Guns-and-Ammo Tax Likely to Land in Court
Cook County wants 5 cents for every bullet sold • An open letter to Pat Brady from a guy who gives Democrats money • A Rod Blagojevich legacy: All Kids doesn't fly right, either
The NRA and a suburban gun dealer say Cook County's proposed taxes on bullets and guns will probably land in court.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, saying there is too much violence in Chicago, wants a 5-cent tax on every bullet sold in the county and a $25 tax on every gun sold.
"It's not the law-abiding citizens stacking bodies like cordwood in Chicago; it's the bad guys," he said.
The tax also could drive business out of Cook County and into the collar counties.
"Who's going to come to Tinley Park to buy ammunition?" asked Fred Lutger, owner of Freddie Bear Sport in Tinley Park, saying his customers, mostly hunters and cops, will look elsewhere to buy their bullets.
Preckwinkle said the money raised by the tax — projected at $1 million — will offset the cost of medical care for gunshot victims treated at county hospitals.
"Why should we be paying for gang bangers shooting each other?" Lutger said.
The tax plan, revealed Thursday, faces skeptics on the county board. Commissioner John Fritchey said a lawsuit would cost the county more than the tax would raise.
"I don't think a nickel a bullet will cause a shooter to rethink pulling the trigger," he said.
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the NRA "will jump on this issue" and a lawsuit is a definite option.
"Eyes are on Chicago and Illinois right now," he said.
- More: Read more on the proposed taxes on guns, bullets, video gambling and cigarettes in "County Wants to Tax Vice, Bad Habit and Weaponry"
Pat Brady Thinks This Democrat Likes Him: Seems like every other telephone call is a campaign robocall lately. It's annoying that our democracy has come to this, but it's got to be doubly so when you're a Democratic political operative and the Republicans keep calling to ask for your vote and your money.
Will Caskey runs 3rd Coast Research, a Democratic research and campaign consulting firm. Illinois Republicans are ramping up the robocalls this election, and Caskey says he's getting a lot of them. So he dashed off an open letter to Pat Brady, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, via his blog:
We need to talk. It is not that I don’t appreciate the attention. I got a good laugh out of it back in August when I got a robocall from Rep. Joe Walsh urging me to go to his town hall, as if I haven’t called him and his voters every nasty name I can think of, here and elsewhere. ... And don’t get me wrong, it is fantastic that Republicans are finally getting on board with people voting; I was of the distinct impression you view voting and access to it with suspicion at best.
But here’s the thing: you need to find whoever sold you that data file and 1) get your money back and 2) hit him with a blunt object.
I don’t know how I managed to get into your database of likely supporters ... The fact is, I don’t belong there. Ever. ... I’m a Democrat. I’ve voted in four out of four Democratic primaries. My household is double 4/4 D. In layman’s terms (no offense, it just seems like you need this spelled out) it is likelier that I am going to spontaneously levitate and set people on fire with my mind than I am to vote GOP. Not only that, I give Democrats money! I give them a LOT of money! ... And on a final note: I didn’t get an absentee ballot. I didn’t request one. I’ve never, ever voted absentee. So that robocall you just sent me today urging me to remember to send in the absentee ballot you mailed me is, well, gibberish.
All Kids is a Costly Mess: As governor, Rod Blagojevich said All Kids would be part of the legacy he left Illinois.
But IllinoisWatchdog.org reports that the children's health insurance program he created has spent thousands of dollars on ineligible people, and the program didn’t investigate why children received multiple pairs of eyeglasses they didn't need.
All Kids allows parents who do not qualify for Medicaid to obtain lower-premium health insurance for their children. A state audit found it's not eligible for federal reimbursement and cost the state $85.7 million last year, an increase of $11.3 million from the previous year.
The audit also found that hundreds of people received medical services after their 19th birthday when they were no longer eligible; hundreds of others were enrolled with more than one identification number; and thousands were categorized as “undocumented,” even though they had Social Security numbers on file.
As of fiscal 2011, more than 97,000 children were enrolled in the expanded All Kids program. Total claims paid that year were $96.6 million, and the state received about $10.8 million in premiums. The whole All Kids program has 1.9 million enrollees, for whom the state paid $3.2 billion in claims.
Patch on Politics appears on the Patch network throughout Cook, Will, DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties.
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