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November 2, 2006   Southwest News-Herald - City & Suburban

Herald Endorsements — For The First Time

Beginning with the Nov. 7 statewide elections, the Southwest News-Herald will be adjusting its past policies and begin offering editorial endorsements in local, regional, statewide and national elections that are of interest and importance to our readership.

While we will be endorsing candidates, our hope is to help voters and readers better understand the issues and become more engaged in the election process.

The News-Herald had resisted making endorsements in the past because we felt that the emphasis should be placed on the issues and the candidates. However, we believe now that we best serve our readers by taking a stand and expressing our opinions on who is best suited for a particular office.

Ultimately, it is our readers, the voters, who have to make the decision on who to vote for based on their beliefs and convictions. If we can play a small role in raising questions and creating interest, then we have done our part.

In the race for governor, incumbent Democrat Rod Blagojevich has not delivered on his promise to reform the corruption that was rampant in the administration of his convicted predecessor George Ryan. He has had some difficult decisions to make regarding the budget and debt left by Ryan. But the past year has been one scandal after another scandal in his administration. The governor may not be directly guilty of any wrongdoing, but he has not boosted confidence after the Ryan debacle.

State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka is a familiar name in Illinois politics. The Republican candidate has had an uphill battle in attempting to unseat Blagojevich. But many of her ideas do not fly here, specifically having a casino on the city’s lakefront with profits going for education. We’ve heard that one before.

So we are endorsing the candidacy of Green Party candidate Rich Whitney, an attorney from Carbondale, who has solid ideas for the state. Blagojevich and Topinka have stooped to name-calling during the final days of the campaign.

For U.S. Congress, the real election in the Democratically-controlled 3rd District was last March when two Democratic candidates joined in challenging Dan Lipinski for the seat that was handed to him by his father, Bill Lipinski. While Bill Lipinski did much in his career as an alderman, committeeman and congressman, we believe Dan Lipinski still has to prove himself. One of his Primary challengers, John Kelly of Oak Lawn, was a strong candidate who should continue his political pursuits.

Dan Lipinski’s challenger in the general election is 71-year-old Ray Wardingley, a resident of Chicago’s Beverly community. Wardingley is a perennial candidate who is congenial and well-intentioned. However, his views are too simplistic and unrealistic. Dan Lipinski receives our endorsement, but he must step out of his father’s towering shadow.

The Cook County Board President race has dominated the news. Ironically, most voters take the county for granted, even though they fund its $3.1 billion annual budget. We are displeased in the manner in which Todd Stroger was chosen to replace his ailing father, John Stroger.

However, the biggest problem we have with Todd Stroger is a lack of knowledge in running the office. His challenger, Republican Anthony Peraica, has more experience and has ably responded to the continual chant of Todd Stroger, a Chicago alderman, regarding abortion and GOP policies. Peraica, a county board commissioner has his enemies and he often talks before he thinks. But out of the two candidates, he is the best choice to serve as Cook County Board President.

In other races:

We endorse Lisa Madigan for re-election as Illinois Attorney General. Madigan has taken her responsibilities seriously. And in her time in office, she has demonstrated that she is a champion of consumer and public rights. We endorse Madigan over her Republican challenger Stu Umholtz, who has not articulated his views to our region.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White receives our endorsement, although we would like to see White spend more time addressing the needs of the southwest suburbs and Chicago’s Southwest Side. We tip our hat to his challenger Dan Rutherford, who has reached out and tried to articulate his views to our constituents.

We also endorse Republican Christine Radogno for the office of Illinois Treasurer over her challenger, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, who has failed to speak to our constituents. Radogno once served the communities of Chicago’s Garfield Ridge and Clearing communities as state senator. She has proven to be energetic and approachable on a variety of issues.

Radogno was first seen in the public eye as a community activist from La Grange who helped in the fight against having an incinerator constructed in Summit. She receives our enthusiastic support.


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