* I haven’t done any polling yet, but this may be smart local politics for a Sangamon County-area candidate…
Republican Illinois House candidate Mike Bell said Thursday he would consider keeping the Illinois income tax at its current level if the extra revenue is used to meet long-term obligations of public pension systems.
“I would look at extending or keeping the tax … that we have now if it would be used for the unfunded liability,” Bell said as he prepared to make his formal announcement entering the 96th House District race. “I would look at it.” […]
“I believe the bond we have with retirees should be kept, and I would not want any reduction for those. … That’s a sacred bond between pensioners, retirees and the government. They trusted the government to have that pension when they retired. Now they’re retired.
“Now future hires … that’s a different story.”
* House GOP Leader Jim Durkin was at the event…
Durkin said of Bell: “He’s a great Republican, great family man, and he also shares my vision for job creation in Illinois.”
* To which David Ormsby responded…
Extending the Illinois income tax increase has, uh, rarely been part of the GOP job creation vision.
But, hey, things change.
Bell, vice president of the Edinburg School Board and, more important, an AFSCME member, is looking to challenge Freshman Democrat Sue Scherer of Decatur who is sponsoring legislation to repeal the income tax increase.
Illinois politics have just stepped through the looking glass, Alice.
Yep, and it’s a good thing. People don’t always have to follow a rigid party line. Bell obviously isn’t. Scherer is essentially following staff orders in order to not offend Republicans in her district, which makes her look out of touch with her base. This could be a heck of a race.