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“Not Recommended Budget” would cut $450M from education

Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* All week we have seen agency directors and not-for-profit executives featured in media stories about what services they would have to cut if the income tax rate’s sunset dates stand as they are. The school funding card in that equation is a big one, and the Senate Democrats played it yesterday…

If Illinois lawmakers don’t extend the state’s temporary income tax, school districts could see a net reduction of more than $450 million in general state aid next year.

That was the message sent by Democrats in the Senate Wednesday as they released a breakdown of how Illinois schools would fare under a doomsday budget scenario.

Nearly every one of the state’s 800-plus school districts would come out on the losing end of the state funding blueprint at a time when Illinois already is spending 89 percent of what it says it should be spending to guarantee all students get a quality education.

Emphasis added.

The Senate Republican response…

“We don’t believe the scenario they’ve created — that without an extension of their 67 percent income-tax increase the state budget will collapse,” said Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno. “We believe they are attempting to create a crisis to justify going back to taxpayers’ pockets.”

Schuh said Democrats “have not made education a priority” the past 10 years they’ve run the Statehouse.

“The Democrats have chosen to spend taxpayers money in other areas, so who would believe now that education would be a priority?” she said.

The “Why should we believe you?” argument made a regular appearance last week during Executive Committee hearings on the graduated income tax and before Speaker pulled the plug on the millionaire’s tax.

* Related..

* Report: Big cuts to state aid for schools if income tax increase expires: In Springfield alone, the school district would see a reduction of just over $4 million. The Senate Democrats’ figures showed the district getting about $35.8 million in general state aid this year.

* District 150 would see $5.4M cut in state budget scenario

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        


66 Comments
  1. - Anon - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    Opponents of the income tax can’t be honest about the size of the budget cuts. They won’t admit the likely consequence of their policy.


  2. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    Can an upside of this bring some consolidation of some of the 800 districts?


  3. - Norseman - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    === Can an upside of this bring some consolidation of some of the 800 districts? ===

    Sure, that will be accomplished and the savings realized in this year.


  4. - Leatherneck - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    Would any of you be surprised if we eventually see the “worst of both worlds”: extending the income tax PLUS at least some of the cuts being proposed in the “Not Recommended” budget? Especially if the ILSC throws out pension reform.


  5. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    “The Senate Republican response…

    “We don’t believe the scenario they’ve created — that without an extension of their 67 percent income-tax increase the state budget will collapse,” said Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno. “We believe they are attempting to create a crisis to justify going back to taxpayers’ pockets.”

    Schuh said Democrats “have not made education a priority” the past 10 years they’ve run the Statehouse.

    “The Democrats have chosen to spend taxpayers money in other areas, so who would believe now that education would be a priority?” she said.”

    OK, ILGOP, now is your chance. Show us your alternative budget. What will you cut ? How much ? No is not a budget.


  6. - Tough Guy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    I agree with AFSCME Steward. Time for the R’s to put up or shut up.
    They need to provide line by line specifics and not just the standard “we’ll cut the fat” or “waste and fraud”. Same old line has become tiresome.


  7. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Well, if we suddenly have $100 million in “extra” state funds to give away for building a museum that is traditionally built using private donations and then handed over to the NARA…

    Especially when Speaker Madigan’s office said just last month they weren’t certain of where the money would come from: http://capitolfax.com/2014/03/05/kid-have-you-rehabilitated-yourself/

    Personally, I would much rather see that $100 million go towards education funding and/or education infrastructure than building a museum typically constructed using private funds and then maintained using public, federal funds.

    Pretty certain the friends of any President, past and present, know a few big donors capable of chipping in on a museum.


  8. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    Formerly

    “Well, if we suddenly have $100 million in “extra” state funds to give away for building a museum that is traditionally built using private donations and then handed over to the NARA…

    Especially when Speaker Madigan’s office said just last month they weren’t certain of where the money would come from: http://capitolfax.com/2014/03/05/kid-have-you-rehabilitated-yourself/

    Personally, I would much rather see that $100 million go towards education funding and/or education infrastructure than building a museum typically constructed using private funds and then maintained using public, federal funds.

    Pretty certain the friends of any President, past and present, know a few big donors capable of chipping in on a museum.”

    I, and probably most of us out here, agree the state is doing things it shouldn’t. Its spending money foolishly. It is inefficient. However, making those statements doesn’t fix the problem. The $100 mil is certainly something to look at, but that is only 1 expenditure. To be a viable minority, that actually has a future, the ILGOP needs to actually present a comprehensive plan. If you say we don’t need the tax increase to be made permanent, prove it. Show how Illinois can support government with a tax structure that is significantly less than the states surrounding it. Even with the tax increase Illinois Taxes are still lower than most surrounding states. Quit being against everything. Be for something. Create an alternative budget and lobby for it. Make your case. Or stay a small ever shrinking minority.


  9. - PublicServant - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

    Modified for republicans:

    There are none so blind as those whose sugardaddies have told them not to see.


  10. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    C’mon folks. When you run the chambers, you deal the cards. Do you believe that there aren’t viable cuts and proposals that get killed and cremated in committee? It’s up to your side to “put up or shut up” something you all can defend with a straight face. Half your members don’t want to vote for keeping the income tax increase. Maybe more. The GOP isn’t in the room for these discussions. If you were all that serious, you’d do what you could to eliminate super majorities. Then, it’s a lot more legit to share the blame. Until then, it’s your deficit and your problem. The GOP is limited in stopping anything. At the moment, only Democrats stand in the way of other Democrats.


  11. - PublicServant - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    No way Pal. You come up with a budget, and then we can talk. Otherwise it’s just sour grapes. Put up (a budget), or shut up.


  12. - ZC - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    What everyone else is already saying above: Plan beats no plan.

    If the Republicans think they can balance the budget without making the increase permanent, produce the math. What spending are they intending to abolish?

    Of course they never will play ball here. They’ll claim they can make up any differences with magic growth. And it may work politically.

    There are ways in which Rauner is not like Mitt Romney, and the IL Republicans are not like Paul Ryan. But this area is not one of them.


  13. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    Well… A quick search shows that some very well funded North Shore schools INCREASE state funding, one by $700,000…. if the Draconian cuts occur… Only in Illinois….


  14. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    Nope Public Servant, take your tablet of gimmicks and math mess and pass it with your super majorities in both chambers and get his highness to sign it. Then present it to the people of Illinois. They gave you a super majority with the help corrupt cartographers. With all that, it’s your responsibility. If we can’t make material changes in it to make it better, it’s better we don’t touch it at all. BTW, your anger about pension reform is misdirected. Your speaker got it passed. Your Governor signed it. (mine too, but I voted for Brady)Now the people of Illinois are being asked to go permanent with a temporary tax increase. Carry that pail on your own. There’s not a single true reform to indicate we’ve turned the corner. All our side is relegated to do is comment on it. Sad, but true. Hopefully we do something about it sooner rather than later.


  15. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    A guy…. Spot on…


  16. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    –If you were all that serious, you’d do what you could to eliminate super majorities. Then, it’s a lot more legit to share the blame.–

    It’s not about blame, it’s about presenting an alternative.

    How do you get out of super-minority status if you don’t present an alternative? Just collecting a paycheck and saying “not our problem” clearly has not worked.


  17. - Befuddled - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    These dire predictions are being brought to you by the same people who promised the tax increase would solve all of your problems. They said they’d pay off the bills, create jobs, improve the state’s credit ratings, and they said the tax was temporary.

    Yet, since the tax increase, we still have a pile of old bills, our credit rating has been downgraded to the worst in the country, our unemployment is one of the highest around, and state employee pensions have been slashed.

    AFSCME Steward - you keep calling on Republicans to put out a budget plan, and keep supporting Democrats. It seems to be working out well. Snark.


  18. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    Word… They will need to provide a solution to the Democratic issue after the Democrats provide a proposal that is reasonable to the taxpayers. One Ad by Bruce can be run to frame the issue as what it is, the Democrats neglected Education Period.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    You can’t be one of the 66 GOP GA and “play victim”.

    It is the same thought about having those same GOP GA members “just not show up” to prove a point.

    When My Party takes responsibility for itself, its leadership, in governing, and winning elections, then My Party will move beyond being irrelevent.

    “Let them figure it out” is embarassingly passed off as leadership.

    Do those in the 66 know “people are watching” them too?

    I am.


  20. - Federalist - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    Yet Quinn proposed $ 1.5 billion (over five years) for more money for prenatal care, more early learning programs, and parental support under a ‘Birth to Five Initiative.’

    This in addition to the expansion of
    ACA that has already been implementeing pensions.

    So, plenty of money for new programs while the GA and Governor target schools, pensions, and even the healthcare insurance of state employees who are not and never will be eligible for Medicare.

    If anyone out there beleives that this is the right thing to do, well, I strongly disagree.


  21. - Old and in the Way - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    Consolidation? Do you seriously think you can save anything with consolidation this year let alone $450 million? Get a clue. It’s been tried before. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. Gee lets take 3 or 4 districts who are deep in debt and consolidate them into a single solvent district…….it doesn’t work.

    It’s all simple when you don’t know how anything works in the real world. Sort of like closing the deficit by eliminating waste and fraud. It’s not that there is no waste or fraud it’s that there isn’t $4 ot $5 billion worth of fraud. Whatever you saved on consolidation would be a drop in the bucket and would take three to five years to realize.

    Next stupid suggestion?


  22. - Norseman - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    === It’s not about blame, it’s about presenting an alternative.

    How do you get out of super-minority status if you don’t present an alternative? Just collecting a paycheck and saying “not our problem” clearly has not worked. ===

    Word, your mistake is to take this from the perspective of trying to effectively run government. This is about politics. If the GOP provides real (not pretend Illinois Policy Institute type) specifics, then they make themselves vulnerable to blowback from people skewered by those specifics. That makes it even harder to elect their candidates. That want people who actually fall for their hyperbole to form the base of support for a new GOP majority. We all hate taxes, lazy state workers, welfare cheats and corruption. And their message feeds on those base emotions. Unfortunately for them, there are others who see the reality beyond the simplistic rhetoric.

    The biggest problem for the Illinois GOP is that their Slytherin wing is mucking up the plan by talking too much and scaring the heck out of too many Illinois voters.


  23. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    === I, and probably most of us out here, agree the state is doing things it shouldn’t. Its spending money foolishly. It is inefficient. However, making those statements doesn’t fix the problem. The $100 mil is certainly something to look at, but that is only 1 expenditure. To be a viable minority, that actually has a future, the ILGOP needs to actually present a comprehensive plan. ===

    @AFSCME Steward - well, the good news is that we completely agree.

    Our points are not mutually exclusive. We both agree that it’s crazy to see the state pleading they are broke and crying for extraordinary “police powers”, yet continuing to magically “find” hundreds of millions - if not billions - of dollars for certain favored pet projects.

    We also both agree that in order to counter a plan, you must have a plan of your own to counter with. As many have pointed out across the nation and our state, you need more than just “no”.

    Republicans can be right in criticizing some very odd spending choices and budget proposals being made right now by Democrats. And Democrats can be right in criticizing the complete lack of a budget proposal by Republicans.


  24. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    Pate lost the Senate majority in 2003.

    Since then, the Senate GOP strategy has been “let the the other guys figure it out.”

    The GOP is down to 19 Senate members now. Might be time for a change in strategy.

    Give people a reason to vote for you.


  25. - RegularChgoCitizen - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    I’m not involved in politics as a profession, so forgive me if this post is naive. When the income tax was first raised “temporarily” it was meant to stabilize the state’s financial situation, not to increase spending on existing programs. The financial picture hasn’t been stabilized and going back to the original tax rate brings about questions of what programs would be cut. There shouldn’t be a reason to cut programs because extra funding shouldn’t have gone to those programs. Why would we continue giving money to people who don’t spend it efficiently or in the manner they told us? And before I get labeled as just another downstate Republican, I’m the epitome of a Democratic base voter (liberal, gay, black, Chicago resident). But I have had it with state and city “leadership” and have a hard time justifying a vote for Dems this year, especially Quinn.


  26. - zatoichi - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    DHS recently made a presentation to the House Appropriations-Human Services Committee on the FY15 budget on what happens if the income tax goes away.
    http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=71009&newssidebar=27893

    It was based on the original 14% cut idea. Their ‘not recommended’ cuts came to 12.5% with very bad consequences for thousands of people and providers. That totaled a $400M cut. The DHS planners cannot even plan the devastating effects of a 24% cut which would hit the $750M range in one department. That would leave tens of thousands without services and basically do away with much of the mental health/community human service system.

    Either DHS is exaggerating the effects because there really is enough money/they are following marching orders or they may really know what they are talking about. If the tax should go away, please provide a liable, detailed alternative because the cut option is not looking so good.


  27. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    Old.. Start with the districts in the black…. Single school districts that are stand alone can provide substantial savings… If they want state funds, as minimal as they are, the communities that will need to make up the shortfall even in those areas would agree… That’s the difference. We look at consolidation from the wrong lens… There are many schools that fit this criteria!


  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    - Norseman -,

    I totally get your take, I dinged Commander Galloway when she had that table of groceries to make a point and the press was more concerned where these groceries were going after, shelter or pantry?

    Your points on the Slytherins make this so difficult too. The political optics are very ugly in trying to seem engaged.

    I will tell you what I had hoped is the first step in agreeing to the size of the pot of cash under discussion.

    How do you appeal to the politcal, actually be engaged in the process and not scare off voters by the bus load… that is the problem the Super-Minority faces.

    The paltitudes of the “where and what” need to have some serious numbers, along with the real numbers of what will stay, giving the visualization that Dems are not the only ones with feelings. Groceries are not effective. Programs, “software” programs in “Bricks and Mortar” bulidings off the dreaded GOP chopping block in districts either “Play” or “looking to be in Play” is a real good start. Not the answer, but a starting point, tangibile, and real, not tabletop boxes of cereal.

    When they come to ask me more, I will oblige. I won’t hold my breath.

    The bottom line for me is that tangible, real, district needs and working monies to be, and go beyond seemingly, engaged, can be pretty powerful.


  29. - PublicServant - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    A guy…You mistake me for someone who is infatuated with the Dems? You’re sadly mistaken. You think I’m going to vote for a Republican just because he/she isn’t a Dem? You’re sadly mistaken again. Replace ‘comment on’ with ‘whine about’, and you’ve got it about right. Show me what you’ve got besides complaints about the other side, and you might be welcome in your precinct captain persona on my doorstop. Otherwise, take your generalizations, and your lack of detail an peddle it to the low-information voters in your precinct who gobble that stuff up.


  30. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Public Servant, I win my precinct overwhelmingly every time. You would have about 30 seconds (unbeknownst to you) to convince me that spending time on your door step is worth more than seeking true love at the next one or the one after that. By virtue of the fact I’m their PC, they’re not low information voters. I work it and (God Bless them) they look forward to my very regular visits at election time (and surprise) in between elections. I don’t begrudge Dems for how they operate as Precinct Captains, I borrow from them and do the same. Visit often, go to wakes, hit the block parties, etc. I want my advice to mean something. They are anything but Low Info voters. If I got a D or an F on a test, my teachers didn’t whine to me Public Servant, they told me I didn’t do the work to achieve better. You are sadly mistaken. I’m not whining. I’m telling you straight out, the party in power has achieved an F running government. Period.


  31. - Judgment Day - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    Here is the heart of the question. You want to make the tax increases permanent, the questions from this post need to be answered:

    “When the income tax was first raised “temporarily” it was meant to stabilize the state’s financial situation, not to increase spending on existing programs. The financial picture hasn’t been stabilized and going back to the original tax rate brings about questions of what programs would be cut. There shouldn’t be a reason to cut programs because extra funding shouldn’t have gone to those programs”.

    So….

    Why are we going to have to cut these programs?


  32. - PublicServant - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    A Guy, so then the people of Illinois have to vote for who? And for what reason(s). “Shake up Springfield”, just doesn’t cut it for me. Whining about the Dems being bad doesn’t either. Ya got anything else? Or do we have to wait until your party is in the majority before finding out what they’ll do? See…that doesn’t work for me. Now producing an alternate budget…well then your side would have something other than “we’re not them” to get people to vote for you. I’m not going to hold my breath.

    Oh and I’m sure you diligently work your precinct. I’m sure you give them advice too. When you do, do they ever ask why? Because if you just peddle your platitudes like you do here, and they buy that as a reason to vote Republican, then they’re the epitome of low-information voters, and I’m sure you fill that slot perfectly.


  33. - Walker - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    So Radogno’s spokesperson criticizes the Dems for not supporting education, and then, by any possible scenario, favors steps which will cut education even more.

    “They don’t have a plan that works.” “We don’t have a plan at all.”

    “They are overstating the fiscal problems of the state to justify keeping the tax.” “The fiscal problems of the state are horrible, even worse than they admit.”

    “We need to cut across the board.” “You cannot cut that in my District.”

    Pitiful.


  34. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    A Guy

    “C’mon folks. When you run the chambers, you deal the cards. Do you believe that there aren’t viable cuts and proposals that get killed and cremated in committee? It’s up to your side to “put up or shut up” something you all can defend with a straight face. Half your members don’t want to vote for keeping the income tax increase. Maybe more. The GOP isn’t in the room for these discussions. If you were all that serious, you’d do what you could to eliminate super majorities. Then, it’s a lot more legit to share the blame. Until then, it’s your deficit and your problem. The GOP is limited in stopping anything. At the moment, only Democrats stand in the way of other Democrats.”

    Please explain how the Democrats stop the GOP from creating an alternative budget.


  35. - anon - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    Dems have appropriated $40 billion to pension systems since they took control of Gov’t in 2003. Subtract those obligations from the state budget and you have zero growth budget outside pensions. And if no pension payments had been made there would be no unpaid bills. That’s the game that was played for the thirty years before the Dems took over. The Dems are facing reality–they put the vast majority of votes on the pension reform bills that have passed both houses and they have cut the state budget in places that impact their core constituencies, such as pensions, Medicaid and Education. All done without any GOP help. If Rauner wins these GOP legislators are in for a rude awakening to their real responsibilites to the offices they were elected to.


  36. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    ==== Norseman - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:36 pm:
    The biggest problem for the Illinois GOP is that their Slytherin wing is mucking up the plan by talking too much and scaring the heck out of too many Illinois voters.====

    And what press release, who’s spokesman from the Slytherin Wing did you read or listen to on this topic? It seems Leader Radogno and Leader Durkin are the ones who are making statements on behalf of the party. They think the plan is lousy. So does at least half the Dems. You’ve got it all figured out, don’t you. Bad policy is bad policy no matter who points it out. And you defend it by saying, where’s your plan? Yeah, got it.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    ===If Rauner wins these GOP legislators are in for a rude awakening to their real responsibilites to the offices they were elected to.===

    Yep. A Partner. Tom Hagen “after” talking to him at Fredo’s Place. Some partner.

    Wait until Rauner has to deal with the 1/3 of the GOP GA members…. those members Bruce Rauner calls corrupt. That wil go well too.

    Both Rauners will get the Blago treatment. Being a CEO and being 1/3 Co-Equal partner are vastly different.

    Governing is not “ruling”.


  38. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    A Guy

    “I’m not whining. I’m telling you straight out, the party in power has achieved an F running government. Period.”

    I guess hell is about to freeze over. For once we agree on something.


  39. - Phenomynous - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”


  40. - Walker - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    Say it again:

    === “since 2003… you have zero growth budget outside pensions.” ===

    Add this to it: “The current annual operating budget is producing a surplus, due to spending cuts and hundreds of cancelled programs, even after meeting all pension obligations. That surplus has been used to reduce outstanding overdue payables.”

    “Zero spending growth outside pensions”, and “a budget surplus being used to pay down overdue bills.”

    After you agree to say that truth, which is publicly available and confirmed by independent bond rating agencies, then we can have a real budget discussion on what’s next.

    Statements ignoring the truth simply make it hard for me to listen to the rest of your argument.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    ===The biggest problem for the Illinois GOP is that their Slytherin wing is mucking up the plan by talking too much and scaring the heck out of too many Illinois voters.====

    When the conservative members of either Caucus go off the reservation, and then decide that the Minority Leader doesn’t go “far enough” in just being against what Cullerton or Madigan say, and then go into hyperbole, that is a pretty good example.


  42. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    ===AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:37 pm:A Guy
    I guess hell is about to freeze over. For once we agree on something.===
    Afscme, Don’t do anything rash brother! I respect you as a thoughtful guy who’s got a job to do. We’d probably agree on more than you think. Believe or not, I want things to work out well for you and yours. I encounter great union people everyday. I don’t want to see anyone punished. We’ve all got to get this fixed. And until everyone is feeling the same pain and hurt you are, everyone isn’t equally taking their share of the solution. With any luck, we might agree on 2 things today.


  43. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    If those cuts to DHS were to be implemented it would violate numerous consent decrees and current laws which the GA themselves passed. A whole a lot of members of the GOP are going to have some explaining to do the voters in their own districts.


  44. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    Another cat blaming the mouse.


  45. - Norseman - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    Gee Guy you caught that Rauner stretching the truth trait. You said that you didn’t give me any thought, but here you go thinking about me again.


  46. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    Trying to build a legislative majority is not the same as a one-one-one statewide race, which can become a personality contest.

    Your marketing a brand. It’s okay to say the other guy’s brand is inferior. But then you have to demonstrate why your brand is better.

    The Senate GOP went from majority to 19 members in 10 years. What they’re doing now ain’t working.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    ===Your marketing a brand. It’s okay to say the other guy’s brand is inferior. But then you have to demonstrate why your brand is better.===

    On Point.

    If the only thing voters hear from My Party is “No”, and the Slytherin members talk about “Platform” and that too is not inclusive, how is THAT brand better?


  48. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    === “I’m not whining. I’m telling you straight out, the party in power has achieved an F running government. Period.”

    I guess hell is about to freeze over. For once we agree on something. ===

    Count me in on that.

    It’s not “whining” to look at something like our unemployment rate, debt management or taxation during the past few years and realize, “That’s not good enough” or “We deserve better”.

    I see press releases today proclaiming the drop in our unemployment rate for March as if it is an earth-shaking achievement. “Lowest Level Since 2009!!!!!”

    We have the 50th-worst unemployment rate in the nation. When the new DOL numbers come out tomorrow, we might move up to 49th-worst.

    That’s definitely an F, no matter how hard you try and spin it.

    And some, evidently, are trying very hard.

    What I know is that our current leadership has gotten us the 50th-worst unemployment rate in the nation, and that is not nearly good enough.

    And while I may not know everything Republicans, the Green Party, Libertarians and so on may do, I also know that at some point the answer to our problems is not “elect more Democrats”.


  49. - Befuddled - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    Walker,
    Are those the bond rating agencies that have downgraded Illinois multiple times over the last 5 years, including several times after the tax increase? The bond rating agencies that now rank Illinois as the worst rated state in the country? You are really stretching it to try to convince us the bond rating agencies think Illinois has it’s act together.

    Talk about ignoring the truth.


  50. - Demoralized - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    @A guy:

    For the Republicans to suggest that the budget is not in danger of collapse if the current tax rate isn’t extended is laughable. You are smart enough to do the math and to understand that.

    And, yes, I do expect some sort of viable alternative from the Republicans if they are going to make assertions about the budget like they have. It’s easy to criticize. It’s much harder to have a plan. They have none, or else it’s a secret plan they won’t let the rest of us in on.

    And you attitude is the reason “your” party is going to remain in the minority. Washing your hands of things and saying “it’s your problem” is a pretty pathetic way to behave. If “your” party doesn’t want to participate then they shouldn’t even bother showing up in Springfield. They can whine and not offer solutions from home.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    - Formerly Known As… -,

    Well, then wouldn’t you say the marketing of the brand has been poor if since 2009, Illinois has gone from Democratic majorities, losing the Mansion, (again), to Democratic Veto-Proof majorities, and the GOP nominating a Raunerite, who, instead of running a 2-person ticket, things a “trio” is needed, like a really bad band, and hiding Evelyn, but using Diana as a “Prop”.

    That sounds like a “branding” issue, compounded on a shell of a Party Aparatus, no Ground Game, Slytherins looking pas the “Big Picture”, and … Jim Oberweis, blcke helicopter himself, heading the GOP ticket.

    Branding? Yeah, the branding and optics are terrible.


  52. - Wally - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    Amen, FKA. How about creating jobs and not lowering the unemployment rate by simply not counting people who stopped looking for work. Can you imagine the difference in the Illinois economy if true unemployment dropped 2 percentage points???

    Dems have destroyed this state the past decade!


  53. - Demoralized - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    I’m going to borrow a comment from another commenter on another board because I think their observation applies here also.

    “Too easy to blame the other party and sit on your hands.”

    I think it would do everybody well to keep this in mind because whether some of you want to admit it or not, the state of the state’s finances has been heading for disaster for a long time. Neither party is blameless. Maybe instead of everybody playing the blame game something constructive could be done.


  54. - zatoichi - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    Give Me, you are correct. The Ligas, Williams, RR v Kiley, & Colbert consent decrees will quickly get the court’s attention and would result in federal receivership. Medicaid decertification at SODCs, losing all Medicaid match, fiscal penalties in TANF/SNAP, all become very expensive hits. It’s a long list of ripple effects that almost all have more expensive alternatives such as residential support vs. a nursing home or jail.

    Easy to say cut when you do not know what you do not know.


  55. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    If the GOP had some guts, they’d take on the excessive cost of K-12 public education in Illinois, and address the root cause of the problem…the “right” for teachers to strike in Illinois. According to the 2014 NEA “Rankings and Estimates” report, Illinois ranks 17th in revenues per student ($13064) but has teacher salaries ranked 13th ($59,113), 5.4% above the national average. According to the NAEP assessment reports, Texas students perform at or above those in Illinois. Their spending is only $9958 per student (ranked 41st Nationally) and their teacher salaries are only $48,819 per teacher. Get expenses down, and quality up, to Texas levels and we’d save about $6.5 billion per year on K-12 expenses at the state and local levels. the onbly things preventing this are politics and the “right” to extortion using teacher strikes. Costs wouldn’t come down overnight, but they’d eventually get there so that the foundation level would drop, as would state aid liabilities.

    Make the Dems defend allowing the teachers unions to hold the children and taxpayers hostage while driving costs up unfairly high, and you can make this a poltical winner, except for the fact that GOP is controlling the GOP as much as the Dems. Just ask Kirk Dillard.


  56. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    - Arizona Bob -,

    Teachers are overpaid and can’t strike is a winning Election formula… in Illinois?

    Just let that fester for a bit. That… is a election-winning formula …in Illinois?

    Yikes.


  57. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 4:28 pm:

    Arizona Bob

    “If the GOP had some guts, they’d take on the excessive cost of K-12 public education in Illinois, and address the root cause of the problem…the “right” for teachers to strike in Illinois. According to the 2014 NEA “Rankings and Estimates” report, Illinois ranks 17th in revenues per student ($13064) but has teacher salaries ranked 13th ($59,113), 5.4% above the national average. According to the NAEP assessment reports, Texas students perform at or above those in Illinois. Their spending is only $9958 per student (ranked 41st Nationally) and their teacher salaries are only $48,819 per teacher. Get expenses down, and quality up, to Texas levels and we’d save about $6.5 billion per year on K-12 expenses at the state and local levels. the onbly things preventing this are politics and the “right” to extortion using teacher strikes. Costs wouldn’t come down overnight, but they’d eventually get there so that the foundation level would drop, as would state aid liabilities.

    Make the Dems defend allowing the teachers unions to hold the children and taxpayers hostage while driving costs up unfairly high, and you can make this a poltical winner, except for the fact that GOP is controlling the GOP as much as the Dems. Just ask Kirk Dillard.”

    As usual, your solutions are always simplistic & involve anti union sentiments. What is the cost of living in Illinois ? How does it compare to other states? People complain about the quality of teachers, yet you propose to cut teacher pay. That I’m sure will attract plenty of quality people.

    Are you aware that at least 25% of the GOP voting base are union members ? The unions are the cause of all our problems position is one of the reasons the GOP is disappearing in Illinois.


  58. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 4:39 pm:

    ===Afscme Steward, Are you aware that at least 25% of the GOP voting base are union members ? ====

    I’m not doubting you on this, but where is this number coming from? And how is the base defined in this context? Once more, I’m not skeptical or doubting, but more curious.


  59. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 4:59 pm:

    Just once, I’d like to see Radogno or any other Republican in the Senate or House who have gone on record as opposing continuing the current tax rate state specifically how they would balance the budget after allowing the tax increase to expire. Not one of them have offered a solution. Maybe if they offered a solution to the Dems and the numbers actually added up maybe the Dems would reconsider. Of course the reality is that we can’t get out of this fiscal problem on cuts alone and most in both political parties already know that.


  60. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 5:47 pm:

    “I’m not doubting you on this, but where is this number coming from? And how is the base defined in this context? Once more, I’m not skeptical or doubting, but more curious.”

    I got this from D-Lard, who quoted this figure during his campaign.


  61. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 8:15 pm:

    @Federalist:

    If you and the GOP want to be against providing care to the unborn and newborns, go right ahead.

    I assure you, it is not some new-tangled idea.

    I can also tell you that prenatal and neonatal care are much cheaper than 16 years of special education and a lifetime of supports for an adult with developmental disabilities.

    And in case you have not read, Bruce Rauner’s wife is all for it.

    Look, if you want to attack Democrats without offering a budget of your own, fine. Really, I do not expect a GOP budget.

    But for the love of Pete, please get better at attacking the budget. Republicans are so awful at it that it is making my ears hurt.


  62. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 8:25 pm:

    Oswego Willy - I posted rather lengthy but passionate, sincere and semi-humorous response earlier, but I think it might be moderated due to length.

    Suffice it to say, I think you’re being charitable by only calling the branding “poor”.

    But, as Malcolm Gladwell explains, “tipping points” are real. I think we may be at a “tipping point” election where no matter how bad the branding of the Republican party may be, it is trumped by the reality of what people are experiencing in their lives right now between things like the unemployment rate, taxes, employment opportunities for their kids with high student loan debts and so on, and are at a point where trying “anything else” looks better than sticking with a “product” that has suddenly stopped working for them and thinks it is better to give $100 million to museum instead of education funding

    No matter how bad the branding of the other “products” on the market may be, they are willing to try something new in hopes it will work for them. If it doesn’t, they can always go back to the old product or try another, different new one.

    Poor performance and results may outweigh poor branding this time around.


  63. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 9:05 pm:

    FKA, given that, what do you think the partisan makeup will be in the next GA?


  64. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 9:20 pm:

    - FKA -, I understand your position, and - wordslinger -, (no surprise), asked the question that needs to be asked about the result - what will that next GA look like?

    I would go a somewhat different route, but - wordslinger - got there first;

    If Rauner wins, and given his positions about Republicans, and his very conflicting takes on many Republican GA members, and that the GA chambers will probably be in Democratic control, in both chambers, who, who, is going to be the leader and be at the forefront of the Republican rebirth?

    Rauner is a Raunerite, not in any way looking to build the Republican Party, but Tom Hagen Raunerites, only beholden to both Rauners.

    So as you make your case, ask yourself, voting for “change”, what “change” are you getting?


  65. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 9:27 pm:

    Sidebar, - FKA -,

    The “Oberweis/Rauner” ticket, versus the Unions, and diversity, and a Ground Game, and ILDems framing the “Elite versus the People” led by “Pals” Durbin and Quinn (Yikes!), can the poor branding of the ILGOP, and Rauner leading the Raunerite Cake baking, how will that “movie” end well for the ILGOP?

    Durbin up 14, today.

    Rauner, $12 million in against Quinn, only up 3, today.

    Those are realities to your premise too.


  66. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    Wordslinger & Oswego Willy - I posted responses twice last night, but both were apparently moderated. One may have been my best post ever. Don’t want you to think I was ignoring you or avoiding the question, since we share a similar perspective on this.


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