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Claypool's Double Standard

  Howizzit that Forrest Claypool and his band of self-described "reformers" can be so critical of minority race elected officials they accuse of corruption while not being nearly as hard on white guys who allegedly do the same stuff?

  Independent candidate for Cook County Assessor Claypool and his supporters fired another barrage of charges at democratic nominee Joe Berrios yesterday.   They accused Berrios, the Cook Democratic Party chairman and the county's most powerful hispanic politician, of being a practitioner of "pay to play" politics. 

  Claypool and his "Lakefront Liberal" posse also described Berrios as "under investigation" by local and federal prosecutors.   They offerred no proof that such probes were underway.

  They pointed to a Chicago Magazine/Better Government Association investigation published this week that said Berrios--a Board of Review commissioner--was in cahoots with Illinois Democratic Party chairman Mike Madigan to fix real estate assessments in favor of large property owners. 

 Madigan, the longtime Speaker of the State House of Representatives, is also a real estate attorney who specializes in tax appeals cases, many of which are considered by Berrios' Board of Review.

  So After Claypool and his squad of "rogue" democrats--who included U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowski--finished their Berrios beatdown, yours truly inquired if they also were asking voters to reject the powerful Madigan's candidacy for re-election in the 22nd Legislative District.

  You could feel the room get larger as a dozen suddenly-squirmy pols all seemed to back away from the podium microphone at the same time.  Schakowsky rambled something about the assessor's race being between Claypool and Berrios (and not Madigan).  Claypool stepped up to insist he's never been shy about criticizing Madigan but even he would not recommend that Southwest Siders vote to retire the man who has represented them in Springfield for the last 39 years.  

  The rest of the rogues kept their pie-holes safely shut.


  This reminded me of how Claypool and many of the same "reformers" went after the late Cook County Board President John Stroger and more recently his son, the current President Todd Stroger .  

  The Strogers, for most of 16 years, have been the highest-ranking African-American elected officials in Cook County.

  I've lost count of how many times that Claypool, as a member of the County Board, has used the word "corrupt" to describe the administrations of both Strogers.

  But during all the years the father and son have held the county's highest office, there have been zero federal indictments for corruption in either of their governments.

   Contrast that record to the dozens of federal convictions of city workers and administration officials during the reign of Mayor Richard M. Daley at Chicago City Hall.

  Have you ever heard Claypool--a former Daley chief of staff and parks superintendent--use the word "corrupt" when talking about his former boss or his own career at city hall?  

  Does the "reformer" know how to pick his fights, or what?

  But the fact that his highest-profile political attacks have been aimed at African-American and Hispanic democrats might not serve him well on November 2nd.

  Black and Latino voters pay attention to that sort of thing.









Didn't U.S. Rep Jan Schakowski try to save a black owned-operated bank in South Shore? Didn't she try to get that bank some bailout of $25 million?

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