Saturday, December 01, 2007

Don't believe the call for reform by "Junior"

I've been writing at length about the worst govermental body in the nation, Illinois' Cook County goverment. In today's Chicago Tribune, I came across this gem of an op-ed:

From the Tribune, free registration is required:

Well, here it is: John Stroger, who is beloved and remains in our prayers, managed one of the largest fraud-ridden bureaucracies known to man, Cook County government.

That massive bureaucracy was handed down by vested interest to his son, Todd, whose sole focus is to protect a huge patronage army—an army fed by increasingly overtaxed citizens, who, ironically, are rewarded with a steady erosion of the health care and county services they deserve.

Stroger's outrageous $888 million tax hike plan would add 1,100 new jobs—after laying off hundreds of nurses and frontline health-care providers. It shortchanges the sheriff's police—but adds "administrative" jobs, apparently for Stroger's families and friends.

Hoping to obscure this ugly truth is dinosaurus-erectus, a.k.a. Stroger's floor leader and self-professed "hog with the big nuts," County Commissioner William Beavers. He seeks to deflect attention from bloated incompetent mismanagement by saying opponents to Stroger's taxes are racists.

Which Republican wrote that?

Trick question: It was a Democrat, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Chicago).

Great stuff, Junior. But Jesse's son also leaves out a couple of details. The Jackson clan and the Beavers clan have been feuding for over a decade. In February, Junior's wife, Sandi, defeated William Beaver's handpicked successor as Chicago's 7th Ward alderman, his daughter Darcel. In three months, Sandi Jackson will try to unseat William Beavers to become the 7th Ward Democratic Committeeman.

Junior has asked the Federal Elections Commission for permission to transfer funds from his political warchest into his wife's, just as he did in the aldermanic campaign.

Jesse Junior's plea for reform appears in the op-ed section of the Tribune, but that doesn't let the paper off the hook. The editorial editors should've prefaced Jackson's piece mentioning the upcoming ward race and February's aldermanic contest.

Amazingly, of the 43 Tribune commenters who've chimed in Junior's stirring but deceptive rhetoric, only one, "Merrill" sees Jackson for what he is.

Dear Mr. Jackson:

When you think of youself, your wife's, and familiy's own political ambitions, I hope that you factor in your own desires about replacing Todd's patronage people with your own. I have met you in person and found you to be super arrogant and self-absorbed. Now you are writing in a conservative newspaper to try and further your own political greed at the expense of the poor, sick and underemployed.

Jesse Jackson, Jr. is not a reformer.

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