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Leave it to Beavers

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Commissioner William Beavers, didn't just play the race card during Tuesday's Cook County Board meeting, he slapped it like the winning trump in a Bid Whist game. I suppose, that's what it means to be the "hog with the big nuts," as Beavers calls himself.

Unfortunately, in his own crude way, Beavers has raised an issue that continues to bother some of us. Exactly what is it about the Cook County Board President Todd Stroger that gets under so many white skins?

Beavers is only half right when he says that "If Todd was a white man, he wouldn't have half these problems." I say "half right" because he does have a point. Former Cook County Board presidents who were white garnered far more respect than either John Stroger Sr. or Todd Stroger. In fact, the elder Stroger also had to fight tooth and nail to get a budget passed.

Obviously, painting Commissioner Tony Peraica as a Klansman, was as wrong as it was ignorant--not too mention a dumb political strategy.

Why would Peraica support Stroger?

Peraica lost a power grab that he thought was an easy win, and he hasn't gotten over it yet. I expect that he will continue to oppose anything and everything that Stroger tries to do. So much for not having permanent enemies in politics."

Still, this battle is not fueled by racism as much as it is fueled by the lust for political power. Todd Stroger beat white politicians at their own game. That's why Beavers can boldy play the race card. Because of our history of racial politics, blaming racism for the ongoing board battles is not a far enough stretch.

Peraica vehemently denies race has anything to do with his fight with Stroger.

"The reason Beavers resorted to playing the race card is he is frustrated. With 12 Democrats on a 17-member board, Beavers can't get nine of his fellow Democrats to vote for the proposed budget. He's using the race card in a cynical way when in fact he cannot get what he wants," Peraica told me.

And that may very well be the case, but when a long-time alderman (Bernard Stone (50th) argues that the City Council Wars that made national headlines were not motivated by race, then it's clear that a lot of white people are in denial.

Denying racism when it's in your face is just as bad as seeing racism when it is not there.

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49 Comments

Can you just say Todd is a pathetic excuse for a county president, and that he should resign. Beavers is a laughinstock of the coutny right now after what he said, and you saying 'he has a point' is once of the most ridiculous assertions I've heard from you yet.
Do you forget Beavers allied with the WHITE camp during Harold Washington's bid for mayor, because he so wanted power and new the status quo wouldn't hold if Washington was elected?! Its simply Mary, these ignorant power hungry politicians will do or say anything to stay in power and keep their money rolling in. Thats how we get qoutes like this from ingrates like Beavers.
How does that fit under your 'black skin'.?

The funny thing about this is that Mr. Peraica, an obviously proud white man, is speaking out in favor of poor blacks by opposing these tax cuts, and by opposing the closure of some of these free clinics that are mostly in poor black areas. So in reality, Beavers and Stroger want to hurt black people in the pocket book and hurt black people's ability to get medical treatment, while Mr. Peraica is looking out for poor black people. As for the theory that some white politicians are giving Stroger a hard time because he's black, good! What do you think the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington is doing to Mr. Bush. Politics is a dirty game and if Beavers and Stroger aren't man enough to play the game, then they should find another line of work. I hope Mr. Peraica and his men make Stroger's and Beavers' life a living hell because when you go to war, you have to do whatever is necessary to win. And make no mistake about it, this is a divided country at war with itself.

I usually never think in terms of color- black or white. Except when I read your columns Mary. You make me think its black or white, not humans, but black people and white people. As long as people like you are given a forum; you will constantly be degenerating the human race. I can no longer read your forums, you seem to promote a time that should no longer be. I have gotten over black vs white ages ago, if you would too, you might find many more people will do the same once your classification system is out the window.

Let me guess, this is another posting where you write something to insight reaction, and then pick some responses to post over the next few days, and then leave it be for 3-4 months time and try to call it a blog??

Heres the thing. I think Stroger gets under people's skin because
1. He was selected by his father. while he was elected under interesting circumstances, he continues to make decisions that are not really in the best interest of his consituents. Where he intelligent enough to know that his name alone but his actions will determine if he gets a second term, a lot of the disastrous decisions he makes he would consider well before making them.
Secondly Beavers needs to go, a lot of these old black men who appear to be stuck in the past need to go. I am a black man and was born and raised in Chicago. I am tired of the race card being played when the truth of the matter is that there are bad decisions being made by a child yes I said it a child who appears to want to pout, scream and kick when he does not get his way. People in Chicago need to wake up and realize that this is not a fifedom. that the sons and daughters do not get to be put in place by their parents, or at least they should not. I personally believe that there should be a movement to remove Stroger from office as expiditously as possible, and that Beavers should go with him. Not because they are black, but because in the scheme of things they care nothing for the people, they are in it for the money. And frankly it is time for them both to go.

you mean other than his incompetence?

I read Wiley's "Why Black People Tend to Shout"...a terrific read for all white people. His intellect is missed.

HOWEVER...more race card playing like a bid whist game as you call it, will cause a rebuttal book called "Why White People Tend to Roll Their Eyes"

well littie todd not only gets under white people's skin, as a black guy he gets under mine too. todd cut you spending, get rid of your 8th ward friends, also he is not his father. he lied to get in office saying he would take care of the people that put him there as it tony would not. he made this all about race long before the other board members(white) would not just pass his budgets, with all the tax increases. if this does pass i will never buy a gallon of gas, pack of smokes in cook county again.then the budget will be in a bigger mess next year, also todd why is it that your father when he got sick did not even go to the hospital that is names after him, i guess it is not good enough for the strogers.

Pleeeeeeease! what make you think that only White people aren't happy with the antics of the troll who would be king. I don't like him, dislike his father even more and I'm Black. I've observed him at a county board meeting and he appeared to be like a fish out of water, he's bumbling, inept and uninformed to any of the issue. The last straw was the I'll tax you and if we don't needed it, we will give it back. This should have been the tell tale sign of this man reliability and professionalism. But, mean while as the county goes under, he still make available near six firgue job positions for more of his friends and political cronies on the public tab. The county wouldn't be in such a mess if it wasn't for "DEAR OLD DAD".

we'd be better off with Peraica than with these corrupt Democrats running the county.

Erkel, I mean Stroger is obviously in well over his head. Sad that people toss out the race card much like they toss out old underwear.

Interesting that Beavers said that if Todd Stroger were white, he wouldnt have half these problems considering the fact that if Todd Stroger were white, Beavers wouldnt be such a close ally of his.

look, what do you know about politics?

I support the tax hike; chicago needs it. chicago has two major problems: corrupt politicians and too many able-bodied people living on public assistance. For example, that "fittin'" lady in altgeldt gardens: third generation public assistance and counting. and breeding.

So, here we go again, yet another disturbed black youth crack baby gangbanger who killed that phd student. what a sad day. now, you can gear up and defend him, He momma, and all the other losers involved. This kid had every opportunity to do something with his life, and he chose not to.

white people are sick and tired of being sick and tired. the socioeconomic defenses are exhausted.

How disengaged are parents in the black commmunity? I cant see how a kid has a gun, joins a gang, etc, etc, without HE momma knowing. other than poor parenting, plain and simple.

everyone is tired at the end of the workday mary, but the good parents find the energy and motivation - and work ethic - to continue parenting. dont tell me that poor, single black women are just too "bone tired" to be good parents at the end of the day.

something tells me you just wont address this problem of the high level of tolerating violence in THAT side of town. all of the sudden you direct your forum to the Cook County govt...?

Mary,

If Todd Stroger weren't so woefully incompetent then maybe Beaver's comments could be taken seriously. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Stroger clearly does not have the necessary acumen to perform his job nor does he possess the necessary decorum to hide his very obvious professional deficiencies. So let's hold off trying to give credence to Beaver's comments until there is a qualified black person in that position.

Something to remember and I'll be blunt and honest about it......The only reason Todd Stroger became Cook County President was "because he was black".

I knew you loved to play the race card but your arguments are getting absurd and your claims ignorant. The reason Todd can not get his budget passed is for two simple reasons. The first is because it is a waste ridden and absurd budget in a time when voters are fighting back against such waste and the second reason is because Todd is so unpopular in EVERY community that commissioners are more willing to stand up to him. This has nothing to do with race and for you to say otherwise is nothing more than a joke.

Todd's predecessor (his Dad) was black. He had little trouble getting budgets passed.

As for playing the race card, it's quite convenient when you're not getting your way. Typical Beavers.

Blagojevich had trouble getting his budget passed, and like Todd is a Democrat who enjoys a Democrat majority in his legislative body. Both Todd & Rod (rhyme!) got negative publicity because the public is fed up with massive tax hikes; skin color had nothing to do with it.

I never saw this amount of race baiting when Todd's Dad was in power. I did see it when Mayor Washington was at the helm. You make a great comment that "two wrongs do not make a right." Beavers did not do anything but throw coal oil on a fire storm. Both sides are so politically and culturally polarized that there needs to be some type of diversity mitigation. My God, this would never happen in Corporate America and it makes us look so bad. Political philosophy is predicated on compromise, back slapping, and good o'l boys (black or white), but in the end, the public should bennefit. There is blame enough to go around relative to both sides, black or white. You are correct in your premis that white politicians have been the masters at political manipulation and power and now that there is a black political coalition of power, the mind set is "it's our turn." Well, now they have their turn and have a chance to leave a legacy of leadership and instead, they induldge in a political race war. It's a very sad time to be living in Chicago, as well as very embarassing.

I am white and am an avid reader of Mary Mitchell's columns. I generally agree with her point of view, but her article concerning William Beavers is way off base. This time it isn't about race, but rather people of all color being upset with the huge proposed increase in their taxes. It's about Todd Stroger firing mid salaried Cook County employees who are deperately needed and hiring friends and family to $100,000 plus positions. It's about waste and patronage. I have spoken to many people of all color and this has nothing to do with race. It really is a revolt against higher taxes, period. Todd Stroger has gone to the well once to often and for William Beavers to claim the race card, all I can say is that they both are out of touch with reality.

The race card can be played both ways. Would Todd Stroger have his job if he were white????????????? Answer; no. The only reason he is there is BECAUSE he is black, and the son of John Stroger.

The fact that his budget has almost 900 million in new taxes that nobody was aware of MIGHT have a little something to do with him not having enough votes.

I'm so SICK and TIRED of peolpe playing the race card..Enough already.

I gave a very reasoned, common sense filled response to this yesterday, yet it wasn't printed. So I will attempt to give the shortened version now. Ironically, Peraica and his allies are looking out for poor black people by fighting Stroger and Beavers' budget. While even more ironically, Stroger and Beavers will be hurting poor black people(the people who put Stroger into office)if they get their way.

Nice hackneyed suppositions and arguments, Mary. Do you seriously believe the only reason Peraica doensn't support Erkel is due to the fact he lost the election? How about the fact Erkel is unable to fulfill his promises of creating a leaner, streamlined government and instead wants to tax the citizens of Cook Co. to death? In your mind there seems to be no legitimate reason why Peraica - or any of the "white" commissioners - should vote against Erkel's budget.

As for Todd beating the white politicians at their own game, do you have any idea what you are talking about? He was propped up by the Machine, which is still controlled by those same white politicians.

And finally, as for the Hog with the big nuts playing a trump card, all he did was show that he has nothing of substance to offer in this time of fiscal crisis. I can't wait until he loses his committeeman seat to Jackson. Then he'll be the Hog with no nuts.

John A:

" People in Chicago need to wake up and realize that this is not a fifedom."

Chicago is a fiefdom. It will remain so until the voters demand an end to fiefdom.

John:

"Something to remember and I'll be blunt and honest about it......The only reason Todd Stroger became Cook County President was "because he was black"."

You are absolutely wrong. The reason that he was elected is because of voter apathy and nepotism. There were plenty of more qualified black people who could have taken his spot, but the voters would not demand a fair election.

Richard M. Daley is the only guy in this City who can get a tax hike passed.

This is off topic but it was good to see this morning that Patrick Elwood, a good southsider like myself, challenged your racist rhetoric about how Daley should have only considered blacks for the job of top cop in Chicago. It was refreshing to see a white newscaster challenge you on your racist, offensive rhetoric.

Shut Up! Please, just Shut Up! Not everything is about race! Todd Stroger is a Puppet, Beavers is one of many Puppet Masters! Why can't it be about the fact, that taxpayers and those representing them, feel that higher taxes are not the answer to the County budget woes?

the blogger James Traficant (first two entries herein) is precisely right. Stroger is incompetent, in over his head. Even black people know that.

hows it feel mary, to know that many, probably most, blacks do not agree with you? they are out working and earning their livings. they are not dependent on the county for services. They EARN their services.

You really are a "keeper of the culture," perpetuating the false image of a poor, helpless black person. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Neil Steinberg was right: you really are a sort of racist.

no one needs you or the modern day civil rights movement. Its all nonsense; racism is dead.

and, the new cop is the right choice. the situation creating the "killing fields" in your neighborhoods is the absolutely poor parenting, disenganged parents, lack of parental investment, and a general tolerance for violence that exceeds that in the poorest nations on the earth, even places like brazil dont have the violent crime rate in teh south of chicago.

way to perpetuate it.

Mr. Cisse was able to come all the way from AFRICA to get a PHD, and that entire family of the shooter cant even get off the porch...

Mary, I take great offense to your notion that race plays any sort of role in the frequent denouncement of Todd Stroger. Furthermore, Beavers' comments were, in typical fashion, self-serving. One could make a persuasive argument that his support for Stroger is chiefly because he's an African-American, and to ensure that his cronies are well-compensated at the expense of county taxpayers. That's business as usual in Cook County politics, and Beavers' has been playing the game long enough to know how it works.

Stroger's proposal is shockingly short-sighted. Nevermind the bloat, waste, nepotism and patronage that assuredly runs rampant throughout the annals of county government; his tax proposal will disproportionately affect minorities and serve to drive consumers to other counties for goods and services, setting in motion the law of diminishing returns.

Furthermore, despite the overwhelming pleas of legislators, medical experts, and watchdog groups, Stroger has unilaterally refused to address the county healthcare system vis a vis by ceding control to professionals with no skin in the game. One can only posit that his cronies would be seeking alternative employment if such action were to occur, and that's a deplorable lack of leadership.

I would urge you to review Stroger's comments on the day he took office. In brief, he vowed to streamline county government, making it more efficient and less costly. In a years' time, he has reneged on that promise, and for that he is deserving of the ridicule and lack of support he now receives.

It appears to me that you play the race card as a default mechanism to obtusely support your circular reasonining. Certainly, race issues are present within Chicago and its county government; no one is disputing that premise. One needs only to look at the demographics within city neighborhoods to understand that de facto segregation is alive and well along the shores of Lake Michigan. However, your efforts have only served to dilute the agenda, and your prominent voice has likely served to stall or reverse any progress regarding race relations within the city and county.

"What about the cook county president get under whites skins" First off I love how you lump us all in as "whites" , yet we are to refer to you as an African American...funny to me thats all. I think we all see he is a dummy, that why he gets under our skin. He is a dummy with no wit or charm, just a dummy whos daddy crowned him king.
signed
Another white guy with no heritage.

Thank you Mary again, for reporting an issue, that you didn't start! Beavers started this racism statement. Once again, White people are mixing apple's and oranges again. You are merely stating a fact that was issued by another person, Commisioner Beavers. Mary, the African American Community appreciates your concern with issue's that concern us. Just like we appreciate the efforts from Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton. If they (White People) don't understand that racial issue's still matter to us, Well,I shouldn't have to tell you where White People can go! Yes Com. Beavers said something absurb! and Todd Stroger isn't one of the most likable Cook County Bd. Presidents, but race has always played a major role in Politic's, in the Most segregated City in America, Chicago. All African American still remember the Harold Washington Days. We don't have short memories, and our attention spans aren't short either. Although the Venues or forums for African Americans to speak or show their frustrations, are short or almost non-existent. We (African Americans) look forward to your postings on situations that concern US. Jackson and Sharpton are speaking for African Americans, not White people. Of course they don't like either one of them, they didn't exactly like M.L.King either. If they did, he'd still be alive!!So we can't worry about White people's feelings or their sick, demented concepts of what Blacks should think or feel or say. Those days went out with pickin cotton.What Beavers said is something to look into, givin the Corrupt and Racist history of White politicians in Chicago. I could go on an on, quoting statistics on who really recieves most of the welfare and how White women are the major recipients of Scholarships through Affrimative Action, but Why! These subjects are discussed daily on our Major radio station WVON, and in all work places that African American's congregate together. White people think that their tired of these issue's, "What do they think African American's are tired of". Mary, please keep posting these interesting issue's, and we'll keep reading the responses, simply to find out, how long we have to go, until the playing fields are even.

William "Mr Big Nuts" Beavers is sumthin straight outta 1965! No wonder this city (and this country)is going into the toilet!! All of these tax leeching politicians seem to breed and breed and breed like cockroaches! Then again, we expect the media to cover them and report on their short comings and their corrupt ways on a regular basis. Alas!

I am just amazed at how upset people are about Todd Stroger and the way that he's doing things. Please tell me why is what he's doing so different than what white people in politics have been doing for the longest. They get in and then they get their families and friends in who are not qualified even to scoop poop out of a toilet. So stop whining. You didn't cry then, so please don't start crying now.

If we try and pretend that there is not a race problem let me just throw a few things out there.
1. The majority including Mayor Daley have connected their corrupt friends who were not even qualified to change kitty litter boxes into high paying jobs since the beginning of time. The majority didn't boo hoo then, so now the minority is doing it don't boo hoo now.
2. If a young black man is caught with 1 bag of crack, lets see he can't get a job, financial aid, or anything. Crack was never a problem until the white people from the suburbs started coming into the ghetto to buy it and then the dirty little secret got out.
3. What's worse-a person who takes an oath to run his office with honesty and morality and tricks hard paying taxpayers for the purpose of his own financial gain or the upstanding drug dealer who took an oath to get his job-The difference that dirty little politician will get out and go back to making six figures while the drug dealer won't even qualify to work at McDonalds.
4. Now why so much violence goes on in the ghetto because the white people won't stop coming from their posh-suburban homes to buy drugs-if there is no demand, no need for a supply & why is the way that people are prosecuted depends on the way it is broken down it's still drugs isn't it-oh, I get it the user has an addiction, the drugs but wait so does the dealer-the money
5. Garbage pick up takes place in my neighborhood once a week and in my friends who live in Beverly three times a week
6. So yes, we can choose to make better decisions but lets try and give us a little better start
7. If someone says that race doesn't matter-let me just say you are a fool and you are most likely a white person who isn't being mistreated so it is easy to see why you could feel this way
P.S-I could go on but if you have any sense you get my point :)

I have been a resident of suburb in Cook County for 72 years. The fight over the budget and over many other issues involving the Cook County Board over the years has less to do about race, but more to do with whether politicians in the City of Chicago, white or black shall continue to make all of the major decisions for all of the people who live in Cook County.

The 2000 census disclosed that 5.2 million persons live in the County of Cook. Of those living in the Cook, 2.9 million or 55% lived in the City of Chicago. Of the 2.9 million living in Chicago, 1.1 miilion or 20% of Chicago's population were Afro-American.


Fast forwarding to 2007, there is no question that the population growth in Cook County since the Census has been greater in suburban Cook County than it has been in the City of Chicago.

These demographic realities do not play out in Cook County politics for three reasons: (1) The Chicago Democratic Party still controls Cook County Government and the leaders of Cook County Goverment,(2)the Democratic Party still selects or endorses candidates on the basis of a weighted vote-Democratic Committee persons whose wards or townships brought in the most Democratic votes have a greater weighted vote than other party Committeepersons.

This is why Todd Stroger was chosen over a far more experience public official like Congressman Danny Davis.

The argument that it's our turn because the children of Mike Madigan, Tom Hynes, Richard J Daley or Congressman Lipinski were given a nepotistic political boost; therefore, why not the children of John Stroger, or Bobby Steele fails to consider that Chicago Democratic political leaders should not be controlling and determining the fate of all residents of Cook County.

Mary, as an Afro-America Chicagoen, you too, are in denial of the demographic realities in Cook County's future. The day of reckoning is coming. There will be no taxation without representation.

I must disagree. Beavers words are more about his ego than anything else. An Stroger hiring unqualified friends and family, with county financial problems are hard to swallow. Most of us are sick of high taxes, as well as dishonest leaders.

Lets be honest here. It's about ego for Beavers, the "hog with the biggest balls". As for Todd, he doesn't have a clue. He gives high paid jobs to friends and family, while begging for more tax dollars. This at a time when citizens are already tapped out, stagnating wages, layoffs, forclosures rising, high food and housing prices. For years the black community have complained about how the system didn't servce us. Now we put "one of our own" in, an he runs it like a family owned business. Maybe if he fired some of his friends and family, an hired a few more nurses, doctors or housekeepers, we will take him seriously. IT'S NOT RACE, ITS MONEY.

Hi Ms. Mitchell, how have you been? Well I hope, and I do mean in a spiritual sense as well as physically and mentally.

Stop running away and hiding, not all of us are vicious like Dwayne Chapman ("The Dog") aka - Bounty Hunter. We just nibble on your ankles with silliness sometimes.

Take care

Look Todd is an idiot who whine about everything. The only people he look after is his own family, no one else. Period. It's not a black or white issue because face the fact this is not only a black and white city many people of other color and race live here as well. That is a fact that you tend to ignore repeatedly in your post, have it ever occur to you that a white man might find the words WHITE racist? And no one is truly white unless your Jack Frost.

I am a 49 year old African American female and I used to agree with a lot of your columns, but lately you seem to portray African Americans as victims on every issue. First you portray Reginald Potts, (the guy that 2 women have filed orders of protection against and we know how Ms. Franklin ended up) as a victim of police harassment, you suggest Drew Peterson's color, is keeping him from being arrested. Does it have to be his color why can't the fact that the police don't have a body in the Peterson case be a reason? You complain that the student from U of Chicago got more press coverage than the student from Truman, what difference does it make both were horrific, it's not a popularity contest. Now you try to defend Todd Stroger who immediately after taking office and implementing a county hiring freeze, arrogantly hired his friends and relatives while laying off nurses and and closing clinics in poor neighborhoods. I'm supposed to feel bad for him because he is feeling a little pressure, I'm a full time college student working a full time job with a daughter in college, and I make less than $30,000/yr. (that's pressure). I'm smart and I'm black you think Stroger will give me a good county job like he gave his cousin... I doubt if I'll even get an interview. He should grow a pair and quit being so weak, he should tell some of his recent hires they need to earn their salaries and come up with a new budget plan. I would have had more respect for him if he told Beavers he could handle his own business. I understand that racisim is alive in the U.S. but African Americans are not always blameless for their plight and white people are always the cause. Your recent columns is sending the wrong message to young people, we need to teach our children that yes, there is racisim in the world, but they can overcome racisim and one way is to make good choices, such as obeying their parents and the law, educating themselves, and taking responsibility for their lives. They need to know that in this global economy they need to learn how to compete with different cultures which will not go easy on them because they are African American.

Way off base. People of races and ethnic backgrounds are losing thier homes at a record pace and Todd wants to raise taxes again. We are sick of it. It has nothing to do with race. For Mr. Beavers or anyone else to assume it, is absolutely ignorant. Everything becomes a race issue when it is convenient to the politicians and media. I have read your column for some time now but recent articles have cause me to say " I will no longer read your column or purchase a Sun-Times". It is your views that actually cause animosity between Black, White and Hispanic. If a White or Hispanic politican had made such a comment, you would be screaming for Jesse Jackson, Rev Al and the other opportunists that make thier living off ill will to camp out in front of that politician's home. Its offensive and despicable. Figure it out Mary, you have people of all Races and ethnic backgrounds posting on this blog that they are offended and tired. Congratulations.

I JUST LOVED IT WHEN FOX NEWS PATRICK ELWOOD THREW SOME COMMOM SENSE IN YOUR FACE. THE LOOK ON YOUR FACE WAS PRICELESS. MARY,JUST REMEMBER THIS, MAJORITY OF CTIZENS KNOW YOUR JUST A BIG FAKE.

These so called liberal lawyers exploit Blacks on these law suits against Burge. Northwestern and People's Law Office make a lot of money and very little makes it to the people.

so your buddy didn't kill anyone, huh? This is in reference to your other columns excusing a likely killer. nice job screaming for the white cop to be arrested while defending yet another black killer.
did that wake you up?

It is the "anybody but a black man syndrome: when it comes to Todd Stroger.There is no way that a white man would be given so much problems and racist banter."blacks paying the race card?"Havent whites been playing the race card for the last five hundred years?The racists claimed chicago would fall apart if The late Mayor Washington was elected Mayor of Chicago,another lie.Instead trying to get a unstable Bernard Epton elected.Todd Stroger will be the enemy to whites forever,not because he is said to be incompetent but merely because he is black!Ask Obama how it feels to be the best but have whites put him down,make false accusations up and claim it's because he doesnt have "experience"like Hillary Clinton says,I dont know to be a presidential candidate you had to have been made to look like a fool by seeing your husband tell every one that he cheated on you after initially lying.Yes Pres.Clinton was a good President with some flaws like all humans but Todd Stroger is not the blame.The terrible economy messed up by Pres.Bush has made the Budget cuts a necessary reality due to the inept policies and outright lies that his administration has put upon the american people.The fearmongering.war mongering and setbacks in civil rights gains were done on purpose to hurt minorities ,that is the problem with racism it's based on fear and ignorance ,it's also a big factor in the portrayal of Todd Stroger,while they conveniently forget who is actually running the country into the ground and causing us and our children to pay for their incompetence financially while blaming a innocent man,how cowardly is that!

I wonder sometimes that "whites"still have no concept that slavery and racism was wrong.They attack Mary mitchell as if though she is the 'evil one" because she expresses her mind.Remember in the "days" those were the people targeted for being "Uppity"and having the nerve to speak up.Since Pres.Bush's administration has been in office he has ran up a deficit out of this world and caused our economy and our lifestyles to be set upside down all of this has trickled down to the local level.While you will have racists who try to use reverse psychology,please ms.Mitchell dont get frustrated.The same rhetoric used by racists now are the same used in the past.They will try coming at you from all directions to confuse the issue even having uncle toms to agree with their racist stereotypical,bogus"illogical conclusions about minorities".The bottom line is racism and poverty causes increases in crime in the minority communities and with the increase on 'white on white crime"the shootings in malls ,churches,high school perpetrated by whites what is their excuse?,could it be they are being hurt by yes "a white man"Pres.Bush?They have things handed to them on a silver platter then talk about "blacks"wanting something for nothing?Isnt that what they got when they had slaves"Wanting someone to work for free"kinda like what the immigration issue is about..iT was okay for "illegals" to work in your factories and fields for pennies doing work like Bush put it"Americans dont want to do"Giving Loans to them over blacks for houses then blaming them for getting a house they cant afford?I am amazed how whites can mess things up they try to put the blame on others. in the case of both Strogers give "pseudo-leadership" to a Blackman after they have raped and plundered the cities taxpayers and then blame it on them,what cowards.Look at the example Pres.Bush is setting for everyone ,if a alcoholic,cocaine abusing man "wouldn't" mess everything up I would be surprised.Add the racists and uncle toms and you have civil rights set back 50 years.the strange thing is blacks have had the race card played on them for 400 years and to have whites scream "race card" whenever 'Blacks"tell the truth is in itself laughable.Peraica helping blacks?this is not Bizarro world.Anybody can see racism still exists and the ones who benefit will continue saying it doesnt and continue the disinformation and rhetoric and praying for the status Quo to remain,we need new leadership at a national level for all of our benefit.

Ms. Moderator, Reginald Potts was arrested for the murder of that Franklin woman. Looks like once again you put your money down on the wrong horse.

MAry hear are some real alternatives to passing a bloated budget and tax increases from whom ever is in charge white or black. Unfortunately you and Beavers believe its race that prevented Todd's "budget" its actually math try and do some before you jump on the tax increase bandwagon.

How to avoid Stroger's taxes

December 11, 2007


You have to marvel at the hubris of Todd Stroger's handlers: They want to raise tax rates so high now that the rookie Cook County Board president won't have to ask for more new revenue until well after he runs for re-election in 2010. Trouble is, there's no need for one penny of Stroger's proposed hikes -- including a 2-percentage-point sales tax increase that would hit the poor the hardest.

A year ago, Stroger took a "solemn oath" to streamline county government. Yet he squandered countless reform opportunities in 2007, so you're supposed to pay for his neglect in 2008 and beyond. He wants close to $900 million a year in new tax revenue.

***

Stroger has seven reliable votes for his taxing spree. He desperately needs swing board members Earlean Collins (312-603-4566 and 773-626-2184) and Roberto Maldonado (312-603-6386 and 773-395-0143) to align this week with him.

Stroger's budgeteers say Cook County faces a shortfall of $238 million in 2008. The county has a history of inflating "shortfalls" to justify tax hikes. But let's take them at their word. Let's say they need $238 million to balance the budget.

So how can we save that money, instead of forcing county residents to pay up?

This page has asked board opponents of Stroger's taxes to offer alternatives, and some of them have responded.

The most detailed plan comes from Commissioner Michael Quigley and his chief of staff Kimberly Walz, who for seven years have produced solid reports on how to reinvent county government.

Quigley says some of his trims for 2008 can't remain cut in future years. But the goal here is to get through 2008 without tax hikes -- and then use the year to do the streamlining Stroger promised but notoriously failed to deliver.

The beauty of this is that it would lead to a slimmer, more responsive bureaucracy by 2009 -- eliminating any need for new taxes then.

Quigley's proposals for '08:

- Cut 35 percent of Stroger's requested capital equipment spending (new office furnishings and equipment, vehicles, telecom purchases, computers, etc.): $26.9 million.

- Cut 30 percent of overtime: $11.6 million.

- Cut 30 percent of expenses for consultants: $18.6 million.

- Sell surplus land held by Oak Forest Hospital and the Highway Department: an estimated $40 million.

- Increase from 2 percent to 5 percent the "holdback" that county departments are budgeted but don't receive -- a form of enforced saving. This would be offset by more cross-training of workers who could shift from office to office during peak periods of tax collection, tax appeals, real estate transfers, elections and so on: $65 million.

So far, that's $162 million saved.

Board member Larry Suffredin would more than erase the remainder by:

- Giving Stroger only half of the 1,130 new hires he wants -- basically, those needed to comply with court orders. Savings: $30 million.

- Restructuring the county's debt. Suffredin's research with outside financial specialists suggests annual savings of perhaps $60 million.

So: Between them, Quigley and Suffredin offer about $250 million in savings to more than cover Stroger's avowed $238 million shortfall. If one of their ideas isn't workable, so be it. The point is, there's lots of low-hanging fruit.

***

All through 2007, Stroger's allies didn't hold him to his "solemn oath." Many of them figured budgeting for 2008 would be like the good old days: They'd harrumph and whine about how impossible it is to cut Stroger's $3 billion-plus budget -- and in the end they'd get their way.

Maybe they will. But county government has been inexorably approaching this bitter showdown for several years.

A steadily more emboldened County Board has forced some budget cuts, and deflected some tax increases. Now, commissioners Earlean Collins and Roberto Maldonado will decide whether taxpayers get an efficient government that provides better service.

The way to achieve that is to stop the tax hikes now -- and use 2008 to reinvent Cook County.

Ms. Mitchell, I am a long time reader of your column. I don't
always agree with you but the Cook county board article peaked
my interest. I will agree that race does matter and whoever
denies that never lived as a black. I will also state that Mr.
Stroger seems incompetent. The reason he is in office at all
is due to his lineage and massive voter apathy in Cook county.
Most whites truly are clueless when it comes to the issue of opression. I once got into it with my longtime white co-worker who was also a part-time suburban police officer. He spewed a
profanity laced tirade as I defended Fred Hampton and Mark Clark who were murdered by Chicago police, FBI, the Cook County States Attorney and GOD knows who else in 1969. I told him that of all people he should have had the the most compassion for the oppressed. He laughed in a mad sort of way. He, like many law officers did not know his true role in society. Once again the people lose because we have given away our power. Just thought I'd
share.

I think Bill Beavers, the self proclaimed "Hog with the Big Nuts" should get a new name after seeing his daughter get her clock cleaned for the second time by Sandy Jackson, this time in the ward committeman's race. I suggest "squirrel".

I guess it's fine with you if someone is just another thieving politician, only interested in lining the pockets of his family and friends at the publics expense, so long as he's black. The more things change, the more they stay the same. boss.

Peraica does not support Todd because Todd is a complete and total fool- having NO business in the position he has. He is a disgrace to this county- and his ignorance on everything he speaks on is disgusting.

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This page contains a single entry by Mary Mitchell published on November 28, 2007 10:38 AM.

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