Toni Preckwinkle takes responsibility for tax problem in 2010

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Friday that a tax problem linked to her 2010 campaign was her fault.
January 17, 2014 3:01:11 PM PST
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Friday that a tax problem linked to her 2010 campaign was her fault. Preckwinkle says her campaign paid over $10,000 in back taxes last October and she promises a personal check to pay the penalty.

"I think inevitably in human enterprises, mistakes are made and this is really a mistake and oversight for which I take responsibility," said Preckwinkle.

The tax problem is a stain on Preckwinkle's reputation for fiscal responsibility. She led the successful effort to roll back the Cook County sales tax while balancing the county's budget. Her first term was so successful, she's been urged to run for mayor to help right the city's fiscal ship.

"I'm running for re-election for the job I got because I think there's still work to do," said Preckwinkle.

"She is the most likely person who could run against Rahm Emanuel and be successful," said Delmarie Cobb, political consultant.

Cobb says Preckwinkle could run for re-election, then mount a short campaign for mayor without having to give up the county board presidency.

"People from all corners of the city would have to come out to support her, but there's that kind of dissatisfaction with this mayor," said Cobb.

"Our education system and our schools are there to make sure that our children have a chance at a better future," said Emanuel.

The mayor, at his annual Martin Luther King breakfast on Friday, was heckled by an activist who opposed the dozens of public school closings last year and the CPS plan this year to allow 21 new charter schools in Chicago. Preckwinkle-- a former school teacher-- takes a similar view.

"I think it lends credence to the criticisms that were leveled against the school closures in the first place, that it was an opportunity to transfer resources from public neighborhood schools into the charter schools," said Preckwinkle.

Preckwinkle has no opponent in the March democratic primary and no Republican is running against her in the fall. But again-- at this point-- she says she is only running for re-election as County Board President.


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