Daleys' Snub Has Stroger Thinking Twice

Radio interview shows second thoughts

By Steve Rhodes
|  Wednesday, May 6, 2009  |  Updated 8:30 PM CDT
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County Board Members Push Back

The Daleys have slowly backed away from Stroger.

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Will Stroger Veto?

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger finds himself navigating political waters without his usual support.

County Board Members Push Back

Cook County Board members are trying to push back last year's 1 percent sales tax hike.
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Even if Todd Stroger musters the few votes he needs to sustain a veto of the county board's effort to roll back its sales tax increase, the latest episode of what even he calls "politcial theater" may be the one that breaks his back.

It appears that Stroger has lost the Daleys. And that probably means it's over for the Toddler.

"The Daley family backed Stroger in his 2006 run for the spot once held by his father, John, but Daley on Tuesday said Stroger has 'been wounded' and might not get his support for his anticipated re-election effort," the Tribune reports.

And Stroger himself, though angry, sounded resigned as well on Tuesday as he assured reporters that, "Todd Stroger will be alright," and able to make a lot of money, presumably in his next job.

But on Wednesday, Stroger made it clear to WLS-AM radio talk show hosts, Don and Roma, that "he's rethinking the emphatic veto threat," the Sun-Times reported.  He may not veto yesterday's vote afterall.

Daley, who chairs the county's finance committee, has been a Stroger ally up to now, but at Tuesday's board meeting he snapped at Stroger amidst sales tax sparring. "You might want to listen for a change," he told him.

"They used to be allies,"  commissioner and Stroger nemesis Tony Peraica said this morning on Fox Chicago's Good Day Chicago, "but I think those alliances are shifting."

The 12-3 vote to repeal Stroger's sales tax increase showed that the embattled county president had lost other allies as well, though it would take 14 of 17 board members to override a veto.

Daley said a Stroger veto would be a mistake (which likely means it would be a fatal one for Stroger's political future).

The Sun-Times quoted Daley as saying: 

"The county sales tax was very detrimental," the mayor said. "The retailers will tell you that. This is very, very serious for them. [County commissioners] realized what an impact it had upon everyone in Cook County -- a very negative impact. It was strictly something that, I think, they had to do ... This was a very, very questionable increase in taxes It was a very very controversial tax."

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, an award-winning Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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