Posts tagged: John Cullerton

Illinois Held Hostage to a Grand Bargain

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Written by State Representative Jeanne Ives

No one should be surprised that group think instead of rational choices surround the 13 interconnected bills of the “Grand Bargain.” It is wholly predictable given the longevity of the Illinois Senate leaders involved. They’ve been working together for nearly 2 decades. They put in place many of the policies that are now taking a toll on our state.

They are the beneficiaries of generous pensions when they retire, excessive pay for their part-time jobs, and the public attention and stature of the positions they hold.  What’s new now is the heat is on. Calls to “DO SOMETHING!” echo throughout the state. But after decades of living in the Springfield bubble, Senate leaders have forgotten the common Illinoisan in the “Grand Bargain.”

In doing so, they misread entirely the mood of the people and depth of our troubles.… Continue Reading

Illinois Senate Budget Plan Includes $5 Billion in Tax Hikes, $7 Billion in Borrowing

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Written by Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner

Illinois Senate members have a drafted a new budget plan that relies on multibillion-dollar tax hikes, but little in structural spending reforms.

The plan punishes taxpayers with more than $5 billion in additional income and other taxes, borrows $7 billion from the bond market and adds casinos in Chicago – none of which provide relief to struggling Illinoisans. The plan also leaves pensions unreformed, does little to workers’ compensation costs and burdens job creators with a higher minimum wage cost.

There are limited, smaller reforms in the overall package, but nothing that slows the growth in government spending. It’s why the plan relies on massive tax hikes – even if those hikes accelerate out-migration of people and businesses. It’s a bad plan for Illinoisans.

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Term Limits: While Not A Panacea, Quinn & Rauner Advance Worthy Proposals (Part 2)

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Written by John Biver

Former Governor Pat Quinn, a fixture on the Illinois political scene for decades, has been on the statewide ballot many times, and also served as State Treasurer and Lt. Governor. Earlier this month, Reboot Illinois’ Matt Dietrich wrote this:

Before serving as governor from 2009 to 2015, Pat Quinn was known as a rabble-rousing reformer who, most famously, led a 1980 citizen initiative that cut the membership of the Illinois House by one-third.

Now Quinn wants to “open up” Chicago’s City Hall “and let the people in” — this is how his TakeChargeChicago.org states it:

Welcome to Take Charge Chicago, a grassroots movement to open up City Hall and let the people in. Take Charge Chicago aims to put two binding referendums on the ballot: a term limit on the Mayor of Chicago; and creation of an elected Consumer Advocate to be a champion for beleaguered Chicago taxpayers and consumers.

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Rich Miller Ignores Supermajority Reality to Demand Rauner Capitulate

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Written by Eric Kohn

Rich Miller wants Bruce Rauner to surrender.

This has been a theme of Miller’s since shortly after Rauner was inaugurated.  [Recently] in a guest column at Reboot Illinois, he used the loss of two high profile Rauner-backed primary candidates to renew his call.  Miller begins with this sentence:

It’s almost impossible to make a deal with somebody who won’t accept reality.

Let’s talk about reality.

Miller is correct that Rauner lost two races where he had made a significant investment.  State Sen. Sam McCann (R-50th) defeated challenger Bryce Benton, and State Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-5th) went down in defeat to Juliana Stratton.  Rauner, and groups supporting Rauner, like Dan Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC, had invested millions to defeat McCann and keep Dunkin.  It didn’t work out.… Continue Reading

Meet the Politicians Who Stand to Get Rich Off Of Chicago’s Massive Property Tax Hike

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Speaker Madigan (D-Chicago), Alderman Burke (D-Chicago), and Sen. Pres. Cullerton (D-Chicago)

Written by Austin Berg

Chicago City Council passed the largest property-tax hike in modern city history by a vote of 36-14 on Oct. 28, approving Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2016 budget proposal.

The budget includes a $588 million property-tax hike to be phased in over the next four years.

In short: Chicagoans are likely to take a closer look at their upcoming tax bill, as homeowners and small-business owners will need to see just how large a hit their family’s bottom lines will take.

More scrutiny from property owners means more business for the law firms specializing in lowering property-tax bills. And that means more money in the pockets of certain members of the state’s political elite.

The players

As the tax hikes hit Chicago families and businesses, a who’s who of the state’s political machine will continue to line their pockets off of a property-tax game in which their connections are priced at a premium.… Continue Reading

“Spend-To-Stay” Alive and Well in Illinois

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Written by Russ Stewart

Remember that old verity, you get what you pay for? Often, you don’t. In Illinois politics, however, you pay for what you get, and the candidate who pays the most is the candidate who gets.

Bruce Rauner is Illinois’ governor because during 2014 he raised $78,191,560 and spent $58,426,802. Roughly $25 million of his receipts came from his own pocket. Self-funding, in essence, bought him the governorship.

Rauner beat Pat Quinn 1,823,627 to 1,681,343, getting 50.3 percent of the vote and winning by a margin of a margin of 142,284 votes. Rauner’s cost per vote was $32.03. Quinn raised $26,373,276 during 2014 and spent $30,179,983. His cost per vote was $17.95. Numerous political action committees weighed in with another $20 million in “independent expenditures,” with negative mailings and television ads, as did the parties’ respective national committees and governors’ associations.… Continue Reading

Rauner Will Not Cure Springfield Dysfunction

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Written by Russ Stewart

The outcome of Illinois’ gubernatorial race proves anew that any mother’s son can grow up to be governor, provided that he can self-fund $28 million and raise another $60 million.

Republican Bruce Rauner‘s win also reaffirms another pearl of wisdom: Bad always gets worse. If Illinoisans thought that state government was incompetent and leadership was dysfunctional under the Quinn-Madigan-Cullerton Democratic regime, they ain’t seen nothing yet.

The 2018 campaign for governor started on Nov. 5. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is the presumptive Democratic nominee, and House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) will do everything possible to sabotage, stain and sully the new governor.

They want Rauner to fail so Lisa Madigan can win. They want to compel Rauner to break his promises of fiscal restraint and make him collude with the Democrats to raise the state income yet again.… Continue Reading

November Election Result will be “UPS Moment”

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Written by Russ Stewart

The Nov. 4 election, for Democratic politicians in Chicago, will be a “UPS moment.” Which committeemen among the 50 Chicago wards will deliver, and will their delivery be decisive and intimidating?

With Chicago politicians already heavily focused on the Feb. 24, 2015, municipal election, and those with statewide ambitions intensely pondering the state landscape for 2016 and 2018, the 2014 vote will, to use that old expression, “separate the men from the boys.”

Many decisions will be made, or unmade, based on which candidates run best and which committeemen produce the most votes.

First, the governor’s race is of critical importance to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and his daughter, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. A tactical determination of great import looms: As Lisa Madigan aspires to run for governor in 2018, is it more advantageous for her prospects to have Republican Bruce Rauner or a Democrat Pat Quinn as governor for the next 4 years?… Continue Reading

Illinois’ Backlog of Unpaid Bills Total $4.4 Billion

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Written by Benjamin BanMetre

Illinois began August with a $4.4 billion dollar backlog of unpaid bills. If lawmakers would have kept the promises they made in 2011, the backlog would be zero today – or close to it.

In January 2011, Illinois lawmakers pushed through a record tax hike that raised the income tax rate on individuals to 5 percent from 3 percent, and on corporations to 7 percent from 4.8 percent. They called it the Taxpayer Accountability and Budget Stabilization Act and went on record making the following promises:

“We have some temporary tax increases that are designed to pay our bills, get Illinois back on fiscal sound footing and make sure that our state has a strong economy.” – Gov. Pat Quinn

“The purpose of this bill is to raise enough money so that we can continue to pay our pensions without borrowing the money, to pay off our debt, to have enough money to pay the interest on that debt …” – Senate President John Cullerton

“… remember the point of this income tax increase is not to expand programs, not to do brand new things in Illinois state government, it is only intended to pay our old bills and deal with the structural deficit.” – House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie

Between 2011 (when the tax hike was implemented) and 2015 (when the tax hike will partially sunset), the tax hike will have generated $31.6 billion in new, additional revenue for the state of Illinois.… Continue Reading

Arie Friedman Obfuscates

Written by Laurie Higgins

Almost all of those who have emailed us following our exposé of Dr. Arie Friedman’s pro-abortion position have expressed shock about his views, which he does not include on his website and which we have learned are even more extreme than we realized.

Although Friedman did not return IFI’s survey on his positions or the survey sent out by Illinois Citizens for Life, he did express his views to the Buffalo Grove Patch in June:

“Friedman indicated he supports a women’s right to choose. ‘I am completely prochoice,’ he said.”

If you read the short article in the Buffalo Grove Patch, you’ll see that Friedman opposes even parental notification laws pertaining to abortion. He and his opponent Julie Morrison are vying for the dubious honor of most anti-life candidate.… Continue Reading

Modified by Matthew Medlen.com