We are scheduled to have Fritz Kaegi on Friday’s Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers (11am. 105.5fm in Chicago. Internet streaming on http://www.lumpenradio.com. Podcast on iTunes).
Fritz is running against Joe Berrios, the current Cook County tax assessor, who also happens to be Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party.
I’m sure you can see the problem with Joe Berrios just knowing those two facts.
I make it a point to vote against a Berrios at every opportunity.
For 12 years Toni Berrios was my state representative. Toni is Joe’s daughter. It took three tries, once with a Green Party candidate and then two runs by Will Guzzardi. But no Berrios now represents my state representative district and it seems to be working well.
Joe is a scandal magnet. He has been busted hiring family members for Cook County jobs whose only qualification for the job is that they are related to Joe.
This would be like having a president put his son-in-law in charge of middle east peace negotiations. Crazy, right?
Joe has also been busted for giving tax breaks to wealthy friends and socking it to poor neighborhoods.
Anyway, Fritz Kaegi is a reformer who is taking Joe on and I will vote for him.
But a question I have is why do I have to vote for the tax assessor? I will ask Fritz about this on Hitting Left.
It seems like a pretty technical job. Or it should be.
In Chicago and Cook County we seem to have this thing where we vote for the oddest job positions.
We vote for members of the Metropolitan Water District but not for members to a representative school board.
Shouldn’t that be the other way around?
So a question I have for Fritz Kaegi is why we even have elections for tax assessor.
Don’t get me wrong. Since we do, it shouldn’t be Joe Berrios.
And I’m not naive to think that an appointed tax man or woman wouldn’t be tempted by corruption. I have lived in Cook County for over 40 years. I get it.
But having to ask for political donations and votes just seems to make it worse and the fact that we are unique makes me think it has a history with having our Democratic Machine. Mike Madigan and Eddie Burke have made a lucrative career representing friends and clients in successful property tax appeals to Joe Berrios.
If you know the history of this, send me a note.