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Here's how pop tax war is playing out in campaign cash

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business
by Greg Hinz

Big campaign cash has begun flowing in Cook County's pop-tax war, with the first wave headed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's top fundraiser.

In recent days, four county commissioners who are considered swing votes on repealing the levy—Dennis Deer, Ed Moody, Stanley Moore and Deborah Sims—each have received a total $26,800 from five individuals who are allies of County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who is trying to hold off the repeal.

Each commissioner received the same amounts from the same individuals on the same dates, Sept. 15-20.

The top donor is asset manager and political activist Michael Sacks, who, with his wife, Cari Sacks, donated the maximum $11,200 to each of the four commissioners.

Sacks is best known as a confidant and major financial backer of Emanuel's, but he also has a history of supporting Preckwinkle.

In an interview and emails, he said the mayor had nothing to do with the contributions.

"I support Toni Preckwinkle, and I do not run from my friends when they make tough decisions," he said. "I have worked with President Preckwinkle for many years on issues related to economic growth and public safety and consider her a friend. I reached out to her and am happy to support her and the commissioners that support her vision."

Similar contributions of $5,600—the maximum allowed under law at this point in the election cycle—or $5,000 or more each came from developer Bob Wislow, chairman of CBRE; Clayco CEO Robert Clark; and media exec Fred Eychaner, who long has been a top donor to liberal Democratic causes.

Soda and retail industry officials have not yet donated to individual commissioners, though, like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, they're running millions of dollars of TV ads on the tax itself.?

But you can bet your pop can that money is on the way. The only questions are how soon and how much.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Richard Boykin will announce tomorrow whether he'll challenge Preckwinkle for a new term, with his campaign powered by the soda issue. Boykin is dropping lots of hints that he's in.

Read? more:

Pop? tax? drives? a? potential? Preckwinkle? challenger

Madigan? moves? to? pull? plug? on? the? controversial? levy

Watch? Bloomberg's? ad? backing? the? pop? tax



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