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Rep. David Harris the latest to say he won’t run for reelection

Wednesday, Oct 4, 2017

* Daily Herald

Calling Springfield a place where “you’re not supposed to think for yourself,” David Harris, a nearly 20-year veteran of the Illinois House, said Tuesday evening he won’t seek re-election in 2018.

“It has to do with the ability to be effective,” Harris, of Arlington Heights, told the Daily Herald. That ability, he said, is “somewhat diminished” by a deep partisan divide in state government that led to a multiyear budget standoff. The impasse was resolved in July only after a number of Republicans, including Harris, broke ranks with GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner to approve a 32 percent income tax increase. […]

That vote made Harris a target by several conservative groups opposed to the tax increase, including the Taxpayers United of America, which distributed “wanted” fliers for “crimes against taxpayers” with Harris’ picture on them at locations across the 53rd District, including Randhurst Village mall in Mount Prospect and Lake Arlington in Arlington Heights. Since then, Republican Katie Miller of Mount Prospect has emerged as a primary opponent backed by radio host and former candidate for governor Dan Proft, who runs a conservative political action committee.

“The Illinois Republican Party, we’re fighting an internal battle,” Harris said Tuesday, adding he is personally opposed to “spending $400,000 or $500,000 to get through a divisive primary.”

* And here’s his press release…

State Representative David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) announced today that he will not be a candidate for re-election next year as State Representative from District 53.

“My service in the Illinois House of Representatives has been one of the highlights of my life.” said Harris, “I will always value having worked with my distinguished colleagues on both sides of the aisle. But it is now time to look forward to the next fulfilling chapter in life.

“During my service in the House, I have served as the Republican Spokesman on the House Revenue & Finance Committee and the House General Services Appropriations Committee. I have developed a deserved reputation as one who knows the revenue and spending numbers well and understands the details of our State’s budget.”

Recognizing that the tenor of discussion in politics has become more personal and partisan, Harris stated, “I believe my constituents have been well served by my ability to work in a bi-partisan manner with my Democratic colleagues. I never forsake the Republican principles that I have held all my life. At the same time good governance requires reasonableness and cooperation in order to achieve public policies that are in the best interests of all the citizens of our great State. It is becoming harder and harder to be effective in Springfield because of the political bitterness, and that is frustrating for me.”

“My colleagues know me as a conservative legislator,” said Harris. “My voting record reflects that, and that is helpful when negotiating on issues. My conservatism can mix with doses of realistic practicality to fashion legislation that reigns in liberal policies and helps make the wheels of government turn. The Founding Fathers of our country understood the need for compromise when necessary.”

Harris’s service in the House has been recognized by groups as diverse as the Illinois Chamber of Commerce that recognized him with its 2015-2016 “Champion of Free Enterprise” Award and the Community Renewal Society that recently gave him its “Public Servant Lighthouse Award.”

Harris added, “Politics at both the state and federal levels has become extremely divisive, and that does not serve citizens well. We should strive to lessen the partisanship that is so evident and strive to raise the level of public debate. In Illinois there are important issues to address and simply engaging in personal attacks on our political opponents does not engender positive engagement on issues. We can debate public policies without ad hominem attacks.”

“Within the Republican Party, there are sharp divisions which I think will hurt the Party in the long run,” Harris continued. “There seems to be no willingness to consider various points of view. It seems that one has to adhere to some set of dictates coming from on high or one does not belong in the Party. Our Republican Party should be one of inclusion, not one of exclusion. If we hope to build our electoral chances for success in the future, we need to broaden the base, not make it more narrow. That does not mean forsaking principles, it means listening and responding to citizens in a principled way.”

“I have been extremely fortunate in my career,” said Harris. “I have had the great opportunity to give public service in several ways. My military service is a source of much pride, since I share the family tradition of wearing the uniform of our country with my father, brother and son, all of whom served. And it has been a genuine honor to serve the citizens of this area in the Illinois House of Representatives.”

Harris had served in the Illinois House in the 1980s and early 1990s. When he left the House in 1993, he took the position as Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the Illinois Hospital Association. He was called back to State government by the Governor in 1999 and appointed as The Adjutant General (Commanding General) of the Illinois National Guard. Harris initially entered military service in 1970; he had served for 20 years in the Illinois Army National Guard and risen to the rank of Colonel when he was selected to be The Adjutant General. He retired from military service after 33 years with the rank of Major General.

Harris has been involved with Republican politics at many levels all his life. He cut his political teeth with the Reagan campaign in 1976; he then became a member of the White House Advance Team during the Reagan Presidency, during which time he traveled nationally and internationally with the President and his staff.

Harris has deep roots in the district he represents. He was raised in Mount Prospect, attending Lincoln School and then Saint Viator High School. He and his wife have been residents of Arlington Heights for nearly 40 years; their two grown sons attended Saint Viator, too. The family is a member of Our Lady of the Wayside parish.

Harris says that he will look for opportunities to continue to give public service that take advantage of his years of experience.

* Dan Proft had recruited a candidate to run against Harris in the primary. His react…

Good riddance.

And that makes 9 of the 15 that have walked rather than face a primary challenge. Shouldn’t go unnoticed since Durkin’s philosophy is to protect incumbents regardless of behavior. The existence of our team is an accountability mechanism–and the only one in the ILGOP.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

60 Comments »
  1. - Fax Machine - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:15 am:

    That makes it 7/10 overriders retiring.


  2. - Enabler - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:15 am:

    No one should be enabling Dan Proft. He took more money from Rauner than anyone.


  3. - Carhartt Union Negotiating Team - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:16 am:

    I’d wish Harris would have waited. I mean, Rauner is prepping to unveil his plan to “end partisanship initiative” because, “Springfield is broken.”

    It’s abundantly clear that Rauner has never been the problem after all. Surely Harris has noticed that Rauner NEVER threatened GOP legislators behind closed doors. Rauner NEVER dropped cash into GOP coffers before important votes. Rauner NEVER coordinated primary election challenges. Rauner NEVER resisted in compromise.

    Surely Harris can see it is ALL Madigan’s fault. Every. Single. Bit. Of. It.

    How can Harris be so dense about these indisputable facts?

    Too bad for him. Now Rauner will be forced to find another independently-minded candidate who is willing reject the broken system and do what’s right for the state and the constituents - most of whom are clearly interested in total erosion and dysfunction in State government.


  4. - SuburbanRepublican - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:19 am:

    If that is how Dan Proft views someone with such distinguished credentials, then the GOP is in big trouble. Representative Harris has done more for conservatives/Republicans than Proft ever has. I’m not so sure Ronald Reagan would survive a Dan Proft litmus test today. David Harris will be missed. Thankfully he will stay be around another year.


  5. - The Captain - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:20 am:

    This district is only a little bit lean Republican. If the Republicans nominate a Proft-style candidate it could make for an interesting general election in a district Clinton won by 17 points.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:26 am:

    ===And that makes 9 of the 15 that have walked rather than face a primary challenge. Shouldn’t go unnoticed since Durkin’s philosophy is to protect incumbents regardless of behavior. The existence of our team as an accountability mechanism–and the only one in the ILGOP===

    No. No, Dan… Proft believes…

    “Purity to my GOP beliefs first, last always”

    Proft wants Illinois destroyed because causing a rift in the party allows Proft to grift.

    If you’re on the “side” of Ms. Wheeler and Proft, you have no idea about trying to govern, and you’re doing it wrong.

    We need more like Ms. Wheeler leaving the legislature, her betrayal of Illinois is seen in closed social services and the crumbling higher education.

    The glee Proft feels as leaders and brave legislators stood up to Gov. Rauner, and Rauner is “another” Proft has issues with, where exactly is Proft’s moral compass if he’s forlorn about Rauner and wants the Brave 15 to leave too?

    What exactly is Proft waiting rid?

    What Proft wants is a vacuum. A vacuum between Proft’s own distain for Rauner, and the distain for those who stood up to Rauner to save Illinois.

    Think on that.

    You can defy the governor and Proft wants you gone, you can BE the governor and Proft wants you gone.

    Proft wants the vacuum because only thru that anarchy can Prift find a relevance.

    The purity? That’s for my own amusement, because Proft needs his wedges to divide the party and purity, the phony thought of purity, is how Proft thinks he can be that relevant actor.


  7. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:26 am:

    I hope Harris and the others who are leaving public service will continue their service through the veto session and the remainder of their terms. They will have a unique position within their party and the GA to call out Team Rauner and the Profteers, and I hope they spread a little “sunshine” along the way.


  8. - The Way I See It - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:35 am:

    This is the strongest argument against term limits. Someone with a wealth of experience leaves the field to be replaced by someone backed by the money men. When she crosses them, they are just going to cut her off and buy a new replacement. No longer accountable to the district, accountable to the money men.

    Think about this for a minute - $400-500K for a primary for a state rep seat. Obscene numbers.


  9. - Roman - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:35 am:

    - The Captain -

    My sentiments exactly. There are many suburban Republicans (in both chambers) who represent districts that Clinton won by double digits or close to double digits. Of course, the electorate will be different in a mid-term. But if a national anti-Trump wave takes place, Rauner is still floundering, and a bunch of Proft-backed hard right wingers are the GOP’s nominees in moderate Republican districts, we might see the Dems greatly expand their reach in the burbs.


  10. - cdog - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:38 am:

    Anyone politically aligned with Rauner does so at their own peril.

    Rauner’s form of leadership and governance is unworthy of being followed, regardless of whether one is a conservative or moderate Republican.

    Rauner’s word means nothing during negotiations, his true motivations are still indecipherable, and he’s really a democrat.

    If Harris doesn’t have the fire in his belly to fight this out on his own terms, …


  11. - Moe Berg - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:41 am:

    Harris’ retirement is a great loss for the General Assembly. A thoughtful, intelligent and humane person and legislator. He definitely classed the joint up. Comparing his record and service to Proft’s, the later isn’t fit to clean Harris’ latrine.

    It’s also interesting to place against the backdrop of yesterday’s reporting on Nick Ayers, Rauner’s erstwhile campaign manager and now Vice President Pence’s Chief of Staff, who called for a purge of Republican legislators who don’t support Trump. These guys are all in.

    This is an extraordinary time in state and national politics. The Democrats have their dysfunctions, but they pale next to the extremist, far-right descent of the GOP in terms of the implications for our country.


  12. - Alex P. Keaton - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:42 am:

    Its laughable that Proft thinks his credentials are in some way scaring people into retirement. Good grief.


  13. - We'll See - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:46 am:

    Proft should (I know he wont) reach out to John Boehner to see how it all worked out when crazy came to town.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:46 am:

    ===If Harris doesn’t have the fire in his belly to fight this out on his own terms, …===

    Rep. Harris fought Rauner. Proft went after him.

    Simultaneously, Proft goes after Rauner too.

    These moves aren’t accidents. Proft isn’t about purity as Proft evokes the call for it. Proft is there to lay waste to a governing Republican majority, because Proft’s beliefs and thoughts to governing can’t even get double-digits within the former GOP.

    So… cause a vacuum. Fill the vacuum.

    Harris felt, I feel and reading above, he’s done his part, he’s fought the best fights, others can take it from here.

    Here…

    ===“Within the Republican Party, there are sharp divisions which I think will hurt the Party in the long run,” Harris continued. “There seems to be no willingness to consider various points of view. It seems that one has to adhere to some set of dictates coming from on high or one does not belong in the Party. Our Republican Party should be one of inclusion, not one of exclusion. If we hope to build our electoral chances for success in the future, we need to broaden the base, not make it more narrow. That does not mean forsaking principles, it means listening and responding to citizens in a principled way.”===

    Harris did what he knew, and others knew, was right, but are too weak to stand up and be counted, or heard, or be vocal, as Rauner and Proft dictate the voices making the noises.


  15. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:48 am:

    “Proft wants Illinois destroyed because causing a rift in the party allows Proft to grift.”

    Once one recognizes that his racket is profiteering, his commitment to a ILGOP civil war makes perfect sense.

    – MrJM


  16. - chi girl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 8:59 am:

    What is Dan Proft’s end game, like really? What issues does he actually care about? Seems to me like he is most interested in picking fights to keep getting his name out there.


  17. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:01 am:

    @cdog - Just because you don’t like Rauner doesn’t make him a Democrat.

    Maybe you don’t see him as a Republican and that’s fine. He is a Raunerite above all else.

    But this man is no Democrat just because he didn’t act how you wanted on abortion.


  18. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:01 am:

    Yeah, no room in ProftWorld for a 33-year Army vet with legislative and private sector experience.

    That kind of service and real-world experience can’t compare to a lifetime of puckering and planting on the backsides of a string of check-writing sugar daddies.


  19. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:03 am:

    On one hand I get it. Rep. Harris has had a long career and does not really “need” the hassle.

    On the other hand - and at the risk of being combative - are these Reps scared? I always thought Rep. Harris was a fighter. So he makes a tough decision - and backs it up with equally tough rhetoric/reasoning on the House floor and back home and to the press - and then when decision time comes he bows out? Stay and fight, man. If you think this state is worth saving then follow through with it and keep serving your constituents and your state. Ducking out now is both curious and convenient.

    I am okay with the Reps who voted for the tax hike and override because they knew they were going to retire/resign. We on this site know it is often easier to press the green button if/when a Senator or Rep is not running for reelection. But these Reps who voted yes on the tax measures and then “decided” a month into the petition passing season to call it quits are just taking the easy way out.


  20. - Montrose - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:16 am:

    “just taking the easy way out”

    There are a lot of justified critiques of politicians. This is not one of them. The time and energy and strain it takes to run for office and do your job well (Which Harris did) is incredible. To then do that in the current political environment is beyond incredible. Rep. Harris, and many others, have given decades of their life to service and our state is better for the time they have given. He is not taking the easy way out.


  21. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:17 am:

    =Stay and fight, man. If you think this state is worth saving then follow through with it and keep serving your constituents and your state. Ducking out now is both curious and convenient.=

    This is why the bluster of Ives, Breen, and McCarter is meaningless. Bruce Rauner owns the Republican party full stop. If you cross him he will treat you the same way that he treated those that crossed him when he was a venture capitalist. The cost of the primary “fight” would be $400K - $500K. Why would David Harris or anyone choose to go through that to get a job where the “dictates coming from on high” make you miserable?


  22. - Madame DeFarge - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:21 am:

    Have the Rauner folks thought about all the “lame ducks” that they are creating and how that might play out next Spring?


  23. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:22 am:

    Chi Girl - pretty much. I still cannot figure out why Rauner let Proft “run” things during the Benton-McCann primary. Rauner - especially for someone as combative as him - really let things go in that race when he could have had a much bigger (and better) impact. That only emboldened Proft for the 2016 general election and this primary season. I get using people as proxies but Rauner took it too far during the 2016 primary and general election seasons and gave Proft too much power.


  24. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:24 am:

    Montrose - respectfully I disagree.

    Harris clearly does not care what Rauner thinks or wants. He made that clear on the House floor for crying out loud. He has fight in him - which is what makes him pulling the plug in early October so interesting.


  25. - Dan Johnson - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:27 am:

    Another downer. Rep Harris is one of the most thoughtful, independent conservatives in the GA.


  26. - Try-4-Truth - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:27 am:

    I just want to remind everyone, that this is what the Republican Party wanted. They nominated and elected Bruce Rauner. Then, they stood behind him when he proceeded to tear down the state’s governing infrastructure. They own him. He’s theirs.

    Please vote accordingly.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:27 am:

    ===What is Dan Proft’s end game, like really? What issues does he actually care about? Seems to me like he is most interested in picking fights to keep getting his name out there===

    Not “really”

    “It’s about the dollars, always the dollars”

    Proft knows he can make much more money and have much more influence with a fractured and broken ILGOP and really cash in financially with the GA Caucuses fractured and willing to be divided… by him.

    The rest? The rest are the tools to create the rifts.


  28. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:29 am:

    I genuinely wonder if some of these sitting Reps are having trouble getting signatures - especially since most who are potential petition signers are hard R’s and are likely more torqued off about the tax hike.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:35 am:

    - Curl of the Burl -

    Why do you think Ms. Wheeler and others not fighting back against Rauner are retiring too?

    Why do you think the likes of real giants, like Leader Currie, are leaving too?

    Read this paragraph.

    ===“Within the Republican Party, there are sharp divisions which I think will hurt the Party in the long run,” Harris continued. “There seems to be no willingness to consider various points of view. It seems that one has to adhere to some set of dictates coming from on high or one does not belong in the Party. Our Republican Party should be one of inclusion, not one of exclusion. If we hope to build our electoral chances for success in the future, we need to broaden the base, not make it more narrow. That does not mean forsaking principles, it means listening and responding to citizens in a principled way.”===

    Understand why. It’s not that distinguished members are “scared” or “lost fire” or any derogatory things that can be attached…

    … the game changed, - Curl of the Burl - and the way to effect change has “changed” too. The legislature itself so vastly different in tone and tenor. Had you forgotten “The Owl”?

    It’s those like “The Owl” and Proft and Ken Dunkin, and dissent for its own sake, and Profit making dollars off the dissent, and making rifts larger.

    It’s not the same place. Rauner ruined a great deal of what these bodies could be, and Proft couldn’t be happier keeping the rift alive.


  30. - Montrose - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    -Curl

    *He has fight in him - which is what makes him pulling the plug in early October so interesting.*

    The guy has been at this for decades. It isn’t as though he is a new guy that didn’t realize being in politics is hard. Like OW said, things have changed. He, like many other retirees, and just done.

    And if you decide you are done, why wouldn’t you say you are done now? Why put the work into circulating petitions and fundraising if you are stepping down? If he made this announcement in December, we would be asking why he waited.


  31. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    Willy - not sure why Rep. Wheeler is stepping down or why Rep. Currie is retiring. Rep. Wheeler has 5 kids and Rep. Currie is almost 80 and has grandkids. Maybe the grind of the last 2+ years of non-stop “special” sessions is wearing on them? It would certainly wear on me if I had to make trips to Springfield seemingly every other week during the summer - especially if I lived 3-4 hours away.

    I miss “The Owl”. He actually knew what was in legislation and was always prepared. He was also the House GOP Floor Leader so people who dislike him because dissented on House Dem legislation is ridiculous.

    If people who voted for the tax hike believe SO much in the vote/votes they took then they should fight and argue their vote/votes on their merits.


  32. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    Montrose - him being a month into the process makes me think/wonder/posit that perhaps Rep. Harris may have trouble getting signatures. Just my take.


  33. - cdog - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    The premise that all persons of a single party have to be in agreement, 100% of the time, is wrong.

    I’m sure Harris is a decent dude, but, if you aren’t able to swim against the current, it is safer to get out of the water.


  34. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    ===I miss “The Owl”===

    Oh, stop.


  35. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    Rich - why? I liked Sandack quite a bit and always found him to be quite pleasant and affable off the House floor.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    ===I miss “The Owl”. He actually knew what was in legislation and was always prepared. He was also the House GOP Floor Leader so people who dislike him because dissented on House Dem legislation is ridiculous===

    If you can’t see how Bill Black and even Mike Bost are different than “The Owl”, that may explain why you are struggling to understand these, and this specific, resignations.

    ===If people who voted for the tax hike believe SO much in the vote/votes they took then they should fight and argue their vote/votes on their merits===

    Then Ms. Wheeler should stay and fight and argue the point of betrayal to Bruce Rauner.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    Apologies, not resignations, the decision not to seek re-election.


  38. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    I hope the “duck caucus” coalesces into a force, a fulcrum, that rauner, dems, and party line repubs, have to deal with.

    They may be “lame ducks” by traditional definition, but their freedom to follow their consciece makes them very powerful, if they act together. If the caucus tries to bind all to a mistaken caucus position, they should reject it.

    It could be


  39. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    Willy - insulting people’s intelligence because they think differently than you in regards to House retirements and resignations? That is almost as bad as Wordslinger’s fat shaming of Senator Rose last night.


  40. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    It could be….an interesting year.


  41. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    And to be clear: I am unequivocally stating that the House GOP members who voted for the tax hike and are now “leaving” do not deserve any benefit of the doubt.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    - Curl of the Burl -

    Don’t make it about me, make the case you, yourself, knew might bring pushback. Don’t be a victim, make your case.

    ===If you can’t see how Bill Black and even Mike Bost are different than “The Owl”, that may explain why you are struggling to understand these, and this specific, resignations.===

    You can start there.


  43. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    === If people who voted for the tax hike believe SO much in the vote/votes they took then they should fight and argue their vote/votes on their merits. ===

    You seem to completely misunderstand the purpose of government.

    We don’t enact laws so that we can have debates.

    We — sometimes — have debates so that we can enact laws.

    This debate is over. The Rauner/Proft/Tillman Agenda lost. David Harris won.

    Defeating every that supported the tax hike is not going to change that.

    Unless you have some plan to repeal the tax hike, which I have yet to hear any Republican propose.

    So, Republicans can shriek about the fact that Rauner promised to lower the income tax to 3% but instead helped raise it to 4.98%, but unless or until someone has an alternate budget that relies on a tax rate of 3%, its a pretty silly argument.

    P.S. I’d like to see how that 3% budget funds efforts to lure Amazon here.


  44. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    ===… do not deserve any benefit of the doubt.===

    “benefit of the doubt” of what exactly?


  45. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    I have made my case. Ron Sandack often knew more about House Dem legislation than the House Dems themselves. Remember the Mike Smiddy union negotiation bill debacle? Sandack knew that bill backward-and-forward and Smiddy could barely even make it through talking points and needed more sidebars with staff than any bill sponsor I have ever seen.

    And stop it with the “victim” baloney. I would never insult anyone’s intelligence on this site. We are better than that.


  46. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Willy - to be blunt you make everything on this site about you. You post on pretty much every story and then egg people on. For example: what do Bill Black and Mike Bost have to do with Ron Sandack? And what in God’s name does that have to do with David Harris’s decision to retire or Barb Wheeler’s decision to not run for reelection?


  47. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:32 am:

    Dear Rep. Harris,

    Your service to this country and this state is something I greatly respect and admire as you selflessly face of yourself for things far greater than us all.

    Your accomplishments and the release announcing your decision can’t fully underscore the debt of gratitude this state owes you for the many times you were called to serve and answered that call with all the best intentions and did your work, many times thanklessly.

    I read this, hopefully as you plainly wrote it, and embrace what it means with the same emotional feelings you have as you leave the Illinois House…

    ===“Within the Republican Party, there are sharp divisions which I think will hurt the Party in the long run,” Harris continued. “There seems to be no willingness to consider various points of view. It seems that one has to adhere to some set of dictates coming from on high or one does not belong in the Party. Our Republican Party should be one of inclusion, not one of exclusion. If we hope to build our electoral chances for success in the future, we need to broaden the base, not make it more narrow. That does not mean forsaking principles, it means listening and responding to citizens in a principled way.”===

    No one can deny in the many ways you have served that your goals as a legislator, albeit sometimes partisan to the party, were to find governing within the politics and the process and you see both breaking down. You are not alone in these thoughts and when others who profit and speak gleefully at the loses you point out in party and governing, know, without any doubt, you are on the right side of the arguments.

    Best of luck to you, and thank you for saving Illinois when you did, especially when you knew you weren’t betraying anything but destruction, and by not voting as you did in the end, you’d betraying all of Illinois.

    Thank you, Rep. Harris.

    Oswego Willy


  48. - Bigtwich - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    Curl - insulting people’s moral courage because they think differently than you in regards to House retirements and resignations? I doubt there are many wimps in the Ft. Benning (Georgia) Infantry OCS Hall of Fame.


  49. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    langhorne, that Lame Duck caucus could call the tune next session if they coalesce on an agenda.

    I imagine that Madigan recognizes the math, I wonder if BTIA(TM) does?


  50. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    Big - if you are going to vote for something as big and impactful as a tax hike then you should at least put and keep your name on the ballot to defend the vote. That is not an insult. Just my opinion.

    I greatly dislike Senator McCann but he never shied away from standing up for what he believes (or at least claims to believe) and ran in the primary knowing he was up for a massive fight.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    ===For example: what do Bill Black and Mike Bost have to do with Ron Sandack?===

    Comparing how each were floor leaders, how they went about their business, that’s what Rep. Harris is talking about within and outside what the intra-Caucus issues. If you can’t see that, that’s on you.

    ===And what in God’s name does that have to do with David Harris’s decision to retire or Barb Wheeler’s decision to not run for reelection===

    You seem confused, according to you, why others aren’t staying to “fight”, but only on the one side. That seems to say your idea that only one side has to “answer” for something, thus you seem to be embracing Proft’s thoughts. So, I asked. If you can’t answer, then maybe you can rethink what you said yourself might bring blowback.

    Again, making it about me, I made my points, you’re more concerned about me.

    ===Remember the Mike Smiddy union negotiation bill debacle? Sandack knew that bill backward-and-forward and Smiddy could barely even make it through talking points and needed more sidebars with staff than any bill sponsor I have ever seen===

    Bill Black wasn’t a tactician? Bost didn’t raise the ire?

    The culture changed, “The Owl” was a bi-product.

    The “Comedy Central” interview… that’s not a thoughtful Floor Leader. That was an embarrassing moment for Raunerism.


  52. - DwnStateGrl - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    Bill Black was/is a principled pragmatist. Ron Sandack is a very smart ideologue. There is a difference. And the former is what we need more of - not less.
    Also, while I would agree Sandack had a better grasp of legislation - oftentimes - than many Dems (or fellow Repubs) the same could easily be said about a number of Dems against some of the dimmer bulbs on the Repub side of the aisle.


  53. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    ===what do Bill Black and Mike Bost have to do with Ron Sandack? ===

    You are seriously asking that question?


  54. - Amalia - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    Not my party, but a terrible loss for politics generally, including for the NW suburbs. Smart and interesting guy.


  55. - Taxguy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 2:07 pm:

    A sad day for Illinois when the good ones give up the fight.


  56. - walker - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 3:24 pm:

    Let’s not speculate, in our great wisdom, on David Harris’ motivations for choosing not to run. He tells us clearly what he sees and feels; David Harris tells the truth.

    Let’s not even begin to question Harris’ courage; that is proven beyond our understanding.

    Those who claim he is not a true Republican with deep Conservative values, have recently bastardized those labels.

    David is my Rep, I know him pretty well, and admire him greatly. My first reaction was sadness that this might be a signal that Illinois government is not fixable — because those most likely to honestly work to fix it, are being forced out by others from the deliberately blind extremes of their own parties.


  57. - Veil of Ignorance - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 3:41 pm:

    Proft has no class. Rep Harris did not always agree with me, but he always was willing to meet, hear me out, and provide his honest view. And nobody can question his commitment to his district, our state, and our country. I believe the Republicans are doing a great disservice to their own party.


  58. - walker - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 4:32 pm:

    No Dan Proft:

    Forcing people out of the Republican party they have supported for decades, by attacking them with overwhelming amounts of Other Peoples’ Money, donated by few third party actors, is not an “accountability mechanism in the ILGOP.”

    It is an attack from the outside.


  59. - anon2 - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 5:58 pm:

    Might be time for Walker to dust off his walking shoes.


  60. - the Cardinal - Thursday, Oct 5, 17 @ 8:52 am:

    Typical of the ILGOP they beat there own up Need a bigger tent folks fight internally smile outside. Proft doesnt participate in the party in as much as punching it up. If he were a supporter of the ILGOP he would sit down with the leadership and take on the opposition party but he wont. Its one thing to talk of leading another thing to get in the weeds and do it…Ideologues are ruining what was left of the ILGOP.


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