November 24, 2005

Dart has edge for Cook County sheriff

Though this is a Chicago race, the discussion about it has been intense and interesting. A post on the race elicited nearly a hundred comments at Capitol Fax.

Tom Dart is a very capable guy with an impressive resume and track record, including being Mayor Daley's campaign manager. Dart served as a Cook County prosecutor and state representative and wanted to run for state A.G. in the last election but was shunted aside when House Speaker Madigan decided to place his daughter in the office.

Dart then ran for state treasurer against long odds with the Quad City's own Porter McNeil serving as his press guy. Dart lost to the very popular Judy Baar Topinka and then was ignored while other's got plumb appointments. Dart eventually ended up as chief of staff to Cook County Sheriff Mike Sheahan, who recently announced he was not going to seek office again, which in turn sparked the flurry of speculation about who would emerge as the front-runner for the office.

As noticed on Amy Allen's "Obiter Dictum", the Sun Times reports:
Cook County sheriff hopeful Tom Dart said Wednesday he has more than 70 percent of the weighted vote needed to secure the endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee when it meets next week.

"Those are just the people that I've spoken to personally," Dart said. "We feel pretty good."

Dart said Mayor Daley and Cook County Board President John Stroger "have been very helpful."

"The unions -- I've talked to them," Dart said. "They are supporting me. . . . We've got a lot of momentum. People see that we've got it together."

Dart, 43, is the chosen successor of Sheriff Michael Sheahan, who stunned the local political world Monday when he announced he would not seek re-election. Dart, a former state representative from the Southwest Side's 19th Ward, is Sheahan's chief of staff.


At 11/26/2005 9:02 AM, Blogger diehard said...

Tom Dart needs to stay invloved with politics. I think last time when the Dems had a slate, when he ran against Topinka, he was the best guy on the ballot!
But as we have seen the best guy does not always win!

At 11/26/2005 12:44 PM, Blogger youngridemocrat said...

Tom Dart is a role model as a public servant and deserves the political backing of Speaker Madigan, Mayor Daley, former Assessor Tom Hynes, Sen. Barack Obama and so on. He has paid his dues to them, to the party, but more importantly he'll make a good sheriff of Cook County.

At 11/29/2005 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true Dart won the vote at the precinct meeting??

At 11/29/2005 6:31 PM, Blogger billyclinton said...

Yes, Thank God, he did. He won yes votes from 52 out of 60 present. Congressman Bobby Rush, whose wife works for Topinka and who publicly supported Topinka last time, voted No on Dart.

I've worked with Tom Dart. He's creative, aggressive, bright, hard-working and reform-minded.

At 5/08/2006 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am certain Tom Dart is a very nice person and someone I could easily share a meal with.

But the problem is he is not even qualified to be a secutiy officer. Much less does he have any real law enforcement experience.

He is not an officer. He has never attended any Sheriff or Police academy.

He has never worked the jail, worked a deck, worked two decks, dealt with 96 maximum security inmates via direct-contact for an 8 hour shift, with nothing more than his two fists, courage, and a radio.

He has no clue as to what being a Cook County Sheriff's Deputy means. His planned directives if he wins this office is when that shows his complete disregard for the officers, for the Sheriff's Deputies (not jail guards) that deal with this county's worst offenders.

It's sad that we have an entire Sheriff's department that is not run like a law enforcement department, but is run more akin to a county clerks' office.

It's sad that we have an entire Sheriff's department, the second largest in size, in this nation. Yet is completely disrespected and hand-tied in its power and scope to CPD.

It's sad that we have an entire Sheriff's department where the officers have been without a contract for several years, where moral is extremely low, where they come to work with all the odds stacked against them, with cell doors that do NOT lock, with inmates armed to the teeth and the administration (i.e. Dart and his cronies) does all it can to come against the officers, side with the inmates, all in the name of not being sued.

Illinois County Jail Standards (ICJS) states that a county jail should be worked by one officer for every 15 inmates. The usual shift for an officer is 96 inmates per a single officer.

Do the cell doors lock? Nope.

Are there functioning cameras? Nope.

I could go on and on and on.. but I guess I should just remain silent, because as we all read and hear out of the mouth's of Dart and his people.. we're just "jail guards."


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