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CCFB News» October 2020

Manifolds, Manolos and Manure

10/01/2020 @ 12:15 pm | By Bona Heinsohn, CAE

Since 2010, Cook County Farm Bureau® has operated a Political Action Committee (PAC) designed to support candidates who are supportive of the policies, priorities, and mission of the Farm Bureau while promoting the economic and social well-being of farmers and farm-related interests in Cook County.


Since its inception, Cook CFB PAC has made 54 endorsements. Not all incumbents. Not all challengers. Not all major party candidates. But candidates who Governance Committee members felt would make the largest impact in their district and the county.


Members of the Cook CFB PAC Governance Committee are charged with making endorsements. When considering a candidate, members consider the results of the candidates’ interviews, questionnaires, support of Farm Bureau policies, and when applicable, voting record.


Of the candidates running for Cook County office, Governance Committee members interviewed candidates for Cook County Clerk, State’s Attorney, Board of Review, and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.


Four years ago, the PAC passed on endorsing Foxx due to her lack of prosecutorial experience and the fact that she served as Preckwinkle’s Chief of Staff during the county’s largest sales tax increase. Cook County Farm Bureau strongly opposed and actively worked against the sales tax increase. This fall, Foxx is again surrounded by controversy to the tune of dismissing over 25,000 felony cases brought forward by her office. Felony crimes in Illinois include retail theft, possession of a controlled substance, domestic battery, burglary, robbery, and unlawful use of a weapon among others. Among her assorted blemishes is the Jussie Smollett case and the litany of mistakes and abuses of discretion made by Foxx. The backlash from this case will be felt for some time especially now that the Cook County Democratic Party has opted not to recommend Judge Michael Toomin for retention. Toomin was assigned to hear the Smollett case and had the audacity to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the handling of the Smollett case as the Party was circling the proverbial wagons around Foxx. On the Republican ticket is Patrick ‘Pat’ O’Brien a skilled litigator, mentor, and leader. What the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office needs most right now is a leader. For Cook CFB PAC it’s Pat O’Brien.


Since 2012, Cook CFB PAC has stood with incumbent Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak. Along with fellow commissioners, Patlak expedited the electronic appeals process. He and his staff maintain a portal for taxpayers to learn more about the Board, the appeal process, and the Board of Review. He’s committed to an open, accessible, and user-friendly property tax appeals process. Also running is Tammy Wendt a political neophyte slated by the Cook County Democratic Party. Her snugness with the machine was on display during her interview as she praised former Party Chair Joe Berrios stating that he was “more qualified” to assess properties than now Assessor Joe ‘Fritz’ Kaegi. Berrios is under investigation by a federal grand jury. Berrios lost in 2018 despite having the Party’s backing. For Cook CFB PAC it’s Dan Patlak.


Iris Martinez has served in the Illinois State Senate since 2003. She’s championed legislation for working families and has made a habit of breaking barriers. In March, she finished first in a crowded primary beating out Democratic Party-endorsed candidate Michael Cabonargi and lawyers Richard Boykin and Jacob Meister. Historically, Party-endorsed candidates would either scare off other viable candidates and/or easily carry them to victory. In 2003, Martinez ushered in a new era in the Statehouse as the first Latina elected to the Senate. This fall she’ll usher in much needed change, cleaning, and modernization for the Cook County Circuit Court. For Cook CFB PAC it’s Iris Martinez.


The race for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) is often forgotten by voters; however, this lesser known governmental body is the second largest property owner in Cook County. The primary race was peppered with newcomers who we hope will run for office in the future. For Cook CFB PAC it’s Cameron ‘Cam’ Davis, Kimberly Dubuclet, and Eira Corral Sepulveda. Davis was a standout candidate two years ago and remains committed to working with partners, including Farm Bureau to improve the environment. He was the lead sponsor of Cook County Farm Bureau’s centennial resolution earlier this year and is working to expand MWRD’s ‘Space to Grow’ program, which helps fund green solutions for schools. Projects can be as simple as installing permeable surfaces underneath playground equipment or food oriented. He’s also working diligently to start a ‘Community Conservation Corp’ to expand local food production on District property. Two years ago, Cook CFB PAC endorsed Dubuclet citing her legislative experience as a former State Representative. This fall we stand with her again. Dubuclet is committed to promoting MWRD operations and to expanding agricultural opportunities on conducive District property.


Members are reminded to vote on November 3.

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