Monday, November 09, 2009

Congressman Danny K. Davis to run for Re-Election for Congress, Drop Out of Race Against Todd Stroger

According to published reports in the Chicago Tribune, veteran U.S. Rep. Danny Davis today dropped his bid to challenge Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and said he will seek re-election to Congress.

Davis had hedged his bets by filing petitions for the Feb. 2 Democratic primary for county president as well as for the seat in Congress he has held for 13 years. A run for board president would end his career in the House.

"I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for Cook County Board president and instead will run for reelection," Davis said at a morning news conference. He said he likes being a congressman and "I'm good at it."

Davis said he realized that it would be "politically dangerous" for candidates from the same political and community base to run at the same time.
Stroger still faces a crowded field of challengers that includes Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, Ald. Toni Preckwinkle, 4th, and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Terrence O'Brien, the only white candidate for the Democratic nomination.

Black ministers earlier this fall had said they were worried the number of black challengers to Stroger could result in blacks losing the post, which an African American has held for more than a decade.

Davis said he met with Stroger Sunday as part of his decision process. "I talked with (Stroger) about the information I had and I talked with him about about the challenges of the race," Davis said.

Davis said it was a difficult decision but unity was the prime consideration. He said he will make an endorsement in the race but hasn't decided yet who it will be.

Several Democrats have filed to run for Davis' 7th District seat, but could opt to drop out now that he's staying in the federal race.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Todd Stroger Files to Run for Re-Election for Cook County Board President...

According to the Chicago Tribune, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger late Monday afternoon filed his paperwork to run for for re-election.

By waiting until just before the filing deadline, Stroger secured the last position on the ballot, which is considered second best to the first spot.

"I feel great," Stroger said after filing. "I feel like 150 pounds of dynamite."

Stroger joins a crowded Democratic field for county board president. It includes Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown; Ald. Toni Preckwinkle, 4th; and Water Reclamation District President Terrence O'Brien. U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Chicago, has filed for both county board president and Congress. Davis will need to choose between the two by next Monday.

Stroger filed petitions with about 22,000 signatures. Nearly 8,150 valid signatures are needed to withstand a challenge. He has been considered politically vulnerable in the wake of a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax increase he pushed through the county board in February 2008.

Theresa L. Kelly Advised and Supported By Charles A. Flowers...

Where would Proviso Township High School District 209 be if Theresa L. Kelly and her cronies had won majority control of the school board following the 2007 School Board elections? According to state election records, Theresa L. Kelly received her financial and political support from disgraced Regional Superintendent Charles A. Flowers and his former staffers like Willie Mack. Flowers made numerous donations to her campaign and also sent recorded telephone messages to residents on her behalf. With Flowers as her advisor, would Proviso look like the Regional Superintendent's office? Most observers think so. After a scandal plagued year, Flowers has decided not to seek re-election in 2010, and he is desperately hoping to avoid legal trouble from the State's Attorney's office after his office was raided in July 2009. Voters will have a turn to oust Kelly in 2011. Stay Tuned.

Regional Superintendent Charles A. Flowers Moves Office...

According to the Daily Southtown, a quiet Charles Flowers sat sandwiched Monday between landlords accused of keeping derelict buildings and tenants with stories of rent checks lost in the mail.

The regional schools chief appeared in eviction court Monday - the deadline to move out of the Westchester space his office leased and pay more than $10,000 in back rent. But before standing in front of the judge, Flowers and the folks of Westchester School District 92 1 / 2 had reached an agreement the judge signed off on.

Flowers, who voluntarily moved out of the school's building Friday, gets 120 days to pay the $10,762 in back rent he owes the district.

School district attorney Jeff Goelitz said Flowers blamed his inability to pay the rent on late payments from the state.

"If they receive the money from the state, they have to pay up within 24 hours of receipt of it," Goelitz said.

Flowers' office is nearly $1 million in debt, according to a state audit. The Cook County state's attorney's office is investigating Flowers for alleged financial and ethical misdeeds and suing him for defaulting on a $190,000 taxpayer-backed loan.

The new location for the Suburban Cook County Regional Office of Education is at 2600 S. 25th Ave. in Broadview. The regional office's corner space in the two-story office building - which backs up to a warehouse and is flanked by a nearby trucking company's semi trucks - was open to the public Monday.

Flowers' office has been paying back rent in installments, according to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. In July, he was about $20,000 behind on rent for February through July.

State law requires the county board in every county except Cook to provide a suitable space for the regional office. The state hasn't paid out the Suburban Cook County Regional Office of Education or any other regional office of education since July 1, Illinois State Board of Education spokeswoman Mary Fergus said.

The state has set aside more than $70,000 in state grant money for Flowers' office, but the comptroller has yet to cut the checks, Fergus said.

"We're backlogged over $3 billion in bills going back to the first of August because the revenues just aren't there," Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes' spokesman Alan Henry said. "I'm sure (Flowers' office is) in the queue somewhere. I'm not sure when they'll get the money."

Flowers, who did not answer a reporter's questions Monday, is due back in court Feb. 8. If he hasn't paid up in 120 days, it's up to the school district to take the next step.

"The board's option would be to go to court to ask the (regional office of education) to make good on the order, to pay up," Goelitz said. "We haven't had that discussion yet."