Demanding change but refusing to pinpoint what Mayor Daley has done wrong, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown declared her candidacy for mayor Thursday with a promise to eliminate corruption and guarantee equal access to jobs and contracts.
Instead, she focused on broad-stroke promises to eliminate waste and corruption, improve all Chicago public schools and guarantee fair access to city jobs and contracts.
"We did not make the decision to run for mayor . . . just because of the corruption that has recently occurred in this administration. We feel that we're very qualified to be the mayor of the city of Chicago and we're gonna run on our record and what we can do," she said.
The "we" language is rather compelling and definitely seeks to rally serious Black support in Chicago, 63% of which went to Daley in the previous Mayoral fight. Still, Brown has many skeletons rattling:
But Brown's political career has not been without controversy, either.
A former CTA auditor, she was elected clerk in 2000 on a promise to modernize file-keeping, only to be dogged by the same complaints that plagued her predecessor.
Lawyers and judges have alleged that records take months to get filed. The backlog is so severe that some documents never make it into case files, they contend.
In March 2004, she recommended a suspension for an employee who had complimentary tickets to Brown's political fund-raiser dropped into every judge's mailbox at the Skokie courthouse.
Dozens of current and former staffers also told the Sun-Times they were pressured to buy tickets to Brown fund-raisers and to work on her campaign on county time.
In May 2005, the County Board rejected Brown's efforts to award a $250,000 no-bid consulting contract to a firm that was part of her 2000 transition team. Two months later, she was one of 28 county officials to attend a conference in Honolulu at taxpayers' expense.