Proft: 'Mayor Preckwinkle' would put Chicago in 'full de Blasio' mode
In a recent Twitter post, conservative strategist Dan Proft said that “Chicago is poised to go full de Blasio” in reaction to news that Cook County board President Toni Preckwinkle is testing the waters for a run for mayor.
Proft is a principal in LGIS, which owns this publication.
Preckwinkle’s politics closely align with those of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a socialist sympathizer whose first four years in office were riddled with reports of corruption, cronyism, special interest influence and overspending.
The former five-term alderman representing Chicago's 4th Ward is reportedly making calls to potential backers in light of Rahm Emanuel’s surprise announcement on Tuesday that he will not seek a third term. The election for mayor is Feb. 26, 2019. The filing deadline for candidates is Nov. 26.
Preckwinkle was the driving force behind the penny-per-ounce levy of the short-lived and nearly universally hated soda tax in November 2016. The tax came on top of a 1 percent increase in the sales tax in 2015.
She continued to support the tax even in the face of strong public and political opposition from both parties. In September 2017, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan said he would move legislation to override the county and kill the tax if the county board didn’t reverse itself. In October 2017, the board voted 15-2 to repeal the tax.
If Preckwinkle does decide to run, her election would be no certainty, Chris Cleveland, Chicago GOP chairman, told Chicago City Wire.
“Politics is all about building coalitions,” Cleveland said. “She has to come across as being business-friendly, and there isn’t even a remote chance of that happening.”
Cleveland added that the demographic make-up of the city continues to change – not necessarily in a positive direction for Preckwinkle, who is African-American.
“It used to be that Chicago was a third white, a third black, and a third Hispanic,” he said. “But with black flight from the violence in the South and West sides, you can’t count on that anymore.”
U.S. Census data shows that between 2015 and 2016, more than 12,000 black residents migrated out of Cook County. Nine thousand residents left the previous year. The Census figures also show that the greater Chicago area – includes parts of Indiana and Wisconsin in the Census calculations – has lost nearly 46,000 black residents since 2010. That number represents the largest out-migration of black residents in any metropolitan area in the country.
All the while, Preckwinkle is trying to consolidate power in Cook County. She has targeted suburban Republican commissioners for defeat, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report.
“She would like to have free rein to pursue her agenda of raising taxes, or in her words ‘revenue,’” Commissioner Tim Schneider, who is one of only four surviving Republicans on the 17-member county board, told the Sun-Times.
Proft is a principal at LGIS, which owns this publication.