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Politics and the budget

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009

* 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.

Wrote Eric…

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.

* Related…

* 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

- Posted by Rich Miller        

65 Comments
  1. - shore - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 10:43 am:

    “Party before state”. Republicans are OUT of power, this is the Democrats mess they created and their mess to fix. These Democrat legislators made the case to the people that they could be leaders and legislate. PROVE IT. I don’t think much of cross, but with all the Democrat shenanigans to call out the gop for standing on principle is well, wrong.

    That quinn check to veterans is exactly what is wrong with democrat leadership. An inability to just say no. Sure it sounds good but then you read all this poor me, the state is out of money, the state needs tax increases, you really wonder who has the guts down there to make tough calls and as you say put state before party and state before politics.


  2. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 10:44 am:

    ===to call out the gop for standing on principle is well, wrong. ===

    Except I didn’t call them out for standing on principle. Re-read it.


  3. - dznuts - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 10:46 am:

    Hynes’ name will be on the checks to the veterans, along with a countersignature from Alexi. I’m pretty sure he will also use that issue to his advantage in the Senate race. Clearly Quinn has carved out a niche with the military support and I believe he is sincere, but, really - $100?

    The political theater of this will play out when Quinn starts criticizing Hynes for delaying the payments to the veterans…


  4. - Red Bird fan - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 10:54 am:

    Illinois politics at their best. It’s the same old “Put the good of the party, the good of my personal political future and the party’s agenda before the good of the people and the state”.
    Democrats and Republicans in both the house and senate are at fault and need to remember why there were elected.
    I hope that we all look for better choices come election time.


  5. - dc - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 10:56 am:

    “nonpartisan, free-market?” That’s code for “Republican, corporate funded.” IPI is about as nonpartisan as Bill O’Reilly’s “no spin zone.”


  6. - Scooby - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:08 am:

    I find it hard to believe that either the Comptroller or the Treasurer will run their campaigns by telling people, “did you look closely at that check you just got for the invoice you submitted six months ago — it had my name on it”.


  7. - Cindy Lou - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:09 am:

    I would be just as set against voting for a republican that held out as I would be one who jumps in after just a small ‘fix’ a few months later as if all is now well.

    I don’t think the state can ‘fix’ what’s ‘wrong’ in a few months and the budget that was passed can do some serious damage in certain areas in the ‘waiting’ time. In my Ms. Cindy Lou Q Public thinking it would have been better to pass a ’serious’ budget with a tax increase and work at fixing what’s wrong over the next couple of years.

    As for Madigan, I don’t think he had much to fear but fear itself as I have not seen anything offered in the way of solutions that are going to make me race out and vote against them. I’m angry at all of them both parties but don’t feel the republicans have the magical answer.

    And Hynes? His name comes in my mail all the time, does not mean he’ll get my vote. Quinn’s name once passed my mail box on a regular basis also, it’ll be what I see during the next five months that’ll count with me.


  8. - InParis - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:11 am:

    Yes, hanging tough in the party caucus (of either party) to enhance the next political campaign is more important that working TOGETHER for the good of the citizens of the state. (Same problem in Washington for both parties)


  9. - Reality is - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:21 am:

    I see nothing wrong with politicians voting based on what will get them re-elected. It only means that they are voting the way they feel the majority of pepole want them to vote. Makes sense to me.


  10. - trafficmatt - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:21 am:

    Come on. If the Republicans just caved to the Democrats (who control the House, the Senate and the Governor’s Office) on the income tax hike, then there is zero reason for anyone to start looking at spending cuts.

    If Republicans stand together against tax increases when their party (the voters) want to see a smaller government, then they are viewed as playing games and obstructionists.

    If Republicans cave in to more and more spending and taxation, then they are viewed as sellouts and part of the “combine”.

    Please define how Republicans can be viewed as doing the right thing? This is a Democratically controlled State. Just scan through all the bills that are entered and see how many of them never even make it for a vote and die in the rules committee.


  11. - Madame Defarge - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:25 am:

    Bedell-video gaming in beauty shops? Did she even read the bill?


  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:26 am:

    I thought the Steve Huntley column was hilarious. Yeah, everything is going to plan for the Illinois GOP.

    Funny, the great majority of Illinois voters don’t see it.


  13. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:37 am:

    Sad that the General Assembly didn’t (a) pass a tax increase or (b) identify specific budget cuts and cost-savings that focus upon recent budget growth areas. To say you oppose a tax increase and favor budget reductions instead, but not accomplish those reductions isn’t much to run on. Just more bash the other party politics.


  14. - The Doc - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:45 am:

    There’s this:

    ==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.==

    And there’s this:

    ==I see nothing wrong with politicians voting based on what will get them re-elected. It only means that they are voting the way they feel the majority of pepole want them to vote. Makes sense to me==

    I suppose identifying who applied the “pressure” is important, but I doubt it was the voters.

    And lest we forget the House Dems that regularly and blindly genuflect to the almighty Speaker Madigan.


  15. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:46 am:

    Right now we have a one-party state government, a one-party government in Cook County, and a one-party government in Chicago.

    You cannot have bi-partisanship with only one party in power. You cannot get the best government ideas with only one party in power. You cannot expect diversity with only one party in power.

    You get what we have now. Bankrupsy and corruption. It doesn’t matter which party it is - when voters empower one party, everyone loses.

    So, here’s to the party NOT in power. May they kick the sorry butts of the party in power as soon as possible. This will assist them to rediscover humility, to listen better to citizens, and to stop believing that only they have all the answers to our state’s problems.


  16. - Deep South - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:57 am:

    VM, one party or the other is always going to be in power. Right now its the Dems. But who knows, it could be the GOP before too long. By your way of thinking, we’re all screwed no matter what happens.


  17. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:07 pm:

    ===So, here’s to the party NOT in power. May they kick the sorry butts of the party in power as soon as possible. This will assist them to rediscover humility, to listen better to citizens, and to stop believing that only they have all the answers to our state’s problems.===

    What gibberish. Democrats have majorities in Springfield but not absolute control VanillaMan. Despite your protestations, there are quite a few Republicans in the General Assembly and the minority party has a role to play in state government. Maybe it’s time they played it by offering real policy alternatives instead of political gamesmanship that is evident in Huntley’s story.

    Your incessant whining is tiresome.


  18. - Will County Woman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:19 pm:

    “Clearly Quinn has carved out a niche with the military support and I believe he is sincere”–dznuts @ 10:46

    I’d like to think that this was a sincere gesture on his part, but something is holding me back.
    I don’t begrudge National Guardsmen the $100, but I agree with shore that there was no real need for this. I agree with Quinn that $100 is not too much to ask, but I’m just curious as to where this money comes from? With the back drop of the state’s financial crisis and everything that has happened over the past two months, the timing of Quinn’s gesture just strikes me as odd.

    if he were facing no threat from within his own party, would he have made this $100 gesture? But, to be fair he did just come back from Iraq and Afghanistan. So, maybe Guardsmen suggested/lobbied to him that it would be nice to get $100 upon their return home????????

    To my surprise, Gov. Arnold S. of California really did LEAD his state through its economic crisis to a resolution. He did not back down at all. I’m sure that Arnold is pro-military and his state being as huge as it is no doubt many serving in Iraq and Afghanistan were stationed in California, but something tells me not even he would have done what Quinn did; especially after telling the people of California that life as they have known it is about to change dramatically due to the state’s fiscal problems.


  19. - spring78 - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:21 pm:

    Speaking of budget has anyone heard about the proposed layoffs rumor has it Quinn is meeting with the Union Friday………


  20. - just sayin - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:21 pm:

    Steve Huntley really looked like a rube in that column, like a guy desperate for Tom Cross’ approval. Pretty sad.

    Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Tom Cross has voted for every tax increase that has gotten on the floor. He voted for Blago’s 300 tax and fee increases in early 2003, right when Blago first got in. And he voted for the higher sales and liquor taxes with HB255 just this May.

    Cross wants an income tax increase too (and he definitely wants credit for the new projects that would be funded), but as you’ve noted here he’s just trying to work a new con for some short term political gain.

    I can see why Cross and HRO are having trouble raising money. Businesses and unions can give directly to Madigan and get the same agenda, but without the childish games and phoniness you get with Cross.


  21. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:25 pm:

    Democrats have majorities in Springfield but not absolute control VanillaMan.

    Absolute control? You mean control is not enough? When a party has control over every single statewide office, big majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly, dominates politics in the state’s largest county and has dominated politics in the state’s largest city for almost sixty years, it doesn’t have absolute control?

    You must be clinging to the hope that since a GOP exists, then your preferred party can continue to hide from the responsibilities of it’s legislative actions, and worse, inactions.

    And I will continue to whine as long as the idiots in power continue to expose themselves as idiots. That is our job as citizens!

    Illinois runs better when both parties are at parity and have to work together to resolve state issues. Right?

    Or are you satisfied with our current government?


  22. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:34 pm:

    VM, do us all a favor and run for office.


  23. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:42 pm:

    –Right now we have a one-party state government, a one-party government in Cook County, and a one-party government in Chicago.–

    And why is that? Because voters put them there. Quite a commentary on the state of the GOP.

    I would love it if there was a GOP in Illinois that had a clue about anything, that embraced real leaders in their party like McCain, Powell, and Lugar.

    Instead, the GOP electorate is dominated by know-nothing whiners and haters who, although they’re blessed to live in the United States of America, believe they’re victims because they have to live among people who are “different” from them.

    Wouldn’t you love to hear Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan straighten out wack jobs like Rush, Hannity and Coulter? Let’s start with Barry, from his speech at the 1960 convention:

    “Grow up.”


  24. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:44 pm:

    === You cannot get the best government ideas with only one party in power. You cannot expect diversity with only one party in power.
    You get what we have now. Bankrupsy and corruption. ====

    So then we didnt have a corrupt GOP governor named Jim Ryan in office during a biparitsan government?

    The need for abi-partisan governemnt with the GOP which has stated its party position is to not follow the interestst of the State, but only the intereststs of the party.

    Not sure adding a GOP which has declared it serves only itself is a solution. And the fiscal crisisin the United sates came from the banking secotr the GOP demanded that we not regulate even after the saving and loan crash.

    the GOP anti regualtion position is the majority of the cause of our current fiscal problems. We dont need more GOP activity and creaticivty. we just spend trillions digging out from the last round of GOP creativity and anti-regualtion.


  25. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:54 pm:

    Instead, the GOP electorate is dominated by know-nothing whiners and haters who, although they’re blessed to live in the United States of America, believe they’re victims because they have to live among people who are “different” from them.

    If that was true, then you have no choice than to be a partisan. But that isn’t true. McCain, Lugar and Powell are embraced as Republicans. Without being embraced earlier, you wouldn’t have even heard of them.

    The same kind of argument could be said of the Democrats, can’t it? With only two major parties, both parties attract individuals as diverse as Cynthia McKinney, Nancy Pelosi, Mike Quigley, and Jon Tester for Democrats. While the GOP has the men you mentioned earlier, along with those wack jobs you also listed.

    Thanks to the wack jobs you focus on, you can justify voting Democratic. That is what wack jobs on both sides of the aisles do, don’t they? Help partisans stay partisan.

    We can play this game all day. With every lunatic Democrat, I can name you two more. With every lunatic Republican, I can name you two more. I don’t listen to Rush, Hannity or Coulter - why do you? I also don’t listen to Obermann, Matthews or Letterman. I don’t let the extremists justify my stands.

    Political diversity is better than single party rule. We have single party rule in Illinois. That sucks, as we can all see. I support diversity. That isn’t a partisan issue, unless you choose to make it so.


  26. - Deep South - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:55 pm:

    True dat, word. We need a vibrant Republican party to make this thing work. Right now, we got a group of people who seems to say no to everything and base their outlook on the fear and divisiveness put forth by Rush, and Hanity, etc. However, I don’t think that’s true of the GOP electorate at large. More so of the party’s “base” which is shifting. At least it needs to shift if the GOP is to be a factor in the future. And I think the GOP electorate at large is slowly starting to realize this.


  27. - Segatari - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:57 pm:

    >Except I didn’t call them out for standing on principle. Re-read it.

    >>I don’t think much of cross, but with all the Democrat shenanigans to call out the gop for standing on principle is well, wrong.

    I think you need to re-read it Rich. You quoted half the sentence and claimed he was calling you out…wrong.


  28. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:58 pm:

    Segatari, try looking at that sentence. He wasn’t calling out Democrats.


  29. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:59 pm:

    I think the GOP electorate at large is slowly starting to realize this.

    That crazy. Once again, insults. “Slowly” - what are they, slow learners? No - it is more like the partisan Democrats are discovering that their enemy isn’t as demonic, heartless, or stupid as they portrayed them to be.


  30. - Oberon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:03 pm:

    On the $100 bucks for the vets: everyone seems to have overlooked the key phrase in the bill just signed–”subject to appropriation.” I haven’t found one yet, and I suspect there isn’t one. So there won’t be any checks with anyone’s name on them, and there won’t need to be for any politico to “cash in” on this bill. And check out the votes on this bill. EVERYONE in both parties voted for it if they were there; no “nays.” So both D’s and R’s will be crowing about helping vets.

    But don’t sweat the appropriations; it doesn’t cover all vets since 9/11; only those who served before a certain federal recognition was given; it covers service over only a few months, so even if funds are ever appropriated, it won’t amount to that much. But don’t hold your breath if think you might be a recipient of this “honor.”


  31. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:17 pm:

    Well duh, does Tom Cross think this is news?


  32. - Bubs - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:18 pm:

    It was indeed humorous to see someone call out the GOP for putting short-term politics and accretion of power over the more general public interest. As if the Democrats have not been doing that under Mike Madigan, Blago, Daley, Jones, Stroger I and Stroger II for decades.

    I do think that a genuine opportunity exists for the GOP to make big inroads in Springfield in 2010. The anger out there is palpable.

    But it will take much more than a series of passionate candidates operating on their own. A common theme is needed, a “Practical Platform” or “Contract with Illinois” if you will, that sets out a sound, if painful, road map on what a Republican state government would do to get the State out of this fiscal mess, which is almost certainly going to get worse before it gets better.

    That will take some leadership not only from Cross and Rodogno, but from the Gubenatorial candidate (whomever that may be), McKenna (if he does not step down to run for something), key finance leaders like Fahner and Gidwitz, and a number of the key County chairs, all working together.

    Not easy in this Republican Party, but it can be done.


  33. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:19 pm:

    ===As if the Democrats have not been doing that under Mike Madigan, Blago, Daley, Jones, Stroger I and Stroger II for decades.===

    Did you read what I wrote?

    ===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.===


  34. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:22 pm:

    VMan, I’ve voted for plenty of Republicans. But the GOP is clearly dominated by their wack jobs right now, while the Dems are not.

    Tough guy Cheney said Powell wasn’t a Republican. This from a guy who was rolling up DUIs in Wisconsin and Wyoming on student deferments while Powell was doing two hitches in Vietnam.

    It’s good business for Rush, Hannity and Coutler, to appeal to the haters and whiners — it makes them a lot of money. But it’s not good politics or good government for the GOP, and it’s not good for America.

    Would you want to live in a country where those guys were in charge? A majority of our citizens obviously would not.


  35. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:31 pm:

    But the GOP is clearly dominated by their wack jobs right now, while the Dems are not.

    You are focused on the wackjobs in the GOP without recognizing the wackjobs in the Democrats. Claiming that one party is “clearly dominated” by the wackjobs, while the other isn’t, is wishful thinking, and quite silly.


  36. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:40 pm:

    –Claiming that one party is “clearly dominated” by the wackjobs, while the other isn’t, is wishful thinking, and quite silly.–

    Tell that to Chairman Steele or any other GOP officeholder who dares to call out Rush.

    I want the GOP to thrive — but not when they’re dominated by ignorant losers like that.


  37. - Bubs - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:42 pm:

    Ok, Rich I see it. You are right.


  38. - Deep South - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:51 pm:

    VM, when I say slowly starting to realize this, I mean they are coming to terms with what it’s gonna take to remain relevant. Mainstream Republicans are understanding that all this venom put out by the likes of Rush and Beck aren’t gonna get ‘em anywhere. It might have worked for awhile, but I believe the fear and divisiveness was a big factor in putting a Democrat in the White House. I mean 15 minute celebrities like Sarah Palin and Joe the Plummer calling the Democratic candidate a socialist and a terrorist didn’t work too well, now did it? Really, the the tea baggers and the birthers keep up their good work…2010 and 2012 are gonna be real easy for the Dems.


  39. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:55 pm:

    VM I used to be a big fan of the GOP in IL. After Ryan there was a shift towards extreme positions. Also this eat its own young mentality where the GOP would rather kill its own canidate and see a dem prevail was dishaeartening. I have never understood the whole I would rather have a moderate repub (whos views are closer to the GOP’s then the dem canidate) lose, then support a position that didnt meet all conservative criteria.


  40. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:56 pm:

    Who are these purported 8 members of the House caucus? While I don’t expect you to name names, what is the basis for this statement?


  41. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:02 pm:

    RRW, Cross, himself, has said there are 8 members in his caucus who would vote for the tax hike.


  42. - Easy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:20 pm:

    Sometimes good government and good politics intersect and in this instance it was both good politics and good government to oppose a tax hike that would have catapulted Illinois to having one of the largest corporate taxes in the nation. We rank 48th in job creation, how could we possibly afford a tax hike on employers?

    and for the tinfoilers who think Cross wants a tax increase—is there one coherent reason why you think this or are you just some nascar fan looking for a crash?


  43. - montrose - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:27 pm:

    *and for the tinfoilers who think Cross wants a tax increase—is there one coherent reason why you think this or are you just some nascar fan looking for a crash?*

    Because at the end of the day, he is a reasonable man that understands that we cannot cut our way out of the budget mess we are in. He has seen the numbers. He knows it is true. He just wants it to happen on his politically-advantageous terms.


  44. - Capitol View - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:28 pm:

    RRW, the biggest job loss in Illinois is coming from state government itself and human services and education providers coping with state government underfunding and late funding.

    If Illinois state government were a corporation in this state, you would be urging that it be saved and helped by government officials.

    If you want government run in a businesslike manner, paying its bills on time and pumping those delayed payments into the Illinois economy, you as a responsible Republican legislator would want to vote for tax base restructuring.

    I am surprised that only eight House republicans are pressing their caucus to be allowed to vote for tax system modernization and restructuring - even if that means increasing the income tax as part of it. More should care about applying Republican values to government administration, not just follwing the Cong. Boehner prescription of “just say no - let’s destroy government under the other party’s leadership, so that we can get back in charge of the Titantic before it goes fully under.”


  45. - GA Watcher - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:28 pm:

    RRW, Rich is right. I remember seeing a video on this blog at the end of the regular session where the Speaker stated that the reason he did not put 50+ votes on the Gov’s income tax increase was because Leader Cross told him the House Republicans were not going to deliver the 8-10 votes Cross had promised.


  46. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:37 pm:

    Capitol View, you presuppose that a tax increase would be accompanied by proper budget cuts to close the gap. I ain’t seeing that.


  47. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:39 pm:

    RRW, every tax hike proposed this year required budget cuts because the increase never fully closed the deficit.


  48. - Ramsin - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:41 pm:

    Based on the comments here, somebody is in the habit of only reading the first half of sentences.


  49. - bill washerton - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:48 pm:

    I think we should all be thanking Cross for not raising our taxes, if he really wanted to do it votes could have been put on it. But he is the only thing blocking Democrats from spending more of our money foolishly. Why would anyone want to give the same idiots who spent us into this mess more money. Until we get real leadership no new taxes


  50. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:02 pm:

    I think you hit a nerve Rich…

    http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2009/07/miller-hides-his-partisanship-behind-faux-statesmenship.html


  51. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:07 pm:

    LOL

    They apparently didn’t read that part about Madigan either.

    Whiners.


  52. - Easy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:09 pm:

    I take great exception to those who are criticizing Huntley. I say if you criticize Huntley, then you are criticizing every single columnist for the Sun Times, and to that, I say how dare you criticize Capt. Fax. Have you no decency.


  53. - Cindy Lou - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:10 pm:

    –”Why would anyone want to give the same idiots who spent us into this mess more money. Until we get real leadership no new taxes.”–

    This makes about as much sense to me as one who would let the basement flood due to a plumbing leak while waiting for the plumber to arrive instead of reaching over and turning off the valve.


  54. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:41 pm:

    Huntley’s column was ridiculous. I see Madigan easily picking up 5 more additional seats. Say what you want, but are folks going to be voting in droves for Republicans in this Recession. I don’t thinks so.


  55. - PalosParkBob - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:42 pm:

    Cindy Lou:

    The analogy is that when you cut off the spending, you cut off the leakage and damage until you fix the leak in the pipe.

    When the leak is fixed, you can turn on the water again.

    It’s an excellent metaphor. I’m sorry you don’t get it, but that’s what I’d expect from anyone supporting a tax increase to prevent reform and avoid changes to the unfair “prevailing wage” theft in public construction, unfairly high and unsustainable pension packages, and virtually criminal inattention in Springfield to reducing Medicaid eligibility to a fair 185% of poverty level from the currently subsidized 400%.

    Giving more money to Springfield would be like giving more heroin to an addict and expecting them to “kick the habit”.

    Cold turkey is the only solution, but it only works if the addict is motivated to fix their problem.

    Springfield “ain’t ready for reform”, to paraphrase Paddy Bawler.

    Until they have to choose which of the special interests they cheat the taxpayers to subsidize to get campaign contributions and other “goodies”, things will only get worse.


  56. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:44 pm:

    Your analogy is off.

    The plumbers caused the flood when they were claiming to install a water saving device that would save us money and be environmentally friendly. To give these idiots more money when they claim that they now have to fix the flooding, is foolish.


  57. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:47 pm:

    You’re both off.

    This ain’t somebody’s flooded basement.

    This is about real people, real problems and real needs.


  58. - Cindy Lou - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:09 pm:

    I don’t get ‘cut it off at the knees’ for many different reasons, but being stupid isn’t one of them.

    I surrounded at different times by workers doing far more than a normal workload with piles stacking as we speak. Workers so stressed they are developing medical issues. Workers trying to do their job with very little budget to furnish supplies. There are some areas of gov. programs been cut so much already that one would wonder how they even function.

    Then they is the social services lining up to begin begging for a few more dollars to keep their doors open and/or not have to shut it in citizens faces. You mention addicts and not expecting them to ‘help’ themselves without help. I believe I watched Cross at a presser trying to get Quinn to tune down the rhethics. Okay, shall we pretend we do not notice?

    I’m not sitting in some office trying to get myself elected, reelected or ’steal’ the majority. I’m out here dealing with the mess. Pardon me if you think that makes me not able to get it.


  59. - Bubs - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:27 pm:

    ***But the GOP is clearly dominated by their wackjobs right now, while the Dems are not.***

    This would be an accurate opinion if all you did was read blogs. The “Wackjobs” make a LOT more noise, that is Fer Sure. But their “dominance” is illusory.

    Take a look at the state party leadership, the legislative leadership, the leadership in key counties, the gubernatorial candidates, and then Kirk, and you will find few, if any “Whackjobs”.
    SB600, for all the sound and fury, has signified nothing. It’s dead in the legislature and deader still in federal court. “Whackjob” candidates continue to lose in GOP primaries.

    Much of the tumult in the Illinois GOP is caused by the fact that the “Whackjobs” want power badly, but can’t ever seem to get it. They are very frustrated, and constantly vent on blogs. But their frustration is caused at root by their own delusions about the Republican base in Illinois. They see only a sea of Conservatives, and simply will not see any others. But the others are there, by the many, many tens of thousands.

    Returning the Illinois GOP to sanity is really just a matter of leaders standing up to the screamers. That has not occurred yet, except in isolated instances. Perhaps some backbone transplants are in order.


  60. - Capitol View - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:54 pm:

    Cindy Lou, I’m part of a couple of coalitions working on the human services and state funding mess. A recent email to a list of community based providers resulted in over a dozen kicked back to me, almost certainly due to these groups going belly up after May.

    Word came out today that the expected announcements of human services contracts will be delayed until at least Friday. So we all sit and fret for another few days.

    It’s a terrible time to work for the State of Illinois, and it is terrible time to contract with state government. And the ones who suffer the most are the human services clients and the staffers at DHS and the community based providers, as we cope with the insanity and irresponsibility around us.

    All I can say is - you’re not alone. I wish that I could say more at this time.


  61. - Juice - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 5:58 pm:

    PalosParkBob- Eligibility has already been rolled back to 185% of the Federal Poverty Level. Public Act 96-20.


  62. - Bobs yer - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 6:44 pm:

    memo to Chicago Dems (i.e. the guys who run everything): Ye reap what Ye sow. 2010’s coming. Better salt away some more of that union dough.


  63. - just sayin - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 8:49 pm:

    Let’s also not forget that Tom Cross led the charge along with Blago last year for more casinos. It was Mike Madigan who had to kill that.

    So anyone who thinks Cross wants to limit state spending is delusional. He not only pushes more gambling every chance he gets, he’s voted for more taxes every time a bill has gotten to the floor.

    Cross may be dragging his feet on an income tax increase at the moment, but it’s just a temporary smokescreen. Cross doesn’t even have an alternate plan.


  64. - It's Embarrassing - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 9:24 pm:

    The way Illinois politicians create legislative and congressional districts is unforgiveable. It is remarkable only in its utter shamelessness. Want proof? Take a look at the current maps.


  65. - Drive By-athelete - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 7:10 am:

    Cross is relevant enough to interview? Wonders never cease. Leave it to Tommy to cast doing the right thing in the worst possible light.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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