Arguably the biggest local election this fall will be for Cook County state’s attorney, where Democrat Anita Alvarez will try to hold off Republican Tony Peraica. If you think about it, Alvarez is kind of a Peraica Bizarro (if it’s not the other way around). Peraica, a former precinct captain for Bill Lipinski, lost a couple runs for office as a Democrat before switching parties and winning a suburban seat on the Cook County board in 2002. Now he encounters the stench of Democratic Party corruption everywhere he turns, and without fail finds it loathsome and campaign-worthy—he just can’t find enough opportunities to talk to the press about problems with the county jail, the county sales tax, or the county board president.
Then there’s Alvarez, a prosecutor who in her first political campaign promised to reform the office where she’d worked for 20 years. Since stunning several veteran elected officials by winning the Democratic nomination, she’s stopped talking about political corruption, police misconduct, crime-fighting, community outreach, the price of tomatoes, or pretty much anything else while quietly making the rounds of Democratic ward meetings and fund-raisers.
Their success at fund-raising the last few months is similarly dissimilar, according to reports just filed with the state board of elections: she’s raised gobs of money from a long list of insiders; he hasn’t. She looks like she’s going to have a party apparatus working for her; he couldn’t find a party apparatus if he wanted to. She’s taking money from some of the very people she criticized in the primary; he can only dream of such lucrative, uh, flexibility. She’s—well, you get the point.
Total raised since the February 5 primary:
Single biggest contribution:
PERAICA: $10,000, Corey Steel Company, Cicero
ALVAREZ: $52,029, Clifford Law Offices, Chicago
Top-contributing elected official:
PERAICA: $1,250, Tony Peraica
ALVAREZ: $20,000, state’s attorney Richard Devine
Other important financial friends:
PERAICA: Fred A. Krehbiel, CEO of Molex ($5,000), Leyden Township GOP committeeman Bradley A. Stephens ($250), state senator Christine Radogno ($250)
ALVAREZ: Media executive Fred Eychaner ($25,000), Chicago Federation of Labor ($10,000), county Democratic chairman Joseph Berrios ($2,500), mayoral brother Michael Daley ($1,000)