Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

GOP needs this centrist with common sense

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By Ray Hanania

Four years ago, Sean Morrison barely won re-election over an unknown Democrat, by only 1,377 votes of 121,767 votes cast.

I supported Morrison, believing his promise to be a “commonsense centrist” who would follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, Liz Gorman, and not join the radical far right.

Gorman, who served on the county board from 2002 until 2015, was the quintessential “commonsense centrist.” She is a Republican who fights for the GOP but builds non-partisan coalitions by bringing elected officials together to defend taxpayer rights.

My open support of Morrison was critical in preventing him from losing the district and preserving the two-party system in Cook County.

RayHanania

Ray Hanania

Instead of learning his lessons from that election, Morrison dug himself deeper into a tiny circle of self-centered extremists who can’t work with anyone. His only ally is Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, one of the most frightening right-wing extremists Cook County has ever seen. Pekau is a megalomaniac, a person obsessed with his own power.

Together, Morrison and Pekau have managed to make enemies out of friends, isolating every elected official and blaming all of their failures on everyone else but themselves.

Morrison all but admitted his failure as a Cook County commissioner, announcing in his press release that he is “a lone member” on the Cook County Board. That’s not a badge of courage or what Republicans need. That’s not what taxpayers in the 17th District need, a “lone member” who can’t work with anyone except far right extremists.

It’s a no brainer, folks. Morrison should fold up his single-person pup-tent. He is plagued by controversy, including writing a letter in 2014 defending an accused pedophile who worked for him, according to a story that appeared in the June 18, 2018 Chicago Sun-Times.

The taxpayers deserve someone who can fight for them, not someone focused more on his political career than the taxpayers.

I met Liz Gorman in 2002. I wasn’t a fan at the time. I challenged some of her policies. But instead of responding to my questions and concerns by attacking me personally, as Pekau does, Gorman had the chutzpah to confront me to explain and defend her policies.

Gorman convinced me you can be both a hardcore Republican and GOP champion, and be a consensus-builder who delivers services to taxpayers. Morrison calls that being a Democrat. I call it being a responsible politician who puts the needs of the public ahead of her own.

Morrison recently accused Gorman of being a Democrat–an outright lie, of course. She is a solid, smart Republican who recognizes that in Cook County, the only way to get services to the taxpayers is to build consensus and win support from across the political aisle.

Gorman went on to build and lead a bi-partisan coalition that repealed the one-cent sales tax that Democrat Todd Stroger imposed, convincing other Democrats who voted with Stroger to change their vote and instead set aside politics to stand with the taxpayers.

As a woman constantly berated in a male-dominated system, Gorman succeeded in getting the county to fund the Domestic Violence Court House to help victims who are almost entirely women of this social sickness get the support they need to survive.

Gorman is nicknamed the “Tax Slayer” from refusing to allow government to bailout their mismanagement through unjustified tax hikes.

Unless it is absolutely necessary, no unjust or outrageous tax like the Stroger sales tax or the soda tax will get past her desk.

Gorman is exactly the kind of person taxpayers need on the Cook County Board.

I never thought that Gorman would return to elected public service; but apparently she couldn’t sit back and watch Morrison and Pekau drag the Republican Party down to the dregs of extremism.

Cook County needs a two-party system to hold elected officials accountable, and to defend the rights of the people who pay their salaries — the taxpayers.

If you want to see more senior services, lower taxes and accountability from government, Gorman is your choice. The alternative is Pekau and Morrison and continued polarization, rising taxes, rising prices all stemming from a political fight that has overshadowed the interests of the people.

For Republicans to survive in Cook County, they need commonsense candidates like Gorman who can fight for Republican principles while working with other elected officials to defend taxpayers’ rights as she has done for more than two decades.

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

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