On the Chicago Sun-Times's Web site today, it's reported that former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has applied for unemployment benefits. Stroger had been earning $170,000 at his job, and his former employer is appealing his eligibility. Not mentioned, of course, is the fact Stroger is a Democrat.
A little more than four years ago, Stroger was endorsed by then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as "a good progressive Democrat" who will "lead us into a new era of Cook County government." He certainly did. His tenure was marked by scandal after scandal after scandal. Still, Stroger was constantly on the prowl for new talent to bring to government. So impressed was he with one restaurant busboy he encountered that the man ended up with a $61,189-a-year county job. The guy sure must have known how to handle a glass of ice water.
Still, what eventually damaged Stroger most severely was shoving through a sales tax hike that gave Chicago the highest one in the nation. Finally, an issue that even the sophisticated voters of Cook County could understand. Stroger lost the primary.
So Todd no longer is in a position to lend a hand to deserving busboys in the area. He's been reduced to filing a jobless claim for himself. That's newsworthy. So is his political affiliation.