Sunday, July 27, 2008

The latest from America's worst governmental body, Cook County

From the Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn in 2006:

Obama's staff released a profoundly disheartening letter to voters this week in which Obama, joined by Sen. Dick Durbin, endorsed Cook County Board presidential candidate Todd Stroger.

The letter, which puffs lots of hot air into the saggy balloon of Stroger's legislative resume, refers to him as "a good progressive Democrat" who will "lead us into a new era of Cook County government."

Todd Stroger was a "strong voice" in Springfield, the letter says. He has "worked assiduously" for the poor as an alderman. Yet, of course, the record reveals that Stroger is an unimaginative legislative drone whose reform credentials are wholly imaginary--an unlikely trailblazer to a new era.

Since Stroger won that election, things have gotten worse in Cook County. Machine patronage jobs are what fuels the government of America's second most populous county. To help fund this haven of graft, a one percent sales tax was foisted on Cook's 5 million residents by Todd "The Toddler" Stroger and the so-called public servants on the Cook County Board of Commissioners--forcing suburban Cook residents like myself to pay 10 percent sales tax on most purchases. That's tied for second in the nation--the unfortunate folks in Birmingham, Alabama pay that rate too.

But finishing on top of the sales tax derby is Chicago--where of course Obama lives-- people living in Cook's county seat are saddled with a sales tax rate of $10.25 percent.

As I've noted before, the new levy is widely referred to as the "corruption tax."

Not to sell corruption short, but it can be also called in incompetence tax, as the Chicago Sun-Times explains in an article--you can't make this stuff up--about Cook County's new magazine:

Tired of getting "pummeled by the newspapers every day," Cook County Board president Todd Stroger's administration has decided to counter with a new magazine overseen by county officials.

Publisher/editor Theresa Tracy said Cook County magazine would be "independently published" and a "credible, compelling and valuable resource" for county residents.

But county officials have the final say on what's published. And Tracy accepted $24,999 from Stroger's administration last November to launch the magazine -- $1 under the amount that would have required the approval of the full Cook County Board.

Remember: Obama said The Toddler would "lead us into a new era of Cook County government."
When will we see this great work of journalism? Try never. Stroger spokesman Eugene Mullins spoke to the Sun-Times:

"I was asked to review it and decided not to distribute it -- not because of content, but errors and omissions in the article" about John Stroger (Toddler's late father, whom he replaced on the Democratic ballot two years ago), Mullins said. "Judging on grammatical stuff -- something misspelled or that's not a complete sentence -- falls back on the president. And this is a Cook County magazine. I have to find a way to get rid of them. I'm not distributing them."

$24,999 in tax dollars wasted. What a horrible turn of events in this "new era." In the publishing business, it's customary to proofread before going to print. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, not The Grate Gatsby. Since publishers can't pass on the cost of their mistakes onto taxpayers, they tend to be less reckless in their endeavors.

All 5,000 copies of Cook County Magazine are in Mullin's office. If you are part of the cleaning crew at the County Building in downtown Chicago, keep this in mind: Mullins won't notice if just one of those magazines is missing. E-mail me at after you grab one.

I want to shout out to the world about the "new era of Cook County government." Obama declared it so.

Related post:

Bid to rescind Cook County corruption tax fails: UPDATED

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Anonymous said...

Ah, that reminds me. I've got to cancel my order for new windows and doors for the house today. Buying them across the county line saved me $350 in sales tax this weekend.

Anonymous said...

10% is about the average extorted from businesses by all Mob's, and Chicago is ran by the Mob, right now one of their members (Hussein O) is busy padding his own pockets or the increase would have been to 12%.

Anonymous said...

So DM60462, you do understand that 83% of that tax has nothing to do with Cook County Government. I assume you paid $3400 for the windows and doors. My calculation says you saved $136 minus the cost of gas. Try Indiana next time.

Jim Roper said...

Nice Chicken scratch Sexy.