Friday, October 6, 2017

Abortion vs. pop tax – which makes for a more unpopular political figure?

The 2018 election cycle will be intriguing to see which one of two high-ranking officials winds up becoming the most unpopular, and if they can manage to win re-election despite the levels of contempt felt towards them by the populace.
PRECKWINKLE: Pop tax provide gas for her demise?

I’m referring to Gov. Bruce Rauner and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle – both of whom I’m sure feel in their hearts they did the “right” thing, but are likely to face their share of crackpots determined to see to it that both of them lose their dreams of re-election.

NOW I’M SURE that in terms of raw numbers, Rauner has more enemies because he’s running for office across Illinois. For Preckwinkle, she doesn’t have to care about what people outside of Cook County think.

But she may have the more intense level of disgust being sent in her direction.

That’s how unpopular the pop tax has become amongst some people. The Capitol Fax newsletter reported Thursday how many people are refusing to sign the nominating petitions for the slate of preferred Democratic candidates running in Cook County because it contains Preckwinkle’s name.

Toni has the advantage of not (as of yet) having an opponent challenging her for the county board presidency. But people peeved because of the pop tax (that one cent per ounce on sweetened beverages) want to make it clear they aren’t fond of the tax that can boost the cost of a 2-liter bottle of pop by about 65 cents.

SOME PEOPLE ARE going so far as to write little messages on nominating petitions so as to express their desire that Preckwinkle go down to defeat.

Now the trick is to whether Preckwinkle can overcome the level of disgust against her between now and the March 20 primary or the Nov. 6 general elections. There is time. And like I stated before, she really doesn’t have a serious opponent yet. Until we know what the alternative is, any talk of a challenge is purely theoretical.

But we’ll have to see what happens Tuesday when the county board’s Finance committee reviews a measure to abolish the pop tax just months after it took place. And if the full county board follows through Wednesday to approve that measure.
RAUNER: Abortion critics and budget blasts?

There is pressure being put by the lobbyists for the soft drink industry on county board members to vote to erase the tax. But there aren’t really many politicos coming out and saying they’d be willing to dump the tax (only commissioner John Daley, D-Chicago, thus far). You’d think people would want to publicly state as soon as possible that they’re changing their vote!

COULD IT BE that the efforts to erase the tax ultimately will wither away, and that the pop tax will remain in place? And would-be voters will have to express themselves by either voting against Preckwinkle or (if she doesn’t ever develop a serious opponent) by merely not voting at all?

I’m sure Republican political operatives want to believe that Preckwinkle is going to be the ultimate drag on the ticket that will lead the GOP to electoral success come 2018. But the reality is that the real drag on the tickets in Illinois will be the Donald Trump persona.

Which is likely to motivate much of metro Chicago into turning out to vote for people they will perceive as being willing to stand up to the crackpot persona of our nation’s current president.

Not only that, but Rauner has his share of hostile would-be voters in Chicago because of the many actions he has taken during his two-plus years as governor that have created the perception of an Illinois government incapable of doing anything.
TRUMP: The ultimate in political unpopularity?

I’M SURE THE rural part of Illinois would be willing to come to Rauner’s defense (“Blame Madigan!!!,” they’ll retort) on the long delays in putting together a state budget or in approving education funding

But many of those people seem determined to turn on Rauner because of the abortion issue. The fact that he signed off on a measure undermining their long desire to restrict Medicaid funds from being used to help lower-income women terminate a pregnancy means he can’t be trusted – in their mindset.

And unlike Preckwinkle, Rauner has serious challengers on the Democratic Party side of the equation – although Republicans seem determined to believe that the Dems in the running are too ineffectual to mount a serious challenge.

Either way, it would seem that ’18 is going to be a campaign cycle filled with hostile rhetoric – with the only question being whether it will be the “Preckwinkle” or “Rauner” name that gets tarred and feathered the most.


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