Vote for unbought, unbossed candidates, March 20

Opinion: Columns

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By Dan Lauber

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Imagine elected officials the political machines cannot boss and special interests cannot buy.

On March 20, we can actually vote for two unbought, unbossed candidates on the Democratic ballot: Daniel Biss for Governor, and Oak Park's Fritz Kaegi for Cook County Assessor.

Biss and Kaegi are the worst nightmares for the Democratic and Republican political machines. Both Rauner and Madigan fear Biss the most because as an independent, progressive state senator, Biss knows government, how to build legislative coalitions that break gridlock, and how to make government work for the middle class instead of the super-wealthy and political insiders. They are scared stiff of Biss because he has never been bought or bossed.

I suspect that Rauner would love Chris Kennedy as his opponent since Kennedy has shown he knows nothing about governing or government, openly expressed disdain for people with modest incomes, and displayed his incompetence at governing during his disastrous tenure on the University of Illinois board.

The machine fears Kaegi, the polar opposite of the bought political boss incumbent Joe Berrios. The machine and the super-wealthy fear Kaegi because he'll end the Berrios Tax on middle-class and modest-income households thanks to under-assessing the most valuable properties and over-assessing our homes, as revealed by exposés in both Chicago papers.

The machine candidates fear unbought and unbossed candidates Biss and Kaegi so much that they are waging vicious smear campaigns against them.

JB Pritzker, the machine's (i.e. Mike Madigan's) choice, is using his billions to fill the airwaves and our mailboxes with misleading distortions of Daniel Biss' voting record — a record Pritzker lacks since he's never served in public office. He disingenuously and falsely attacks Biss for helping write the pension reform bill that would have helped cure the pension mess, due to decades of neglect by the General Assembly and governors of both parties. Even with the risk that it was unconstitutional (as it was), it was the only bill that could get passed. At least Biss, along with dozens of other legislators including our own Don Harmon, tried to fix the mess while Pritzker and Kennedy sat on the sidelines.

Fritz Kaegi is so unbought and unbossed that incumbent scandalized Assessor Joe Berrios is disingenuously trying to paint Kaegi as supporting the NRA. Berrios' swift-boat-style commercial falsely implies Kaegi opposes gun control because the company where he worked once invested in a business owned by a guy who has contributed to the NRA. That very tenuous connection is straight from the Bruce Rauner and Richard Nixon smear campaign playbook. This is all Berrios has because Kaegi is clean as a whistle, unbought, unbossed.

Don't complain in November about the lousy bought and bossed Democratic candidates for Governor and Cook County Assessor when we have a rare opportunity to nominate independent, progressive, unbought, unbossed candidates for Governor — Daniel Biss, the most likely candidate to beat Rauner in November and Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi.

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Dan Lauber is a resident of River Forest.

— Dan Lauber, River Forest, was raised on the original unbought, unbossed politician Abner Mikva.

Reader Comments

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Peter Hermann  

Posted: March 15th, 2018 2:50 AM

Great News: The Appellate Court just reversed the Cook County board of election decision to remove Andrea Raila from the ballot, found NO fraud was committed and Raila had 11,167 above the 8,236 required signatures!!!! Now it's time to sent a clear message to sleazy and corrupt machine politics and tactics, Punch 82 for the only true progressive Cook County Assessor's Office candidate: Andrea Raila. She conducted herself incredible honorable and courageous over the last 3 months, despite the most insane injustice thrown at her. She could have easily gone the machine route and challenge Kaegi's signatures, who had petitions collected before the allowed September 4 date and showed irregularities in the notary department. But Raila proved that even when things go hard and difficult, that she will stay the course and not resort to unfair machine tactics. A woman of tremendous courage when under pressure! Let's clean out the Assessor's office and Punch 82!

Alice Wellington  

Posted: March 14th, 2018 10:35 AM

Bruce Kline - if Kaegi was so determined to invalidate Raila's candidacy, he should have thought about the consequences in advance.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: March 13th, 2018 11:44 PM

The problem Alice is that while Andrea Raila is not a candidate, she is not off the ballot. On the contrary. Her name remains on the ballot. As such any votes she gets will be discounted and effectively wasted. She effectively splits the opposition to Berrios. I do not recall Candidate Raila pointing out to her constituents that she is not a candidate "so don't vote for me". This is bad news for Kaegi, and a gift to Berrios.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: March 12th, 2018 4:10 PM

Damn! There's some real self-righteous going on here. Now both Kaegi and David Orr- DAVID ORR, really?- are corrupt, machine style political thugs. Take a deep breath, Petter and Alice. Then, as I said before, try spelling out some details here, instead of non-specific blanket allegations. .. . If you can. By the way, Andrea was my tax appeal person for years. And my sister in law worked in her office. She lost a petition challenge. Too bad for her. Not all politics is machine.

Alice Wellington  

Posted: March 12th, 2018 10:30 AM

Peter Hermann - you're right, of course, but with Raila now off the ballot, our choices are down to two presumably corrupt politicians. If nothing else, removing Berrios will at least punish him for what he did during his time in the office. And maybe it will serve as the warning to Kaegi, should he get elected.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: March 12th, 2018 9:18 AM

This is just observation, however the Chicago Sun Times about two days ago rebranded Mike Madigan as a progressive. Mike Madigan.

Peter Hermann  

Posted: March 12th, 2018 4:24 AM

Alice Wellington - Berrios is a corrupt politician and I've been daydreaming for years to see him removed from the office. Kaegia has zero record on property tax reform issues. To position himself to be elected, he has applied good old fashioned machine tactics and in my book cannot be trusted. Andrea Raila has a record of 30+ years fighting for fair property assessments. Long before the Chicago Tribune wrote the 'Tax Devide', she has, among others, addressed these kind of issues. Here is some food for thoughts: David Orr, who is the Cook County board of election Chairman, endorses Fritz Kaegi. Selfproclaimed 'progressive' Kaegi uses good-old-fashined cook county machine tools to bully a candidate off the ballot and challenges Andrea Raila's signitures (she collected 25000 out of 8236 required). The board of election, (yep, the same board that David Orr, who endorsed Kaegi, happens to be the Chairman), sides with Kaegi and throws Andrea under the wheels. Why is it that I'm smelling a rotten fish here?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: March 8th, 2018 9:04 PM

As of Dec. 31, the amounts the Kaegi campaign has spent on lawyers: $10,684.15 to Cameron & Kane; $23,825: to Andrew Finko; and $5,000 to Adducci, Dorf, Lehner, Mitchell & Blankenship, PC.

Alice Wellington  

Posted: March 7th, 2018 5:12 PM

Peter Hermann - are you saying that Berrios is a better choice?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: March 7th, 2018 4:21 PM

Newspapers have to back up their statements, while people commenting on their web boards do not. But I'll ask Mr. Hermann anyway- do you have anything approximating documentation for your allegations that Kaegi "spent several hundred thousand on good-old-boys election attorneys, who know and apply every slimy angle on how to destroy an opponent with machine installed tactics?" Or do you just have an axe to grind? I would think, if you so dislike "machine installed tactics" you'd be happy to see someone take on Joe Berrios.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: March 7th, 2018 3:12 PM

Well for that 2013 pension reform heresy, Mr. Biss has been on his own apology tour denying his apostasy of liberal progressive beliefs.

Peter Hermann  

Posted: March 7th, 2018 2:32 PM

Are you talking about the same Keagi, a self-proclaimed progressive with no record on property tax reform issues, who spent several hundred thousand on good-old-boys election attorneys, who know and apply every slimy angle on how to destroy an opponent with machine installed tactics and absurd signature challenges (not to mention slandering their reputation) ? I'm truly embarrassed to call myself Oak Parker!

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