Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Other commissioners also deserve credit for supporting the Gorman Repeal Ordinance

Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman had the smarts to act quickly to organize a coalition of commissioners to draft the ordinance to repeal the repressive Todd Stroger 1 Percent Sales Tax, introducing it, enlisting support and being flexible to work with the other commissioners on a final version that gathered momentum and won Tuesday.

Todd Stroger, the beleaguered Cook County Board President, was adament that he WOULD veto the Gorman Repeal Ordinance after it passed. But reality set in and set in hard, despite the fiery words of his dragon lady Christine Geovanis, who does a better job taking Stroger's official PR photographs than she does defending his failures. Stroger realizes that a veto of the repeal would all but guarantee his utter and total defeat in the Democratic Party Primary in the spring next year. Now, at least he has somewhat of a chance to maybe come in second in a two-candidate primary contest.

But Stroger is being pushed by fanatics on all sides around him and he has been flip-flopping. Veto or not to veto? Save Cook County or Destroy Cook County. Hope for a career or abandon his career?

Maybe Stroger won't take Gorman for granted the way he has.

But the other major part of the story is the courage of County Commissioner John Daley who also stood up and said the words that made voters and constituents feel a brief moment of relief, where just for that moment voters in Cook County felt that our elected officials DO care about what happens to us.

Daley told Todd Stroger "you might want to listen for a change." The Chairman of the powerful County Board Finance Committee, Daley cautioned that "a Stroger veto" ... "would be a mistake, because of the strong vote of the board."

You have reinforced my belief, John Daley, that you do care about the people of Cook County. Thank you for having the courage to say that. And thank you for standing with the Gorman Repeal Ordinance to force Stroger to see the reality.

It took courage for all of the county commissioners to vote in favor of the repeal, and shame on those who voted no, like Bill Beavers, Jerry Butler and Robert Steele, all hoping to pander to racial politics.

Maybe the new dynamics of the Daley-Gorman alliance with Commissioners Larry Suffredin and others may bring a new day for the people of Cook County.

-- Ray Hanania

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