Toni Preckwinkle The Queen of Non-Reform Reformers

Toni Preckwinkle The Queen of Non-Reform Reformers
Can Toni Be Trusted? (Image: Public Domain)

When Toni Preckwinkle ousted Todd Stroger as Cook County Board President she immediately declared “this victory belongs to the people of Cook County.” and that the hopes of county residents have often been tempered by cynicism, “but not this time!” “Their message is clear. Now is the time to repeal the Stroger sales tax, now is the time to end patronage, now is the time to cut waste while preserving health care, human services, public safety and our forest preserves.”

Sadly, that was then and this is now. And all I see is Toni Preckwinkle The Queen of Non-Reform Reformers telling us that she is somehow better than the rest of the political hypocrites out there when she isn’t. She certainly is no better than her predecessor when it comes to a bloated and inefficient Cook County Government. Sure, she repealed that Stroger sales tax but little else of substance as the savings are mostly smoke and mirrors.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has really been no different than any of the other Chicago Democrats who abhor the thought of implementing real reform. Sure she likes to speak of reform in her rhetoric but at this point has become more of a political burden as people are beginning to question her resolve on the matter.

Matter of fact I don’t think Toni Preckwinkle is all that much different philosophically than that of the late Chicago Alderman Mathias “Paddy” Bauler whose major political accomplishment was to tell the world that Chicago “ain’t ready for reform……..yet.” And to think that Bauler made that comment (and often misquoted without the use of “yet” at the end) after he won a bitterly contested 1939 election in which his opponent ran as an, er, reformer.

Bauler, really was the epitome of a Chicago Democrat and I think those who have followed since have tried hard to emulate him. Perhaps it is something of a Badge of Honor you know. I mean the man did know how to hold on to his position – controlling the 43rd Ward from 1933 to 1967. And he did so despite accomplishing little politically. Then again, he didn’t want to either as he used his office to enrich himself while living life as if it were one big bar party until his death.

No wonder there have been so many to follow in his footsteps or at the very least sit on their derrieres like him. The way I see it, Bauler confirmed that the only prerequisite for a Chicago Democrat is to speak Chicagah Rhetoric. And all that means is that a politician should promise the people everything while giving them as little of it as possible in return. The people (a.k.a. the Saps) are there simply to fill up the public trough from which the politician satifies his (or her) enormous appetite from.

As for the political insiders who sorely want to do business in Chicagah? Well, that’s easy! There are now long established rules in place to govern pay to play. But there’s a hitch too, they must drip their blood onto the picture of a Saint while swearing to the powers that be that they will never ever rat out a “member of the Chicagah Political Family.” Now I am not sure who added that ritual to the Chicago Way of Doing Business, but I suspect that either the late Fred Roti or his even later father Bruno “the Bomber” Roti thought it would mean something special. Okay yes I made up that last part. But it did sound good given their reputations right?

Anyhow now you have it. That’s the deal with these enterprising Chicago Democrats of ours. But that also brings us to the bigger point here – please do not delude yourselves into thinking that a “victory for the people” means very much around here. It doesn’t! So go right ahead and remain as cynical as you damn well please okay? And hey, if you makes you happy then by all means go down and sit in the City Council Gallery or Cook County Government Meeting Room to heckle and hiss whichever elected or appointed official you would like to call out.

You’ve earned it like that Ice Cold Brew at the end of the day. But please – no empty bottle tossing okay? But you can tell them all to stop wasting your time with all the usual B.S. before retiring to a back room to discuss whatever the agreed upon deal is. And if they try to tell you that they are somehow okay with the ideals of an Inspector General or even a high ranking Ethics Official to protect the taxpayer – well you just all laugh in unison because that would be the biggest joke of the night!

Just ask Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle about that. You see she is thisclose to Joseph Berrios and has continually refused to distance or abandon her loyalty for him despite one blatant ethical lapse after another. And to prove to you just how loyal she really is to Joe Berrios all you need to do is ask yourself why she fired MaryNic Foster. Foster was one of Preckwinkle’s own top Ethics Officers but when she tried to punish Berrios for putting relatives onto the Public Payroll – she was gone. And still no action against her Big Joe to this day – how predicable!

So yeah right Toni – that was one hell of a victory for the people speech you gave that night you won. But I have to tell you – I would have had more respect for you had you just come straight out and tell people that you would stack the deck for Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios – Cook County’s King of Nepotism!

You know, that one act alone tells you can’t trust Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Sadly, though, that hasn’t been the only controversy involving her as she is knee-deep in the now infamous METRA Scandal. She also stuck her foot in her mouth when she gave a rather odd speech after her first 100 days as Board President. Of course there have been other transgressions as well but I’d rather have you do a Google Search of those yourself since, well, I want you to participate in the process too okay?

Chicago Democrats for some perverse reason seem to enjoy playing their little game with taxpayers and voters, especially when it comes to reform. But hey, what are you going to if those same voters and taxpayers in the City of Chicago and/or Cook County keep reelecting them so they can keep sticking it them? But I wonder – do they even even realize (or care) that they have made themselves the national laughingstock they have become? Oh well, I guess the voters ultimately get exactly what they pay for. Still, if it is their desire to perpetuate a rigged system that will only hurt them more in the long run, well, then so be it.

Besides, Mathias “Paddy” Bauler already told them they weren’t ready! Yet!

And that’s the way I see it – too.


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  • What's wrong ? Did the author support Toni, expect to get a county job and then it didn't come through ?

  • In reply to Tost81593:

    Hahaha you sure are funny as you obviously haven't read this blog before. But I am glad to see that you are probably the one who's buttering your bread thanks to Toni Preckwinkle. Either that or you just don't get it. Thanks for validating the points I made.

  • While I have agreed that she hasn't reformed anything other than going through with the sales tax increase repeal, I'm not so sure that the 2 links prove much. The one about Blacks and Latinos is simply pandering, while I am not so sure about the $1000 donation, in that Huggins was a Daley appointment.

    Hell, I'm not sure that anyone has gotten to the bottom of the Metra mess, in that the representative from South Holland is also an officer of the village, and hence violates the double dipping provision, but I don't believe any newspaper has brought that up, and that was the only thing that forced O'Halloran out.

    In the meantime, Emanuel is hell bent on immobilizing the RTA, but I wonder if no reformer Quinn's panel is going to look into that.

    On Tost's point, sure she was better than the other choice of The Toddler, but I'm not sure what that proves 2 years from then.

    At least she doesn't claim to have gone to DePaul Law School.

  • In reply to jack:

    I think the fundamental problem with Preckwinkle is that she claims one thing and does another. From the moment she walked in the door she has displayed the same patronage hiring practices that Stroger did and with hefty increases in pay to boot.

    So okay I get it - get rid of the other guys trash and replace them with your own - its an age old practice, but those higher salaries and the fact that she isn't ever in a proactive posture tells you it is just more of the same old same old.

    As for Huggins well he has donated quite a bit of cash over the years so it really wasn't his donations as much as Wiggins the METRA Staffer trying to curry favor for whatever upward mobility he was seeking. And he probably would have scored given his ties to Huggins visa-vi Preckwinkle had this not blown up the way it did. And what about the Cook County Appointment under her office's control - Stanley Rakestraw? How is it no one in her office or Preckwinkle didn't know he was double-dipping? It is just all too damn convenient!

    Her praise of Rahm for the Burge debacle is even questionable - where was she when it was happening under her nose and during Daley's tenure as both mayor and state's attorney? The blame lies there! I mean hey I don't think Rahm is at the top of my list either but this he has nothing to do with and owes no one an apology.

    Tost? Sure he has a vested interest there and if he had just read two other posts from my library would know exactly where I stand on machine politics. But yeah there wasn't much choice - and that is another fundamental problem we have - slate-makers recycling the same career politicos.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Unlike Daley, she may have the out that she was only a school teacher then.

    However, as a general matter, I don't buy the whole belated apology bit, whether it is Clinton for slavery or whatever.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well she may have been a teacher when Daley was State's Attorney, but I believe she served 4 terms in the City Council where she rarely ruffled his feathers.

    As for belated apologies, I am with you on that 1000%. Now what Rahm should apologize for is his stint at Freddie Mac and his "stock dumping?"

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    The county site says elected to the city council in 1991 I wasn't around then, but my impression was that most of the Burge stuff was going on in the 1980s.

    The other thing I noted on the site was her claiming to have IVI-IPO awards. Having lived in Hyde Park (although well before this) the one thing I can say is that if you are talking about sheep, IVI endorsements governed how Hyde Parkers voted (even to the extent of split judicial retention ballots, when some poll watchers decided to count all of those with the same split together, instead of by each race). Now, I don't know if the IVI-IPO was fooled, or things changed when she needed Barrios's support.

    On Rahm, maybe that indicates that he isn't as antibusiness as your usual Democrat, but that brings up Kelly's point of whether Rauner would be part of the Emanuel autocratic machine.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes the Burge abuses were earlier but the lawsuits and accusations have been going on for a very long time and the City Council members were well aware of them. Yet not a peep then about paying out victims or allegations. Seems kind of anti-climactic for her to say it's about time you know?

    Not sure if IVI-IPO was fooled or not but isn't Hyde Park always in the Democratic Party's pocket? I don't think they are Independent like voters on the Northside Lakefront. I mean, just saying.

    As for Rahm, well I think his years in Washington have made him somewhat unique here - he is a Washingtonite who definitely believes in capitalism and its rewards. So anti-business? I'd say you are right on there. Rauner would most definitely be part of that autocracy but you won't see his buddy endorsing him for obvious reasons. But I suspect there will be some "behind the scenes surprises" - let's see which of the Dems get the Etui Brutus.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Hyde Park might have been Democratic as opposed to Republican, but definitely not machine Democrat, given that Leon Despres was the lone person to speak up in the City Council long before Oberman and Singer, and frequently gaveled down by King Richard I.

    Lately the main qualification for city council was to have been somewhat associated with the U of C, as Preckinkle and Hairston (X-Lab School, as they put it) are.

    On the other hand, the state legislative candidates are clearly in the Madigan machine, as Barbara Flynn Currie and Kwame Raoul demonstrate.

  • In reply to jack:

    Wow Jack your are going way back here with that rabbit out of the hat. Leon Despres was a politician alright - but I liked him a lot as he was on the level and put the people above whatever b.s. was going on. Legendary battles with old man Daley. Hyde Park has changed though - the younger generation are of a different mindset now (not completely - but have enough there). My old neighborhood back then was 1000% in the old man's pocket (politician wise) but we got lots of the spoils too.

    But Despres, yeah man that was a nice memory you just gave me.


    p.s. if celebrating today have an easy fast my friend.

  • Chicago and Cook County voters are the dumbest low information people in existence. They are gullible, naive, babes in the woods. They are a con man's, grifter's, charlatan and fraud's delight.

    Stop blaming the politicians. Start attacking the idiots, morons, and cretins, support and vote for them.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    Peter, I think we went through this in the Joe Moore post.

    Aside from those voters susceptible to pandering, what choice was there other than Preckwinkle and Stroger?

    Or take the assessors' race. Sure, Berrios engages in nepotism, and Preckwinkle supposedly complained about that, but the alternative "clean" candidate was Claypool, who turns out is a disgrace as Emanuel's hand picked CTA puppet, there to say "CTA doesn't need oversight, because I am responsible to the Mayor and they can vote him out." Not the voters in the 40 or so suburbs CTA serves, nor in the remainder of the 6 county area CTA wants to tax.

    Or take the last governor's race, where the choice was between an invertebrate and a downstate right winger who couldn't get the necessary votes in DuPage County.

    I compare that to Kirk, and at least Giannoulias didn't win that race.

    So, don't blame it all on the voters.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    On the state level, also take into account that Jesse While either "changed his mind" or lied when he said that this was going to be his last term. I bet any potential candidate now gets out of the way, just like they got out of the way when Lisa said she was going to stay as AG. Then the press say they are top vote getters, even though they had either no or minimal opposition. Again, you can't blame the voters for that.

    Nor can you blame the voters for gerrymandering of state legislative and congressional districts by the self-entrenched Democrats in the General Assembly. As it was said, they pick their constituents, not the voters pick them.

  • In reply to jack:

    Again - it is more the slate-makers doing the picking for voters than anything else.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    Well the one's that religiously vote with in that magical 37% anyway. Between those with a vested interest politically and those sucking off the system that's what that demographic is. I just wonder what it would be like had the other 63% participated? Oh well one can dream, eh?

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