We could have done the show at Bridgeport Coffee this morning because no sooner had my brother and I arrived then in walked our guest, Fritz Kaegi.
So we spent the next hour talking about his experiences as a student and researcher in Russia back in the 90s and baseball and other assorted topics we never have time to talk about on the show.
The current Cook County Tax Assessor is Democratic Party Machine boss Joe Berrios. He will spend a million bucks on this campaign.
Imagine. A million bucks running for Tax Assessor.
That’s a lot of favors for contributors. It is one of the things that is wrong with a system like we have in Cook County where we have so many executive positions that are elected and controlled by The Machine.
Fritz thinks this is a good thing because it allows a reform challenge. He asks, “What if the Mayor appointed everybody?”
I’m not sure. Elections for what are essentially bureaucratic offices like tax collector, recorder of deeds and the water district are a decades-old creation of a Machine that uses those positions for raising campaign cash, offering patronage jobs and puts Black and Brown faces in a few City and County executive offices without having to deliver anything to Black and Brown neighborhoods.
Still, Berrios holds that office and Kaegi wants to take him on with the hope that voters are sick and tired of the corruption and nepotism that characterize the Assessor’s office now.
It was a lively conversation and you can here it here and on iTunes.