* Greg Hinz…
In an usual split between two powerful Chicago politicians who are normally allied, signs are rapidly growing that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is trying to kill off Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s penny-an-ounce tax on soda pop and other sweetened beverages.
Knowledgeable sources in both Chicago and Springfield say Madigan fears the highly controversial tax, combined with city property tax hikes and a boost in the state income tax and other levies, has created a toxic brew that threatens Democratic House members representing suburban Cook County.
Madigan has two potential routes to success. One is to throw his support to repealing the tax when the Cook County Board meets next month, something some sources say already is in motion. Preckwinkle has vowed to resist a repeal, but at least three key swing votes on the board are undecided, two of them close to Madigan.
The other route is to pass legislation in Springfield overturning the tax. A bill to do so has been introduced, and several endangered Democrats from suburban Cook are co-sponsoring it, something that almost certainly would not happen without the speaker’s blessing and maybe direction. […]
According to my sources, Madigan and Preckwinkle talked some weeks ago and the speaker flatly asked Preckwinkle to drop the tax amid signs that the measure was increasingly unpopular with tax-weary voters. She refused.
Go read the whole thing.
One of those “swing votes” mentioned above is Ed Moody, one of Madigan’s top field guys. And the treasurer of the PAC that’ll be funding anti-pop tax candidates is Mike Kasper, who is Madigan’s chief outside counsel.
*** UPDATE *** ILGOP…
Madigan Opposes Pop Tax, Creates Divide Among Chicago Democrats
Now that it’s clear Mike Madigan opposes the Pop Tax, it remains to be seen if his designated choice for governor, J.B. Pritzker, will take action
While Toni Preckwinkle kicks the can down the road, pushing off a Pop Tax repeal plan until after a committee hearing next month, her political patron Mike Madigan is trying to kill it.
With his opposition, Chicago Democrats find themselves in a bind. If they take action on the Pop Tax now, it’s clear they are Madigan cronies simply following the leader. If they continue to bury their head in the sand, they ignore the 87% of Cook county residents who oppose the bill.
From the Chicago Tribune:
So tell us again, Cook County commissioners, that the beverage tax will make residents healthier. Tell us how adding more than a third to the price of a sugar-free sports drink protects our children. Tell us why that candy bar is OK.
Or tell us the truth, which is that you didn’t set out to reduce obesity, diabetes and heart disease — you set out to make $200 million a year without raising property taxes. That health shtick is a pretense plainly contradicted by that untaxed Reese’s sugar-and-fat bomb. Do you think taxpayers are stupid?
So, if Democratic commissioners flip-flop on the pop tax they are “Madigan cronies.” Hmm.