Share the article: ICYMI: Chicago Rejects Mayor’s Radical Progressive Agenda

CHICAGO — In Tuesday’s primary, voters in the city of Chicago sent a message that Mayor Johnson’s radical progressive shift in policy is not right for the city. In what is looking like an overwhelming denial, the initiative is currently losing by more than 7% and nearly 23,000 votes. With 80% of the vote in, the margin is nearly insurmountable for Mayor Johnson’s keystone policy proposal.

See what coverage had to say about Chicago voters rejecting the progressive agenda of Illinois Democrats and special interests:

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
: Glimmers of Election Hope in Chicago

Maybe Chicago isn’t fated to a downward progressive spiral after all. On Tuesday voters shocked everyone by soundly rejecting a ballot referendum to raise the city’s real-estate transfer tax, despite active support by Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).

Or perhaps the defeat was because of their support. Chicago residents voted 54% to 46% against the tax scheme with most votes counted. The result is all the more surprising because turnout in the primary was an unusually low 20%. Low turnout typically helps political machines like Chicago’s, which is why they scheduled the tax increase vote for March. They lost anyway.

Chicago Tribune: Bring Chicago Home referendum in serious trouble – and it would be a stinging defeat for Mayor Brandon Johnson’s grassroots base

The referendum was set up to become Johnson’s first levy hike as mayor, after campaigning on a “tax-the-rich” agenda that caught fire last year amid a tumultuous election where he adopted Bring Chicago Home as a key pledge. A defeat would signal trouble for Johnson’s leftist coalition that took over City Hall for the first time in decades but has since faced nonstop resistance from politically moderate foes and business interests, on top of sky-high costs from the migrant crisis.

CBS Chicago: Bring Chicago Home real estate transfer tax referendum appears headed to defeat

Republican political strategist Aaron Del Mar, a former Cook County Republican Party chair, said the referendum’s showed voters have a lack of trust in government to spend tax money wisely.

“I don’t think people trust the Chicago government group, aldermen, mayor, or whatever – to use the money appropriately,” he said.

While the tax might not have affected most homeowners, Del Mar said it was clear voters were not ready for another tax hike, one that would have affected small businesses and many landlords.

“I think they caught too many of the people of Chicago in here, including small business owners. You’re catching landlords that have a three-flat, that’s their whole life investment. I mean a million dollars is certainly a lot of money, but it’s not what it used to be,” he said.

Del Mar said he believes the measure likely would have passed easily if supporters had targeted the tax increase on properties worth $3 million or more, rather than $1 million.

Chicago Sun-Times: Bring Chicago Home: Mayor Johnson’s plan to fight homelessness appears headed to defeat

“Bad policy should be defeated, and voters saw that it was bad policy,” said veteran political strategist Greg Goldner, who quarterbacked the campaign against the referendum.

…”It can’t build affordable housing. It can’t solve homelessness. It can’t provide mental health services. It can’t solve the migrant crisis. It can’t provide affordable housing for teachers and vets. It can’t do all of those things for a revenue stream that has proven to be unpredictable,” he added. In the end, Goldner said, voters agreed the referendum was “poorly constructed, poorly defined” and a “very cynical public policy initiative.”

WGN: ‘Bring Chicago Home’ real estate tax referendum headed toward defeat at the polls

“This ordinance, as it’s written – or this referendum – is really going to impact a lot more renters than people might assume,” said Miguel Chacon, a real estate broker and representative of the Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance. “Anything that increases the operating expenses for any property owner, or any business for that matter, is eventually passed down to tenants.”

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