Other notable newsmakers of 2010
Former Buffalo Grove Trustee Lisa Stone has had a rocky 2010. Less than 18 months into her four-year term as trustee, Stone was ousted via a villagewide recall vote. Stone was a confrontational trustee, often challenging the other board members and pledging to unearth the abuses by staff members and other trustees. During her short time in office, the longtime Village Manager William Brimm retired and village staff were inundated with Freedom of Information Act requests. Stone's favorite issue was the oversight of the Land and Lakes landfill, and she pushed successfully for a hearing with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The acrimony between the board members grew to such a fervor that Village President Elliott Hartstein donned a wig and parodied Stone on election night. But love her or hate her, Stone never backed down from the fight that she started.
Almost from the start Todd Stroger's tenure as president of the Cook County Board was besieged by cries of nepotism and another example of Chicago politics. Son of the late John Stroger, Todd faced opposition from every corner and a higher level of scrutiny than his father before him. From his political appointees to his sales tax increase, Stroger's decisions often left him at odds with the rest of the board and with voters. The board even went so far as to try and hamstring Stroger's power to make political appointments. Stoger was beset by scandal, sued over hiring practices and criticized for authorizing more than $6 million in payments without board approval. Stroger lost in the primary and his job would ultimately go to Toni Preckwinkle. Stroger pointed fingers at the media for misrepresenting his actions and his agenda and blamed them for his loss. However, Stroger's time on the board underscored the political maneuvering and tit-for-tat politics that voters found hard to swallow this election season.
It was a banner year for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. He was impeached and kicked out of office just in time to usher in 2010. He was tried on corruption charges and convicted on one count of lying to the FBI. He was a media tour-de-force racking up appearances on "Celebrity Apprentice," and "The Daily Show with John Stewart" and don't forget his wife Patti's stint on "I'm a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here!" And who could forget his ad for pistachios or his interview with gossip guru Perez Hilton? Or how about his interview in Esquire where he said "I'm blacker than Barack Obama" -- the man whose Senate seat he's accused of trying to sell. And 2011 promises to be another year full of the Blagojevich media circus with a retrial expected in April.
Longtime Illinois lawmaker Mark Kirk marked a rather historic 2010 by beating out the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held formerly held by President Barack Obama. Kirk's Senate win came during a year of political upheaval, which saw the rise of the tea party supporters and the ouster of incumbents across the country. Kirk, a Republican, managed to pull in independent voters and to hold off Alexi Giannoulias despite the political heavyweights who supported him, including the president, and eke out two-percentage point win. Kirk called his victory an end to partisanship and said, "Tonight the sun set in a one-party corrupt state."