Monday, October 24, 2005

Peraica: A Tough Man for a Tough Job

Thirty-six years ago Richard Ogilvie, running for president of the Cook county Board, was touted by his ad agency as “The Right Man for a Tough Job.” He was the right man, all right, but didn’t stay long enough to complete the job, running for governor two years hence and taking no position on whether or not he would slap on an income tax (which he did, after which he was defeated for reelection). Ogilvie was the last Republican to hold the presidency. Now another Republican is running for the job—much tougher than Ogilvie. Everything about Tony Peraica spells “tough” from his sledge-hammer rhetoric, his staccato statements of condemnation of President John Stroger, his rapid-fire barrage of statistics punctuated with verbal exclamation points. He tries valiantly but sometimes unsuccessfully to rise above slugging his intra-party opponents but pound for pound he’s indisputably the master of details for the job he seeks.

As guest on my radio show yesterday, Peraica was, with one slight deviation, at the top of his game. He scored Stroger masterfully, defended his ally Judy Baar Topinka, pointed out that he mistakenly endorsed gay rights with four other Republican board members before he withdrew his name, declared he is pro-life. He announced his choice for governor is Topinka; if she takes herself out of the race (as is expected to happen today) he favors Steve Rauschenberger. He didn’t flinch under the barrage of powerful questions from one who is probably the most astute political interrogator since the era of John Dreiske (remember him, anyone?), Jeff Berkowitz whose CAN-TV and blog is requisite for political followers. On only one question, ironically, did Peraica stumble: that was a question on which he has stumbled before and rather astounding that he should do so. After he inveighed against patronage abuses, Berkowitz asked, at the tail end of the show, about his own son who is working for the county. All Peraica had to do was say that he is qualified for the job he’s doing—but he went “uh, uh, uh” at program’s end. Beyond that though, he is indeed A Tough Man for a Tough Job and turned me from somewhat tepid to fairly hot supporter. If Tony can’t do it nobody can.


  1. Peraica may be a tough bulldog against the Democrats, but is self-serving and one does not know who he will turn against next. With no vision and loyalty to Republican principles which distinguish them from their opponents, his pro-life and family value claim is certainly a Trojan-Horse. And, if you can judge one by the company they keep and promises they break, take a look at his support for pro-abortion & pro-homosexual-special-rights, Gay Lesbian Parade walking Topinka who - as Riverside Township Committeeman - endorses Democrats - in writing, and his association with John Daley's Democratic 11th Ward from whence he came. More could be said. One opinion is that if we are placing principle above politics, he is not worthy of support. But, of course, who does that anymore?!!!

  2. Earl Gough, you ran against Peraica and lost.
    Peraica may be wrong on Topinka from a conservative perspective, but Jack Roeser went with Jesse White and Henry Hyde is with Gidwitz--don't be too harsh on associations. You and your daughter were with Jack Ryan (politically)

    He (Peraica) may have grown up in Bridgeport after immigrating as a child and orphan from Croatia but John Daley does not care for him politically and Peraica is hurting him dramatically for all the right reasons.

    Peraica has loyalty to people who help him and does have a vision and has done practical conservative things like help the Boy Scouts and oppose Domestic partners while trying to reduce government and oppose new taxes.

    I am not saying he is perfect, but he is better than candidates you have supported, has a good voting record as Commissioner and is more good than bad.
    He would shake things up as President and would just through campaigning.

    The only specific thing you mention in your post is his association with Judy Bar Topinka, at least the only thing specific. I am not saying there are no ego or mistakes--but Tony Peraica is a good man--a family man--and he has stayed closer to the values you espouse than anyone else on the County Board. His election would help the Republican party--you should look beyond your election loss and personal dealings to the larger good for conservatives and Republicans.

  3. There is soooooo much corruption at Cook County, and Stroger is not as lovable as Jesse White.
    Stroger can lose, even to a Republican.
    County Government needs a complete revamp.