Read the David Hoffman endorsement editorial here.
We first came to know David Hoffman when he was inspector general for the City of Chicago -- a thankless job that amounted to being the official thorn in Mayor Daley's side.
Daley ran the city from his big office in City Hall. Hoffman gave the mayor headaches, questioning city hiring practices and contracts, from a little office near the Cabrini-Green housing project.
We quickly came to appreciate Hoffman's work ethic, his mastery of detail, his independence and, best of all, his fierce commitment to fairness and justice.
Our endorsement goes to David Hoffman in the Feb. 2 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. He holds promise of becoming a superior senator not just for Illinois, but for the nation.
As an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago for seven years, specializing in gang prosecutions, Hoffman earned high praise.
As City Hall's inspector general, he forced the resignation of Daley's human resources chief, uncovered $21 million in waste by garbage-collection crews and concluded the mayor had leased out the city's parking meters for far too little money.
As a member of a state panel, Hoffman helped hammer out some of the best ethics reforms to be seen in Illinois in decades.
In Washington, we would expect Hoffman to be a consistent supporter of President Obama. His views on many of the issues resemble those of the president, and his campaign is being run by Obama adviser David Axelrod's old firm. But we have no doubt he would be his own man, as well.
Hoffman has signaled his independence in this race by questioning the wisdom of Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan. He also says he would oppose any final health care bill that imposed extreme limits on federal abortion funding, such as those imposed by the Stupak Amendment in the House bill.
In Chicago and Illinois, perhaps surprisingly given his criticism of City Hall, we would expect Hoffman to work well with the local powers that be, including Mayor Daley, to bring home our city and state's fair share of federal dollars. Though Hoffman gave Daley grief as inspector general, Daley likes to remind people that he knew Hoffman would be tough when he hired him -- that was the point.
When Hoffman resigned to run for the Senate, the mayor sat down with the former thorn in his side and offered the thorn a little private political advice. Daley, Hoffman says, also told him: "You're the complete package."
Hoffman grew up wealthy on Chicago's North Shore, but he has devoted his life to public service.
After graduating from Yale, he served as an assistant to U.S. Sen. David Boren of Oklahoma. After graduating from the University of Chicago Law School, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist.
The front-runner in this race is not Hoffman, but Alexi Giannoulias, the state treasurer. Giannoulias leads in the polls and has significant party support.
To be blunt, we don't get that.
Giannoulias is easily the most affable candidate in the race, undoubtedly an invaluable trait on Capitol Hill, where power lies in building coalitions. But he is otherwise a successful first-term treasurer who previously worked in his parents' bank.
In Hoffman, the voters have a candidate with a wealth of experience and integrity, who has produced in every job he has had.
Everybody talks about the need for more independence, smarter thinking and greater integrity in Washington.
Here's your chance.