy on the grounds that he had a hell of a lot of nerve to think he could run against Preckwinkle.

If that line of logic sounds incredibly petty and absurd, keep in mind we’re talking about electoral politics. It’s all about the egos for these people.

Including for Stroger, who probably has some resentment that voters dumped on him for his sales tax initiative that was meant to stabilize the county government finances – but instead caused resentment because the increase in the county portion of the sales tax caused the overall tax in Chicago to exceed 10 percent.

THEN AGAIN, THERE are others for whom Stroger’s real offense was being picked by his father, the late John Stroger, to succeed him as county board president.

Todd may have been a one-time state legislator and alderman, but the people who were somehow willing to accept all the generations of Daleys, Madigans, Cullertons, Lipinskis, etc., who have been a part of the local government scene were somehow unable to accept it when the Stroger family tried to follow suit.
John Stroger must settle for county hospital named in his honor, rather than being a political family like the Daleys
I don’t doubt that a Stroger candidacy for Cook County Board president would have drawn a certain amount of negative energy. He would have been a long-shot to win, regardless of what he thinks about Preckwinkle and her ‘pop tax’ effort to balance the county budget.

Although I wonder if his couple of weeks as a Preckwinkle challenger will merely elevate Todd’s profile to the point where the people who eight years ago chanted “Don’t Vote for the Son” as their mantra will suddenly take an interest in the water district race to ensure he doesn’t win that seat either.


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