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soda tax

The Stroger Legacy And Cook County

In 2010, as public support of county government waned, then-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger lost the Democratic primary to Toni Preckwinkle. Now, years later, Stroger is running for public office again and is rejoining the debate on county and city government. On this edition of Against the Current, Dan Proft asks Stroger what he thinks his legacy is, and what he wants to see from Cook County and Chicago moving forward. Proft and Stroger discuss and debate pensions, patronage and the best ways to provide jobs and opportunity for Cook County residents, as well as a range of other topics, in one of the most extensive interviews Stroger has done since leaving his post as Cook County Board President.

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How Well Does Cook County Government Work For Its Residents?

Cook County residents are outraged about the County's sweetened beverage tax, which could be repealed this October. How were the county board and Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle so tone deaf on the issue? On this edition of Against the Current, one of the tax's strongest opponents, Commissioner Richard Boykin, tells Dan Proft how Preckwinkle and many other commissioners ignored citizens' concerns. Proft and Boykin also debate the merits of hiking the minimum wage, and they discuss how to tackle the county's gun violence problem. This and more important county policy topics on this edition of Against the Current.

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Preckwinkle: Southside Entrepreneurs Cannot Earn A Living On Their Own

Long before she was Queen Sugar, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was an opponent of small business owner/operators responsible for 2/3rds of the jobs in this country.

In a forum Dan Proft moderated in 2013, former Utah State Sen. Dan Liljenquist told the story of when he met with Preckwinkle about the Institute for Justice's Clinic for Entrepreneurship during which she said,

"I'm opposed to self employment. You give these people false hopes that they could ever earn a living on their own."

She'll see Obama's "you didn't build that" and raise you a "you didn't earn that."

One might think to ask the follow-up, if there is no self-employment, who would create the jobs?

The only available answer once you eliminate the entrepreneur is government. And a government-driven, government-dominated society is the foundation of fascism.

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Getting The Facts On Soda Taxes

On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to Tax Foundation expert Scott Drenkard about the failures of Philadelphia's sugary drinks tax, and how it serves as an example for Cook County. They also talk to a state legislative candidate trying to win in Chicago as a Republican, and they discuss the legislative turnover in the General Assembly for this upcoming election. Proft and Hughes also discuss questions surrounding Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker's links to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and how the Democratic race for governor is shaping up.

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Preckwinkle Plunders The Poor

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle plunders the poor with her new soda tax. Pat Hughes explains why Preckwinkle doesn’t give a rip about your health in this week's Upstream Ideas' Two Minute Warning.

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Peddling A Con

Just when we thought that Chicago Democrats couldn't be any more hostile to businesses, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle proves us wrong.  Pat Hughes takes on Preckwinkle in this week's Two Minute Warning.

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Un-POP-ular

Cook County's Sugary Beverage Tax went into effect this week, after being enjoined for a month due to a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA). To add insult to injury, the Cook County Board filed a lawsuit against the IRMA for $17 million in damages caused by the enjoinment. On what grounds did the IRMA file their lawsuit? Why was it dismissed? What was their reaction to the county's lawsuit? Did the IRMA see any spending cuts that could have been made to the Cook County budget to avoid the new tax? Vice President and General Counsel at the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Tanya Triche Dawood joins Dan and Amy to discuss. 

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How Committed Is Springfield To Improving Our Schools?

Governor Bruce Rauner has issued an amendatory veto to the Democrats' education funding bill, which contains a massive bailout for Chicago Public Schools, and now its back to the General Assembly to decide what to do. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, about how the General Assembly might respond to Rauner's veto. They also discuss how Democrats rhetorical support for public schools does not match their personal support. And with the Cook County soda tax now in effect, Proft and Hughes talk to the General Counsel for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the organization suing the county over the tax, about how it plans to continue its fight.

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Pols Looking Out For You = Soda Taxes

How do sin taxes, like Cook County's Beverage Tax, impact small business owners? Politicians who push these taxes claim they're for our own good. What's their real motivation? How difficult is it to operate a store in Cook County versus counties outside Illinois? When was the last time Dan went grocery shopping? Barb Eastman, Owner of Happy Foods, joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Chicago’s Newest Tax: Soda

On this post-election edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft & Michael Lucci, VP of Policy, Illinois Policy Institute, discuss the four new Republican seats in the Illinois legislature and how it will impact the legislative process. They also highlight four new manufacturing companies that are leaving Illinois, the new tax on soft drinks in Chicago and Rahm Emanuel’s private email account.

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