Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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.

   
  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.
   
     
     
     



Stroger's scare tactics

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Chicago Tribune
by Chicago Tribune editorial staff

In February the Cook County Board imposed a full-percentage-point sales-tax increase on citizens and the stressed businesses that employ many of them. You remember: Board President Todd Stroger, who had promised to cut thousands of county jobs, instead needed new money to add some 1,100 positions.

Turns out even that unnecessary tax grab wasn't enough to placate Stroger. His minions now threaten dire consequences if County Board members don't agree to borrow $740 million to make ends meet.

That's right. Less than a year after winning an unnecessary tax increase that should produce close to $400 million a year even in a weak economy, the bright lights in the County Building say they need hundreds of millions more. How else to keep hiring payrollers and awarding lucrative contract work to their cronies?

This is the same ploy Stroger's father, John, often used when he was County Board president. This game has only three rules:

•Invent a financial crisis and predict that if the County Board doesn't give you more money, the Earth will fly into the sun.

•Stoke public pressure until weak-of-spine board members cave to your demand.

•Spend all the new money—Wahoo!—in ways that employ more patronage workers and attract big campaign contributions—the better to enhance your odds of re-election.

This year Team Stroger has added a noxious twist: A letter Wednesday from Daniel Degnan, executive director of the county's pension fund, warns retirees that unless the County Board approves the bonding Stroger wants, "we may be forced to liquidate assets potentially realizing investment losses due to the current market conditions."

The letter, complete with County Board members' phone numbers, terrified pensioners. They've been dialing furiously—and even though their pensions aren't really in peril, who can blame them? They worked for Cook County. They know how miser- ably the Democratic machine manages the place.

Peter Silvestri, a Republican board member, describes the letter from Stroger's fund manager as "preying on pensioners" to shore up the goofy bonding proposal: Stroger would have the county borrow millions to, among other things, meet pension funding and other obligations that should be paid from current tax revenues. His plan is the equivalent of a family taking on a new mortgage to pay grocery bills.

Expect to hear more about Stroger's scare tactics Tuesday when he unveils his proposed budget for 2009. Silvestri and board member Forrest Claypool, a Democrat, pose a superb question: If the gully washer of new sales-tax revenue won't be used to cover pension and other routine costs, where will it all go?

The honest answer, of course, is that Stroger's underlings would rather spend every cent of tax and bond money they can extort than streamline this fat government. Their strategy is all about winning re-election. Big budgets help them make and keep friends—campaign foot soldiers, and county contractors who'll make those big donations.

When you hear Tuesday about the 2009 budget Stroger proposes, and as you ponder his call for more bonding by the hundreds of millions, remember two things:

•Claypool neatly captured Stroger's scheming in a letter Friday to the county pension fund's Degnan: "President Stroger has reverted to fear and bullying tactics in an attempt to force further borrowing and debt. . . . You have been used as a tool in President Stroger's political game, and in the process frightened senior citizens unnecessarily and without any factual basis."

•There's a reason the Tribune is keeping this calendar, with its countdown until the Feb. 2, 2010, Illinois primary election. That's when fed-up voters can move to take back Cook County's bloated and greedy government from Stroger, his friends and family.


Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019
WTTW News

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ News

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

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