Todd Stroger, son of former Cook County Board President John Stroger, was elected to his father’s position recently. John had to resign due to a stroke last year, after serving tirelessly and heroically for 12 years, on behalf of good ‘ol tax-paying residents of Cook County, yours truly included. He left with 500 million dollars deficit in the county’s books in his wake.
Todd, part of the new generation to revitalize the political process, promised to make hard decisions and dramatic changes. Not too long after he was sworn in, he appointed his cousin, Donna Dunning, to be the county’s Chief Financial Officer.
Now Donna was County Budget Director before her new role, during John Stroger’s rein. (I think I mentioned that the county currently has a 500 million dollars budget hole.) Donna earned 142,840 dollars last year. She has promised she would keep this salary and wouldn’t give herself a raise. She has a degree in accounting from University of Arkansas and MBA from Northwestern University.
Todd said: “They have to be close to the president. The president has to trust them. There is no one I trust better than Donna Dunning. I don’t care what her name is or what her blood line is. She had great credentials.”
Donna said: “I am qualified for this job. And there will always be critics. My mother told me a long time ago that Jesus walked our earth and he had critics”
Soon afterwards, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was re-elected for his 6th term. (Chicago is inside Cook County) He has served the City of Chicago since 1989 and will continue doing so until 2011, if he will not run again at the end of 2010. Richard M. Daley is the son of Richard J. Daley. Daley the elder was the longest-serving major, for 21 years, before the son beat daddy’s record in the last mayoral election. Richard M.’s little brother, Bill, served as Secretary of Commerce for President Bill Clinton, before George W. Bush took his daddy, George H. W. Bush’s job as president. (George H. W. Bush is a son of US senator) After Bill Daley left the revolving doors of Washington DC, he has been a high flying campaigner, big company executive, among other things. If memory serves, I think at least one of Richard M.’s other siblings/offsprings also serve in the Chicago City Council.
Meanwhile, ComEd, the dominant electric utility of Illinois, is fighting the state legislature for rate hikes. One of ComEd’s arguments is that cost really goes up. At the same time, ComEd’s CEO, John Rowe, took in 27 million dollars income last year alone. ComEd has contributed handsomely for state legislature and governor elections, so its chance shouldn’t be too bad.
In other news, the presidential election is running hot and getting hotter every day, since well more than 2 years before it actually happens. Experts have predicated that 2008 will be the most expensive presidential race ever, with campaign spending reaching a staggering 1 billion dollars. To be taken seriously by pundits and journalists, a candidate will need to raise at least $100 million by the end of 2007. With so many candidates fighting for positions and making headlines, I am tempted to jump into the race myself. I figure what I lack in money and connections, I more than make up with fame and charisma 😉