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*** UPDATED x2 *** Is Preckwinkle toast?

Thursday, Aug 17, 2017

* Cook County registered voters poll by We Ask America

In general, do you APPROVE, or DISAPPROVE of the job Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle is doing?

    Approve 21.12%
    Disapprove 67.98%
    No opinion 10.90%

Do you AGREE, or DISAGREE with the following statement: “I will probably vote to re-elect Toni Preckwinkle as County Board President no matter who is running against her.”

    Yes 16.18%
    No 75.06%
    Unsure 8.76%

Does that fact that Toni Preckwinkle cast the deciding vote that created the Cook County beverage tax make you MORE LIKELY or LESS LIKELY to vote to re-elect her?

    More likely to re elect 10.00%
    Less likely to re elect 84.49%
    No difference 5.51%


* Greg Hinz

If the survey is right, Preckwinkle’s personal numbers are almost as bad as those for her penny-an-ounce tax on sweetened beverages. […]

“President Preckwinkle is solely focused on navigating the county through tough economic circumstances and leading on behalf of the people of Cook County,” Preckwinkle political aide Scott Kastrup said in a statement. “Her strong record of reforming county government, improving access to healthcare, protecting public safety services and standing up to special interests are why she has broad support across the county and why she’s in strong position to win-re-election next year.” […]

Crosstabs indicate there is little variation among racial and ethnic groups about Preckwinkle and her tax. For instance, disapproval of her job performance ranges from 65 percent among whites and 67 percent among African Americans to 81 percent among Latinos. […]

The only figure now known to be actively considering a race against Preckwinkle in next year’s elections is fellow commissioner Richard Boykin, a Democrat who represents the West Side and western suburbs including Oak Park.

You can’t beat somebody with nobody, so we’ll see if she gets an opponent. And maybe the furor will die down, or maybe it won’t. But these county numbers are worse than a recent statewide poll of Donald Trump’s and Bruce Rauner’s approval ratings.

* Methodology

This poll was conducted from August 15 through August 16, 2017 using both automated (recorded) and live operator-initiated calls cell phones. In all, 902 registered voters completed all questions on the poll; 450 of the responses came from cell phones. The voters dialed were randomly selected from a proprietary registered-voter database of likely voters to assure the greatest chance of providing an accurate cross-section of opinion from the county-wide sample. No weighting formulas were applied to correct any over- and under-sampling.

MoE is ±3.26%. Crosstabs are here.

*** UPDATE 1 ***  Tribune

Cook County officials say they’ve solved a problem with the new sweetened beverage tax that put roughly $87 million in funding used to run the federal food stamp program in Illinois at risk of being withheld. […]

The county solved the issue by striking language permitting refunds from the regulation, which “will ensure ongoing access of SNAP benefits for eligible Illinois households,” county spokesman Frank Shuftan said in a statement Thursday.

The USDA confirmed that the county notified the agency that it had corrected the issue.

*** UPDATE 2 *** ILGOP…

Cook County is fed up with politics as usual from Toni Preckwinkle. A shocking poll out today finds that there is overwhelming opposition to Preckwinkle’s signature tax - nearly 7 in 10 registered Cook County voters oppose her soda tax.

But where does J.B. Pritzker stand? So far, all we’ve heard is silence from the normally talkative billionaire.

Could it be that Pritzker’s ties to the Cook County machine prevent him from speaking out?

Could it be that Pritzker is just so thankful for the Cook County Democratic Party’s endorsement that he refuses to take on their reckless members and stand up for taxpayers?

Or maybe running mate Juliana Stratton is stopping Pritzker from doing the right thing – since she’s a “member of Ms. Preckwinkle’s inner circle” and her “protégé”.

Either way, Pritzker’s silence says it all - he’s okay with massive tax hikes that threaten to take millions in federal funding away from those in need.

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** Water is wet and Jesse White is running again

Thursday, Aug 17, 2017

* Perhaps the least surprising news of the day, but maybe the only actual news generated

Secretary of State Jesse White will announce Thursday he intends to run for a sixth term, his team confirmed.

The announcement comes at Democrat Day at the Illinois State Fair where the eight candidates seeking the governor’s post will be front and center.

White, 83, is a top vote-getter. He had said at Democrat Day in 2015 that he would not run again, but he has since rethought that decision.

Political insiders believe if White had decided to bow out, that would have shifted the focus and campaign funds from the governor’s post to the highly sought-after job of secretary of state.

*** UPDATE ***  Secretary White just made it official. “I am your man and I will be at my duty station every day.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      

Cartoon removed, racism denied

Thursday, Aug 17, 2017

* Public Radio

Members of the Illinois House of Representatives twice expressed unanimous opposition Wednesday to expressions of racial animus.

In an official 105-0 vote, the House adopted a resolution — sponsored by Rep. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, and Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills — which vilifies white supremacists. The proclamation specifically “repudiates and condemns'’ neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and others that “espouse hate.'’

The vote was a response to incidents in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend, where a woman was killed and 19 injured when a man plowed his car into a group of counterdemonstrators at a rally of white supremacists protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

…Adding… Rep. Dave McSweeney’s floor speech

* More background is here. From the Sun-Times

An emotional state Rep. Jaime Andrade brought lawmakers to their feet on Wednesday in denouncing an Illinois Policy Institute cartoon that depicted a young African-American boy from Chicago begging for money for school from a wealthy white man with half-empty pockets.

The North Side Democrat denounced the cartoon as “s—,” prompting Democrats to rise to give him a standing ovation, with Republicans quickly joining in.

The conservative think tank defended the cartoon, arguing it was not racist, but late Wednesday took it down from the organization’s website, saying the controversy was a distraction from the real issue, “the failure of political leaders to address the root cause of our struggling education system.” […]

State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, also joined in on the debate on Twitter: “Cartoons don’t make racism any more palatable @illinoispolicy should delete their cartoon and apologize. That has no place in policy debate.”

* Tribune

Rep. Jaime Andrade, D-Chicago, raised the issue on the House floor Wednesday, asking his colleagues to stand in opposition, saying the representation in the cartoon was “unacceptable.”

“People forget that I am a minority, maybe because I move my hands and think I’m Italian, I don’t know. But this… this is just unacceptable,” Andrade said. “This unbelievable that we, today, in 2017, are still dealing with this s—.. Because that’s what it is.” […]

The Chicago-based advocacy organization, which has counted Rauner among its donors, has been a key player in efforts to promote conservative ideology in Illinois. The group recently took on an even higher profile after Rauner replaced several of his top aides with policy institute staffers.

Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan said he had not seen the cartoon, but noted Rauner’s decision to formally bring the organization into his administration.

* John Tillman press release…

“The Illinois Policy Institute recently published a cartoon to address the sad reality that TIF districts rob Illinois children – including children of color – of the funds necessary for their education. The price our children pay for this misgovernance is steep.

“Some lawmakers are denouncing our cartoon. We respect these lawmakers, both as representatives of their constituencies and as bearers of their own experiences and perceptions, and we acknowledge their critique.

“But our cartoon told the truth: TIFs take away money from all students, and disproportionately harm students of color. We stand by that fact. And we have long fought to help all students get access to better educational opportunities. TIF prevents that.

“We have taken down the cartoon, not because we think it is racist, but because it is a distraction from another truth – the failure of political leaders to address the root cause of our struggling education system. We stand ready to work with all elected officials and advocates who would like to see TIF money properly refocused on students across the state.

“Finally, what we find sad, and frankly offensive, is that in a world where so much real, harmful racism exists, political leaders are using the false charge of racism in an attempt to smear policy opponents and distract the people of Illinois from politicians’ failures.

“This is a distraction from the most important task at hand in the Statehouse: Ensuring equitable education funding for all Illinois students.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   43 Comments      

*** LIVE *** Democrat Day coverage

Thursday, Aug 17, 2017

* Follow along with ScribbleLive

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      

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* *** UPDATED x2 *** Is Preckwinkle toast?
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* *** UPDATED x1 *** Water is wet and Jesse White is running again
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* Cartoon removed, racism denied
* *** LIVE *** Democrat Day coverage
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