* House Republican Leader Tom Cross pretty much admitted to Steve Huntley this week that he kept votes off the income tax increase to bolster GOP campaign prospects…
“For the first time in this state, people are starting to see a clear distinction between Republicans and Democrats,” asserted House Minority Leader Tom Cross of Oswego in a recent interview.
The reason, Cross said, is the strategy the GOP adopted in Springfield early this year when the income tax proposal seemed to monopolize policy discussions in the capital. His House Republican Organization partnered with the Illinois Policy Institute, a nonpartisan free-market research group, to focus on the spending side of state government. Spending in the last decade has risen by 39 percent after accounting for inflation.
The GOP position was that discussion of a tax hike wasn’t even on the table, and they demanded much needed fixes such as controls on spending, a commission to find duplicated, wasteful and obsolete state programs, and reforms in paying for Medicaid and the under-funded state pensions. […]
Regardless of how that turns out, Cross believes the GOP’s new identity will play well in the 2010 elections…
Cross had at least eight members of his caucus who were ready to vote for a tax hike, but they were pressured into voting with the rest of the herd.
Leader Cross wasn’t the only one putting his party over his state. The House Democratic Speaker refused to push the income tax without significant GOP support because he was so worried that an all-Dem tax hike could cost his party seats in 2010 - even though the Democrats have ten seats to spare. [Emphasis added because some people apparently can’t read, including Fran.]
Also not mentioned in Huntley’s upbeat column is that Cross’ House Republican Organization had just $82,739.07 cash on hand as of June 30th. Cross’ personal campaign committee banked just $221,510.
* Meanwhile, Zorn may have missed the complete political significance of this press release…
Governor Pat Quinn today signed into law a bill compensating Illinois Veterans for their service during the Global War on Terrorism. Any Illinois Veteran who served on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001 is eligible to receive $100.
I’m all for treating veterans well, particularly when it comes to health care, vocational services and so on. But this token payment strikes me as odd — more like pandering than addressing the real needs of veterans (though I’m sure they all appreciate the cash).
Sure, it’s pandering. Quinn gets to take partial credit for the payment.
But keep in mind that Comptroller Dan Hynes’ name will be all over the envelopes when he mails those state checks to veterans. Hynes is, of course, gearing up to run against Quinn in the primary.
* Senate committee meets on redistricting
* Advocates press aldermen to stand up for mental health centers: Depending on how much money CDPH gets from the state for this fiscal year, as many as five centers could close.
* State: Anna vets home not closing
* Cash for veterans found in the state budget
* Wednesdays drag without Senior Center
* Illinois axes help for the poor
* States target prisons for cuts, raising worries
* Anita Bedell: Gambling expansion will harm our society
* Daley: Those opting out of video poker law shouldn’t see profits
* ‘Initiatives’ should come with oversight