April 26, 2009 --
Our guest is Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. After last year pushing through a 1 percent hike in the county portion of the sales tax, Stroger proposes cutting the tax by 1/4 of 1 percent. We'll ask how the county can now afford to cut a tax, and if it's at all linked to his Democratic primary re-election that's coming up on Feb. 2, 2010. And what about a proposal by one of his critics, Republican Commissioner Tony Peraica, to eliminate all of last year's 1 percent increase, which gave Chicago the nation's highest sales tax rate: 10.25 percent? Is there any way that the county can afford to cut the sales tax by more than 1/4 of 1 percent ?
We'll also ask about his latest patronage controversy in which he fired his cousin as the county's chief financial officer.
Also, does he plan any more cuts in the budgets of county elected officials? Earlier cuts led to public disputes with Sheriff Tom Dart, and the then state's attorney, Dick Devine. They charged that Stroger's cuts forced them to make significant cuts in staffing, and to eliminate some important programs.
We'll see if he has any reaction to possible election challenges to him by fellow Democrats such as Sheriff Dart, and Chicago Ald. Toni Preckwinkle.
And we'll give him a chance to explain why he believe he deserves a second term.