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June 2010
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Give Forrest Claypool a chance!

Forrest Claypool

The Chicago Tribune is on the Forrest Claypool bandwagon.  Usually, I am wary of a newspaper openly endorsing a candidate that is not even on the ballot– let alone pushing the candidate on us.  However, in Chicago, unfortunately, a newspaper pushing a better choice than the status quo is down right necessary.  Joe Berrios, the democratic choice we’re left with for Cook County Assessor, is no choice at all.  He is part of the Madigan/Daley machine, who feeds the machine and the people who work for it, rather than the average citizen.   In short: Joe Berrios is bad for Cook County.  Another choice for assessor– Forrest Claypool–  is what the county needs.  Although Mr. Claypool is not an  “independent” voice, he certainty doesn’t closely align with the most powerful man in the state, Mike Madigan. 

Here is what the Chicago Tribune’s editorial page had to say on June 17, 2010, about Forrest Claypool and Joe Berrios:

GIVE CLAYPOOL A CHANCE

Come Election Day, voters need to make sure Democratic candidate Joseph Berrios and his cronies don’t win the key to the office of Cook County assessor. One way to thwart Berrios & Friends is to make sure independent candidate Forrest Claypool gets on the ballot. Claypool needs to amass signatures before Monday so he can meet the deadline for filing his petitions with election officials.

If you’re a registered voter who lives in Cook County, sign a Claypool petition. Don’t know how? Contact his campaign at 773-328-2039 or via info@forrestclaypool.comand a staffer will come to you. If you’ve been collecting signatures, return your petitions pronto to Claypool’s campaign office at 2835 N. Sheffield Ave. in Chicago.

Why bother? Three reasons:

Joe Berrios

• Berrios, who sits on the county’s property tax appeals board and moonlights as a video poker lobbyist, is a terrible candidate for an office that wields so much power over property valuations. In his current role, Berrios has done plenty to benefit clients of the law firms of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton — fellow Democrats whom Berrios then lobbies for favors in Springfield.

Isn’t that sweet for Berrios, Madigan and Cullerton? Did we mention that Berrios chairs the Cook County Democratic Party and reports to Madigan, who chairs the Illinois Democratic Party? The departing assessor, James Houlihan, has long criticized the overlapped interests of Berrios and Madigan. Houlihan is right.

• Don’t ever forget Berrios’ enthusiastic support for County Board President Todd Stroger’s notorious sales tax hike. Berrios didn’t just want the 1-percentage-point increase Stroger eventually muscled through the County Board. No, Berrios wanted the full 2 percentage points Stroger initially proposed.

• Berrios, Madigan and the rest of their cozy cabal are terrified that Claypool will gather the required 25,000 valid signatures and get on the ballot. Berrios & Friends will challenge any Claypool signature they think they can. For Claypool, there’s no such thing as “enough” signatures. He needs lots of spares.

If you want to tell the insiders who rule Cook County as their fiefdom that they’re free to relinquish some turf, sign a petition to put Claypool on the ballot. Give him a chance to protect this crucial office.

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