Tuesday, March 14, 2006


So I was alarmed this morning when I read that Cook County Board President John Stroger was hospitalized, and more so just now when I learned that he had suffered a stroke.

Notwithstanding that I have endorsed my County Commissioner Forrest Claypool in the upcoming election, I have nothing but respect for President Stroger as a person. He has always been congenial with me when I would see him, and his son Todd was my seatmate in the House before he became an Alderman.

But it's times like this that help you put everything in perspective. In races at every level, attack ads are rampant, and winning seems to be acceptable at any cost. But it becomes easy for people to forget that these are real people with real lives. They attack a person's 'integrity', forgetting that they have families and lives outside of the public domain. But these attacks can take their toll on folks. I am NOT saying that the campaign caused Stroger's stroke. With his health history, it's pretty doubtful.

My point is that as we watch the political rhetoric continue to escalate, remember that there are more important things out there than winning an election.


At March 14, 2006 at 7:52 PM, Blogger Levois said...

I hope Mr. Stroger gets well soon.

At March 15, 2006 at 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to disagree insofar as nearly everyone despises how negative campaigning has become so prevalent (because it seems to be effective).

That being said, if negative campaigning were actually to cause physical or psychological harm, Forrest Claypool would be deader than a doornail.

Further, given the accusations that Stroger regularly lets fly (including the race card being used inappropriately), Suffredin and Quigley should be dead as well.

I don't understand why Claypool should have to change a thing at this juncture. If it's good (0r bad) enough for a healthy Stroger, it should be the same for a sick Stroger.

I wish Stroger well, as I do anyone who is ill. However, he has a responsibility to handle his precarious candidacy with prudence for the best interest of the County. He should exit the race and have his legions work with Claypool the same way people with opposing views have patiently dealt with Stroger's presidency.

I also take this opportunity to lament President Clinton's involvement in this race. It's a darn shame he didn't do his homework and instead filled a chit for someone. If he did some study, he would know Claypool offers more of the effective governance skills and priorities that marked his own presidency.

Shame on all the politicos who either endorse Stroger or stayed out of the fray! I'm not sure which is worse!

Run Forrest Run! Send Stroger a fruit basket when you win!

At March 15, 2006 at 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Neil Steinberg isn't above kicking a guy when he's (literally) down:

"Isn't it enough that Stroger has turned Cook County government into a bog of waste, cronyism and incompetence? Isn't it enough that a solid, respectable, smart alternative exists? Claypool is a longtime reformer who has fought heroically to make Cook County better and more effective -- if you are voting to try to improve the vital Cook County services, the vote is for Claypool. If you vote your race, for any clown, no matter how ignored and betrayed you are year-in, year-out, then go for Stroger."

At March 16, 2006 at 10:56 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Claypool is now toast. Eggs are available on the face of Rahm.To characterize a guy like Claypool as a "reformer" is laughable. When we take care of Alexi on Tuesday it will be a clean sweep for real Democrats.
P.S. I hope that you are feeling better.

At March 16, 2006 at 5:16 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

Thanks Bill. Have to say that I think I felt better a few days ago than I do now. Oh well.

As far as the Board President race is concerned, I just saw Claypool's new ad and I think it's the best one yet. Very positive and warm and touts his endorsements.

They obviously already had this one in the can, but it is a perfect piece to finish on, especially in light of recent events.

Should be a fascinating race to watch.

At March 16, 2006 at 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Mr. Stroger gets well soon too. Nobody should take advantage of him being sick.

At March 17, 2006 at 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Stroger wins, it will be an unbelievable slap in the face of everything that is good, decent, right and moral. I wish him the best in terms of his health but Cook County NEEDS Forrest Claypool.


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