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Should Stroger Quit?


Cook County Board President John H. Stroger Jr suffered a stroke on Tuesday.

He's in a big Democratic primary race next Tuesday against Cook County Board Member Forrest Claypool.

Stroger's recovery prospects are not clear, though reporters were told yesterday he was alert last night.

Should he stay in the race?


Stroger should drop out of the race and take his thugs from the auty home with him.

We believe that Stroger should retire and give someone else a chance to better the Cook County government system. Unfortunately at his age and medical conditions, how well can he make the very important decisions needed for this major metropolitan area?

Stroger should never have run for another term in the first place!

While I support Claypool, I think we could have had a real contest of ideas in this campaign had Stroger bowed to reality (his health and recent scandals). Hearing Claypool, Quigley, and possibly others, debate the issues facing the county would have been educational for everyone. Instead this election is just about whether we can afford another 4 years of Stroger (and now whether Stroger can survive another 4 years).

Stroger should drop out of the race now, and let the dialogue continue about the business matters at hand. Beyond his inability to run government in a modern world with sound economic ideas, he is now too frail to run a $3B corporation. Anyone else in a similar corporate situation would resign in a heartbeat.

Mr. Stroger should retire immediately, because of his health. He's been in office for to long. Let's elect Forrest claypool. A PROUD SUPPORTER OF MR. CLAYPOOL

Stroger should retire and focus on returning to good health. This is a perfect opportunity for him to leave with his head held high and give the appearance of leaving on his own terms. If not, I woule hope that the voters of Cook County will retire him against his will.

I wish him the best of health and hopefully a pleasant retirement.

Stroger should retire now especially with his health problems and age.

Mr. Stroger should not retire!

Get over it!!! Stroger will win due to his unique relationships with all ethnic groups throughout Cook County. Claypool has not been good for minorities, specifically african americans.

With regards to the comment "Stroger (has a) unique relationship with all ethnic groups throughout Cook County" I'm wondering if you're referring to the way he's managed the juvenile detention center? By "special relationship with ethnicities" do you mean his hiring of personal friends and relatives at the detention center who then lock up 14 year olds, beat them, make them fight each other, and force them to live in abysmal, squalid conditions? I'm just wondering because over 95% of all kids at the detention center are African-American. Is this how you want African-American children treated? I'll take Forrest Claypool and his sense of responsibility, fairness, and progressive any day over a "special relationship with ethnicities" which actually means cronyism, corruption, and abuse of our kids.
Stroger should RETIRE.

stroger shouldn't retire. he has been loyal to the democratic party and has demonstrated a unique ability to work with both republicans and democrats and work FOR the people of cook county. hope for a quick recovery

it's Neil Steinberg who should retire. He is an embarassment to you and your newspaper.

Claypool doesn't connect with voters because he truly doesn't care about the County or its workers, and he appeals to people who think all government workers are worthless.

You can't get good people to work in government if they sense the boss doesn't care. There are a lot of good County workers. You'll never hear about it from Claypool.

FDR hid his physical condition and ran for a 4th term during WWII and lived about one month after being sworn in again in 1945.

Mr. Stroger's physical condition is a signal to the voters that it is time to give him a rest and elect an experienced, well qualified commissioner and former Chicago park district CEO to take his place as president of the county board.

Has anyone else wondered why Stroger isn't being treated at HIS namesake hospital? Maybe Claypool's ads are true. Stroger should retire.

Regardless of what you think about Claypool or Stroger, Cook County government is too important to leave to a "lame duck" politician who should have retired years ago. Elect a qualified Claypool to avoid a "power vacuum" similar to that of Chicago in the mid 80's...

Apparently the comments you are receiving are from Claypool supporters. John Stroger has done a great job in helping the poor, his race and the people of Cook County. He should not RETIRE! During World War II no one made remarks that Frankliln D. Roosevelt RETIRE.

Such short memories the Stroger supporters have -

Was not endorsing Harold Washington how Stroger showed his "special relationship with ethnicities"?

Gimme a break - Stroger is a machine hack, and has been awful for all ethnicities who don't actually get one of his patronage jobs.

The guy opened one hospital while letting another decay, jacked up taxes which are making his "ethnicities" unable to afford the homes they've lived in for ages, and has a Juvie center that is a 24/7 human rights violation.

Additionally, did it ever occur to him to try campaigning on the NORTH SIDE, you know, where HALF THE COUNTY lives?

he is SO gone.

Claypool is hell-bent on getting rid of hard-working, experienced County workers. Please get well John Stroger. The wellfare of the County is riding on you.

My prayers go out to County President Stroger on his recent stroke and admittance to Rush Hospital. I was just curious why President Stroger was not admitted to John Stroger County Hospital which is 2 blocks away and bears his name when he was transferred from Trinity? Is Stroger Hospital not good enough for the County Board President? I guess we all should avoid the County health system for medical attention when we are in need.

Stroger has been in office too long and is completely isolated from public opinion and the concerns of real people. It is time for him to go. Democrats should want him out now, as Claypool would be much harder for Tony Peraica to beat in November than Stroger.

We all wish for Mr. Stroger's recovery. That said, he should never have run for reelection. With the dysfunctional condition of Cook County government, combined with his own failing health, he needs to drop out of the race before Tuesday. His wife, and Democrats like Mayor Daley and Senator Obama, need to encourage him to do the right thing, with grace and dignity. Otherwise, he's headed for a sad defeat.

Mr. Stroger, time to go. It is time to restore this state to a place of dignity

It must've been an omen telling Stroger to retire from politic.

President Stroger, you have done an excellent job for this County. We are behind you 100%. Please get well and continue providing the county with your leadership.

I can tell you why Stroger should not be treated at Stroger Hopsital: because he has options that the indigent do not have! Would it be better for him to go to Stroger, when the indigent person who has no other option is forced to wait? I'd guess that Claypool has never been treated at Stroger (or Cook County) either. As for RC, thanks for showing everyone how easy it is for media folks to manipulate impressionable minds. The Tribune (of all papers) stated that the president has not raised the County's property tax levy since 1996. Wasn't the old hospital already in decay due to age and high cost of modernization? Oh yeah, Claypool has been oh so VERY visible south of Armitage Avenue. Bottom line, Stroger should stay as long as he wants.

Forrest Claypool was Daley's chief of staff -- the architect of a policy of privitization and pinstripe patronage that punished rank and file workers and rewarded politically connected contractors. Under his 'leadership', the Park District gutted programs and jacked fees for some of the city's poorest residents. He's an individualist libertarian with a picture of Ayn Rand on his wall -- the epiteme of an extremist individualist who has no real respect for the collective good. I see no need to support a guy who could just as easily work as a wonk at the right-wing Cato Insititute. I'm voting for Stroger.

Hmmm. Let's ponder this question.

If Stroger had been hit by a car, would we ask him to quit? How about if he had a severe case of the flu? Closer to home, what if he were shot by a stray bullet?

What agist, racist crap!

Would his diabetes be an issue if he weren't a black man? Probably not. On a separate matter, Stroger took good enough care of his health to catch, treat and rid himself of prostate cancer early on.

Here's a hint, Sun-Times: when you get tired of serving as Forrest Clayfool's palm card, aiding his whisper campaign and promulgating the tired b.s. of alcoholic Neil "I BEAT MY WIFE" Steinberg, then...and only then...should you assert a voice in this race.

Til then, sit in the corner, throw on your dunce cap and accept the fact that you, like the 14 other Clayfool supporters, are getting it wrong.

By the way, last I checked, John Stroger was up in the polls and had more money, support and volunteers than Clayfool. I don't think he should quit.

Mr. Stroger should have retired years ago. It is unfortunate that his health has forced his hand. It is time to move away from machine-based corruption and those who feel entitled to exploit for their own benefit. .

I loved cindys comment.
Stop with this crap of if you get sick you should quit.Countless politicans have gotten sick or have had health issues and don't quit.i never hear anyone say anything about whether a white politan should quit when something happen .Look at dick cheney he shot someone in the head and no one said quit.Look at the more important issues ,John Storger have been a wonderul county president .He loves nd cares for his supporters .Unlike that clayfool .All of us have gotten sick in our life young and old but does that mean that you should end your life.He has been doing the job long enuff to know when he can't do it any more.Stroger will win because he is the better man.

Try working for Cook County,
Stroger refuses to obey a
federal court order to hire
more correctional officers
treats clerks and deputies
who are the backbone of the
court system as a non=essential part of the county it is time for him to go.Although I am not a big fan of Forrest Claypool
he is the beast man for the job

When the going get tuff, the tuff get going. Lead on, General Stroger.

Time for the old man and his old ideas to retire. He's a Democratic machine hack, and the only reason he's running is because Daley ordered him to. He cares for no one other than his family employed by the county.
"Claypool is hell-bent on getting rid of hard-working, experienced County workers. Please get well John Stroger."
The term "hard-working County workers" is an oxymoron. Their only "experience" is campaigning for Stroger on the county clock.

While I wish Mr. Stroger a full and speedy recovery, I think this reinforces my thought that three terms is plenty for anyone, not just someone with health problems. I think Mr. Claypool (and Mr. Peraica for that matter) are more than qualified to hold the position and would be more effective given the current circumstances.

he will never make it to end of term long enough to let daley pick a replacement smartin up chicago now its about how much u want to pay in taxes to many yuppies to let this happen claypool by a nose.

I have two sides to this issue. I think That John Stroger should quit since he really hasn't done anything since he has been in office. He has failed to create a balanced budget and instead have to keep raising the property taxes. Mr. Stroger is 76 years old. Now I hope that he recovers from his stroke but I also hope that he quits because he is too old to stay in there. He needs to just give up and let soem new blood with new creative ideas come in. Now I am however not a supporter of Claypool either. The second issue I have to this issue is that he should stay in the race. The reason is because that way it would be easier for Tony Peraicas to win instead of John Stroger. I think that Tony Peraicas is better than both candidates.

Steinberg should be ashamed of himself

people in glass houses shouldnt' throw stones

He should step down. He is the top manager for the John Stroger hosptial and when his time of need came he realized that he would not put his life in the people and organisation that he has created. It is a shame that as a politician he feels that the poor are not worthy of the same emergency treatment that he deserves.
Oh wait there are other reasons for him to go
- nepotism
- wasteful budget
- horrible hospital
- unconcern for residents
- did not help Harold Washingtons campaign
- did not support Obama

Stroger won't "retire". The people who "support" him have too much to lose. Claypool would clean up the mess that is Cook County government but is Cook County ready for that? I say absolutely.

Stroger is Exhibit #1 for term limits. We have career politicians with the same-old same-old way of thinking and running things; protecting family & friends. If his constituents (I voted for him the last time but not this time) vote him back in office they will be signing his death certificate. He needs to retire, pass the baton, and get a new career, like most retirees do.

Mr. Schulz and others -

Your property taxes were NOT, I repeat, NOT raised by President Stroger! The President has kept the total property tax levy constant. I'm going to explain how the tax works and is calculated. Your tax from each government body is collected by the body first figuring out how much it wants from a tax, then adjusting the tax rate so that the rate multiplied by the total property value will give it the desired tax revenue. Now in Cook County, the Assessor adjusts the property values every three years. Here's an example of how assessments are calculated.

Suppose there are only two houses, each valued at $50. Let's also suppose for ease of calculation that the property tax rate is 100%. Both homeowners would pay $50 each for a total of $100 in revenue.

Now suppose house #1 gets revalued at $150. If the tax rate remained at 100%, the government would get $200 in revenue. However, suppose the governing body decided that $100 was all it needed from taxes. The rate would decrease to 50% intead of 100%, but house #1 would pay $75 ($150*50%) instead of $50. House #2 would see a "cut", from $50 to $25. So #1 pays $75, and #2 pays $25.

Now let's suppose the following year, house #2 gets revalued at $100, so #1 is at 150, and #2 is at $100. If the total tax levy is to remain at $100, then the rate must drop from 50% to 40%. The result in year 2 is that #1 now pays $60 ($150*40%), while #2 pays $40. So now #2 sees a $15 increase over the previous year, while #1 sees the corresponding decrease.

So here is the conclusion: if the County's total tax levy remains stable (as they have for the past decade), then the fluctuations seen in the County portion of the tax bill is due to your assessed valuation. Those whose property values grow at the highest rate will pay more of the total levy. But two points follow: first, if your assessed value increases, the County portion of yor tax will spike the year you are reassessed, then drop for the next two years; and second, at constant levy, the total increase in some taxes has to be met by a corresponding decrease in others. That's the way property taxes are set up, and there's no politician who's going to change it, and anyone who promises to do so is a liar.

Finally, although taxes are paid to the County, the County is not the only taxing body. Schools, water districts and other taxing bodies also use property taxes as a source of revenue. For example, Chicago has a rate of ~$6.50 per $100 of valuation; for Oak Park, it's ~ $10.40 per $100. The County and Forest Preserve combined get $0.66 per $100 of each amount. So when you complain about high property taxes, look at your bill and be sure to complain to the taxing body responsible and not assume that the County is responsible because that's where payment is remitted.

Hey, Son of a Sailor:

Its pretty clear you've gotten your education on County government from Claypool's election propaganda.

Let me help you with this, point-by-point, using the cute little categories you chose to highlight:


Here, I wonder if you meant patronage. I believe you did. Problem is, Steve Neal once wrote that Claypool created eight positions the second he touched down at the Park District and filled them with his friends. Now, to be fair to you, this is something that was used in Stroger's commercial, but it is also a claim that requires no editorial "license" to be valid. Admittedly, Neal would go on to say he thought Claypool did a good job. but, Son of a, you can't unring that bell.

Bottom line: Claypool has had patronage issues of his own. Its just not valid to say you're opposed to it, but vote for Claypool.

-wasteful budget

Hold up, there, brother. Who determined its wasteful. There exists not one...NOT ONE...independent study created by any other body outside of the Civic Federation (and it must be noted that they are more than a little publicity hungry themselves) to support that claim. To the extent that it is wasteful, well, that becomes a question of philosophy: do we need so and so OR do we need this other so and so.

Bottom line: YOU believe Claypool, so its valid for YOU, but lets not say its some empirical, universal truth.

- horrible hospital

You are referring to the one that many outside organizations and publications refer to as a national model for healthcare delivery to the poor? The one that John Stroger fought for and built to replace a true "horrible hospital?"
The one that is a national model for healthcare delivery to the poor, underserved and uninsured?

Perhaps you mean, horrible pharmacy like the other Clayfools? Well, it boils down to need, doesn't it? See, Son of a, when people lose their jobs at Ford and elsewhere and healthcare costs are too much, the County must pay for it. Also, with that comes about 10 times the number of orders as that of your average Walgreens.

Bottom line: You're just wrong. Its a great hospital, administered ultimately by a Bureau of Health that has grown the system of neighborhood clinics from 8 to 30 under Stroger's leadership. You lose on this one, Skippy.

- unconcern for residents

Wait. Just wait. Stop, dude, just stop. You're embarassing yourself. Really.

He built a new hospital (for the poor), a new domestic violence court (for battered women and childre), created a commission on women's issues (to address same), and was the chief proponent of single member districts (so that residents knew exactly who to take their concerns to). He doesn't care about residents?

Bottom line: Dude, you lose again. I think the overzealous Claypool-ness in you got the best of you there.

- did not help Harold Washingtons campaign

Wait, stop, wait.

Everybody and their mother knows that Stroger goeth as the party goeth. Thats not wrong, you Son of a, that's loyalty.

QUICK NOTE: Harold and Stroger were great personal friends and it was Harold that said he did not hold Stroger's loyalty to the party against him.

Bottom line: What you say is only a half-truth and its clear that you have bought into Claypool's racist, stinky piece of poo. See, Claypool said that race should not be a part of this election. But, wait a minute, the only people he discussed are black. The only way he could get black people to pay him an iota of attention is, presumably, to go and stay negative, then go racial. Shame on him and shame on you for buying into the poo.

- did not support Obama

Oh, good lord. You know, if I have to suffer through one more "Obama is Jesus" moment. Look, he endorsed Hynes because the party endorsed Hynes. In truth, Hynes was qualified to go after the gig and Stroger believed in him. Notably, Stroger also put Obama on the cover of his election-time newspaper and told his troops, straight out, not to try to soil Obama's name or rep.

Bottom line: Your assertion is true. He didn't support Obama.

If who Stroger did not support is an issue, please consider someone Claypool did support.



I am supposed to trust the same Claypool's judgement on Stroger, when I see what his judgement is like on Konow?

That would be: NO.

I am amazed at how many references there are in this blog to OLD.

You people amaze me.

I think of all the OLD, yet white, leaders that have done their thing well past their sixties, into their 70's and even beyond.

Stroger should continue his political career. He's a people person. These young politician can learn a thing or two from a guy like this. He has run a positive campaign based on facts and issues, unlike some other candidates! I say four more years!

Why are people taking issue or i should say making an issue where President Stroger is being treated? I mean I just don't get it! "I'm sorry President Stroger, the press and "others" feel it would be in your best interests to go to the hospital that bears your name". Why? Does not President Stroger or ANYBODY for that matter have a right to be treated at a hospital of choice? If this country would work out the issue of health care for ALL then I don't think this would even be an issue. Stroger Hospital bears the name "Stroger" not because President Stroger would have a hospital to go to for his needs, but because he cares about the needs of others who can not afford the kind of health care many of us do receive! He knows the importantance of "good health care" even though you don't carry a card in your wallet that says BCBS or UNITED...

This goes out to all Restaurant servers, Bartenders, Managers & Owners of any On Premise Food-Service operations in the Cook County:

With the recent passing of not only the Chicago ordinance of the "No Smoking Ban", & now this COUNTY-WIDE ban, I hope that you will perhaps join me in uninting all of us to tell our Local Legislators, (ie. Our Commisioners, Mayors, Adlermen!), just how this unfair this legislation is & just how much this will impact our Business!! IT WILL DRIVE THE HOSPITLITY BUSINESS RIGHT OVER THE COUNTY & STATE LINES!

PLEASE, PLEASE!!! ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENTS...PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME @ Madammac31! Emails will be taken and made note employers will be to me!


Whatever one thinks of Stroger, there's no denying that it was unbelievably tacky of him to put his own name on the new hospital. Add to that the issue of why he's being treated in a different hospital. Like it or not, it gives the impression that it's not good enough for him. It may be that it made better sense for him to go to a closer hospital for his condition. That's fine, but why don't they come out and say that?

I'm voting for John Stroger. I have always found him to be kind and loyal.

He helped give a leg-up to many of political hacks going for the old lion's jugular.

Most of my neighbors seem to like Claypool, but am put off by his tight embrace of the Uriah Heep of Chicago politics- Mike Quigley.

Claypool could have learned fundamental principles of loyalty and attention to conviction from John Stroger. Claypool can expect a shive in the ribs from Kid Revolution.

How to provide quality pharmacy and health information to empower consumers to make better informed healthcare decisions? WBR LeoP

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 15, 2006 9:21 AM.

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