Saturday, October 02, 2010

Greenies Go After Fraudster Cook County Machine, Preckwinkle

There's a Republican in the race, by the way. Roger Keats.

From the Tom Tresser for Cook County Board President campaign:



WGCI webcast


I encourage everyone to listen in and to go the web site now and post questions for the candidates.

Questions for the Alderman:

- How did you justify slating the junior Stroger for Cook County Board President in 2006? Do sons and daughters of politicians automatically inherit their parents' position? Will you go along with Joe Berrios on other obvious conflicts of interest?
- You took $200,000 from the Service Employees Union that represents 5,500 Cook County employees. How can you possibly fight for the taxpayers in upcoming union negotiations?
- In 2009 the four Tax Increment Finance districts in your ward sucked up almost $8 million in property taxes - diverting them from the units of government - including the public schools - that rely on property taxes for their operation. These four districts had $14.6 million in their accounts at the end of 2009. Will you support the closing of those TIFs and returning those funds to the units of government they were supposed to go to in the first place?
- Why do you insist on supporting Joe Berrios for Assessor when the Better Government Association and Chicago Magazine's expose clearly shows him making millions and passing on billions of tax breaks for the connected on to Cook County tax payers.
- Given the fact that the Vancouver Olympics stuck the tax payers there with a $1.5 BILLION DEBT and the 2012 London Olympics are $10 BILLION OVER BUDGET, will you now admit your support for the 2016 games was a mistake?
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The Daleys handed Cook County to the Strogers. Now they want it back. Toni Preckwinkle is the NEW FACE of the Democratic Machine.

Recently, Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, the Democratic candidate in the race for Cook County Board President, accused Forrest Claypool of not "playing by the rules" when he decided to run as an independent for Cook County Assessor. Preckwinkle has worked hard to cultivate an image as an independent -- but now we see her true colors, and her true contempt for independence. She has wholeheartedly endorsed the ultimate corrupt insider, Joe Berrios, who is the head of the most notoriously corrupt political machine in our nation's history, the Cook County Democratic Party.

A year-long investigation by the Better Government Association and Chicago Magazine
reveals a litany of charges of misconduct and unethical practices committed by Joe Berrios at the Board of Review. The article in the October 2010 issue is an excellent summary of Berrios' troubling career as a public official, and a prediction of what Berrios would do were he to wield more even more control over property taxes as Assessor.

"But Berrios also stands as a prime example of the kind of closed, self-interested politics that plagues this state. The Board of Review, where he has spent the past 22 years, is an opaque operation dominated by a tight circle of politicians and tax attorneys. During his time there, Berrios has been a stalwart opponent of efforts to take clout out of the system and make it more transparent."- Chicago Magazine. August 30, 2010

When all three candidates for Cook County Board President appeared before the Chicago Tribune's Editorial Board, I challenged the Alderman to renounce her support for Chairman Berrios. She refused, defending him as a reformer. "I'm a loyal Democrat," she asserted. Tribune Deputy Editorial Page Editor John McCormick challenged Preckwinkle, "Is Berrios' conduct unethical?" "I wouldn't do it" was the answer.

And that's the problem, isn't it, with the Machine. A loyal Machine politician will put the interests of the party above the interests of the people.

The Alderman helped put the incompetent young Stroger in place with her 2006 vote as a loyal Democratic Committeeman to slate him in his father's place. Stroger the Second proved so terrible that the Machine who put him in place abandoned him and shifted support to her.

Together, Preckwinkle and Berrios will continue to play by the Democratic Machine's rules of political patronage and sweetheart contracts for insiders -- all paid for by skyrocketing property taxes, the highest sales taxes in the country, and back room privatization deals.

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