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January 2010
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Finally Feel Good About Your Vote: Toni Preckwinkle for Cook County Board President

Too often in elections, I find myself at the ballot box holding my nose while voting for a particular candidate. For me, its usually the lesser of two evils– I vote against someone, rather than for a candidate. In the 2004 Presidential election, after voting for John Kerry, my assistant sent me to the emergency room. I had chest pains; my shoulders and upper arms ached.   After some testing, I learned that my heart was fine– apparently, I suffered an anxiety attack. True story.

At least in the race for the Cook County Board President, we have a candidate for whom we can feel good about voting. In my opinion, we have one excellent candidate, one very good candidate and two others. The candidates include: current President Todd Stroger; Clerk of the Circuit Court, Dorothy Brown; President of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Terrence O’Brien and Chicago Alderman Toni Preckwinkle.

If you’re considering voting for Todd Stroger, I only have one word for you: REALLY?

Dorothy Brown also goes in the “two others” category. As an attorney, I spend a lot of time in the cook county courthouse and recently I have asked the clerks about what they thought about Dorothy Brown and the election for Cook County Board President. One mockingly told me that if she voted for Dorothy Brown, at least that would get her out of the courthouse. That was the only endorsement from an employee I spoke with. There is not much love for Dorothy Brown from her employees. It appears at least some of the supervisors in her office are her friends and have no experience in the divisions they oversee.

Further, a January 13, 2010, Chicago Tribune editorial opined that the only efficient thing Dorothy Brown does in her “change-resistant” office is fundraise. The editorial reported that her “employees groused privately… that their ‘invitations’ to her 55th birthday party at the Hotel Allegro included a request for a minimum $125 contribution.” She recently stopped taking monetary donations from her employees after a Tribune reporter noted he was doing a story on shakedowns.

All the clerks I spoke with were voting either for Toni Preckwinkle or Terrence O’Brien. In my opinion, Toni Preckwinkle is an excellent candidate, while President O’Brien makes a very good one. When the Chicago Tribune endorsed Toni Preckwinkle, they were impressed by her no nonsense, hardworking, ethical approach to governing. She is known as fiercely independent– and at times a thorn in Mayor Daley’s side– in the Chicago City Council. At recent debate televised on ABC Channel 7, Preckwinkle and her preparedness stole the show. She clearly outclassed the other candidates. But don’t take my word for it. Watch it yourself: if you’re not impressed, please email me and tell me why.

ABC7′s website has it in three segments:

Alderman Preckwinkle has been endorsed by The Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune and a myriad of other local politicians including Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. She truly is impressive.  The only problem with voting Toni Preckwinkle to the presidency of the Cook County Board is that her talents could be better utilized in another office.

Fortunately, there is one candidate you really don’t have to think twice about voting for: Toni Preckwinkle. Vote for her and sleep well. She’s that good.

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