Friday, June 09, 2006

So who is leading the Cook County Politburo?
Health status of Ill. politician unknown

CHICAGO - In Chicago's Cook County, where the dead have been known to vote, the county's chief executive is a stroke victim who hasn't been publicly seen or heard from in nearly three months.

No one seems to know for certain whether he is in any condition to run for re-election in November, much less govern the county of more than 5 million people in the meantime.

Confidantes insist 77-year-old John Stroger, the powerful Democratic president of the Cook County Board, is recovering. But his Republican opponent wants a hearing on Stroger's fitness, arguing, "This Soviet-style stonewalling has got to end."

Stroger, a major political figure in Chicago's black community, was felled by a stroke just one week before the March 21 primary. Doctors said Stroger could be left permanently impaired, but they have provided no medical updates since the days immediately after the stroke. Stroger's family and staff have sometimes made conflicting statements about how, if at all, involved he is with work…

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