By the logic of Cook County politics, it makes perfect sense. Republican state’s attorney candidate Tony Peraica is vowing to use his independence to put away criminals and fight political corruption, so of course it was just revealed that he accepted $2,700 in contributions a couple years back from several felons. His Democratic opponent, Anita Alvarez, has promised to bring the office a fresh perspective–integrity–even though she’s worked in it for 20 years; she’s been under fire for taking donations from prosecutors who’d report to her if she were elected, and from at least one attorney whose firm reaped millions in a lawsuit against the county.

Peraica returned his scrutinized money; Alvarez kept hers, brushing off conflict-of-interest allegations.

Alvarez was mostly quiet about the controversies. Naturally, Peraica tried to rally his supporters to battle.

This time, though, he didn’t storm the county building.

“Predictably, Alvarez attacked us for taking some minuscule (about $2,700 total) contributions—during past campaigns—from individuals who later ran afoul of the law,” he wrote in an e-mail to supporters.

“Fair enough. A candidate for State’s Attorney should avoid even the appearance of impropriety—so we are returning those contributions in question.

“But we now challenge Alvarez to return her tens of thousands of dollars in “conflict of interest” campaign cash. Will she do it? We bet she doesn’t – and, in the process, proves that she is little more than a political insider out to defend the status quo.


“Please read the following stories and add your comments in the comments section … or consider writing a letter to the editor. Tell your fellow citizens that Tony is doing the right thing—and that Anita needs to come clean with her questionable campaign cash.”

The email then provides links to stories in the Trib, SouthtownStar, and Illinois Review, a right-of-center blog.

But I’m not sure enough troops responded to the call-up—at least not the ones he was hoping for.

“Commissioner Peraica is a selfish, self-absorbed politician,” a commenter named RedPickUpTruck wrote on the Illinois Review site. “I’m a conservative GOP who supported Commissioner Peraica for County Board but he has lost it. He likes the attention of taking on the machine but cares none for fixing it. He needs to go away.”