Forrest Claypool is about to take the biggest risk of his political career. On Tuesday, this columnist has learned, he will declare war on his own Democratic Party and announce that he is running -- as an independent -- for assessor of Cook County in November against Joseph Berrios.
Claypool has an established record of reform as the onetime head of the Chicago Park District who cut patronage jobs, bucking House Speaker Mike Madigan.
Joe Berrios is not a reform guy. A former legislator who did Madigan's bidding in the House, he's a lobbyist who pitches his clients' special interests to old legislative pals such as Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.