Preckwinkle’s Allies Drop Big Bucks To Pop Tax Swing Votes

CHICAGO (CBS) — The 2 Investigators take on the pop tax politics.

The tax could be repealed Tuesday, but as CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports, it was a sweet deal for some politicians who may now vote against it.

CBS: You’re seeing a lot of commissioners getting a lot of big checks?

“Well you’re seeing, especially some swing votes, bring in some money from a lot of different sources,” said Sarah Brune, who’s with the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

For example, commissioners Edward Moody, Stanley Moore, Dennis Deer and Deborah Sims were all considered potential swing votes. And on one Sept. day, they each received $26,800 — in legal campaign contributions.

“This is a righteous fight and a just cause,” said County Board Commissioner Richard Boykin.

Boykin, who is a long-time opponent of the tax, recently received a total of $10,000 in campaign money from soda companies and their employees — a sign that big money is flowing from both sides.

“This tax has caused the largest customer outrage that we’ve ever experienced,” Frank Guiglio said, who manages Tony’s Finer Foods, which has 13 locations in Cook County. Centrally located County stores are down 25-30 percent in pop sales, and it’s Collar County stores are down a staggering 40 percent.

The tax was initially sold as a way to avoid county government layoffs. If it is not repealed, it could have the opposite effect in the soda aisle.

CBS: Will you have to lay people off?

“If it doesn’t get repealed, there’s a good change we’ll definitely have reduction in hours, yes,” Guiglio said.

Moore, one of the commissioners who got nearly $27,000 from pro pop tax donors, says the campaign donations didn’t come with any stipulations. He voted for the tax in Nov., but now says he’ll vote to repeal it.

CBS 2 reached out to the other commissioners, but did not hear back.

Watch & Listen LIVE