Friday, January 25, 2008

State's attorney race 'totally up for grabs'

The state's attorney's race is up for grabs. I don't know who's going to win, but that's not to say I have my favorites. Of course apparently the rumblings have been that even the Cook County Democrats doesn't have a favorite either. From the Sun-Times...
In the 1950s, Cook County State's Attorney Ben Adamowski made life miserable for Mayor Richard J. Daley. So in 1960, Daley brought his political might to bear and defeated Adamowski.

With its authority to charge citizens -- including politicians -- with crimes, the Cook County state's attorney's office wields considerable power. The county Democratic Party has, in the past, worked hard to elect a handpicked candidate. But in 2008, the party appears to have left the race to chance.

"It is totally up for grabs," said UIC professor and former Ald. Dick Simpson.

Six Democrats are vying for the nomination in the Feb. 5 primary, and the Cook County Democratic Party has not endorsed any of them. And the race has not seized the public's attention.

"No one knows it's a race, and no one probably even cares. The presidential race is just sucking all the excitement out," said political scientist Paul Green of Roosevelt University.
More than half of the office's 70,000 yearly felony cases are drug-related, but alleged police misconduct has dominated the debates -- fallout from highly publicized alleged beatings by officers and the Cmdr. Jon Burge torture scandal.

The candidates have struggled to push their own issues. Brookins promises to bring diversity to the office. Suffredin pledges to crack down on public corruption. Milan says he will attack the homicide rate.

The campaign has taken detours into personal attacks. Several of the candidates have slammed Suffredin for his work as a lobbyist on behalf of casino companies. Brookins has come under fire for allegedly not paying his office rent and failing to maintain rental properties he owned -- matters that got him sued.

On Thursday, Alvarez produced court documents from Brookins' divorce and said they showed he was "deficient in child support."

The documents were mostly filed by Brookins' ex-wife, but in one, the alderman requested his child support payments be reduced.

"I have made every required child support payment," Brookins said, calling the attack "disgraceful."

Allen had raised the most money by the end of 2007, with $351,774 on hand. Since Jan. 1, Allen has taken in at least $125,590 more. But Suffredin could be beating him in the money race, with $271,436 at the end of the year and an additional $391,883 raised since Jan 1.

And no one knows how the presidential primary will affect the race. Women turning out in force for HIllary Clinton could help Alvarez, the only woman running. And "if there is a huge [Barack] Obama vote, on the surface it helps Brookins," the better-known of the two black candidates, Green said.
I think it was analyzed that Brookins expects that turnout for Obama's Presidential bid could help him get black votes. We'll have to see about that. I shouldn't be surprised that this race is being swamped by what many might consider a crucial presidential election.

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