The Chicago Tribune didnt stretch itself unduly to mention a lawsuit brought as a public interest by my friend Richard Caro. But what the legislature wont do and what all the combined weight of the editorialists cannot evidently accomplish Richardwho passes the plate every Sunday at 11 a.m. Mass at St. John Cantius (the mother church of authentic Catholicism) is accomplishing. He is like Roland at the pass, the heroic medieval soldier who held the pass in Spain enabling his comrades to pass through unharmed by the Saracens and who with his dying breath blew the trumpet that summoned reinforcements.
Who is Richard Caro and what is he doing? Hes a mild-mannered (deceptive) public interest lawyer, a doctor of jurisprudence, who is todays version of the English barons at Runnymede who taught the tyrant King John a needed lesson in 1215and got him to sign the Magna Carta, the charter of our liberties
the charter that says the sovereign as mighty as he is must be bound by the letter of the law. As the world knows, this state has a Democratic governor who has won two terms as testament to the ineptitude of the Republican party, the venality of special interest contributors who have given him $30 million for his war-chest and the general indolence of voters who have been seduced by his expensive and totally duplicitous TV commercials.
With only a third of the fiscal year having p[assed, Illinois has already spent half of its $6.8 billion health care budget but King Blago is moving to expand state-subsidized health insurance to reach some 147,000 adults which will cost Illinois at least $225 million a year by his own estimate.
The legislature isnt doing anything, the Republican party isnt doing much , the Democratic legislature is fretting but it is the lone Richard Caro who has brought suit against the governorwith no funds, no helpsuit against the Governor, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Illinois comptroller.
Caro has been dogged in his persistence.
You would think this would be a story somewhere, wouldnt you? Not in Illinois save in The Chicago Daily Observer. Where are the columnists who like to chronicle one lonely lawyer against the multitude? Where is Carol Marin who aches so much for the underdog? It is because Richard Caro is fighting for constitutional processes and that he is notso far as I knowa recognizable liberal. Thats why.
My guess is that despite the Tribune and Sun-Times editorials that give only a glimmer of attention to the law suit that has great importance to all Illinoisans, Caro will come out the victor. Too bad he isnt a socialist or a gay, a liberal nun, an AIDS patient, an unwed mother, a renegade priest with yellow hair, an oracular black minister who speaks in heroic couplets, or any other member of the special minorities the media favor. Hes just a faceless married man from Riverside with a young family whos representing the taxpayers and constitutionalists who insist the executive must obey the rules, whos paying most of the bills on his own.
Whenever I see him passing the collection plate at St. Johns I ask: whos passing the plate for him?