Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Personal Asides: Peraica, Stroger, Noonan Himself All “Personally Opposed--But”—So 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-up—a dodge and diversion to evade with code-words the true assessment for the Democrats’ responsibility for mismanagement of the county—a 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 cheap—without 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 Catholic—and philosophically committed—George 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 Peraica—as Noonan well knows. Unless he wants to formally renounce his Church right now—and I take it he doesn’t—Noonan and those listed above are “personally opposed—but” Catholics. No different from Tony Peraica. Why then have I endorsed “personally opposed—but” Tony Peraica and not “personally opposed—but” Todd Stroger?

I have endorsed Peraica despite the fact that as a Catholic myself, I abhor “personally opposed—but” Catholics not because I have any illusions that he will restore a sense of pro-life to our community—but 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 opposed—but” 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 opposed—but” Peraica. As an observant Catholic who upholds all the traditions of its theology, I wish they were not “personally opposed—but” 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 opposed—but.” Traditional family values doesn’t belong in this debate because you can’t trust a single one of them, Republican or Democrat, on this issue.

So let’s 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 he’s not. There are too many other things to take legitimate issue about other than who is more “personally opposed—but.” I don’t give many of the Catholics in public policy much credence on this issue—least of all Peraica, the Strogers or Noonan. I wish I could. But Mike Noonan and Todd: don’t try to kid the troops with a phony issue involving clothes hangers and back alley abortions. Since all the players are duplicitous here, it doesn’t 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. It’s 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 responsibility—with specifics.

Father Mac.

Here’s the first in a number of invitations you’ll 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. Mac’s creation, Haymarket Center on the West Side of Chicago. You’ll have a chance to greet all of us…I’m 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!

John Kass.

The “Tribune” columnist is the very first major league political columnist to give serious thought…and he hasn’t 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. There’s 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 won’t 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 party—so this state will have a truly two-party choice again. S-t-u-f-f-l-e-b-e-a-m: there, that wasn’t too hard, was it?


  1. Thank you Tom for having the courage to say what needs to be said regarding Topinka and how vital it is that the Illinois GOP finally gets on track.

    History doesn't remember the go-alongs.

  2. for you to have your chance to "reform" the party?

    Tom, Pat O'Malley sat on his hands in 2002 and Republicans lost. What reform happened after that loss?

    Now you're asking folks to sit out another gubernatorial election for "one more chance to purge the leadership and set up the machinery for an honest party"?

    What was your problem with the aftermath of the 2002 election? Why did you blow that opportunity? Why should people give you another chance?

    Face it, Tom. Stuffflebeam is a joke. Even he does not take his campaign seriously--no printed materials, no plans, etc--so why should anyone else? You disagree with him on fundamental issues that you just don't talk about.

    You're willing to sell Joe Birkett and Second Amendment conservatives down the drain in your little pique of fit.

    You should be embarrassed.

  3. I'll answer William's rant. Only Topinka needs to lose this election. That will be a loss for Topinka and the Combine, but a huge win for actual Republicans, something Topinka definitely is not.

    Topinka's loss will break the log jam of dysfunction. That old Kjellander, George Ryan, Thompson, Edgar, Topinka crowd will finally be done. We can put the past behind us.

    William's tangents about O'Malley and Stufflebeam don't even make sense. I don't get his point. O'Malley actually offered to endorse Jim Ryan, and Ryan said he didn't want it. The real problem that year is that the most selfish, the most dishonest, the most destructive "Republican" was left standing, i.e., Topinka.

    And I don't think anyone is saying Stufflebeam has a chance. But for people who feel they just can't ignore the Governor's race, Randy is a principled alternative.

  4. Tom,

    After reading yours and Kass' comments on Shufflebeam, I went to his website where he lists his email address for questions. I sent him last Sunday the questions, but maybe a CP member who reads your blog can answer them. Here they are:

    If neither the police nor any arm of government should register firearms, how do you trace guns used in crimes? Are you against any limitations on what kind of firearms can be owned by citizens?

    As a strong believer in private property, is it allowable for private businesses to discriminate against minorities? For example, would a restaurant owner be able to refuse to serve blacks? Could an owner of a company fire someone for being gay? Should government play any role in fighting discrimination?

    You talk about how several amendments to the Constitution have "deterioriated" the intent of the Founding Fathers. One you mention is the seventeenth amendment which mandated the popular election of Senators. Why does this particular amendment make your list? What other amendments would you strike from the Constitution and why?

    Do I understand you correctly that the funding for education should come solely from the people who have kids? That is, a single person or a DINK couple would not have any responsibility to pay for the education of someone else's children. Aren't we going back then to the days where education was the province of simply those whose families could afford it?

    Regarding religion, do you believe that a state should have the right to establish a state church? Is it acceptable for a local government to explicitly endorse the beliefs of a particular religion? Can an atheist or an agnostic be a "real" American in your view?

    Regarding the relationship of states to the federal government, didn't the Civil War settle the issue of state sovereignity? Lastly, how do you view Lincoln as a President? Do you see him as a defender of the Union or as a tyrant who trampled the Constitution?

  5. Graf has found us out. Yes, we do want a State Church more than anything we've ever wanted even though, for obvious reasons, we deny it in public! When we come to power and the arrests begin, and Alan Keyes returns in triumph, and the happy song of the firing squads echos through every village and shire, Graf may, before being taken away as an Unbeliever, run out into the street shouting "I told you so! No one would listen to me. Ha, ha, ha...Graf knew, Graf alone knew!"

  6. Acutally, we do have a state church. It's called Secularism. Being a tolerant society, the state allows Jews, Methodists, Catholics, Muslims, etc. to worship as they wish. However Secularism is the enforced religion of the state. You can't pray to your God on government property, you can't erect religious symbols on the state's ground. The only religion recognized in the state is Secularism.

  7. I'm afraid there's some obfuscation being committed here by the Anti-Topinkaites.

    First, we've already lost one election. Why hasn't reform happened? According to you, Topinka was left standing. Ok, so according to your logic we have to sacrifice ALL statewide offices for reform to take place? Right.

    Second, what about Birkett? Will you kill him too, or is he a part of the "combine"? Tom supported him last year before he supported Bill Brady. I note others call Joe a sell-out now. Must Joe be purged in 2010?

    How about Bill Brady? Must Bill be purged in 2014 before "reform" can take place?

    All of this emphasis on ideological purity, etc. reminds me so much of Gen. Ripper's obsession with "purity of essence" in Stanley Kubrick's classic satire "Dr. Strangelove". Yet I don't think these "reform" people are totally crazy. They have a motive and a method.

    This "reform" cry is more a way to settle personal scores than any rational way to move issues or policy forward. Thus prolific use of the word "dishonest", with no evidence or proof to back it up.

    We call it "hot air" where I come from.

  8. Little did you know, Mr. Ryder, that my list of questions was a subterfuge to draw into the open people such as yourself. When WE take over, your name will be at the top of OUR list. After all - NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!

  9. Topinka and Birkett have brought losing on themselves. Too many lies, too much looking the other way, too many selfish deals with the Dems and the crooks have ruined the Illinois GOP, and left no organization to help them now. All Topinka and Birkett have left at their side now are the gays and the gamblers.

    Many of us are just observing the reality. Topinka and Birkett have made it happen. We can only witness.

    William, your ramblings about "purity," "Dr. Strangelove," "killing" and "purging" just make it clear you're losing your mind just like your wonderful Judy.

  10. You admit that it's more than this election--you want Birkett gone, too. And we know it won't stop there.

    Thanks for making my point.

  11. William, if Republicans are sick of "Republicans" who work against their issues, and so decide not to extend their votes, I think that's called democracy, not a "purge." I just don't get the Stalin era obsession.

    If Topinka and Birkett wanted our support, they shouldn't have done things like being dishonest during the Primary about wanting to triple the size of gambling in Illinois. Oh, that's right, the lie was "justified" because they would have lost had they been honest.

  12. "Topinka", "the old KJ ...Topinka crowd", "Birkett", ""Republicans" who work against their issues"... on and on and on. You left off Bill Brady.

    Admit it, Dan, you know very little about Illinois politics.

    Getting on blogs shooting at the primary winning candidate who is engaged in a firefight with Rod is not deciding "not to extend their votes".

    It is actively working FOR Rod.

    I hope you enjoy living in a gun-control state.

  13. Look William, it's not my fault that your gal Topinka lied too many times, and sold out the GOP once too often, so that now few Republicans want to support her. Who does she have left? The gays and the gamblers?

    It's also not my fault that Birkett decided to throw away his reputation by helping a phony Republican. Everyone knows it's just so he can repay his substantial campaign debt left over from his 2002 race for A.G. It's not my fault conservatives didn't fall for the bait. It's not my fault Birkett is just Judas adjusted for inflation.

    And yeah, Blago is such a big gun grabber, he just had the state build a huge new shooting facility down in Sparta. Blago's not trustworthy I'll grant, but neither is Topinka - on anything.

    Go ahead, switch to the scare tactics now that the lies have failed.

    Call it a "purge" call it whatever you want. I call it an overdue cleaning out of the Republican stables.