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.

   
  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Preckwinkle disses Reagan as aides float governor bid
County Board president also won't rule out property tax hike

Saturday, August 25, 2012
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick

As her political team pushes the notion of a Democratic primary bid for governor, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has been saying things that wouldn't seem likely to broaden her statewide appeal.

First she told a Champaign crowd of political types last week that the late Illinois-born Republican icon Ronald Reagan deserved "a special place in hell" for his role in stepping up criminal penalties in the war on drugs while serving as president.

Preckwinkle had barely finished dialing back that remark when she refused to rule out a property tax increase to solve a looming county budget shortfall. Raising property taxes doesn't exactly endear a politician to taxpayers, especially a politician whose biggest selling point has been keeping her promise to cut sales taxes.

The puzzling utterances come as Preckwinkle's political aides, emboldened by recent internal polling that shows her with strong approval ratings on her home turf, are suggesting she would make a strong candidate for governor in 2014 if beleaguered Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn can't turn around his battered political image. When asked in recent months whether he will seek a second full term, Quinn has ducked the question, though aides expect him to run.

For her part, Preckwinkle says she simply is conducting county business as usual and is not focused on higher office. All of the talk about governor is "speculation," she said in an interview Friday. "I like sleeping in my own bed, and I intend to run for re-election."

The first-term county leader and former Hyde Park-Kenwood alderman has built a reputation for frank talk and fiscal restraint. During her first two years at the county, she secured votes to phase out what remained of a controversial sales tax increase enacted under her unpopular predecessor, Todd Stroger; kept county spending in check; and handled a morgue crisis with little blame rubbing off on her.

That track record, supporters say, is evidence she would be a good choice for governor two years from now, when an income tax hike Quinn pushed through is set to expire and the state is still expected to be grappling with huge budget shortfalls.

The fate of the tax hike is expected to be a top issue in the 2014 governor's contest, and conventional wisdom says campaigning to extend a temporary tax increase is a losing battle. Although former Gov. Jim Edgar said he would make permanent a temporary income tax hike in 1990, when he won the first of two terms, the Downstate Republican was "playing against type," said Christopher Mooney, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

If Preckwinkle, as a Chicago Democrat, were to propose permanently extending the latest income tax hike, "that's going to play to type," and in a tougher economy to boot, Mooney said.

Preckwinkle's Reagan remark came at a luncheon that was part of the Edgar Fellows Program, which aims to foster cooperation among policymakers of different parties and backgrounds. Preckwinkle's feelings about the drug war have long been known, but her invective was unusual for her and aimed at a president whose appeal crossed party lines.

Within hours, she expressed regret. "If I had it to do over again, I certainly wouldn't say anything quite so inflammatory," she told the Tribune. "But my position basically remains the same."

Far less noticed was her refusal later in the week to rule out a property tax increase as a way to help close a projected $268 million county budget shortfall for next year.

"Everything is on the table," she said Thursday during an Internet town hall meeting when asked if she would consider a property tax hike. Closing the gap will require a combination of spending cuts and "new revenues," she added.

The county has not raised property taxes in 16 years. Preckwinkle did rely on some tax and fee increases to balance her last budget.

Raising property taxes would play to the Democratic tax-and-spend liberal stereotype, said Mooney, the political scientist, who noted that Preckwinkle's appeal in the suburbs where elections often are won is her budding reputation as a politician who is socially liberal and fiscal conservative. "Two years out, anybody's got a chance."

In a Democratic primary, Preckwinkle could attract a substantial number of African-American votes, one of the last bases of support for Quinn. The governor's approval ratings remain low, but Quinn scored best among black voters in a February Tribune poll.

Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said the governor remains focused on policy, especially the need for comprehensive pension reform.

"It is not an easy time to be at the helm of state government. Very hard, sometimes unpopular decisions are required to repair the state's fiscal problems," Anderson said in an email. "Gov. Quinn will continue his work to restore integrity and fiscal stability to Illinois."



Recent Headlines

Judge: Labor unions don't owe non-union state workers refunds, despite unconstitutional fees
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Cook County record

Recovery Behind Bars: Cook County Jailís Opioid Treatment Program
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Medill Reports

The language of justice: Court interpreters fight for client rights and their rights in Cook County
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Medill Reports

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Preckwinkle sends out harassment survey to staff after harassment controversy in her office
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019
WTTW News

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

City considers landmarking old Cook County Hospital
Friday, March 01, 2019
Gazette Chicago

Judge: State constitution doesn't force Cook County to spend $250M more on roads, transport projects
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Cook County Rrecord

all news items

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