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Protest march targets Illinois Policy Institute

Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014

* I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this before. From a press release…

Springfield, IL – Hundreds of religious leaders from around the state will march on the offices of the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) in Springfield beginning today at noon at the Lincoln statue at the Capitol building. The group will call on the organization – funded by the wealthiest corporate special interests in America – to stop their false attacks on a Fair Tax, and to let the citizens of Illinois make the decision for themselves about a Fair Tax on the November ballot.

Documents exposed in a December news report revealed that the Illinois Policy Institute has been serving as a conduit for the national State Policy Network, a group financed by America’s wealthiest corporate interests, including billionaires David and Charles Koch. The documents revealed funding to IPI from the group as earmarked for the purpose of making a Fair Tax “politically toxic” to Illinois voters.

The Illinois Policy Institute is responsible for many false attacks on the Fair Tax, including claims it would raise taxes on low- and middle-income families—claims which have been thoroughly debunked. The truth is that a Fair Tax – implemented with a rate structure proposed by the Fair Tax Act’s chief sponsor, Sen. Don Harmon – would cut taxes for 94% of Illinois residents, including everyone making up to $205,000.

In February, more than 100 religious & faith leaders gathered in Chicago to call for a Fair Tax, with lower rates for lower incomes and higher rates for higher incomes. They believe the Fair Tax is important because it gives tax relief to vast majority of families while also preventing devastating cuts to important public priorities, which would have an especially harmful effect on Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens. Today, in addition to demanding accountability from the Illinois Policy Institute, faith leaders will be visiting their elected officials in Springfield to urge them, among other issues, to pass the Fair Tax Act before the May 4th deadline.

The march is being organized by the Community Renewal Society. Its legislative agenda is here. The group publishes Catalyst Chicago and The Chicago Reporter. Its board members include SEIU Healthcare’s Director of External Relations plus lots of ministers.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Percival - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    What a howl! IPI should see it as a backhanded compliment on their impact.

  2. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    It’s about time IPI became a target, since they’re a shill organization for the Kochs. And given the press releases put out by IPI, this one seems much more grounded in reality.

  3. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    This could become a fund-raising tool for IPI.

  4. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    Nice day for a walk.

  5. - Jaded - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Are you sure the IPI didn’t write this press release? This is great PR them.

  6. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    In other words: people are too stupid to take in the various sources of info and make an informed decision? let’s shut down their speech.

  7. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    –The truth is that a Fair Tax – implemented with a rate structure proposed by the Fair Tax Act’s chief sponsor, Sen. Don Harmon – would cut taxes for 94% of Illinois residents, including everyone making up to $205,000.–

    The on proposed in the house would increase my taxes (as law is currently written) and we make less than the Median Family income. Just saying, otherwise I’m all for protesting the IPI, they deserve a little bit of it.

  8. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    I’m currently reading an autobiography by MLK, and I’m very impressed by his call to activism. I also deeply commend the ministers for standing up for tax fairness. I’m glad they’re taking the demonstration to where it belongs.

    I’d like to share an excerpt from one of MLK’s sermons or speeches. He said that a life without purpose and struggle for good is like an early death. He said that those who pass away early in life fighting for justice live a fuller life. He said that death in old age for those who could have fought for justice earlier in life but didn’t is just a formal cessation of life that ended much earlier.

    I have no doubt that MLK would support the Fair Tax. It is in his spirit that I hope the ministers are demonstrating.

  9. - TwoFeetThick - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    This is beautiful. The wealthy have been hiding behind front organizations for far too long. Finally there’s an organized effort to tear off the cloak of anonymity. They can’t hide anymore.

  10. - anon - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    Can they add the Civic Committee to the protest list?

  11. - AnonymousOne - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Hope to see more of this. Wealth and the influence it purchases is getting out of whack. Haven’t we learned anything from history?

  12. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Didn’t see that coming.

    I don’t see the point. Why engage IPI? Nobody even knows who they are.

    Just another motley crew of willfully ignorant cranks and misanthropes begging for money to get their hate on. The country is lousy with them.

  13. - warhed - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Its simple-show me the falsehood and misinformation the Institute is spreading. Its not there. Hell hath no fury like a liberal proved wrong. Get ready for a change of the guard Illinois.

  14. - AnonymousOne - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    ==people are too stupid to take in the various sources of info and make an informed decision?==

    Basically yes. And the ones who aren’t stupid are blindly biased toward their own pocketbook. Look at the #s of idiots who don’t understand (they do, but they like the idea of screwing public employees) that the legislature is responsible for the pension dilemma.

  15. - AnonymousOne - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    Anyone who has been attentive to the pension legislation knows that the IPI has been very vocal–hence my comment above.

  16. - OneMan - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    to stop their false attacks on a Fair Tax, and to let the citizens of Illinois make the decision for themselves about a Fair Tax on the November ballot.

    So then those in favor of the “Fair Tax” would remain silent as well, right?

  17. - Raymond - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    A more effective use of their resources (if they’re truly interested in undercutting IPI) might be lobbying news outlets to stop publishing Reeder’s column and the other “news network” tripe from IPI.

  18. - Arizona Bob - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:00 pm:


    “I also deeply commend the ministers for standing up for tax fairness.”

    This has nothing to do with “fairness” Grandson. It’s all about, “Take from thee and give to ME!”

    Obama’s former preacher, Jeremiah Wright, retired from his church and was given a $10 million mansion in the tonier, and whiter, part of Tinley Park.

    “Fairness” would involve taxing these self serving clowns for the money they scammed off poor parishioners, not raising taxes on job creators so that Quinn can dole out functionally useless “grants” to all these parasitic non-profits.

    Christ once said “Render unto Caesar what is Caeser’s, and render unto God what is God’s” It seems these “religious” protesters want to get more into Caesar’s action than God’s!

  19. - Shark Sandwich - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    Given the accusation that IPI is a front for wealthier backers, suggested sign:

  20. - the unknown poster - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    “The wealthy have been hiding behind front organizations for far too long.”

    Oh, like George Soros?

  21. - Pat C - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    Will they also protest all the Soros funded institutes?

    Or are they mad that IPI is more effective?

    As for the “fair tax”, as proposed it might be a cut for most people. Will it stay tgat way?

    You can find the answer driving down toll free I90 from Rockford to Chicago….

  22. - the unknown poster - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    @Pat C

    I doubt it. Doesn’t fit the narrative.

  23. - DuPage - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    @Arizona Bob12:00=Take from thee and give to ME!=

    Had not heard that one. Usually politicians try to imply: “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that guy behind the tree”. They never mention who is behind the tree.

  24. - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    All this demonstration does is give folks the impression that IPI is an important player - they are not.

    As another commenter said, the IPI folks are loving the attention.

    And yes, it is a nice day for a walk.

  25. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    === claims which have been thoroughly debunked ===

    Did they not read the thread they link to? The only thing “debunked” were Sen. Jakobsson’s claims. As @Bars, and others, explained:

    === Current law is a 3.75 percent income tax in 2015, which is when a progressive tax would go into effect. That is the fair apples to apples comparison. Her plan has the makings of a major tax hike for those communities. ===

    That particular proposal would indeed raise taxes on any tax return reporting over $43,200 in AGI.

    IPI, regardless of what one may think of them at times, is actually correct under current law.

  26. - Del Wasso - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    Arizona Bob wrote, “Obama’s former preacher, Jeremiah Wright, retired from his church and was given a $10 million mansion in the tonier, and whiter, part of Tinley Park.” Date stamped - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:00 pm.

    Apparently, the man doesn’t think too highly of black folks living in white neighborhoods.

  27. - Amuzing Myself - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    SEIU is involved, huh? Pot, meet Kettle…

  28. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Nothing like an IPI reference to bring out the cable TV parrots, lol.

  29. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    === I don’t see the point. ===

    Spot on.

    FKA loves a good protest. Public officials of every type, private organizations that are running sweatshops or engaging in racial discrimination, even “pro”-type rallies in favor of certain issues and viewpoints.

    But in this case, you are marching on… a source of information that you disagree with?

    What’s the point, indeed? IPI doesn’t vote on legislation and they sure don’t have enough sway to control the bill.

    If you can’t win on the merits of your argument, then bully the “other guy” into shutting up?

    Looks like someone touched a nerve.

  30. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    warhed -
    ==Its simple-show me the falsehood and misinformation the Institute is spreading.==

    During the term of Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin IPI labeled the Personal Property Replacement Tax revenues local governments receive (to compensate them for the Illinois Constitution, Article IX, Section 5 banned local personal property taxes) a “subsidy” that could be eliminated to help balance the State’s budget. I’ll cut them slack, and say this is “misinformation” … but, for the record, there it is.

  31. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 1:28 pm:

    The Fair Tax would give earners savings if the 5% income tax were to remain in place. I think it’s a better idea than the millionaire surcharge. I see that the Fair Tax recently got many House sponsors. A similar bill is in the Senate. I think it could be sold to the public. I just don’t know how it could pass with a supermajority requirement.

  32. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    I love it when the moneychangers at the temples tell everyone that there would be no more sin if everyone gave them more “fair” money.

    I think Jesus kicked over their tables a while back.

    You cannot tax your way into salvation. Voluntary and cheerful giving enriches one’s soul - not forced taxation.

  33. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    I’ll support stripping the Koch’s of their ability to fund campaigns just as soon as the other, larger 25 campaign funders are stripped of theirs first.

    Start with Soros.

  34. - JSlim - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    Does anyone even know if the Kochs even fund IPI, at least in any meaningful way? My guess is no.

    These “fair” tax people just need something to do since their bills are not going anywhere.

  35. - Jimbo - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    All the folks talking about “increases” to taxes using a return to the 3.75% rate really need to return to reality. The rate IS being extended. It doesn’t matter what current law is, there is a bill to extend it that will pass. Using your logic in talking about “current” law then hey, the FY2015 budget is $0 as of this moment, so we don’t even need taxes. Yippee.

  36. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    Yeah! Give the IPI attention! They hate that!

  37. - Sara - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Maybe their churches should pay their fair share of income received first.

  38. - Boondocks - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    The “Fair Tax” folks are playing a game of bait & switch….the federal progressive tax structure is a mess….the government picks winners and losers based on their ability to lobby the lawmakers and changing the tax code to benefit the “insiders”….it is the furthest thing from “fair”. Anyone who thinks that the rates on job creators and the middle class won’t continue to rise is living in Never-Never land.

  39. - RNUG - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    Yep. the IPI people are using the attention to try to gin up donations. Got one of their emails a bit over an hour ago.

  40. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    === The rate IS being extended. ===

    Nice to hear. Can you please also share the exact date, time and final roll call of the vote?

    You know, just to save everyone a bit of trouble over these next few months.

  41. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 7:23 pm:

    Good strategy by the Community Renewal Society.

    The IPI is a front group. A friend of mine once noted “AstroTurf groups are like BIc lighters. When they break, you don’t fix them, you just throw them away.”

    IPI doesn’t serve any purpose if they can no longer pass themselves off as an independent hunk tank.

    Now, as soon as they pull out of IPI, the Koch’s will just find somewhere else, but that is the game we play.

  42. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Apr 9, 14 @ 9:04 am:

    “Apparently, the man doesn’t think too highly of black folks living in white neighborhoods.”

    Your racist nonsense won’t fly, del Wasso. what this shows is that WRIGHT doesn’t like living with African Americans. It hasn’t anything to do with me.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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