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Adventures in flip-flopping - Todd Stroger edition

Thursday, Oct 29, 2009

* As you most certainly know by now, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger strongly opposes a bill moving towards passage that would roll back the board’s crazy veto override majority from four-fifths to a more sane three-fifths.

What Stroger never mentions is that he forcefully supported this override roll-back plan in the 2006 campaign. Stroger issued a statement on October 11th of that year backing legislation by Rep. John Fritchey and then-Commissioner Mike Quigley. He removed the statement from his website after he was elected, but Rep. Fritchey saved a copy and forwarded it to me today….

Those are probably the best arguments I’ve yet seen for this proposal. But now that Stroger wants to save his sales tax hike from the ash bin, he’s completely flip-flopped.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - soccermom - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 12:58 pm:

    And this, Rich, is why we love you. Nice.

  2. - tubbfan - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 1:05 pm:

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED, that Todd would flip-flop like that. . .

  3. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 1:05 pm:

    Gotta love John for saving this. Hypocrisy thy name is Todd.

  4. - Pat collins - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 1:10 pm:

    Hypocrisy thy name is

    Darn near any politician. This is really pretty low on the “outrage meter”.

  5. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 1:15 pm:

    There’s a lot of love for Rich today on here.

  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 1:18 pm:

    That kinda makes me nervous, STL. lol

  7. - The Doc - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 1:24 pm:

    ==This is really pretty low on the “outrage meter”.==

    I respectfully disagree. While the tax increase may have been more symbolic than anything when first passed, it has morphed into a real, tangible issue for Cook County and Chicago in particular.

    It’s difficult to precisely quantify the potential revenue lost from residents spending in adjacent counties, the corresponding effect on businesses, or the added disincentive to create or relocate business to the county. But considering the extensive coverage it’s received, it’s likely a meaningful number. And if the driving force behind it is a feather-bedded payroll and allowance for mismanagement of county government, it most definitely is an outrage.

  8. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 1:26 pm:

    Didn’t Obama advocate more transparency and reduced executive power when campaigning only to modify his positions once in office?

    It’s not the executive’s responsibility to curtail the power by the executive branch. It’s the responsibility of the legislature and courts.

  9. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 1:38 pm:

    Good move John

  10. - Just wondering - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 1:43 pm:

    I really would not be surprised if Todd does not file for re-election.

  11. - Rep. John Fritchey - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 1:46 pm:

    Thanks VM,

    I’m not a big fan of throwing people under the bus, but I’m even less of a fan of being used as a pawn and then having the rug pulled out from underneath me.

  12. - phocion - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 2:27 pm:

    I’m a big fan of Rep. Fritchey, but in the immortal words of he whose name will not be spoken…”What were you thinking?!”

  13. - been there - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 2:30 pm:

    henceforth he will forever be known as todd “flop” stroger.

  14. - Rep. John Fritchey - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 2:35 pm:

    What I was thinking was that Quigley and I were right on the issue, and if we could lock in the next Board President to commit to go along with it, everybody would benefit.

    The last time I saw somebody change directions that hard, that fast was Cedric Benson against the Bears :)

  15. - the insider - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 3:40 pm:

    Rich, from how I understand it Stroger is only opposed to the effective date not the reduction itself.That was stated in committee yesterday. Senator Katowski claimed that’s its not a backdoor to a reduction of the sales tax, but it really is. Now what I personally don’t like is why is the Legislature so after the County they (the County) have a balance budget. Why aren’t they addressing their own budget concerns. Cook has a balance budget, the State doesn’t. I guess its easier to dogg Stroger and keep the spotlight on him vs on themselves. Lastly nobody is mentioning how some suburbs in Katowski own district raised the sales tax since 2006. I guess this is his way to cover himself for voting on an income tax increase, by jumping on Stroger about his veto powers.

  16. - OdysseusVL - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 4:03 pm:

    Because, The Insider, the budget of Cook County has been balanced without significant cuts but with a huge tax increase.

    If the State would just double its taxes, that budget could be balanced too.

    “The budget is balanced” is a very small part of the story.

  17. - dupage dan - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 4:12 pm:

    I wonder when Bill will chime in with his “The county is wonderful and stop bothering Todd” comments. Yes, the budget is “balanced” but only on the backs of those who can’t afford it. It is common knowledge that those who can are flocking to nearby states and counties to avoid Cook County sales taxes. Watch the revenue fall.

  18. - The Insider - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 4:19 pm:

    Dupage dan, and OdysseusVL just fyi

    1) I guess you didnt see, the county did do budget cuts, closed clinics, laid off people, and did furlough days.

    2) the county did one sales tax, and after the county raised there’s numerous othere muncipalities did increase their sales tax as well? How come nobody is asking those muncipalities to lower their sales tax?

    3) the state did raise taxes, increased fees and still did not balanced a budget?

    4) when the state passed the sales tax to assist the RTA, all the collar counties were able to raise their sales tax as well.

    5) Those people who are “flocking” to other states and counties? Last I checked by looking at revenue statements they are not flocking like you think. Thats just a typical Republican anti tax statement.

  19. - The Insider - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 4:28 pm:

    Laslty the larger part of the story is that “certain” people cant beat Stroger at the county board level so they ran to the Illinois General Assembly. At the end of the day even if this threshold is lowered, the sales tax will stay in place. Collins and Steele plus one more will vote to keep that tax in place. All this will do is make those members do their jobs which is to pay for the federal mandate to hire more correctional officers, to hire more folks over at the bureau of health to pay for the increasing number of people going into the healthcare system. To pay for the raises that the county board voted on BEFORE Stroger came into office. So this will not be that saving grace for those who want to reduce the sales tax.

    Now what I would love to see is those advocating for the county to reduce its sales tax, is a bill asking the state to lower its sales tax by a 1%, the rta to give up its 1%, for those muncipalities to reduce its sales taxes by 1%. Make it fair across the board.

  20. - dupage dan - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 4:42 pm:

    The Insider,

    Curious you don’t mention that hiring is going on apace in various agencies throughout the county. It is clear that Todd uses an age old strategy of laying people off (who have no clout) and hiring new people who will then be beholden to Todd for their largess. Come election time he taps them for assistance (that is if they want to keep their jobs). While you can say this is done elsewhere, this particular stream is about Todd, hence the comments are, you guessed it, about Todd. When there is a stream about Pat, or Richie, or Rod, or whomever, we will likely comment about them, too.

  21. - The Insider - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 5:10 pm:

    Dupage dan,

    Hiring? The hiring that is going on at various parts of the county system yes, Sheriff is hiring due to the Duran court decree (as I mentioned the federal mandate in the previous comment). The Buerau of Health is hiring under the Independent Hospital Board (bcz of the rise in the number of people using the system I did note that too in the previous comment). Sure there is hiring going on at the county (I never said there wasnt)none of those offices/agencies are under direct control of President Stroger. Dupage dan, I know you got that haterism in your blood, but please read and get your facts right before you want to type a comment. Oh by the way those folks who got laid off and that they didnt have clout hmm, some are members of the 8th ward (just an fyi). I know you want to just lay out the negative but when Stroger is wrong I will admit it, but will people like you admit when he does the right thing, or your ideology just wont allow you and people who share your ideology to give that credit to the man?

  22. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 5:19 pm:

    Insider, what has Todd Stroger done wrong?

  23. - Mike Murray - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 5:31 pm:

    Wow. You did some damage with that one Rich.

    Stroger won’t walk right for a week. LOL

  24. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 7:28 pm:

    Todd was always in over his head. He had the backing of the Daleys — until he didn’t.

    He had he backing of Beavers, whch was allegedly really big and porkful — until it wasn’t.

    Cook County government is a miserable assignment. Good luck to whoever gets its.

  25. - A - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 8:37 pm:


  26. - Evanston Eye - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 8:42 pm:

    Everybody mysteriously tags the sales tax as Todd Stroger’s sales tax increase.

    Let’s not forget that one of our own was the 9th and deciding vote on the night the sales tax increase was passed.

    The person that is absolutely responsible for the sales tax increase is the self-proclaimed reformer and big tobacco and casino lobbyist all wrapped into one.

    Larry Suffredin was the 9th and deciding vote on the sales tax.

  27. - Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye - Thursday, Oct 29, 09 @ 11:44 pm:

    Congrats to John and Rich for highlighting Todd Flop Stroger’s flip.

    As for businesses fleeing the state, Insider@4:19, it is NOT a Republican throwaway line, it is fact. Take a look at the info Fritchey posted on his blog by U of I economist Geoffrey Hewings. In its totality, it is a stinging indictment of the neglect elected officials have shown the Illinois economy. Including Todd, the GA, and Chicago.

  28. - blackdem - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 12:14 am:

    Wow you guys are something else. Lets get this straight Cook County portion of the state sales tax is 1.75 percent. It does not include groceries or medicine. The state and city has raised numerous taxes for way more than the county SINCE then but you keep on about the 1 penny. So where is the “huge” or the other tags put on the penny??
    The county has been a flat 3 billion dollar budget for 3 years and employees have dropped from 24,000 to 22000 so it seem that there has been a reduction in employees also. Sure we can all sit back and find waste and political workers..the same can be said from the city and villages thru corporate America. But to act like Stroger’s gov is gone to hell is unfair and inaccurate. If a business has to close because of a penny, then it was closing anyway. Should we lose the penny and do away with access to quality health care. I bet if we said the penny would take away hospitals on the Northside, there we be a different spin on the penny.
    Never has a penny meant so much.

  29. - blackdem - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 12:17 am:

    If it was truly non-political then why not ask for .25 percent reduction from The state, County, City and RTA?
    There 1 penny. But no one says because your mind is ade up that Strogers 1 penny is the worse.

    And Frithey..Nice piece… Hows Vic Santana doing these days?

  30. - dupage dan - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 8:47 am:

    The Insider,


  31. - dupage dan - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 8:50 am:

    The Insider,

    BTW I have family who work for the county and they paint a different picture of the employment situation. A person can have strong opinions about an individual without have “haterism” in their blood. To inject that into a discussion is a ploy to divert attention away from the issues.


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