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Because… Chicago!

Friday, Feb 8, 2019

* From GOP Reps. Brad Halbrook, Chris Miller and Darren Bailey

Urges the United States Congress to declare the City of Chicago the 51st state of the United States of America and separate it from the rest of Illinois.

The most hilarious part of this proposal is that these southerners think the suburbs will give them a better deal without Chicago in the picture. That seems doubtful. Downstate hoovers up tax money that the suburbanites pay. Chicago is basically tax neutral. Without the city fighting for social programs and state education spending, Downstate would be in a far worse situation.

* They even completely ignore the suburban region in the resolution. From the beginning

WHEREAS, The State of Illinois is often regarded as having two distinct regions, the City of Chicago and downstate Illinois

C’mon, people. Grow up.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - anon - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    It’s just a bill.

  2. - Brendan - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:01 am:

    Like I have said before, kicking and screaming. Drag them kicking and screaming. children.

  3. - NIU Grad - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:01 am:

    The GOP’s super minority’s game plan for the next two years: Red. Meat. All. The. Time.

    They don’t have much else to do.

  4. - Fixer - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:02 am:

    From a born and raised downstater, I apologize for the reps our part of the state keeps electing. This is just…ugh.

  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:03 am:

    If the boundaries were put to a vote, southern Illinoisans might be surprised that (1) the collars would stick with Chicago, and (2) the rest would run out of money within weeks.

  6. - regnaD kciN - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:04 am:

    Rich, over the years I’ve tried to explain that downstate benefits more from the Chicago metropolitan area but many refuse to believe it. I was at a conference a few years ago when the state demographer for Minnesota said that if you took away the Chicago metropolitan area from Illinois, it would be like South Dakota: old, white and they vote. I couldn’t argue it with her.

  7. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:04 am:

    It’s the usual racism and phony victimhood. It’s mainstream in the GOP now, the fuel to Trump’s fire.

  8. - The Captain - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    Make it all of Cook County and then have all the Democrats in Cook sign on as co-sponsors.

  9. - In 630 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    Totally not the point they’re making by a mile, but given the under-representation of populated parts of the country at the federal level, maybe several large metro areas should be their own states.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:06 am:

    ===GOP Reps. Brad Halbrook, Chris Miller and Darren Bailey…===

    Pathetic, little, inconsequential members who, in realty, bring little to honest discussions of how Illinois is unique… with the 3rd largest media market AND a top 5 agricultural state, leading in some nationally.

    To be so small minded to understanding your state, I’m embarrassed FOR them. The lack of intelligence by these members, they are utterly clueless to… their own jobs… in this General Assembly.

    The only good? They aren’t close to being a decision maker in the party or this state. We are lucky for that.

    They don’t even know enough to be embarrassed.

  11. - Land of Lincoln - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:09 am:

    Why don’t they just secede from the State? In this case - I’d be fine with seeing them go. As a collar county resident - I’m with Chicago and would love to stop subsidizing the nonserious elected officials that are not capable of adding any value to a real dialogue on the problems facing Illinois. In the Land of Lincoln of all places…

  12. - Roman - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:09 am:

    Great way to make a first impression, Miller and Bailey. You just announce to Springfield that you want to be known as simple-minded back-benchers who should never be taken seriously.

  13. - illini - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:10 am:

    Willy nails it once again. Nothing more need be said.

  14. - City Zen - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    Does this conflict with the plan for suburbs seceding from Cook County?

    If Chicago goes, they take Cook and the Berrios family tree with them.

  15. - Dave - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    As a Chicago resident, I’m game for this. Going to write my rep immediately

  16. - Iggy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    Bush league. Seriously, grow up downstate, you need Chicago much much more than they need you.

  17. - a drop in - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:12 am:

    Rich, when did you start posting articles from the Onion. I mean, this is satire, right? /s

  18. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    My father believes in this type of nonsense. To him the “City of Chicago” is all of Cook County and the collar counties. I’m willing to bet the constituents of these sponsors believe the same thing.

  19. - Anon - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    =Chicago is basically tax neutral=

    I’ve never seen a comprehensive analysis of this that includes all of the issues - law enforcement, schools, transportation, transit, Medicaid, etc.

    Please, point me to it.

  20. - Steve - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    It’s just an idea. Radical ideas start somewhere.

  21. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:17 am:

    –C’mon, people. Grow up.–

    Not a chance. Seen this junk all my life.

    But there’s much more to it than immaturity.

    As someone who grew up Downstate, I’m well aware from a lifetime of experience that the underlying sentiment of this nonsense is crypto-bigotry, fear of the other. No secret, no way, no how.

    All your problems are caused by those stereotypical shiftless dark people on the welfares, driving their Cadillacs to the store to get lobsters and ripple with their food stamps.

    I’m not saying all Downstaters are bigots — not at all, far from it.

    Just those who peddle this trash for personal gain.

  22. - Still Waiting - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:20 am:

    One of these reps covers my area, and he most assuredly does not represent me or the best interests of his district. EIU needs Chicago students, and I can’t imagine they would keep coming if they had to pay out of state tuition, something I’m sure has never crossed his mind. And as to no mention of the burbs? Down here, everything in that part of the state is Chicago. Oakbrook, Hinsdale, Arlington Heights? It’s all Chicago to these guys. Whenever someone around here tells me Chicago ought to be its own state, I ask them, “Why? Are you jealous of Mississippi?” For far too long local politicians have whipped up this hatred of Chicago, and it needs to stop.

  23. - Todd - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    It simply highlights the notion that we really are two states. and the tear in the fabric that is our states is being strained.

    Look at the fight over the $15 minimum wage.

    And then you have downstate prosecutors starting to decide they won’t enforce new gun laws. its a symptom of the disease

  24. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    ==It simply highlights the notion that we really are two states==

    Nonsense. The only thing it highlights is that these guys are childish.

  25. - Skeptic - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:26 am:


  26. - 61920 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    What are the odds that Dan Proft backed each of these reps?

  27. - illini - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    I guess if the downstate GOP did not foster this kind on nonsense they would have no platform to run on. Create an enemy and play to the fears and biases of the voters. Seems to get them elected.

  28. - Anon E Moose - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    Two additional senators for Chicago? Yes please.

  29. - Anon - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    CD Davidsmeyer said on Facebook that he’s be co-sponsoring this bill as well

  30. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    anon 1013: google it, actually Chicago is close to tax neutral but does get a little less than paid in. But, that little less mounts up big time because of the size of Chicago vs the rest of the state. The suburbs are carriying the downstate load. I live on the border of La La Land, 5 miles north of I80. These people are a trip, not to be confused by the facts.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    (Tips cap to - illini -)

    - Todd - isn’t wrong, as one part of Illinois is an agricultural giant in this country, a leader, and different from … the third largest media market in America, which includes urban abd suburban issues and industry many times not found outside that metro area.

    The goal is to get everyone pulling together to make the downstate area(s) better and greater while understanding “She-Caw-Go” is the economic engine aiding downstate, and driving Chicagoland and the region.

    That’s it. That’s the ball game.

    The ILGOP losing ground in Cook and the Collars is a complete reflection on the want to be a regional party, not a statewide option.

  32. - Just Observing - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:39 am:

    === It simply highlights the notion that we really are two states. ===

    What states don’t have any significant regional differences? Is Milwaukee not very different than northern Wisconsin? Is Detroit not very different than the UP? Is Miami not very different than the Florida panhandle? Why don’t we just have 300 states?

  33. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:39 am:

    I’d like to keep Illinois one state just to watch these people stew in their phony victimhood rage.

  34. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    –It’s just an idea. Radical ideas start somewhere.–

    Oh please, it’s the oldest gag in the book, a perennial dog-whistle when you want to wind up the gullible.

  35. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    Clearly we have underfunded the educational system in the state’s rural areas for far too long.

  36. - Huh? - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    I wonder if the sponsors of the bill know that it will go to the rules committee to die.

    What a silly waste of time.

  37. - wondering - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    Annnie 1013 was me, sorry

  38. - King Louis XVI - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    Big business investors with multi-ethnic employees and cultures making investment decisions look at his garbage and take a pass on Downstate when it comes to opening offices, R&D facilities, etc.

    Until these clowns figure out their petty culture wars are shredding investment opportunities, they’ll just have to cling to their Downstate prisons that keep their economies on life-support.

  39. - low level - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    Props to any Chicago legislators who co sponsor it- to call their bluff.

  40. - Harvest76 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    Wordslinger nailed it. It’s not so subtle racism, other-ism, and ignorant simple-minded posturing. I’ve seen it my whole life down here and these reps are stoking the fire to feel relevant in their own little poverty-stricken bubble.

  41. - wondering - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    I confuse easily in the morning, Annie 1013 was not me, Annie 1038 was me responding to Annie 1013….back to the coffee.

  42. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    There is a model of GOP success in a bluer state than Illinois, Massachusetts’ Gov. Charlie Baker, who’s very popular and crushed his Democratic opponent in the 2018 election. As far as I know, he is a uniter. Here is his great campaign ad.

  43. - Red Eft - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:52 am:

    I guess they haven’t read the SIUC Simon Institute report showing that southern Illinois gets $2+ in revenue from the state for every dollar paid in taxes. (See Appendix A)

  44. - Nacho - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    Is Bob Marshall the governor now?

  45. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    Wow. You guys really have nothing better to do with your time? Maybe you should resign and allow people who want to get things done to take your seats. What a waste of space.

  46. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:01 am:

    –I wonder if the sponsors of the bill know that it will go to the rules committee to die.

    What a silly waste of time.–

    No, they know what they’re doing. They’ll get local coverage and that’s the only objective.

  47. - Amalia - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:01 am:

    be careful what you wish for.

  48. - Downstate Mayor - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    Really tough to be from downstate. One of the easiest things in the world to prove is that we are better with Chicago. Come on, you are making us all look stupid.

  49. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:07 am:

    The only thing missing from their brainless diatribe is a call to build a wall.

    Willy, great comment.

  50. - Mr. Smith - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:16 am:

    I would honestly like to know if these guys are enconomically illiterate, advertising their dogwhistling skills, or both.

  51. - revvedup - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:18 am:

    I call the City the “State of Chicago” because they often ignore Illinois law to do what they want, even outside home-rule authority. Some State agencies still allow Chicago to get away with not obeying laws and rules they’re bound by. The greed, corruption, and politics of the City wasted millions of Illinois tax dollars over the decades (esp. CPS, CHA and CTA), and those outside the City are tired of paying for it. But making Chicago a state has as much chance as the Dist. of Columbia becoming one, for legal reasons alone too long to lists, never mind the practicalities…

  52. - NYC-CHI - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:30 am:

    Next step will be for them to disown East St Louis.

  53. - JS Mill - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:30 am:

    =If the boundaries were put to a vote, southern Illinoisans might be surprised that (1) the collars would stick with Chicago, and (2) the rest would run out of money within weeks.=

    So when folks down here say “Chicago” they are talking about the entire metro area. They do not differentiate between the city and the burbs, which makes this even sillier.

    =The greed, corruption, and politics of the City wasted millions of Illinois tax dollars over the decades (esp. CPS, CHA and CTA), and those outside the City are tired of paying for it. =

    Yeah, because there are never scandals involving theft and waste outside of Chicago?

    Maybe ask the folks in Dixon or Bloomington or Roanoke about that. A few of their fine people are doing time for “mistakes”,

  54. - Saluki - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    Why not give “downstate” the chance to go our own way? Surely we can drive our own state into financial oblivion as good as the Chicagoans have shown themselves able to.

    The majority of people “downstate” would welcome Chicago having the ability to fully chase whatever liberal fantasies they wish.

    All the mocking, taunting, accusations of racism, and not a single reflection about why people outside of the City would feel the way they do.

    Keep it up, your arrogance is showing, per usual.

  55. - @misterjayem - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    “Please, point me to it.”

    The south region receives $2.81 in state funds for every $1 generated. The Central Illinois region receives $1.87 back for every $1.00 sent to Springfield. All of the downstate regions receive more from the state budget than they pay in taxes. By comparison, Cook County receives 90 cents for every $1, and the suburban counties only 53 cents for every $1 generated.

    – MrJM

  56. - Brendan - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:39 am:

    in this hypothetical “Chicago” State, can Campaign-Urbana join . . . Please take us with you.

  57. - Mongo - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    Would these people please stop with this stuff! I don’t want to be North Kentucky, West Indiana or East Missouri. Once all the money stops flowing down here people will cry that we get nothing and look at what the 51st state gets. Just stop!!!

  58. - efudd - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:52 am:

    Would like to know where my local politicians, Bryant and Fowler stand on this.
    Both of them spending careers on the public teet made possible by tax dollars from “up north”.

  59. - A 400lb. Guy on a bed - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:58 am:

    What the SJ-R wishes for.

  60. - Harvest76 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    =and those outside the City are tired of paying for it.=

    Downstaters get back $2 in tax benefit for every $1 in tax revenue, so, yeah, you arent paying for it, unless your point is you could be getting $2.50.

  61. - Reminder - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    I’m confused. I thought Bailey’s number one priority was to repeal the income tax increase

  62. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    –Why not give “downstate” the chance to go our own way? –

    Another victim heard from.

    No one has to “give” you your chance. There is a federal Constitutional process.

    If you want it, get to work. Show that you’re not just whining.

  63. - Anotherretiree - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 12:30 pm:

    I guess I would have to move North since I couldn’t trust the Supreme Court of New North Kentucky to protect pension benefits. Probably a good move in the climate change of the future…

  64. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    Get ready to quadruple the property tax on farmland. But given that it is held extremely low right now, that would make it about right.

  65. - Cornfed - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    Many low population states get by just fine and actually have surpluses. We don’t need Chicago’s nonsense.

  66. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    –Many low population states get by just fine and actually have surpluses. We don’t need Chicago’s nonsense.–

    Get to work, time’s a wastin’. Draw your map and start selling it, see who wants to join you.

    No one can stop you from doing that. If you don’t make the effort, it’s on you.

  67. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 12:56 pm:

    Sadly, Cornfed, you’d be starting out with a deficit based on your share of the total state debt including pensions. Paying that off would take a century or more of high taxes, given the expected GDP of South Illinois.

  68. - Anotherrtiree - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:00 pm:

    ==actually have surpluses== Sorry Cornfed. Taking a wild guess that everything South of Rockford has 40% of current state population, that means that New South Illinois will be taking 40% of current debt with them. No magic surplus for you.

  69. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:02 pm:

    ==your arrogance is showing, per usual.==

    And your ignorance is showing.

    You are free to leave anytime you want. There is nothing stopping you if you feel that oppressed.

  70. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    ==Many low population states get by just fine and actually have surpluses. We don’t need Chicago’s nonsense.==

    So move to one of them if you think it’s a panacea. We don’t need this sort of whining.

  71. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:14 pm:

    Hey, rubes. What makes you think the collar counties want to be in the same state without Chicago as a balance in your proposal. Not that Chicago and the suburbs together would be all that great what with Aldermen Behaving Badly and McCarthy’s proposal to annex neighboring villages. How about a Marshall Plan? Chicago, Downstate and collar counties (including Lake which would be allowed to seceed from downstate) as separate states.

  72. - anon2 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    In 2011, Rep. Bill Mitchell introduced a bill to separate the county of Cook from the State. So the new measure would leave 2.5 million Cook County suburbanites in the Land of Lincoln.

  73. - Rasselas - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:33 pm:

    If two of the big drags on the State’s fiscal situation are the pension liabilities for State employees and those of downstate teachers, wouldn’t downstate wind up with a greater than per capita share of the pension liability. (Aren’t most state jobs outside of Chicago?)

  74. - Anotheretiree - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    After some “serious” thought, I conclude the only way to divide the state is along the Cub/Cardinal fan line…I’ll have to move to North Sangamon County. Will there be two Capitol faxes ? Banjo Fax as the new one ?

  75. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    ===I call the City the “State of Chicago” because they often ignore Illinois law to do what they want, even outside home-rule authority===

    Citation please.

  76. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:44 pm:

    ==WHEREAS, Even communities north of Chicago are considered “downstate” because they have more in common with rural southern and central Illinois counties than they do with the City of Chicago; ==

    Uh, nobody considers North of Chicago downstate. Just you goofs.

    ==WHEREAS, The majority of residents in downstate Illinois
    disagree with City of Chicago residents on key issues such as gun ownership, abortion, immigration, and other policy issues; ==

    Because Pro Life McCann really trounced Pro Choice Rauner downstate, didn’t he?

    ==WHEREAS, The City of Chicago passed a resolution in 1925 to form the State of Chicago; ==

    Almost a hundred years ago.

    ==WHEREAS, There continue to be organizations pushing for
    separation between the City of Chicago and downstate Illinois
    such as the “Southern Illinois Secession Movement”;==

    Headquarters are in a van down by the river. The neighborhood strip mall recently rented to the Flat Earth Society and didn’t have any openings.

  77. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    Anotheretiree - Where will that leave Sox fans who believe in the line from “Southside Irish” “And when it comes to baseball we have two favorite clubs/ The Go-go White Sox and whoever plays the Cubs.”?

  78. - 110th District - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    We have bigger issues than this facing the 110th district. Representative Miller, please stop with the political grandstanding and start working to address the needs of the district.

  79. - Midstate Indy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    An act urging the United States Congress to declare all counties other than Cook the 51st state of Fayettucky and separate it from the rest of Illinois. These guys are all in my backyard, without the boogeyman issues, they wouldn’t have a constituency. They problem is deeper than the representatives themselves.

  80. - ajjacksson - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    If downstate wants to go let them go. I’m certain that DuPage and Will and Lake would all stay with Chicago—maybe Kane and Kendall as well.

  81. - cc - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    I come from fractured family…half Cubs fans and half Cardinal fans. Me: Cubs

  82. - downstate - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    My entire family thinks this way. Thanksgiving isn’t fun anymore. Someone please take the people that think this way to the actual City of Chicago and surrounding areas. I can’t convince my family that I’m not risking my life every time I have a meeting in the Loop. They’ve never been anywhere near Chicago, let alone driven into the city and seen industrial park after industrial park, filled to the brim, unlike so many sad empty industrial parks downstate. The confusion is maddening. And I’m not saying Chicago area people shouldn’t understand the closed factories and farm fields of downstate. But here’s the deal, I know a lot of legislators from up north that have taken the Farm Bureau up on their combine driving tours downstate.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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