Friday, June 30, 2006

County politics - how dumb do they think we are?

This was reported in the Chicago Sun Times:

"President Stroger is alive and well. Until he decides that he don't want to run again -- it's up to him. And whoever he decides that he wants to replace him -- that's what's going to happen. ... White folks can do it. Black folks can do it -- easily. We got control of the [weighted] votes in the city and the county, so we do what we want to do. Remember that."

In fact there is an Illinois statute that covers this situation and it does not say what Alderman Beavers said.

(55 ILCS 5/2‑6003) (from Ch. 34, par. 2‑6003)
Sec. 2‑6003. Vacancy in office of president. In case of the death, resignation, removal from office or other inability to act of the president so elected, if more than 28 months of the unexpired term remain, the vacancy shall be filled at the next general election, at which election one of the regularly elected or appointed members of the board of commissioners shall be elected to serve the unexpired term of the president. If less than two years and sixty days of the unexpired term remain, the board of commissioners shall elect one of their number to serve the unexpired term of the president.
(Source: P.A. 86‑962.)

The Sun Times also reported this:
There is no succession process in county government, and Suffredin again said he plans to introduce a plan -- based on the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution -- at the next board meeting. After that process is in place, Suffredin said he still believes Steele has enough support to be selected interim board president.

However, I believe the above statute clearly covers the vacancy of a Cook County Board president, so either the commissioners are completely uninformed, which is a scary thought, the attorney general is looking the other way, another scary thought, or they're buying time to see if the voters say anything, which up until now - we haven't.

The other statute that covers the county board is regarding elections.

According to Illinois law:

(55 ILCS 5/2‑6002) (from Ch. 34, par. 2‑6002)
Sec. 2‑6002. Election of president of board. Every legal voter in said county may vote for and designate (upon his ballot cast for county commissioners) one of the candidates for commissioner to be president of the county board, and the person who shall receive the highest number of such votes shall be declared elected president of said board.
(Source: P.A. 86‑962.)

So why is it so hard to figure out that if the person who won the primary can't serve, the person who came in second should run. That is the will of the people. The ward bosses only decide who the party is going to back. If say, Claypool, a democrat, had won the primary and then was not able to participate in the general election, and Stroger, the party's choice, had come in second - do you think the ward bosses would get to pick Claypool's successor? They didn't want him to begin with, but I bet to get their guy in there, they'd say - hey, the people voted him second, to do anything else would be wrong. However that's not what happened, but why would doing anything else be wrong......let the candidate who got the second highest number of votes run on the party ticket, he's the one most likely to win. And besides - it's the right thing to do.


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