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Just the Facts, Ma'am, Just the Facts

By Kevin Robinson in News on Oct 31, 2006 2:45PM

If there is one thing you can say about Tony Peraica, it's that he doesn't take it lying down. In one of the most closely contested, and divisive, races in recent local history, Peraica and Stroger have all but come to blows out on the street.

joefriday.jpgChicagoist is fascinated by the race for Cook County Board President, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is its potential to punch a hole in a piece of the old machine's patronage armor, and to consolidate a power base for an unusual coalition of reformers right in Daley's back yard. The polls have shown all kinds of possibilities, with Stroger taking the lead among independents, and Peraica running ahead of Stroger. Peraica has played his hand well, letting other groups sling the mud for him, while he has remained largely above the fray. Stroger has taken a different approach, letting his cronies' South Side machine work its magic.

With the race as close as it is, we're not so surprised with Stroger's latest volley against Peraica's self-styled reformer image. You may have seen the creepy ad playing on local TV, accusing Peraica of wanting to gut the County's health care system. As soon as Peraica found out about it, he came back swinging, holding a press conference, renewing his vow to cut patronage and consolidate jobs to eliminate waste in the County. The Stroger campaign has backed off their earlier claims that Peraica would shutter the South Side's Provident Hospital

It makes us wonder what they're thinking inside of Stroger's campaign. On the one hand, the kid from the block in us recognizes a cheap shot for what it is. And we're not against that. Hell, we've taken a few of our own. Stroger can solidify his base with a rumor about a white Republican attacking the only healthcare system that many poor people in the county have. But when you are playing that fast and loose with the truth, you have to wonder what their strategy is, or if they even have one.