“The firepower that’s produced by the big-money interests and the commercial property owners—it’s just completely unbalanced,” says Don Haider, a property finance expert and professor at Northwestern University. “In the last couple of years, for sure, we’ve seen the impact: a steady shift from income-producing and commercial properties to single-family homeowners.”

Chicago Magazine, in concert with the Better Government Association (which, along with Pro Publica and the CNC, is starting to encouragingly swing its weight around in local journalism), has an outstanding package on Joe Berrios, the local political heavyweight who’s running for the post of Cook County assessor.

It’s great to see more coverage of this race. Ben Joravsky has been pounding away at it for awhile now, not to mention Greg Hinz (having trouble locating his Crain’s writing on Berrios, but he’s quoted in the Chicago article), Jim Warren, the CNC, and the Trib editorial page. And it seems like Berrios has noticed, having recently tracked towards reform.

Since much of the criticism of Berrios is grounded in property taxes, could the attention spill over to Mike Madigan? If the Cook County assessor’s race is this big of a story, perhaps anything is possible.

Read the whole thing, but I can’t resist pulling out this graph:

[Berrios] has earned the support of many of the state’s top Democrats, from Governor Pat Quinn and House Speaker Michael Madigan to Toni Preckwinkle, the odds-on favorite to be the next Cook County Board president. (Mayor Richard M. Daley so far has not officially endorsed him.)