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Danny Davis: In Chicago's deep dish political world where demotions are promotions, Cook County job is better than Congress.

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I spent years covering the Cook County Board and I now report on Congress.
To the naked eye, the House of Representatives seems obviously the better job.
But to Chicago pols--in this case Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) who is open to replacing the ailing Cook County Board President, John H. Stroger, Jr.--a demotion is a promotion.
By the way....if Davis is tapped for Cook County prez, then someone needs to replace him on the November ballot for his House slot...Who's that?

Why is being Cook County Board prez better than Congress? The Cook County Board room is a physically miserable, depressing place especially compared to the magnificent House chamber.
And it is not the salary. The difference is not that big. The Cook County Board president makes $170,000 and a rank and file House member gets a base salary of $162,200.
Passion for health care, which is a big part of the County job? Davis now represents a district with perhaps the most hospitals and medical facilities in the country.
So....it's power. Control of jobs. Car and driver. Easier fundraising. Fewer rules. No Washington commute. No Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dues.
South Side, old news. West Side rocks.
But....it would possibly mean the end to a string of privately-funded travel, now much debated in Congress. Davis has taken 47 of these trips since 2000.

http://www.tray.com/cgi-win/x_PrivateMember.exe?DoFn=H4IL07037DAVIS, DANNY K - Gifts of Private Travel

Source: PoliticalMoneyLine Candidate Profile Page

Coverage Dates Location(adjusted)/Purpose Sponsors Travel Lodging Meals Other Total $
1. 04/17/00
04/22/00 Location(adjusted): Grand Cayman Island, British West Indies
Purpose: to participate in a conference on US policy towards Cuba
Note: Accompanied by wife Vera Davis Aspen Institute $1,609 $2,240 $1,620 $100 $5,569
2. 06/02/00
06/03/00 Location(adjusted): New York, NY
Purpose: speak at student conference Pure Loan Alliance $1,198 $400 $40 $1,638
3. 01/08/01
01/13/01 Location(adjusted): Taipei, Taiwan
Purpose: Fact finding and educational visit
Note: Spouse Vera G Davis accompanied. Other costs not specified Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce $10,800 $2,700 $900 $740 $15,140
4. 01/26/01
01/27/01 Location(adjusted): Pine Bluff, AR
Purpose: Conference speaker at the Rural Life conference University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff $228 $60 $40 $328
5. 01/27/01
01/28/01 Location(adjusted): Little Rock, AR; New York, NY
Purpose: Not specified Family Federation for World Peace and Unification $1,425 $175 $50 $1,650
6. 05/26/01
05/31/01 Location(adjusted): Lagos, Nigeria
Purpose: Establish education process
Note: Spouse Vera G Davis accompanied Governor Bola A. Tinubu Lagos State Nigeria $5,800 $880 $300 $6,980
7. 09/10/01
09/14/01 Location(adjusted): Tel Aviv, Israel
Purpose: Pursue peace process for East Africa Africa Israel Asia International Group, Ltd. $8,245 $350 $150 $8,745
8. 10/20/01
10/21/01 Location(adjusted): Los Angeles, CA
Purpose: Education speech University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Alumni Association Los Angeles Chapter $228 $25 $253
9. 12/10/01
12/11/01 Location(adjusted): Shreveport, LA
Purpose: Human Relations Speech
Note: Itinerary says Chicago, Illinois to Shreveport Human Relations Commission Greater Shreveport Human Relations Commission $1,358 $125 $40 $1,523
10. 07/06/02
07/06/02 Location(adjusted): Detroit, MI
Purpose: campaign for David Bonior for governor Democratic Socialists of America Detroit Chapter $229 $79 $30 $338
11. 07/08/02
07/08/02 Location(adjusted): Houston, TX
Purpose: speak on panel NAACP $1,459 $1,459
12. 07/14/02
07/14/02 Location(adjusted): New Orleans, LA
Purpose: speak at convention National Association Black County Officials $561 $561
13. 12/13/02
12/13/02 Location(adjusted): Greenwood, MS
Purpose: Banquet speaker Greenwood Voters League $263 $107 $50 $420
14. 12/26/02
12/27/02 Location(adjusted): Arlington, VA
Purpose: Keynote speaker at banquet Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace $333 $98 $431
15. 02/08/03
02/08/03 Location(adjusted): Washington, DC
Purpose: Speech National Education Association $370 $370
16. 08/06/03
08/07/03 Location(adjusted): New Orleans, LA
Purpose: Keynote address at annual convention National Association of Black Psychologists $349 $89 $438
17. 09/02/03
09/02/03 Location(adjusted): Hartford, CT
Purpose: Guest speaker at the commencement of their 3rd annual Western Massachusetts Recovery Month celebration Saving Others Utilizing Resources Collectively for Empowerment; Williams Distributing Corp $361 $361
18. 09/10/03
09/11/03 Location(adjusted): Kansas City, MO
Purpose: Keynote luncheon speaker National Baptist Convention USA Prison Ministry $691 $136 $827
19. 10/02/03
10/03/03 Location(adjusted): New York, NY
Purpose: Give speech Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace $625 $165 $790
20. 10/22/03
10/22/03 Location(adjusted): Raleigh, NC
Purpose: Speak at convention TASC $526 $526
21. 01/12/04
01/15/04 Location(adjusted): New Orleans, LA
Purpose: Planning retreat Congressional Black Caucus Foundation $1,006 $320 $200 $0 $1,526
22. 01/17/04
01/18/04 Location(adjusted): Indianapolis, IN
Purpose: Keynote speaker at their 3rd annual Diversity Dinner Ceremony
Note: Keynote speaker at their 3rd annual diversity dinner ceremony , misspelling-Formed signed 04/22/04-Received by LRC 05/10/2004 United Auto Workers, Region 3 $160 $126 $286
23. 01/30/04
01/31/04 Location(adjusted): Houston, TX
Purpose: State of African American Mall Conference
Note: Form signed 04/22/2004-Received by LRC 05/10/2004 Chicago Black Caucus Foundation $329 $329
24. 03/21/04
03/21/04 Location(adjusted): Washington, DC
Purpose: Keynote speaker for church's 29th anniversary service Norbeck Community Church $531 $531
25. 04/04/04
04/08/04 Location(adjusted): St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; St. Croix, Virgin Islands
Purpose: Mental health roundtable
Note: Vera G. Davis, spouse accompanied. Nature of other expenses not specified. Eli Lilly Corporation $957 $480 $69 $264 $1,770
26. 05/02/04
05/02/04 Location(adjusted): Savannah, GA
Purpose: Speak at annual meeting International Association of Parole Officers $673 $140 $813
27. 05/02/04
05/03/04 Location(adjusted): Savannah, GA
Purpose: Keynote and discuss proposed legislation concerning Public Safety Ex-Offender Self Sufficiency Act Assn of Paroling Authorities Intl $544 $154 $0 $0 $698
28. 06/12/04
06/12/04 Location(adjusted): Miami, FL
Purpose: Panelist - State of African American Male Conference
Note: Chicago, IL - Miami, FL - Chicago, IL Congressional Black Caucus Foundation $602 $0 $16 $0 $618
29. 07/04/04
07/05/04 Location(adjusted): Atlanta, GA
Purpose: Plenary Session Featured Speaker at 2004 National Convention Natl Federation of the Blind $228 $65 $50 $0 $343
30. 07/18/04
07/20/04 Location(adjusted): Honolulu, HI
Purpose: not specified Natl Assn of Letter Carriers $1,865 $215 $0 $0 $2,080
31. 07/23/04
07/23/04 Location(adjusted): Detroit, MI
Purpose: Panelist at their 2004 Annual Conference Natl Urban League $213 $0 $0 $0 $213
32. 07/30/04
08/01/04 Location(adjusted): Honolulu, HI
Purpose: Breakfast Speaker at Convention American Psychological Assn $1,154 $215 $15 $0 $1,384
33. 08/07/04
08/08/04 Location(adjusted): Houston, TX
Purpose: Keynote Speaker @ 11th Annual Summer Conference Gala Univ of Arkansas at Pine Bluff $0 $125 $25 $0 $150
34. 08/12/04
08/13/04 Location(adjusted): Dallas, TX
Purpose: Meeting with CEO to discuss the State of Education in Chicago and the raising of reading scores Voyager Expanded Learning $212 $154 $0 $0 $366
35. 08/22/04
08/25/04 Location(adjusted): Kiev, Ukraine
Purpose: Attend Events Commemorating Ukraine's 13th Anniversary of Independence and to observe the preparation of their Presidential Election being held in October Self Reliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union $1,705 $350 $0 $0 $2,055
36. 08/28/04
09/02/04 Location(adjusted): Tel Aviv, Israel
Purpose: not specified African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem $2,433 $330 $0 $200 $2,963
37. 09/25/04
09/25/04 Location(adjusted): Los Angeles, CA
Purpose: CBC Child Welfare Brain trust "Child Welfare Forum"
Note: [sponsor listed on personal financial disclosure statement] Congressional Black Caucus Foundation $352 $0 $0 $0 $352
38. 11/04/04
11/07/04 Location(adjusted): St. Kitts and Nevis
Purpose: Conference on Business, Travel and Social Issues
Note: Chicago, IL - San Juan, PR - St Kitts / St Kitts - Miami, FL - Chicago, IL Caribbean News $600 $1,410 $0 $0 $2,010
39. 12/03/04
12/04/04 Location(adjusted): Oakland, CA
Purpose: Participate in State of the African American Male Conference
Note: Chicago, IL - Dallas, TX - Oakland, CA - Chicago, IL Congressional Black Caucus Foundation $783 $0 $0 $0 $783
40. 03/19/05
03/29/05 Location(adjusted): Shanghai, China
Purpose: Study - Establish diplomatic relations, accompany constituents of Chinese Heritage
Note: Chicago, IL - Shanghai, China - Chicago, IL Including spouse Chinese Benevolent Society $5,270 $0 $0 $0 $5,270
41. 03/19/05
03/29/05 Location(adjusted): Shanghai, China
Purpose: Study - Establish diplomatic relations, accompany constituents of Chinese heritage
Note: Chicago, IL - Shanghai, China - Chicago, IL Including spouse Package included travel, food and lodging
Image: View Chinese Benevolent Society $5,270 $0 $0 $0 $5,270
42. 03/30/05
04/05/05 Location(adjusted): Colombo, Sri Lanka
Purpose: To visit Tsunami affected areas of Sri Lanka
Note: Chicago, IL - Colombo, Sri Lanka - Washington, DC Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America $6,900 $750 $300 $0 $7,950
43. 04/09/05
04/10/05 Location(adjusted): Cleveland, OH
Purpose: Speak at Freedom Fund Banquet
Note: Chicago, IL - Cleveland, OH - Chicago, IL NAACP Midwest Region $209 $250 $35 $0 $494
44. 05/13/05
05/14/05 Location(adjusted): Charlotte, NC
Purpose: Speak at Daisy Bates Forum on Education
Note: Washington, DC - Charlotte, NC - Chicago, IL National NAACP $339 $175 $25 $0 $539
45. 07/05/05
07/05/05 Location(adjusted): Louisville, KY
Purpose: Speak at Annual Convention
Note: Chicago, IL - Louisville, KY - Chicago, IL
Image: View National Federation of the Blind $152 $0 $0 $0 $152
46. 08/23/05
08/23/05 Location(adjusted): Dubuque, IA
Purpose: Speak to Region IV UAW Conference
Note: Chicago, IL - Dubuque, IA - Chicago, IL
Image: View United Auto Workers $503 $0 $0 $0 $503
47. 11/21/05
11/21/05 Location(adjusted): Boston, MA
Purpose: Participate on panel to celebrate 40th Anniversary of Community Health Centers
Note: Chicago, IL - Boston, MA - Chicago, IL
Image: View Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers $438 $0 $0 $100 $538
Totals: $70,086 $12,863 $3,980 $1,404 $88,333

9 Comments

I am a tired American. I am a very tired American.

Here's what I'm tired of:
Daley
Stroger
Stroger Lite (Jr.)
Danny K. Davis
The Gov. (names too hard to spell)
Any man or woman with political dreams whose father or mother is in politics.


We know you could be a effective President of the county board. However is your health such that you could sustain the position.And beside can you deal with the "boss" son? Think long and hard, not a step up.

How would Davis' move from Congress to Cook County President be viewed by the Unification Church and Sun Myung Moon?

Will Davis once again place a jeweled crown on Moon’s head?

Run, Danny, Run!

Look, til now, I favored Todd Stroger hands down if the party were to choose. I'm still not against it.

But Danny Davis? Good God, yes!

There are myriad reasons. The biggest? That d*mned Board Room has become a most unnecessarily contentious place, what with self-promoting faux reformers, rife with post-early-40's yuppies promoting selfish agendas and narrow-minded, ill-fated, weak ideas.

Davis has the experience, bio, background, mettle, attitude and moxie to go toe-to-toe with whomever he needs.

He is considered an elder statesman in the party, is/was a HUUUUUGE John Stroger supporter and will continue to fight to improve life for Cook County's working poor, uninsured and underserved residents.

Count Todd out? Not on your life. But this Danny thing seems almost too good to be true.

Still, I want to put one statement out there in the universe...

GET WELL AND COME BACK, PRESIDENT STROGER!!!!!!

But, if you can't, know that 1) You beat Claypool back to the North Side, fated to enjoy the view from the Board Floor for four more years (YES!) and 2) Whether its Danny or Todd, you legacy will be recognized and respected by the next Board President.

Which, by the way, ain't (yes, "ain't") gonna be Tony "TeePee" Peraica (And praise the Good Lord Almighty for that!)

NOTE: Having looked at Lynn's list of trips above, I do truly believe Cong. Davis would have to be HIGH to embroil himself in the rather unfunny joke the Board has become (and will continue to be), but, hey, knock yourself out!

Danny K. Davis: name one piece of relevant legislation that you have personally introduced in the House not related to the post office. There aren't any.

More of the same=more of nothing for Cook County.

TODD STROGER ALL THE WAY IF THE WHITE POLITICAL PEOPLE CAN ANNOINT THERE CHILDREN THEN WHY CANT WE.TODD IS QUALIFIED TO DO THE JOB.

I have a ton of respect for Congressman Davis, but I'd personally perfer someone younger to hold the seat of County Board President, someone who has experience doing legislative work and working with other elected officals. I am for Todd Stroger, not only because of the factor dealing with Hynes, Lipinski and Madigan, but also Todd has served in the General Assembly and was the chariman of a couple of committees and now he is an alderman. So if I was a committeeman, I would be truely voting for Todd Stroger. Lastly, I really hope that all of this is just talk and that President John Stroger can come back to work. His birthday is May 19th. I hope he will have one that he can enjoy.

I am solely disapointed that Congressman Davis did not get enough support from the Democratic Committeemen of Cook County to be the Democratic nominee for the presidency of the Cook County Board. I feel that he is more than qualified, and quite deserving to serve as the president of the board, and would do an excellent job. It is so unfortunate that the powers that be has paid their debt to former president Stroger, with a wooden nickel, in the form of Todd Stroger (something that has no true value).

Congressman Danny Davis will bring integrity and accountablility to the County Board. His passions have been health care and justice and as President of the County Board he will be leading the largest unified court system in the world as well as one of the largest health providers in Cook County hospital. He is almost solely responsible for pushing through support for communitty health clinics, a referendum on substance abuse treatment on demand and, above all, he wrote and got tremendous bipartisan support for the SECNOND CHANCE ACT. The Second Chance Act provides the services necessary so that individuals do not re offend spending our tax dollars on criminal justice and corrections costs. As a memeber of the House Ways and Means Committee, he has been intimately involved in writing that committee's bill for National Health Reform. Wouldn't it be amazing to have someone as County Board President who was an expert in the areas of county government.

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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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