Cook County Board to Level Playing Field With Presidential Power

-By Warner Todd Huston

One of the reasons that Cook County is among the highest in sales taxes in the country is because Board President Todd Stroger has quite a bit of power in stopping his vetoes being easily overturned. Currently it takes four fifths of the County Board to override his veto and that executive power has for many years proven very hard to overcome. Now that long-time power might be coming to an end.

The Illinois House and Senate recently voted up a measure to repeal the four-fifths rule and replace it with a three-fifths rule.The bill currently sits on Governor Quinn’s desk awaiting his signature.

The County Board has 17 commissioners, and the legislation would reduce the number of commissioners needed to override a veto to 11, three lower than the current 14. County commissioners have previously mustered 13 votes to override Stroger.

Stroger visited the Capitol earlier this week to lobby the legislature to lobby against the bill.

This bill also limits campaign contributions in Illinois for the first time.

At the heart of the legislation are the first-ever limits on campaign contributions: Candidates could get up to $5,000 each for the primary and general elections from individuals, $10,000 from corporations and unions and $50,000 from political action committees.

But the proposal also would allow all four legislative leaders to spend unlimited sums of money from their campaign accounts to individual legislators or candidates in general election races. Since Madigan also is state Democratic chairman, he also could devote unlimited party campaign resources to hard-fought contests.

In primary races, however, the legislative and political party leaders combined would be restricted to giving $200,000 to a statewide candidate, $125,000 to a state Senate candidate, and $75,000 to a state House candidate.

In any case, this is a good change if the County Board President can lose his veto proof system.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,,,,, Human Events Magazine,, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. Warner is also the editor of the Cook County Page for

He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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