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Earlean Collins: 'Press is so rotten to me, I just may run' in 14; complains of false association to Beavers

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Cook Co. Commissioner Earlean Collins. | Sun-Times file

A seething Cook County Commissioner Earlean Collins may once again consider reelection in 2014 if only to spite the media that "is so rotten to me," she said today.

In an interview with the Sun-Times on Friday, Collins lashed out against the media -- as well as the Cook County establishment -- saying that over the last year she was repeatedly unfairly linked to the now-convicted William Beavers. 

Beavers was convicted on Thursday of tax charges. 

"I don't know anything about Beavers. Every time they showed him they showed my picture with him," she said, singling out the Sun-Times for running a photo of her next to Beavers. "I have never been to any social events with him. I know nothing about Beavers, probably my whole lifetime I probably had five conversations with him... They have tried to do me wrong. Guilt by association because they want me off of the board."

Collins represents the 1st Cook County district, which includes Chicago's West Side.

Collins was often coupled with Beavers in 2011 because the two agreed on a hot issue -- the two rejected taking a 10 percent pay cut that was imposed on the rest of county workers. Collins defended that decision again on Friday saying she was unlike "the rest of them" who draw perks from the county. 

"I don't have any friends who contract with the county government. I bring home $1,500 every pay period. I don't take no insurance with the county," she said. "Then you think I'm not going to stand up for them?"

Collins was asked if she was indeed following through with plans to not seek reelection in 2014. 

"I don't know. You know why? Because of the press. The press is so rotten to me, I just may run," she said.
"I'm not going to retire, let's put it that way. Most of the work that I do, is not on that board." 

She took issue with newspaper reports in the past that she said portrayed her as a do-nothing commissioner. 

"I go out and meet with the veterans. I talk with the homeless and mentally ill people," she said, adding she takes part in an annual drive to bring coats to 300 children in need every winter. "They tell me I don't do nothing? I'm not going to have a press conference telling people that's what I'm working on. I have a higher calling. The man upstairs knows what I do."

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