Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Stroger's phone prank on the taxpayers

Thursday, March 13, 2008
Southtown Star

Late last week, the e-mails started pouring in from people who felt they had found a way to register their opposition to the new sales tax increase in Cook County.

"Who wants to pay 10.25 percent sales tax?" one e-mail after another asked. "Not me..." was the answer supplied by the person who was writing.

"This will make ours the highest sales tax rate in the country. Please send this to your friends and contacts. CALL NOW. It only takes about 15 seconds to punch in your vote. 1-312-603-6400. Then press 1, press 2, and press 2."

Well, in addition to e-mailing their friends and business contacts, people were e-mailing me, asking for a column supporting this phone-call protest.

I figured this was some sort of stunt arranged by a political opponent of county board President Todd Stroger because the board had already approved the 1-percentage-point increase, which is effective July 1. Commissioners passed the sales tax increase by a margin of one vote after heated debate.

But when the e-mails continued coming this week, I decided I would look into the fellow behind this stunt and expose him for the deluded crackpot he is.

Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you to ... Todd Stroger. Even after I dialed the phone number and got the tape-recorded message, I didn't believe it.

"Thank you for calling the office of Cook County Board President Todd H. Stroger, Please select from the following options: To provide feedback about any proposed issues or ordinances, press 1..."

And sure enough, after I pressed "1" I was told that I could state my position on either the pending gun control ordinance by pressing "1" again or the sales tax increase by pressing "2." I pressed "2" and was told that if I supported the sales tax hike I could press "1" and if I opposed it I should press "2."

This made no sense. Like I said, the tax hike was a done deal. The public hated it, Stroger knew that and still shoved it down the throats of Cook County residents anyway in the wee hours of March 1.

So I telephoned Stroger's press secretary, figuring she would tell me this was all a hoax being perpetrated on the public by that Republican madman, Commissioner Tony Peraica, who's always trying to make Stroger look stupid.

"That's our (telephone) number," said a stunned-sounding Ibis Antongiorgi, Stroger's spokeswoman.

Why the heck is the board president soliciting public opinion on this? Does he have second thoughts?

The press spokesman reacted as I had initially. It didn't make sense. But Stroger's receptionist had requested an automated response system about two months ago when the Chicago Tribune published Stroger's office phone number and urged people to call if they wanted to stop a sales tax hike from being passed.

The receptionist couldn't handle her regular duties and all those calls, so the automated answering system was put in place.

As part of that system, callers were told on a recorded message that they could make their opinion count by pressing the digits on their touch-tone phone.

I wondered how many calls the county had received.

I wondered how many people had voted in favor of the tax increase and how many had voted against.

I wondered how often Stroger goes through the results of the phone-in poll.

"I'll check into that and get back to you," the spokeswoman said.

Well, even if a running vote tally isn't kept, how often does Stroger go through the results?

"I'll check into that and call you back."

An hour later, I received an e-mail message from some of the people who had urged people to call that phone number. The county had removed the voting on the sales tax hike from its automated menu.

"What happened?" the e-mailer wondered.

I knew what had happened. I had called the press spokesman.

It's my belief that for 12 days that automated message remained on the menu because no one in county government bothered to check it.

And they didn't check it because, well, they really don't care what you think about the tax hike or anything else.

Just in case taxpayers still don't get the message, I suggest Stroger actually record one.

"This is Todd H. Stroger and in case you idiots don't get it by now, I don't care what you think."



Recent Headlines

ASSESSOR’S OFFICE RELEASES REASSESSMENT RESULTS OF CITY OF CHICAGO
Monday, May 16, 2022
Special to suffredin.org

With Cook County probation units disbanded, tens of thousands of random curfew checks ended
Friday, May 13, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County prosecutors told not to subpoena witnesses for trial preparation as office revamps policies
Friday, May 13, 2022
Chicago Tribune

Bare your arm, cover your face: Officials push COVID-19 boosters, masking as cases hit 3-month high
Friday, May 13, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County marks changing of the guard on finance, public health departments ahead of budget and election seasons
Friday, May 13, 2022
The Daily Line

Brookfield Zoo plans 2022 events from Ice Age Giants to Holiday Magic
Friday, May 13, 2022
Chicago Tribune

Ashna Arora and Jens Ludwig: Is electronic monitoring contributing to gun violence? Here’s a look at the data.
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle taps new leader for Cook County’s Department of Public Health
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Crain's Chicago Business

Springtime in the preserves brings small, wonderful, and short-lived bursts of life
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Special to suffredin.org

Why Cook County judges are approving subpoenas for court hearings that don’t exist — and why experts are raising flags
Monday, May 09, 2022
WBEZ News

Killing of 15-year-old tests a justice system strained by more arrests, fewer resources
Monday, May 09, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Why Cook County judges are approving subpoenas for court hearings that don’t exist — and why experts are raising flags
Monday, May 09, 2022
WBEZ News

Cook County program providing legal help for immigrants starts taking cases
Monday, May 09, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Moms in Cook County Jail read to their children for Mother’s Day: ‘I’m coming home soon’
Sunday, May 08, 2022
Chicago Tribune

Don’t threaten witnesses with jail time if they don’t talk to prosecutors before trial
Sunday, May 08, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago outdoors: White opossum, giant channel catfish, cerulean warbler, caution on roads/turtles
Saturday, May 07, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Tom Dart, in an about-face, says he’ll comply with judge’s order banning furloughs for defendants on home confinement
Friday, May 06, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Officials recommend masks indoors, on public transit as COVID cases keep climbing
Friday, May 06, 2022
Crain's Chicago Business

Judge denies Kim Foxx’s bid to let inmate out early under new state law
Friday, May 06, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

‘Have a safe trip to Danville’: judge soundly rejects resentencing bid backed by prosecutors and sends man back to prison
Friday, May 06, 2022
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP