-By Warner Todd Huston
Last cycle this website did not support Mr. Morrison for the first district seat on the Cook County Board of Review. There was a big reason for this. Morrison was a heavy supporter, donor and voter for Democrats prior to suddenly launching his campaign as a Republican.
Morrison gave a lot of money to Democrats, voted as a Democrat, and supported them where he lived in Chicago’s 19th Ward (See Morrison’s campaign donation and voting history here). This made me very, very wary that he was merely a Democrat plant attempting to steal away a GOP seat. It looked like a typical, left-wing, dirty trick that we are so used to seeing from unprincipled Democrats.
Morrison, however, denies he is a Democrat. He says he supported Democrats and voted Democrat in the 19th Ward because there weren’t any viable Republicans in his area to help support his business interests.
I have to say, this is a common claim, but it doesn’t wash with me. I can see donating to Democrats in the name of your business. But your vote is another thing. It is sacred and should not be traded for business.
Still, to be fair, last time around for the race for the Board of Review Morrison did gather quite a few Republicans to his banner. Further, he seems to have a history of supporting Republican Maureen Murphy the one-time GOP member of the Board of Review.
In 2006 Morrison donated to a PAC that supported Murphy and Joe Birkett when Birkett was running for Lt. Governor.
When we last saw Morrison in the 2010 race, he had gotten the support of the following GOP groups and individuals:
- Committeeman Pat Barr from Rich Township
- Committeeman Shaun Murphy from Worth Township
- Committeeman Elizabeth Doody Gorman from Orland Township
- Committeeman Doug Troiani from Bloom Township
- Committeeman Mike Olik from Stickney Township
- Committeeman John Stevo from Calumet Township
- Palos Township Republican organization Committeeman Tony Castrogiovanni
- Berwyn Republican Organization Committeeman Mike Corrigan
- Proviso Township Republican Organization Committeeman Sig Vaznelis of Lemont Township
- State Representative Jim Durkin
- Former state senator Tom Walsh, from the 22d district
- Orland Township Republican Organization
- Worth Township regular Republican Organization
- Bloom Township Republican Organization
- Calumet Township Republican Organization
- Stickney Township Republican Organization
- Proviso Township Republican Organization
Not bad for a guy that wasn’t voting for any of those people or their party, eh?
So, was Morrison’s heavy support for Democrats just a “business decision,” the kind we see from businessmen all across the city of Chicago who claim they’d love to vote for the GOP if only there were a GOP to vote for in Chicago?
For me, after his ability to get such a large number of GOP supporters, I find it hard to state outright that his long history of voting Democrat makes him a Democrat plant or a Democrat dirty trick. I feel disabused of that notion at least. But that history STILL does not make me warm to him endorsements or no.
But, suffice to say I am open to Morrison proving his charges that Dan Patlak has not fulfilled any of the promises he made after being elected to the Board last time around.
Let the campaign begin.