Don't miss today's Sun-Times editorial that encourages independent Forrest Claypool to run for Cook County Assessor -- challenging Board of Reviews' king Joe Berrios. The Sun-Times points to the disgusting arrogance of Joe Berrios, his blatant abuse of power and the campaign system to bully his way into more and more power, all in tandem with another power and campaign system abuser, House Speaker Mike Madigan, Sun-Times writes that Democrat-running-as-Independent Claypool is a tried and proven reformer, but that ...
Berrios, on the other hand, could bathe in fetid Bubbly Creek and climb out looking spiffier.
He sits on the county's Board of Review, where he shamelessly collects political contributions from the very same lawyers looking for tax assessment breaks from the board.
And who are these lawyers?
Many of the biggest tax attorneys in town work for Madigan & Getzendanner, the law firm of Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.
But wait. It gets worse.
Indeed. It does get worse ... much worse. And for years, and years, no one has tried to stop this outrageous abuse of power. Illinois Review scratched the surface with our Berrios investigative seriesHERE. ST writes:
When Berrios is not wearing his Board of Review hat, he's wearing his paid lobbyist hat. He goes down to Springfield -- or to some fancy restaurant in the Loop -- and lobbies state legislators on behalf of such clients as the video poker industry.
And whom must Berrios lobby most?
He must lobby Madigan -- the same man looking for help from him, Berrios, when the petitioner's shoe is on the other foot.
We have no evidence Berrios and Madigan have ever swapped a single lucrative favor, but anybody can see this is far too cozy a relationship.
But wait. It gets even worse.
And yes, it seems unbelievable, but it does get worse. And because there's been no legal charges made, and the Democrats have the Cook County system soooo sewn up, Berrios has rarely been challenged and no one would dare -- dare to challenge King Mike. Not only do they laugh their ways to the banks, they laugh to the ballot box. S-T writes:
Madigan and Berrios are also a political tag team. Madigan is chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party and Berrios is chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. Nobody gets slated for the party ticket -- certainly nobody like Claypool -- without going through them.
If the voters won't oust them, maybe the feds will someday find reason to investigate. Or at the very least, maybe a feisty, re-energized and emboldened media will begin digging instead of covering over.