The Bravest County Board President Ever - NBC Chicago
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The Bravest County Board President Ever



    The Bravest County Board President Ever
    After being told the county couldn't turn the hospital into an outpatient care facility, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says services will be scaled back.

    George Dunne is not a well-remember name in Chicago, but he used to have a lot of clout around here.

    Dunne was president of the Cook County Board for 22 years, from 1969 to 1991, and succeeded Richard J. Daley as chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. Dunne lived in a Streeterville condo, and was well known for walking the mile and a half to the county building. Every morning. The same route. All alone, chatting with constituents along the way.

    Dunne’s presidency coincided with the apogee of urban crime in America, and the Loop was an especially scaggy place during those years. Yet Dunne accomplished his daily walk through downtown without bodyguards.

    Toni Preckwinkle, however, isn’t taking any chances. On Sunday, according to the Sun-Times, she brought a security detail to the Schaumburg Democrats’ Brunch. The same guard then followed her to an Antique Market at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake.

    When Preckwinkle was alderman of the 4th Ward, she used to walk around without a bodyguard in Oakland, Douglas and Bronzeville. Now, she needs security to brunch and go ’tiquing in the suburbs. Preckwinkle, who recently gave raises to her three bodyguards, defends her posse by noting the predecessor Todd Stroger employed “five or six” heavies, and says she has fewer bodyguards than Mayor Rahm Emanuel or Gov. Pat Quinn.

    Because the county board president isn’t a celebrity. Unless she draws attention to herself by walking around with bodyguards.

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