Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Seceding from Cook County's repressive taxation option on five township ballots

Palatine Mayor Rita Mullins, who is leading a growing protest movement against the repressive sales taxes and bloated Cook County Government of County Board President Todd Stroger, was the keynote speaker at a Fight the Taxation Forum held Monday night at the Orland Park Civic Center.

Mullins was joined by National Taxpayer's United President Jim Tobin and by Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman, who is also the Orland Township Republican Committeeman. The forum, the first in a series to challenge Stroger's represssive and unjustified tax increases, was organized by Radio Chicagoland talk show host Ray Hanania (WJJG 1530 AM Radio, Mon-Fri 8-9:30 am) and was taped and will be broadcast Thursday (April 2) on the morning Show beginning at 8 am.

Palatine Township is one of five townships where voters are considering seceding from Cook County. The others include Barrington, Schaumburg, Elk Grove and Hanover townships. Although it takes much to secede -- a 50 percent plus one vote in each township and a similar majority vote in the county -- the very act of standing up to Stroger's taxation is energizing a fight the taxation movement that is spreading throughout the county.

Mullins, Tobin and Gorman agreed that there is already a quasi-secession taking place in Cook County. Many consumers in Cook County are simply already driving across the county's borders into neighboring counties to purchase big ticket items, a form of de facto secession.

"With my district running from the north to the southwest suburbs in Cook County along the western most border of the county, I am hearing from businesses that customers are chosing to cross over into neighboring counties to purchase big ticket items and that is hurting their business," Gorman said. "Those businesses need our support, not more taxation."

Gorman was one of eight commissioner who opposed Stroger's repressive sales tax hike.

Mullins said that while the likelihood of seceding is challenging, the very act of putting the measures on local ballots has caught the attention of Stroger, whose administration has turned a blind eye to the concerns of many suburban communities and leaders.

In fact, a spokesman for Stroger, who has ignored repeated requests to come on the "Mornings with Ray Hanania" radio show, called to see if a Stroger spokesperson could attend the meeting. Hanania, the show's host, said that Stroger should first come on the radio show and take questions fromt he audience and show that he has the courage to stand up to the concerns of the taxpaying public first.

No one from Stroger's office bothered to attend, which did not surprise the audience nor the speakers.

Also speaking was Orland park Mayor Dan McLaughlin who welcomed the guests to his suburb.

The evening radio forum was taped and will be broadcast on Thursday morning from 8 until 9:30 am on WJJG 1530 AM Radio. I will also have it podcast, possibly before Thursday so you can hear the comments and observations from the guests, Gorman, Mullins and Tobin, and the great questions fromt he audience.

And a special thanks goes out to one of the first professional journalists I met some 32 years ago, Jodi Marneris, whose mention in her column in the Southtown/Star helped get the word out about the forum and pushed the crowd. And thanks goes out to the Palos Regional News also for their ongoing publicity. Also covering the event is the Orland Park Prairie which has the largest circulation in Orland Park and most of the neighboring suburbs. The reporter there was Jamie Lynn Ferguson. Aaaannnnd! We also had FOX 32 News (Channel 12 on Comcast Cable) covering the event that evening and the next morning. Plus WBBM Radiow as there grabbing interviews ... great coverage!



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