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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Forrest Claypool for Illinois Governor

Two days ago, I suggested that the Republicans nominate Tony Peraica for Governor. I believe that Peraica is the right man at the right time for this job because he has an impeccable record in confronting and fighting corruption. The next Governor of Illinois must be a crusader against corruption. There are very few politicians in Illinois with any credentials in fighting corruption. Peraica is one, and the only Democrat I can think of is Forrest Claypool. Claypool is currently on the Cook County Board along with Peraica. In fact, Claypool became Peraica's chief deputy in fighting John Stroger in the story I referenced in supporting Peraica. Claypool has a history and a record in fighting wasteful spending that causes corruption.

Claypool has voted against funding breast cancer screenings, against a prescription drug program for seniors, against funding jail guards. Which is all true, technically, because Claypool voted against (John) Stroger’s ridiculously oversized 2006 budget proposal.

It is no small feat that Claypool became one of John Stroger's chief political opponents during his tenure as a member of Cook County board. That's because Stroger for years controlled the entire Cook County apparatus. In order for a politician to move up through the ranks in Cook County they would need to gain the favor of Stroger. Yet, Stroger was also one of the most crooked politicians around. He routinely passed bloated budgets, passed out sweetheart contracts, and created patronage. All of this, Claypool vigorously opposed throughout his career.

Trying to move through the political system outside of the political machine is very difficult and it takes a fair amount of political courage. That's exactly how Claypool has risen through the ranks. It means that Claypool is not tainted by the political machine out of Cook County. In fact, if the next Gubernatorial election was between Tony Peraica and Forrest Claypool it would show that both parties in Illinois were serious about tackling the corruption that infects our state.


Anonymous said...

Claypool is a lame duck politician who can't win for County Board, how can he win Governor. And what has he reformed? you mean fire all the African American park workers and privatize the park to Daleys pals? is that reform. He doesn't even sit on ANY committees at the county level but yet blasts Stroger everyday on the new

mike volpe said...

Neither of my choices are part of the establishment which opens them up to the criticism that they can't win. Of course, fielding someone that can win means fielding someone from the establishment which means they are as corrupt as everyone before them.

As for Claypool, he has stood against hundreds of millions in bloated budgets that mostly went to feed friends and colleagues of both Strogers. Anyone that is a political opponent of either Stroger is someone that has the war wounds of taking on corruption.

Joshua S Lapidus said...

Claypool is most certainly not a lame duck politician. There was unfortunate mishap with the 2006 primary, but that was an isolated incident.

I interned for him for a summer and I got an inside look at how he operates. He is the most down-to-earth, level-headed, tactful and straight politician I've ever met or seen. There is not an ounce of corruption in his bones.

He would do wonders for Cook County, and he is the perfect guy to fix Illinois. He hails from no machine and has shown he can work with fellow democrats and republicans. I know no better person for Illinois office.

No matter what he decides he is going to be successful. He will take out the corruption that has plagued Illinois and Cook County for decades. And I'm going to stand by his side as he does it.

As for Peraica, I like the guy. One of the few republicans who really struck me as an amiable politician. But I'm still putting my eggs in the Claypool basket.

PS: His chief of staff is the most Awesome, legitimate guy I know. That tag team is going places.

PPS: We all know Burris isn't gonna be around very long, maybe that's the job suitable for Claypool.