Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Personal Asides: Peraica, Stroger, Noonan Himself All Personally Opposed--ButSo Cut the Subterfuge, Mr. Noonan Sign Up Today for the Father Mac Haymarket Dinner Dance...Congratulations to John Kass for Writing Up Stufflebeam.
At the City Club of Chicago debate and later on WTTW-TV, Todd Stroger manager Mike Noonan has attempted to evade legitimate charges of misfeasance and malfeasance of the Democrats management of Cook County government. How? By charging that Tony Peraica is pro-life, that he is anti-gay and that he is a far-right tool who is going to block poor women from receiving abortions with county funds. Noonan, a personal friend of mine who is always welcome to be on my show, knows that this is a subterfuge and cover-upa dodge and diversion to evade with code-words the true assessment for the Democrats responsibility for mismanagement of the countya mismanagement that is readily documented in daily headlines, FBI records seizures and journalistic investigation stories. If Noonan can frighten blacks and the poor into thinking that the specter of Herbert Hoover in a celluloid collar is coming to slash funds, he can get his pawn Todd Stroger elected on the cheapwithout having to outline a program. So Noonan has raised the charge that Peraica is not only pro-life but will inflict his medieval view on all citizens of the county. The charge ranks with the worst demagoguery of the past quarter century in local politics.
First, much as I regret to say it, Tony Peraica is not in any strict sense a pro-lifer. God knows I wish he were. He is a personally opposed Catholic who has said on my radio show that he will not lift a finger to return to the old days when fellow Catholicand philosophically committedGeorge Dunne ended taxpayer paid abortions at county. Personally opposed Catholics on the issue of abortion are a dime a dozen. They include John Stroger and Todd Stroger, who have insisted that they are Catholics and probably personally oppose the practice but allow it to continue as a matter of public policy. They also include Richard M. Daley, Maggie Daley, Mike, Lisa and Shirley Madigan, Pat Quinn, Dan Hynes, Judy Baar Topinka, Richard Durbin, Mike Quigley, Tom Tunney and Carole Mosley-Braun to name only a few of a host of other rudderless Catholics who in the interest of getting elected and reelected rise above principle on the greatest moral issue of our time. The list of personally opposed but Catholics includes the Kennedys, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd. Catholic Mike Noonan belongs in that group along with Peraicaas Noonan well knows. Unless he wants to formally renounce his Church right nowand I take it he doesntNoonan and those listed above are personally opposedbut Catholics. No different from Tony Peraica. Why then have I endorsed personally opposedbut Tony Peraica and not personally opposedbut Todd Stroger?
I have endorsed Peraica despite the fact that as a Catholic myself, I abhor personally opposedbut Catholics not because I have any illusions that he will restore a sense of pro-life to our communitybut because in contrast to the weak, flailing and inept Todd Stroger he is the only possible choice for people who want to see someone shovel out the trash and corruption from county government. Period. Here I have no expectant illusions about Peraica any more than the Sun-Times Mark Brown, an abortion rights supporter, has any illusions about Peraica or the editorial board of the Tribune about Peraica or Rich Miller who calls himself a progressive Democrat has any illusions about Peraica. The choice of Peraica is a necessity because of the gross incompetence and venal exploitation of the Strogers and the Democratic party.
Again, the personally opposedbut Mike Noonan (who still is a personal friend and who can get on my program any time he wants) who has launched this smokescreen is no different from personally opposedbut Peraica. As an observant Catholic who upholds all the traditions of its theology, I wish they were not personally opposedbut but that is not to be. But for the sake of honest discussion of the issues, Mike Noonan and his creation, Todd Stroger ought to give the issue of abortion a rest. It is a duplicitous subterfuge as all these evasive faint-hearted Catholics are the same on the issue of abortion and, for that matter, the same on the issue of gay-rights which is another prime moral teaching of the Church. Tony Peraica and the other Catholic Republicans on the Board first supported the Gay Games, then withdrew their support but in the cover-up insist that, just like abortion, they are personally opposedbut. Traditional family values doesnt belong in this debate because you cant trust a single one of them, Republican or Democrat, on this issue.
So lets begin to conduct the debate over who is the best choice of manager for county government by putting aside the patent evasion that campaign strategist Noonan and his created candidate Todd Stroger have raised that Peraica is a kind of Operation Rescue right-to-life activist. I wish he were but hes not. There are too many other things to take legitimate issue about other than who is more personally opposedbut. I dont give many of the Catholics in public policy much credence on this issueleast of all Peraica, the Strogers or Noonan. I wish I could. But Mike Noonan and Todd: dont try to kid the troops with a phony issue involving clothes hangers and back alley abortions. Since all the players are duplicitous here, it doesnt wash. The issue is: who is better suited to clear up the corruption a party that has been in county power for 40 years or a party with a new leader? I am willing to give Peraica a chance. Its now the option of Todd Stroger and the man who pulls his strings, Mike Noonan, to proceed with the campaign and outline their plans for budget cutting and fiscal responsibilitywith specifics.
Heres the first in a number of invitations youll get from me to sign up to be with all of us at the annual Father Ignatius D. McDermott Haymarket Center Dinner Dance on Tuesday, October 24 at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. It costs $50 a plate, $500 a table the funds going to the upkeep and support of Fr. Macs creation, Haymarket Center on the West Side of Chicago. Youll have a chance to greet all of us Im a board member of Haymarket eat delicious food, dance to the music of the renowned Stanley Paul orchestra. Social hour begins at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. The dinner will pay tribute to the Chicago Police Department and its many workers who take care of the indigent and homeless, bringing them to Haymarket which turns no one away. Phone your reservation in to Haymarket (312) 236 -7984 extension 314 and tell them Tom Roeser asked you to call!
The Tribune columnist is the very first major league political columnist to give serious thought and he hasnt said he will do it, remember to writing in the name of Randy Stufflebeam for governor as a protest to the lousy choice we have in Illinois between Rod Blagojevich and Judy Baar Topinka. Theres no thought whatsoever that Randy Stufflebeam, an earnest, top-notch ex-Marine can win but for those of us who are dismayed at the choice his name provides a welcome escape. The idea that one should hold his/her nose and vote for Topinka is unacceptable since she will continue the domination of the Republican party to the Combine that John Kass has astutely called the bipartisan collection of rogues who profit from politics and cut deals in the interest solely of their own financial bettement. That has to stop. It wont stop if you elect Topinka. Allowing the Republican party to lose gives us one more chance to purge the leadership and set up the machinery for an honest partyso this state will have a truly two-party choice again. S-t-u-f-f-l-e-b-e-a-m: there, that wasnt too hard, was it?