You know to be fair last year was a bad year for Republicans nationally and who knows hopefully 2008 will be much kinder to them. We'll see though but what might 2008 be for Cook County Republicans?
On this that figures in Stewart's column from last month was the squabbling between County Republican chair Liz Gorman and her fellow commissioner/Republican Tony Peraica. Remember earlier back in March I posted about some squabbling between the intended 42nd Ward Republican committeewoman Eloise Gerson and Gorman. Well that figures here too.
Now to the column, in 2008 this is what could possibly happen...
Cook County State's Attorney (2008): Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica got 547,225 votes (46 percent of the total) in his 2006 race for Cook County Board president in 2006, losing to Democrat Todd Stroger. He carried 12 Chicago wards and 23 suburban townships, and he got 31.5 percent of the city vote and 59.6 percent of the suburban vote.Now there is a little more about the situation in the 42nd ward. I want to explore that, but I'll let you read up about what this column says about 2010...
Since November Peraica has been Stroger's most vociferous critic, voting against his budget and claiming that "one family" -- meaning the Daleys -- "run the entire operation" in the city and the county. "I am a majority of one, and I will continue to fight for the taxpayers," Peraica said.
To maintain his visibility and to give himself a platform to continue to criticize county government, Peraica is going to run for state's attorney in 2008, challenging incumbent Democrat Dick Devine. "There is corruption throughout county government, but there is no prosecution," said Peraica, who will rip Devine as oblivious to the corruption. Peraica doesn't expect to win, but he'll keep his name before the public.
After her election as chairman, Gorman quickly ousted two Chicago ward committeemen appointed by Skoien: Eloise Gerson in the Gold Coast 42nd Ward and Kent Griffiths in the Wicker Park/Bucktown 32nd Ward. Both backed Swiss, and both are Peraica allies. Under party by-laws, an appointed committeeman can be removed at any time by the chairman.
A graphic example of Republican idiocy is the 42nd Ward. Gerson replaced Rich Gordon, who resigned. Gordon ran for 42nd Ward alderman in 2003 and got 44 percent of the vote. The 42nd Ward delivered 11,696 votes to George Bush in 2004, his second-best ward in the city, and it produced 10,972 votes for Bush in 2000, again his second-best. According to Gerson, Gorman asked her for her vote for chairman but she demurred, saying that she was committed to Swiss.
Gerson said that her "unappointment" was punishment for opposing Gorman. "She told me that the numbers in the ward have declined," Gerson said. "That's absurd. They've improved." According to a Gorman spokesman, Gerson was ousted because the ward's "vote count was down and there were no precinct captains, no events and no organization meetings." Responded Gerson: "That's an absolute lie. She spoke at our meetings. She knows we have a viable organization."
Gerson's replacement is Susan Simmons, the wife of Craig Simmons, a disgruntled Gordon supporter who was defeated by Gordon for committeeman in 2004 by 1,124-754. "She (Gorman) said that she wanted party unity (for the February election)," Gerson said. "She is fomenting party disunity. She is trying to destroy our organization."
Gerson had a recent open house at her headquarters, is president of the 42nd Ward Republican Organization, and will run for committeeman in 2008 against Simmons. Gorman has done what 42nd Ward Democrats have been unable to do: permanently divide the ward's Republicans. Instead of battling Democrats, they battle each other.
This squabbling is all about 2010. Gorman wants to build a base to defeat Peraica in a Republican primary for county board president. Republicans can ill afford, among themselves, to divide and conquer. There's not much to divide. Understandably, Democrats sneer at the Republicans' stupidity.