We have Judy Baar Topinka's ex-running mate, Joe Birkett who ran for Lt. Governor on the Judy Baar GOP ticket when she was running for Governor. Joe Birkett who is Dupage County State's Attorney, the equivalent of Dick Devine in CC, wants to bring the death penalty back. Joe Birkett who is a GOP in the most GOP County in Illinois where McCain has his last visit is pushing this in a Blue State.
Just think former Governor Ryan, GOP who worked with Judy Baar for years was so anti death penalty, even getting a noble peace prize for it.
In Strogerville: Todd insists he needs a tax increase and he will not rule out a $40 Cook County Vehicle Sticker, which will be in addition to a City Sticker. I wonder how many people will have time to remove all these stickers, will this impair a drivers view? But Todd said if the majority of the Board wants it he would sign it. He feels his sales increase is needed because when there are fewer jobs, crime goes up and the jail and court systems get the business, more public defenders, etc. Yes, Todd is right the Chicago Tribune announced at least 100 layoffs there, Sears the day before, Macy's before that, well let's face it this is the daily news, Yes, and more people losing jobs will needs health care.
DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett along with Republican state reps Dennis Reboletti of Elmhurst and Randy Ramey of West Chicago have called a news conference for tomorrow at the DuPage County Sheriff's office.
The lawmakers plan to announce the introduction of a resolution calling on Gov. Rod Blagojevich to lift the informal, eight-year moratorium on executions and the introduction of legislation to expand the death penalty by making those who murder children 16 and under automatically eligible for the death penalty (the current age under the law is 12 and under).
Anita Alvarez, the Democratic nominee for Cook County State's Attorney, has also put the moratorium in play, calling during a radio interview over the weekend for a statewide advisory referendum this fall and saying she'd like to shrink the number of defendants eligible for the death penalty.
"But the moratorium has sent the wrong message. And if the death penalty is a deterrent, it should be a penalty that's actually in place and working," said Birkett.
Birkett stressed that Illinois has implemented capital punishment reforms, such as videotaping confessions by murder suspects.
Stroger seeks smaller tax increase, but no budget deal near
Despite revised proposal, no budget deal seems near
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger said Wednesday he wants a smaller sales tax increase than the one commissioners already rejected, but that concession doesn't appear to have the county any closer to a budget deal.
The freshman county executive pitched the idea of raising the Cook portion of the sales tax to 2 percent. That's still more than double the county's current .75 percent sales tax, but a drop from the 2.75 percent tax rate Stroger unsuccessfully sought last fall.
The potential swing vote on the 17-member board was unmoved, however.
Maldonado -- who said the sales tax hits hardest those who can least afford it -- joined the board's five Republicans and three independent Democrats to form a bloc of nine that blocked Stroger's larger sales tax. As of now, Stroger would seem to need one more vote to get his smaller tax hike approved.
"It's clear to me that they don't have the votes," said Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston), who met with Stroger on Wednesday and is among the Democrats who often oppose him.
Finance Committee Chairman John Daley (D-Chicago) said that if the sales tax hike were approved, it wouldn't go into effect until the last two months of the county's fiscal year, which began Dec. 1. As a result, to balance its budget, the county would have to borrow money that it would repay in 2009.
"At least he's offering some kind of compromise, and it's up to the commissioners to see what we can do now," Daley said. Under state law, the board must approve a budget by Feb. 29.
If commissioners reject the latest proposal, "It's back to square one and serious cuts in the budget," Daley said.
Laurence Msall, president of the non-partisan Civic Federation, said the county should cut waste rather than raise taxes. The group is "very concerned that President Stroger is going to try to impose an unreasonable and unnecessary tax increase," Msall said Wednesday.
Commissioners also said Stroger suggested cutting 4 percent from his initial budget proposal of nearly $3.3 billion, which included a spending hike of 6.8 percent over last year.
Meanwhile, support for a proposal to enact a $40 countywide vehicle sticker appeared to be on life-support amid concerns about how to enforce it, commissioners said.
Stroger maintained core services would be cut without more revenue.
"The board has to make some decisions about what we are going to do," Stroger told John Williams on WGN radio Wednesday. "We really only have our sales tax that is going to keep us whole."