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Tillman: I’m not saying, I’m just saying

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013

* A whole host of groups that claim they are non-partisan really aren’t. John Tillman at the Illinois Policy Institute recently penned a memo to Republican leaders about how they should behave now that the Democrats have veto-proof majorities. It’s a decidedly partisan memo, but Tillman claims he did it as a private citizen, not as a member of the tax exempt Institute.

An excerpt

Bipartisanship should only be attractive to the GOP when the Democrats are adopting elements of GOP policies, not when the GOP signs onto Democrat policies that move our state in the wrong direction and gives them the political cover they seek (and thus makes it harder to beat them at election time). […]

The [Republican legislative] caucuses must re-define what having a seat at the table means. It does not mean that you negotiate with those in power for how to pass bad legislation made marginally better. Instead, it means setting up new “tables” all across the state. Once you have laid out your principle-centered agenda and specific policies, begin a road show traveling all across the state, district-by-district, civic group-by-civic group, those who support, those who oppose, seats held by Rs and seats held by Ds, and make your case over and over again for two straight years.

In other words, forget about governing and focus on politics. Leave Springfield and go purely political. Don’t try to modify Democratic proposals to make them better, which could be quite good for the state. Instead, refuse to participate in governance.

Politically speaking, I’m not sure how traveling the state with a mobile policy road show will do all that much to win votes. And, frankly, the Institute’s recommendations could be a no-go as well. The Senate Republicans unveiled a vague “road map” to budget cuts a couple of years ago and the Senate Democrats beat SGOP candidates over the head with it for weeks last fall. It turned out that Illinoisans actually hated imaginary budget cuts more than they hated real tax hikes - at least in those targeted districts.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


29 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:00 am:

    Can other reporters now please stop referring to IPI as anything other than a GOP front? What little credibility Tillman had just evaporated.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:00 am:

    Just a very quick note - a Republican weakness here in the ILGOP is the point you make so well;

    Imagination of what “might” be is … is dismissed and hated more… Than what voters know AS real.

    Huge political strategy mistake we Republicans make over and over.


  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:10 am:

    “In other words, forget about governing and focus on politics. Leave Springfield and go purely political. Don’t try to modify Democratic proposals to make them better, which could be quite good for the state. Instead, refuse to participate in governance.”

    In other words guarantee the demise of the Republican party in Illinois and the reelection of Governor Quinn.


  4. - Caveman - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:12 am:

    The GOP is irrelevant has as much to do with the DEM ability to make them so, as their own stupid choices.

    And face it, there are no true non-partisans. Every individual, organization, etc. has an opinion/aggenda. Even this site, though it is far and above any other in reporting state politics, is clearly partisan.


  5. - big red 1955 - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:19 am:

    His group is nothing more than a special interest group. To call themselves an ” Institute ” is a sham. Any ideas on what they should be called? How about ” big business shills”


  6. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:21 am:

    More attention seeking gobbledygook from Tillman, chronic gadfly and one of the biggest propper-uppers of failed gop management for years.

    Basically he’s now saying I’ve helped screw up the gop so badly we should just take our marbles and go home because I’ve helped put the party in such a hopeless situation.


  7. - Devices - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:22 am:

    Not sure from which high ground Tillman issued his edict from, but for a little perspective, Tillman and his political team of Proft and Hughes lost nearly every race they were engaged in-in both the primary and general. So perhaps first, he should clean his own house first before offering grand plans for others to follow.


  8. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:30 am:

    Tillman, like Brady, was only speaking “as a private citizen”.

    What does that say about the organizations they lead?


  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:38 am:

    I posted this back when Robling “advised” the H&SGOP to leave Springfield, and I feel the same way about THIS “idea” as I did about Robling;

    - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 11:35 am: -

    ===To rehab the H&SGOP, they have to actually look engaged, to show that the process of doing is what is being done by the members. That work includes putting together bills, and having responsible, complete responses to Democratic propsals, bills, and passed/signed legislation to be able to build on becoming remotely relevent in 2014. Saying “we are against that” and not explaining why, or having a drafted alternative is not getting them anywhere.===

    - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 2:15 pm: -

    ===I would hope that the H&SGOP would have “quick response” bills ready to roll out in opposition to Dem bills the GOP will not be in favor of, and be ready to defend the bills, tout them as an alternative, and build a “Shadow” record of Bills, with what can be considered “Agenda 2014″ that is more inclusive, fiscally sound, politically savy, and governmentally sound.===

    The HUGE difference is that all this work, is done in the process of the General Assembly, in SPRINGFIELD! the H&SGOP would seem engaged in the process, and have REAL substance in a REAL place that it matters, and its not a “table full of groceries” with no answer to the questions…

    Traveling around Illinois and NOT being engaged in every bill, not saying “No, we don’t like it”, but having a response that is sound, and a response with Bills, showing the public the GOP in the General Assembly is committed to governing, and we are committed to show the voters a record for both the Democrats and the Republicans… and the Republican’s record won’t be just about “No”.

    The most important staffs for the GOP are the research and approp staffs. Getting something in “Bill” form to counter and to be able to respond quickly with valuable information to build upon these “Bills” will seem loads better than leaving Springfield and doig nothing, or renting ONE bus (Heck 66 GOP GA members can fit one one bus, sweet!) and go stumping away from springfield, with not one Bill, not one REAL response to have as a platform to show as hard work being done in springfield.

    What ever did happen to that table of food the SGOP had out, touting costs? Hopefully it weas donated to a shelter, because that food should have helped someone, because it ddin’t help that day for the SGOP …


  10. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:47 am:

    Lightweights. They have no game.

    You’d think after getting beat by Blago and Quinn, a little reflection would be in order.


  11. - Anyone Remember? - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:58 am:

    Don’t forget calling this group “clueless.”

    The State provides units of local governments funds to “offset” funds taken away in other areas. For example, the Personal Property Replacement Fund originally made up for local governments not being able to assess a registration fee on vehicles.

    ARTICLE IX
    SECTION 5. PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXATION
    (c) On or before January 1, 1979, the General Assembly by law shall abolish all ad valorem personal property taxes and concurrently therewith and thereafter shall replace all revenue lost by units of local government and school districts as a result of the abolition of ad valorem personal property taxes subsequent to January 2, 1971. Such revenue shall be replaced by imposing statewide taxes, other than ad valorem taxes on real estate, solely on those classes relieved of the burden of paying ad valorem personal property taxes because of the abolition of such taxes subsequent to January 2, 1971. If any taxes imposed for such replacement purposes are taxes on or measured by income, such replacement taxes shall not be considered for purposes of the limitations of one tax and the ratio of 8 to 5 set forth in Section 3(a) of this Article.

    Yet in 2011 the Institute labeled such payments “subsidies” that should be eliminated.

    http://www.illinoispolicy.org/uploads/files/2011-2012ILLegGuideLocalGovernmentDistributiveFund_6.pdf


  12. - Dazed & Confused - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 10:03 am:

    The IPI gets the press coverage they seek because they’re not afraid to say some outlandish (and impossible) things. However, this is the very same reason that they have no credibility at the Capitol and have been unable to attain any victories.

    They can howl at the moon all they want but at the end of the day their result will be northing.


  13. - langhorne - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 10:04 am:

    there are elections and there is governing. it is the function of the minority to innovate. come up with better, more attractive ideas that change the landscape and draw more people to your side.

    tillman proposes nonparticipation in the process, unless the dems, for some unknown reason, decide to embrace gop ideas–but only ideas that are pure and untainted by compromise. and what to do in the meantime? pack up the wagons and tents and put on a traveling roadshow. grassroots efforts work when people are motivated by ideas they consider relevant. tillman offers the self gratification of playing to small audiences. that accomplishes nothing.


  14. - Bill White - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 10:10 am:

    Or, as President Obama said yesterday evening:

    >> The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party. They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. For they know that America moves forward only when we do so together; and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all.


  15. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 10:18 am:

    Guys like this don’t govern. They don’t legislate. They don’t represent. They don’t know the daily routine of life in the General Assembly.

    Tillman sees this from a macro perspective, but that isn’t how to look at this problem. Governing as the minority party doesn’t need a macro anything. Pundits be damned, they are useless in times like this. They are like a bunch of interior decorators telling you how to lay a concrete foundation to build a house. The GOP doesn’t need spinmeisters when it ain’t got nuthin’ to spin, for crissakes.

    There are no charismatic GOP leaders to even begin with. Edgar had the charisma of a mannekin and Ryan was the bottom of the barrel completely, an old man left standing.

    Even with a charismatic leader, a party as down as the GOP isn’t going to get back to where it was 30 years ago. Look at New Jersey or Utah. Once a majority of voters have closed down their minds to only one party, the other party isn’t going to get a shot even when the majority party completely tanks the state’s economy or when their party leaders walk off in handcuffs.

    If it did make a difference, there would be a Governor Brady right now.

    2010 is the year that the Illinois GOP discovered that being the default other party isn’t good enough for Illinois voters. 2012 is the year the Illinois GOP proved it still didn’t understand that message.

    The Democrats would be just as stupid, by the way, if the shoe was on the other foot.


  16. - reformer - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 10:24 am:

    GOP legislators get the same pay as their Democratic colleagues. Yet Tillman would have Republicans collect that pay but refuse to participate in governance for two years.

    Compromise has always been an indispensable part of self-government. It’s the Tea Party and the right-wing who claim compromise is verboten, that marginal improvements don’t count.


  17. - jacketpotato - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 10:28 am:

    Like Mark Shields said, “[GOP is] looking for heretics, rather than converts”


  18. - Endangered Moderate Species - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 10:35 am:

    “begin a road show traveling all across the state”

    The GOP does not need to travel across the State. They need to develop a strategy to become a viable Party in the Chicago metropolitan area. Until they understand the political concept of pluses over minuses, they will remain in the minority.


  19. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 10:43 am:

    Overall I think the IPI is adds value to the policy arena, and we need a group like IPI. However, I find them overly and pointedly partisan which degrades their credibility and ability to win over Dems and moderates. In the long run, they would do better to emulate the messaging and tactics of the Institute for Justice: http://www.ij.org/


  20. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    VMan: I agree with everything you said,

    except I would say “If it did make a difference, there would be a Governor Dillard right now,” because Brady represented the uncompromising image that limits some of the ILGOP.


  21. - Steve Bartin - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 10:53 am:

    Why should Republicans be junior partners in the stagnation of Illinois??


  22. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 11:02 am:

    ===Why should Republicans be junior partners in the stagnation of Illinois??===

    Republicans were elected to serve the people of their district, and being a member of the General Assembly, serve the state of Illinois. Either do the job, or resign.

    Same thing as the Dem Senators in Wisconsin. Gotta be consistant, and they all need to do their job, even if its just did what others have suggested they do while in springfield, its better than not showing up, or doing a Dopey tour, while the Dems are seen engaged.


  23. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 11:15 am:

    ==Why should Republicans be junior partners in the stagnation of Illinois?? –

    Another victim heard from, lol. Because state government drives the economy, right?

    No, better to focus on big-picture stuff, like testing poor people’s urine.


  24. - Boone Logan Square - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 1:31 pm:

    So, why doesn’t the IPI pay taxes? And can that be changed?


  25. - Irish - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 1:35 pm:

    “Bipartisanship should only be attractive to the GOP when the Democrats are adopting elements of GOP policies,”

    That’s what Gov Quinn was doing when he went to them to to get support for his agenda against the Unions. See, he listens!

    And didn’t he “laid out your principle-centered agenda and specific policies, begin a road show traveling all across the state, district-by-district, civic group-by-civic group, those who support,…….and make your case over and over again….”

    Has anyone explained to him he is a Dem.???


  26. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 1:38 pm:

    Yea, the Republicans can try this, what’s after super minority? Supper-dupper minority?

    Din’t Tillman and Cross have PAC together?


  27. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 2:36 pm:

    This is the same disdain for government and the citizens that infuriates most of us about Washington. We don’t like it there, we shouldn’t tolerate it here.


  28. - Meaningless - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 2:54 pm:

    Sounds like typical “Tea Party” garbage that has infiltrated the Republican Party. Didn’t they learn anything from the last election?


  29. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 7:49 pm:

    If this keeps up, someday American Pickers will find Tilman and the GOP stashed away in some pole barn.
    The question will be whether they have any value at auction.


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