Sunday, December 12, 2010
Former Cook County Board President, Todd Stroger is -- for incoming President, Toni Preckwinkle -- the gift that keeps on giving.
Stroger was on WLS radio last week actually defending Cook County Assessor and County Democrat Party Chairman, Joe Berrios, who has been getting raked over the coals for giving his son and sister fat jobs in his office only days after his election.
In contrast to the absurd Stroger, Preckwinkle looks like a positively serious person.
But she is not.
While positioning herself as an "independent" by criticizing her party boss, Berrios, and advocating across-the-board 20% budget cuts by all the branches of Cook County government, the long-time Chicago Alderman is really not all that independent and not all that serious. (See photo of her campaigning with boss Berrios below right.)
She refuses to risk alienating the Democrat machine's Latino voting bloc by auditing the costs imposed on County taxpayers by the tens of thousands of illegal aliens here.
She voted to make Chicago a "sanctuary city" for illegal aliens.
Ms. Preckwinkle is on record as saying she has no intention of assessing or taking action on the cost burden to County Government posed by services provided to illegal aliens.
She said this very thing to Carol Marin at a candidates' forum in West Rogers Park this past February.
See coverage here.
Yet several people, who are in a position to know, have said that medical services to illegal aliens are a major source of the County's $300 million budget shortfall last year.
Back in 2007, the chief of Cook County medical services, Dr. Robert Simon, was almost run out of town on a rail when he dared to testify that uncollectable services to illegal aliens were a major cause of the county medical system's budgetary problems.
"The taxpayers are paying the entire bill for all these undocumented aliens and our primary concern should be for the taxpayers and citizens," he told the Daily Southtown.
He said that the county was providing long-term care to nearly 30 illegal aliens at its Oak Forest Hospital facility at a cost of $800 per patient per day.
By my calculations, that alone comes to almost $3 million in services to just these few indigent people, who aren't legitimately even supposed to be in the country.
And immigration control activist, Rosanna Pulido, said at the time that nearly 40% of all services rendered by the Cook county medical system went for the illegal alien population.
So long-time pol, Preckwinkle, can make all the noises she wants about cutting waste in Cook County Government. And she can burnish her image by daring to mildly disagree with her party's boss.
But as long as Cook County remains a provider of free, costly medical services to any alien from anywhere on the planet, she might as well be bailing out a leaky boat with a thimble.