Todd Stroger’s $25,000 Publicity Pyramid

Really, I was not planning on writing about Todd Stroger anytime soon.  I hadn’t read much recently, and thought, perhaps, that he was simply doing the work of the people.  Perhaps he had found his stride.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Tired of getting “pummeled by the newspapers every day,” Cook County Board president Todd Stroger’s administration has decided to counter with a new magazine overseen by county officials.

Publisher/editor Theresa Tracy said Cook County magazine would be “independently published” and a “credible, compelling and valuable resource” for county residents.

But county officials have the final say on what’s published. And Tracy accepted $24,999 from Stroger’s administration last November to launch the magazine — $1 under the amount that would have required the approval of the full Cook County Board.

Honestly, who’s advising this guy?  Who thinks of these things?  $24,999?

We’re rounding up here, Todd.  That’s $25,000 of taxpayer money for your ego, Todd.  According to the Sun-Times, “county officials were seeking a ‘non-threatening news environment that ensures regular, positive press — to counter-balance negative press often found in the mainstream media.'”

What exactly is a “non-threatening news environment?”  Perhaps an environment without that burdensome First Amendment?  Freedom of the Press too much for the Cook County Board?

It doesn’t matter.  Evidently, county officials were taking spelling and grammar lessons from President George W. Bush.  Seems the inaugural issue was fraught with errors, among them the spelling of a rather important name:

The cover story is an interview with Stroger that starts by asking him, “How are you feeling these days?” There’s also a short obituary for Stroger’s late father and predecessor as county board president, John H. Stroger Jr., who died in January. It misspells his name.

Todd, we’ve been through this before

For too long, Cook County government has been a cesspool of patronage.

Forget the p.r. binge. Forget trying to sneak in an ego boost for yourself under the $25,000 wire.

Just stop this nonsense and govern. Make good decisions.

Good p.r. will follow good actions.