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Cook board to do battle over Arizona boycott
By Ted Cox | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/11/2010 12:01 AM

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Cook County's Arizona boycott over the state's controversial new illegal-immigrant law is about to kick in - at a cost of about $25,000.

A contract set for approval at Wednesday's County Board meeting would award a uniform deal at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago to Progressive Industries at a cost of almost $839,000. A lower bid for more than $814,000 from Uniforms Manufacturing Inc. was rejected, and a letter sent to the board specifically cites the county's Boycott Arizona Resolution as cause.

Yet, Bartlett Republican Commissioner Timothy Schneider said he intends to argue that the resolution mentions that the boycott sticks "in instances where there is no significant additional cost."

"That's an ambiguous term," Schneider said. "To me, $10 is significant when I deal with county money and taxpayers' money and my family's money or anybody's money."

Schneider acknowledged he was not a supporter of the resolution approved, calling it "a foolish boycott to punish the state of Arizona," but added, "I think we should go with the lowest possible bidder when we purchase our goods and services."

Schneider said he intends to raise the issue at Wednesday's meeting and push for acceptance of the lower bid.

On the same day they approved the boycott, county board members awarded a contract for red light cameras to an Arizona company, with proponents saying they already had negotiated the deal before the boycott was raised.