Cook County Board President Todd Stroger was sending a message to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan when he recently fired two of Madigan's top political operatives from their high-paying county jobs, county sources said.
Madigan, like Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, has not made an endorsement in the county president race and isn't expected to do so, the speaker's spokesman, Steve Brown, said.
But some of Madigan's Southwest Side foot soldiers have circulated nominating petitions and are actively backing Stroger's chief rivals for the Democratic nomination - Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District boss Terrence O'Brien, county insiders said.
Last week when I interviewed Tom Tresser, I didn't mention this but I should have. These two folks were making a total of $230,000 yearly. We, as the tax payers, not only pay for their salaries but their pensions. Thousands of patronage workers' salaries are paid by the County but so are their pensions once they retire.
The story in the Sun Times today is of patronage work used as bare knuckles politics. These two are supporters of Michael Madigan, Speaker of the Illinois House. They were fired, presumably, because Madigan has yet to support Stroger. The real story is the number of patronage workers the County has. These folks are hired based on clout and connections and not based on qualifications.