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Kass news: Boss Preckwinkle and the New Ruling Junta

Like Kass, Vallas tells the truth with surgical precision. Love these guys.


BTW: It makes me sick that the City elected Mayor Brandon (an incompetent corrupt diots) instead of Vallas who would have been a tremendous leader for Chicago.


Boss Preckwinkle and the New Ruling Junta

By Paul Vallas

February 23, 2024


Mayor Johnson’s road to elective office was paved by the County Board President and Democratic Party Boss, Toni Preckwinkle, and greased with the financial support of Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) President Stacy Davis Gates, who literally raised the dues of her members to help finance Johnson’s campaign without approval of her rank and file.

This is their gift: Johnson, a failed teacher turned union organizer, who seems captive of the CTU’s agenda and that of the progressive left. Chicago sees him as its mayor floundering on a number of issues, from the chaos of immigration to street crime.


Stacey Davis-Gates draws much of the attention as it is her style to attack any critics of her or policies as being racist and labels proponents of school choice as fascists, while her union leverages its war chest to successfully lobby against the state’s small scholarship program for underprivileged kids to go to private schools, the “Invest in Kids Act.” This, while she sends her son to a private school, as do almost 40% of her CTU teacher members with school-aged children.


Meanwhile, Boss Preckwinkle maintains an extremely low profile. The goal of the Preckwinkle machine, like that of her predecessor, is absolute power and control in which their agendas go unchallenged, dissenting voices are cancelled, and challenges to her decisions are demonized by accusations of racism. In short, Johnson and Preckwinkle’s supporters led by CTU and its network of community-based organizations work to intimidate and silence critics.


In true totalitarian fashion Preckwinkle and her fearful Party apparatchiks squashed a bid for an open party primary and by unanimous consent endorsed Board Preckwinkle’s hand-picked candidate for State’s Attorney, the woefully underqualified Clayton Harris III.

What are Harris‘ achievements in a career of bureaucratic hopscotching? Leading one of the single most useless governmental bodies in the state, the Illinois Port Authority, and serving as the last Chief of Staff to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich before his was impeached and removed from office.


Why Harris? Probably the best Preckwinkle could summon in the race to succeed her current protege in that office. Fealty to the boss is the most important qualification, especially in that office, given Preckwinkle’s determination to continue emptying out the jail. And when the Boss wants to assure there will be no criticism of her hand-picked outgoing failed States Attorney Foxx, who embarrassed the office countless times.

How did Foxx embarrass the office? Cook County residents may have tried to repress bad memories, but who could really forget the Jussie Smollett show?


Foxx handled the Jussie Smollett hate-crime hoax case for which she was investigated and miraculously she kept her law license. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office was central to the deteriorating relationship with the Chicago Police Department, because Foxx focused more on “racial equity” than on prosecuting career criminals.


That led to an exodus of career prosecutors who wanted no part of an office that didn’t prosecute criminals. Failure to attract replacements leaving the office far short in numbers and experience, effectively limiting both the number and quality of prosecutions.

And what was Foxx’s most significant career achievement prior to becoming State’s Attorney? It was serving as Boss Preckwinkle’s Chief of Staff. She took the orders and “handled” personnel issues. See the pattern?


Meanwhile, Boss Preckwinkle’s radicalized, political machine chose Cook County Water Reclamation District Commissioner, Mariana Spyropoulos, to take on the incumbent and longtime Democratic Party stalwart, the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk, Iris Martinez. Iris began her career 40 years ago in the mailroom of City Hall and is now the highest-ranking Latino official in Cook County. Her offense? Not supporting Preckwinkle’s candidate for Mayor.


There is also her determination to bring full transparency to the criminal justice system so that the public can see the consequences of the county’s early release programs and now the elimination of bail, courtesy of the Safe-T Act. Spyropoulos has hired Dorothy Brown’s former staff and dumped close to $1.5 million of her own family money into the race. Why? It costs a lot of money to take out a woman of color serving with integrity at the behest of the Boss. Where are the equity police now?


Let’s understand that Preckwinkle is also boss of the judges, including the Chief Judge, Tim Evans, who she continuously browbeats and disrespects. She is the boss of her very own catch-and-release prosecutor, Kim Foxx, who she is now trying to replace with Harris, Kim Foxx’ clone. She is also the boss of the jail and of the decidedly cautious and non-combative Cook County Sheriff, Tom Dart, because she controls his budget and helps him come election time.


And Dart sat back as she literally demolished jail buildings and helped her get the perpetrators of violent crimes out of jail and put onto his electronic monitoring program. All so they can serve their sentences on their couch, or more likely, commit new violent crimes in our communities on their two “free days” off from being monitored per week thanks to the Safe-T Act.


Let’s fully understand what Cook County Board President has bequeathed us with:

A criminal court system and a state’s attorney who view criminals as victims and who created a revolving door to the justice system, even before the SafeT-Act, the same system that returns three fourths of violent criminals arrested to the street. A county jail that has seen its inmate population cut by more than half the last 10 years despite a 55% increase in major crimes since 2019 alone. And Preckwinkle has bequeathed Chicago with a failed teacher and former CTU lobbyist-made-Mayor, who has embraced a Socialist agenda that is damaging and dividing the city.


Preckwinkle’s State’s Attorney provided further evidence her office has become an advocate for criminals, not victims, showcased in her defense of Assistant State’s Attorney, Michelle Mbekeani, head of the state’s attorney’s Conviction Review Unit. Mbekeani operated a state-licensed business linking inmates with wrongful conviction claims with private attorneys.


This serious conflict of interest and lying when questioned by a judge about it, got her barred from representing clients before members of the Cook County Judiciary.

Her credibility is publicly damaged. But Foxx—protected by Preckwinkle—is allowed to gracefully step away.


Preckwinkle gets a break because the media fails to connect the dots and her low profile, although the media’s failure to call her out for her consistent attacks and the branding of Democratic primary candidates she opposes as racist is also troubling.

She plays the race card and gets away with it.


Recall the lack of reaction when she momentarily dropped her guard and showed her true colors when responding to a question by the Tribune’s editorial board about the pervasive fear of violent crime in Chicago and possible impact of legislation eliminating cash bail?

Preckwinkle made the point that residents in more affluent neighborhoods are now getting a taste of what it has been like to live in the Chicago ZIP codes that have heard gunfire and feared carjackings for years. “She made that observation with a sardonic chuckle,” according to the Tribune. That comment would have made Stacy Davis-Gates envious. The divisive tone would have rivaled Mayor Johnson’s behavior on the Gaza resolution.


Why isn’t Preckwinkle hounded by reporters about rising crime and her policy choices, including Foxx and emptying out the jails? Why isn’t she bothered with questions about children being killed in the street gang wars, or why Foxx isn’t tougher on violent criminals?

Because the media, as gatekeepers allow her to constantly get away with it. And many journalists in Chicago are liberal and share her progressive views. The focus goes to Pritzker, Johnson, Foxx, but Preckwinkle escapes media notice. She never leaves her fingerprints behind.


With so much control and influence over the political machine, criminal justice system, the jail, the judges, and the prosecutor, you’d think media might want to hold Preckwinkle to account. Especially as media wrings its hands and worries about the future of crime-plagued Chicago. But they don’t.


It’s time for voters to do just that—to hold her accountable–beginning with their rejection of Preckwinkle’s hand-picked candidate for the Cook County States Attorneys and the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk.

-30-

Paul Vallas formerly ran the public school systems in Chicago, Philadelphia and the Louisiana Recovery School District. He was a candidate for Mayor of Chicago.

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