Monday, June 15, 2009

As the World Turns

It was incorrectly reported on this blog here and here that Bill Durkin is a previous Mayor of Waukegan. Durkin is Waukegan Park Commissioner. It is Durkin's father who had been the mayor of Waukegan in the 1990s. The two have the same name. Your LakeCountyEye's sharp-eyed fact checker has been on assignment running criminal background checks on some new volunteer bloggers (they come highly recommended) and flubbed the mistake. Your LakeCountyEye regrets the error. Your LakeCountyEye regrets even more having missed an opportunity to insert another nepotism joke here.

In a related matter, and as predicted by your LakeCountyEye here, Lake County Board Chair Suzi Schmidt has been backpedaling furiously over the Keith Turner embarrassment. Turner had helped Bob Sabonjian get elected Waukegan Mayor. Returning a favor, Sabonjian recommended Turner to replace him on the County Board. Suzi Schmidt has the final sayso on who gets nominated, and over the objections of many, fast-tracked Turner's nomination last week. Turner then withdrew his nomination a short time after accepting the nomination and under what can be best described as murky circumstances.

Schmidt is now telling the Daily Herald that Turner withdrew because he did not have the support of the Democratic Board members. Your LakeCountyEye is naturally skeptical. Schmidt knew that Lake County Democratic boss Terry Link, along with some Democratic Board members, were on record as opposed to Turner's nomination. And if Schmidt in fact was unaware of this opposition, then how is it that someone that disengaged could become County Board Chair in the first place?

Now the goal of political backpedaling is to cya. Anything beyond that is political backfilling, which is cover your tracks. Schmidt tells the Daily Herald how the decision was made:
During a meeting in her office Friday, however, Schmidt said she and Turner agreed he wasn't right for the job. The expected lack of support from some of the board's Democrats contributed to the decision.
Your LakeCountyEye has heard that anyone who knows Keith Turner knows that more likely Turner withdrew because he was shown the door. And if Schmidt did indeed drop the hammer in that meeting, it wasn't because all the players conceded that it was not likely an Obama-style consensus with the Democrats could be built.

Which leaves your LakeCountyEye wondering. If Turner is radioactive, why didn't Sabonjian know -- and, even worse, go as far as hand-pick him as his replacement? And what really came down at that Friday afternoon meeting?

1 comment:

Blue Velocity said...

Some things certainly do not add up here. A few hypotheses: 1) It could well be that Turner is radioactive. Surprisingly Turner seemed to go away without a fight. As an aside and if so, Suzi should've done some homework. 2) Turner is not particularly trusted among the democrats and Suzi discovered that not enough board dems would support the nomination, which would be rather embarrasing. Turner did a rather presumptuous press release and announced a party. That could've been the break Suzi was looking for. 3) Terry Link dropped the hammer. This theory has been floated but I don't buy it. Suzi has zero to gain from stepping to what Link might want, especially in the 11th hour.

Given that Turner went away quietly (consider his statement which seemed to be an effort to provide cover for Suzi), theory number 1 makes the most sense. Number 2 also fits the facts but doesn't quite explain why Turner went down without a fight. What would he have to loose and Suzi would have everything to gain by his statement, that is unless she promised him something to help her make it all go away. Telling might be where Turner surfaces next and for whom.