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Preckwinkle has chased me out of Cook County

I used to really look forward to Labor Day weekend. Usually,

somewhere in Chicago or Cook County, there’s a fun festival taking place.

But this year, I decided that one penny on every ounce of

soda pop that I drink is the straw that broke the camel’s back. So I decided to

find fun far enough away to forget about Toni Preckwinkle’s taxes, Chicago’s

crime, and the ineffectiveness of the weakling suburbs.

There has to be an alternative to Chicago’s unending crime

and Cook County’s outrageous taxes.

“Chicago troubles” have become “Cook County’s troubles.”

It’s all one big problem today. I blame Chicago politicians like Preckwinkle

and County Clerk David Orr, the so-called reformer who is more of a political

insider than anyone. Orr screams about political excesses but has mastered

excesses that aid his political agenda.

Orr isn’t screaming about Preckwinkle’s abusive taxes.

Instead, he’s attacking his political rival, Assessor Joe Berrios and the

county’s assessment procedures.

So, if I have to have hot air, the best place to get it is

in Harvard, a city of 9,000 in McHenry County that hosts the annual Hot Air

Balloon Festival. The Harvard Balloon Festival was phenomenal.

I didn’t feel like I had to walk around coveting my

possessions, fearful that I’d lose a wallet or camera like I have at Taste of

Chicago. I wasn’t worried some street gang members might decide to turn a Cook

County or Chicago event into a shootout at the OK Corral.

People were friendly. The fair operated as if it was run by

the attendees–also called “taxpayers.” There weren’t a lot of bureaucratic

restrictions on the food booths, entertainers or even the rides.

Two helicopters hoisted attendees into the air for

five-minute rides over McHenry County’s majestic farmlands and small towns. It

was serene. It was fun. The food was great. And costs were low.

Yet, even if the costs were the same, I’d still pay

the money in Harvard as a protest against the abusive way Chicago and some Cook

County officials treat its taxpayers.

Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison is pushing a

move to repeal the oppressive Preckwinkle Soda Tax, the abusive one-cent tax

per ounce on all sweetened drinks. I hope he’s successful. If not, maybe

Morrison can lead a rebellion to separate the suburbs from Chicago’s excessive

tax headlock and its abuses.

Preckwinkle’s tax is slamming a lot of unsweetened

drinks just because retailers are confused. But Preckwinkle doesn’t care about

the confusion or how the tax affects Cook County residents. She only cares

about revenues.

And she is getting help from the patriarch of another

city plagued by crime and outrageous taxes, Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg, the former three-term mayor of New York

City, is spending millions for TV commercials trying to convince overtaxed Cook

County residents that Preckwinkle’s tax is good for their health.

No, Bloomberg. What’s good for our health is to go back to

New York. And you should stay the hell of out Illinois.

Bloomberg is the scion of one of the nation’s most

political news operations, constantly pulsating with “fake news.” His

commercials are embraced by the local news media because they are profiting

from it all.

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs that I am trying to

steer clear of by finding alternative things to do outside of Cook County’s

excessive taxation.

To tell you the truth, finding alternatives is not too

hard to do in Cook County where the “excessive tax-buck” stops at Preckwinkle’s

desk.

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author and

former Chicago City Hall reporter. Email him at [email protected]

Ray

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